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4/21/2013 to 4/30/2013
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April 30, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Video short focuses on late conservationist Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia
Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia’s contributions to Belize’s conservation history are numerous. His passing on April 12, 2013 was a significant loss to Belize, as he impacted the country and the tourism industry in ways that are so far-reaching. Of special significance was his fight for the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve. There have been numerous accolades bestowed upon him, including the James Waight Conservation Award. In an effort to honor this conservation giant, Michael Desabrais has prepared a video short focusing on the Chocolate man himself. The short, part of a larger documentary on Caye Caulker, will be entered into the 2013 Belize International Film Festival to be held in July.

PolyClinic staff vent frustration about internal issues
Some staff members of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II have officially written to the Central Health Region expressing their discontent as it relates to the management of the clinic. The three-page letter, sent to Nurse Melinda Guerra, Manager of the Central Health Region, details the staff’s frustration at the way the clinic is being managed. The correspondence was sent on April 16th and was carbon copied to a number of people including the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Area Representative for Belize Rural South and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero.

National News: Guatemala backs out of October 6th Referendum
The government of the Republic of Guatemala officially confirmed on Tuesday April 23rd that they are backing out of a joint referendum that was agreed on with Belize and scheduled for October 6, 2013. The decision was announced after the legislative arm of the Guatemalan government presented a recommendation to pull out from the agreement citing three reasons. One of the three reasons has to do with the 60% threshold of voter turnout required by Belize law to make a referendum binding. The decision by the Guatemalan government has been communicated to the Organization of American State (OAS) who is serving as the mediator in the entire diplomatic negotiation on the Guatemalan territorial claim over a portion of Belize. According to the Guatemalan government, given the circumstances now, they do not foresee a positive result going forward with the joint referendum, thus taking the decision not to submit to a referendum. Fernando Carrera, Foreign Minister of Guatemala said that the government decided to suspend the referendum that was scheduled for October 6th as a way to settle the dispute with Belize. Carrera also told reporters that a letter was sent to the Legislature, informing them of the decision and for them to determine the legal path to follow, a decision that was also transmitted to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala has also been informed to suspend any further consultation with the public on the October 6th referendum.

Editorial: Who is responsible for the stories published in The San Pedro Sun?
Last week I was contacted by readers regarding two of our articles, complaining that our senior reporter Jorge Aldana had a hidden ‘agenda’ when penning the stories. Let me ask you this? Have you noticed when reading The San Pedro Sun there are no bylines? So how is it that some assume that an article is written by Mr. Aldana? Why no bylines? Because by the time a story goes through our editing process it belongs to The San Pedro Sun, not one specific writer, except for editorials such as this. And just for the record, editorials are written by the editor unless otherwise noted. Regardless of who writes a news article for The San Pedro Sun, the piece goes through tireless scrutiny. Often, before a story is even written the reporter discusses with the editors and colleagues what angle the story should take. Once that is determined, the article is proofed by Associate Editor Mary Gonzalez then returned to the reporter for corrections. After the corrections are made, each staff member proofs the story and I, Tamara Sniffin, Editor, make the final proof before giving it my approval for print. If you want to complain about a story in The San Pedro Sun then blame it on me, the editor, not the reporter.

Tropic Air announces service to Roatan, Honduras
Tropic Air announced that it will inaugurate non-stop service to Roatan, Honduras on November 20, 2013. With the launching of this service, Tropic will be the only airline to operate non-stop scheduled flights between Belize and the Bay Islands. Initially, Tropic will fly between Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Roatan Honduras (RTB) 3 times weekly, and tickets are now available for sale. This new service will not only serve to make travel to Roatan easier, but will allow for the expansion of trade and tourism between the two countries and serve to further grow the historical ties between Belize and the Bay Islands.

Italian Antonio Velardo and Swedish Levente Arangos denied stay in Belize
Two people did not get to enjoy their stay on Ambergris Caye and Belize after they were kicked out of the country by authorities over the weekend. Italian 35-year-old Antonio Velardo and Swedish boat captain 47-year-old Levente Arangos were escorted out of Belize via their vessel “La Aventura.” They were escorted by San Pedro Police on the afternoon of Sunday April 28th after the Belize Immigration Department executed a notice forbidding the captain and the lone passenger landing. The two arrived in Belize and docked at local marina in San Pedro Town on April 24th. After being in the country for 24 hours, the two had refused to declare funds and were later picked up by authorities on the island during a joint operation. During the operation, authorities found a total of US$22,000 inside La Aventura and as a result proceeded to detain the two foreigners.

Ambergris Today

Iconic Jet’s Bar Burns Down at Belize’s International Airport
With sadness, we report today that Jet’s Bar burned down over the weekend due to an electrical fault, according to reports. The fire reportedly occurred on April 27, 2013, at about eight in the evening; it was contained within the establishment and no other damages were reported at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Family, friends and fans of Jet’s Bar have expressed their sadness over the incident but the management of the place has stated that the airport will restore the bar, but details as to how long it will take have not been released. Travelers will miss the cozy spot with all of the paraphernalia and great decorations that Mr. Jet had collected throughout the years, but we are sure fans and friends will help Mr. Holland bring Jet’s Bar back to normal in no time.

Canadian Travel Agents, Journalists & Wholesalers Visit Belize!
The Canadian Market has been one of Belize’s growing markets in North America. The Belize Tourism Board has been aggressively working within this market; from successful trade shows to road shows and sales presentations. BTB was proud to welcome a large contingent of Canadian Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Travel Writers, on Monday, April 15th, 2013. The Belize Tourism Board organized a familiarization trip (FAM), to give 25 Canadian travel industry professionals an opportunity to learn about and experience Belize. The group of travel agents was in the country from April 15-22. The FAM Tour consisted of a series of site visits at various properties in inland Cayo, Mountain Pine Ridge Area, Placencia and San Pedro Ambergris Caye, as well as popular tours in the respective areas. The purpose of this initiative is to drive more Canadians to Belize. The group of journalists and tour operators were in the country from April 15-20 and their FAM Tour commenced in San Pedro Ambergris. They travelled to Hopkins Village, Mountain Pine Ridge Area and inland Cayo and participated in several inland activities. Belize is expected to get premium exposure in top Canadian news outlets.

Reef Week Activities Announced
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve has a week full of activities which will take place from May 20 – 26, 2013. Below is the schedule of activities for this year’s Reef Week.

The Many Faces of Daddy's Club
Daddy’ Rock is under new management by Ana Cal and somebody asked, “How long back does Daddy’s go?” Somebody said about 28 years, but she had no idea. Here’s a little of the history for my good friend Ana Cal Daddy’s Club is the brainchild of Mr. Gildardo “Daddy” Paz. He was one of the few Paz brothers that decided not to become a fisherman but to be a businessman. In the year 1950 or just about Mr. Daddy built the first bar right on the beach and also right in front of the great Blake House belonging to the most influential family in San Pedro. At Blake House there was a liquor store but liquor was not to be consumed on the premises, so you can know that Daddy’s Club became the most popular bar in San Pedro, except that it carried the name “Club” instead of “Bar”. It was a simple room with a counter and a few tables and chairs. Attached to the club Mr. Daddy had another business, Daddy’s Saloon, where folks could enjoy soft drinks called Lemonade, bottled chocolate drinks called Soldaditos, candies, pet milk, chocolates, natural milk in cans, pepitoes, peanuts, and the most famous refreshing shaved ice with syrup called ‘raspados’. These raspados were sold only once in a while when the cargo boat occasionally brought a block of ice from Belize City. This was the very beginning of your Club, Ana.

Belize’s April the Tapir Turns 30!
World Tapir Day is celebrated on April 27 and in Belize it is also considered National Tapir Day thanks to a very special Tapir named April. It is the oldest female tapir living in captivity in the world and her home is known to everyone as the Best Little Zoo in the World – The Belize Zoo. The grandeur that April has become in the Belizean culture was best displayed with a ceremonial unveiling of these two photographs which featured Claire Gibson who was only three years old when she first visited April in 1983 and one when Gibson returned this year to visit her again.

El Secreto Resort Glows as Night Falls, in Conde Nast Traveler's Best List
Ultra Modern and Luxury Resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize named as one of the Best New Hotels in 2013 by Conde Nast Traveler - As night falls onto El Secreto, the resort comes alive with ever-changing colors, from their pier to the reception area, restaurant, bar, coconut palms and private villas. The entire resort is wired with state of the art lighting system that brings color and a relaxing ambience to its environment. This week El Secreto received great recognition from Conde Nast Traveler by added the resort to its list of The 154 Best New Hotels in the World.

Misc Belizean Sources

Labour Day Open Day (April 30th 2013)
Warm greetings from the Department of Labour, please feel free to visit any of our Labour Department country-wide, today April 30th, 2013 for our Labour Day Open Day. There will be information displays, prizes and give aways; feel free to bring along questions and concerns as our labour officers will be sure to address them. SEE YOU THERE

Public Consultation for Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) would like to invite the public to presentations and discussions on the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan. This national Plan is mandated under the Coastal Zone Management Act, and determines the suitability of coastal land use for sustainable development along the entire coastal zone of Belize. The Plan has been under preparation for the past two years, with input from local residents, scientific experts, and government agencies. CZMAI would now like to offer the Plan for public review and receive your input in order to finalize the Plan. Please join us at the community meeting scheduled for your region between May 16, 2013-June 12, 2013. Meetings will start at 6 PM unless indicated otherwise. For more information contact us at Tel. 223-5739/0713 or check out our website: Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for all updates.

At his Quarterly Press Conference today 29 April 2013 - Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced he has ordered that with effect from midnight tomorrow 30th April, government-controlled Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) shall remove any and all restrictions on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) communications in Belize. BTL has been ordered to allow the use of all VOIP-based applications starting on 1st May 2013.

The Fight to Decriminalize Homosexuality in Belize: History Will Be Made May 7 -10
The most significant step in the long journey toward equality for LGBT persons in Belize will take place starting May 7, 2013, in the Supreme Court of Belize. The Chief Justice of Belize will hear a claim from Caleb Orozco that Belize’s “anti-sodomy” law is in violation of his nation’s constitution. Mr. Orozco, the executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is seeking to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years”. Belize (pop. 330,000) is a small ethnically and culturally diverse English-speaking nation in Central America. Best known for its spectacular natural tourist attractions, Belize only achieved independence from Great Britain in 1981. Section 53 of the Laws of Belize is a vestige from the country’s colonial past. Belize is the only nation in Central America that still criminalizes consensual same-sex activity but “anti-buggery” laws do still exist throughout the Caribbean and British Commonwealth.

Activist challenges Belize's church and state over anti-gay law
In a climate of anti-gay moral panic, Caleb Orozco leads a fight to force Belize to repeal its law punishing gay sex with up to ten years imprisonment. Caleb Orozco, an LGBT rights advocate is taking to court Belize’s government and an anti-gay religious lobby in an attempt to overturn the country’s anti-gay sex law. Mr. Orozco, chair of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is seeking to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states ‘every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ He will appear before the Supreme Court of Belize on 7 May, 2013 in a bid to repeal the country’s colonial based ‘anti-buggery’ law, the last country in Central America that maintains such a legislation.

Rotaract Literacy Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio went to Nazarene Primary school to do some storytelling during Book Week. Great way to get the kids interested in reading. Thanks, Rotaract! "Rotaract Club of San Ignacio was part of Literacy Week this week. Four of our Rotaractors visited Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio, and read along with a Standard III class stories written by Dr. Brown, a Rotarian. This literacy project is in relation to the Literacy Project of the Rotary E-Club of the Southwest USA, District 5510. The children learned, laughed and loved the stories! We all had a great time. 29-04-2013"

Henry's Small Engine Repair
There's a new small engine repair service in Cayo, and Henry Ayuso is the driving force behind it. He's one of the recent graduates from the Trades 4 Life program. It looks like he learned a lot. Best of luck, Henry!

Ministry of Labour Open Day
The Ministry of Labour is having their open day today. In Cayo, their office is located at the junction of West and Far West streets. If you want to learn more about labour laws, tomorrow is your chance.

Scarlet Macaw Health Checks
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic teamed up with the Scarlet Macaw researchers and FCD to do some Scarlet Macaw health checks in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Daniel Velazquez was there with camera in hand to get film for the documentary, and catch some great moments. Looks like they had some serious climbing to do. "An amazing and inspiring trip, for which the "real" pics will follow (sorry). We had several professionals documenting and hope to share some of their images soon. But suffice to say that Roni Martinez, Charles Britt, Friends for Conservation and Development and the 8 Rangers on the ground in Chiquibul are doing an incredible job to protect the Scarlet Macaw from extinction! Myself and BWRC and many others will do what we can to support the efforts."

BBIA Book Week(end) in Cayo
The Cayo Welcome Center was the venue for the Belize Book Industry Assocition's Book Week festivities Friday and Saturday. The BBIA, along with the San Ignacio Public Library and NICH, made the weekend all about reading. Tons of students came out for the Book Fair, and they got to see storytelling, a map reading quiz, a grafitti competition, a cultural night on Burns avenue, and much more. Thanks to all involved for getting the younger generation interested in books.

Channel 7

Mother Accused of Killing Her Three Small Children
Recently, there’s been so much violence that to some extent, we’ve all become numb. But this weekend when news went out that a 22 year old mother had killed three of her small children by drowning, it set this society reeling; the act is completely incomprehensible, and goes against everything, even the very order or nature. But, it did happen, and today Felicia Chen, a resident of mile eight community went to court for killing her three small children. We’ll tell you about her arraignment in court later, but first to that horrible, unspeakable event. It happened in the morning sometime after 9:00 at the Belizean Beach. Monica Bodden has the story:… Monica Bodden reporting The drowning happened here at Belizean Beach. Just after midday, police retrieved the tiny bodies of 3 young children - 4 year old Triana, 3 year old Thomas, and 1 year old Trinaya Teul. The bodies of the 3 siblings were discovered near these mangroves. Their mother 22 year old Felicia Chen was seen walking out to sea – It is a crime that is unthinkable for most people. But this deeply disturbed 22 year old mother drowned her 3 young children – including her one year old baby –and then was attempting to drown herself. The incident unfolded in front of Chen’s 6 year old daughter. Trina Tuel- who managed to escaped death from her own mother.The little girl reportedly ran away from what was happening and made her way to the highway to search for help. One neighbor noticed the 6 year old child walking alone on the road.

Chen Arraigned In Closed Court
Late this evening, 22 year-old Felicia Chen was taken to the Magistrate’s Court for her arraignment. She was escorted by police before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who read her 3 counts of murder. No one, including her family and the media, was allowed inside the courtroom. Due to the nature of the offences, she couldn’t be granted bail, and she was remanded into custody. Magistate Cayetano also gave an order for her mental state to be assessed to determine whether she will be remanded to prison, or to a mental health facility in the first instance. DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal appeared for the prosecution in the arraignment.

National Bank To Drive Down Interest Rates
The Prime Minister held his quarterly press conference this morning. These events are newsworthy both for the announcements he makes and for the topical issues raised by the media. Today, the agenda was loaded; the Prime Minister spoke for over an hour and made announcements on a broad range of issues. The most newsworthy was the opening of the National Bank of Belize Limited. It’s a government initiative to drive down interest rates at the commercial banks – and expand home ownership opportunities to middle and low-income persons. The board is Chaired by Minister Joy Grant and the Managing Director will be the former president of Provident Bank, Jose Karim Marin. The PM says they already have a motto. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I gather the Board of Director has now decided that the motto of the bank is 'Of the people for the people'. The mission of the bank is 'Principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available lower and middle income Belizeans and in particular public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. The truth is that the whole idea is to put downward pressure on the lending rates of the commercial bank. The bank expects to lend consumers at an interest rate of approximately 6.5% on average. Initially we are looking principally at mortgage financing. We're talking about the 6.5% on the reducing balance - contrary to what I understand to be the case in the commercial bank.

BTL Will No Longer Block VOIP
The other major announcement coming out of today’s meeting was that BTL will no longer be blocking Voice Over Internet Protocol services. That means that internet users will be able to use SKYPE, Net2phone and, presumably, Vonage to make their long distance calls for free. It’s the end of a blockage that’s been going on for more than a decade – and the PM said that, it’s about time:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "At the end of this month, tomorrow, BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. I want to recognize and pay tribute to the BTL Board of Directors - there are several members of the board present this morning; I have to single out the indefatigable 82 year old Chairman of BTL who is like the energizer bunny that keeps on going and going (Mr. Nestor Vasquez) and COO Mrs. Karen Bevans. This will mean the use of high speed internet services including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet and will mean that there won't be any restrictions whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. This of course will affect BTL's revenues from it's voice traffic tremendously. I think we're thinking something around $7m being lost in the first year. But the government needed to keep its commitment. Technology is moving so quickly that we would have been playing a loosing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP."

First Gun Murder In City In Four Weeks Targets Met Officer’s Son
There was a murder this evening in Belize city. It happened just before 6:00 pm on North Front Street in front of the Brown Sugar Compound, home of San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. 7news has confirmed that the victim is Rajiv Gonguez, the son of Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez. He was reportedly shot in the face. Many in the area say it may have been a robbery. Our information from the scene says he got killed between two vehicles – one of them being the property of Minister Manuel Junior Herredia. A grey pickup rushed him to the hospital immediately. This is the first shooting murder in the city since April first. We’ll have more on it tomorrow.

Italian Velardo Persona Non Grata
When we left you on Friday night, Italian Antonio Velardo was being questioned by authorities. As we reported, the Financial Intelligence Unit had gotten information that there was an international warrant for his arrest so he was given what is known as an RLL – refused leave to land – meaning he was not allowed to enter the country. And by Saturday morning the Immigration Department served him with an Order To Leave, an expulsion order. We understand that his catamaran vessel the Aventura was escorted out of Belize’s Territorial Waters – and he was sent on his way. International news reports implicate his business partner in money laundering for the Irish Republic Army – which is considered a terrorist organization.

The Road Less Travelled…to Aguas Turbias
The Belize Territorial Volunteers have already been to Jalacte and San Vicente. On Saturday they embarked on their third border clearing expedition when they went to Aguas Turbias – which is at the northwestern edge of Belize’s territory. It was a fascinating journey down a road not much travelled. Daniel Ortiz and cameraman Codie Norales left Belize city at 3:30 am on Saturday morning to accompany them – and here’s their report. Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 6:30 a.m., approximately 80 Belizeans arrived at Linda Vista Shopping Center in Blue Creek, the first real checkpoint on the journey to Aguas Turbias. They arrived in a convoy of about 10 vehicles and a bus. The passengers who arrived by bus quickly disembarked for a quick logistics meeting before they could truly start the journey. Those volunteers were ready and proud as ever to display the Belize flag, signaling that they moved with one purpose.

PM Confirms Referendum Off, Clings To Special Agreement
And while the volunteers are working the borderline – last week, the Prime Minister was working the diplomatic channels on the same border dispute. The Prime Minister went to New York to meet the UN Secretary General and he went to Haiti for the fifth meeting of the Association of Caribbean states where meetings were held with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. Today, the Prime Minister spoke about both sets of meetings, dealing first with the Secretary General. The issue there was the report of that offensive Guatemalan passport which annexes Belizean territory and separates it with only a dotted line. Well, it turns out that Guatemala gets its passports through the UN Office of Procurement and the PM wanted to urge Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon not to sanction the printing of that offensive version:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I wanted to reinforce the message myself to the UN Secretary General that we would expect that the UN Procurement Services office would not in fact facilitate the obtaining of any passports by Guatemala that would contain a map that purported to show Belize as part of the national territory of Guatemala. I also received the assurance from SG Ban Ki-moon that that would not happen and I said to him that we hoped that the he would particularly use his good offices to try to prevail the Guatemalans to act in a fashion that was not in consistent with and in fact reflect their respect for Belize's sovereignty and separate identity. I made clear that for us we needed to record our objection to the fact that the Guatemalans as it appeared were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreed date - the mutually agreed date for the holding of the referendum. I signaled that in our view that unilateral withdrawal quite possibly constituted a breach of the special agreement."

Multiple Problems In Maranco Oil Well
And staying on matters of public interest – the Prime Minister also gave an update on the “encouraging oil show” in the Orange Walk district. Maranco has been having lots of difficulties including salt water seepage, and oil turning into tar when acid was injected to get rid of the mud. That second event has stopped the oil from flowing – so samples have been sent to Panama to find a mud destroying acid that won’t turn the oil into tar. All very technical, and another delay. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "That happens then they will resume the pump testing to establish the daily pumping rate and from that information - the size of the pump will be to determine the long term production test and we will then be in a position to know for sure that this find is commercial. Mr. Marriott tells me that in his view, it is, but of course there is commercial and then there is commercial. So precisely how commercial it is we'll not be known now until these processes have been completed. That is going to take another couple of weeks including the ability to deliver our much beloved teachers and public officers." Public officers have been promised 50% of surplus revenues that may accrue from a commercial oil discovery.

PM Calls Legall Judgments “Egregiously Wrong”, “Aberrant”
The Prime Minister also spoke about two significant judgments coming out of the courtroom of Supreme Court justice Oswell Legall in the last two weeks. The first declared offshore oil contracts null and void. The Prime Minister minced no words in condemning that judgement. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The two instruments of appointment that were being quarreled over - the judges had already demitted office. Where the sting comes in is by way to what I consider to be dicta of the judge, talking generally, saying of course that our changing of the constitution to say where there are open instruments after the change, they last for a year - that is unconstitutional. He could only do that because he subscribes to this basic structure doctrine which I believe is rubbish. It is currently before the court of appeal for a ruling and which in my view; the judge ought to not have pronounced on again since the ruling of the case is finished. The ruling is imminent and i'm sure if we don't get it before then we'll get it by June when the court of appeal comes back. But he could only have done that because he subscribes to this basic structure doctrine. When he says 'Generally court of appeal judges' well to be consistent with security of tenure - the constitution doesn't say how long they should be given; he will reason by analogy and say it should be up by 75. Well certainly this government is not going to pay attention to that because as far as we are concerned that is Dicta. That is not to be found within the four corners of the constitution."

Missing Girl Was With Aunt
On Friday, 7News told you about 14 year-old Anna Aguilar, the girl who went missing on Tuesday. Well, tonight, she’s safely back with her family. Apparently, her family doesn’t have telephones to keep in communication, so they didn’t know that she was with her aunt the entire time. So, she’s now safe with her mother, but it was an extremely stressful and scary experience for the family because it was the first time that she went missing. The mother came back today to tell us that she almost had a mental breakdown because a member of the public made a terrible prank call to her, apparently attempting to extort her for money. She explained how the person called in claiming to have her daughter, and that he would kill her if she didn’t pay a substantial amount of money:

How Could She Do It?
At the top our newscast, we told you about 22 year-old Felicia Chen, the woman who tonight is remanded for the murder of her 3 small children. She’s remains in custody until tomorrow, when an assessment will be conducted by the Ministry of Health to see if she is best housed at a Belize Central Prison, or at a mental health facility. The public is left with a lot of questions about what could lead a mother to take the lives of not 1, but 3 of her children. Today, 7News got a chance to speak with clinical psychologist, Dr. Elma Augustine, and she told us about the factors that could have led this terrible, unspeakable tragedy: Dr. Elma Augustine - Clinical Psychologist "It's difficult to say because I have not met the lady and I'm not familiar with whom she is but there are many factors that could contribute to something like that. One could be clinical depression where she would feel so down, hopeless, helpless, and worthless and there is no hope for anything and then decides that I need to take my children and myself out because it's combination. It's a murder suicide that we're talking about - it is not just a suicidal attempt. Another could be that she could have been a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Another could be what we call in psychology - 'Perverted Revenge' that is when you are angry at somebody and you try to get back at them in a kind of perverted way, taking the anger out. It could be an impulsive act. Sometime in some cases - as I don't know the woman in question - it could be substances are involved. So there are so many factors that could be involved that it’s kind of hard to pinpoint. I think the bottom line is that this is such an unfortunate tragedy."

Beltraide Bonds With Entrepreneurs
Today, representatives from the international organization, People. Profit. Planet, or P3 Ventures, were in Belize to provide training to entrepreneurs. It is a 3-part training to help BELTRAIDE build capacity, today, 7News stopped by. We got a chance to speak with the coordinators about the importance of the workshop, and what is unique about this one. Here’s what they told us. Mario Reyes - Workshop Facilitator "This workshop's purpose is to build capacities and train in the skills for assisting entrepreneurs in Belize. We are building skills of how to improve the conditions for entrepreneurs and build a stronger entrepreneurial community in this country." Christine Smith - Local Project Coordinator "We're having an entrepreneurship development training, it's for consultants and experts. We have the hope of getting together a group of mentors who will work with persons who will then be going through the process of accessing seed fund."

Party Leader Barrow Says Mayor Bradley Should Not Challenge Hon. Santi
Last week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley made headlines when he confirmed that he is “actively considering” a candidacy in Caribbean Shores. That would mean challenging with the intent to unseat a sitting area representative and Minister of State, Santino Castillo. It’s not the done thing, but Bradley has the support of key player son the Caribbean Shores Committee who are disgruntled with Castillo. Today, the Prime Minister said it would be a waste for him to challenge Santino. Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize "I think that would be unfortunate. I think the Mayor is doing such magnificent work in Belize City that he could win pretty much any division in the Old Capital. I believe that Minister Castillo, who admittedly, has been missing in action in the constituency and who has said this to me quite freely because he was concentrating on the Ministry and Belmopan and that wonderful past time of his; I gather he was in Cozumel riding.

PM Says Chamber, Unions Will Join BIL
The prime Minister also gave the media an update on BIL – that’s Belize Infrastructure Limited, the super-ministerial special purpose vehicle that’s going to be investing 60 million dollars in sports infrastructure across the country. It’s been widely criticized, but the Prime Minister says he’s reloading it for greater transparency – so that no one can even suggest – as the Leader of the Opposition has – that it is a “UDP hustle vehicle”. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "BIL has been described as a 'Hustle Vehicle' for the UDP. First of all, you should know that anything I come up with, I am not a part of that. Don't associate me with that kind of thing. As much as I might feel that my creditability is still good with the Belizean people, again I take no chances, so we've extended an invitation to the Chamber of Commerce and to the National Trade Union Commerce of Belize to appoint one member each to serve on the BIL board. So we will go from 7 - 9. Remember there are already two private sector persons but admittedly persons that we chose. But these two persons Paul Thompson and Alan Sharp - any of you who know them will know that they don't mess around

PM Speaks On Rosewood Amnesty
And finally tonight, we have the Prime Minister speaking on the controversial Rosewood Amnesty. It finished on Friday and the Forestry Department is now tallying all that will be stamped and approved for export. The amnesty ahs been roundly, almost universally condemned, and the PM says, he hears it well enough. Hon. Dean Barrow "I cannot be disrespectful of public opinion but I still think that that was a legitimate, simple and practical way to go. Look there's talk of principals that were involved and connection to the UDP. While those that do the actual exports are limited in number - the people who cut the rosewood and sell to the brokers and exporters are regular folk in Toledo. That is why I said according maximum respect to those that almost violently disagree with the government's position - I would appeal for them to join us in drawing a line in the past. And we’re saying freely to this issue and moving forward now in a sustainable way with respect to the harvesting of this most precious natural resource."

Taiwanese Navy Visits
Tonight, the Taiwanese Navy Mid Shipment Cruising and Training Squadron is in Belize for a diplomatic mission as of their goodwill tour throughout the Central America and the Caribbean. It’s their 3rd trip to Belize, and today at the MCC Grounds, they put on an impressive show for the Ministry officials, members of the security forces and the diplomatic corps. 7News was there for the ceremony, hosted by the Governor General of Belize, and here’s what the Mayor, and the Taiwanese Ambassador told the gathering: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "It is indeed an honor for me to address you on the occassion of the visit of the 2013 Mid Shipment Cruising and Training Squadron. I first want to greet the mayor admiral and the 841 members of his command on the occassion of their visit to Belize. I say to you 'Huan e-lee tow Belize'. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our shores and to extend to you our warm Belizean hospitality. I trust that your stay here will be marked with warm memories and extensions of well wishes."

Channel 5

Young mother kills 3 children, 6 year old escapes death
Tonight we start our newscast with a heart-wrenching story of the death of three young siblings. From our records, it is first case of infanticide and filicide in Belize. A mother took her children to Belizean Beach and walked them into the water, drowning three of them. The closest we have found to such horrific [...]

Breaking News, murder near Water Taxi
There is a late evening shooting that ended fatally near the tourism village in front of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Terminal. The person who died was shot in the face and chest and no one has been detained at this time. It happened just before six this evening and our news team [...]

PM says no Referendum on ICJ
Turning to other main stories for the day… There will be no Belize/Guatemala referendum on October sixth, 2013. That revelation, and comments on various other issues, was made during a media brief by Prime Minister Dean Barrow which lasted almost an hour and a half. The forum was his quarterly press conference, and during the [...]

PM discuss Guatemala passport with UN Secretary-General
The backdrop for the referendum discussions was a bilateral meeting held between Belize and Guatemala in Haiti on Thursday, but even before that, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he presented Belize’s case to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon during a meeting in New York. Chief on the agenda of that discussion were [...]

PM talks about Rosewood sale to Vega
German Ignacio Vega has been in the news lately much more than his brother, the high-profile Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. That’s because German Vega is the principal for GIV Enterprises, which has been linked to illegal rosewood harvesting in the past, and most recently has been named the exporter of choice for all of [...]

Four Santa Familia men stabbed by Calle Trece
Four men were stabbed on Sunday afternoon in Santa Familia, Cayo; one is in critical condition at the Western Regional Hospital, while the others were treated and released. The group claims they were attacked as they headed to a store. Their attackers are known to be members of Calle Trece, a well known gang with [...]

VOIP now a reality for Belize
The legalization of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has made the rounds from fiery debate topic to political promise at election time. VOIP allows internet users to access web-based phone services like SKYPE and Vonage to make international calls at little or no cost. It’s no wonder why telecommunications provider Belize Telemedia Limited has avoided [...]

Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall to leave the bench
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall handed down two landmark rulings in the past two weeks, and both were against the government of Belize. In the first, he found that six production sharing agreements were null and void because no Environmental Impact Assessments were carried out previous to the awarding of contracts. He also ruled that [...]

She stole his heart, but she was about to burglarize his home too
Thirty-four year old Lisa Smith was arraigned on a count of burglary when she appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today.  It is alleged that sometime over the weekend, Smith, a resident of Set Site, illegally entered the home of her boyfriend, Robert Mejia, with the intent to steal.  Hattieville police report that on Sunday morning, [...]

City Hall and Undertaker still at odds despite court ruling
The dead will sleep, but it seems that the fight between undertakers and Belize City Council will not rest anytime soon. Earlier in the year, City Hall attempted to streamline its services at the Lord Ridge and Eternal Garden cemeteries but that meant that undertakers would lose some of the services they offered. David Coye, [...]

K.H.M.H. says former security guards claims are questionable
Several former Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Security Guards have alleged that the institution owes them for overtime. The K.H.M.H. sent out a press release late this evening stating that all legitimate outstanding claims by former employees were settled at the time of their redundancy in March, 2013. The release goes on to say that in [...]

Who does PM want for Caribbean Shores?
By now it’s no secret that Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has his eyes set on the Caribbean Shores political division, and he wants in sooner rather than later. It’s not a stretch to say that the Mayor has gotten more done in a little over a year than any of his predecessors; and it [...]

Football Federation’s telethon and trained coaches
The Football Federation of Belize has been very active in recent times. For the first time, the F.F.B. has a group of Belizeans that are licensed coaches. Eighteen participants from the southern region have been certified after completing the three week course and soon there will be even more licensed coaches. According to Luis Pena, [...]

Football and basketball highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday     The PLB completed regular season play in the 2013 football competition by staging four matches across the nation. With defending champion Bandits, BDF and FC Belize already assured of appearing in the post season Police went into the MCC grounds Saturday night needing [...]


No Salary Deposits for Primary School Teachers Under Catholic Mission
Primary school teachers employed under the Catholic Mission faced inconvenience last week Friday as their monthly salary was not deposited in their bank account as per usual. Over the course of the weekend, our newsroom received a number of complaints from teachers across th...

PM and Ambassador Espat Travel To New York On Super Bond 2 Business; Guatemala Calls Off Referendum
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held his first quarterly press conference today and there was a lot of ground to cover. The Prime Minister who recently returned from attending meetings spoke first of his visit to New York at which he was accompanied by Ambassador Mark Espat. DEAN ...

Orange Walk Farmer Dies Following Road Accident
Nineteen year old Josue Mojica, a Farmer of San Felipe Village in Orange Walk is dead following a road traffic accident. Initial investigations by ppolice revealed that Mojica was driving a black Sunny motorcycle around 5:15 yesterday morning at the entrance of the main street, t...

Road Accident Leaves Man Injured In Western Belize
A road traffic accident in Spanish Lookout has left one man injured. According to Edward Wallace, a thirty two year old Supervisor of Spanish Lookout, around 6:36 pm yesterday he was driving his 2003 Burgundy Ford Escape en route to Twenty West on Central Road. When he reac...

Men Report Gang Attack In A Western Village
Four men, twenty nine year old Abelio Majil, seventeen year old Milton Moh thirty two year old Cain Quewell and Abelio Cab, from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District were allegedly attacked and wounded by a gang in the village. Reports are that the four men were walking on the ma...

Hit and Run Reported In Northern Belize
Police are looking for one man after he allegedly knocked down and killed a nineteen year old boy. Orange Walk police responded to a call at around five fifteen Sunday morning. Police visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they found the motionless body of nineteen year old Jose ...

Undertaker Says City Council Is Blocking Works at The Cemetery Despite Court Judgement
Love News has been closely following the back and forth between the undertakers and the Belize City Council. The City Council had announced that it would be providing a number of services that had been carried out by undertakers throughout the years. These services include buildi...

Prime Minister Announces National Bank Aimed At Expanding the Home Owning Class In Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the formation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant. The bank’s motto is “Of the people for the people and according to the Prime Minister is expected to expand th...

Prime Minister Announces Full Access To VOIP; Oil Find Explained by PM
At today’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that at the end of this month BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE "And so this will mean the use of BTL's...

BREAKING NEWS - Teenage Boy Reportedly Dies Following Shooting Incident In Belize City
Earlier today in a press conference, Prime Minister Barrow boasted of the decrease in crime particularly in Belize City. He stated that for the month of April 2013, only one murder was reported barring that of the recent incident involving the mother and her children. This, he said wa...

Abused Mother Arraigned For The Murder of Her Three Children
One year old Trinaya Teul and her big brother, three year old Tomas Teul and five year old Triana Teul perished in the Caribbean Sea, allegedly at the hands of their mother, 22 year old mother, Felecia Chen, who reportedly attempted to drown herself after taking her children’s li...

Author Documents Personal Experiences With Judiciary and Land Systems In Belize
This morning long time author Olatunji Balogun launched his brand new book at the Leo Bradley Library. It’s Balogun’s 19th publication and is entitled “A Victim of My Wealth”. The book, Balogun says, is based on his personal experiences with the judiciary and la...

Mother Relieved To Have Teenage Daughter Returned Home
Last week Love News spoke to Christina Quinote who appeared on the news pleading for the public’s assistance in locating her 14 year old daughter Ana Aguilar. Quinote was worried about her daughter’s safety but there is good news tonight. Quinote stopped by our studio t...

Investigations Into Fish Kill Continues
At the beginning of the month residents on the New River Bank and those who depend on the river for a living reported dead fishes floating on the water. Subsequent to that report, LOVE NEWS visited the river and confirmed the reports. By mid month ...

BREAKING NEWS - Referendum Called Off
Earlier this month, Love News reported of an article prininted in a Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre stating that the Government of Guatemala will not be participating in the referendum scheduled for October sixth, 2013. According to the report, President Otto Perez Molina has said that Fo...


Traffic Accident Leaves One Man Dead
Orange Walk Police are tonight looking for one Andres Cruz after he allegedly knocked down and killed 19 year old Josue Mojica, Belizean Farmer of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News understands that around four on Sunday morning, Mojica was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village when a gold Chevy pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction, collided right into him. Mojica sustained injuries to the right foot, right leg and abdomen area. Mojica succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Northern Regional Hospital. Police are now looking for Cruz for questioning.

Guatemalan Passports Not To Include Belize As Part of Its Territory
As mentioned at the top of the newscast, on Monday, 22nd April, the Prime Minister of Belize met with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, in New York, to update him on the territorial dispute and other issues concerning Guatemala including the country’s decision to back out of the October 6th referendum. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize “I made clear to the Secretary General that Belize is particularly concern over this series of developments we especially needed to be sure that the UN would understand Belize’s [position in certainly one context the Guatemalans it appears that it employs the services the offices of the UN office of procurement in terms of sourcing the new passports that they are about to issue and we wanted to be quite clear to the secretary general the ministry of foreign affairs has already spoken to UN personnel in Belize and in New York but I wanted to reinforce the message myself to the UN secretary general that we would expect that the UN procurement services office would not in fact facilitate the obtaining of any passport by Guatemala that would contain a map that purported to show Belize as part of Guatemala. I also made clear to him that we reserve the right to ask the UN to play a more active role in terms of the way forward. I made clear that for us we needed to record our objection to the fact that the Guatemalan as it would appears were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreed date for the holding of the referendums. I signal that in our view that unilateral withdrawal quite possible constituted a breach of breach of special agreement.”

Mother Of Four Drowns Three of Her Children
The entire country of Belize is tonight in shock after hearing the news that on Saturday morning a mother of four drowned three of her young children ages one, three and four. The unbelievable story soon populated the pages of the social media that same morning and the mix emotions are quite shocking. The horrendous incident played out shortly after midday on Saturday at the Belizean Beach situated at mile five on the George Price Highway. Reports are that between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00am, 22 year old Felicia Chen, a resident of mile 8 on the George Price Highway, boarded a bus with her four children namely Trina Teul 6 years old, Triana Elica Teul 4 years old, Thomas Edilberto Teul 3 years old and Trinaya Felicia Teul 1 year old and headed to the Belizean Beach. While there, Chen reportedly walked with her four children into the sea and she continued walking along with them until three of them drowned. As for six year old Trinaya Felicia Teul, who along with her mother survived a bus accident in 2009, she obviously knew she was in danger and hurriedly made it out of the water and ran for help.

Knowing Our Border Lines
On Saturday more than 50 patriotic Belizeans from the North, led by Belize Territorial Volunteers’ Orlando De La Fuente and Wil Mehia, took the long trip to the boundary marker at Augas Turbias, Belize’s northernmost boundary with Guatemala and where the border line with Mexico commences. In the past, the monument that marks the three boundaries only carried plaques of Mexico and Guatemala, but none of Belize. That changed on Saturday; however when a brass plate bearing the name Belize was installed onto the monument. For those who took part in the expedition it was a historic moment as their aim was to verify if a borderline does exist or if it is just and imaginary line as described by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Wilfred Elringhton. CTV3 News’ Carmelita Perez and Cameraman Fernando Sanchez joined the expedition and filed the following report.

Fertilizing The Soil Means Increase In Cane Production and Quality
In the month of March we told you about the two ferti rastra machines that were purchased by the Patchakan and Corozal branches of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association with Fair Trade funding under the frog hopper program. The machine, which is used to spread fertilizer on the cane field thus increasing cane production and quality, has been put to the test and from what we found out it will even help minimize the infestation of the frog hopper pest which we can safely say is one of the Sugar Industries worst enemy. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting Cane farmers in the north have put up a battle against an insect known as the Frog Hopper in order to control its infestation. While frog hoppers attack corn and rice, their main target over the years in northern Belize has been sugar cane plantations thus posing a serious threat to the Sugar Industry. These tiny insects called Mosca Pinta in Spanish, can wipe out the Sugar Industry if not controlled in time. In fact, in one cane field alone it can affect 60% of the product. Based on these and other factors, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association purchased two of these machines called Ferti Rastra with Fair Trade funds. The machine which is attached to a tractor is used to spread the various types of fertilisers on sugar cane fields but most importantly to perforate the soil deep enough for it to be well fertilized.

Referendum Unit Holds Talks In Orange Walk
As we mentioned earlier, the Prime Minister of Belize has stated that there will no longer be a referendum on October 6th, however, the education campaign continues. On Friday April 26th, an informative and educative session was held by the Referendum Commission here in Orange Walk Town. The “Belize Territorial Volunteers” were the ones on the fore-front in planning the event and those traveling to Aguas Turbias were among the invited guests. Leading the session were Ambassador James Murphy and Ambassador Stewart Leslie of the referendum unit. Ambassador James Murphy- Referendum Commission “We have been asked whether Guatemala can question the sovereignty of Belize over the whole or any part of it territory, we can state our conclusion immediately and without qualification and the answer is no, Belize possess a good title to the whole of the territory including the island that it presently administers within the limit set by the convention of 30th April 1859 between Britain and Guatemala relative to the boundary of British Honduras in the 1859 convention.

PM Says Simultaneous Referendum Is Off
Recently back after meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, in New York and after his visit in Haiti for the meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, the Prime Minister of Belize held his first quarterly press conference this morning in Belize City where he spoke on a number of issues. As we know, Guatemala has officially declared that they are backing out of the October 6th simultaneous referendum due to a number of reasons, primarily, because of the sixty percent voter turnout required by Belize’s referendum laws. This morning the Prime Minister of Belize announced that cabinet has decided that Belize will not hold a referendum on the date agreed. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize “As far as we are concerned the special agreement which was signed and promulgated under the edges of the OAS required in order to for action under that special agreement to be consistent with it required in the case of changed that the Guatemalans were proposing or in the case of better describe it as this unilateral withdrawal of the October date that they should formally communicate this to the OAS secretary general and that we would not accept this as official until in fact, the communication was made by Guatemala to the Organization of American States, but clearly that is going to happen the Guatemalan said they would do this fairly quickly and so just as clearly there will be no referendum on October 6th there has been a suggestion in some quarters that Belize could still proceed to hold its referendum that is not on and the cabinet has rejected that suggestion so that the referendum is off in both countries. The pressure is on Guatemala and clearly is going to be a good deal of diplomatic fallout that they will experience in consequence of the withdrawal.”


Mother kills three of her children
The news of what allegedly took place at Belizean Beach off the George Price Highway on Saturday afternoon has shocked the nation. The police report is simple. Felicia Chen, 22, unemployed resident of Mile 8 George Price Highway apparently left home between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. with her children,...

PUP Leader discusses oil contracts on Rise & Shine
Justice Oswell Legall last week issued two major rulings against the Government, quashing six offshore oil agreements granted between 2004 and 2007 and ruling that GOB should guarantee security of tenure for judges. Today the Prime Minister announced that GOB will appeal. On the matter of the oil contracts...

Residents of Placencia Peninsula to get water and sewer system
For some time now, the residents of the Placencia Peninsula have been haggling with Government over an IDB-funded integrated water and sewer system to be built in the community. Among their many concerns are two supposed “deal breakers” – how to replace the “financial vacuum” that will ensue from...

Belize Lupus Association plan Awareness Month activities
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Lupus may strike without warning, and its symptoms are often distinct from person to person. Though doctors have not certified what causes lupus, most believe that lupus results from genetic or environmental...

Prosperous year for Holy Redeemer Credit Union
Nearly 50,000 members, almost half a billion dollars in total assets,and a net profit of nearly 27 million dollars; all in all, 2012-13 was another great year for the member-owners of the Holy Redeemer Credit Union (HRCU), who gathered in Belize City at the SJC gymnasium on Saturday to...

Ministry of Labour hosts second annual Open Day
Labour Day is celebrated May 1st worldwide, and in conjunction with Labour Day, the Ministry of Labour will be hosting its second annual open day. PlusNews caught up with the Persons Relations Officer of the Labour Department, Genee Neal, who shared with us the importance of having the open...

Open access to VOIP-based services will decrease BTL revenue
There is good news for persons in need of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). The technique long blocked by national phone company BTL will now be unrestricted beginning tomorrow, Tuesday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow breaks the news and explains how the technology will be used. Prime Minister Dean Barrow;...

Community health fair in Belize City
The residents of the Dean and George Street area came together on Saturday for a community health fair under the theme “I love my life.” Plus news spoke with community activist Dorla Vaughan about the objectives of the fair. Dorla Vaughan – Community Activist: The initiative is to bring...

Belize Action hosts awareness rallies ahead of Supreme Court Constitutional Challenge
The Supreme Court will be hearing a constitutional challenge from Caleb Orozco, the Executive Director of UNIBAM who is advocating for homosexuality through the requested removal of the criminal code that makes it a crime to have same sex relations; being section 53 of Belize’s criminal code. The Chief...

19 year old, Josue Mojica dies in traffic collission
A traffic accident in the north has claimed the life of a 19 year old. According to Police report, around 4 on Sunday morning, 19 year old Josue Mojica was driving a motorcycle at the entrance of the main street, heading north. When he turned into a road, a...

Shooting this evening in Belize City
There was a shooting late this evening in Belize City. Reports are still sketchy at this time, but what we can tell you is that one man was shot some four times after he got off a boat at the San Pedro Water Taxi Terminal on Gabriel Lane. He...

Four persons have been hospitalized after attack
Four persons have been hospitalized after they were attacked in Santa Familia Village. The victims; 32 year old Cain Quewell, 29 year old Abelio Majil, 17 year old Milton Moh and Abelio Cab say they were on their way to a store when a group of men jumped them....

Edward Wallace served with notice of intended prosecution after hitting pedestrian
32 year old Edward Wallace has been served with a notice of intended prosecution after he hit a pedestrian in Spanish Lookout. Wallace told Police that last night, shortly after 6:30, he was driving his vehicle on Central Road. He says that when he came to a junction, he...

The April 28th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Neal Surrenders - Lamb Remains On The Lam:
    Today marks exactly three months since the January 25, 2013 murder of Steven Valencia which occurred in his Loma Luz Boulevard home in Santa Elena, one of two men suspected to have collaborated in the home invasion turned murder was today accordingly charged. In the wake of the murder of Steven Valencia, police launched a nationwide manhunt for Marvin “Bombo” Neal, 20, of an Eve Street address in Santa Elena Town, Cayo, and Jarod “Steal Bob” Lamb of an Ontario Village address also in the Cayo District both wanted for questioning in connection with Valencia’s murder.
  • A False Sense Of Safety:
    As the none-public reporting of crimes in the community continues, deceptively leading residents to believe that they can let down their guards as all seems to be well; there are two reported burglaries reaching us this week. In the first incident, we were reliably informed that the San Ignacio home of Dr. Miguel Depaz, Director, Animal Health Department, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), was burglarized/invaded as his mother in law and son lay asleep in their rooms.
  • BWS Water Finally Coming To The Belize River Valley:
    The old promise to provide reliable, constant and safe potable water to the chain of nine communities in the Belize River Valley is now well on the way to finally becoming a reality. Ground was today broken in Double Head Cabbage, following a 2:00 pm ceremony signaling the commencement of this long awaited project. The 7.78 million dollar project will be funded by way of a loan to the Government of Belize by the Caribbean Development Bank with over eight hundred thousand dollars coming by way of counterpart funding through the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).
  • Sports -An Alternative To Crime:
    As he continues to fullfill his manifesto promises to constituents of Cayo Central, Area Representative Hon. Rene Montero, today officially declared open the extensively renovated Carmen Street basketball court in Santa Elena. The Minister of Works and Transport, has again fulfilled another of his manifesto promises to bring back social activities to the youths of Cayo Central. The project which included the installation of new bathroom fixtures, electrical and water facilities as well as extensive works on the perimeter fence, bleachers, court surface, backboards, entrance gate, and landscaping of the grounds, was implemented by the Ministry of Works at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars.
  • Calling On SHC Alumni, Family & Friends:
    Sacred Heart College embarked on a very ambitious project in 2006 to raise funds to build an auditorium that would serve our institution, as well as the community of the western Cayo District. With the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, parents, community and other stakeholders, we are proud to say that the project commenced in January 2013 with Phase 1 and Phase 2. These two phases includes the cement foundation, the purchase and erection of the steel structure and the back fill. SHC has invested over $430,000 for these two phases, which are monies that were attained via multiple fund raising projects over a 7 year fundraising period. Phase 3 of the project is the cement floor/slab, which will cost approximately $200,000 and we are anticipating that this will be completed by June 5, 2013, in time to hold our Graduation Ceremonies.
  • My Body is Precious:
    The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, my office partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, we were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide. “My Body is Precious” is part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and follows successful symposiums hosted by my Office in August 2010 and October 2011.
  • Tropigas Contributes To Early Childhood Education:
    The Santa Elena Community Preschool on Carillo Puerto Avenue today received a much needed recreational facility generously donated by Tropigas Santa Elena Branch resulting from a competition organized and executed by Tropigas staff with assistance from the community. The award valued at $2,500 includes a swing set with attached slide. Competing preschools were asked to explain why their school was deserving of the award. In accepting the generous award, Santa Elena Community Preschool’s head teacher Mrs. Lorena Rancheran expressed heartfelt appreciation to the management and staff of Tropigas as well as to parents and the community for their support in recommending Santa Elena Community as deserving of the award. The new facility came at an appropriate time explained Mrs. Rancheran, since the current recreational facilities at the school are inadequate.
  • New Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives:
    The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director, Mr. Valdemar Andrade. Mr. Andrade has been in the Tourism Tndustry for the past two years as the Technical Advisor/Project Liaison-Sustainable Tourism Program, for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He has several years of experience in conservation and other environmental areas, through his work experience with Protected Areas Conservation Trust, Ministry of Natural Resource and the Environment, and the Belize Audubon Society. “As we embark this year to grow cruise tourism numbers and strengthen Belize’s position in that market, the skills and experience that Valdemar Andrade possesses will augment our goal. The BTB is confident in Mr. Andrade’s abilities, and happy to welcome him to our team,” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton.
  • The Belize Logo Is A Finalist:
    The Belize logo has been chosen as a finalist for the "One Show Design" 2013 awards, in the category of "Brand Identity - Logo Design." The Belize Tourism Board and its Advertising and Online Agency, Olson, created the Belize logo as a part of a re-branding of Belize's identity. When creating the new logo, Olson made several trips to Belize to capture the essence of Belize's authenticity and incorporate it in the creative behind the new logo. The BTB and OLSON used the old logo as an inspiration, while the new look of the logo is expected to make Belize more recognizable and to better position the destination in terms
  • Mexican 'Drug Queen' Pleads Guilty In Us:
    A Mexican woman on trial in the US has pleaded guilty to helping the former head of the powerful Norte del Valle cartel evade justice between 2002- 04. Sandra Avila Beltran, 52, dubbed Queen of the Pacific, admitted to "hindering the arrest" of Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez, her boyfriend at the time. Avila, who has been in jail since 2007, was extradited to Miami last August. She faces a prison sentence of 15 years after accepting a plea bargain. She previously denied any wrongdoing.
  • Four Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire:
    Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees included Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service.
  • Free Hearing Test in Belmopan:
    There will be free hearing tests available at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan from April 24 to May 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the New Horizons exercise. If you are experiencing ringing or pain in your ears, difficulty hearing, or drainage from your ears, you are invited to the clinic to be evaluated. Depending on your symptoms, you may be eligible for free hearing aids or a surgical procedure. These services are provided by a team of U.S. medical professionals.
  • US 'spy' Timothy Hallet Tracy detained in Venezuela:
    The authorities in Venezuela have detained a United States citizen they accuse of being an intelligence agent. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said Timothy Hallet Tracy had directed funds towards student protests after the disputed presidential elections earlier this month. He said Mr Tracy was trying to destabilise the country with the goal of starting a civil war. The US has not commented, but Mr Tracey's family say he is innocent.
  • Guatemalan Gold Panners Convicted:
    Three Guatemalans were today remanded to the Hattieville prison after being apprehended in the Ceibo Chico Reserve, allegedly mining for gold in a protected area. According to a release issued by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the incident occurred on Friday, April 19, 2013. The release states that the Joint Forces Unit, stationed at the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post, in South Chiquibul came upon a group of three Guatemalans reportedly panning for gold. The men were later identified as Mario Rolando Xol Caal, Marcos Domingo Pana Chiquin and Esteban Putul Mai all residing in the Village of El Naranjon, near San Luis, Peten, Guatemala.
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The Jig is Up
Yesterday was Cowboy’s surprise party and we had to try and keep him out of the way so we could decorate, get the band and the bar set up. It was not long before he started getting suspicious and asking questions, the other day he heard Corry ask Ricardo about the party Tim was throwing for one of his partners and that started the whole thing off. Only Cowboy thought it was for Will who was also having a birthday and kept asking me if Will was on the island and what was going on.

The Highlight of Our Belize Trip
I have been wanting to write this letter for a long time. We stayed at Chaa Creek from March 1 to March 6, 2013, so I apologize for taking so long. Our stay was not only the highlight of our trip to Belize but one of our most memorable stays anywhere! The restaurant was superb. We are admitted “foodies” and Chaa Creek did not disappoint us. We looked forward to meals in the same way some people are excited about clothing or a new car. The flavors, the presentation, and the variety…Oh my, I wish I could come back today! And, all of this is such a beautiful, relaxing setting. I loved the beautiful and variety table settings and flowers. The staff in the restaurant were beyond wonderful. Just writing thinking about them brings a big smile to my face. Their knowledge about the food, their patience with my attempts to practice Spanish, their heart-warming smiles, and their professionalism were superlative. The fact that so much of the food was grown on site and organic has huge importance to us. I talked with Mr. Mick on March 6, and he said it was hard. As a gardener, I know it is but the importance for our health and the planet is essential.

Just You Two and the Clear Blue – Belize Weddings
A private, intimate and secret wedding location is something many couples dream of. No drama, no fuss, no stress. But getting to that location can be a bit of an adventure. Can we get the bride to dry land without ruining the dress?

Entrepreneurship Program – Training of Experts, Consultants and Government Agencies
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with P3 Ventures, a Chilean group that has extensive experience in the development of entrepreneurial eco-systems, invite members from the private sector and public sector to the Entrepreneurship Training of Experts and Consultants. It will be held Today Monday, April 29, 2013 from 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., at the UB Doctorial Room, College Street West Landivar, Belize City. The training includes sessions on market segmentation which includes selection of national strategic segments as well as value chain that includes segments and services and finally a session on the development of community based entrepreneurial system.

“P.S. I Love You” in Ambergris Caye
On Sunday the morning was spent getting ready for the Arsenal v Manchester United game. We dominated the first half, scored a goal (OK it was from an offside position) but then gave away a stupid penalty to let them back in to the game. The second half was more a case of us making sure that they did not score again and we achieved this objective. Two points dropped but, given the opposition, I consider it more like one point gained. Three games to go and we cannot afford to drop any more points. At lunchtime we popped next door to the Seahorse Bar (located at Coconuts Caribbean Hotel) to support the fundraiser barbecue for the San Pedro Sailing Club. A really good turnout and, as I understand, over BZ$ 1,000 raised. We did our bit by having barbecued chicken for lunch! This morning Rose and I focused on tile selection and I fired off an email asking for information (price, dimensions and availability) to The Tile & Stone Center and another one to Benny’s regarding the light fittings that we have chosen. Nearly there now with our selections having made our decisions regarding choice of wood colour for the stairs, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and the doors.

International Sources

Prime Minister Announces National Bank Aimed At Expanding the Home Owning Class In Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the formation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant. The bank’s motto is “Of the people for the people and according to the Prime Minister is expected to expand the home owning class in the country and provide cheaper access to credit. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE "And of course the mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans and in particular, public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. Now the point is being made this is fiscal policy in action; government is directly intervening in the market to cut down cost in a sector that has far too long given too little back to those on whose back to profits that are made in the first place; ( somebody wrote that for me I am not quite sure I would have framed it in as provocative manner as that) but the truth is that the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure on the lending rates of the commercial banks. So while the phrasing here is, I would have nuanced it a little more; it’s not saying anything that is not true. We’ve indicated that the startup capital will be provided by the government of Belize from the proceeds of the Petro Caribe funds which we borrow at one percent over twenty years. We’re putting twenty million dollars and we’re prepared to inject more over the short term depending on how the Petro Caribe program continues to develop. The bank expects to lend to consumers at an interest rate of approximately six and half percent on average."

Ear, nose, throat surgery expands New Horizons for Belize
U.S. military medical personnel partnered with the Western Regional hospital here to conduct an ear, nose and throat surgery medical readiness training exercise from April 18 through April 30. The 13-day medical exercise, called New Horizons, provides ear, nose and throat surgical procedures and hearing aids to patients who are most in need and meet the criteria for these services. ENT surgery is the surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, or deformations of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck areas. The purpose of this type of surgery is to treat an abnormality or defect to those affected areas.

Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch, a sea snail that's known for its delectable meat and large shell. The research is spearheaded by one of the managers of Turneffe Flats Resort who is working on his master's degree in fish and wildlife management at MSU and could someday - if his fans are right - become prime minister of his country, Belize. Alex Anderson, 27, not only served two years as student body president at the University of Belize, but he helped drive two major projects that promote conservation in this country along the Caribbean Sea. One created Belize's largest marine reserve. The other led to the protection of bonefish, permit and tarpon as catch-and-release species in Belize. Anderson comes from a family of fly fishing guides and worked seven years at the internationally known Turneffe Flats Resort. Although he grew up in Cotton Tree, a town of 600 people and three streets, he is known all over Belize.

April 29, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Jet’s Bar at International Airport Burns Down
On Saturday evening, April 27th at approximately 8PM Jet’s Bar, located at Belize’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport was destroyed by what appears to be an electrical fire. Anyone who has traveled through Belize’s international airport is most likely familiar with the legendary bar. The half-pint gravel-voiced Mr. Jet is always there to greet you, squeeze the girls and quench your thirst with a rum punch or ice cold Belikin while awaiting your flight. The bar had all of the charm of local watering-holes in Belize, with a few bar stools, walls papered with old photos, posters, memorabilia and of course plenty of bar-room banter. Reports are that no one was harmed in the fire and that Mr. Jet intends to rebuild the bar as soon as possible.

Misc Belizean Sources

Loving Belize episode 7 - Wooden Sailboat race 'Regatta' in Sarteneja, Leela Vernon in Punta Gorda
Welcome to Episode 7 of Loving Belize. In this episode you are taken to see a traditional Wooden Sailboat race with the fishermen in Sarteneja. Then you'll enjoy a road trip from 'Barton Creek cave' where I interviewed Mike Bogaert at 'Mike's place' in the 'Mayan Mountains' and on to 'Thousand foot falls' in 'Pine Ridge Forest'. From there we stop briefly in Dangriga for lunch and continue on to Hopkins where we are invited to join Pastor Herdie in a Garifona church. From Hopkins we travel to Punta Gorda where we met the amazingly talented Leela Vernon as she explains the History of the Belizean Kriol and talks about her musical family background.

VIDEO: Captain Shark's Custom Wahoo 28'
Captain Shark Marine Center, San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

My Body is Precious Cayo Launch
Kim Simplis-Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, was at the Octavia Waight Centre to launch the new book, 'My Body is Precious.' Jonathan Cariddi was on hand to capture the fun. "Great day in Cayo yesterday! Was honored to be in Cayo where it all began - seeing all those students, parents & teachers. It was also very special having students from Santa Elena Primary School (Santa Elena library Biatriz Moreno) present - the school i attended many years ago. Seeing that green and yellow uniform brought back so many great memories! Thank you Cayo for the warm welcome!"

SSB Scholarships for 2013-2014
The Social Security Board is offering scholarships for 6th form, high school, and vocational schooling. They have the forms for all 3 availble to download on their website. May 10th is the cutoff date for receiving applications. Best of luck! "In 2005, the Board of Directors approved a proposal to offer Sixth Form scholarships to 17 deserving High School graduates. The proposal was a result of consistent requests from students for assistance to further their education at the Sixth Form level. This scholarship program allows students to attend the institution of their choice. It is valued at $4,000.00 for the two-year program."

Springtime Arrivals at the SIRH
Feelgood news of the weekend. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel has some new baby hummingbirds. These pictures have an extremely high cuteness level. Here's to the happy new hummingbird family. "Imagine how much energy we put into ensuring the birth of our child happens at the perfect place. It seems this Mommy Hummingbird did the same. She wanted only the best for her young ones so she chose to have her babies, in Luxury, here at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. We welcome these young ones to our wildlife family and to the many species of birds we have here at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel."

The Belize chapter of the National Barrel Horse Association, headquartered in Augusta, Georgia, USA, is gearing up for a spectacular show this weekend at the National Agriculture and Trade Show in Belmopan. Here are snapshots of a few of the participants in the weekend's show. The pictures were taken at the Equestrian Training Academy in Ontario village, Cayo.


New World Oil Deems Rio Bravo Well Non-commercial
Shares in New World Oil and Gas dipped this morning after the oil and gas Exploration Company reported that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons had been found at the Rio Bravo well in Northwest Belize. In simple terms this means that the company is abandoning its exploration at the Rio Bravo Well after testing shows that a commercial quantity of oil was not found. A report published by the company today indicated that after analysis and in consultation with its partners Blue Creek Exploration and the government of Belize, New World has determined that “insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present to economically justify running casing and well testing operations.” The exploratory well had been dug to a depth of “9,010 ft on April 21st,” according to the company. As a result, the company deemed the well non-commercial and decided to plug and abandon Rio Bravo.” But New World is not giving up just yet. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer William Kelleher and we quote “Analysis of the data gathered from the Rio Bravo well points to an active working hydrocarbon system throughout this area. Combined with the presence of a reservoir ideal for oil production, and a large, extensive anhydrite seal, we remain confident that the elements required for a working hydrocarbon system are in place in North West Belize." End of quote.

Free Surgery Provided By New Horizons Surgeons
If you have been to the Northern Regional Hospital lately then we are sure you have noticed a number of BDF soldiers on the compound. But there is no need to worry; the soldiers are there for the protection of a group of fourteen plastic surgeons who belong to the US army. The group of fourteen form part of the New Horizons Mission who has been offering their services to the Belizean community for the past weeks. The doctors will be conducting surgery at the NRH free of cost. Lupe Ack- Coordinator “Today we are having the New Herizon Surgical Team that they will be here as of today to the 11th of May they will be doing plastic surgery and those with broken nose, problems with breathing, they come in, cists they can come in and see the doctor and we can program them for surgeries.” Screening was done on Thursday and today Friday. However, those who could not make it during these two days are urged to come in early on Monday for arrangements to be made. According to Earl Fergusson, leader of the group, he came to Belize two weeks ago to assess the equipment and facilities at the NRH in order to carry out as much as fifty surgeries.

Corozal ITVET Holds Annual Expo
The Corozal Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, ITVET, celebrated their annual Expo at the school grounds today. The event marked an opportunity for trainees to showcase some of the work done since the beginning of the new school year back in September of last year. On display was work from the Food Preparations, Ornamental Horticulture and Cosmetology departments. Stacey Budna, Manager of ITVET Corozal told us more about the event. Stacey Budna-Manager ITVET Corozal “Today we have our Expo and we invited eleven businesses to come in and be a part of our Expo, we have Immigration, we have some businesses, some organization here, we also are show casing four of our trade; cosmetology, food preparation, building & ground maintenance and ornamental horticulture. The main reason for today is to just open the doors to the public to come in and see what we have to offer, what the trainees do here and bring awareness so that they know that we are here to help our youths better their lives to gain a skill and to better our local economy. We also have food sales and customized training that we are doing making carpentry and woodwork so we have some of the items already displayed and we also have some football competition going on and we have a big raffle that we’ve never done before and this is the first year that Corozal ITVET has done such a big event and it has been so amazing and so much support we have gotten from the public and from our community and we are so grateful for a wonderful experience.”

The Belize Times

Case #666 – Court halts Barrow’s manipulation of judges
The Supreme Court ruling of Justice Oswell Legal is a landmark decision in Belize’s legal and political history. The Claim which is ominously listed with the markings of Action number 666 of 2010 was defended by the UDP government. In a crushingly condemning judgment dated April 19, 2013 Justice Legal struck down the unconstitutional amendments of Dean Barrow and the UDP in a diplomatic flogging of twenty two pages. It is particularly rare for there to be actions of this caliber which include constitutional issues as well as judicial big wigs as parties to the claim. Especially when those names are as credible and respected as Hon. Elliot Motley and the impeccable C. Dennis Morrison. These accurate legal and moral jurists have been a fixture in Belizean appellate courts for a combined generation. This case was the only of its kind that we were able to research at the BELIZE TIMES. Other cases which involved sitting Judges are few and we were only able to find three matters particularly the 2005, Meerabux v Attorney General of Belize, British Caribbean Bank (BCB) v. Samuel Awich, 2012, and BEL v. Dennis Barrow, for apparent bias.

Mayor flirts with jail time
While city businesses and residents are constantly harassed, threatened and denied services for monies owed to the Belize City Council, the Mayor of Belize City has been trying to get away with not paying an outstanding ...

Downtown taxis disrespected – Mayor admits he failed to consult and inform before evicting taxi drivers
He may consider himself lavender but his modus operandi indicates that the Mayor of Belize City is a cold and insensitive politician. Definitely a ...

PC Jose Pam pulls trigger on himself
The Police community is in shock following the report that one of their own committed suicide by pulling the trigger of his service revolver on himself. The many questions that surround the death of PC 956 Jose ...

April is International Book Day. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has declared this week as Book Week. Belize is a member of UNESCO, but it is not clear what the Ministry of Education has done for this important occasion. Books are to the ...

Call For Recall
By G. Michael Reid The current United Democratic Party government was elected in 2008 on a platform of reform, transparency, accountability and good governance. To date, the people of Belize are still waiting for any of the above to be realized. There has been no reform in the ways things have ...

Vultures and Tyrants Here Linger
In a recent case brought by the Bar Association of Belize against the Government of Belize, Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall decided that the provisions of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution which removed the security of tenure of two Judges of the Court of Appeal Mottley P. and Morrison ...

Central Division athletes dominate athletic championships
The Central Division athletes won the most gold medals, 27 in total, at the national high school national track and field championships, hosted by the Mopan Technical High School at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo ...

Carlos Cui wins “5-Barrel” Veterans table tennis championship
National veteran champion Carlos Cui successfully defended his title against Billy Musa Jr. when both advanced to the finals in the 3rd Annual Veterans “5 BARREL” table tennis championships hosted by the Belize Table Tennis Association ...

Belize takes 4 of 9
Belize won three of nine bouts on the fight card when the first ever UFC-style Mixed Martial Arts competition was held in Belize. Shihan Ray Kelly and the Belize Shotokan Karate dojo hosted fighters from the Eagle ...

Good Samaritans in Belize
Contributed by NMA (a 16yr old student) It’s become a norm; as regular as getting up and going to school and learning. I expect that when I tune in to the evening news I hear of another murder, another burglary and another repercussion of social corruption. I have gotten so use ...

Having the Idea and Doing It – Mali Cayetano’s new work
Mali Cayetano is an artistic and literary dynamo. In April 2010 she burst onto the artistic scene in Belize with her first illustrated book, music album, mural and art exhibition We Are Free. Mali, an illustrator, musician, artist, ...

By Dolores Balderamos Garcia Who said it I don’t really know, but it is said that if you repeat a lie often enough, it can or does become the truth, and at least for those who repeat or spread the lie. Lies and propaganda are many times associated with Adolph Hitler’s right ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – The Thirteenth!
by anthony sylvestre The number thirteen is regarded universally in many cultures as a bad number! And indeed, here in Belize, many of us suffer from triskaidekaphobia (fear and suspicion of the number 13). But the number 13 also has some important symbolisms. The Aztecs had a week with thirteen days. The moon ...

Of this and that…
Darrel Bradley tore down Battlefield Park. There was no consultation. People are upset. Taxi men are upset. Bradley said he is renovating the park. He told us the reason. He said it is a space for for “marches and demonstrations”. Check the transcript. That is what he said. ...

Stann Creek West residents welcome Hon. Francis – PUP Leader continues countrywide tour
On Saturday, April 20th, 2013 Party Leader Francis Fonseca visited five communities in the Stann Creek West ...

Former OW Mayor, Henry Castillo, passes
The Orange Walk community is mourning the passing of former Mayor and veteran educator, Henry Castillo, who was better known in the community as Teacher Henry. Castillo passed away today at the Northern Regional Hospital. He ...

Hon. Francis visits Belama Police precinct
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Freetown Area Representative and Opposition Leader, made a drop- in-visit to the Belama Police Precinct on Albert Hoy Avenue in the Belama Phase two area on Tuesday 16 April 2013. During the visit, Hon. ...

Pickstock Jaguars debuts as Champions
The Pickstock Jaguars claimed their 1st victory in the Pickstock Jaguars Inaugural Football Marathon held at the St. Martin’s De Porres football field on Sunday 21st April 2013. Participating in the marathon were the football teams: ...

Devouring forests: China & the illegal timber trade
By Peta Gaye Levy Take a look at the tags on your clothes or your children’s toys, you name it, just take a look. Where is that product made? Chances are it is made in China and that isn’t accidental. China is the world’s second largest economy with a growth rate of ...

SATIIM wants Rosewood Amnesty Cancelled!
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) calls on the Prime Minister to immediately rescind the Rosewood Amnesty that was declared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development on April 9th, 2013. The Amnesty’s objective of taking stock of previously cut rosewood for export is ...

PUP respects Court rulings
The People’s United Party (PUP) notes with interest two very important Supreme Court decisions made last week against the Government of Belize, namely, the Oceana Decision and the Bar Association Constitutional Challenge. In the Oceana case the Court ruled that various Offshore Contracts were not valid as not ...

Are new streets properly equipped?
Dear Editor: Everybody I presume is happy with the paving of streets in their neighbourhood, the Mayor and his crew is redesigning the look of the city, kudos to them. But noticing the streets that have been cemented, I haven’t seen any FIRE HYDRANTS on the streets. I think that should ...

A day for labourers!
Dear Editor, Wednesday May 1st 2013 will be recognized as Labour Day in Belize, as well as throughout the world. It is an appropriate time to analyse the condition of workers in Belize and re-commit to fighting for their cause. Do workers in Belize have anything to celebrate? Are our Belizean workers ...


Belize Tourist Numbers Up, Prices Are Down at Chaa Creek
Tourists arrived in record numbers in Belize during the first quarter of 2013, prompting one popular eco resort to do something that has industry professionals scratching their heads – offer discounts. The Lodge at Chaa Creek, one of Belize’s most highly awarded eco resorts, is offering some attractive deals over the coming months, according to assistant general manager Bryony Fleming Bradley, who said that the move is “our way of celebrating the good news for Belize.” Last week the Belize Tourism Board released a report indicating that the country saw a record number of tourist arrivals for the first quarter of 2013, with airport arrivals alone up over 10% for March and an increase of over 13% for all overnight arrivals from January to March this year. The BTB’s director of tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton, said that figures point towards a healthy trend that is expected to continue. “This is of course fantastic news for Belize,” Ms Frampton said. Ms Fleming Bradley agreed, and said that Chaa Creek’s response will be to “Make Belize even more accessible to an even wider range of people by cutting prices while expanding our range of holiday options for families, couples, individuals and groups.

“Wish I Could Fly” in Ambergris Caye
Yesterday was much the same for me as every Saturday during the football (soccer for American readers) season is – me on the sofa glued to the TV. This Saturday my football gluttony consisted of Manchester City v West Ham, followed by an intense (well for me anyway) period of switching channels frequently to keep in touch with the Barnsley v Hull and Wigan v Spurs’ games (with Spurs unfortunately scoring an equaliser to snatch a point). I then watched the Southampton v West Brom game. And, as if that wasn’t enough I then saw some of the Newcastle v Liverpool match. Good job Rose doesn’t mind football! In between I managed to fit in breakfast and a snack for lunch. With the football ‘out of the way’ Rose and I settled down with our tile catalogues and the photos we have taken to try to make our selections. After much deliberation we have chosen the tiles for the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and have narrowed down the ‘beauty parade’ for the main areas of the First and Second Floors to five tiles. The plan now is to reduce the list of five to one and make the choices for the veranda areas and our respective bathrooms by Monday. By this time we were more than ready to take a break from our deliberations and go see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 3.30 pm.

International Sources

22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist
Our world is so full of wonders that new and amazing places are discovered every day, be that by professional photographers or amateurs. Different geographical locations, climatic conditions and even seasons offer the widest variety of natural wonders: pink lakes, stunning lavender or tulip fields, breath-taking canyons and mountains, and other places you can hardly believe actually exist! Some of the pictures in this collection will be of all natural sights you can find while traveling around the world, while the others have experienced human interference – but even in these cases, the result of such collaboration is spectacular. The Japanese learned how to tame thousands of orchids and form a romantic tunnel out of them; another one was formed all the way in Ukraine by a passing train; and what eventually ends up as hot tea in our mugs, first grows in stunning tree fields in Asia. No wonder that traveling in one of the best forms of recreation – even looking at these pictures takes your mind to far away places… And yes, all those of those places are real!

A Difference in Pipeline Perception: Canada vs. Belize
The world collectively held its breath when a couple of tourists illegally climbed the Pyramids in Egypt earlier this year: some for fear of their prosecution, some in disbelief at their boldness, some in awe of the magnificent photos that came about as a result of this risky decision to cross the cordoned. Another one of the planet’s treasures was recently involved in a safety and ownership debate, albeit this one went well under the radar of most—its aesthetics are equally as stunning, and its ecologically importance as significant as that of the cultural rank of the Pyramids. The earth’s second-largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, was just saved from offshore drilling. Activists successfully sued the government of Belize, which had previously issued contracts to energy companies in 2004 and 2007 that allowed for drilling around the “Blue Hole”. According to reports that surfaced, officials had awarded these contracts to ‘inexperienced drillers’ and without thoroughly studying the environmental impacts of such a campaign. Oceana, an international organization for ocean conservation, with two other nonprofits sued the government for this mishandling—winning the lawsuit a few weeks ago in Belize’s Supreme Court.

Food & Travel: Local Belize Cuisine
I'm at Willy Wonka’s jungle lair: a spice farm in the lush Belize rainforest, under a shady colonnade of pepper trees, with Mara Jernigan. “I’ve been a chef for 30 years and I’d never seen what some of these things look like, where they come from,” marvels Jernigan, one of a handful of foodies who brought the Slow Food movement to Canada and, as longtime chef at Fairburn Farm in Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, a pioneer of agritourism-chic. Jernigan’s new digs is the luxe fishing cum eco resort Belcampo Belize, where the well-heeled retreat to fish, eat and generally get away from it all. The resort is just one link in the Belcampo food chain, which includes sustainable farm/butcher shop operations in Marin County, CA and in Uruguay, headed by CEO and Iron Chef judge Anya Fernald. Jernigan came to Belize as chef...

Photo of the Week: Maya Ruins at Cahal Pech
Located near the town of San Ignacio in Belize’s Cayo District, the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech were some of my favorite ruins I visited earlier this year in Central America. The site was once a palatial home for an elite Maya family (so, not technically a palace), and has lots of maze-like passages, and lots of steps to climb should you be up for exploring. Cahal Pech (meaning “The Place of Ticks”) dates back to about 1200 BC, making it one of the oldest Maya sites in Belize.

April 28, 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


Belize Celebrates Its Tapir's 30th Birthday
There was a big celebration happening at the Belize Zoo today and it was because April the Tapir is celebrating her birthday. Reporter Hipolito Novelo attended the party and has the details in the following report. HIPOLITO NOVELO “April the Tapir is celebrating 30 years at th...

Territorial Volunteers in Belize Prepare To Plant Mahogany Trees Along Border Line
The Belize Territorial Volunteers will be conducting their second visit along Belize’s border line, this time in the northern part of the country. The trip to Aguas Turbias is scheduled for tomorrow Saturday, April 27. A bus will be leaving at five in the morning from the Barracks in Orange...

Belize Chamber of Commerce Holds AGM
The economic constraints have not escaped anyone living in our country, and very few businesses can boast any kind of meaningful profits compared to years gone. But against the odds, the Belize Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting held on Thursday night revealed a few interesting poin...

Award Winning Belizean Reggae Artist Releases Calendar
Award Winning Belizean Reggae and Dancehall Artist, Ras Indio is in town and he doesn’t come empty handed. He is promoting his 2013 calendar and today he spoke with Love News and explained why he ventured into creating one. RAS INDIO "Something brand new; something my sis...

Churches Plan Time of Worship To Raise Awareness of Homosexual Lawsuit
Meanwhile, in the City of Belmopan, the general public is called to join in prayer against the homosexual lawsuit. Correspondent Fem Cruz tells us more. FEM CRUZ “The churches in the city of Belmopan and surroundings will be coming together tonight in a time of worship and pra...

Belize City Man Goes Shopping With Forged Cheque
Thirty-one year old Rupert Avila, a resident of Fox Avenue in Buttonwood bay, allegedly tried to purchase items at Benny’s Bargain Center with a cheque for five thousand eight hundred and ten dollars. The cheque was not genuine, so he was charged with possession of a false document an...


Chaa Creek Fosters “Transformative” Family Adventures
More and more families are stepping outside the box to explore new experiences and grow together by sharing vacations in exotic locations that offer adventurous challenges, according to the owner of a Belizean eco resort specialising in family adventures. Lucy Fleming, the cofounder and GM of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, said that she has been seeing a rise in families taking part in activities and all-inclusive Belize vacation packages such as the Family Adventure package Chaa Creek offers. “Not so long ago, adventure packages and family packages were almost mutually exclusive. Adventure was seen to be the realm of couples, individuals and groups looking to challenge themselves or explore the less travelled parts of Belize, while family vacations were seen more as just getting everyone together.

Recovering from a minor medical emergency and more 6 degrees
A few nights ago I noticed some strange marks on the back of my right leg, and worked it out that it could be 1 of 2 things, bug bites or some sort of rash/ hives. I took some benadryl, put some triple cream on and kept a close watch. By Thurs the marks looked worse, were getting very itchy and starting to spread which made me think it was a rash so I began my search to find out what was going on. I walked to San Telmo pharmacy across from Marina’s store to check if the doctor was in and found they had new hours and were on extended lunch. Next stop was Poly Clinic where I got turned away for not having a passport or id to register me to see a doctor, even though I had gone there recently and paid $40 to have a tetanus shot after a dog bite. I walked back to San Telmo only to find out there was no doctor there any longer and my regular pharmacy guy was no longer working there either. The woman I spoke to was very nice and her guess was it looked like poison oak type rash or bug bites. I decided best thing to do was get to Dr Dan in town, hitched a ride with Alex as far as Island Supermarket and walked the rest of the way. I also called Canadian nurse Jo Belize to get her opinion since she was in town.

Labor Day – A Belizean Holiday
Labor Day is a holiday appreciated by so many and yet understood by so few. Each year, we look forward to the well-deserved holiday; however, many Belizeans do not truly understand why it is that Labor day holiday is so significant. On Labor day either the Prime Minister or the Labor Minister gives a formal address live. We also look forward to the different activities that are held by the City and Town Councils, business establishments or family members. Amongst all this, we never really stop to think of how far we have come as a working class people. If asked, many older folks will be happy to mention the actions of Samuel Haynes, Antonio Soberanis and the Belize Labor Movement. Antonio Soberanis was a model activist who pushed Belizeans to fight for fair wages and lived by the motto that he would rather be “a dead hero than a living coward”. But why was it so necessary for Antonio Soberanis to take such a firm stand? How bad were the labor laws in our country? It all began in the early 1800s, when the British were looking for workers in the settlement. Many Belizean men were not able to own land and had to resort to logging. For more than a century, workers were paid no more than $15 monthly plus rations (28qts of flour and 16lbs of pork) for their work. In some cases, advance salary was given and paid back immediately upon returning to work. Workers were responsible to pay employers if they were sick, late, lazy or disrespectful and often owed employers money at the end of contracted work which meant having to sign up for another term of work. In the late 1800s, even stricter penalties became evident. Workers would be imprisoned for not attending work and could even be dragged to the work site if an employer so chooses. In 1894 theBelize dollar devalued and an already small pay became even smaller. The after shocks of The Great Depression and the 1931 Hurricane only made matters worse, resulting in such a high unemployment rate that Belizeans had to survive on boiled rice and breaking stones for 25 cents a day.

“Wish I Could Fly” in Ambergris Caye
Yesterday was much the same for me as every Saturday during the football (soccer for American readers) season is – me on the sofa glued to the TV. This Saturday my football gluttony consisted of Manchester City v West Ham, followed by an intense (well for me anyway) period of switching channels frequently to keep in touch with the Barnsley v Hull and Wigan v Spurs’ games (with Spurs unfortunately scoring an equaliser to snatch a point). I then watched the Southampton v West Brom game. And, as if that wasn’t enough I then saw some of the Newcastle v Liverpool match. Good job Rose doesn’t mind football! With the football ‘out of the way’ Rose and I settled down with our tile catalogues and the photos we have taken to try to make our selections. After much deliberation we have chosen the tiles for the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and have narrowed down the ‘beauty parade’ for the main areas of the First and Second Floors to five tiles. The plan now is to reduce the list of five to one and make the choices for the veranda areas and our respective bathrooms by Monday.

International Sources

From 1 battlefield to another: US tries 2 new aerial tools to search for drugs in Caribbean
Drug smugglers who race across the Caribbean in speedboats will typically jettison their cargo when spotted by surveillance aircraft, hoping any chance of prosecuting them will vanish with the drugs sinking to the bottom of the sea. That may be a less winning tactic in the future. The U.S. Navy on Friday began testing two new aerial tools, borrowed from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, that officials say will make it easier to detect, track and videotape drug smugglers in action. One of the devices on display aboard the High Speed Vessel Swift is a large, white balloon-like craft known as an aerostat, which is tethered up to 2,000 feet (600 meters) above the ship’s stern. The other tool on board for tests in the Florida Straits is a type of drone that can be launched by hand from the deck. Together, they expand the ability of Navy and Coast Guard personnel to see what’s beyond their horizon, according to officials from both military branches and the contractors hoping to sell the devices to the U.S. government. The devices should allow authorities to detect and monitor suspected drug shipments from afar for longer sustained periods, giving them a better chance of stopping the smugglers. They also should allow them to make continuous videotapes that can be used in prosecutions.

Video: A Minor Nurse Shark Bite During Belize Spearfishing Trip
Here's an informative video involving a spearfishing shark bite incident that recently occurred in Belize. The video details what precipitated the bite and explains that although nurse sharks may appear harmless, they can become aggressive when searching for food. On this dive with Captain Shark's Marine Center and Boatyard, one of the divers is bitten on the hand by a nurse shark while spear fishing. It is noted that at the time of the bite, the diver was holding the speargun by the point and the shark most likely confused her hand with a fish. Following the bite, the video explains how to treat the wound and when to seek further medical assistance. The video was posted by CaptainSharksBelize and is 4:53 in length. The bite occurs at around the 2:50 mark but I highly recommend watching the complete video as they do an excellent job of pointing out the Dos and Don'ts of diving/fishing in the vicinity of sharks.

The Mexican Drug War has killed an estimated 60,000 people since 2006, but the violence has stayed out of the minds of most US citizens. That is about to change as Islamic extremist groups setting up shop in Mexico. The House Committee on Homeland Security released a November 2012 report that reveals Islamic terror organizations and networks are indeed exploiting profits from narcotics, and the ease of weapons attainment, and the vast technological abilities of Mexican and other southern cartels that are thriving in Mexico’s lawlessness, along with other southern regions. The report, titled A Line In The Sand: Countering Crime, Violence, and Terror at the Southwest Border, details the growing involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in Mexico and other countries south of the southern US border.

April 27, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

SACNW Sign Painting
On Saturday April 20th, students of San Pedro High School (Community Service and enjoyment) and members of the SACNW (South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch) gathered at Lone Star Grill and Cantina for a very productive and creative afternoon in a continuing effort to improve the cleanliness of South Ambergris Caye. A huge Thank You goes out to Marc, Leanne and Jaime for hosting the event at the Lone Star Grill and Cantina and for their contributions, Mrs. Conchita Flota, Vice Principal of the San Pedro High School for organizing the group of students that participated, the parents that sent their kids out to share their talents and especially Josie Nunez SACNW President and organizer and Laura Schmitt the talented artist. We also extend our appreciation to event contributors John Now, Janet Goff, Surendra, Carolyn and Nina Kumar, Renee and Mike Steinmetz, Paula Peake and Kimberly Malega.

NDACC awards 22 students of SPHS following a 12-week training
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDAC), San Pedro Branch awarded 22 students of San Pedro High School with certificates of achievement for successfully completing a twelve-week Youth Empowerment Program. The program aims to educate students on issues not only on alcohol and drug abuse, but also on the root causes that lead to the use of alcohol and drugs. The program took place once per week at the San Pedro High School campus. According to NDACC, parents came in and agreed for their kids to attend the program, and thus it was a collaborative effort of the parents, school, students and NDACC. “We did interactive activities that showed them positive way to deal with real life situations,” said Romero. NDACC is also running a similar program at New Horizon SDA School and Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker.

Ambergris Today

Neighborhood Watch Group Post 24 Colorful Signs in Area
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, students of San Pedro High School (Community Service and enjoyment) and members of the SACNW (South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch) gathered at Lone Star Grill and Cantina for a very productive and creative afternoon in a continuing effort to improve the cleanliness of South Ambergris Caye. With neon and bright colors, they painted more than 24 signs with catchy slogans such as LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE, TRASH IN DA CAN MAN, FEED DA CAN MAN, STASH THE TRASH, KEEP LA ISLA BONITA CLEAN, and NO LITTA IS MO BETTA.

Two Belizean Women Excel in Bodybuilding Abroad
Two Belizean women living in the United States of America are making a name for Belize in the bodybuilding arena as they have stepped up to the challenge of transforming their bodies to healthy works of art. Both have recently participated in top competitions and garnered trophies for their hard work. Up first is Zarifa Liseli Waight, a 27-year-old mother of two living in Santa Monica, California. She competed in the NPC Grand Prix held on April 13, 2013, in Culver City and placed fifth in the largest class of the entire competition. Zarifa explains that this was a huge milestone for her as she trained by herself in the basement of her house. And while Zarifa is making waves in California, another Belizean bombshell is taking trophies across the United States in Florida State. Cricel Castillo also made Belize proud as the 24-year-old took the first place trophy in the Figure Competition at the Diamond Classic, Boca Ranton Florida.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Town Council Plan 2012 - 2015
Following municipal elections, the new San Pedro Town Council tasked itself with formulating a strategic plan that sets out this Council’s vision, mission and guiding principles while giving clear direction on the objectives for the next three years and beyond. This is the high-level, overarching plan that guides and shapes our municipal programs, and the services provided to our community. The 2012 - 2015 San Pedro Town Council Strategic Plan identify our priorities for the social and economic well being of our community, the sustainability of our environment, and for town services and administration. These priorities are dependent on budgeting and available resources and we have made the commitment to find innovative ways of addressing these priorities and achieving our objectives. We stress the importance of embracing change and diversity and the significance of principled action, accountability, openness and transparency.

Caribbean Cooler Video at SIRH
The latest Caribbean Cooler video was shot at the Stork Club at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, and even features their staff in the video. Island Time Beverages really has a winner on their hands, and they have been sponsoring some fun events around Cayo.

FCCA Essay Competition
The BTB and the FCCA are having an essay competition for children up to the age of 16. The focus is sustainable tourism, and the topic is 'What Makes My Destination Different from Others?' There are 2 months left to submit the essays. Best of luck! "The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and the Belize Tourism Board are delighted to invite the students of Belize to participate in the 2013 FCCA Foundation for the Caribbean Children’s Essay Competition. This essay competition seeks to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among Caribbean students – promoting their destination - while effectively educating our younger generation on the importance of environmental protection."

Cornerstone Feeding Program
Feelgood news of the day. The Cornerstone Foundation has posted some pictures from their feeding program. Thanks, Cornerstone, for keeping the kids well fed! In related news, Cornerstone is getting ready for their next Feed the Children Fashion Show. See their page for more details.

Nutrition Rocks in Cayo
The Nutrition Rock Video series has a video that was shot mostly at the Cayo Saturday Market. The Santa Elena Primary School is in it too. "Hey guys, you've been asking for more submissions from our Nutrition Rocks Music Video Competition, here is Santa Elena in action."

VIDEO: Caravan to Caracol - Celebrating with the Maya in Belize
Last September we went to the Maya city of Caracol for the Fall Equinox celebration that was being preformed by a Maya Itza Leader from Peten Guatemala. It was a very special event that we were extremely fortunate to witness and document on film. Hopefully the Belize Film Festival will accept the picture so we have an excuse to visit Belize City for the party. The Maya leaders told us we must stay up all night if we were to experience the ritual the proper way. Pretty plainly this was the most trying part of the trip because we were not planning on staying up, but camping and waking up before dawn for the fire ceremony. Special thanks to the park ranger Mike for sharing his coffee and making it possible.

Belize Talk Radio with Amanda Cyphers and Peter Margesson
Here how Amanda Cyphers and her family are settling into Belize after just a year and a half as Expats. They first appeared on House Hunters International on HGTV with Macarena Rose. A great family with lots to share… Peter Margesson is the owner of one of the best restaurants in Belize. Ko-Ox Hannah Restaurant is right downtown San Ignacio Town. Peter is a long time Expat from South Africa with a very interesting story..

Police First Quarter Report
The Corozal Police Formation under the command of Superintendent Andrew Ramirez held a most successful town meeting last night at the Andres Campos Civic Center. The meeting was chaired by Henry Menzies, President of the Citizens Coalition For A Better Corozal.

Truly one of the most iconic images in the Zoo's history. See 30 years of conservation in Belize through the eyes of April the tapir and all her loving fans and friends. Today we celebrated National Tapir Day, and April's 30th birthday! She remains the oldest living female tapir on record in the world, and is a national treasure, icon, and champion for her species.

New Horizons’ medical team makes a difference while training
U.S. and Canadian medical professionals completed the second of two New Horizons large medical readiness training exercises April 25, at San Felipe School, Belize. The 11-day medical exercise began April 15 and provided general medicine, dentistry, pediatrics, pharmacy, and optometry services at three locations in the northern part of the country: Guinea Grass School, San Pablo School, and San Felipe School. “I believe conducting medical exercises provides the opportunity to build friendships, and friendships improve lives,” said U.S. Army Maj. Carla Tate, Team Chief for the second medical exercise. Among the 5,596 patients treated during the training exercise, U.S. Army Capt. Blong Ly, general dentist assigned to the 352nd Combat Support Hospital, recalled a dental patient in his early twenties whose quality of life was improved when he visited the team while they where at the San Pablo school. “We had a patient who came in early in the morning with large abscessed swelling in the upper left area of his face,” said Ly. “His left eye was swollen shut and the whole upper face was swollen comparable to the size of a baseball.”


Africanized bees near Hawksworth Bridge
This is bee season! Faye Garnett, District Agriculture Coordinator, Cayo affirmed a department call from the Police Dept in regard to swarms of Africanized bees near Hawksworth Bridge swarming out of their nest at the top tower of the bridge. In collaboration with BEL, the Town Board and the Police Dept traffic was redirected in order to spray and elevate the beekeepers to remove the hives accumulating over 30,000 bees. She affirmed reports of hives on the bridge for the last 20 years so it will be a recurring problem. For this month alone there have been a recorded 42 bee cases throughout the Cayo district primarily in Belmopan, San Ignacio, Succotz, Cristo Rey, Teakettle and surrounding areas. Reports can be made to is 804-2079 in order for the situation to be assessed.

Volunteer with the DYS
Would you like to make a difference and gain some valuable experience at the same time? The Department of Youth Services in Benque is asking for volunteers between the ages of 14 and 29 to help with upcoming community events. They are planning sporting events, clean up campaigns, and a singing competition at this point, and could really use some help. Call 803-3027 for more information. "This is call to all youths who wish to become an agent of change in Benque Viejo and help make a difference for the youth in our community.

AGRIC One Week Away
The Agriculture and Trade Show is only a week away. They have a weel done flier out with the new logo and theme. May 3rd through the 5th.

Channel 7

Italian Man Of Mystery Is A Fugitive
Last night, we told you about, Italian Antonio Velardo who docked up in San Pedro aboard a catamaran with twenty two thousand US dollars in un-declared US currency. He was charged and paid a five thousand dollar fine – and we thought that was the end of it, but tonight he’s still detained in San Pedro, on the strength of an Interpol warrant. After he paid his court fine, the Immigration Department gave him what’s known as an “RLL” – refused leave to land – which they can give to any undesirable person at any point of entry. That’s because authorities have information that he is an international fugitive. So he was detained again, and is being questioned at this hour. His attorney Godfrey Smith told us there’s not much that can be done for Velardo at this time, but he has asked Authorities to produce documentation to support the claim that he is wanted by Interpol. As we understand, the Financial Intelligence Unit is leading the investigation which suggests that Velardo may be wanted in connection with some financial inquiry. As we told you last night, an internet write-up lists him as profitable player in international real estate along with his partner Harry Fitzsimmons in their company, VFI. He boasted in an interview four years ago that that they developed a turnover of 100 million Euros in less than eight months.

Sentenced For Shooting Man In Chest
28 year-old Leroy Ramsey is spending the first night of an 8 year sentence in prison which Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed down today. He was convicted of 2 counts of attempted murder last week Friday for attempting to shoot Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madril to death. In the trial, evidence came out in court that both men were on Raccoon Street socializing with Robert Wagner on the night of February 18, 2008. Wagner took the stand and testified that he was speaking to both men when he saw Ramsey approach them with a firearm. Ramsey shot Broaster twice, once to the chest, near the heart; and once to the left thigh. According to Wagner, Ramsey immediately turned the weapon on Madril fired 3 shots at him, all of which missed. The prosecutor called Broaster to testify, who confirmed the details as described by Wagner, but he told the court that he never saw who shot him. Broaster was treated as a hostile witness, and he eventually admitted under cross-examination that he gave a statement to police in which he identified Ramsey as his attacker.

Alleged Bad Cheque Man Bounces Into Court
On Tuesday, 7News told you about bogus checks which were bouncing around at different business places. Well tonight, 31 year-old Rupert Avila is out of bail tonight after he was taken to court in relation to a bogus check with different serial numbers. According to police, at 12:20 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, he was found in possession of a Nova Scotia Bank cheque #077 in the sum of $5,810.00. He allegedly attempted to pay the cashier at Benny’s Bargain Center with this bogus check. Police say that the cashier called them to the establishment at #54 Freetown Road, where they detained Avila based on information received of a “bogus” cheque. They interviewed him, and were not convinced that he had no idea that cheque was not authentic. They believe that it belongs to the Unity Presbyterian Primary School, who they contacted before arresting Avila.

Man Charged For Vicious Dogs
50 year-old Brian Castillo, a resident of Lord’s Bank area, is out on bail after he was taken to court for keeping unmuzzled ferocious dogs. According to police, his neighbor reported on Sunday, his 3 dogs got out of his yard went into her yard, and killed her $1,500 dollar pit-bull. She told Monica Bodden her story today. Sandra Williams - Dog Killed in Attack "Sunday I left for work at 7:30 and by the time I arrived at work my neighbor was calling me so I came back around three hours after. My neighbor was calling me to tell me that a dog was attacking my dog. My dog was all the way at the back of the yard tied to a running chain. I put him at the back because children pass on the street and because of the size of the dog I didn't want the children to be afraid of him and throw a stone at him. I had a problem previously with a child that had stoned him so I put him away at the back of the yard so that children can't get to him. Eventhough he's a Pet dog - he is still very big. He is massive and Pit. He is trained to be around children because my child has played with him from he's a child."

Rosewood Amnesty Ends; Minister: "Tomorrow Is A New Day… I Still Love My Job"
The 19-day Rosewood Amnesty ended today and the Forestry Department says it is still collecting data, and won’t know until next week the volume of Rosewood collected under the Amnesty. But the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla – in a quite candid Facebook post - seems to be glad it’s over. She says all material will be stamped by the end of the day and next week the team begins supervision of loading for the export market. She says when total material is quantified the figure will be sent to CITES and as it is exported it will be tracked and deducted from the total sum allowable as pre-convention Rosewood. She adds that material that was moved during amnesty from out of Toledo district was for the local market, for later export as a value added product. She says this was causing confusion so her department disallowed any movement out of the district. Alamilla says she went into the bush with Forest Department and two conservation NGOs to determine if fresh Rosewood was being cut. Her findings were that the reports of cutting of new trees was not supported by what she observed on the ground. She said if trees were felled during this amnesty, that would be minimal.

Caribbean Chicken Will Try For Trinidad Again
Caribbean Chicken will try to export to Trinidad again. That’s after a 20 foot container with 24,000 pounds of poultry was sent back to Belize from Trinidad, because it did not have proper import permits. According to the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche a meeting held this morning between BAHA, the Producer and the Importer who was trying to get it into Trinidad. Alpuche says that there were mis-steps at all levels and his ministry will take up the matter, and the first task will be to have the Chief Veterinary Officers of both Belize and Trinidad coordinate to avoid a recurrence. He says both have come to a commercial agreement that they’re satisfied with both are determined to make the business happen. Isaac Bergen the General Manager of Caribbean Chicken told us that he remains committed and determined to export to Trinidad but presently has no time-frame for when the next shipment might go off. He says his company did incur expenses with this failed effort. This is the first time Belize has tried to export poultry to CARICOM.

Still No Confirmation On “Encouraging Oil Show”
24 days ago, Government announced that there had been “an encouraging oil show” in the Orange Walk District. The timeline was that in two weeks we would know if the oil was in commercial quantities. Well, almost four weeks have passed and there is still no word. Joy Grant, Minister with responsibility for petroleum today told us that there have been a number of equipment delays – and so there is still no official finding on the commercial viability of the Maranco oil find. She says that there was a mishap with one of the pieces of equipment which was brought in to determine if there is oil in commercial quantities. She says there will not be any definitive answer until next week.

Cracks Appear On Chetumal Street
And there seems to have also been a mishap on Chetumal Bouelvard. IT was just opened on Monday, but already the concrete surface is showing significant cracking in one area. This morning when we passed, we saw workers with a jackhammer, breaking open the surface to concrete certain areas again. The City Council press officer Kenny Morgan told us that there is an area of 30 feet where cracks had occurred. He says according to the city engineer, those are expected over that distance of road, where defects will come up. He says the City Engineer has given assurances that it is nothing that will compromise the integrity of the concrete slab. But at least one engineer we’ve spoken with differs; he says it is a significant event because the crack will allow water to infiltrate the concrete and undermine the foundation. We note that this contractor is the same one who did Evergreen Street behind BWSL – which had to be patched in multiple places.

Patrick Menzies Has Another Run-In With The Law
A man who has had a number of run-in’s with police had another one last night. Patrick Menzies – who is presently facing charges of the attempted murder of a police-man, was beaten by police last night. According to reports, the whole thing started at a Belize City bar where Menzies and PC Griffith had a run-in. Griffith, you may recall was the officer that the Murillo family accused of killing their son, Teddy. Menzies is the deceased Teddy’s first cousin. Well, last night Menzies knocked out PC Griffith which is when he was arrested and then beaten by police. His family additionally claims that he was pistol whipped by Griffith who was retrieved from the hospital just to settle the score. That is a claim which Griffith’s police colleague Darrell Tutsi Usher denies; he told us that Menzies attacked Griffith in the bar for no reason and that up to this morning, Griffith was still confused about his whereabouts. Menzies was treated for head injuries and released form the hospital . He faces charges for punching out Griffith. No word on what internal investigation may be launched.

Aging April Still Likes A Good Party
April the Tapir, is probably the best known of the animals at the Belize Zoo. She’s seen a lot of its history, and she’s become the icon in Belize’s culture for the elevation of her species as one of Belize’s national symbols. Every Year, the zoo holds a major birthday bash in her honor, and this year, as she turned the big 3-0, it was even more special. 7News attended and Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz Reporting At the Belize Zoo, birthday parties are extravagant events, and the 30th birthday celebration for April, the Tapir, was no different. Students from all over the country gathered in her honor at the Zoo. Keeping mind that this lady’s life span is being measured in human years, she’s outlived her life expectancy by 5. That is impressive not only because she’s survived so long, but also because when she was just a calf, she had to be rescued from a parasite infestation, which almost claimed her life. And now, she’s the poster-girl for her endangered species residing in Belize. Jamal Andrewin - Bohn - Environmental Educator, Belize Zoo "We have to keep noting that April is the oldest living female in captivity in the world. That is a huge achievement. Normally in the wild they live about 20 - 25 years. I think the record is at 34 years so we're hoping that she beats that record. From April got here 30 years ago has been an ambassador of her species. April is a Belizean icon - everyone knows her.

Family Pleads For 14 Year Old Ana to Return Home
Tonight, the family of 14 year-old Anna Aguilar continues to worry about her whereabouts after she went missing on Tuesday. Aguilar was supposed to go to her school at Our Lady of the Way RC Primary in Ladyville, but she never showed up when classes started. Since then, her family has been looking for her, and today, they spoke to us to make a public plea for her safe return. Christina Quinote - Anna's Mother "She went missing from Tuesda morning. I sent her to school and she didn't arrive at school. When I came out of work in the evening I asked my mom for Anna and she said that Anna had not gotten there as yet. I started to cry and wanted to know where my daughter was. I started to investigate with all the family and she wasn't with her different families. I went to the Police Station and I gave a statement that my daughter was missing. All I want is for Anna to come back home. [Message to Anna from her mother] 'Anna, Mamma misses you, Granny misses you, your sisters say to come back home.' "

Where Will Cruise Port Go?
On Wednesday, we told you about the appointment of the new Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives, Valdemar Andrade. He has to figure out how to shore up sagging cruise tourism numbers but he also has to map out a plan for Belize Cruise future. It’s widely accepted that Belize has to get a berthing facility – that means a port where the cruise ships can pull up – and the passengers disembark unto dry ground – without having to board tenders. We asked him to look in his crystal ball. Jules Vasquez "Which will rise? We hear State Bank is on the table and we are hearing now about Crawl Caye. What will be the solution and how soon will that solution arrive?" Valdemar Andrade - BTB, Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives "We certainly have to make a decision this year on what the solution will be. The Government has currently put together a Crusie sub-committee to look at those initiatives and look to see which one will be best or whether more than one solutions will be available because we are also looking at a birthing facility for Belize City itself as the Port of Entry for Cruise. We are looking at how we can also spread cruise throughout the country and not only relegated to a Belize City option in regards to that Tourism sub sector of cruise. Over the time we do have to consider the best option and of course the best option - if you look at the National Tourism Master Plan - it calls for a Cruise Port. At the end of the day the issues for Cruise is to be able to get into the Port within a certain time period and get out of the port within a certain time period. So the best option is always a port with a birthing facility where people can get on and off safely, comfortably and quickly."

Big Ladies, Unite!
It is called Miss Plus Belize Pageant – and it’s for large ladies only. On Saturday night, 7 contestants from across the city will be vying for the title. Organizers say it’s not promoting obesity – but instead advocating for big boned women to love and appreciate who they are. 7news got up close with the ladies and here’s a glimpses. Monica Bodden Reporting You’ve just met the 7 contestants vying for the Miss Plus Belize Pageant. Normally, beauty pageants are not usually associated with rolls of flab or participants with thunderous thighs. But this is no ordinary beauty pageant - these girls are comfortable within their own skin and are highlighting their beauty from inside out. Their message is simple, they are showing that there is no difference between skinny and fat and no one should determine that only skinny girls are beautiful. Lauren Burgess - Pageant Organizer "This pageant is not just a pageant to say that we are just having a pageant. It's a pageant for the participants to be empowered, enlightened, encouraged and to build their self esteem and self confidence. There are different women, different size and different class. There are skinny, skinnier and skinniest women. Well you also have fluffy, fluffier and fluffiest that are just as good."

A Song Encouraging Industry
3 weeks ago, we featured Aaron “Driver” Louriano in our newscast as a video producer for the new Mr. Program new single, “Tek It Easy”. Turns out, he’s not just a music video man, he’s also a performer, he came to 7News to unveil his news song and video. It’s called “Turn Up the Fire”, and he told us that it’s all about sending a positive message: Aaron "Driver" Louriano - Artist "This song is called 'Turn Up the Fire'. If you're going through something right now then it means you have to turn up the fire some more. Don't allow anyone to try to stop you so you make more and big up yourself more. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it and that you cannot be prosperous and that whatever it is that you do is not going to come true. Believe in your dream and fight for your goals. The video is really deep. It shows that someone was getting burnt this does not mean physical fire to burn a person with fire. But it is saying that if this person is becoming an obstacle to you then you need to move it out of the way and get on with your life. Don't waste your time try to stay back with that person and with that obstacle in your life. You have to turn up the fire and move on with your life and do what you need to do with your life. The inspiration is to tell people out there to 'Turn up your fire' some more. If you work as a mechanic then 'Turn it up some more'. If you work in a Law Firm then 'Turn it up some more'. If you work as a fireman or police man then just 'Turn up the fire' and fight for prosperty and keep going forward."

Channel 5

3 Guatemalans caught illegally harvesting in Chiquibul National Reserve
Last Friday, a joint foot patrol in the Chiquibul National Park along with B.D.F. and Rangers led to the detention of three Guatemalans conducting gold paning in the river. The men namely, thirty-two year old Marcos Domingo Para, thirty-two year old Mario Rolando and forty year old Estevan Putul Mai were caught red-handed. Para was [...]

The Prince and Little Iguana Caye’s unsanctioned development
Officials of the Department of the Environment were in San Pedro Ambergris Caye this week to assess dredging activities taking place near the San Pedro Marina Channel for which a stop order was imposed. While conducting site inspection, they ran into another development project; this one located at Little Iguana Caye also off San Pedro. [...]

Oil company folds on operation and moves to another
The Prime Minister will be having a press conference on Monday at which time information may be forthcoming on whether or not the oil find by Maranco Energy Belize Limited is deemed to be in commercial quantities. But tonight there is information of another company that has been exploring in Northwest Belize near the Rio [...]

To Aguas Turbias and beyond; Territorial Volunteers on the road again
The northern component of the Belizean Territorial Volunteers, led by Orlando de la Fuente, will be heading to the border this Saturday; destination is the border marker at Aguas Turbias, which is the intersection point of the Mexican, Belizean and Guatemalan borders. The trek will lead first to the Belizean/Mexican frontier and from there south [...]

Italian realtor wanted by Interpol
Tonight, Antonio Velardo, a wealthy Italian visitor is being questioned by San Pedro Police. Velardo was fined on Thursday for not declaring twenty point five thousand U.S. dollars found in his yacht, the Aventura. But Velardo was freed only briefly because he is back in police custody and is being questioned for another matter. The [...]

Holy War in Chief Justice chambers; Church defends against UNIBAM
On May seventh, the landmark case on the constitutionality of section fifty-three of the Criminal Code gets underway before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Section fifty-three states that persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years. It is a highly controversial case in which the [...]

Fired K.H.M.H. Security Guards say they are owed overtime from 2011
In January of this year, the security staff of the K.H.M.H. was dismissed following a decision by the Board of Directors of the national referral hospital to outsource security services to a private company, SOS Security. At the time, the hospital claimed it was a cost-saving measure since tens of thousands of dollars were being [...]

Who let the dog out? Brian Castillo
A Lord’s Bank resident has been slapped with quite an unusual charge; one that is not often reported in our newscast. Keeping an Unmuzzled Ferocious Dog at large is the charge that Brian Castillo is facing after two of his purebred dogs mauled his neighbor’s pit bull to death. Around eleven a.m. on Sunday, forty-eight [...]

Customer detained at hardware store for bogus cheque
A well-known technician from Belize City has been slapped with a charge of possession of a false document and claiming upon a forged document. Police believe that thirty-one year old Rupert Avila, a technician employed at Belizean to the Bone, is the man responsible for a bogus Scotiabank check which has been making the rounds.  [...]

USAID representative leads discussion on behavior at HIV Forum
The first National HIV Prevention summit is the handiwork of the National AIDS Commission of Belize.  The stakeholders at the conference are being educated by experts to help them understand the psychological processes that lead people to risky behavior. The other topics include examining youth culture and how HIV correlates to drug use. A study [...]

Numerous works from hardest working mayor causing traffic jam?
If in the past few months you’ve been unfortunate enough to be in a vehicle on the Northern Highway between the Haulover Bridge and the city anytime between the hours of seven am and eight thirty, then you’ve been a victim of the incredibly frustrating traffic congestion. It’s been bad for the past months, but [...]

Belize Zoo’s April, the manatee celebrates a milestone
To many of you watching this, the news that a new Miss Belize was crowned today will come as a big surprise. The venue was the Belize Zoo and Education Center and the occasion was a very special one – the thirtieth birthday of a celebrity who over the years has become the face of [...]

Ras Indio, musician back from Ethiopia
Ras Indio is a Belizean musician who is so busy that his passion for the art keeps him on the road. Indio, normally participates in Caribbean tours and reggae tours in the USA and Canada. Recently, Indio had crossed the Atlantic and smoked with the crowds in Amsterdam. But this time, the son of Bredda [...]

Belize District High School Festival of Arts
A little over a month ago, the Preschool Festival of Arts was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Since Wednesday, the high schoolers have been taking the stage…this time at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the District festival. Simultaneously around the country, the Belize District High School Festival of Arts is [...]

A Call to Worship
There will be a massive congregation of the faithful from all denominations on Saturday in Belize City. It’s a Call to Worship…a night devoted to God which coordinators say has outgrown and exceeded all its expectations since it first started five years ago. Today, Director of the Call to Worship Committee, Althea Garbutt, visited our [...]


Three Persons Involved In Traffic Accident, No One Injured
Three persons were involved in a traffic accident this afternoon at around 3:30 when two pickup trucks with Corozal license plates collided into each other between miles seventy two and seventy three on the Philip Goldson Highway. The impact of the collision caused both drivers of the vehicles to lose control of the wheel. When we arrived at the scene we observed Mexican National Oscar Lagos, who was driving this green Mitsubishi pickup truck bearing Corozal license plate C-18857, exiting his vehicle from the passenger door. According to eye witness Jose Gonzales, the driver of this brown Chevrolet pickup truck bearing Corozal license plate C-16960 swerved in front of the pickup he was travelling in. Right after, they heard a loud bang.

The Road To Patriotism Begins Tomorrow
Tomorrow the Belize Territorial Volunteers Northern Branch will be traveling to the Aguas Turbias as a sign of loyalty and patriotism to Belize. The Aguas Turbias Monument has brass plates with names of both Mexico and Guatemala but none of Belize. That is about to change; however, because the northern group plans to install a plague with the inscription Belize on the monument. Accompanying the group tomorrow will be president of Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia who has been at the forefront of the “Clear the Border Project”. Wil Maheia- President Belize Territorial Volunteers “Tomorrow we will be going to Aguas Turbias which is one of the border marker that was put down in 1859 and this is to commemorate the 30th of April, so we are very close to that day which will Tuesday, so tomorrow we will to there and show the world that yes we do have a border. Sunday we will be with Nancy Marin and her crowd in the Cayo District going to Garbutt Falls. There are three border markers, so Aguas Turbias, Garbutt Falls and Gracias a Dios down by the sarstoon so tomorrow Aguas Turbias then on Sunday it is Garbutt Falls and on Tuesday it is Gracias a Dios down by the sarstoon so we are coming covering the whole country so that people of Belize could know and see that yes there is a real border.”

B.T.V. Says No To The ICJ
During our interview with Maheia this morning, he also weighed in on the issue of Guatemala backing out of the October 6th simultaneous referendum. Wil Maheia- President Belize Territorial Volunteers “I believe that again and I hope that the Belizean people pay attention to what is taking place here this is a people power thing, the Guatemalan government has noticed that Belizean are behind us by the thousands and they know that we will vote no when it comes to going to the ICJ and there is no reason for us going to the ICJ, this is our country and all the nations of the world recognizes us with our border intact and Guatemala already know that we will vote no and that is one of the reason why for every means to escape from going to the ICJ and as a result I believe that we have achieved a victory there, we don’t want to go to the ICJ there is a no vote that we will advocating for no and as a result I think that is a big victory for us by getting Guatemala to back out because we cannot go to the referendum if the referendum is not held simultaneously, so again I want to call on the Belizean people don’t let your government play games with you, there should be no referendum if Guatemala is not going to hold it simultaneously.”


Ongoing Land Issues in Armenia Affects Farmers
Yesterday we told you about the water shortage which the Village of Armenia has been facing; today we will tell you about an ongoing land issue within that community. The village chairman of any community has the authority and responsibility to issue land to its villagers. However such is...

Judge Upholds Belize City Undertakers Challenge To Citco’s decision
David Coye, a long-standing undertaker of Belize City, challenged in court the City Council’s decision to prevent undertakers from building and reopening graves in the two public cemeteries. The Belize City council made the decision earlier this year to prevent the Funeral homes from building graves in the Mile...

Oil companies halt exploration
Works were at Rio Bravo after an oil company deemed the area non-commercial. The New World Oil and Gas Company pulled out of their exploration after it was reported that unsatisfactory commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were found at the Rio Barvo Well, which is north of Belize. William...

Treaty Energy Corporation suspends drilling in San Juan
If you think that last week’s Supreme Court ruling by Justice Oswell Legall had implications only for old petroleum contracts related to offshore drilling, well, think again. The court declared six contracts “illegal, null and void.”, including contracts held by Princess Petroleum in Belize, adding that an EIA is...

Michael Gladden freed of attempted murder
23 year old Michael Gladden has been freed of the attempted murder of a Belize City cab driver. In court on Wednesday, the victim, Leon Young testified that on November of 2008, he dropped off six persons at a park on the north side of the city, where they...

Man charged for keeping an Unmuzzled Ferocious Dog
It’s not often that we hear about someone being charged for having their dog roam about unmuzzled. But after a baby pit bull was mauled to death by three dogs, the owners are heading to court. The complaint, a resident of Lords Bank, told Police that on Sunday morning,...

April the Tapir is 30 years old
April the Tapir celebrated her 30th birthday today. April, probably the most famous animal in the country, is also the oldest tapir in the entire world. And as is customary, the Belize Zoo threw April an extravagant party. Tumblers as well as the Belmopan marching band were present to...

Local journalist is Belize’s correspondent for Reporters Without Borders
Today long-time news anchor and journalist Janelle Chanona announced that she has been named the Belize correspondent for the organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB), also known in French as RSF (Reporters Sans Frontières) which is “dedicated to the defense of freedom of information of the press.” Chanona, who previously...

A desperate father pleads for the return of daughters
Belize City automotive tradesman Jaime Chan is desperate tonight, as he believes local authorities conspired with the mother of his two daughters, ages 8 and 5, to take them from his custody earlier this week. Chan told his story to PLUS News today. Jaime Chan – Automotive Tradesman: On...

New Era Development showcase Egoli estate in Belmopan on Saturday
For almost a year now, PlusNews has had as part of its advertising lineup, an ad by New Era Development, featuring an Instant community called Egoli estate, which is being Built in Belmopan. The ad features animated 3D images of the community, but all that is about to change....

Armenia Village Chairman says his efforts to get water for the community are thwarted
The Village of Armenia is located about 15 minutes outside the City of Belmopan and is within the Cayo District. With a population of just over 1000 persons the community has the unique privilege of many chiefs and no Indians. What do we mean? Well the Hon. Julius Espat...


Activists say yes, but Ministry of Education says no Activist and president of the “Do the Right Thing” Pedestrian Crossing Program, Philip “Fawda” Henry, has been pressuring the Government of Belize to investigate the legitimacy of American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) in Belize. Henry claims that the medical school is a fraudulent institution that is not contributing in any way to the nation of Belize. AGUSM vice-president, Peggy Allen, has spoken to the media in Belize and objected to all allegations Henry has made against the school. Some of the allegations were that there aren’t any students enrolled at the institution because no one has ever seen anyone on the school grounds and the school has relocated several times because it’s constantly under investigation for the validity of its programs.

Treaty Energy Corporation, the joint venture partner of Princess Petroleum in Belize, announced today, April 24, that it has decided to suspend drilling operations in southern Belize, as a consequence of last week’s Supreme Court ruling by Justice Oswell Legall, which included an injunction placed on the Government of Belize that it should no longer pursue works under six contracts, including that given to Princess, which the court has declared “illegal, null and void.” According to the Louisiana-based corporation, Treaty Energy Corporation, back in 2010 it entered into a joint venture agreement with Princess Petroleum Ltd. to develop its oil and gas concession. The contract, which originally covered 2 million acres, is mostly for offshore works. “Due to the current injunction placed on offshore concession holders, and by extension Treaty Energy Corporation, drilling on San Juan #3 has been suspended,” the company’s press release issued today said.

His wife said that he had told her of his frustration with his job, but the Police Department said he never complained A well-loved policeman of Jalacte Village stationed at Gales Point Village Police Station is dead. Constable Jose Pan, 25, of Jalacte Village, was found on Tuesday evening, April 23, in the kitchen of his house on the upper flat of the police station with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. He was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he died at about 10:30 that Tuesday night, while receiving medical treatment. Police reports are that at about 6:45 that evening, they responded to a report of a suicide at the Gales Point Police Station. They went to the station and found P.C. Jose Pan in the kitchen of the living quarters on the upper flat of the building lying face up with a gunshot wound above the right ear (entry) and left ear (exit) in a pool of blood. His police service revolver was lying at the right side of his body. The .38 revolver was loaded with five live rounds, and one expended shell was in the cylinder.

My old friend, Alfred “Jack T” Campbell once said, in response to a man who was espousing war with Guatemala, which was threatening to invade our country, “of course those six and one half million Guatemalans will be torn to pieces by us 150,000 warlike Belizeans.” One hundred and fifty thousand citizens, if they were armed and united; disciplined and trained and resolute, could defend themselves successfully against 30,000 soldiers, which was the size of the Guatemalan army at that time. We could do so, if we were like Israel and, were supplied with the materiel de guerre by a friendly country like the United States of America. The man who was taking the strong stand against aggression, was reacting against the policy of Premier George Price. Mr. Price was saying that we should extend the hand of friendship to Guatemala, because we were a British Crown Colony and, Britain was still a world power. Guatemala would have been very unwise to attack Belize, then.

Over the past two decades Belize has plunged head on into the abyss of so-called offshore banking. Since the early 1990’s the community of offshore banks in the nation of Belize has proliferated. How these shadowy entities have directly benefitted Belize and the quality of life of the average citizen, is anybody’s guess. The offshore banks frenzy was authorized by the Banks and Financial Institutions Act of 1995, the introduction of the Offshore Banking Act, 1996 and the Money Laundering Act of 1996. By law these offshore entities cannot serve customers who are citizens of Belize or legal residents. However, there are many loopholes and serious weaknesses in the ability of oversight and enforcements. For example, an individual living in Belize can easily establish a bank account in a foreign country under a fictitious or associate name, and in return use the service of an offshore bank in Belize to essentially evade paying taxes. Indeed, it is widely believed that major drug cartels and their subordinates are able to do just that and avoid detection. Others open a wide range of so called legitimate business fronts in multiple jurisdictions, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to detect.

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) calls on the Prime Minister to immediately rescind the rosewood amnesty that was declared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development on April 9, 2013. The amnesty’s objective of taking stock of previously cut rosewood for export is severely undermined by the fact that the Government did not 1) identify a location in which the rosewood should be stored and guarded, 2) ensure that no rosewood is purchased and transported during the night, 3) have road check points at strategic locations to monitor transportation of rosewood, especially during the night, 4) identify and license the agents who would buy the previously cut flitches. The absence of these measures for the amnesty has only served to trigger flurries of illegal rosewood cutting in Toledo. SATIIM’s pictures are evidence that rosewood flitches are being cut in numerous areas in Toledo.

Leroy Betson, 35, drowned on Sunday, April 21, at Gracie Rock. Betson’s mother, Joyce Flowers, said she didn’t know that her son had left home to go anywhere. She said they received a call about 6:00 p.m. from one of his friends telling them that he drowned and they couldn’t find his body. Betson went to Gracie Rock with five other people sometime around 3:00 p.m. The group went into the water for about an hour, then came out and decided to have a few drinks. Flowers said she was told that her son only had one drink because he was driving that day. She said after they socialized for a while, the group decided to go swimming again. Betson was said to have swum away from the group when his friends realized that he had gone down in the water and never resurfaced.

A 20-foot container with 24,000 lbs of chicken exported by Belizean poultry company Caribbean Chicken was returned by Trinidad on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Isaac Bergen, general manager of Caribbean Chicken, said that he is not completely sure what transpired when the products arrived in Trinidad, but he was told there was “miscommunication” between the Trinidadian health authorities and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). Bergen said that this was the first time the company has exported its products to the Caribbean. The shipment was returned despite the fact that it had the required BAHA certificates for exportation. We contacted BAHA for comment, but were told that no one there was in any position to comment on anything.

Dear Editor, Everybody I presume is happy with the paving of streets in their neighborhood. The Mayor and his crew are redesigning the look of the city; kudos to them. But noticing the streets that have been cemented, I notice that I haven’t seen any FIRE HYDRANTS on the streets. I think that should have been part of their plan when designing. BWS have already dug up the streets replacing pipes. Why HYDRANTS haven’t been in the plan on those streets? We always hear complaints about the Fire Department not having enough water to fight fire. Now in this new plan the City Council should have consulted with the Fire Chief about putting hydrants on every street.

Dear Editor, From the very introduction of the Vocational/Technical (Vo-Tech) study into the education system, students have received numerous achievements as a result of teachers who have trained in the (Vo-Tech) area. These teachers prepare students for life and have thus continuously displayed excellent performances which are made possible by teachers in the field, who in fact are continuously offering extra classes and still carrying out the same duties as all other subject teachers. It must be highlighted that the Vo-Tech teachers get the lowest pay or are, in actuality, on the lowest pay scale (8). With that said there is no available vocational/technical program in place or made available to upgrade these teachers at the Baccalaureate level in order for the teachers to be trained and receive a full teaching license. Sadly enough, I must mention that teaching certification memos are given to teachers of Vo-Tech area with no consideration for their status or the lack of the availability of appropriate curriculum in the local university for higher education in the Vo-Tech area. The ministry fails to realize the peculiar situation of these teachers and just simply class them with all other teachers, which in truth is bias.

Dear Editor: After reading your article posted 19-Apr-2013 regarding the musical history of Belize, I felt it necessary to respond and share with you a snippet of the vibrant music environment that Belize has had dating back to the late 1800s. I believe that it is way overdue that a comprehensive chronicle of Belize’s musical history be written. As a matter of fact, there are other aspects of our country where a detailed account of it should also be written for posterity. While we may not want to go back and include the colonial era of music, for obvious reasons, it is still a part of our history. We need to tell the story from the beginning, to pay homage to the named and unnamed individuals upon whose shoulders today’s entertainers stand. I understand that it might be a difficult task to compile all the data simply, because time and the elements might have destroyed much of the information. But it is imperative that we leave no stone unturned when searching and to then paint a complete picture of the musical history of Belize.

The most important power in the hands of a ruling political party is the power of taxation. When a political party wins the majority of the seats in a general election, that political party forms the Government of Belize, and at this point there is supposed to be some kind of difference between the government formed, on the one hand, and the organized political party whose constituency standard bearers were elected to be area representatives, on the other. The area representatives who form the new Cabinet retain a lively consciousness of the political party to which they are loyal, because almost all area representatives intend to offer themselves as candidates for the next general elections, and they will need their political party for a successful re-election campaign. Apart from the power of taxation, which we describe in the first paragraph as a ruling political party’s most important power, the ruling political party, or government, also has the power to award contracts and to make other decisions which bring financial benefits to favored individuals and/or companies. So then, government is actually a business, a public business which draws most of its revenues from the people, in the form of direct and indirect taxation, and then uses those revenues to pay its employees and those individuals and/or companies to whom government awards contracts.

“On some level, Spaniards believed that there was no real language barrier between them and Native Americans, a belief that underpinned the 1513 edict that required conquistadors to read a statement – in Spanish – before attacking them. The document, known as the Requerimiento (Requirement), informed natives of a sort of chain of command from God to pope to king to conquistadors, with the latter merely putting into effect the divinely sanctioned donation of all American lands and peoples by the pope to the Spanish monarch. Native leaders were asked, therefore, to recognize papal and royal authority (that is, to surrender without resistance), and if they did so, the expedition leader was to tell them: “His Majesty and I, in his name, will receive you … and will leave your women and children free, without servitude so that with them and with yourselves you can freely do what you wish … and we will not compel you to turn Christians. But if you do not do it … with the help of God I will forcefully enter against you, and I will make war everywhere and however I can, and I will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and His Majesty, and I will take your wives and children, and I will make them slaves … and I will take your goods, and I will do to you all the evil and damages that a lord may do to vassals who do not obey or receive him. And I solemnly declare that the deaths and damages received from such will be your fault and not that of His Majesty, nor mine, nor of the gentlemen who came with me. “

It is entertainment; it is a sport with some rules, and it gets the fans off their feet and “in it” for almost every bout. It is not the “sweet science” of boxing, or the “game of death” called karate, or simply the haul and pull and tumble down action of wrestling. In fact, it is all of the above, and Belizean sport fans, like fans everywhere and especially on T.V., have succumbed to the primeval appeal for no-holds barred war between two combatants in a cage, whose only weapons are their meagerly gloved hands and bare feet, and their simple objective is to beat down each other until the referee intervenes for a time break or unlocks the tangled bodies. It was billed as the “Belize Mixed Martial Championship,” hosted by the House of Shotokan Karate Academy under Master Kelly; and Belizean fans in attendance last night at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium got their money’s worth ($10.00 adult, $5.00 children) of “Show Time” style action, where the gladiators joined in the spirit of the sport with generous pre-fight show-boating as well as sharing post fight camaraderie and demonstrations of respect and appreciation for their opponents, win or lose.

One kilogram of suspected cocaine was seized at Tropic Air at the Corozal Municipal Airstrip by members of the Gang Supression Unit (GSU) on Friday, April 19, 2013. At about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, members of the GSU conducted a search operation at the parcel section of the Tropic Air office in Ranchito Village, Corozal. The suspected cocaine was concealed in a blue bag inside a brown Devon biscuit box. The package originated from a San Pedro Ambergris Tropic Air flight that arrived at the Tropic Air office in Corozal District at 7:15 a.m. on Friday. No one claimed the package up to the time of the discovery of its contents. The package was opened by the GSU members at the Tropic Air office in the presence of an office representative of the airline. The suspected drug was then weighed, sealed and labeled, after which it was signed by the representative.

One of two men from Santa Elena, Cayo, who were wanted on murder and attempted murder charges, among a long list of other crimes, and were flushed out by a massive police manhunt, was remanded to prison after he gave himself up to police on Friday, April 19. Marvin Neal, 20, was charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated burglary. He was then ordered into remand yesterday, Monday, April 22, by the San Ignacio Magistrate. Neal is to be brought back to court on Thursday, August 8. Police said that Marvin Neal was the robber who killed Steven Valencia, 48, in his home on the night of January 24 in the Trapiche area of Santa Elena. He entered Valencia’s home and shot him, and then stole all the family cash — about $7 — that was in the house.

Middleton was convicted on April 10 for carnally knowing a minor, 14 Arden Middleton, 38, was convicted on April 10 of carnal knowledge after a jury of nine found him guilty of the crime against a then 14-year-old female student. In the trial, the victim testified that on July 13, 2011, instead of going to her summer classes, she instead decided to play hookey and went to Middleton’s shop, Little Wilt’s. She said that she asked to use the bathroom and was given directions on how to get there. But by the time she was walking through a bedroom to get there, Middleton was right behind her and proceeded to initiate sex with her. The victim also told the court that she had been a virgin at the time and that the entire act lasted one minute. She said she then left the shop and went to a mechanic shop up the street from Middleton’s shop.

The Reporter

Editorial: Referendum Dead! Guatemala killed it
The decision by Guatemala not to proceed with its planned referendum over the future of her claim to Belize has brought any thought of a judicial solution to a screeching halt. Internationally, the plan to take this ancient claim to arbitration, to the International Court of Justice, was widely seen as a practical and sensible way to settle the century-old dispute. On December 8, 2008, Belize and Guatemala signed a Special Agreement or Compromis, in which both countries agreed to consult with their citizens via referendum. The referendum would ask whether there was consensus to take the dispute to the International Court at the Hague. Two years later, on September 9, 2010 the Guatemalan Congress overwhelmingly approved the idea of a judicial intervention. Belize also concurred that it would seek the support of its electorate for the International Court of Justice to adjudicate the claim and settle the matter once and for all.

The root of all Belize’s woes
It is almost like every other week there is some accusation or suspicion of abuse of power or some form of corrupt practice in government. In this year alone, there have been several allegations of malfeasance appearing before us in some form or the other. Everything from the rosewood issue to secret oil contracts to blatant nepotism show that Belize’s structures for true oversight are anaemic or just downright dead! Last year, prior to the general elections, it was the mass naturalization issue. Not too long after that, there were the “Land Grab” scandals—which just became a tit-for-tat game in the House of Representatives. And what makes it even more glaring is the “there-is-nothing-wrong-with-that” position that these “men of power”—who apparently double as judge and jury for the merits of their actions and decisions—seem to have taken to such concerns. When the deputy prime minister (DPM), for example, was asked about his part in that scandal, he openly admitted to giving his family members several pieces of land. But what makes it even more disturbing is the fact that he resorted to the same there’s-nothing-wrong-with-that attitude. Looking at the current rosewood fiasco, we have the DPM’s brother exporting rosewood during the amnesty; and, to this, we hear it again: “If I have a business or my brother has a business or my son has a business and it is a legitimate business dealing in an enterprise that is not illegal, then I don’t see a problem with that and I wouldn’t countenance that as corruption.”

Med School: fraud or legit?
Belizean community activists say that American Global University School of Medicine is a “bogus” institution; but the school’s vice president, who called local media Wednesday, says the school is legitimate.

Gales Point policeman commits suicide
Police Constable #956 Jose Pam, who was attached to the Gales Point Village Police Sub-station was pronounced dead on arrival at the Southern Regional Hospital, around 10:30 p.m.,on Tuesday, April 23, police said.

Guatemala official suspends referendum
The government of Guatemala has announced that it will not hold a referendum in October. An article posted on the official website of the government of Guatemala says that on Monday, President Otto Perez Molina sent a letter to the Congress of the Republic, notifying the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, that [...]

City Mayor halts drainage project
Belize City mayor Darrel Bradley threw a monkey wrench into the works of a $941,316 infrastructure project to install drainage in the Buttonwood Bay suburb north of Belize City where nearly 2,000 people live.

Freedom of Information Act seeks regional support
Belize and other Caribbean countries will now have regional support to develop, implement and enforc Freedom of Information (FOI) laws .

Battlefield Park gets $394,000 facelift
When Belize City Council relocated the street vendors from ‘ground zero’ parking lot that was once the Paslow Building to Battlefield Park, Mayor Darrel Bradley had warned the vendors not to get too comfy since the Council had a major renovation of the park scheduled in 90 days.

Genocide trial that implicates Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina suspended
The genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator, Efrain Rios Montt, which also implicates Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, has been suspended. Judge Carol Patricia Flores suspended the trial of the 86-year-old former US-backed military general on Thursday, April 18.

Belize mourns ‘Chocolate’ Heredia
The Belize environmental community is mourning the passing of a pioneer Belizean marine conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who contributed immensely to the protection of Belize’s marine resources, and manatees in particular.

What is ‘Clean eating’? And should you try it?
While the term “clean eating” is relatively new, the concept originates from the 1960s and its (hippy-dippy) health-focused condemnation of diets containing high amounts of processed foods.

Central athletes dominate NSSSA track
The Central Division athletes dominated the national track and field championships organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and hosted by Mopan Technical High School at the Marshalleck Stadium, “La Cancha,” in Benque Viejo del Carmen on Friday and Saturday, April 19-20.

Mexico beats Belize 6-3 in mixed martial arts
Belize won only three of nine bouts on the fight card, but Belizean fight fans got their money’s worth when the Sensei Kelly and the Belize Shotokan Karate Dojo hosted an evening of mixed martial arts fighting at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Saturday night, April 20.

More finances needed for Caribbean to achieve climate stabilization
A new book to be released this week estimates net additional costs of reducing emissions related to land use, energy and transport – the three main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). A ninety seven percent decarbonization of the power sector by 2050 would [...]

Guatemala Rios Montt trial returned to disputed judge
The highest court in Guatemala has ruled that the trial against ex-leader Efrain Rios Montt should be taken over by a judge who had earlier handled it.

Man who killed step-daughter sentenced to life in jail
A Belizean man has sentenced to life in prison, in the United States after he pleaded guilty to the October 30, 2012 murder his stepdaughter.

Tristan Gordon, 21, acquitted of Kenyon Plunkett murder
Tristan Gordon, 21, who has been charged with the murder of Kenyon Plunkett was acquitted on Tuesday, when Justice Adolph Lucas ruled that the prosecution had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The April 28th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Darrell versus Santino: Another UDP Challenge in the Making?:
    That UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley has within a short time proven himself to be a decisive and effective political leader is without question. And that many within and outside the UDP expect him to make the logical transition from City Hall to National Politics is not much of a secret. What is not too clear is where and how exactly he intends to enter that arena of National Politics. That is until Thursday of this week when Bradley confirmed to Channel Seven News that he is in fact interested in Caribbean Shores: “Persons have approached me from Caribbean Shores. I’m talking about members of the Caribbean Shores Committee. That’s an area that I have very close contacts with. I worked previously on Carlos Perdomo’s campaign. I assisted him in public relations. I have very strong contacts and ties in that area. Persons had approached me for running in that area. I will say at this moment that is not something that I have ruled out and I am actively considering that as an option. But at this present moment, my total focus is directed at being an effective Mayor. The city has a lot of challenges and I am in no way thinking on any kind of elections.”
  • Belmopan’s Bernard Bestowed British Honour:
    Four Belizeans have been honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees include Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service. Also receiving the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire were Mr. Pen Cayetano for his wonderful and numerous contributions to music and art; and Senior Justice of the Peace, Ms. Crispina Hyde, for her selfless service to education and community.
  • Yanira Wins! New UB President:
    The University of Belize Student Body held elections over the past week, and Yanira Garcia emerged as the new President of the Student Government, beating out four other candidates for the position, namely incumbent, Hope Abadi; and challengers, Anthony Bedran and Caramyn Reid. Yanira Garcia garnered 234 votes. Coming in second (10 votes behind Yanira) was Caramyn Reid with 224 votes. Third was Anthony Bedran with 140 votes. Incumbent Hope Abadi came in last with only 55 votes. The other persons elected to the Student Government are: Luis Mendez Jr.(Vice President); Jasmine Thompson (Financial Controller); Felix Mai; (Secretary of Legislation); Jamira Serano (FEA Senator); Victor Cayetano (Secretary of Programming); Daniel Smith(F.S.T Senator); Elenita Norales (Nursing and Allied Health Senator); and Kent Welch (Secretary of Sports); Yadira Argueta (Administrative Officer); Shahira Quiroz; (Secretary of Advocacy); Liane Torres (FMSS Senator).
  • Belize’s Tourism Figures Up for First Quarter of 2013:
    by Laura Esquivel Frampton Director of BTB. The Tourism Statistics are in for the first quarter of 2013, and once again, the news is great. Those figures show that the hotel sector registered revenues of $60 Million since January. Overnight arrivals were as high as 93 Thousand during that period. In March alone, overnight arrivals reached a record high of 35 Thousand in a single month. Even Cruise Tourism, which had been lagging behind, showed an encouraging increase in arrivals. Speaking with Channel Five News this week, Director of the Belize Tourism Board, Laura Esquivel Frampton, said: “We’re happy to say once again that we have another record breaking months this year. In fact, all of this year, so far—January, February and March—have been record breaking in terms of overnight arrivals. Overall, and this includes the airport and all the other ports of entry, January saw 17.1 percent increase; February saw 11.59 percent increase; and March saw an 11. 03 percent increase. So, cumulatively, for the quarter, we are seeing a 13.02 percent increase in Tourism Arrivals for the overnight sector.
  • Count Our Blessings!: Delroy Cuthkelvin Chairman, Editorial Board:
    Last week, we reprinted a news story from the Caribbean about the fact that the Economy of Barbados had not only failed to register any growth during the first quarter of 2013, but had actually contracted or shrunk. That was bad news for the Economy of a nation which is the wealthiest and most developed in the Eastern Caribbean, and which has for some time now enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. This week, we report on the notable increase in Belize’s Tourism figures, which is only one sector of our Economy that recorded GDP Growth in the past year of 5.3 percent. While we do not yet have the overall figures on the performance of Belize’s Economy for the first quarter of 2013, all projections are that when the final figures come in for the current fiscal year, we would have again registered considerable growth.
  • PM Barrow meets UN Sec Gen in New York; Foreign Minister and CEO Join Him for CARICOM Meeting:
    Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow left the country on Sunday, April 21, 2013 on official business to New York and Haiti. In New York, the Prime Minister had an audience with the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon. Prime Minister Barrow briefed the Secretary General on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. The Prime Minister’s visit to New York is being coordinated by the Office of Belize’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation. In Haiti, the Prime Minister meets with fellow Heads of States of the Caribbean at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Associates of Caribbean States on 25th and 26th April, 2013. There, in Haiti, the Prime Minister is being joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado. Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow returns home to Belize on Sunday, 28th April, 2013.
  • 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 !
  • Oh How Sweet It Is! Residents of ‘Young Bank’ Community get Potable Water:
    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. The project was officially inaugurated on Sunday afternoon, 14 April 2013 during a brief ceremony in Young Bank. Young Bank is located about ¼ mile on the Valley of Peace Road off the Western Highway and is a relatively new settlement behind Camalote Village with a population of approximately 470 Belizean residents, who were original immigrants from the neighboring Central American republics of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Prior to the project, the residents suffered immensely from the lack of potable water especially during the dry season, when they had to rely on outdoor water reservoirs and delivery water trucks.
  • New Drainage Project Addresses Infrastructure Needs In Buttonwood Bay Area of Belize City:
    A d r a i n a g e project that will address the infrastructure needs of over 600 residents in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City was officially launched during a brief ceremony on Monday April 22, 203 at the Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High School compound. The project will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund in collaboration with the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) and financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The project is estimated to cost $941,316.00. “This project exemplifies New Drainage Project Addresses Infrastructure Needs In Buttonwood Bay Area of Belize City the Government’s seriousness to address the infrastructure needs of Belize City and to improve the living conditions of residents in the Buttonwood Bay Area, despite the economic challenges facing our country,” Hon. Santiago Castillo, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Area Representative for Caribbean Shores, said. The project will entail the construction of approximately 5,700 linear feet of Ferroconcrete lined drains with covers for sidewalks, the replacement of new driveways and walkways and installation of new culverts and wing walls. In addition, water mains and service entrances will be relocated and new service connections will be installed. It will focus on Park Avenue, Pike Crescent East and Pike Crescent West, E Street and Buttonwood Bay Boulevard.
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill: Are you on Solid Rock or in Sinking Sand?:
    Ho p e - f u l l y, by now y o u h a v e been convinced that no government has the answers to the problems that plague us as individuals, families and societies. National and global events may have also caused you to question whether there is a God. And if you believe God exists, you may have questioned whether He cares about us and our world. Take heart! Although our world seems to be spinning out of control, God is ultimately in control. However, God exercises His permissive will to help us understand that we could never be better off under our own rule than under His. But still we stubbornly reject His way and prefer to become dependent on leaders, governments and earthly systems to ease suffering, cure terminal illnesses and to bring an end to all the crime and violence.
  • Spreading the Love:
    the Love “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” That’s exactly what Honourable John Saldivar is to Matilde Cerna, a 40 year old resident of Salvapan in the Belmopan area. Matilde lost her mobility as a result of Diabetes which resulted in an operation being conducted on her feet. She is the mother of four children, all boys. One of them is 15 year old Wilser Echavarria, seen in the photo along with his mother and Belmopan Area Representative, Honourable John Saldivar. He says the entire family is very thankful to their area representative as they are a household with limited means, struggling daily to make ends meet, and could hardly afford the cost of purchasing the wheel chair which his mother absolutely needs to be able to move around in her present condition.
  • Upgrading Belmopan’s Infrastructure Waiting Sheds - Shuttle Buses - Paved Streets:
    In the Old Capital, Belize City, the revolutionary upgrade in infrastructure spearheaded by that city’s Mayor, Darrell Bradley, has been receiving much publicity, and deservedly so. In the new Capital, Belmopan, under the leadership of Mayor Simeon Lopez and his City Council, much is also happening in terms of the overall upgrade of the city’s infrastructure, through a number of projects which are all a part of the comprehensive master plan to transform the Nation’s Capital into a modern city. Thanks to the World Bank funded Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), monies obtained through the good stewardship of the Dean Barrow Administration (a total of $30 Million aimed at providing much needed infrastructure in seven major municipalities Countrywide) are being spent on the rehabilitation and upgrading of a number of streets in the Capital City.
  • At Long Last! Potable Water Finally Coming to Belize River Valley:
    On Wednesday April 24, 2013, Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, along with Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Rural Development, and Chairman of the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL), Alberto August, broke ground for a $7.8 Million water project in the Belize River Valley. The project will see some 550 families in nine villages in the area benefit from safe, potable water supplied by BWSL. Work has commenced immediately on the project, and within 90 days Scotland Half Moon should become the first village to be supplied with water. As the project progresses along the river valley, the other villages will be hooked up to the system. The project will be completed in December of this year.
  • CEO and Commander Complete Course for Senior Officials in Republic of China on Taiwan:
    CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Colonel (Ret.) George Lovell and Commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones have both completed a three-week National Development Course in the Republic of China on Taiwan. The course, which ran from April 1 to 19, 2013, was for senior level Government officials, both military and civilian. The participants were educated on a wide range of issues and challenges that Taiwan faces, with a view to explore how those experiences and the response to them could be translated, adopted and applied to the issues and challenges confronting developing nations such as Belize. There was extensive and meaningful exchange on Military and Police matters, but knowledge was also imparted on a wide range of non-security topics, including the Economy, Industry, International Cooperation and Exchange, both Technical and Educational as well as Cultural.
  • Caribbean Disaster Managers Converge in Belize; Two-Day Planning Session Conducted at Radisson Fort George Hotel:
    A two-day session was conducted in Belize on April 17 and 18, 2003 by the Technical Advisory Committee of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). It’s a committee that is made up of National Disaster Coordinators from the 18 members states of the Caribbean and participating regional bodies. The purpose of the two-day session was to formulate a five-year regional strategic plan for the period 2013-2018. Speaking with the local media at the start of the two day session, the Executive Director of CDEMA stated, “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.”
  • Over 25 Attend Prosecutors Course:
    In order to improve the effectiveness of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Belize, a Prosecutors’ Course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Speaking with the Government Press Office, Superintendent Flowers of the National Police Training Academy said: “This morning we started a two-week prosecutor development training course for members of the Police Department; that is from the ranks of corporal and sergeants; and we also invited members from the Fisheries Department, as well as Belize City Municipal Traffic, personnel who deal with court procedures. It covers the basic prosecution; introduction to prosecution, as well as formulating charges, and presenting a case in court, all the process that comes with that; how to, and what is needed in a report, when you are presenting; How to brief your witness or your police officers who will be witnesses in Court.
  • John Saldivar Basketball Classic; Inter-Site Tournament Organized by Belmopan Basketball Association:
    The John Saldivar Basketball Classic is an Inter- site Competition managed by the Belmopan Basketball Association on behalf of, and with the gracious support of the Hon. John Saldivar. The Tournament is unique in that it not only divides players by geographical zones. Also it serves as a bridge between Basketball generations as teams must be comprised of senior players, over 35 players and under 18 players. This unique format allows for the transfer of basketball knowledge from older generations to younger generations. The tournament has six teams, those being: The New Site Falcons, Site 7, Tiger Town, Police Housing Areas, Piccini Extension/Cohune Walk and Roaring Creek Christ for Life.
  • LeBron James and Kevin Durant: The Rematch that Everybody Wants to See:
    It took all of six hours Sunday night to reaffirm a sentiment that spent the last six months germinating: Anything less than a rematch of the 2012 Finals between the Heat and Thunder will be a disappointment. It won’t be a disaster if one — or even both — of the league’s top-two teams stumbles on the way to the sequel, but it will be a letdown. Heat-Thunder II is the rare scenario in which virtually all angles of analysis lead to the same conclusion. Want to see the best players? LeBron James and Kevin Durant are No. 1 and No. 2 again this season. Want to see the best teams? The Heat had the league’s best regular-season record and the Thunder finished second, while Oklahoma City posted the best margin of victory and Miami ranked second. Love offense? Miami was first, Oklahoma City second. Love defense? Both teams finished in the top seven.
    The Elections and Boundaries Commission, in accordance with Part II, Sections 6 and Part VI, Section 35 of the Village Councils Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, hereby release the official schedule for Village/Community Council Elections 2013 In all villages nomination opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 a.m. No asterisks denote Poll closes at 1:00 p.m. * Denote Poll closes at 3:00 p.m. ** Denote Poll closes at 5:00 p.m.
  • Alumni Achievement Award: Hon. Liselle Allamilla receives from University of Idaho:
    The Senator, Honourable Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for Belize, has been honoured by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources (CNR), as the winner of its “2013 International Alumni Achievement Award”. She was 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.
  • Contracts Signed to Begin Road Project In Santa Elena - San Ignacio Area:
    In a brief ceremony held on Monday, April 22, 2013, at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project to begin works on the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project, which includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The project, which is Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize, was awarded to Norman Reimer of A & N Construction. The Ministry of Works will be assisted by supervision consultants, Becker International Consultants Limited. In addition to the aesthetic and infrastructural improvements, the BZD $5 Million project will bring economic benefits and employment to the area. The works are expected to be completed in eighteen months.
  • Southern Zone Again Lowest levels of Crime in March of 2013:
    Last Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Minister of N a t i o n a l 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.
  • Belize Welcomed Home Her Very Own Yoga Master, Yogi Charu!:
    Belize recently welcomed home one of her very own, internationally acclaimed 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 understand 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.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    (Organized by Belmopan Football League)
  • Good Things Happening in Cayo Central: Basketball Court Upgraded - Tournament Kicks Off:
    This past weekend, the Rene Montero Basketball Tournament kicked off in Santa Elena. The tournament in itself is significant news, but what is perhaps bigger news is that its is taking place on a sporting facility, the Santa Elena Basketball Court on Carmen Street, which has been greatly rehabilitated and upgraded through the commitment and effort of the same Area Representative, Hon. Rene Montero. The rehabilitation and upgrade included the installation of 1500 watts light bulbs on all posts; electrification of both bathrooms and the snack shop; connecting water supply to the court; installation of two brand new toilets and sinks for both bathrooms; hang metal doors on all 3 structures, and a metal window on the snack shop; total renovation of the fence and installation of 2 new gates, the front which is a slide gate and the back a swing gate; construction of a concrete drive-way at the entrance of the court.


GMO Awareness Month in Belize Raises Concerns
The fear that Belize’s indigenous corn, which was first developed by the ancestors of Belize’s Maya population, will be threatened by the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops in this tiny Caribbean country was just one of many concerns raised during a recent “GMO Awareness Month”, according to Belizean environmentalists at Chaa Creek. Brion Young, a licensed naturalist guide and assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre said that environmental, health, legal, ethical and other issues were also discussed during the campaign, which ran between March and April. As a result, more Belizeans are now questioning whether GM corn crops should be introduced into the country’s fragile ecosystem, which boasts huge tracts of unspoiled rainforest fed by pristine rivers and where over 36% of the land remains under protection.

“Deja Vu” in Ambergris Caye
Another trip to the Dental Center yesterday but I won’t bore you with all of the (gory) detail. This time I caught the Belize Express Water Taxi 8.30 am service to Belize City for my 10.30 am appointment. Apart from a different water taxi service everything was the same as the previous day. Deja vu. After just over three hours in the chair and with a mouth that felt exceedingly sore I got the 3 pm boat back to San Pedro where Rose was waiting for me so that we could take a trip to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We thought that by the time we got there the guys would be cleaning their tools and getting ready to pack up for the day but pleasingly we were wrong. They were applying the finishing coat to the Second Floor exterior veranda wall and it had to be finished. No coming back the next day to finish it off!

“It’s Goin Down” in Ambergris Caye
A really lazy, do nothing morning for me yesterday. Up too early (what’s new) finishing the latest book I have been reading (this one by Robert Ludlam) because the Internet was ‘down’. That gave me an excuse (who needs an excuse?) to go to Estel’s to ‘feed’ (food and their Wi-fi). The rest of the morning (the Internet had resumed) I spent reading and responding to emails. A bite for lunch and it was time to go to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Rose and I got there around 2.30 pm and seeing that the scaffolding had been moved from the southern side of the house went straight up to the First Floor and saw where it had been moved to. The western (lagoon) side of the house. A walk in to the First Floor and we could see that the scaffold was back to provide access to the roof so up I climbed where I could see that they were busy ‘striking the lines’ for the final coat of cement. This coat though has to be applied so that each section has slopes to take the rainwater to each of the six internal downpipes that run down to the water tank under the house.

International Sources

Supreme Court set to debate anti-gay sex law next month
The Supreme Court in Belize will debate the Central American country’s criminal code which outlaws same-sex sexual activity, next month. Under the code, gay citizens face a penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Section 53 states: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, is part of a constitutional challenge to overturn the ban on same-sex sexual activity.

New World Oil and Gas dips after deeming Rio Bravo well ‘non-commercial’
Shares in New World Oil and Gas dipped on Friday morning after the oil and gas exploration company reported that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons had been found at the Rio Bravo well in Northwest Belize. The company, which is focused on Belize and Denmark, said that the well, which is located in the Petén Basin, had been drilled to a measured depth of 9,010 ft on April 21st. Following analysis, and in consultation with New World’s partners, Blue Creek Exploration, and the government of Belize, the company said it had been determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present to economically justify running casing and well testing operations. As a result, the company said it had deemed the well non-commercial and decided to plug and abandon Rio Bravo.

Earth From Space: The Great Blue Hole
The Lighthouse Atoll in the Belize Barrier Reef is featured in this image acquired by Japan’s ALOS satellite. In the upper-central part of the image, an underwater sinkhole known as the Great Blue Hole appears as a dark blue circle. Surrounded by the shallow waters of the coral reef, the Great Blue Hole measures over 300 m in diameter and about 123 m deep. Formed when the sea level was much lower, rain and chemical weathering eroded the exposed terrain. Water later filled the hole and covered the area when the sea level rose at the end of the ice age. Also visible in the image are two coral islands – green with vegetation – called cayes. The larger to the west is Long Caye, and the smaller Half Moon Caye is to the east.

VIDEO: Welcome to: Coastal Belize - Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, a small 5-miles island off the coast of Belize, is a hidden jewel for backpackers and tourists. Less crowded than its bigger sister Caye Ambergris, this beautiful limestone island is the perfect place to enjoy the Carribean sea and to appreciate a wide range of activities including snorkeling and diving.

Natural solitude, reefs a draw in Placencia, Belize
It’s obvious why filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola built the Turtle Inn resort here: White sand, a blue Caribbean Sea and, some 20 miles offshore, the second-largest coral reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. To the west, the sun sets behind the mangrove-fringed Placencia Lagoon and the distant smoky-blue Maya Mountains and Victoria Peak. There’s one more compelling reason to come here: Solitude. On a glorious afternoon, I found a beach to myself. An Englishman told me he went bonefishing for a half-day and didn’t see another boat. A kayaking trip turned up lots of birds, a few manatees and no people. Let everyone else go 100 miles north to Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize and its No. 1 tourist destination. The island’s population has swelled to 12,000, not including all the American ex-pats and retirees who have built multi-million-dollar homes along the island’s beaches and have bought up new beach-side condos. Placencia, however, a village at the tip of the 16-mile long Placencia Peninsula, still retains the character of a sleepy fishing village with a population of barely 1,000, many of whom live in colorful stilt cottages, earn their livings from fishing or diving and have family histories that go back to colonial days. While San Pedro, the largest town on Ambergris, is Chardonnay and champagne, golf carts and designer clothes, Placencia is Belikin beer and Caribbean rum, fly rods and snorkel fins. Big, dusty trucks and SUVs are the vehicles of choice.

Born in Belize: Rutgers Folk Fest focuses on diverse Caribbean region
Celebrate New Jersey’s natural ethnic diversity this Saturday at the annual free New Jersey Folk Festival with an ethnic group 98 percent of us probably have never heard of: the Garifuna people. Native to the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, they came to Brooklyn and other parts of New York – and from there to New Jersey – from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize. Eleanor Bullock, who spent the first 10 years of her life in coastal Belize – before moving to Brooklyn, Queens, back to Brooklyn and now Keansburg – has been instrumental in helping to organize this year’s New Jersey Folk Festival, working closely with American Studies professor and festival executive director Dr. Angus Gillespie and his committee of Douglass and Rutgers College students. “We were all born in Belize,” Bullock explains of her siblings, who include five sisters and one half-brother, adding her family moved here in 1968.

New World Updates Belize Drilling Ops
New World Oil and Gas Plc, an oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Belize and Denmark, announced that the Rio Bravo Well located in the productive Petén Basin in Northwest Belize was drilled to a measured depth of 9,010 feet April 21. Following analysis, and in consultation with New World's partners, Blue Creek Exploration Ltd., and the Government of Belize, it was determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present to economically justify running casing and well testing operations. As a result, the Company has deemed the well non-commercial and decided to plug and abandon Rio Bravo. The logs and core samples were independently analyzed, as well as mud logs and all other available data. It has been determined an active hydrocarbon system exists and, as in the Company's previous well, live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hill Bank formations. Extensive residual oil was also present along with high saturations of formation water. It is the Company's prognosis that the primary issue in the sub-surface was that the timing of oil migration occurred prior to trap formation.

April 26, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Italian Antonio Velardo fined for failure to declare funds
Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over US$22,000. On Wednesday April 24th, Customs and Immigration Officials and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained 35 year old Italian National Antonio Velardo, and 47 year old Swedish national Levente Arangos, onboard a catamaran. Apparently the men had arrived the night before and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration and thus proceeded to conduct an operation. That led authorities to some US $22,000 onboard the ‘Aventura.’ As a result, law enforcement agencies detained the two and took them to the San Pedro Police Station.

Studying the Marco Gonzalez Reserve’s Environmental Impact
Antonio-Velardo-JailAuthorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over US$22,000. On Wednesday April 24th, Customs and Immigration Officials and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained 35 year old Italian National Antonio Velardo, and 47 year old Swedish national Levente Arangos, onboard a catamaran. Apparently the men had arrived the night before and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration and thus proceeded to conduct an operation. That led authorities to some US $22,000 onboard the ‘Aventura.’ As a result, law enforcement agencies detained the two and took them to the San Pedro Police Station. Doctor Elizabeth Graham, Professor of Mesoamerican Archaeology at University College London, UK, is on Ambergris Caye analyzing the ancient artifacts that have been excavated from the site. A visitor to the island since 1976, Dr. Graham has grown very interested in the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site since the first excavation in 1986. Her main objective is to learn how the Mayas from the island lived, traded and how their daily activities impacted the environment on the island.

New fire hydrants installed around San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) is working on installing ten new fire hydrants across San Pedro Town. These fire hydrants are being placed in key locations where water is not easily accessible. Those areas include DFC, San Pedrito, San Marcos and locations in the town core. With the ten new hydrants that will be installed, and the other nine hydrants that were installed back in 2003, San Pedro Town will soon boast an available 19 hydrants in the case of a fire emergency. According to Jerome Garcia, Chief of the SPFD, the new hydrants were provided by the Government of Belize, and installed by Belize Water Services (BWS) upon request of the government. Pumping water from the sea or lagoon is a challenge for fire fighters since it is difficult for the fire truck to gain access to the water. Hydrants can now replace the need to obtain water from the sea or lagoon and have water readily available in case of emergencies. The hydrants were strategically placed in congested areas where fires would be more prone to occur.

Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees included Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service. Also receiving the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire were Mr. Pen Cayetano for his wonderful and numerous contributions to music and art; and Senior Justice of the Peace, Ms. Crispina Hyde, for her selfless service to education and community.

Ambergris Today

Teens Belize Stages Miss Top Celebrity Pageant 2013
Teens Belize is delighted to present the 6th Annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant from April 22 – May 6, 2013. During this time span, you will have the opportunity to visit and vote your favorite candidate into the semi-finals. In addition, Miss Photogenic will be chosen via “Most Likes” on Facebook. The candidates vying for the crown this year are: Roxannie Bowman, Leilani Nah, Victoria Canul, Marilyn Lopez, Charlyn Flowers, Nikki Chan, Shanice Flowers, Ivorie Mendez, & Jenny Ramirez. We invite you to tune in during these two weeks and support the nine amazing young ladies vying for the coveted crown.

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report
The year 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s tourism industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are indicative of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month. In fact, the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October 2011- making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize. There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year’s month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. This is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. In summary, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year’s.

Vaccination Week Organized by Pan American Health Organization
I am pleased to send greetings to all those participating in commemorations of World Vaccination Week, a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the need to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus. Immunization is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to safeguard young lives. There is no greater gift than a healthy start in life. We can celebrate the fact that eighty percent of all children – more than at any time in history – are immunized. They are living and thriving. At the same time, we grieve for the millions who are still left behind simply because they live in poor, under-served, conflict-ridden or isolated communities. We have reached four out of five children worldwide. Now it is time to reach that fifth child wherever he or she may be. We must break down all barriers that stand in our way.

Misc Belizean Sources

Maurice Tomlinson: Belize and the Spelling Bee
Advocacy often takes a very heavy toll on the lives of human rights defenders. I have been spared the worst, as I am still alive, though I had to flee my homeland Jamaica because of persistent death threats which the police were clearly disinterested to do anything about. However, the cost to my family life has been more immediate and ongoing. With just the slightest bit of hyperbole, I proudly declare that I am the father of a wonderfully bright and exceptionally talented pre-teen. My son excels at school, particularly in reading and spelling, habits his mother and I nurtured out of our mutual love for education. Even after our separation and eventual divorce due to my inability to suppress my homosexuality, we both maintained a strong interest in our son’s education. A year ago, both of them moved to Belize, and this year our son’s exceptional spelling ability allowed him to win both his school and district regional Spelling Bees. He is now headed to the national finals. As a proud father, I would love to share this occasion with him. However, to do so, I would either have to break the laws of Belize, or engage in complicit support for the country’s homophobia. Section 5 of Belize’s Immigration Act bans the entry of homosexuals, as well as persons who are mentally challenged (described as “any idiot or any person who is insane or mentally deficient…”) and the physically disabled (described as “deaf and dumb or deaf and blind, or dumb and blind,…). Together, we are all considered “prohibited classes.”

Nutrition Rocks in Cayo
The Nutrition Rock Video series has a video that was shot mostly at the Cayo Saturday Market. The Santa Elena Primary School is in it too. "Hey guys, you've been asking for more submissions from our Nutrition Rocks Music Video Competition, here is Santa Elena in action."

Tapir Day Celebrations
The Belize Zoo is celebrating World Tapir Day today. It's a special party, because Belize's famous tapir, April, is celebrating her 30th birthday. Panerrifix Steel Band will be playing there, and the Belize Tumblers will also perform. It'll be a fun learning experience for the entire family. The festivities start at 10:00am.

SHC Auditorium Cement and Steel Drive
Sacred Heart College has completed the first 2 phases of their new auditorium, and it looks great. They are asking for help with phase 3, and are doing a cement and steel drive. If you can help in any way, please do. "Phase 3 of the project is the cement floor/slab, which will cost approximately $200,000 and we are anticipating that this will be completed by June 5, 2013, in time to hold our Graduation Ceremonies. To make this possible, we continue to rely on the support of the SHC family - our parents, staff members, the business community, alumi and other stake holders as we work to raise the necessary funds to complete this phase of the project. We are presently organizing a cement and steel drive to complete the cement slab/floor. If you would like to assist financially, please give us a call and we would be more than willing to pick up your contributions. We can be reached at 824-2102 or 824-2758. You can also contact Karim Juan at or at 607-5619 or Mr. Julio Llinas at or at 622-5986. Deposits can be made in our account at Atlantic Bank with Account Number 211133281. "

Caribbean Film Showcase in Benque
The Caribbean Film Showcase will be in Benque tonight, and they'll show 2 Venezuelan movies, Guardians of the Water, and Without You, With You. They'll be shown in Centennial Park at 7:00pm. "It is the 5th Annual Caribbean film showcase, coming this Friday April 26th, 2013 starting at 7:00 p.m. Featured films by Venezuelan Producers Guardianes del agua * animation Sin ti, contigo * documentary Make it a date at the Centennial Memorial Park, exceptional company and a magnificent full moon!"

Vaccination Week in Adjacency Zone
Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow was in Cayo yesterday, at the Adjacency Zone, to celebrate vaccination week. Polio has been almost irradicated due to vaccinations. "Vaccination: An Act Of Love! That's the theme for this year's vaccination week which was launched at the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone yesterday. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow was invited to give symbolic polio vaccinations to children from both countries along with the newly appointed PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne; Belize's Minister of Health, Pablo Marin; and Guatemala's Minister of Health, Dr. Jorge Villavicencio Alvarez. PAHO has been celebrating Vaccination Week in the Americas for over 10 years to raise awareness on vaccine-prevented diseases and the importance of vaccinations with a special focus on vulnerable populations."

BTB Reports Record 1Q Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board has released their tourism number for the first quarter, and they have broken by far previous records. The Cayo Tour Guide Association has the entire report on their site. This is great news for Cayo, as Cruz Cambranes explains: "If we recall 2012 saw an increase of tourism activity in Belize and most of us did not see a low season, those numbers show a substantial increase 2013. These records show a 7.58%, 6.0% and a 10.1% increase of tourist arrivals in the months of January, February and March compared to last years arrivals. If we look at the month of March alone which is spring break rush there was a growth which broke its own record by reaching 28,623. Well we certainly hope that this continues."

Emmanuel Mangar Live at Mr. Greedy's
Emmanuel Mangar, one of Cayo's most talented guitarists, will be playing at Mr. Greedy's tomorrow night, Friday the 26th, from 8:00pm until midnight. If you haven't seen him play, you are in for a treat. "Looking for somewhere to chill on a friday night that does not involve a Dj blasting his selections through huge Speakers? Well come on down to Greedy's! Greedy's is bringing back live entertainment with San Ignacio's own Emmanuel Mangar! He will share his love for music and will rock your world with Jammin reggae, Fill your soul with the blues, Mellow you down with chill classics Blow you away with his own originals and for the ladies, he's got a lil somethin' somethin' for them too. ;) And while he's on break, not to fear, Perfect selection of music is here! Enjoy the greatest selection of music and just flow with the vibe of the night."

BHA Happy Hour at Midas
The Belize Hotel Association is having a happy hour at Midas today, Friday, April 26th, at 5:30pm. "Join us for Happy Hour and meet the BHA EU rep Sander Langeveld as well as learn more about what BHA has planned for the next year!!"

Book Fair at Cayo Welcome Center
The Belize Book Industry Association and the San Ignacio Public Library are having a book fair at the Cayo Welcome Center today, Friday the 26th, and Saturday the 27th. There will be tons of events for the family and the children. They'll have a book exchange, a map reading quiz, a culture night, a creative writing workshop, and a grafitti competition. Thanks, BBIA and SIPL! "Cayo welcome center will be hosting the annual book fair on Friday April 26th, 2013. Everyone is welcome to come and check it out! at 6:30pm, there will be storytelling and performances you dont want to miss. Bring out the children so they can have some great laughs and fun fun fun! Parents, immerse your child in the world of books!"

BNE Donates Football Gear
Feelgood news of the day. BNE and their employee outreach group, Energy for Life, donated football shoes and other accessories to the Tiger Town football club. Thanks, BNE! "Belize Natural Energy and Energy for Life (a BNE-employee charitable initiative) teamed up to donate 9 pairs of football boots and 16 pairs of shin guards to the Tiger Town under 15 football team presently competing in the Belmopan "Mundialito" Football Tournament."

Channel 7

Mayor: "Mistakes Have Been Made", Council Back-Pedals On Cemetery Issue
In January, the City Council was accused of meddling in “dead people’s business” – when it discontinued the practice of having undertakers build vaults and graves in the City Cemeteries and also re-open graves. The council took over the job itself and there was a great hue and cry – as missteps were made in the municipal administration and the execution of the new duties. Long-established undertaker David Coye went to court, to seek judicial review of the council’s policy decision – and he won. The council agreed to a settlement which will allow Coye and other undertakers revert to the prior position, and resume full cemetery services, including the building of vaults and graves and re-opening graves. A win for the undertakers and a loss for the council, which was pilloried in the press and consumed a great deal of political capital in opposing city residents who wanted to have the right to bury their dead with an undertaker of their choosing. Today the mayor told us it is a humbling experience and one that thought him about the importance of dialogue as an alternative to confrontation. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - BACK-PEDALS ON GRAVE POLICY "Basically what we have agreed is that we are going to permit them to return back into the Cemetery. We will set policies and guidelines, regulations and specifications as it relates to the construction of tombs. As long as they are prepared to work with us then we will work with them. We are not in the business of stopping anybody in engaging in any kind of trade or any kind of economic opportunity because that's their mainstay."

Mayor Confirms “Active Interest” In The Shores
And while the mayor had to back-pedal on that one, he is moving forward in Caribbean Shores. As we reported last night, credible reports say he intends to challenge Area Representative Santino Castillo for his seat as Standard Bearer. Today the mayor told us he definitely interested but shied away from saying he’s ready to play politics. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - "actively considering" CARIBBEAN SHORES CANDIDACY "Persons have approached me from Caribbean Shores, I'm talking about members of the Caribbean Shores Committee. That's an area that I have very close contacts with, I worked previously on Carlos Perdomo's campaign - I assisted him in public relations. I have very strong contacts and ties in that area. Persons had approached me for running in that area. I will say at this moment that is not something that I have ruled out and I am actively considering that as an option. But at this present moment, my total focus is directed at being an effective Mayor. The city has a lot of challenges and I am in no way thinking in any kind of elections."

24 Thousand Pounds Of Poultry Sent Back From Trinidad
Caribbean Chicken, that’s the name of a Belizean Poultry Producer that has hopes of capitalizing on its regional name by exporting poultry into the CARICOM Market. But, in what may be a prime example of what the experts call “barriers to regional trade”, tonight Caribbean Chicken is stuck with a twenty foot container loaded with twenty-four thousand pounds of chicken – after it was sent back from Trinidad. General Manager of Caribbean Chicken Isaac Bergen today told us that there was some miscommunication with the Trinidadian Health Authorities and they refused the shipment, even though it had all the required BAHA health certificates from Belize. This is the first time his company has tried exporting to the Caribbean. Bergen says that despite the unfortunate outcome, he thinks poultry trade with Trinidad “can still work” and he will have a meeting with BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture tomorrow to clear up the difficulties. He adds that Trinidadian authorities need to come and do site visits to Belize. The CEO in the Ministry of Trade Jose Alpuche told us that he’s also trying to trying to get a handle on what happened but from what he’s heard, the permit procured by the importer to get the chicken into the Trinidad market did not stand up once the product got there - so they had to re-export it to Belize.

Southside Meats Bacon Confiscated By BAHA, UDP Gets Ugly With Business Senator
And in an odd turn, that same sort of permit problem confronted a well-known Belizean meat shop – except it was importing bacon. As we reported last Friday, BAHA had put the brakes on six thousand pounds of bacon that Southside had imported. These documents show that the Hormel Griddlemaster Bacon valued at three thousand nine hundred US dollars was sold to Southside on April fifth along with boneless pork tenderloin. BAHA gave the permit for the tenderloin in March, but gave none for the bacon. Apparently, BAHA says it has a restriction on bacon, which can only be imported in bulk slabs and not already processed or sliced. So, the bacon arrived in Belize on April 15th and has been sitting at customs since – waiting for a ruling from BAHA. The ruling was that Southside had until today to re-export the bacon or it would be confiscated by BAHA for distribution to needy organizations. And, it seems that’s just what’s happened: the bacon has been forfeited and, pending customs approval, will be distributed for free to those needy organizations.

An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro
Yesterday in San Pedro, Police customs and Immigration boarded a catamaran vessel called the Aventura which was docked at the Belize Yacht Club. On board they found, Italian Antonio Velardo, and Swede Leventa Arangos along with twenty two thousand US dollars. No customs declaration had been made for the money so it was confiscated and the two men were taken into custody. Today, 35 year old Velardo was taken to San Pedro Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez and charged for failure to declare funds, according to the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. Velardo – who was represented by attorney Godfrey Smith - pleaded guilty and told the court that he did not know that a regulation existed that he had to make such a declaration.

Jamil Paralysed After Shooting
30 year-old Jamil Richardson, a resident of Partridge Street, remains hospitalized at the KHMH after he was shot on March 28 – the Thursday before Easter. At 11:45 that night,., Richardson and 25 year-old Dennis Molins were on Partridge Street Extension when a gunman fired several shots at them. Molins was shot to the left leg, while Richardson was shot in both ankles, and to the left side of his back. Well it’s been almost a month now, and though we found him putting on the best face he could today, Richardson is still bedridden and unable to walk. His hospital bills continue to climb, and it is a huge burden on his family. Today, his sister spoke to 7News asking the public, and members of his neighborhood to support their efforts to raise money. Tanisha Chavez - Sister of Shooting Victim "Jamil Richardson got shot on March 29th which was Good Friday. Right now he is in a critical condition. He is paralyzed from the waist down. We are trying to do a fund-raising because he needs help right now. He needs therapy and it costs $75 per day. No surgery can be done on him right now so the best thing to do is to give him the therapy. His doctor, Dr. Cervantes, this is what he prefers. So we are doing this fund-raising to support a worthy cause for 'Cash' and I am begging the entire neighborhood for support right now.

Lady Bar Owners In Court
Viewers may remember Yolanda Garcia. She became the second woman to be convicted of human trafficking. Well today, she was back before the Magistrate’s Court for employing illegal immigrant workers. According to the Immigration Department, they visited Garcia’s establishment, Red Angels Bar – formerly known as La Serenta Bar – on Regent Street West, when they discovered a waitress, Condi Gomez, who could not produce a valid working permit. Gomez identified Garcia as her boss, so as a result, Garcia was charged with employing persons not in possession of a working permit. She was arraigned this afternoon, where she pleaded guilty to the charge. Because this is her first offence for this particular charge, Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced her to pay a fine of $1,000 by August 31, 2013, or 6 months in default. Today’s conviction came only 2 months after her release from prison. 37 year-old Vilma Rutilia Chip, the owner of Chica’s Picante Lounge, located on Mosul Street, was also arraigned before Magistrate Cayetano for 2 counts of employing persons not in possession of valid working permit.

Gladden Free Of Attempted Murder
After more than 5 years of the charge hanging over his head, 23 Year-old Michael Gladden is a free man tonight after he was acquitted of attempted murder today in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The man he was accused of attempting to stab to death, Leon Young, took the stand yesterday and told the court that he remembers that on November 2008, 6 people got into his taxi and when he took them to Dolphin Park they stabbed him multiple times to the chest, face and back. They left him to die, but police were in the area and saved him. His attackers stole his taxi and stole cellphone and other items. Young identified Gladden as one of attackers in a police statement. However, when Crown Counsel Leroy Banner tried to press for an identification, he couldn’t positively identify Gladden on the stand. When Young was asked why he couldn’t do so, he said that 5 years had elapsed, and that this was a very long time.

Bhojwani Bandstands “Rubbished”
The Bhojwani Bandstands donated to the Battlefield and BTL Parks in 2010 and 2011 have been demolished – and Hans Bhojawani today told us no one even bothered to drop him a line. Speaking to us today from Miami he told us, quote, “what is happening in (the) city council is unbelievable: they don’t notify, don’t listen don’t (respond to) our inquiries…” Bhojwani explained that those bandstands were donated by the Hans and Nandini Bhojwani Foundation which requires that they account for their donations. He says that since this one has been demolished without even a word of notice, he thinks the foundation should be refunded. We asked the Mayor about it today. Jules Vasquez "He said that he should have been written and should have been told as a courtesy. He thinks as a principle that his foundation should get back its money because they invested in that in good faith."

Mayor Has Issues With Seaside Fence
And while the mayor went right ahead with the demolition of the bandstands, he’s being more circumspect about a fenced area that’s appeared along Seashore Drive at the junction with Buttonwood Bay Drive. Workers have fenced in a same-front area which the Council had hoped to designate as a public space. Today, he told us why he is concerned. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - Opposes Buttonwood Bay Fence Structure "The city doesn't have any knowledge of that. We of course are all about promoting public spaces and we are vehemently acquiring those properties for private use because it is a very good public space and we lack public space in the city. Particularly along that drive which is a beautiful drive in the city. I am currently unaware of any titles being granted to any person in that area. We just saw these fences being erected because we went out there because we had gotten concerns. That is something that we are asking questions to see what is really happening out there. That would impede what we had for our planning in that area."

AIDS Summit Underway
Last night, we told you about the first National HIV Prevention Summit being held by the National AIDS Commission. It is a 3 day event where health professionals and advocates come together in a forum to figure design effective interventions for at risk populations. Today, 7News stopped in for day 1 of the summit, and we asked about the current effectiveness of the message from the organization, if it is really reaching the targeted population. We also spoke with one of the Commission’s international consultants who says that research points to a link between a higher percentage of HIV infections and the existence of sodomy laws. Kent Klindera - Director, Foundation for Aids Research “My organization takes research and applies that to advocacy record, to our investing in programs that are effective which we did a global study in eight countries. Guyana was the country that we used in this region actually to investigate and it was quite clear that with these laws like of same sex behavior; making it illegal, you see a much higher rate of HIV across the world. Where that actually that is an contributing factor because if you're encouraging people to get tested it is very hard for them to go get tested if they have to disclose to their doctor their sexual behavior and they may fear that the doctor may tell them, tell that to the police."

George Street: “I love my life.”
George Street is what the experts would call a vulnerable community because of the risk factors such as poverty, police harassment, gang violence and the stigma of calling the “George’s” home. But, despite all that, the residents of George Street say they are keeping things positive in their neighborhood. On Saturday the community is coming together to host a Health Fair under the theme, “I love my life.” The fair will be held on Dean Street and they are inviting everyone to come on out and get a series of tests done for free. Community Organizer Dorla Vaughan told us more. Dorla Vaughn - Organizer "This April 27th we are doing a 'I love my life' Health Fair. It will begin 6:00 a.m with a bike ride from Dean Street bridge to Leslie's import and back. At 10:00 a.m we are having a Health Fair right here on Dean St. Eight of the Health Organizations confirmed with me that they will be out here with me on Saturday and give free tests and to give information to the community."

Mayor Supports Okeke
Last night on 7news, you saw Sculptor Stephen Okeke make his pitch for the Soberanis bust he has designed to be put in a place of prominence in Battlefield Park – replacing the previous one – which he says doesn’t do justice to the great labour leader. Today the Mayor told us he has time for Okeke. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - WILL SPEAK TO OKEKE ABOUT SCULPTURES "That statue of Anotonio Soberanis has been there for a reasonable amount of time. We don't have any plans to remove that statue. We have been doing advertisements about the park and one of the things we put in the advertisements is that Antonio Soberanis will remain in the park and will be more prominently featured. I did see something and I do intend to have a conversation with Mr. Okeke in terms of seeing his availability and what he has. We do want to ensure that we pay honor and homage to our political heroes. I think that Battlefield Park is an area particularly because it is in the center of Belize City and it is in front of the Court - that we could have this and it will elicit more pride and a good value and feeling in the downtown area."

Ras Indio In Adis Ababa
The well-travelled Ras Indio has recently been out of the country performing around the world, and most recently, he took a trip to several different countries on the African continent. And he’s featuring some of those trips in a photo-collage put together in a calendar for 2013. Now, you might be wondering, like us, about why he’s promoting a calendar for 2013, when we’re already into the second quarter of the year. He explained why it’s late, and why you should support him by buying one of his calendars. Ras lndio - Artist "The Calendars are a little late this year. This is the first year that we've ever had a calendar. This is why we continue with the idea of going through with this. It is ready from August last year but the orders we made were only in a quantities of a hundred, we didn't get a bulk. What happened then I went to Africa, Ethiopia and Egypt to rejuvenate myself.

An HIV Awareness Video
The Belize Aids Commission has collaborated with some of its partner agencies and a group of Belizean artists to create a music video focusing on the importance of safe sex. The project has been in the making for some months now and was recently completed. It’s all part of giving the prevention message some public awareness with mass appeal. The video is called “ Da You Ah Want” and we spoke to some of the artists. Martin Cuellar, Director of the National Aids Commission "The message of the song is very cruel, its very strong, its very simple and that is one of always protecting yourself with sexual relations but doing so in a way that uplifts you and your partner in a very hunmanistic manner; so it's about love really, at the end of the day it's about love to self respect and love for those that you are partnering with and it does it in a beautiful way because it speaks of a very clear message that repeats and is resounding throughout the video and through the lyrics of the song for one to enjoy life but in a positive way which is filled with respect and love."

Mayor OK With Drag Racing
And in our final news item with the mayor tonight, we asked him about Sunday’s drag racing event organized by Westrac on Chetumal Boulevard. It caught our attention earlier this week when City Councillor Dion Leslie posted a sort of rant on Facebook. He said, quote, “The Belize City Council has invested millions of TAX PAYERS dollars into the upgrading of our city's infrastructure, and trust me when I say that we didn't do it for people to race on.” So, we asked the mayor, who gave the order, and is it ok? MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - SAYS WESTRAC WILL RESTORE CHETUMAL BLVD "They have indicated to us that whatever problems that we have identified regarding streets they will restore 100%. After the event, Monday I think you had asked me a question about it and I saw out there that by the entrance of Chetumal Street there are skid marks. Those kinds of things could be cleaned and we will ensure and we are working with them and they have expressed to us that they are prepared to ensure that all the surface wears that have been done to the street; they will restore one hundred percent and I have no problems in trusting that Westrac, as a responsible corporate citizen, will do that and that will be done in the very near future."

Channel 5

Don’t hate me for being wealthy, Italian busted for excess cash
Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over twenty-two thousand U.S. dollars in cash.  On Wednesday, Customs Officials, Immigration and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained thirty-five year old Antonio Velardo, an Italian national and forty-seven year old Levente [...]

Dredging on Ambergris Caye stopped
An unsanctioned development project that threatens the environment on Little Iguana Caye in the Bacalar Chico area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has been discovered by authorities. The Department of the Environment and other government agencies have moved swiftly to halt that project by U.S. investors because the requirement process in respect of EIAs and [...]

Family troubled by death of drowned loved one
A Ladyville family is having trouble accepting the death of their loved one, Crecencio Mai. The fifty seven year old Mai was found dead in a pond on Tuesday at his work place on the Old Northern Highway. The pain of the family is compounded by lingering questions they have about the results of an [...]

The senator’s bacon
It was reported last Friday that a shipment of six thousand pounds of bacon, imported by Senator Mark Lizarraga for the Southside Group, had been seized by the Customs and Excise Department for being brought into the country without the required permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.  In today’s issue, the government’s mouthpiece went [...]

Undertakers take back control of graveyards
The Belize City Council has lost a battle with one of the city’s well known undertakers.  Back in January, City council decided to take over undertaking services from the private companies engaged in the business. Well David Coye, the most established undertaker, sought judicial review of City Hall’s decision to bar private undertakers from constructing [...]

Removing unsightly bandstands for city’s major renovation
City Hall has lost a major battle to the undertakers. But Mayor Darrell Bradley is still facing other challenges. He has been praised for his municipal projects every bit as much as he has been criticized for the endless congestion, blocked streets and what seems at times to be chaotic development. And now the Mayor [...]

Environmental Coalition says Government made major offshore error
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has issued a press release on claims made by representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities in regards to offshore zoning. The Ministry representatives appeared on our morning show last week. The coalition is taking issue with statements made by the ministry that [...]

UNIBAM cautiously optimistic about constitutional case
The church state system that many Belizeans have grown accustomed to is being challenged by the homosexual advocacy group UNIBAM. UNIBAM is challenging a portion of the constitution that makes it a crime to have same sex relations. The church and the government are both defending section fifty three of Belize’s criminal code.  The case [...]

HIV conference shows that drug users have higher rate of infection
Stigma and discrimination against persons affected by HIV/AIDS are high on the agenda of the National AIDS Commission. But there are other pressing problems facing persons vulnerable to the virus. At a national three-day conference, which opened this morning, disconcerting information was revealed on who are the most affected in the population. News Five’s Jose [...]

Victim could not identify attacker, attempted murder case ends
The last of four men, who had been on trial for attempted murder, was today declared free to go after the case fell apart.  Michael Gladden, Kenroy Caine, Alex Smith and Michael Saldivar were charged for attempted murder in the stabbing of taxi-driver Leon Young in November 2008. Young was beaten savagely, stabbed and left [...]

Guatemala still using old passport design; president accused of atrocities
Guatemala has proposed to open bids for the printing of four million new passports over the next ten years. Here in Belize, there has been a huge hue and cry because the passport would retain only a dotted line demarcating Belizean borders and carrying the words “territory under dispute.” The reports in Guatemala say that [...]

Healthy Living gets clogged by cholesterol
Like diabetes and hypertension, medical statistics show that there is another health condition that is growing leaps and bounds locally. It creeps in silently and increases the risk of heart diseases. Now, high cholesterol can be inherited but it frequently results from an unhealthy lifestyle. But a healthy diet and exercise can go a long [...]


Border Line On Guatemala's Caricom Passport Offends Some Belizeans We begin this evening’s newscast with a closer look at the new Guatemalan passport, which shows the border with that country as a jagged line. The new Guatemalan passport, captured here by’s Facebook page, is the Central American travel document similar to the one...

Junior College Upgrades Park In Esperanza Village A new park has been inaugurated in Esperanza Village in the Cayo District. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY “The class of health and standardize education of the Sacred Heart Junior College held an inauguration of a swing set next to the Esperanza Prescho...

Pathologist Says Farm Worker Died of Immersion Syndrome Yesterday Love News reported that the body fifty seven year old Crecencio Mai, a laborer of the Old Northern Highway, was retrieved from a pond at a farm located on the Old Northern Highway. A post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of Mai revealed that he die...

Woman Faces Second Conviction For Employing Immigrants Without Permits Thirty-seven year old Vilma Chip, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was fined a total of eight thousand dollars when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, after she pled guilty to 2 counts of employing persons not In possession of employment permit.Chip was given until Aug...

Bar Owner Fined For Employing Without Proper Permit Forty-eight year old Yolanda Garcia, the owner of Red angels Bar on Regent Street West, formerly La Serenita Bar, who was convicted of trafficking in persons and was sentenced to 1 year in 2011, was fined $1,000. Today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to employing a person not In...

Judge Directs Jury To Return Not Guilty Verdict For Alleged Murderer and Robber Twenty-Three year old Michael Gladden, charged with attempted murder and robbery, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. Because Gladden was not represented by any attorney, Justice Gonzalez instigated a no case to answer and asked the Crown counsel, Leroy ...

Belizeans In California Makes Contribution To Belize Territorial Volunteers Support continues to be outpoured for the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they continue to trek to the clear the Belize-Guatemalan borders in patriotic fashion. This time they have received a donation of footwear from California, U.S.A. Member of the BTV, Wil Maheia says the donation comes...


5th Annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase Arrives In The North
Films from across the region are being featured in a week of screenings as the fifth annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is hosted in Belize. This year the event kicked off on April 16th at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts. The show is presently on the road, offering Belizeans and opportunity to view the work of Caribbean film maker’s who either live in the Caribbean Region or in the Diaspora free of cost. Forty films are being shown this year which speak about the challenges faced by immigrants worldwide. Tomorrow two films will be shown at the Corozal House of Culture, which is participating this year in the film showcase. According to Suzette Zayden, Coordinator of Film and Media Arts Unit at the Institute of Creative Arts the showcase is a family event that brings to light the reality of life yet the main objective is to break down the language barriers.

Newly Paved Street Destroyed By Reckless Driver
The Orange Walk Town Council has embarked in a major project that will see the paving of 13 streets in Orange Walk Town. Now, usually the paving of streets takes place close to election time serving as a pre election gift for voters. This time; however, it’s a different scenario as we are more than two years away from Municipal Elections so we can say that the Orange Walk Town Council is actually keeping up with their manifesto. But there are certain individuals that are not making the work easy for the town council because instead of the recently paved streets being taken care of, they are being destroyed. A few days ago it was Staines Alley and a portion of Gravel Lane and today Belize Street and San Pedro Street were ruined. The blame is being placed on a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Works which was loaded with white marl and traveled through the area. Today when we spoke to Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard, he expressed his frustration and told us that he is appalled that in the case of Belize Street, it was allegedly destroyed by a Government vehicle. We were unable to get an interview with Mayor Bernard today since he was in an out of meetings. We’ll get his comments tomorrow.

Referendum Unit To Make Presentation In Orange Walk
An expedition to Aguas Turbias National Park, specifically to the monument that marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala, is set to take place this coming Saturday as a group of Orange Walkeños, led by Belize Territorial Volunteer Orlando De La Fuente, visit the area. The intention is to install the Belizean Flag and a plague bearing the name Belize on it, in order to mark the area as part of Belize’s territory. The aim is also to familiarize Belizeans of not only their borders but also their history. As we know, the Belize Guatemala Territorial dispute is presently walking on shaky grounds. With so much information divulged by the Guatemalan press, it seems that Belize is slow on their educational campaign when it comes to the long standing dispute. With that in mind, BTV invited the Referendum Unit in charge of sensitizing the public on the issue of the unfounded Guatemala Claim, to make a presentation here in Orange Walk. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm sharp at the El Gran Mestizo Resort located in the Louisiana Area near the Nature Park.

Mexico Offers 15 Scholarships To Belizean Students
he jewel’s northern neighbor Mexico is extending an opportunity to Belizeans to higher their education by offering fifteen scholarships at the various campuses of CONALEP University. The opportunity comes under the Belize-Mexico Bi-lateral Agreement. The scholarships will allow qualifying Belizean students to enter the Colegio Nacional de Educacion Profesional Tecnica, to obtain a Bachelors Degree. The Scholarship is normally for the duration of the programme of studies. Scholarship recipients must maintain above average passing grades at the university. Eligible applicants must be a minimum of 17 years old, be of Belizean nationality and living in Belize, have adequate intermediary knowledge of Spanish both in oral and written communication and needs to have completed a minimum of a Second Form level of studies. The scholarship programmes include: Career Areas, Faculty of Industrial Studies, Electricity and Electronics, Information technology, Production processes and physical transformation, Chemistry-Biological production and transformation processes and Tourism Services.

Fourth Estimated Price Sweeter Than Sugar
For several weeks now we have been airing our weekly review for the 2012/2013 crop season based on figures released by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. Sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industry’s Tower Hill Factory has increased considerably when compared to last year’s crop. The current yield is exceptional, resulting in a greater output of sugar during this season and an increase in the fourth cane price estimate which was recently released and stands at $60.68. The fourth cane price estimate is based on several components including the milling of one million fifty thousand tons of cane, expected to produce one hundred and ten tons of sugar and thirty thousand tons of molasses. Out of this amount, 15, 800 tons of sugar and 8,400 tons of molasses will be for local consumption. The current price estimate is also based on a TCTS of 9.55 which is above the actual level achieved last crop of 9.34. The recent estimate translates to good news for cane farmers, but in order to keep it on the rise, the delivery of quality cane to the factory must persist.

Corozal Police Presents Performance Report
The Corozal Police Formation held its quarterly town meeting last night where they presented their report card for the last three months to the few in attendance at the Andres Campos Civic Centre in Corozal. Among those present at the meeting was Regional Commander Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, Officer in Charge of the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez and Station Manager Alison McLaughlin. Superintendent Ramirez began his report by giving a detailed account of crimes committed in Corozal under his command. From October to December 2012 no murder was recorded. The month of October saw six robberies while two were reported in November and one in December of last year. From October to December there were 24 reports of thefts and 27 burglaries. If we take a look at the crimes of rape and carnal knowledge, there were two and one respectively. Entering 2013 statistics changed significantly when it comes to murder, robbery, rape and carnal knowledge. One murder was committed for the first three months while 17 robberies, 19 thefts, 9 burglaries, 10 rapes and three cases of carnal knowledge were recorded.

Talent Comes Alive At Annual Showdown
Tomorrow the Louisiana Government School will hold their annual showdown which serves as a form of revenue earner. The event is scheduled to commence at 6:00pm and according to coordinator of the showdown Enrique Ayuso, there will be 29 performances that will surely delight the audience. Enrique Ayuso Junior- Coordinator “Tomorrow is the annual Louisiana government school show down 2013; it takes place tomorrow at the Louisiana government school field starting at 6pm in the evening. We have 29 performances from infant I all the way to standard six it includes dance, music and drama and poetry and it is a family affair. The show will run from 6pm and it will finish around 9:30pm. Now around 9pm will kick down a big disco and it will go until midnight more or less and it will be there for kids who would normally go to these functions and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.” The show has gained recognition over the years since it discovers the many talents that the students of the school posses.


Border Line On Guatemala’s Caricom Passport Offends Some Belizeans
We begin this evening’s newscast with a closer look at the new Guatemalan passport, which shows the border with that country as a jagged line. The new Guatemalan passport, captured here by’s Facebook page, is the Central American travel document similar to the one that CARICOM member countries use for travel throughout the Caribbean. The map shows Belize annexed to Guatemala and the jagged line marking our two countries. The map has raised the ire of many Belizeans who say that the perforated line, as opposed to a bold one, is offensive to our territorial sovereignty. An accompanying script on’s Facebook pagestates that Guatemala is now the first country to issue the Central American Passport, and that it did so with the arrival of the first batch of 20 thousand copies today in that country. The script continues that everyday 20 thousand copies of the passport will be distributed until 500 thousand copies are disseminated. The new Guatemalan passport is the first such Central American passport to be printed under an accord reached in 2005 among the presidents of Central America to achieve regional integration and ease of travel within the region.The image and text have drawn a few comments from some Belizeans, most of whom view it as offensive.

Belizeans In California Make Contribution To Belize Territorial Volunteers
Support continues to be outpoured for the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they continue to trek to the clear the Belize-Guatemalan borders in patriotic fashion. This time they have received a donation of footwear from California, U.S.A. Member of the BTV, Wil Maheia says the donation comes at the perfect time. WIL MAHEIA “We call it the boots for the border because these are the boots that will be tracking along the Belize borderline and to be clear not the adjacency zone; it will be on the borderline itself and this is the group of friends of the territorial volunteers, Belize territorial volunteers from California and it shows that Belizeans abroad are concerned about what is happening in the country and this is a way of showing the people who are on the ground, the foot that’s on the ground, the boots that are on the ground. As you know a lot of people going, volunteering to do the chopping, the clearing of the line are the people from the villages. You know, things out there are rough so this is welcomed help and will motivate them even more to go out and do their part for this country.” Maheia says the BTV has been venturing into border clearing with limited equipment.

Judge Directs Jury To Return Not Guilty Verdict For
Twenty-Three year old Michael Gladden, charged with attempted murder and robbery, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. Because Gladden was not represented by any attorney, Justice Gonzalez instigated a no case to answer and asked the Crown counsel, Leroy Banner to reply to it after the prosecution closed its case. Justice Gonzalez ruled that Gladden did not have a case to answer to after he heard banner’s reply. He then directed the jury of 9 to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Gladden was charged with the attempted murder and robbery of 29 year old taxi driver Leon Young, which occurred around3 a.m. on November 16, 2008 at Dolphin Park, located in West Landivar. Six persons, 4 men and 2 women, stopped Young’s taxi on princess Margaret Drive and requested that he take them to Dolphin Park. When they arrived at the park, the person who was seated behind Young began to choke him and stab him. Young was stabbed in his chest, the left side of his back, his left shoulder and his lower right arm. His assailant took off his pants and stole $165. , his cell phone and his wrist watch. Young said that he cannot remember what happened when he took the witness stand. As a result, he was deemed a hostile witness. The statement he gave to the police did not help the prosecution’s case because he did not properly identify the accused. His description of his assailant was that he was a person of dark complexion who had braids. The trial began on Tuesday, April 23.

Bar Owner Fined For Employing Without Proper Permit
Forty-eight year old Yolanda Garcia, the owner of Red angels Bar on Regent Street West, formerly La Serenita Bar, who was convicted of trafficking in persons and was sentenced to 1 year in 2011, was fined $1,000. Today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to employing a person not In possession of an employment permit. She was given until August 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 1 year. The incident occurred yesterday. Three immigration officers- Iglesias, Munnings and Amaya-were on routine inspection of bars when they went to Red Angels and saw a woman there who did not have any employment permit but said that she was working for Garcia. As a result, the woman and Garcia were taken to immigration office and interviewed. After the interview, Garcia was charged.

Woman Faces Second Conviction For Employing Immigrants Without Permits
Thirty-seven year old Vilma Chip, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was fined a total of eight thousand dollars when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, after she pled guilty to 2 counts of employing persons not In possession of employment permit.Chip was given until August 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 2 years for each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.The incident occurred around 5 p.m. yesterday where like in the case reported previously, three immigration officers were conducting routine checks at bars when they visited Chica’s Picante Lounge, which is owned by Chip and located at 4 Mosul Street. There they saw 2 women who when interviewed admitted that they did not have any employment permit.The women said that they were employed by Chip.As a result, the women and Chip were taken to immigration office where they were further interviewed. After which Chip was charged.It is the second time Chip is convicted of employing persons not in possession of employment permit. In November last year she was convicted of 2 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permit.

Pathologist Says Farm Worker Died of Immersion Syndrome
Yesterday Love News reported that the body fifty seven year old Crecencio Mai, a laborer of the Old Northern Highway, was retrieved from a pond at a farm located on the Old Northern Highway. A post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of Mai revealed that he died due to Immersion Syndrome. Love News has still not been able to clarify what Immersion Syndrome means and police have not confirmed whether foul play is suspected. Mai was found partially submerged in the pond by a co-worker. At the time time Mai’s body was fully clothed and was wearing sunglasses.


Armenia Village Chairman says his efforts to get water for the community are thwarted
The Village of Armenia is located about 15 minutes outside the City of Belmopan and is within the Cayo District. With a population of just over 1000 persons the community has the unique privilege of many chiefs and no Indians. What do we mean? Well the Hon. Julius Espat...

National HIV Prevention Summit convenes in Belize City
Today in Belize City the first ever National HIV Prevention Summit was hosted at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. For the next three days, workers in the fight against HIV/AIDS will be strategizing on common issues including stigma and discrimination and reaching vulnerable populations. Executive Director of the National AIDS...

Belize City Council prepares for hurricane season
Belizeans are gearing up for the hurricane season and today the Belize City Council called planners to its Emergency Operations Center for major disasters located on the top floor of the Channel 5 (formerly NDFB) Building on Coney Drive. Councilor responsible for disaster management for City Hall, Philip Willoughby,...

Former Ombudsman shares views on constitutional challenge
The discourse on the constitutional challenge against the Government of Belize has picked up wind again, since the trial starts in the next few weeks. And that was the topic on this morning’s Rise and Shine. Pastor Scott Stirm, of Belize Action, an organization that has been vocal on...

Fundraiser for gunshot victim’s therapy
Early on Good Friday March 29, two men were shot while at their hangout spot in a yard on Partridge Street extension. Jamille “Cash Money” Richardson, 30, and 25 year old Dennis Molina, visiting from the United States, were caught unawares by a lone gunman who came at them...

Southside Group claim unjustified attack by Guardian newspaper
Southside Group which consists of Southside Distributors, Southside Meats, and Southside Mini Mart is claiming in a Press release this evening that the Guardian newspaper, the UDP political media organ, has embarked on a “malicious, defamatory and unjustifiable attack on the person of Senator Mark Lizarraga.” Lizarraga is...

A Call To Worship this weekend in Belize City
“A Call To Worship” is a large gathering of corporate praise and worship. It is a time when people across denominations unite with one purpose – to experience God. And this weekend, they assemble in Belize City. Althea Garbutt is one of the coordinators of the event. Althea Garbutt...

BTV to plant trees and plaques at the Guatemalan Border
This weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers will continue to demarcate the Belize border from Guatemala’s. On Saturday, the group will be going up north to Aguas Turbias and on Sunday to Garbutt Falls. Then on Tuesday, they head to Gracios Adios to visit and examine the present markers. Also...

Stamps celebrate 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation
The General Post Office has issued its latest series of commemorative stamps celebrating the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of Belize and 16 other territories. Having taken over after the death of her father, King George VI, Elizabeth was formally...

Belmopan Primary School Basketball Players battle for places in Regional Tournament
The happenings of senior league basketball are always spotlighted, so tonight we want to shift that spotlight on some younger ballers. Yesterday the Belmopan Primary School Zone finals got underway, where primary schoolers from within the Belmopan area battled it out to move on to the regional tournament. In...

BDF forces guard morgue during Post Mortem examinations
Post Mortem examinations for the persons who were brutally murdered were conducted yesterday in Belize City. As the Post Mortem was being carried out, BDF forces and heavily armed policemen stood on guard outside the morgue. Keino Quallo’s examination started at On 7:55am and was completed at 10:00am. At...

The Guardian

Bacon Senator - Southside Meats attempts to import 6000 Lbs of Bacon illegally
A business house that Senator Mark Lizarraga, who represents the business community, is related, to has some explanation to do after a container was busted at customs with six thousand pounds of bacon. The bust took place in the middle of last week and since then The Guardian has been able to verify that Southside Distributors, listed as having its operations at #23 Albert Street, was attempting to import six thousand pounds of Griddlemaster Wide Shingle Bacon in 400 boxes. The bacon was found inside a container that also brought in 24 boxes of Vacuum Packed Pork Tenderloin. The company from whom the bacon was bought was Hormel Foods out of Chicago, U.S.A. The company had received a permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) to import the tenderloin but there was no permit issued to import the bacon. There is local production of bacon in Belize and for that, it is a controlled good which needs a permit.

Guatemala Afraid to go to ICJ
Guatemala has a very low chance of success in court on its claim for Belizean territory and the country appears to have finally realized that fact. The Guatemalan Government recently announced that it will not proceed with its national referendum on October 6th to decide if the two countries should take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This was after weeks of trying to upset the process. They first complained about Belize’s Referendum Act which requires that sixty percent of the voting population participate in a referendum for it to be valid. This requirement was introduced in the laws of Belize before the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala was signed. Therefore, they were well aware of the sixty percent threshold, or they should have been. They then complained about the cost of a national referendum in their country compared to one in Belize. Another bogus concern because it was on the table to hold the referendum during their General Elections in order to minimize the cost. They then proposed that Belize go ahead and hold its referendum first and Guatemala would follow depending on the results. Prime Minister Barrow publicly rejected that proposal at a House of Representatives meeting. Now, they have decided to breach the Special Agreement by not holding their referendum. The international community can now clearly see that Guatemala is not serious about bringing an end to the territorial dispute.

Police Officer Commits Suicide
Officers of the Belize Police Department are mourning the loss of one of their brothers. Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23rd, Police Constable Jose Pam placed a .38 revolver to the right side of his head and squeezed the trigger. His wife, Simeona Pam, told police that the officer left the living quarters of the Gales Point Police Sub-Station at about 11 a.m. that morning and went into the village. He returned at 5 p.m. and was under the influence of alcohol. She said her husband expressed his frustration about his job, among other things, and proceeded to lie down on the floor. She then went to bathe their 2-year-old son and ten minutes later she heard a loud bang. She rushed to check on her husband and found him lying on the floor face up in a pool of blood. Dangriga police was called to the scene. They found the officer’s .38 revolver next to his body. It was loaded with five live rounds and one expended shell in the cylinder. P.C. Pam was pronounced dead at the Southern Regional Hospital at 10:35 p.m.

Water for the River Valley Communities
Hon. Edmund Castro, Hon. Godwin Hulse and BWSL’s Chairman, Alberto August broke ground. On Wednesday, April 24th Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North along with Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Rural Development and Chairman of the Belize Water Services Limited broke ground on a 7.8 million dollar water project in the Belize River Valley area.

Pushing on 70 concreted streets
It was once a practice that when a street was paved it would have been featured in the local television news as a major accomplishment in Belize City. Chip and seal being placed on the streets to improve them would feature at the beginning of the paving and a recap at the end. Now streets are being paved with concrete, sometimes 10 at a time, simultaneously and there is not even a peep from the major news stations. We guess that it goes with the territory, when you have done so much it is expected that you do much more without even being recognized.

Cayo now has New Evidence Room
L-R Albert Moore, Joseph Boski and Superintendent Ralf Moody look on as the ribbon is cut. Political and Economic Section Chief Joseph Boski, from the United States Embassy in Belmopan officially delivered the keys of a new evidence room in San Ignacio Town to Superintendent of Police Ralph Moody on April 18th, 2013. The fully air conditioned room is adjacent to the San Ignacio Police Station.

Auditor General’s Review
The Auditor General’s 2010/2011 report was released with its usual sensational thrust. However a real close review has exposed the true and cold facts. The truth is, it is nothing but a glorified gossip column. It was downright disappointing.

Contracts signed to begin Road Project in Santa Elena/San Ignacio Area
On Monday April 22nd, in a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Works Conference Room, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project to begin works for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project, which includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road.

Sport Facilities being upgraded in Cayo Central
Several teams of basketball players had the opportunity to use for the first time the newly renovated basketball court of Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District this past Friday. Eight teams will now participate in the Santa Elena Basketball Tournament, with players becoming actively involved each Friday and Saturday starting at 6:00 pm, for the next two months, in what promises to be an annual event.

Crying after the Fact!
The golden rule in journalism and the media has always been this: you don't write it, say it or comment on it if you cannot prove it. It is a mantra that is upheld across the world and for media organizations, it is the single guiding principle and light which prevents us from running amuck with wild allegations and fantasies. These would in turn lead to the rocky shoals of libel and slander lawsuits.

PUP Develops a Conscience on Offshore Drilling
Under the People's United Party government offshore oil exploration contracts were given out to 6 companies in 2004 and 2007. The Supreme Court has ruled that these contracts were improperly awarded and have declared them null and void. Now the People's United Party, in the persons of some of the very people who were actually in government in their last administration have grown a conscience. They issued a release in which they claim that they will "not issue any Oil exploration licenses which are not in full compliance with the Laws of Belize inclusive of the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and no licenses will be issued to a company which clearly lacks the capacity to carry out oil exploration." HELLO.... that is exactly what they did. Now they are backpedaling on their decision and are pretending to be holier than thou. The fact is that by their issuing of a statement they are admitting that they in fact were the ones who issued the contracts illegally.

PM Departs to New York and Haiti
Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow left the country today on official business to New York and Haiti.

Prosecutors’ Course conducted at National Police Training Academy
In order to improve the effectiveness of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Belize, a Prosecutors’ Course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

Santi launches Drainage Project for Buttonwood Bay
Daniel Cano and Hon. Santiago Castillo inspect the progress of the project. When he was on the campaign trail to secure the United Democratic Party’s nomination for Caribbean Shores in late 2011, Santiago 'Santino' Castillo listened to residents about community based projects they would like to see accomplished. He said, “The two most common concerns are street infrastructure and drainage.” He pledged that on day one upon being elected Area Representative for the Caribbean Shores constituency he would lobby tirelessly to see that the infrastructure is improved. Mayor Darrell Bradley has been very instrumental in helping him to keep that promise with the City Council’s extensive street rehabilitation program and on Monday, April 22nd, Castillo launched a million dollar comprehensive drainage project for the Buttonwood Bay area.

Showing Him the way
Francis Fonseca was all smiles as he cut the ribbon to Chetumal Boulevard when it was officially declared opened on Tuesday, April 16th. He went to great lengths at highlighting the new politicians that go past party lines to develop the country; he even claimed Mayor Darrell Bradley as his Mayor.

Vaccination Week in the Americas: A Shared Responsibility
Hon. Pablo Marin witnessing oral administration of vaccine The health of Belize and Guatemala as wells as the rest of the Americas turned for better prospects on Wednesday with the launch of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) in the Adjacency Zone between Benque Viejo and Melchor de Mencos. It comes as the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in the eleventh celebration of VWA joined forces with Governments and organizations in a widely anticipated and all encompassing effort to immunize citizens against a host of life threatening diseases.

Burglar shot Dead by Police
The family of 23-year-old Ryan Lozano has requested that an investigation be launched into the shooting that led to his death on Thursday, April 18th. According to police, at approximately 12:20 on Thursday afternoon, police responded to a burglary in progress in the Los Lagos area of the Belize District. Upon arrival, they came across 33-year-old Lenny Benguche who was hiding behind the house. Police approached and apprehended Benguche. Police say that Lozano then came from out of the house armed with a knife and crowbar. He was warned by officers but according to the report he “continued to approach the police in a threatening manner”. As a result, police opened fire hitting him once in the abdomen. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment but died on Friday morning, April 19th.

Guilty of a 10-year-old crime of Aggravated Assault Upon Infant Child
On Monday evening, April 22nd, a jury of nine found 38-year-old John Baptist, Sr. guilty on two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 6-year-old child. Baptist was charged with one count of unlawful carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature in 2003. The child, who is now 15-years-old, testified in court that Baptist had sex with her in 2003 and on three separate occasions, he molested her by touching her private parts and even performing oral sex on one occasion. Baptist, who was unrepresented in court, denied the allegations. It was left up to the jury to determine if Prosecutor Leroy Banner provided sufficient evidence to prove that Baptist was guilty. The jury began deliberating at 11:28 a.m. on Monday and returned at 4 p.m. with a guilty verdict on two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. They did not reach a verdict on the charge of carnal knowledge and one count of aggravated assault. Justice Traodio Gonzalez has reserved sentencing for May 3rd when mitigation pleas will be heard on Baptist’s behalf.

Pleads Guilty to Wounding
On Thursday, April 19th, 24-year-old Michael Cowo pleaded guilty to wounding a 65-year-old man. The incident occurred on December 23rd, 2012, but it was not until Monday, April 8th, 2013 that the escaped prisoner was caught and charged with wounding and escape. Police allegations are that Cowo, a Fisherman and resident of Louise Street threw a stone at 65-year-old Christopher Lamb, hitting him to the right hand causing swelling and pain. For that offense, Cowo was detained and charged with wounding. Police say that whilst Cowo was detained at the station he managed to escape by running though the main door. For that offense, he was charged with escape.

Libertad Murder Suspect surrenders to Police
According to reports, 58-year-old Marciano Correa was on the run after 43-year-old Sisto Victorio Osorio was killed on Friday, April 19th. Police found the lifeless body of Osorio lying face down on a pavement in Libertad Village around noon on Friday. Police have not shared any motive for the murder as yet; however, sources say that it may have been the result of a family dispute in which alcohol was involved. Osorio reportedly was in a relationship with Correa’s sister and the two had a fight. That caused Correa to attack Osorio, hitting him over the head with a blunt object. Osorio died as a result of the injury. On Saturday, April 20th, Correa turned himself into police and was charged with murder on Monday, April 22nd. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and he will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison.

Convicted of Attempted Murder
On Friday, April 19th, a jury of 9 stepped into the deliberating room at 3:25p.m. and emerged at around 4:43 p.m., to find 28-year-old Leroy Ramsey guilty of two counts of attempted murder. Ramsey was unrepresented when he appeared before Justice Troadio Gonzalez who deferred sentencing to Friday, April 26th when he will hear mitigation pleas. Ramsey was accused of the February 19th, 2008 attempted murder of Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill, who were both shot at whilst on Raccoon Street in Belize City. On that night, Broaster, Madrill and Robert Wagner were together on the street side, when according to Wagner’s testimony, he saw Ramsey approached them and opened fire. According to Wagner, he saw when Ramsey pulled out a gun and fired shots in the direction of Broaster and Madrill. He explained that he saw when Broaster was shot at twice and Madrill three times. Broaster received gunshots to the left chest while Madrill escaped unhurt.

Tibruce Street Youths Charged with Wounding
Three young men from Tibruce Street appeared in court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, April 22nd, to face a charge of wounding upon Kadeem Babb. According to reports, Babb was on Tibruce Street on Saturday, April 20th, when he was confronted by 21-year-old Kenyon McCauley and 19-year-old Jamal Neal and 19-year-old Sair Neal. He was then attacked, beaten with sticks and kicked all over the body. Babb managed to escape his attackers and ran straight to the police station to report the incident. In court, the trio pleaded not guilty to the charge. They were each offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. They must also report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The case was adjourned until May 27th.

Charged for Love Mark
On Monday, April 22nd, Daniel Zetina, 42, a taxi driver and resident of a Madam Liza Avenue appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after being accused over the weekend of sexually assaulting a 46-year-old woman. He pleaded not guilty to the offense of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and was offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. He was ordered to stay away from the victim and or any of her family members. She also ordered him to surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court and that he report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday effective April 29th, 2013 until his case is disposed of. Zetina met his bail and is due back in court on May 28th, 2013. According to the 46-year-old woman, on Saturday, April 20th, Zetina touched her private parts and then placed a love mark or 'hicky' on her neck. She became annoyed with his behavior and reported the matter requesting court action. In court, Zetina was unrepresented.

Camalote United leads in the Miley Garcia Softball Competition
The 2013 Miley Garcia Softball Competition for the Cayo Softball Association continued on Sunday, April 21st, at the Softball Field in Ontario Village, Cayo District. In the first game played, the defending champions Camalote United defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 27-1. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. In game two, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated Belmopan United by the score of 15-5. The winning pitcher was Ayannah Smith and the losing pitcher was Dana Mae King. In the final game of the day, Ontario Rebels won over Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 13 to 5. The winning pitcher was Kenreen Gillett and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis. The competition will continue this Sunday at 12:00 midday at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village. In the first game at 12:00 pm Belmopan Capital City Emeralds will see action against Ontario Rebels. In game two, it will be Esperanza Wolverines against Las Flores Shooting Stars, and in the final game of the day, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy will see action against the host team Camalote United.

Muslim Community School wins in Primary Schools Basketball
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City with a number of games in the girls’ and boys’ competition. On Tuesday, April 23rd, in the only girls game played, Muslim Community School won over St. John Vianney School by the score of 6-4. The top scorer for Muslim Community was Shala Smith with 6 points, while the top scorers for St. John Vianney School were Princella Samuels and Jasmine Sanchez with 2 points each. In the first of three boys games played, St. Ignatius School defeated St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 23-21. The top scorer for St. Ignatius School was Malique rose with 18 points, while the top scorers for St. Martin De Porres School were Glen Arzu and Derrick Menzies with 5 points each. In the second game, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 20-9. The top scorer for Ephesus SDA was Antawn Palacio with 10 points while Jason Ellis top scored for Trinity Methodist with 3 points. In the final game of the day, New Horizon won via the default route over St. Mary’s School.

Belmopan Bandits Number One Seed into The Playoffs
The regular season for the Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament will come to an end over this coming weekend with a number of games on the schedule. However, the tournament continued over the last weekend with four games on the schedule. On Saturday, April 20th, out at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the home team Verdes FC blanked FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Julio Ayala in the 76th minute of play to give his team the big victory and some hope of making it to the next round of the competition. On Sunday, April 21st, at the MCC Grounds, FC Belize shut out San Ignacio United FC by the score of 4-0. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Stephen Baizar in the 25th, 31st, and 57th minutes of play and Avian Crawford in the 68th minute of play. At the Placencia Football Field in Placencia, the home team Placencia Assassins FC edged the defending champions and current leaders in this Closing Season Tournament by the score of 2-1. The home team Placencia Assassins were the first to get on the scoreboard when Ashley Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 44th minute of play to give his team an early lead. That lead was further extended when Kareem Haylock scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 71st minute of play for a 2-1 lead. In fact, that goal proved to be the margin of victory for the Placencia Assassins.

Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta This weekend
The general public and all sail boat enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta on the weekend of April 27th and 28th. The series of sailboat races will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning featuring up to 5 races with the youth sailboat Optimist. The regatta committee is able to add several more races for those wishing to bring their “one design” sailboat and participate to international standards races at this venue. The lagoon has no tides or currents, and the small waves and sudden strong gusty seasonal winds make ideal for novices and experienced sailors. Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Administrative Instructions are availanle on request from .

Vehicle flips in Cayo killing a Student
The body of sixteen year old Michael Masariego awaits a post-mortem examination after being killed at about 6:30 on Saturday morning on the Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. In a version of the incident, the mother Joy Johnson, says that Masariego had taken a hitchhike and was travelling in the pan of a vehicle towards Santa Elena when the vehicle he was riding in turned over. Michael Masariego, also known as “Georgy,” loved to play football and had gone to Cristo Rey Village last Friday evening. He was heading to another game in Benque Viejo when the accident happened. “…He loved sports, that was his aim, everything was sports, as soon as he got home [he would say] mom I want to practice and need to keep fit,” said Joy Johnson. “He always wanted to go away, maybe get a scholarship to go to the United States and play ball there.”

Humane Society Combating Epidemic Affecting Local Dogs
The Belize Humane Society is concerned about two diseases that are targeting the canine population of Belize. Those are the Transmissible Venereal Tumour (TVT) and Canine Distemper. TVT is one of only three known transmissible cancers and its target is the canine population. It is a sexually transmitted disease which causes a tumor to grow on the external sexual organs of dogs. The recommended treatment for TVT is chemotherapy. Since treatment is expensive, the Belize Humane Society recommends that the focus be on prevention. The Humane Society advises the public to take advantage of its “Project Snip” which subsidises fifty percent of the cost to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Project Snip was launched by the Humane Society in an effort to limit the impact of unwanted breeding on the population of dogs and cats in the streets of Belize City and to try cut the population of unwanted dogs and cats by half. It is also effective in preventing the spread of TVT since male dogs are less sexually motivated after the procedure. Individuals interested in taking advantage of the subsidised spay and neuter program can call the Animal Medical Centre (AMC), located at the corner of Castle & Lancaster Streets (off Victoria Street), at telephone number 223-3781. Residents on the Southside of Belize City can call the Lake View Animal Clinic (LVAC) which is located on Lakeview Street (between Vernon Street and Cemetery Road) at 605-5822.

Tinking Outside of the Box
If exhortations and moral persuasion alone were sufficient to deter destructive behaviour there would be much less of it around. Education is also very important if people are to be persuaded to stop doing things that they like to do but by itself it has very little effect. Experience shows that changing behaviour is a very complex and difficult process requiring education, innovative, non judgemental thinking, some trial and error and a willingness to learn from evidence. Some examples show what can be achieved when these ideas are put into practice. For more than 60 years there has been evidence that the use of seat belts in cars can save thousands of lives but even after governments legislated their installation in new cars most people refused to use them. Exhortations to “click it” had very little effect. Education campaigns had some effect but it was not until governments introduced and enforced legislation making wearing seatbelts compulsory that it became widespread. After a few years of compliance enforced by law the wearing of seat belts has become automatic and socially acceptable, thus saving thousands of lives. Airbags are even more effective and luckily for the authorities once introduced and installed in cars they deploy automatically in accidents. Do some people still refuse to wear seat belts even when the law is enforced? Of course. But the vast majority of drivers do wear seat belts. Drunk driving is another destructive behaviour that took thousands of lives every year in developed countries and continues to take lives elsewhere including in Belize. Countries that have significantly reduced its incidence found that exhortations and tearful pleas from bereft family members did little to change behaviour. Change in the US only began to gain momentum when Mothers Against Drunk Driving decided that visiting High Schools to educate teenagers about the consequences of drunk driving was not having a significant effect and instead turned their attention to changing legislation and ensuring enforcement. In many US States and other countries this was followed by sharing responsibility so that bartenders are held liable if they allow an intoxicated patron to drive. Do some people in countries where strict laws are enforced still drink and drive? Of course. But the numbers of people doing so has been reduced significantly.

Life After Sexual Abuse
My name is Simone, I am from Belmopan, and I am 24 years old. In August of 2010, I wrote an article about my sexual abuse. If you have not read my story as yet you can go to Google and search for “A Sexual Abuse Survivor Tale in Belize”. It has been a difficult yet interesting two years since my last article. I was amazed by the feedback; I honestly thought I was all alone suffering with the effects of sexual abuse. It was difficult to reflect on what was done to me. I never thought sexual abuse would have ruined my life but it had. After hearing other survivor’s stories, I asked for some of them to meet so we could share and find ways to assist each other in the recovery. A few of us met and were working together for a few weeks along with a Psychotherapist. Facing the trauma is a long journey, it’s nothing easy to acknowledge the effects, remind yourself it’s not your fault and recreate your understanding about sexuality, spirituality, intimacy, society and actively practicing healthy patterns. As a group we were slowly opening up layers of pain, but it wasn’t long until survivor’s daily activities and priorities seemed more important to them than going back to childhood trauma. The reason for this is that some of us are constantly told “The past is the past”, “Move on”, “Get over it”, “if you go back, you’re wasting your time”. We tend to believe all of this and deny we have problems. Even if we recognize some of the effects of abuse we don’t want to deal with it, also even if we want to, we are fearful. Some of us honestly believe ignoring our issues will automatically erase them; it doesn’t work that way no matter how hard we try. Sexual abuse consciously or unconsciously affects the way we interact with people, our decision making, self esteem, emotions, anger and sexual life; our entire life.


Anything can be done underwater!!
With the ocean beside us and indeed all around us here in Caye Caulker the local boys become adventurous as to what activities they can undertake both above and underneath the water – this video shows exactly how creative a Sunday afternoon can be with a group of boys attempting and indeed succeeding at biking underwater – well done boys!!

BELTRAIDE partners with YWCA to serve Southern Districts
BELTRAIDE’s mission includes enhancing Belize’s prosperity by fostering entrepreneurship and business growth. The SBDCBelize unit of BELTRAIDE is tasked with achieving this part of the mission. Through the SBDCBelize unit (Small Business Development Centre), BELTRAIDE has partnered with the YWCA’s project known as “Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship & Market Development” (EEOEM) for a 12 weeks business skills certification program. Through this project participants are receiving business and skills training, assistance in improving their business and access to outlets to market their products and/or services. Officers from BELTRAIDE have developed and are facilitating the courses as well as providing personalized business advisory services to the participant.

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. Mr. Cooper’s visit to Belize was an opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful Belizean women and men. During his five day visit, he and Ms. Gordon hosted a press conference, met with Belize’s most promising young models and designers, and attended a cocktail and fashion show in his honor on April 17th, presented by Fashion Forward, an exciting new collaboration of Belizean women interested in developing the fashion and modeling industries in Belize.

International Sources

Ancient Maya discovery sheds new light on the origins of civilization
Over 3,000 years ago, in the warm, fertile lands that are now Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, the great Maya civilization arose — its vast pyramid temples appearing to come out of nowhere. But new evidence suggests a fascinating origin for this ancient, advanced culture. Just as the Inca once dominated South America, the Maya dominated large parts of Central America and Mexico. But we know far less about Maya civilization. Now, after seven years of careful excavation at the famous Maya cultural center of Ceibal in Guatemala, University of Arizona anthropologists Daniela Triadan and Takeshi Inomata believe they have settled one of the greatest debates in their field: where the Maya came from. They published their work today in Science.

New World Oil and Gas plummets on Belize well abandonment
Shares in New World Oil and Gas (NEW) plunged almost 30% on Friday after it announced it had plugged and abandoned its Rio Bravo well in north-west Belize. The well was deemed non-commercial. Separately, the company revealed samples showed the existence of an active hydrocarbon system and live oil shows were measured in the Belize Y3 and Hill Bank formations. The company insisted that the technical data produced by the Rio Bravo well demonstrated that the New World acreage would "likely contain" productive reservoirs.

New World Oil and Gas dips after deeming Rio Bravo well 'non-commercial'
Shares in New World Oil and Gas dipped on Friday morning after the oil and gas exploration company reported that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons had been found at the Rio Bravo well in Northwest Belize. The company, which is focused on Belize and Denmark, said that the well, which is located in the Petén Basin, had been drilled to a measured depth of 9,010 ft on April 21st. Following analysis, and in consultation with New World's partners, Blue Creek Exploration, and the government of Belize, the company said it had been determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present to economically justify running casing and well testing operations. As a result, the company said it had deemed the well non-commercial and decided to plug and abandon Rio Bravo.

April 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Complexd Magazine to celebrate women of Belize in summer online issue
Earlier this month Belize was visited by a magazine writer and videographer based in the United Kingdom (UK). Writer and Editor in Chief Kered Clement of Complexd Woman Magazine Travel and videographer Algerson Vincent traveled to different areas of Belize gathering information to write a comprehensive travel review focusing on women in Belize. The two were in Belize on the invitation of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and they plan to have the review printed in late summer of this year. “We hope to share with our readers the diversity of Belizean culture. At Complexd magazine we celebrate women of all shades, shapes and sizes and focus on cultural and social issues pertaining to women. We have done quite a few video editorials since we have been here and we are excited to share with our readers the many hats that women in Belize wear,” said Clement in an interview with The San Pedro Sun. The team was also on Ambergris Caye where they interviewed several women who have impacted the local community. Clement added, “Through our interviews we hope to discover more about the lifestyle and culture of women in Belize. We hope to share this with our readers located in 189 countries worldwide.” Those interviewed on Ambergris Caye included Jenny Stains, Flor Bradley, Maureen Utsman, Lady Dixie Bowen, Lisa Guerrero, Iraida Gonzalez, Wilema Gonzalez, Melanie Paz and Celi McCorkle.

New Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director, Mr. Valdemar Andrade. Mr. Andrade has been in the Tourism Industry for the past two years as the Technical Advisor/Project Liaison-Sustainable Tourism Program, for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He has several years of experience in conservation and other environmental areas, through his work experience with Protected Areas Conservation Trust, Ministry of Natural Resource and the Environment, and the Belize Audubon Society. “As we embark this year to grow cruise tourism numbers and strengthen Belize’s position in that market, the skills and experience that Valdemar Andrade possesses will augment our goal. The BTB is confident in Mr. Andrade’s abilities, and happy to welcome him to our team,” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton. Mr. Andrade brings extensive experience in management at an executive level, coupled with his familiarity of the regional tourism climate. His core competency and knowledge of sustainable tourism in marketing the Belize tourism product positions him in a strategic place to help develop and grow the cruise tourism sector. He will be key in the development of cruise tourism initiatives and program, and to liaise and network with primary regional partners.

CCC and CJC host business exhibition
Corozal Community College (CCC) and Corozal Junior College (CJC) held their annual business and science exhibition (expo) on Friday April 19th, and the expo was open to the general public. The purpose of the business and science expo was for students to showcase their knowledge in their field of study and to bring the business sector into one common area in an effort to inspire the minds of the potential students who will choose between the two learning institutions. The science students from both learning institutions had all sorts of displays, from illustrations using living animals to experiments, and even investigation into different scientific theories. Those in the business section displayed their business skills by creating an actual business. Most students opted to go into the restaurant business, displaying their marketing skills in promoting their menus. Some of the restaurant specialized in seafood while other did strictly international cuisine.

Happy Birthday April!
April is possibly one of the most famous residents at the best little zoo in the world: The Belize Zoo. On April 27, 2013, she turns 30 years old; the oldest living tapir in captivity. April’s birth date is now considered National Tapir Day in Belize and World Tapir Day around the world. After being brought to the zoo in 1983 with a severe screwworm infestation, Sharon Matola, director and keeper at the zoo nursed her back to health. Now April is a beloved member of the Zoo, with her birthday being a big celebration that many Belizeans get to be a part of. Schoolchildren and visitors get to sing Happy Birthday to April, after which she feasts on her special birthday cake, often made with horse chow and carrots, and decorated with bright hibiscus flowers. This year, April’s birthday is being celebrated on Friday, April 26th. April is a Baird’s Tapir, the national animal of Belize. The Baird’s Tapirs are also listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As the largest land mammal in Central America, the tapir is seeing a major population decline of its species. Much of the decline can be attributed to habitat loss, hunting, and even traffic collisions. Read more: Happy Birthday April! - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Ambergris Today

Mayor Daniel Guerrero on Working Visit to Taiwan
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye recently received a generous donation from the Republic of China Taiwan which included two garbage compactors that have been already been put to great use on the island. Ambassador David Wu was presented with the keys to the island of Ambergris Caye as a gesture of appreciation and in return he extended an invitation to Mayor Daniel Guerrero to visit Taiwan. Mayor Daniel Guerrero accepted the invitation and left to Taiwan on Friday, April 19, 2013, along with Mr. Herbert Hugh Haylock (President, Belize Tourism Industry Association), Mr. Israel Ivan Marin (Belize Diesel & Equipment Company Limited), Mr. Khub Chand Vanjani (Corozal Free Zone) and Ms. Marilyn Suzette Pinelo (Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry). The purpose of this trip is to learn about the trade industry in Taiwan and for investing possibilities between Belize and Taiwan. Mayor Guerrero and the Belizean contingency have visited the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), China Productivity Center, Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC) and the Bureau of Tourism to name a few places. Mayor Guerrero along with his delegation is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, April 28, 2013.

The Belize Logo Is A Finalist for The “One Show Design” 2013 Awards
The Belize logo has been chosen as a finalist for the “One Show Design” 2013 awards, in the category of “Brand Identity – Logo Design.” The Belize Tourism Board and its Advertising and Online Agency, Olson, created the Belize logo as a part of a re-branding of Belize’s identity. When creating the new logo, Olson made several trips to Belize to capture the essence of Belize’s authenticity and incorporate it in the creative behind the new logo. The BTB and OLSON used the old logo as an inspiration, while the new look of the logo is expected to make Belize more recognizable and to better position the destination in terms of its tourism product The One Show awards are products of The One Club, which is an American non-profit organization which aims to recognize and promote excellence in advertising. The awards consist of One Show, One Show Design, One Show Interactive, and One Show Entertainment, and each of these consist of various categories. The awards take place during Creative Week, which is May 6-10. The One Show Design winners will be announced on May 6.

Marin & Lisbey Nuptials
Sully Marin and Ismael Lisbey exchanged vows in Holy Matrimony at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, April 13, 2013, which was also the celebration of Sully’s birthday. Their godparents were Eddie and Ina Alamilla. A reception followed after the mass celebration at the San Pedro High School courtyard with family, friends and invited guests. Congratulations to Sully and Ismael!

Miss Chiquitita Pageant Coming Up
The Miss Chiquitata Pageant 2013 is coming up on May 4 with a line up of five beautiful contestants who you can meet below. Place: Central Park Time: 7p.m. Entertainment by: Rompe Raja, San Pedro Dance Academy and more Lots of Food and Drinks

Misc Belizean Sources

Coalition strongly refutes statements made by the Ministry of Energy
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage strongly refutes statements made by representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Colin Young and Director of Petroleum, Andre Cho on Thursday, April 18 on the Open Your Eye show on Channel 5. The Ministry representatives stated that no non-governmental organization objected to the zoning of the offshore into different categories as presented in the Government’s draft zonation plan. It should be noted that Government’s draft zonation would allow for oil exploration in almost 95% of Belize’s offshore (see map 1).

Corozal: Free Screening -Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to be participating in the 5th Annual CaribbeanTravelling Film Showcase. We will be showing two films this Friday April 26th starting at 6:30pm. The first film is 'Bad Friday' - (Jamaica) a documentary, focusing on a community of Rastafarians in Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens 'incident,' a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians.

Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta
Belize Sailing Association Honey Camp Lagoon, Orange Walk Orange Walk is our next destination where on Saturday, April 27th, the member clubs of BzSA gather on the water at Honey Camp Lagoon. Watch for more details on this official Regatta, as it may just be a whole weekend of camping fun for sailors and visitors!

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

VIDEO: A Glimpse of Belize HD
Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly, rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet. Swim with the exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largets barrier reef. Explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region.

VIDEO: Blue Hole, Belize
7 minutes from a dive done in March 2006. The blue finned diver had just been certified a week before, and I myself have only got 3 or 4 times in the 13 years since I was certified at 14. Her weight belt was modified between day 1 and 2 of diving and she didn't notice, sank too quickly, and was weary of using her BCD because of equipment problems the day before (it got stuck inflating). She seemed to succomb to nitrogen narcosis in her panic and was eventually noticed by the Divemaster and taken up to our safety stop. Reviewing the video, it should've been clear to everyone, but I didn't realize myself due to my inexperience and excitement/worry about being down so deep. As it turns out, neither of us should've been allowed on this deep dive, but that's the way things go with 3rd world dive shops sometimes.

Ascenthium Coming Back to Cayo
Ascenthium is paying another visit to Cayo in May. In fact, they play in Benque on May 17, and at Midas on Saturday May 18th. Tickets for the concert at Midas are on sale at Midas, Ar B's, Meluchi's, and Venus. You can call 601-7159 for more information. They have VIP, seating, and general admission tickets. See you there!

Rehab Lab Bash Pictures
Danny Chung paid a visit to Cayo on Saturday for the Rehab Lab bash to capture Riddim One and the crew.

PACT Grant Proposals for 2013
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust has new grant proposals for 2013 on their website. They have a short video out about them. They have a Research grant and an Environmental Fellowship grant. Like normal, here are the categories for the grants: Protected Areas Management and Conservation Protected Areas Promotion and Development Environmental Education and Awareness Community Development around Protected Areas

PACT Call for Proposals 2013
PACT has 3 Call for Proposals at Deadlines in June 2013! Apply today!

Book Week Opening at GPC
Today is the first day of Book Week, which celebrates books and reading, and encourages discussion of the significance of reading and writing, and how it affects educational advancement. The BBIA, ISCR, and NICH invite everyone to the George Price Centre tomorrow at 9:00am for the event. In related news, the Belize Book Industry Association will be having a Book Fair at the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday at 6:30pm.

VIDEO: Belize Mixed Martial Arts MMA 2013 Fight #4
The House of Shotokan in Belize for the first time introduced MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) matches with Team Belize fighting against Team Mexico. These UFC style matches with an octagon cage and fighting mat made its debut in Belize. Team Belize was obviously supported by its many fans in attendance shouting, hooting and hollering. Team Mexico certainly had a good showing with their skill and experience however a Belizean fighter walked away with the Championship belt. Look for the fights to follow to see the Championship Match.

Mixed Martial Arts makes its debut in Belize by the House of Shotokan
On Saturday, April 20th the House of Shotokan proudly brought Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights to Belize. These UFC style fights have become very popular and fans from all over Belize made their way out to cheer for Team Belize. For the first time in Belize the octagonal cage and mat had been set up for these young men to do battle. Their opponent was Team Mexico who showed tremendous fighting style. There were a total of 9 fights including the fight for the MMA championship belt which was taken by a Belizean. In the end Team Mexico won 5 matches and Team Belize won 4 matches including the Championship belt. Belizean, Jamil Smith, won his championship match to become the new MMA Champ in Belize. Unfortunately for the Mexican fighter who ended the fight with an illegal kick to the face while the Belizean fighter was down.

Four Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees included Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service. Also receiving the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire were Mr. Pen Cayetano for his wonderful and numerous contributions to music and art; and Senior Justice of the Peace, Ms. Crispina Hyde, for her selfless service to education and community.

Channel 7

Bradley To Battle Santi in Shores?
Darrell Bradley has established himself as the busiest Belize City mayor in history, but now he has his eyes on bigger things, as big as the Caribbean Shores Division. 7news has confirmed that Bradley has consulted with his inner circle –as well as disgruntled members of the Caribbean Shores Committee – and he has decided that he wants to challenge Santino Castillo in Caribbean Shores. The rumor has been circulating since the UDP convention in February, but a source in UDP Headquarters who has spoken to Bradley today confirmed that the Mayor is definitely interested in the division. Bradley would not respond to our text messages requesting a comment, and neither would the current area representative Santino Castillo. The background to it all is that since the general election a year ago, a few members of the Caribbean shores Committee have expressed their dissatisfaction with Castillo for his lack of engagement with them and his absence in the division. And now, with the substantial cash flow from the municipal bond, the City Council is pushing into Caribbean Shores with the concrete paving of Baymen Avenue, Princess Margaret Drive and Coney Drive. Whatever the case, observers agree Castillo is no pushover and won’t shrink away from a challenge – so there will be a battle for the division. But it will take time to develop, because the divisional convention is more than a year away.

Cop Commits Suicide In Station House
The Police Department and residents of Gales Point village, remain in shock and dismay after the resident police officer stationed in the village apparently killed himself last night. At around 6:45 p.m., police discovered the body of P.C. # 956 Jose Pam in the kitchen area of the living quarters of the police sub-station. He had a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. His service .38 revolver with (5) live rounds and (1) expended shell in the cylinder was lying beside him. Pam’s wife reported to police that he left home – which is upstairs of the village station - at about 11:00 am and went in to the Village. He returned at about 5:00 pm under the influence of alcohol, where he expressed his frustration about his job, and laid down on the floor. The wife said that she then went into the bathroom to bathe their 2 year-old son and about ten minutes later she heard the sound of a gunshot. She quickly responded and found Jose Pam lying on the ground in a pool of blood. It is a tragic event which suddenly claimed the life of a valued member of the village, and today 7News spoke with the first responders about what they discovered when the wife alerted them:

Belize and Guatemala, Building Confidence With Vaccinations
As we’ve been reporting this week – the Guatemalans have made official what had been all but foretold: their Congress has agreed with their President to suspend the October sixth referendum. That puts back negotiations about six years – and so now, Belize unofficially reverts to the prior position of confidence building. And, in the end, neighborly relations are probably the best way to build confidence – and that was underscored today when Belize and Guatemala launched a joint vaccination campaign at the Western Border. It’s part of world vaccination week organized by the Pan American Health Organization – and Daniel Ortiz was in Benque Viejo for the launch. Daniel Ortiz Reporting This morning at the Benque/Melchor Border facility, diplomats, officials, and children from both Belize and Guatemala gathered for the launching of Vaccination Week in the Americas. It is an important initiative which brings countries together in the fight against illness. According to the UN Resident Coordinator, majority of children worldwide are vaccinated, but authorities must not be comfortable because there are millions of children who have no access to health facilities.

Guats Caught With Gold In South Chiquibul
A trio of Guatemalans has been convicted of encroaching into Belize. They were caught last week Friday near the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post in South Chiquibul. They were panning for gold, but one of the men identified as Mario Rolando Xol Caal carried three live rounds of 16 gauge ammunition – and later handed over a sawed off shotgun he had stashed away at their camp. The other two men, Marcos Domingo Pana Chiquin and Esteban Putul Mai each carried a transparent tube with liquid and a small amount of suspected gold mineral inside the tube. All three men are originally from the village of El Naranjon, in Peten, Guatemala. The three were ferried to the San Ignacio Police Station where Police charged them with various offences. On Monday of this week, the San Ignacio Magistrate convicted Mario Rolando Xol Caal and sentenced him to 5 years in prison for Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and 5 years in prison for Keeping an Unlicensed Ammunition with the sentences to run concurrently. Esteban Putul Mai and Marcos Domingo Pana Chiquin were fined each $1,000.00 for illegal prospecting to be paid forthwith or in default serve 6 months in prison.

GSU Catches Kilo On Tropic Air Cargo
The Gang Suppression Unit made a drug bust in Corozal a week ago. The story is slightly dated, but it’s still worth reporting because it seems to put a new twist on the domestic drug trade. The GSU’s operation focused on the parcel section of the Tropic Air office in Ranchito Village, Corozal where they busted a kilo of cocaine. The GSU says the suspected drug arrived on a Tropic Air flight from San Pedro which arrived at the Tropic Air office in Ranchito at 7:15 am on Friday the 21st April. The GSU waited all day for someone to come and pick it up, but no one did. So, at 4:30 in the afternoon, they opened the package at the Tropic Air Cargo where they found a kilo of compressed cocaine neatly wrapped inside a box labeled “Devin Biscuits.” And while no one came to pick up the package, the GSU has searched the homes of the person who was named as the receiver and the sender, but so far none of the names on the package seem to have been actually involved in the cocaine cargo.

Bogus Cheques Bouncing Around
Bogus checks are in circulation and they look like this. Now, that may have the appearance of any other Scotiabank Checque, but the tell-tale sign is the account number at the very bottom: 91595002 000009132452. According to police, a number of Belize City businesses have been conned with check with this same number. So, check before you accept that check and police say that you should call them immediately if you come across one.

AGUSM Says It’s Moving, As In “Moving On Up”
The American Global University of Science and Medicine has been taking a public relations pounding for the past week – as social activist Phillip “Fawda” Henry has trained has trained his tasers on the Medical School. His main line of attack has been that the school is bogus, and manifestly so because it has moved into what appears to be an empty building on the Airport Road. Today a university spokespersons finally spoke up. Vice President Peggy Allen called media houses from the USA today where she said “Fawda” has got it all wrong; they have moved from San Pedro, but she says it is a move to expand operations:… Voice of Peggy Allen, V.P./Spokesperson, Agusm Via Telephone "Some of these allegations have been put out there about our program and people don't understand truly what our program is. So I think that is where the confusion is and as for some of these reports that have come out have been totally misconstrued. We just finished our brand new campuses in San Pedro; we have been in San Pedro since January 2011. We just moved and when I say 'move' and you know sometimes that word 'move' has been miscontrued that we've moved and it is not a good thing.

Tourism Numbers Boom, Cruise Tourism Still Lagging
Tourism arrivals to Belize continue to show impressive growth in 2013, after a strong rebound year in 2012. Figures for the first three months of 2013 are in – and it continues the growth trend making it 19 consecutive months of increases in overnight visitors. Tourist arrivals at the airport for January, February and March topped 2012 figures by 8% – peaking in march when there was an increase of more than five thousand visitors. And, the 28,623 arrivals make it the first time in history that air arrivals the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. And consistent with those air arrivals, in March, for the first time ever, overnight visitors exceeded 35,000 visitor mark – easily exceeding the previous record of 32,240 visitors who came in March of 2012. First quarter figures show a 13% increase over the first quarter of 2012.

Copper Thieves In Democracia
The copper thieves are at it again – and this time they were wreaking havoc in Democracia. Sometime yesterday, the zeroed in on the BTL Tower at the La Democracia junction at mile 30. They cut 40 ft of cables going up the tower, yanked out a meter socket, and cut the fence. In all, BTL will need three days to re-install 1,800 feet of cable. And police are reporting that in the same area copper thieves were at work on the Fresh Catch Fish Farm sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. The manager reported that someone entered the compound and stole about 1,480 feet of electrical wire valued at $7,400 dollars.

City Gets Ready For Hurricane Season
The Hurricane Season is approaching and as a part of CEMO'S annual strategic plan the Belize City Council held its official evacuation meeting today at City Hall. The initial layout of the city’s emergency evacuation route for Belize City was named. There will be 70 evacuation route signs installed along the emergency route for both north and south side of Belize City. We found out more: Phillip Willoughby - Councilor in charge of CEMO "As you can see there will be seventy evacuations route signs depicted along the emergency evacuation route for both north die and south side Belize City. As well as these emergency assembly point signs that will be strategically positioned for assembly areas to evacuate residence during a national disaster emergency. These locations will be north side, the Brodies parking lot, Lopez Mateos Park, Cinderella Plaza north side. Southside will be the Wilton Cumberbatch field, the football field on Fabers Road extension and the basket ball court behind Jane Usher Boulevard as well as the bus terminal on West Collet Canal. These signs will be directed and they will be there full time. This is the first time for the evacuation outlook when it comes to the transport portfolio and there are other committees, nine others of which we meet on every three weeks here at the Council as the City Emergency Management committees and all these aspects are looked at during our national City’s' discussion as well as the meetings that occur at the national level with NEMO."

What Soberanis Deserves
Earlier this week we told you about the plans to re-invent Battlefield park – but there’s no discussion of what will happen to the Antonio Soberanis bust that is really, the heart and soul of the battle in the battle field park. He was a labour champion and activist and held many public meetings in that park. But in the slickly designed architect’s rendering of the re-designed park, it seems that no place of prominence has been reserved for Antonio Soberanis. On the upside, so far his bust facing the Supreme Court is the only thing that hasn’t been demolished, so, there’s hope. And that’s just the hope that Sculptor Steven Okeke is clinging to. He wants the City Council to adopt his new Soberanis bust as the flagship piece of public art for the park. He says its truer to the image of Soberanis, and even the great man’s family thinks so. He made his pitch to us today:… STEPHEN OKEKE - SCULPTOR "What is here does not represtent Antonio Soberanis in any way at all and something more representative should be put in here so what I am proposing is that for a man who has done so much if you see the list of his achievments; for a man who has done so much he should be represented and be acknowledged properly."

Talking HIV Issues
The National Aids Commission is holding its first National HIV Prevention Summit over the next 3 days. The summit starts tomorrow and Executive Director of the National Aids Commission Doctor Martin Cuellar says that they will be looking at what Belize has been doing in HIV prevention: Martin Cuellar, Director of the National Aids Commission "It is a chance for us to kind of regroup as a national response to HIV. We are bringing in partners from all over country who work in HIV but in particular in prevention both from the side of people who collect data, who create statistics that help us to see where our prevention gaps, where are the highest areas of risk. As well as those who then respond to those risks with interventions and the idea that is driving this initiative is that in 2013 Belize has to look at what we have been doing? Where do we see successes? Where do we see the larger loop holes? Then consienciously get together to come up with a new plan so that in the next two or three years we know that we are doing a better job, we know that we are being more relevant, more specific, responding in a more successful way to the specific gaps that we identify and then we expect that we will start to see the overall impact which we're looking for, which is, reduction in the number of new cases as well as extension of life and quality of life for those who are already affected."

Water For River Valley
Water, most of us take it for granted, but for many of the residents in the Belize River Valley running water can seem like the greatest luxury imaginable – and that’s because they are still collecting water from the river the way their ancestors did. But, soon that strenuous, outdated practice will be a memory because ground was broken today for the Belize Rural Valley Project. It will bring water to villages in the valley. Minister of Rural Development Godwin Hulse told us more. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Rural Development "Actuially today is a happy day for all the nine villages of the river valley because we broke ground for the commencement of the construction of a water delivery system for all the nine villages spanding form Rancho all the way to Flowers Bank and the ones in between including Isabella and Lemonal, Willows Bank, St. Paul's, Double Head Cabbage here, Bermudian Landing. It's a point seven million dollar Belize project which is being funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank with Government counterpart funds of about eight hundred thousand dollars; it intends to run roughly forty five miles of pipes and will connect all the households in the area and of course there will be pump stations in between as well so the project should take, I guess about eighteen months as I understand it to complete but it is a long standing wish of the people of this area."

Boots For The Border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers are preparing to make their third trip in to the border between Belize and Guatemala. And this time, their efforts are being bolstered by donors from Los Angeles, California. Those donors have provided them with 23 pairs of hiking boots, which they plan to use when they go to the Aguas Turbias on Saturday, and Garbutt’s Falls on Sunday. According to the BTV, the donation is welcomed for its morale-building effects, and comes as result of the members of the Belizean public who are spreading the word. After their treks to the border this weekend, the BTV plans to visit and examine the markers on Tuesday April 30, 2013 in commemoration of the day when Guatemala and Britain agreed on them.

Channel 5

Cop in Gales Point commits suicide
A police officer took his own life just before seven o’clock on Tuesday night. It happened at the Gales point police station where Jose Pam who is originally from Jalacte, Toledo was stationed. Pam was found dead in the kitchen area of the living quarters of the station. His wife Simeona Pam told News Five [...]

Cocaine intercepted in package at northern airport
Following reports of a wet drop in San Pedro, the Gang Suppression Unit last Friday seized one kilogram of cocaine, which is equivalent to two point two pounds of the suspected drug that had been transported via Tropic Airlines to the Corozal Municipal Airstrip in Ranchito.  The drug was found inside a Devon biscuit box; [...]

American Global University Rep. clears up allegations
The Ministry of Education today issued a release on the situation with the American Global University School of Medicine, in particular. The release contains six points which the Ministry says should put in context statements to the media by certain individuals. It doesn’t actually say much, except that the charter to the school was issued [...]

Ministry of Health comments of American Global University
Two medical schools in Belize remain at the center of a controversy following very serious allegations against them by Phillip ‘Faada’ Henry and U.B. professor Patrick Menzies. Both men hosted a press conference on Tuesday and basically accused the American Global University School of Medicine and the Washington University of Health and Science of being [...]

City hall temporarily halts Santi’s drainage works
An infrastructural project valued almost a million dollars hit a snag when City Hall temporarily halted the work. The plan by the Minister of State Santino Castillo was to fix a drainage problem that affects about six hundred residents in the Buttonwood Bay area of his constituency. The project began this week and the construction [...]

Tourism dollars and arrivals are up
Statistics for tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2013 have been released and they are quite impressive says the director of the Belize Tourism Board.  The hotel sector alone has registered revenue of approximately sixty million dollars since January with overnight arrivals at an estimated ninety-three thousand visitors.  A new benchmark was also set [...]

Vaccination Week in the Americas inside adjacency zone
This morning Belizeans and Guatemalans gathered in the OAS-administered Adjacency Zone between the Belize and Guatemala borders, but there was no talk of the referendum, no conversation about a claim, and no discussion of a territorial dispute. This morning was all about sharing responsibility and joining forces to ensure that residents of both countries are [...]

Pregnant woman accused of stabbing brother-in-law
A pregnant Belize City woman is being accused of stabbing her brother-in-law during an alleged family dispute. Therese Bowman, a twenty four year old resident of Partridge Street, was escorted to the Magistrate Court late on Tuesday after she had been treated at the K.H.M.H.  She was charged with the Wounding of Shane Jones. Bowman [...]

3 day old baby dies under suspect circumstances
A baby, no more than three days old, lost its life under questionable circumstances on April seventeenth. The infant, in an unconscious state, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he passed away. The mother, a sixteen year old minor reportedly denied knowing what happened after five thirty when she breast fed the [...]

Did Ladyville resident drown?
There is another death that police are investigating. On Tuesday morning, Ladyville police visited a farm on the Old Northern Highway where they saw the lifeless body of fifty-seven year old Crecencio Mai.  Mai, who was clad in khaki long pants, red tee shirt and black shoes, was found partially submerged in a pond on [...]

CEMO’s official evacuation route for city residents
The 2013 hurricane season begins in June and forecasters predict that this year will see above average storm activity in the Atlantic.  It is anticipated that there will be nine hurricanes from a total of eighteen named weather systems.  Four of them are expected to be major storms beyond the category three grade.  With that [...]

Villagers say they, not outsiders should repair shelter
Earlier, we reported that the community in Gales Point is grieving the loss of their cop who took his life on Tuesday night. But there is another problem that the residents are dealing with. The community center in the village is in deplorable condition and NEMO had offered to assist the Village Council with the [...]

Her royal highness on the new post office stamps
Every so often, philatelists receive a treat when new stamps are released. Stamp collecting is becoming less popular as more people send emails rather than use the official images on envelopes. Nevertheless, those people who still apply pen to paper and envelope will have a new print of a royal face to accompany those letters [...]


Tourism Arrivals Grow In Belize
The First Quarter report on Tourism Statistics for Belize was released today by the Belize Tourism Board. The report suggests a record number for the first quarter with Airport Tourist Arrivals, Overnight Tourist Arrivals and Cruise Arrivals. Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton tol...

Body Retrieved From Ladyville Pond
The body of a man was retrieved from a pond in Ladyville Village yesterday. Reports are that police visited the a farm belonging to Leroy Heusner on the Old Northern Highway, where they saw the body of man dressed in long khaki pants, red t-shirt, black shoes, black belt and was...

Ground Breaking Ceremony Held For Water Project
This afternoon, a ground breaking ceremony was held at the Belize River Valley School to kick off a massive portable water project. Minister of Rural Development, Godwin Hulse says that the project has been on standby for the past ten years and today the project officially commenced. Hulse says t...

Deadline Extended For BTIA's Logo Competition
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter has extended its deadline for entries to its name a logo competition for a new publication. BITA Information Officer, Jasmine Zetina, tells us more. JASMINE ZETINA The good thing a...

City Council Holds Evacuation Meeting
The Belize City Council today held its official City Emergency Management Organization’s evacuation meeting as part of their Annual Strategic Plan for the city. Councilor Phillip Willoughby, responsible for Security and CEMO explained the evacuation plan. PHILIP WILLOUGHBY “Th...


Orange Walk's Ten Top Spellers Face Off For A Spot At the National Spelling Bee Competition
It has become a traditional rite of passage for some of the nation’s brightest students; we are talking about the Coca Cola National Spelling Bee Competition scheduled for June 7th in Belmopan. But before reaching to the national level, competitors must spell their way through the district finals which were held today in Orange Walk. From what we found out the pressure was as high as the temperature outside. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting The Crystal Palace in Orange Walk was crowded with primary school children who came to support their favorite student in the Coca-Cola Spelling Bee District Finals. The competition got underway with the ten top spellers of the Orange Walk District taking the stage. Each participant had one aim, to represent Orange Walk at the 19th National Spelling Bee Competition to be held in Belmopan on the 7th of June sponsored by Bowen and Bowen.

Lookout For Fraudulent Cheques
If you are the owner of a business establishment then you should pay keen attention to the following report as it has to do with bogus cheques that are currently in circulation. The business community is advised to be on the lookout for forged Scotia Bank cheques that were confiscated from prominent business establishments in Belize City. Reports indicate that the fraudulent cheques all have the same account number which is 91595002- 000009132452. The person or persons carrying the cheques are believed to be operating in the area of Belize City and parts of the north.

Orange Walk Mourns The Death of Former Mayor Henry Castillo
Tonight we start off the newscast with a sad note as we report on the death of former P.U.P Mayor of Orange Walk Town Henry Castillo better known as teacher Henry. Castillo passed away this afternoon at the Northern Regional Hospital. We understand that Castillo fell sick months ago and never recuperated. After serving as a teacher and principal of La Inmaculada Primary School, Castillo launched his political career by running for Mayor of Orange Walk under the P.U.P ticket in 2003 which he won and served until 2006. He is one of the Mayors honored on the Orange Walk Town Mural constructed by the present town council. Our condolences go out to the family of teacher Henry, may he rest in peace.

Parcel Containing Two Pounds Of Cocaine Confiscated At Tropic Air Terminal In Corozal
Details are still sketchy but news tonight is that on Friday April 19th at around 4:30pm, members of the Gang Suppression Unit confiscated a parcel containing one kilo of suspected cocaine at the Tropic Air Terminal in Ranchito Corozal. We understand that the package arrived at the terminal at 7:00am from San Pedro Ambergris Caye and it had a Corozal Town address. The sealed box had the marking Devon on it and when it was opened by the GSU it was found to contain a blue bag which contained a black plastic bag. Inside the plastic bag authorities found a square shaped parcel containing two pounds of suspected cocaine. Reports are that the recipient of the package is a female from Corozal Town who did not pick up the cargo since she was alerted that it was under surveillance.

Four Belizeans Bestowed Award Of The British Empire
Four Belizeans received prestigious honor of the British Empire today at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honorees included Senior Counsel, Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law. Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service. Also receiving the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire were Pen Cayetano for his wonderful and numerous contributions to music and art and Senior Justice of the Peace, Crispina Hyde, for her selfless service to education and community. The Governor General of Belize, Sir Collville Young, conferred the prestigious honors to the citizens on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Belizean Flag and Plague To Be Installed At Aguas Turbias
A historic visit to Aguas Turbias is set to take place this coming Saturday as a group of Orange Walkenos, led by Orlando De La Fuente, make the long trip to Aguas Turbias National Park specifically to the monument that marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. While De La Fuente will lead the charge here in the north, President of The Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia will lead the expedition to the Southern Border while Nancy Marin will be at the forefront of the western movement. This time around the main purpose of the expedition is to plant a Belizean flag and install a metal plaque in the area that bears the name Belize, to identify the country thus bringing to light the one hundredth and fifty fourth anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Boundary Treaty by Britain and Guatemala.

BTB's Logo To Compete For One Show Design 2013 Awards
The good news for the Belize Tourism Board just keeps rolling in as word tonight is that the Belize logo has been chosen as a finalist for the “One Show Design” 2013 awards, in the category of “Brand Identity – Logo Design.” The Belize Tourism Board and its Advertising and Online Agency, Olson, created the Belize logo as a part of a re-branding of Belize’s identity. This afternoon we spoke to BTB’s Media and Public Relations Officer Jana Puga who spoke to us about the organizations latest achievement and what it means for Belize. Jana Puga-Media and Public Relations Officer BTB “We were informed that the new Belize Logo has been chosen as the finalist in the one show 2013 award. One Show Design, One Show Interactive, and One Show Entertainment, and each of these have several categories. The Belize Logo is a finalist in the brand identity logo design category which falls under One Show Design and it is very exciting because the award is aimed to recognize and to promote excellence in advertising and the agency did an amazing job.”

BTB Releases Impressive Figures For Quarterly Report
The Belize Tourism Board presented a positive tourism report today as they released their first quarterly figures. The report shows that 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s Tourism Industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are suggestive of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month. Figures show that the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October of 2011 making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize. There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year the month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. Of note is that this is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. All in all airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year. All in all, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year.


Philip Henry and Patrick Menzies tell PLUS TV their concerns about Medical Schools in Belize
Last week this station ran a series of stories detailing the phenomenon of medical schools in Belize. On Wednesday we featured local activist Philip “Fawda” Henry who has directed his ire at the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) in Ladyville for not being forthright about their credentials...

Government will strengthen monitoring of medical schools
Plus news has been doing a series of stories on Medical Schools who have been granted charters to operate in Belize. One which has taken up the interest of the Belizean public is American Global University School of Medicine. As we told you earlier Phillip “Fawda” Henry along with Patrick Menzies of BelizeCAN has taken a strong stance against the school and is asking the Ministry of Education to respond to the matter. Well, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) sent out a press release expressing it’s concern of putting into context recent statements made to media by certain individuals regarding the situation of American Global University School of Medicine. The matter was discussed on Rise and Shine this morning where Minister of Education the Hon. Patrick Faber called in to explain some of the points listed in that release.

VP of AGUSM talks to PLUS TV
It has been a torrid last few weeks for the school known as American Global University School of Medicine in Ladyville. On Wednesday activists protested the school, making specific allegations against its vice-president of operations, Peggy Allen. Today, Ms. Allen conducted a telephone interview with local media houses including...

Guatemala will hold its referendum on October 6th., 2014
On Monday we told you that the Guatemalan Government has decided to suspend the simultaneous referendum that was scheduled for October 6 between Belize and Guatemala. Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, told local media Monday that a letter has been sent to the Legislature explaining the decision....

Attorney Arthur Saldivar explains Court’s role in Land Disputes
Plus news has been following a story about a land controversy in the village of Ranchito, which is situated in the Corozal district. As we told you, in 2007, the Village Council surveyed and distributed 216 lots in accordance with the Village Council Act. They collected fees and sent...

BEL explains 3 hour power outage
Yesterday, the country experienced a mass blackout when customers in the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts were without power for three hours. BEL says this was caused by a system interruption at the West Lake Substation, that is between Mollejon and San Ignacio Town, at about 5:00 in...

Belmopan students attacked during power outage
It seems that robbers took advantage of the power outage to prey on students in the Belmopan area. Almost two hours into the blackout, five students from the Belmopan Baptist High School were walking through a feeder road which leads to the George Price Highway, when three Hispanic men...

Contract signed for Lot 4 of Fort Road Project in Twin Towns
On Monday, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project, to begin works for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project. This includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio, up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The project is being funded by ...

Land in Dangriga sold without owner’s consent
Acres of land were sold to another while the rightful owner was out of the country. Dangriga Police is investigating a report of forgery made by 66 year old Retired American David Cooley. Mr Cooley, who currently resided at Lost Reef Resort, in Riversdale, Stann Creek, reported that on...

Drowning in Hattieville
On Sunday sometime after 6:00 pm, Morris Heinz, aged 26 years, a Technician of Belize City, contacted the Police and informed that sometime before 6:00pm that day, he was accompanied by Leroy Betson, aged 35 years, a Chemist of #7064 Raccoon Street Extension, Belize City, and four other persons...

Police Officer found dead from apparent suicide
A Police Officer was found dead in what appears to be a suicide. According to the wife of PC Jose Pan, he returned home from the Gales Point Village at around 5:00 yesterday evening. The two lived in one of the living quarters at the Gales Point Police Substation....

8.1% increase in tourist arrivals by air
There’s more good news for the BTB, as they have documented a record breaking first quarter for 2013. The report shows that in tourist arrivals, January saw an increase of 7.58%, February has a 6.0% increase and March a 10.1%, compared to last year. In fact, just for the...

Man electrocuted in Blue Creek Village
Belize City Police investigates case of sudden death. 48 year old Frank Klassen of Blue Creek Village in the Orange Walk District reported to Police that Monday evening at about 2:30 p.m. 18 year old Clayton REMPEL of Blue Creek was washing a tractor with an electrical power wash...

Man charged with murder aquitted
Triston Gordon, charged with the 2011 murder of Kenyon Plunkett, was acquitted yesterday. This case was the first trial without jury to be heard before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. And it was the testimony of the prosecution’s main witness that led Justice Lucas to rule in...

Constitutional Challenge begins in Supreme Court on May 7th
The Supreme Court will hear a constitutional challenge from Caleb Orozco, a Belizean citizen supported by a battery of high-powered international advocates for homosexuality and their Belizean surrogates, on May 7. Today was the last hearing before trial to go over outstanding matters before the big case, and lead...

Police advise businesses to look out for forged cheques
The Police is advising business establishments to be one the lookout for forged Scotia Bank cheques that were stolen from prominent business establishments in Belize City. These cheques all have the same account numbers 91595002 000009132452. Police have reason to believe that the perpetrators are operating in the Belize...

Belize City Mayor follows Master Plan for Restorations
On Monday you heard from Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley concerning the planned upgrades of Battlefield Park. The City has been hauled up by its bootstraps since he took office, but some wonder why the wholesale change. He says it is all part of a Master Plan. Philip Bradley...


Bingo Nights at Feliz Bar & Grill Raised Hefty Sums for the San Pedro Sailing Club
Donating a portion of the proceeds from last month’s Wednesday Night Bingo parties, Feliz Bar & Grill in The Cloisters, north of the bridge, raised $2279.60 for the San Pedro Sailing Club. In the photo below, Andy Milner on the left, the Sailing Club’s Commodore, is receiving the check form Kevin Smith of Feliz. Kevin plans to have his Bingo Nights continuously support a different charities on the island. The Sailing Club extends heart felt thanks to Kevin and Heather of Felize and to all who played Bingo to support the Club. Commodore Milner says that what Bingo at Feliz raised “is awesome! It’s half a boat” – half the price for adding an additional boat to San Pedro’s small fleet. Also, proceeds of the 3rd Wednesday night Feliz Bingo Party of every month from now on will benefit the Sailing Club Another Wednesday of every month will benefit Saga, etc. Check Feliz Facebook page with Kevin and Heather Smith of Feliz for details. San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross would also like to thank Feliz for having us as your Bingo charity for the last month. Details coming soon about how much was raised.

Chaa Creek Hails Belize Reef Drilling Ban
Last week’s landmark decision to nullify offshore drilling contracts along Belize’s Great Barrier Reef and Caribbean coastline is being celebrated as a great victory by environmentalists throughout the Central American country, according to Belize Natural History Centre assistant manager Brion Young. Mr Young, who is also a licensed naturalist guide at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, which maintains the Centre, said that the decision was the result of a suit brought about by Oceana, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. “This is a great victory not only for Belize, but for the world, as the Belize Barrier Reef is part of our collective natural heritage,” Mr Young said. “It also shows what can be achieved through effective partnerships between global and local environmental groups,” he added. The court, with Justice Oswell Legall presiding, overturned the contracts, which were issued in 2004 and 2007, after determining that the then Government of Belize failed to assess the environmental impact of drilling for oil on Belize’s waters, as required by law, before approving the contracts.

“Wasting Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Dental appointment yesterday to have the crowns fitted so up early, breakfast at Estel’s and then the 8 am Caye Caulker Water Taxi to Belize City for my 10.30 am appointment at the Dental Center with Doctor Pedro Habet. Getting used to this routine now. Me, not you, I mean. Got a result at the ticket counter when the young lady let me exchange the two return tickets I had from last week (Rose and I got a plane back) for a return ticket. A fairly empty boat so I had no trouble getting a seat near one of the doors (providing a nice cooling breeze) and the boat docked just before 9.30 am. All was going swimmingly. A stroll around to Brodies in Albert Street to pick up some provisions that are not always available on Ambergris Caye and then caught a taxi to take me to the dentist. And with time enough to spare to stop off at The Tile & Stone Center to pick up a printed copy (will be a lot easier to browse than the on-line version) of the Daltille catalogue. It was going so well. Arrived at the ‘Center twenty minutes early for my appointment and settled down to look at the tile catalogue when I heard the young lady on Reception duty telling me that my appointment had been changed to Thursday. Apparently I had been sent a message to this effect. Having now thoroughly checked my In Box and Messages on my ‘phone I know this not to be the case. Four hours of my day gone. I hate wasting time.

Photos, Video, and Audio of Wild Toucans in Belize
This morning the Keel Billed Toucans that live at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize decided to stop by a large Fig Tree located near the entrance to the hotel grounds. Maybe they had a message for the large male iguana also sharing the space. More likely both animals were all there to eat the ripening fruits. Normally it is the distinct call of the toucan that alerts guests and birdwatchers that these beautiful animals are nearby. The song of the toucan sounds almost like a croaking frog if tropical birders do not know what they were listening for. When multiple birds get together in the same tree, the noise is unmistakable.

Meeting “Mommy” Janice, A Local Bush Medicine Healer
My first trip to Belize was in December 2011 through January 2012. It was partially a vacation (since I hadn’t been on vacation in almost 7 years!) and partially a small test my boyfriend, Matt, and I were putting out there. If we survive traveling in Belize for a month, we can survive anything – right? Happily, we not only survived Belize (Oh, we fought, but not much. And the ever present rum punch helped a lot!) but we thrived in the gorgeous tropical Central American climate. After the first few days, we drove from the north and went south, through Belmopan. From the Hummingbird Highway there were a couple signs for a local Farmers Market. We pulled over with no hesitation, as it was hot and we were in desperate need of something cool to drink and eat. After passing a few stalls, I saw a woman dressed all in black and gesticulating wildly. “The wild yams, mama!”, she shouted to a customer. “The wild yam are powerful stuff, mommy!”

International Sources

More Cuba travel on the horizon
Central Holidays presents an exciting new “Discover Cuba” travel program that takes US travelers to connect with locals in Cuba and learn about the architecture, music, art and culture of this enchanting country. The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control has granted a licence to provide people-to-people cultural exchange travel programs to Cuba to Premier World Discovery/CE, a strategic partner of Central Holidays, enabling the company to offer this trip to US travelers. The fascinating 8-day “Discover Cuba” itinerary provides a full time schedule of activities that result in meaningful exchanges through people-to-people contact, offering insightful, cross-cultural and educational experiences at every turn. Travelers will explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Havana with the largest collection of Spanish-Colonial architecture in the Americas, the beautiful baroque-style Cathedral of Havana built in 1748, and the “Maqueta de la Habana Vieja” Museum that houses a detailed scale model of the City of Havana. Further along, travelers visit Viñales Valley and Pinar del Rio, known for its stunning scenery, a landscape of prehistoric looking flat-top mountains or “mogotes”, tobacco plantations, caves, and rivers.

Belize blessings
EIGHT MEMBERS of the Rock Community Church returned from their trip to Belize to build a house for a family and put on a children’s program with stories to tell and photos to share about their journey and the people they met. Pastor Mike Rosenau tells a bit about his experience and the Cowo family, who now has a safe house to live in, also sent their regards in a letter to the church. “They’re beautiful people who live in very humble circumstances,” said Rosenau about the families in the towns of San Felipe and Blue Creek. A photo of Rosenau and the eldest son of the family, who the team was to build a house for, Juan Cowo, above right, starts off the story of the team’s and family’s journey together. “This shot was taken at about 6:30 p.m. on the day we arrived,” said Rosenau. “We had just driven from the Belize International Airport and were on our way to our hosts homes in Blue Creek. San Felipe is on the way to Blue Creek, and so I asked the driver to stop at the building site.

Offshore Oil Drilling Stopped in Belize's Barrier Reef, in Major Victory
by Ted Danson and Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Belize is home to the largest coral reef system in the Western hemisphere -- the Mesoamerican Reef, which stretches 560 miles, 186 of which lie in Belizean waters. In the past decade the Belizean government secretly leased rights to drill for oil in its reef -- including the famous Blue Hole -- to local companies with little to no experience in the very complicated and hazardous business of offshore oil drilling. Given the high frequency of oil spills and leaks in offshore drilling operations (which, for example, occur nearly every day in the Gulf of Mexico), the decision to green-light drilling operations in the Belizean Barrier Reef -- a habitat central to Belize's tourism-based economy -- led to a fierce national debate in Belize after the secret leases were revealed in the wake of the 2010 Gulf Oil spill. Based on the history of past environmental debates in Belize, it appeared that the government was likely to prevail. But things have now changed in Belize. In a stunning decision, last week Belize's Supreme Court struck down the offshore drilling contracts that were issued by the government in 2004 and 2007, declaring them "unlawful, null and void." 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.

It’s a Frog! Nope, That’s the Sound of the Keel-billed Toucan of Belize!
Look at the size of that obtuse bill! You must be setting your eyes on the vibrantly colored Keel-billed Toucan, the National Bird of Belize in Central America. The bird is notable for its canoe-shaped bill, which can grow up to 20 cm long, and its flamboyant green, red, blue and orange feathers. Although their bill can take up to 1/3 of their length, it is fairly light since it is made of a spongy, hollow bone covered in keratin. This toucan is quite the loud, sociable, and playful bird. Their calls to one another resemble loud frog croaks that can be heard as far as a half a mile away! It is rare to find a single bird roaming around for they travel and live in groups of six to twelve adults. The toucans are often spotted in lowland rainforests, throwing berries at each other or jostling with their large bills. The precise use of their enormous bills is unsure but many speculate it is used to reach berries growing on weak branches or for courtship. Their diet consists mainly of fruit but can extend to insects, reptiles, or eggs. To feed, the toucan will pick up a whole piece of fruit and tilt its head back, having the fruit slide down its throat intact.

April 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant II:
A routine developed between mother and baby. Feeding time was a good time to relax and think happy thoughts. Naptime for baby meant she had time to clean herself up and help clean the house. During the day, she even stepped out often to breathe fresh air. She was grateful for the shelter she had. The fact that her baby’s father was still keeping his promise and paid for things that the baby needed meant that she didn’t have to burden her family any more than she already felt she was. When her baby cried these days, she found herself able to handle the sound a bit better, rocking him, soothing him, or letting him have a good squall. She walked everywhere, and soon she was thinner than she ever was, the circles under her eyes became pronounced; but even as her clothes grew looser and looser, she put everything she had towards the child who had not chosen to come into the world. At fifteen, she was already seeing the type of responsibility and mindset most people never experience.

The San Pedro Sun

Zone 59 Lions convene at Annual convention in San Estevan
Lions from all across the country convened in San Estevan Village in the Orange Walk District for the annual Zone 59 Lions Convention. The convention was hosted by the San Estevan Lions Club from Friday April 19th to Sunday April 21, 2013, under the theme, “Lions-Serving and Embracing the Future through the Winds of Change”. The convention activities included the formal opening ceremony on Friday night with invited guest speaker Yolanda Gomez, General Manager of the La Immaculada Credit Union. In her remarks, Gomez spoke of the importance of service organizations and their contributions to the community. Following the opening ceremony visitors and Lion members got the opportunity to visit the various hospitality booths. At the various booths, a variety of tasty food and drinks were enjoyed and plenty of giveaways were to be had.

El Secreto Makes The “Hot List 2013”
We certainly know how island rumors can start…and on Ambergris Caye there’s been lots of whispering about a mysterious and exotic new resort several miles north of San Pedro. We heard through the ‘coconut wireless,’ rumors of a Caribbean gem nestled within tropical island foliage, languishing along a secluded beach of sugar white sand. So quite…so peaceful…it was no wonder those who had lingered at this romantic hideaway would want to keep it their own little secret. But of course even the best kept secrets have a way of coming out…and we had to solve this mystery for ourselves! Upon a closer look we were delighted to find the hippest, newest boutique resort on La Isla Bonita, and a secret it is no longer! The world’s premier travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler just selected El Secreto as one of “The Best New Hotels of 2013 …we knew that secret wouldn’t last for long! Congratulations to the nice folks at El Secreto!

Ambergris Today

El Secreto in Conde Nast Traveler’s Best New Hotels 2013 List
Ambergris Today has had the pleasure of being hosted by El Secreto and we must agree with everybody when they say that the resort is one of the best in the country. The buzz about El Secreto luxury resort has not stopped since opening its doors in October 2012. Today it gets a huge nod from Conde Nast Traveler by being added to its list of The 154 Best New Hotels in the World. El Secreto is a luxury resort, located 11 miles north of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Highlighted in the Conde Nast Traveler report is the Spa Villa which they comment as being the ‘most extravagant’ of all the 13 units in the property. (Click here to read more on what they had to say about El Secreto)

Flashbacks: A Humble Yet Happy Life In San Pedro
Who is Mr. Nicolas Varela? And why was he so happy? He was the original owner of the Varela building located on Barrier Reef Drive now occupied by his son, Mr. Lioli Varela, who operates the cargo boat and barge, Ema V. Mr. Varela was a coconut farmer who spent countless hours of hard work in the coconut plantations. This meant walking among weeds, collecting coconuts from the ground, carrying them to the beach, husking them, loading them into his boat and bringing them to the main pier to deliver to the person who would take them to Belize City. And after a hard day’s work, Mr. Varela, like all the other coconut farmers, went home to take a fresh bath, enjoy some nice frijoles, take a little rest and then spend time with children and grandchildren. It is a humble life but it is good living- no debts, no malice, no competition, no hatred- just plain humble but happy living. Such was the case of Mr. Nicolas Varela and his granddaughter Dulce Vasquez Wolfe. Looks like Melody Sanchez Wolfe, right? Well, it is her great grandfather.

Prosecutors’ Course Conducted at National Police Training Academy
In order to improve the effectiveness of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Belize, a Prosecutors’ Course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The two-week training course started on Monday, April 22, 2013 and concludes next week Friday, May 5, 2013. It is being attended by over 25 persons from various branches of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies including the Fisheries Department and Municipal Traffic. Combining theory and practical training, the course covers a wide range of topics, including Judicial Procedures, Interpretation of Statutes, Common Law, the Evidence Act and Handling of Evidence, Case File Analysis and Criminal Court Procedures.

Work Continues in San Pedro Clean Up Campaign
San Pedro just recently gained the status of being the #1 island in the world by Trip Advisor. Being the number one island is a big thing; it must mean we excel and surpass many in different aspects. Ambergris Today’s editor wrote about five top reasons why we were named Top Island but one important factor that comes to mind when we think of our Isla Bonita is cleanliness. They say that cleanliness is next to godliness and the #1 island must be kept clean but how clean is our island? Ambergris Today set out to check out our island from north to south, east and west, beaches, town and other areas of our island to see how clean our island is and improvements that could take place. We started off in the Airstrip Area heading to the San Pedrito Area and to our surprise we caught up with workers from the San Pedro Town Council cleaning up the area.

Misc Belizean Sources

Protect and respect our FLATS!
from Omar Arceo: The fish you see illegally filleted here is known as an endangered species and a majestic fish: The Permit. I have dedicated my career as a fly fisherman to protect and RESPECT the habitat and the lives of these fish. So you can imagine how I felt when my ANGLER stumbled upon this ILLEGAL activity! This is a complete DISRESPECT of the Fisheries Laws in Belize. We are the only country that protect this fish and yet we have among us sport/commercial men that REFUSE to understand that this is a CATCH AND RELEASE fish! Just like the BONE FISH and TARPON! I am outraged!

Corozal Community Police Meeting 4/24
The Corozal Police Formation along with the Citizens Coalition For a Better Corozal invite the general public for a public meeting. Topics to be discussed: 1) Quarterly Report from October 2012 to December 2012 – 2) Quarterly Report from January 2013 to March 2013 – 3) Our way forward 4) Floor will be open for questions and suggestions Date: Wednesday April 24th Time: 7:00 P.M. Place: Andres Campos Civic Center

1 bedroom apartment for rent in San Pedro
1 bedroom semi furnished apartment for rent, perfect location, includes Private parking, call 6100000.

Yet another example of Belize's policy of accommodating Guatemala at any cost!
By Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr., JP Well Belizeans and true friends of Belize, if this doesn't beat all! The GOB signaled that it will facilitate the entry of individuals from Guatemala, even if their passport intentionally does not provide a clear distinction between our sovereign territory and that of Guatemala. Amid the nonsensical call for Belizeans to place our territorial integrity at the mercy of the jurisprudence of the justices at the ICJ, coupled with this most recent development, I must admit that I have lost whatever minute amount of respect that I might have retained for those in Cabinet. As the old Belizean adage states, "...pick sense from di nonsense!" Correct me if I am wrong, but did the Minister of Immigration say, "We cannot refuse people entry into the country..."? When last I checked, the Immigration Department is vested with the authority and wherewithal to do precisely that.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council, Mother's Day Greeting
The San Pedro Town Council wishes all mother's a great Mother's Day.

BHS Open House Pictures
The Belmopan Humane Society had their open house this weekend to celebrate 12 years of operation. They had some happy people, and pets. "Saturday, April 20, BHS hosted an 'Open House' to celebrate 12 years of helping animals, the people that surround them, the creation of a wonderful Resource Center and the beginning stages of a Community Animal Health Care clinic. Behind the Scenes supporters donated toward the printing of over 1,000 revised BHS brochures, as many invitations, and all the color photos for our many displays. This allowed us to place brochures and invitations in the 695 PO boxes in Belmopan. Hundreds of flyers were spread through the city along with ads on Love FM, Channel 5 bulletin board and CCV cable TV. Emails and text invitations to the many people that BHS has helped in one way or another were sent."

Earth Day Photoshoot in Cayo
Rebecca Stirm and Monica Gallardo teamed up to do a photoshoot in Cayo for Earth Day. Chantae Guy was their model, and talk about an interesting choice of 'fabric.' Quote of the day: "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." "Earth Day is officially here, and I'm so excited to show you how we celebrated! Leaves, vines, bush, flowers, a designer, a photographer, a model, and a beautiful dried up riverbed - Here's a sneak peak of our Earth Day 2013 shots! Make sure to like Monica Gallardo Photography's page - and stick around to both our pages for more photos, and behind the scenes/how it was made blog posts and images!"

Belizean Relleno
Relleno is a wonderful spicy soup made with black recado. It is similar to Belizean Chimole or Black Soup. This soup is a meat lover's delight due to the fact that is is stuffed with ground beef and diced boiled eggs. Served with corn tortilla, this soup is sure to tantalize the taste buds.

Earth Day 2013
Earth Day is globally celebrated on April 22nd. In commemoration of this year's Earth Day, FOCUS in partnership with Corozal Town Council, organized the second "Corozal Green Mile Campaign" on Saturday, April 20. Over 150 participants engaged in the cleaning ofPhilip Goldson Highway from Santa Clara Village to the Santa Elena Border. Over 150 fifty gallon bags of garbage were collected. FOCUS wishes to thank all participants and sponsors for being this year's "The Face of Climate Change". After the clean-up, everyone gathered at Corozal's flagship environmental project, Mangrove Park for an Earth Day program. The following is a gallery of pictures of the great folks participating in this effort. When you drive on the highway now, please note how it looks and do not contribute to making the shoulders of our highways an unsightly garbage dump.

Channel 7

May 7th – Unprecedented Number of Legal Eagles Converge On Supreme Court
The stage is set for one of the biggest Supreme Court Cases in memory, that’s UNIBAM’s constitutional challenge to section 53 of Belize’s criminal which outlaws sex between men. The actual court hearing is set for May 7 to 10th, but today, the case was called up before Justice Michelle Arana for case management. Caleb Orozco, the president of UNIBAM, who’s spearheading the challenge, was at court today along with his attorney Lisa Shoman, and attorneys for the Council of Churches and the Government of Belize. They held an audience with Justice Arana in her chambers, in which technical legal issues were ironed out on both sides. The news coming out of that meeting is that the case has been moved over to the CJ’s Court – and it will be full of the highest flying legal eagles were likely to ever see packed into one courtroom. Shoman told us about the international attorneys added to their side of the case. Lisa Shoman - Attorney for Caleb Orosco "It's what it is now. The case is going to trial. We've been notified that the Chief Justice will be hearing the case on May 7th to 10th and we were just finalizing because the churches wanted some more time to put in their written submission. The claimant, Caleb Orosco, has filed written submissions. The human rights interested party have filed written submissions. The attorney general asked for more time and they will have to file by the 30th and the churches will be given until May 3rd. Trial days are set - it is May 7th to 10th."

New Born Killed; Teen Mother Suspected
Tonight, police are investigating a very disturbing case, which could implicate a teenaged mother in the killing of her newborn child. At around 6:00 last week Wednesday evening, three day old Edwin Leroy Sanchez was rushed to the KHMH in an unconscious state; he died at around 6:30. His 16 year old mother from the Albert area – whose name or address we cannot disclose because she is a minor – told police she didn’t know what happened. She said that at 5:30 pm, she was at home and had just finished breast-feeding Edwin, burped him and put him to sleep on his stomach. She says she went to the bathroom and came back 30 seconds later to find the newborn lying on his side with his eyes wide open and his forehead turning blue. Due to the young mother’s mental state, authorities had their concerns about the cause of death. A post mortem conducted yesterday confirmed that there is a lot to be worried about. Police forensic pathologist Dr Mario Estradabran found that the three day old died from Internal Bleeding due to Head Trauma, bleeding from the liver and the fatty tissue of the stomach due to Abdominal Trauma. That head and abdominal trauma point compellingly to foul play and the domestic violence unit is investigating. But, so far, no charges have been brought.

Accused Killer Acquitted; Family Cries Out For Justice
Tonight, 21 year-old Tristan Gordon, the man who was charged with the murder of 28 year-old Kenyon Plunkett, is free after he was acquitted in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas this morning. Viewers may remember the broad daylight execution of Plunkett on April 28, 2011. The father of the 3 was standing in front of his worksite on Lakeview Street at around 11:30 a.m. He was talking to his boss when a gunman ambushed him and shot him in the back of his head and fled the scene. He was rushed the KHMH but died while undergoing treatment. A month later, police charged Gordon, who was only 19 at the time, and last week, he had his day in court in front of Justice Lucas in a trial without jury. The prosecution’s main witness was a man who told police that he accompanied Gordon on the day when he allegedly committed the murder. This witness gave a written statement in which he said that Gordon showed him a firearm, and told him that he was going to attempt to hurt “a dread that disrespected him.” He added that he saw when Gordon shoot the “dread man” in the back of his head.

Man Drowns In Same Spot That 10 Year Old Did
Over the weekend, a man drowned in Gracie Rock – right where a 10 year old boy had drowned three weeks ago. It happened on Sunday evening around 6:00 when 35 year old Leroy Betson, was swimming with four friends and went underwater near a cable suspension bridge. He never resurfaces and his body was found by a search team hours later. Today, we spoke to his mother, Joyce Flowers who went out to the scene at the time of the search. Joyce Flowers - Mother of Leroy Betson "I didn't even know he wasn't here because he lives in his own house, until we got the call at about quarter past six the evening. My daughter answered the call and when I saw her reaction then I realized something was wrong and then she told me that a friend called to say that she called for him and the person who answered his phone told her that they were at Gracie Rock and Leroy went down into the water and never resurfaced." Monica Bodden "Did you guys had a chance to go out to the scene?" Joyce Flowers "Yes we did; immediately Earline, because her husband heard us screaming he came and so they took me out to Gracie Rock. We were there and the police from Hattieville arrived after.

Accused Cop Cleared After 3 Years
Police Corporal Jorge Lemus, has been on interdiction for almost 3 years, but tonight, he’s now free of a charge of manslaughter for the death of O’neil Jones. The incident occurred on February 12, 2010 at Lord’s Bank, when Jones was shot in his back as he exited a bar. Eyewitnesses pointed to the officers who responded to a report of a fight, and they even claimed that Jones only had the part of a bicycle in his hand when the officers over-reacted and shot him to death. Lemus was charged 3 months later with manslaughter, all through that time, he maintained his innocence. His trial was called up last week before Justice Lucas, and Crown Council Kayshia Grant called 8 witnesses to testify against him. one of the witnesses could put Lemus on the scene during the time of the shooting, and so, his defense attorney, Simeon Sampson, made a no-case submission when the prosecution closed its case. Today, after considering all the evidence, Justice Lucas ruled that Lemus had no case to answer to, so he directed a jury of 9 to acquit Lemus, setting him free. Lemus has told 7News before this trial began that he will fight to keep his job as a police officer.

Man Pleads Guilty Firearm
Tonight, 4 Belize City men are in prison after they were taken to court after the Gang Suppression Unit busted them with a gun, and marijuana. It happened at around 2:30 yesterday afternoon when the GSU was patrolling Vernon Street. They searched a fishing boat at the Fish Market in the Conch Shell Bay area which 34 year-old Jeffrey Murrillo, 49 year-old Gerald Allen, 27 year-old Ignatius Garcia, and 29 year-old Windell Gibson were all associated with. In the hull of the boat, they found a .25 caliber pistol loaded with 3 live rounds, and a bag with less than an ounce of marijuana. All 4 men were arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and possession of a controlled drug.

"Fawda" Ramps Up Campaign Against AGUSM
Today, Phillip “Fawda” Henry ramped up his campaign against AGUSM – the medical school that recently relocated from San Pedro to Ladyville. He had a press conference with all the bells and whistles. 7news was there. Jules Vasquez reporting Last week, Phillip Fawda Henry did a one man protest in front of the new headquarters of the American Global University of Science and Medicine on airport road. But this week - he had a full press conference, a major production, standing room only, that told us the protest machinery was well oiled. Actually, it was part press conference, part protest, with loud placards on prominent display and even a special banner printed for the event. Even an attorney slash politician was in the mix - though we aren’t sure which capacity he was there in.

Another Accidental Death In Blue Creek
Yesterday afternoon there was another accidental death in the rural industrial farming community of Blue Creek. At around 2:30 pm, 18 year old Clayton REMPEL was washing his tractor when he got electrocuted. Police report that he was operating an electrical power wash machine, washing a tractor when he received a massive electrical shock. He was found ten minutes later badly burnt but still alive and rushed airplane to Medical Associates in Belize City, where he died while undergoing treatment. Viewers will recall that last week in Blue Creek, a 7 year old boy suffocated when he was sucked to the bottom of a 15 tonne rice bin.

Guats Suspend Referendum; Bze Officials Wait For Word
Yesterday, the Guatemalans made it official on its Government website that there will be no National Referendum in Guatemala on October 6th. That should be the final nail in the coffin, but today Belize’s CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado was quoted as saying that “the official process is under the OAS and until they hear the information from them, they don’t consider anything as being official.” He did add, though that if in fact Guatemala has officially taken such a position, it would mean a breach of the special agreement.

“Gad” Gone To Jail For 5
38 year-old Arden Middleton known as “Gad” will spend 5 years for unlawful carnal knowledge in prison. That was the sentence that Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed to him today in the mitigation hearing. He was convicted last week in his trial when 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. After hearing the testimony, the jury convicted him, and so today, he made a mitigation plea. On his own behalf, he told the court that for some reason, he’s been convicted of this crime, which he swears he did not commit. Middleton called several character witnesses on his behalf, and his attorney Bryan Neal also asked the court for leniency. After considering all the factors, Justice Gonzalez sentenced him to serve 5 years in prison.

Fitness, Wellness Through Yoga
Anyone who’s trying to get fit, or stay fit, probably knows all about high intensity workout routines like “Insanity,” “P90x” and others that push fitness fanatics to the limits of human endurance. But, today we met one Belize City fitness trainer who has a completely different approach. Ashanti Garcia says you can get fit, without doing 30 minutes cardio every day. We visited her at her training studio to find out more. Jules Vasquez Reporting Welcome to the world of Ashanti Garcia. The 23 year old San Ignacio resident who now calls Belize City home is a Yoga trainer and she whipped her body into some poses that made me wince. This one is called the Scorpion pose, what looks like a literally backbreaking position, and one that requires great strength in the arms.

SJC Rehabs Football Field, Dedicates It To Snyders
Today, Saint John’s College officially inaugurated a newly rebuilt football pitch on its campus. The pitch had long feel into disuse, overtaken by crabs. But with major fundraising and lots of hard work, today, they honored on of the longest serving Jesuit Priests by naming it Snyders Field. According to the Dean of Saint John’s College Junior College, it’s because Father Synders has dedicated his life to the pursuit of education at the school. Alice Peralta, Dean, S.J.C. Junior College "I can assure you that your hard work will serve a great benefit to our students as it has already done for our sports day a month ago. I want to especially thank those sponsors who contributed to the development of the Snyders field; your donations are greatly appreciated. Lastly, I want to thank Father Snyders for the many years of immeasurable work and commitment he has contributed to St. Johns College in many capacities. You are well deserving of this honor, which will see your name remembered by all S.J.C. students past, present and future."

Channel 5

American Global University in spotlight again
Are the American Global University School of Medicine and the Washington University of Health and Science legitimate and accredited medical institutions of learning in Belize? Or are they just well-established and operated scams to milk money from potential students across the world? Those are the questions on everybody’s mind right now. Both institutions have been [...]

American Global’s Peggy Allen accused of crimes
In the press conference hosted by Phillip Henry and Patrick Menzies, particular attention was paid to Peggy Allen, who is listed as Vice President of Operations of American Academic Services. One allegation made by Henry is that Allen has been convicted of the criminal charges of theft and forgery in Ohio. He provided documents this [...]

American Global University operates in San Pedro
News Five has done a number of stories since 2009 questioning the legitimacy of the American Global University School of Medicine which is again in the news.  Today, we went back to the facility in Ladyville, but there was no sign that anybody was there, and no sign of any renovation being done to change [...]

Electrocuted by power washer
Orange Walk police are investigating the sudden death of an eighteen year old Mennonite laborer of Blue Creek Village in Orange Walk Town. Clayton Rempel was electrocuted on Monday afternoon around two-thirty as he was operating an electrical power wash machine. He was cleaning this tractor at his work site in the Linda Vista Area [...]

Prime Minister at United Nations with Ban Ki-Moon
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, on Monday.  Barrow updated the Secretary General on the territorial dispute; the most recent development being that Guatemala will not hold the October sixth referendum.  As the PM met with Ban Ki Moon, the O.A.S. Representative, Raul Lagos, was [...]

City hall and Albert Street cab drivers reach compromise
On Monday taxi-drivers from both the Albert Street Taxi Cooperative and Downtown Taxi Cooperative were furious when they showed up at work only to find that they had been moved from their traditional work posts. They were angry and insult that they had not been notified. But even more than that, they were not happy [...]

Should government share profits with illegal harvesters of rosewood?
And tonight’s question is: Should government share profits with the exporter of rosewood whose company is accused of felling rosewood during the moratorium? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

Family burned during Trial Farm fire
The origins of a fire at a house in Trial Farm in the Orange Walk remains under investigation. A family of three was sound asleep when the blaze erupted in the dead of the night two weeks ago; the mysterious fire spread quickly through the small house which had no electricity.  The couple suffered burns [...]

New rosewood felling still occurring
While officialdom continues to hide behind press releases vowing that no freshly cut rosewood will be exported and all who cut rosewood during the amnesty will be punished forthwith, credible sources continue to tell News Five that there is a veritable rosewood cutting frenzy in southern Belize. Our source tells us that just today, a [...]

Murder Acquittal due to amnesia and missing link to crime
Twenty-nine year old Kenyon Plunkett, an auto mechanic of Belize City, was executed on April 28th, 2011, while returning to his jobsite from completing an errand.  The father of three was shot once to the back of his head in a dead-end off Lakeview Street by an assailant, who was later identified as Triston Gordon.  [...]

Shopkeeper gets 5 years for carnal knowledge
Five years in jail. That’s the sentence given to the thirty eight year old man who was convicted of having sex with a fourteen year old minor. The incident occurred in July, 2011.  The girl claimed that she was at a shop called Little Wilts Place which is located by the Cumberbatch Field in the [...]

Cop acquitted after witness saw ‘fat policeman’ doing nothing
In February 2010, Corporal Jorge Lemus and Constable Lazaro Catch, both attached to the Ladyville Police Substation, were charged in connection with the shooting death of Jamaican national, O’Neil Jones, who was killed at a bar in the Lord’s Bank community.  Jones was shot dead while attempting to ride away from Ruba’s Bar, despite eyewitnesses [...]

Retiree swindled out of 7 acres of land
An American national has had land swindled right under his feet. Sixty-six year old David Cooley is the victim of fraud as his property was sold when someone forged his name to seal the transaction. Cooley is a resident of Lost Reef Resort, in Riversdale, Stann Creek. He told police that on June twentieth, 2000, [...]

Telesforo Guerra, McAfee’s Guatemalan attorney, dies
A Belizean who made his name in Guatemala as a politician and a top international lawyer has died. Teleforo Guerra Chan was born in Benque Viejo and moved to Guatemala at the age of fourteen to study. He remained there where he served as attorney general once and successfully defended high profile clients. Telesh, as [...]

Get popcorn ready for the 5th Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase
The Fifth Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase, despite not having any local entries, is currently underway in Belize City.  The annual filmmakers’ platform was launched on April sixteenth, with works from movie producers and directors from across the region available for viewing at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.  According to Suzette Zayden, Director of Belize [...]

Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans in caged event
The Belize Elementary School auditorium was overflowing on Saturday night. Mixed Martial Arts aficionados were out in droves for a number of fights between Belizean athletes and their Mexican counterparts. The event was organized by the House of Shotokan. The nine matches were friendly but fierce; the local fighters held their own and the Mexicans [...]


Questions Raised On The Authenticity of The American Global University School of Medicine
The American Global University School of Medicine facility is located on the Airport Road, but unlike what its sign depicts, the compound is nothing more than a building with a sign and attractive landscaping at the front of the property. The front entrance, as we discovered when we visited...

New Student Government Elected for University of Belize
The University of Belize Belmopan campus is currently holding up a student government election. Correspondent Fem Cruz has a report on the event. FEM CRUZ “The purpose of this election is for students to elect their president who will represent them next year. Will...

Spelling Bee District Finals Continue
The Coca-Cola Spelling Bee District Finals continued today in the Cayo District. Love FM’s Karen Coote has the highlights of the competition. KAREN COOTE “Keep smiling and spelling, Belize’ is the theme for the Coca Cola National Spelling B finals 2013....

Tuesday, April 23 ---------- Guatemala Newspaper Says Their Government Will Not Take Part In Referendum Scheduled For October 6, 2013
The Government of Guatemala this week made public that it will not be participating in the referendum scheduled for October sixth. An article in the “Prensa Libre” newspaper. says a letter was sent to Congress yesterday so that they can make legal analysis of whether there will be any...

Man Sells Property Without His Knowledge; Police Investigates
Police are investigating an alleged case of Forgery in the Stann Creek District. Retired 66 year old American, David Cooley, who presently resided at Lost Reef Resort in Riversdale Stann Creek, reported to police that on the 20th of June of 2000 he bought 7.23 acres of land valued at one hu...

Man Drowns In Gracie Rock Village
A thirty five year old man drowned in Gracie Rock Village on Sunday. Police received reports form twenty six year old Morris Heinz sometime after six pm on Sunday informing them of the incident. He reported that he along with Leroy Betson, a Chemist of Racoon Street Extension in Beliz...

Top Celebrity Pageant Starts It's 6th Annual Event Online
The Sixth annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant kicked off last night. The pageant is organized by Teens Belize in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Kenny Jacobs is the Executive Director for Teens Belize. KENNY JACOBS "It actually started off last night at 10:30; the polls opened on a...

Orange Walk Man Dies of Electric Shock Whilst Cleaning Tractor; Post Mortem Results Revealed on Young Boy's Death
A man from the Orange Walk District has died after he was allegedly electrically shocked. On Monday, forty eight year old Frank Klassen of Blue Creek Village reported that around 2:30pm, 18 year old Clayton Rempel, a laborer of Blue Creek was operating an electrical power wash machine to wa...

Police Corporal Acquitted of Manslaughter
Thirty-Five year old police corporal Jorge Lemus, charged with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Jamaican national O’Neil Anthony Jones, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Lemus’ attorney, Simeon Sampson, made a no case submission after the pr...

Four Men Face Charges For Firearms, Ammunition and Marijuana
Thirty-four year old Ignatius Garcia, a boat captain who was one of four persons charged with firearm and ammunition offences, was sentenced to three years for kept firearm without a gun license and three years for kept ammunition without a gun license today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser aft...

Prosecutors Fail To Prove Guilt; Man Acquitted of Murder
Twenty-one year old Tristan Gordon, charged with the murder of Kenyon Plunkett, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Last week after the prosecution closed its case, having called six witnesses, Gordon’s attorney, Lionel Welch, submitted that he did not have a case to ...

BTB Logo Chosen As Finalist In One Show Design 2013
Earlier in the year, the Belize Tourism Board held its twelfth annual industry presentation in which it revealed the new BTB Logo. Today the Belize Tourism Board announced that the Belize Logo has been chosen as a finalist for the “One Show Design” 2013 awards, in the category of &ldq...


Stop Order Served To Landy's And Sons For Non Payment Of Trade License Fees
Less than two weeks ago the Orange Walk Town Council issued a stop order to Jaime Burns, the owner of JB and Sons Hardware located on Otro Benque Road for unpaid trade license fees. Burns cleared his arrears on the same day and he was back in business. But he was just one of the many business owners in Orange Walk who are currently behind their payment for trade license fees which the town council has over $35,000 in arrears. Adamant to collect as much revenues as possible, the town council issued another stop order today this time to Orlando Burns owner of Landy’s and Sons located on the Belize Corozal Road. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “In the issue with Mr. Burns, he was issued a statement; one he didn’t really apply as for the fourth schedule that every business should apply to conduct trade in this town and when we did that last interview I mentioned to you that I did receive a letter from his attorney claiming that the value that was being assessed on his business was too high and I did clearly mentioned that there is process to follow. Mr. Burns was issued a letter advising him on when he needs to come in and pay failure to do so would result him in being issued also a stop order. He made an initial first step in making a 50% down payment sometime a week and a half some time ago, and was reminded that he had up to a specific date when to make that payment and when I remembered that there was an approach here either him or one of his representatives informed by the administrator that they are not going to be paying the balance and they were going to take the matter to the court.”

Corozal Police Receives Bomb Threat
The frequency of bomb threats in Corozal is close to zero. But today the men and women that are charged with safeguarding the community of Corozal are the ones who received a bomb threat. We understand that at around 9:00 this morning, one of the police officers on duty at the Corozal Police Station, picked up the phone just to be informed that a bomb was inside the building. Corozal Police took the call seriously and the entire building was cleared. While the police station was combed from top to bottom, officers waited patiently outside for the all clear to be given. At the end there proved to be no bomb and worked continued as per normal. Late this afternoon CTV3 News spoke to Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer In Charge of the Corozal Police Formation, who told us that the incident was nothing but a false alarm.

Sarteneja Residents Accused of Drug Trafficking Freed On Bail
Four residents of Sarteneja Village in Corozal charged with drug trafficking have been released on bail of $5,000 after reappearing at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. Twenty year old Christian Flores, 24 year old Amaro Flores, 50 year old Salvador Flores and 26 year old Pedro Quirora were detained by police on April 10th. The four men were socializing at a restaurant in Orange Walk Town when they were searched by cops who found more than five pounds of marijuana in a bucket that one of the men was carrying. The four appeared in court on April 12th at which time the prosecution objected to bail. Their case was adjourned to June 3rd 2013.

O/W Primary Schools Win Courts Nutrition Competition
In an effort to promote healthy living and extend more focus on nutrition in our schools, Courts Belize recently conducted the “Nutrition Rocks Video Competition”. There were creative entries submitted from 22 schools all over Belize. The Orange Walk District is home to three of the participating schools and prize winners. Shelly Gillett has that report. Shelly Gillett – Reporting As a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Projects, Courts Belize hosted what was initially a competition among schools for the creative production of a 30 to 45 seconds music video highlighting healthy eating and nutrition, under the theme “Nutrition Rocks Video Competition”. According to Daylene Tesecum, Marketing Representative for Courts Belize, numerous proposals were submitted by schools all across Belize requesting assistance for their existing feeding program or in order to commence one. The competition started in January and submissions ran through March 2013. In the end, Courts reviewed a total of 22 entries and decided that they would award every school with $1,500 in appliances of their choice. Among these 22 entries, 3 were from Orange Walk namely Louisiana Government School, Solomon SDA School and Compassion School in the Village of Yo Creek. Lucio Alcoser, music instructor at Louisiana Gov’t School and Vice Principal Enrique Ayuso collaborated with their music class to bring in their prize.

Mennonite Electrocuted In Blue Creek
Tragedy strikes the Blue Creek Community yet again in less than one week since our report of the death of seven year old Jacob Dueck, who was killed at a rice processing plant on April 18th 2013. Reports reaching our news room are that at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, eighteen year old Clayton Rempel, a resident of the community of Blue Creek, was washing a tractor with an electrical power wash machine when he was electrocuted. The incident happened in the Linda Vista Area of Blue Creek. We understand that as a result of the shock, Rempel collapsed to the ground in an unconscious state. It was not until ten minutes later that Rempel was found by Frank Klassen who is also from the community of Blue Creek. Klassen aided the eighteen year old, picked him up and transported him via airplane to Belize Medical Associates in Belize City. However, the voltage that ran through Rempel’s body proved fatal, as he died while undergoing treatment shortly after. No foul play is suspected yet police investigations continue.

Seven Year Old Died Of Suffocation By Asphyxia
A post mortem examination conducted on the body of seven year old Jacob Dueck from the community of Blue Creek certified that he died of suffocation by Asphyxia. As previously reported, the seven year old student of Tres Leguas in the community of Blue Creek, was killed at a rice processing plant in Blue Creek at around 5:45 on Friday evening. Dueck and two other children were playing in what is known as the dump bin, a container which holds over 30 tons of rice, at the grain facility of Peter Remphel. Remphel’s employees were unaware that the children were inside the dump bin, which was holding approximately 15 tons of rice, when they turned on a machine known as the “augur” which feeds rice down into a cleaning machine. As a result the three boys were sucked into the tons of rice. Two of them managed to jump out, but the same cannot be said for Dueck who was pulled down into the tons of rice. All efforts to get him out proved futile since he was buried beneath the grains. Workers had to dig into the rice for more than 45 minutes before they located the seven year old who was already dead.

Seven Streets Paved In O/W And Counting
Thirteen, that’s the number of dilapidated streets that the Orange Walk Town Council plans to pave in a span of six months. So far, with the inclusion of Muffles Street, which was paved yesterday, seven of the 13 streets have been renovated and the work continues. But where is the money for this major infrastructural project coming from? According to Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard, the project is being funded with tax payer’s money and not with funds endowed by Government as is being reported. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “We are hoping that just like the five other street that we have paved, this is another commitment that we are making as a council to the people of Orange Walk. Thereafter as well we have other street that we have prepared for paving for this week from what I understand from the contractors that by Wednesday we should be the completion of the other two streets and thereafter we will start to work on the preparation of the other streets that we have listed which is the continuation of this street which is Santa Maria Street, South Mejiba Street, and then later on to Mahogany and Sapodilla Street and then Rain tree Street. This is done through fiscal prudent that we have put into the council, we budgeted well and we are pretty sure that we can achieve these goals and these is what you are seeing now the results.”

Moulding Today's Youths Into Tomorrows Leaders
The Lions Club celebrated its 35th three day annual convention in the Village of San Estevan in Orange Walk over the weekend. Activities began on Friday with the opening ceremony and continued on Saturday with a youth seminar celebrated under the theme “Understanding/nurturing our Belizean Youth”. Addressing the youths were a number of speakers including Doctor Elma Augustine, Courtney Gillet and Adrian Leiva who spoke on the challenges faced by Belizean youths on a daily basis including drugs, gangs and uncensored music. Doctor Elma Augustine “Unfortunately the business of gangs and drugs trafficking use tend to all time together and that also includes as we all know issues related to possession of guns and ends up in killing and crime and stuff like that so all ties in together. Another aspect that affect our young people and of course the entire society of Belize is our environment, with our young people most of us know that hundreds or more graduate every year, there no jobs for them, so unemployment is a big problem we have these promising youths with potential and abilities and not places really opened up for them. There is a lot of separation, there are a lot of divorces, there is a lot of abuse that is occurring, domestic violence, alcohol and drug use that impacts the children.”


Four Men Face Charges For Firearms, Ammunition and Marijuana
Thirty-four year old Ignatius Garcia, a boat captain who was one of four persons charged with firearm and ammunition offences, was sentenced to three years for kept firearm without a gun license and three years for kept ammunition without a gun license today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Fraser stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently so Garcia will serve three years. The others who were charged were 22 year old Windell Gibson, 34 year old Jeffrey Murillo and 49 year old Gerald Allen. The charges were not withdrawn from them although Garcia had pled guilty. Senior Magistrate Fraser explained to them that only the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, can withdraw the charges. As a result, they were remanded into custody. The four were also charged with possession of 22 grams of cannabis. Gibson pled guilty to that charge. Senior Magistrate Fraser told him that she cannot impose a fine because he has previous conviction for possession of cannabis and he has court fines for which payment is outstanding. She sentenced him to six months.

Police Corporal Acquitted of Manslaughter
Thirty-Five year old police corporal Jorge Lemus, charged with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Jamaican national O’Neil Anthony Jones, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Lemus’ attorney, Simeon Sampson, made a no case submission after the prosecution closed its case, having called 8 witnesses. Sampson submitted that there was no evidence as to who shot and killed Jones. Justice Lucas upheld the submission after he heard a response from Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant. He then directed the jury of 5 women and 4 men to return a formal verdict of not guilty. The incident occurred on February 13, 2010 at Lord’s Bank. Jones was shot in his back as he exited a bar. Another police officer, police constable Lazaro Cach, was charged with abetment to manslaughter, but his case has not been brought to trial yet.

Orange Walk Man Dies of Electric Shock Whilst Cleaning Tractor; Post Mortem Results Revealed on Young Boy’s Death
A man from the Orange Walk District has died after he was allegedly electrically shocked. On Monday, forty eight year old Frank Klassen of Blue Creek Village reported that around 2:30pm, 18 year old Clayton Rempel, a laborer of Blue Creek was operating an electrical power wash machine to wash a tractor in the Linda Vista Area. While doing that he got an electric shock and fell unconscious. He was found at 2:40 pm on the same day by Klassen, who picked him up and transported him via airplane to the Belize Medical Associates hospital in Belize City where he died while undergoing treatment. No foul play is suspected in connection to the incident but police continue to investigate. Meanwhile a post mortem carried out by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of seven year old Jacob Dyck certified the cause of death to be suffocation by asphyxia. Dyck a student of TresLeguas, Blue Creek, was found unconscious in a rice dumping bin on Thursday, after he is said to have been accidentally pulled in while playing with some friends in the area.

Top Celebrity Pageant Starts It’s 6th Annual Event Online
The Sixth annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant kicked off last night. The pageant is organized by Teens Belize in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Kenny Jacobs is the Executive Director for Teens Belize. KENNY JACOBS “It actually started off last night at 10:30; the polls opened on and as well on Facebook at 2013. The Miss Top Celebrity Pageant is done in 4 segments; we don’t have any kind of stage event, it’s basically an application form segment, then we have the preliminary with the judges. We also have a Facebook dialoguing and then we have the public voting.” Jacobs says that it is not your average pageant. This year’s nine contestants are focusing on, according to Jacobs “being the Belizean inspiration”. KENNY JACOBS “We will be having the polls on open, so the public are invited to go and vote for their favourite candidate and as well on face book and like the photo of your favourite candidate win Miss Photogenic. The candidates will also be talking about various issues advocating for teen development, talking about issues such as crime , teenage pregnancy on face book because we realize that social media has impact Belize greatly and that’s why we tend to use these medium as part of the pageant activities. This year we have candidates from Corozal, we have Ivory Mendez from Corozal; then Orange Walk we have Lilani Nah and as well Nicky Chan and then from Punta Gorda we have Sherline Flowers and from Stann Creek, Roxanne Bowman and from Pomona we have Jenny Ramirez; from Belmopan we have Victoria Canul , Shanice Flowers and from Dangriga we have Marilyn Lopez. These candidates will advocate on different issues to talk, to bring inspiration to teenagers.

Man Drowns In Gracie Rock Village
A thirty five year old man drowned in Gracie Rock Village on Sunday. Police received reports form twenty six year old Morris Heinz sometime after six pm on Sunday informing them of the incident. He reported that he along with Leroy Betson, a Chemist of Racoon Street Extension in Belize City and four other persons were all swimming at the river in Gracie Rock, near the area of a cable suspension bridge. During that short period of time, Betson is said to have gone under the water and didn’t resurface. Several attempts were made to locate him and it was not until local divers and fishermen joined that they discovered the motionless body of Betson at the bottom of the river. The body was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it was pronounced dead and now awaits a post mortem examination.

Man Sells Property Without His Knowledge; Police Investigates
Police are investigating an alleged case of Forgery in the Stann Creek District. Retired 66 year old American, David Cooley, who presently resided at Lost Reef Resort in Riversdale Stann Creek, reported to police that on the 20th of June of 2000 he bought 7.23 acres of land valued at one hundred thousand US dollars from AzzamMaarbani, a businessman of Dangriga Town. In March of 2011, he learnt that his property was no longer in his name and that the land was sold without his consent. Cooley contacted the Lands Department and he was shown that on the 15th of October of 2010, he signed a Deed of Conveyance to Linbergh Williams, which he allegedly did not do since he was not in the country at the time.

Guatemala Newspaper Says Their Government Will Not Take Part In Referendum Scheduled For October 6, 2013
The Government of Guatemala this week made public that it will not be participating in the referendum scheduled for October sixth. An article in the “Prensa Libre” newspaper. says a letter was sent to Congress yesterday so that they can make legal analysis of whether there will be any other procedure taken by that body. It is expected that a letter will be sent to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal next week. According to the report President Otto Perez Molina has said that Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera informed the Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza last week that Guatemala will not participate in the process unless changes are made. Perez Molina made references stipulating that in the middle of negotiations of the Special Agreement in 2008, Belize changed its referendum laws. The foreign minister also pointed out that the 260 million Quetzales needed for consultation have not been received. The government of Belize has rejected the two proposals put forth by Guatemala, to suspend the consultation and set a new date when the conditions in both countries are the same.

Spelling Bee District Finals Continue
The Coca-Cola Spelling Bee District Finals continued today in the Cayo District. Love FM’s Karen Coote has the highlights of the competition. KAREN COOTE “Keep smiling and spelling, Belize’ is the theme for the Coca Cola National Spelling B finals 2013. The Cayo District finals was held at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout. Fourteen spellers representing primary schools took part in the day’s event hoping to represent the Cayo District at the national event in June. Of the fourteen students who started the competition, nine had a perfect score of 30 points to move on to the third round where each was given 2 words from the reserve list. In this round, 12-year-old, Michael Hamilton of Belize Christian Academy captured first place with the word, forego. The 8 remaining spellers continued on to the fourth round for the third and second place winners; 15 year old Hadie Morcia of Los Tambos Government School took second place; 11-year-old Samara Harris of Our Lady of Guadelupe in Belmopan is the third place winner. The Coca Cola National Spelling B district finals continues on Wednesday with the Orange Walk district finals. Reporting from the country side park in Spanish Lookout for Love News, I am Karen Coote.”

New Student Government Elected for University of Belize
The University of Belize Belmopan campus is currently holding up a student government election. Correspondent Fem Cruz has a report on the event. FEM CRUZ “The purpose of this election is for students to elect their president who will represent them next year. William Neal is the Dean of the student’s affairs he brings us up to date.” WILLIAM NEAL “This year we had really a renewed interest in president and all the positions. This is the first time in the history of the university that we actually have four candidates vying for president when it comes to the Belmopan campus. We have Yahnira Garcia, we have Carmen Reid, we have Hope Amadi who is the incumbent and we also have Roberto Bedran. It’s really a frenzy because they all have teams and it has been really voracious. UB is a microcosm of the wider society; it just means who we have on campus are not in a bubble, like everybody else they will draw on their own network, they bring in parents, they bring in anybody that they can gather support from to run for the position. We don’t have strict rules when it comes to something like that because it’s all about getting everybody involved; that’s what UB is about. The benefits are numerous. Actually before we didn’t have this kind of interest, it’s usually restricted to one or two candidates but what we have with the four candidates vying, they had to really go out and campaign, talk about the platform to the students.

Questions Raised On The Authenticity of The American Global University School of Medicine
The American Global University School of Medicine facility is located on the Airport Road, but unlike what its sign depicts, the compound is nothing more than a building with a sign and attractive landscaping at the front of the property. The front entrance, as we discovered when we visited this morning, was chained and locked and there was no sign of movement within the perimeters. The front door was closed and despite the fact that universities are always bustling with students and professors trying to reach their next class, this one was drearily quiet. Shrouded in mystery, this medical college has emerged at different locations over the country before, dating back a few years. Its current location is just a stone’s throw away from our international airport and the institution has been the subject of many a discussion over the past two weeks.


BTB logo wins award
The Annual One Show Design Awards, known as one of the most prestigious international competitions celebrating the year’s best designs, has announced the finalists for its 13th show, and Belize made the list. The Belize Tourism Board logo is being recognized under the category of “Brand Identity – Logo...

Man electrocuted in Blue Creek Village
Belize City Police investigates case of sudden death. 48 year old Frank Klassen of Blue Creek Village in the Orange Walk District reported to Police that Monday evening at about 2:30 p.m. 18 year old Clayton REMPEL of Blue Creek was washing a tractor with an electrical power wash...


Belize will not accept that passport as legitimate; entry permit will have to be bought at the border: Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. Amandala has been informed by a Foreign Affairs official that although Belize has still not gotten an official undertaking from Guatemala that it will desist from changing its passport cover to reflect its unfounded claim over Belizean territory, officials from both sides of the border have been discussing the matter. Belize Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told Amandala this week that “we are not going to accept the passport as legitimate.” What immigration officials in Belize would be asked to do, said Hulse, is to use the bio-data from the passport to prepare an entry permit—which the migrant from Guatemala would have to pay for. As our newspaper has previously reported, Guatemalan officials have said that the new passport, which will have a map on its cover as the current one does, should now reflect the territorial differendum with Belize on its cover. A sample image shows Guatemala and Belize separated by a dotted line—not a clear border as international maps depict—in line with other offensive maps that have been popping up lately.

— by Miriam Longsworth Taxi operators, the homeless and vendors must move to allow park renovations. There was chaos on Albert Street today, Monday, as taxi operators from the Battlefield Park vigorously protested being kicked from Battlefield Park, in the center of the city, because of renovations being done to the park by the Belize City Council. The taxi operators, along with the vendors and homeless persons, have been told to evacuate the area in order for construction to get underway. We visited the park today, where members of the two taxi unions that occupied the area, Downtown Taxi Cooperative and Albert Street Taxi Drivers Union, were addressing the media about their concerns. Apparently, the taxi operators were told by the City Council that they would be allowed to park in the spaces behind the Supreme Court. Well, that plan did not sit well with the court administration because the City Council received a letter today instructing them to remove the taxi drivers from the area near the court.

Baptist was convicted on two out of four charges; sentencing May 3. Last week, John Baptist, Sr., 38, was a man on the run after his case had gone to trial in the Supreme Court of Justice John Troadio Gonzalez and he did not make an appearance in court. Baptist had been accused of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature after a female, now 15, reported to police that he had had sexual intercourse with her when she was 6, and had touched her inappropriately on three separate occasions over a period of almost ten years. After the Crown, represented by Leroy Banner, had closed its case, Baptist presented his defense to the court. In his dock statement, Baptist told the court that at the time of the incidents, he was nowhere near the house of which the child spoke. But when last week Monday arrived, and the trial was supposed to be summed up by the judge, Baptist was a no-show and a bench warrant was sent out for his immediate arrest.

Sisto Victor Osorio, 48, of Libertad Village, was killed while walking on the main road in Libertad by a man who approached him from behind and “lashed” him on the head with a solid piece of wood at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20. Osorio fell forward and died almost immediately. On Saturday, Marciano Correa, accompanied by his attorney, Lionel Welch, surrendered himself to Police. He was then arrested and charged with murder. Correa was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court today, Monday, where he was arraigned on the charge of murder. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 30, when he is to be returned to court. Witnesses told police that the men were socializing in Libertad when they became involved in an altercation. Osorio was walking away when Correa allegedly picked up a stick, ran behind him and hit him on the head. One of the witnesses told police that Correa went to him and told him that he had just lashed Osorio in his head. Correa said he believed that he was dead, and requested that the witness go for Osorio and take him to the Corozal Town Hospital.

Ramsey was accused of trying to kill Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill in 2008. This evening a jury of nine persons found Leeroy Ramsey, 28, guilty of two counts of attempted murder after hearing the Crown’s case, presented by Sheneiza Smith. Police say that in the wee hours of February 19, 2008, Ramsey attempted to kill Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill when he fired shots in their direction, one of which caught Broaster, while the men were on Racoon Street. After the shooting, Broaster had given police a statement in which he identified Ramsey as the person who shot him. Broaster had been shot in the left side of his chest, and his statement was corroborated by a witness, Robert Wagner, who was on the other side of the street when the altercation had occurred. The alleged motive for the shooting was a misunderstanding between Broaster and Ramsey at a club, at the end of which Ramsey had vowed that he would be returning later.

One of two men wanted by police for various offenses including murder, aggravated burglary, and handling stolen goods, and for whom an intense manhunt was being carried out, turned himself in to the San Ignacio police. Marvin “ Bamboo “ Neal, 20, of Santa Elena, Cayo, went to the San Ignacio Police Station at about 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 19, and turned himself in after being on the run for three days. Police said that Neal and his accomplice, Jardo “Steel Bob” Lamb Arthurs, 25, of Santa Elena, were the two men who went into an establishment in San Ignacio at about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and not only stole an assortment of items from the business at gunpoint, but also tried to kill the owner of the resort by strangling her. The duo are also wanted for, among other offences, a November 2012 robbery in Mango Creek. The public is warned that Jarod “Steel Bob” Lamb, still at large, is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize this weekend for New York, USA, where he is scheduled to meet with the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-Moon of Korea, who the Prime Minister intends to brief on the Belize-Guatemala referendum planned for October 6, 2013, in line with the special agreement signed between the parties back in 2008, setting out provisions for the territorial differendum to be litigated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Government announced this weekend that Barrow will brief Ban Ki-Moon on Belize’s current position. Latest reports to our newspaper are that the OAS has still not announced a date on which it intends to meet with Belize and Guatemala to discuss the latest impasse, which has emerged because Guatemala is insisting on a change of date for the simultaneous referenda. Last November, the UN Secretary-General issued his salutation for “the progress made by Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States to resolve their longstanding territorial dispute.” Ban Ki-Moon said he welcomed their decision to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October 2013 to consult their populations on referring the dispute to the ICJ.

“a judge should be free from governmental and political pressure likely to affect, or perceived to affect the judge in exercise of his judicial functions.” “…governmental power must be exercised according to law” In a major ruling handed down on Friday, April 19, 2013, Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall overturned a portion of the Belize Constitution Sixth Amendment, particularly sections 15 and 16, which the judge found to be “unconstitutional, null and void,” and which he furthermore found were contrary to clauses in the Constitution that assure justices of the Court of Appeal security of tenure and which mandate the government to observe the rule of law. The provisions are intended to ensure that judges don’t show undue bias in favor of the government when cases to which they are party come before the court; but they are also intended to foster and maintain public confidence in the judiciary. However, Justice Legall demonstrated how confidence in the judiciary could be eroded by the new provisions of the Constitution, because with the change of Court of Appeal appointments to as short as one year, a judge may feel “political or governmental pressure” to get an extension beyond a year and may therefore comply with the wishes and dictates of the executive—in this case, the Barrow administration.

There has been a reduction in crime in the Dean Street, George Street West and Yabra areas, which form a part of the Precinct 1 Zone, commanded by Superintendent Alden Dawson. The announcement was made by the precinct commander on Monday, April 15, during an interview with the press at the precinct headquarters on Euphrates and Kut Avenues. Dawson said that the precinct police are working well in the community, that the number of crimes in these areas has decreased, and that already over 130 residents of these communities have expressed interest in starting neighborhood watch groups to further assist police in the crime-fighting effort in their communities. He said that this was not the case when the precinct policing was first rolled out. There was actually a lack of cooperation from the residents, which posed a considerable challenge, he said. Dawson said that he held meetings with the residents and reminded them that the police are there to help them and to work with them, and he urged them to become a part of the efforts to reduce the crimes, and they are now responding. The residents, he said, are starting to feel secure in once high-crime areas. He went on to thank the residents for their cooperation and their continued support.

— by Evan X Hyde I have a godson who is about nine years old. A couple years ago, unbeknownst to me, his mother, my comadre, managed to move out of the gang-controlled neighborhood where she grew up and rent a house in a cooler ‘hood. She was telling me of this a few weeks ago, and she said that she is scared of ever having to return to the old ‘hood because, when she sends her son to spend time with his cousins, aunts, and other family members in the old ‘hood, when he comes back home she can see the changes in his behavior and attitude. If you are a male child growing up in certain areas of the Southside, it is almost impossible not to be sucked into the gang life. Not only is there pressure from all of your friends and family members, the gang life has drama and excitement in it, and drama and excitement appeal to young boys. Let’s put this another way. Different neighborhoods are at war with other ‘hoods, and the young boys and young men are the warriors/heroes of each ‘hood. This is the reality of life in certain areas. Unless you are a real “wussy,” you are recruited or you join at an early age, an age the rest of society considers childhood. In Guatemala, there was a bloody civil war which lasted from 1960 to 1996. The Guatemalans who paid most of the human price for the civil war were the indigenous rural populations. Their young men were forced into the Guatemalan army or they became left-wing guerrillas. The army and the guerrillas were at war with each other. It wasn’t as if these young men had a choice. The neo-European elite who are the super rich of Guatemala do not have their sons dragged into the military to fight against the poor. They force the poor to fight against the poor. Life was hell amongst the indigenous people, because they were being tortured and killed by both sides in the civil war, but mostly by the army.

THE GAME Editorial
A few weeks ago we drew an editorial quadrilateral for you, a quadrilateral which featured Mexico to Belize’s northwest, Cuba to our northeast, Jamaica to our east, and Guatemala to our west. Guatemala claims Belize’s territory, but the other three countries are our good friends. There is a difference in philosophy and perspective between Mexico and Guatemala, and the difference, we submit, is the Mexican Revolution, which some scholars see as lasting from 1910 to 1940. Indigenous people in both Mexico and Guatemala are poor, but some of the greatest heroes of the Mexican Revolution were indigenous, like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, and at the very end of the Revolution, Lázaro Cardenas, perhaps Mexico’s greatest president ever, was of indigenous ancestry, and he performed the most nationalistic act in Mexico’s nationalistic history: he nationalized Mexico’s oil fields and oil industry. Great Britain and the United States were not at all happy about this. The game the United States has been playing and is presently playing between Guatemala and Belize is an oil game. The superpower U.S. economy requires enormous amounts of petroleum products, of which there are not sufficient reserves in the continental United States, so the securing of foreign oil supplies is a most important aspect of U.S. foreign policy. America allows Saudi Arabia to get away with a lot of things for which they pressure other nations, and this is because the Saudi oil fields are indispensable to Washington. Washington goes to extremes to influence the politics of Venezuela, because Venezuela’s oil is plentiful, and especially valuable when world oil prices are above $US 30 per barrel, which has been the case since 2004.

At its 6th Ordinary Congress held at the Princess Hotel & Casino on Saturday, April 6, and attended by UNCAF President, Rafael Tinoco and CONCACAF General Secretary, Enrique Sanz, FFB President, Ruperto Vicente pulled no punches when he declared that “our Federation was robbed,” referring to the financial and other dealings of the past Dr. Bertie Chimilio led FFB administration. Through the previous decade and more when the “football family” was demoralized by the dictatorial stranglehold that Dr. Chimilio held on the FFB, violating the statutes when it suited him, it was acknowledged by all on the inside of “Belizean football politics” that Dr. Chimilio’s continued manipulation of the FFB for his own selfish purposes was only possible because he enjoyed the full blessing and support of then CONCACAF President, Alfred “Jack” Warner. Jack Warner, the President of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TFF), banked on Dr. Chimilio’s vote to secure his presidency of CONCACAF. The pressure for reform has been building within FIFA over the past few years, and Warner resigned his CONCACAF Presidency post to avoid sanctions when a bribery scandal broke in 2010 involving himself and aspiring FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam. According to a FIFA press release on Monday, June 20, 2011, “As a consequence of Mr. Warner’s self-determined resignation, all Ethics Committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained.” But “the long arm of the law” in football would eventually catch up with both Warner and Bin Hammam.


Tomorrow’s Environmentalists Start Today at Chaa Creek
The Lodge at Chaa Creek has kicked off its innovative Eco Kids Summer Camp program for 2013 with an invitation to budding young environmentalists to apply for a free nine-day, eight night educational adventure at the Belizean eco resort’s Macal River Camp. Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the annual event gives 24 young Belizeans a chance to learn about their natural world through a mix of adventure, social interaction, fun and hands-on education aimed at instilling a sense of wonder and responsibility for the environment, according to program sponsors Mick and Lucy Fleming. “We’ve always felt that investing in our young people was the best way to prepare Belize, the region and indeed the world for the many environmental challenges that lay ahead. Young people who are impassioned about their natural world and understand the need to protect it are our best hope for the future,” Lucy Fleming said during the launch of this year’s program.

“Get It Right Next Time” in Ambergris Caye
Up way too early yesterday morning at 3 am. Why? Well, I fell asleep on the sofa just before 10 pm the previous night. Not complaining though because I really do enjoy the quiet of that time of the morning. Just the wind rustling the palms and the sound of the ocean. Gave me plenty of time to send ‘how are you’ emails to friends in the UK. And get responses back. I don’t want to go back there but it is nice to keep in touch and know what is going on. Then spent a fair amount of time looking at tiles. We are going to deliberate quite a lot on tile selection because we are going to have to live with what we choose. In between 9 to 11 am we showed two couples around the condo we are renting because it is up for sale and it is a condition of our rental agreement that access /viewing is available. This is not at all onerous though. The viewers – so far – have all been very polite. After taking care of this Rose and I took our Kindles down to the loungers on the beach and ‘chilled out’ ( stupid expression really for a temperature that was in the high 90s) until it was time to go look at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant 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. It is always good to be able to identify and understand what strategies are most helpful to teach students, as well as to use our own selves, so they/we can develop productively in this 21st Century. However,before we go delving into the many strategies that can be used to motivate and/or turn around students or ourselves, from unproductive to productive, we should first understand WHY we want or need to put these strategies into practice. To whom are we responsible, and specifically, for what? Why do we constantly need to bring innovative solutions into classrooms to match today’s technologically advanced times vs. keeping old and antiquated teaching systems under which we parents and grandparents studied, and/or that worked for us? Why does it matter whether we do, or not, respect students today or address their emotional, social, in-school and out-of-school needs and problems? The answer to each of these questions is basic and will never change: young people (students) today are our world tomorrow.

International Sources

Local resident helps to bring two worlds together
Since sixth grade when they kept horses together in Harry Homrig's stable in Mason City, Jean Arndt and her two friends Teresa and Cindy have been very close. Their friendship continues and it has taken them to other parts of the world, specifically Central America. In 2007, after Teresa and her husband bought a house in Hopkins, Belize, Jean and her husband Jerry decided to visit the couple. The Arndts fell in the love with the country and its people. This past January, Jean and Cindy decided to take a "girls trip" to Belize and visit Teresa. "When we decided to take the trip, I thought it would be a great idea to visit the school there since I am a senior friend to Mrs. Kittleson's 6th grade class," said Jean. "Teresa arrived in Belize two weeks before Cindy and I, so she visited the school, told them what I would like to do and got permission for us to visit." In the meantime, Mrs. Kittleson and Jean talked to the class and then had them write letters to the children in Belize. "I told them what I knew of Belize," said Jean, "that the town I was going to was Hopkins. It was a small fishing village and pretty poor, not a lot of tourists, at least not in 2007. There are more tourists now.

HuffPost: Offshore Oil Drilling Stopped in Belize’s Barrier Reef, in Major Victory
Belize is home to the largest coral reef system in the Western hemisphere — the Mesoamerican Reef, which stretches 560 miles, 186 of which lie in Belizean waters. In the past decade the Belizean government secretly leased rights to drill for oil in its reef — including the famous Blue Hole — to local companies with little to no experience in the very complicated and hazardous business of offshore oil drilling. Given the high frequency of oil spills and leaks in offshore drilling operations (which, for example, occur nearly every day in the Gulf of Mexico), the decision to green-light drilling operations in the Belizean Barrier Reef — a habitat central to Belize’s tourism-based economy — led to a fierce national debate in Belize after the secret leases were revealed in the wake of the 2010 Gulf Oil spill. Based on the history of past environmental debates in Belize, it appeared that the government was likely to prevail.

April 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Contingency of Canadian Tourism Industry Professionals on FAM trip in Belize
Canada is Belize’s second largest market for overnight tourism. Last year alone over 24,000 Canadians visited Belize and the number keeps growing. For that reason, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is now investing more into the Canadian market, hosting a number of media practitioners, Canadian based travel writers, travel agents and tour operators to experience Belize as part of Belize’s strategy to reach to more Canadian tourists/travelers. During their week’s stay in Belize, the Canadian contingency, which has been divided into two groups, will be visiting several destinations such as the Cayo District, Hopkins, Placencia Peninsula and Ambergris Caye, where BTB hopes they can discover Belize. According to Travel Trade Officer at BTB, Althea Sebastian the Canadian Road Show FAM Trip is a follow-up to road shows that BTB did in January in Canada. “This is the first time that we (BTB) are bringing Canadians to a FAM trip in Belize. We want them to experience firsthand the Belize product. They will be travelling the entire country so that they can get to know the country so as to better sell Belize as a destination,” explained Sebastian in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Prime Minister Departs to New York and Haiti
In New York, the Prime Minister will have audience with the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon. Prime Minister Barrow will brief the Secretary General on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. The Prime Minister’s visit to New York is being coordinated by the Office of Belize’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will join fellow Heads of States of the Caribbean at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Associates of Caribbean States scheduled for 25th and 26th April, 2013. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will be joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado.

Ambergris Today

Belize Pauses and Remembers Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 20, 2013 marked three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster caused by British Petroleum(BP) in the Gulf of Mexico in which 11 workers died. This tragic event played out just at the time the Belizean public became aware that since 2007 100% of Belize waters were leased out to oil companies, through contracts signed unknown to the Belizean public. British Petroleum is one of the leading international oil companies with the latest offshore technology yet they could not prevent this disaster that occurred while only doing exploratory work not commercial extraction. In 2010 was one of approximately 200 deep water offshore rigs capable of drilling in waters more than 5,000 ft (1,500 m). In Belize the offshore areas issued out under the now unlawful contracts were in areas as deep at 12,000 ft and given out to companies which do not even have half the capabilities and expertise as BP.

Video Pick: Belikin Beer ‘Do Work’ Commercial Spot
Belikin Beer’s newest commercial spot encourages Belizeans to ‘Do Work’ and after a hard week inviting everyone to have a cold Belikin Beer. The commercial was released on April 19, 2013, with footage paying homage to the hard working Belizeans. The advertisement spots highlight the labor workers in the agricultural and industrial industries and the everyday hard working people who make Belize run. It’s another great testament of all things Belize!

Boat Building in San Pedro
Boat building is an art that is self-taught in Belize and though Caulker has had a wider exposure and fame in boat building, San Pedro does have its credits to boast of. Let us go back many years ago in San Pedro in the 1950’s when Mr. Maurice Bladen (+) lived in San Pedro with his entire family and made his living from this interesting art- boat building. Mista Maurice, as he was called by everyone, lived right on the beach where Holiday Hotel is now located and there he had fabricated wood sailing boats, cargo boats and fishing boats. If he got his hands on a large log he would even carve out a dory or a ‘dugout’, as they were popularly known. Boat owners also hauled their boats at Mista Maurice’s place for periodical repairs. On an interesting note Mista Maurice not only fabricated boats but children as well. When he moved from San Pedro to Belize City to continue his trade there, he already had eighteen children. One of his daughters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren still live in San Pedro.

Pic of the Week: Conference Call at Ras Creek Eco Tours, Caye Caulker
It seemed like a very important conference call was taking place on board the Ras Creek Eco Tours vessel right before it took off for its afternoon sunset cruise in Caye Caulker, Belize. Whatever the topic we are sure it involved having fun in the sun! Ras Creek and his slow pace Love Boat that takes customers for sightseeing tours along the island of Caye Caulker before heading to the reef for snorkeling and sunset trips. It is a famous tour company on the island that has garnered popularity for its fun and adventurous tours.

SAGA Pasta Cook Off
SAGA Humane Society Monthly Cook off Fundraiser to be held at Sanbar on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. This month’s theme: PASTA!!! Tickets for on sale at 6pm, serving starts at 6:30 pm. Only $10Bze to sample all the entries. Lots of raffles and prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners.

Concerns Over Dredging in Western Area of Ambergris Caye
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.

Misc Belizean Sources

Message for U.S. Citizens, Embassy meeting May 3
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belmopan invites U.S. citizens to attend a town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: May 3, 2013 Place: Blue Water Grill (Sunbreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town, Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff will discuss the public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and other areas of general interest. Consular staff will also offer services - · Accepting adult U.S. passport renewal and additional visa pages applications (applicants or authorized representatives will need to be able to pick up their passports at the U.S. Embassy at a later date) · Notary services (no real estate closings or certified copies).

Belize still criminalizes homosexual activity between consenting adults. UNIBAM is challenging that law (Section 53) as a violation of constitutional and human rights. This public service announcement aims to promote tolerance in a society where homophobia is widely practiced. We Are One! In dignity and right

VIDEO: respect UniBAM Belize
PSA against homophobia and transphobia

Episode 6 of Loving Belize, Underwater Adventures with Little Kitchen an the Belize Music Awards
In this episode you are taken on a fishing adventure with 'Little Kitchen Adventure tours' with fishermen Roy Flowers and Manola from Caye Caulker. In Belize City Driva 'Don't stop at all' gives a inspirational talk to the children at the 'Living Hope' Prep School for kids at risk, he talks about his road through crime and incarceration and how he found his way back to education and became an award winning film maker and musician. I interview music artist Anaconda talking about his new upcoming album and his thoughts about Belize city today.

Earth Day in Seven Miles Village
Roni Martinez and the students of El Progresso Government school planted some trees for Earth Day. Well done, and well said! "Today we celebrated Earth Day. Today we planted for the future, not for us, but for the generations coming behind us. Not because we care about ourselves, but because we want to leave a little memory to remind those coming behind us... that we cared about them."

AGRIC Improvements
AGRIC is just over a week away, and they've come a long way with the improvements.

Video: Kayaking the Chalillo Reservoir
It's Earth Day, and Tony Rath uploaded a cool video from Cayo's Chalillo reservoir and Macal River. He has a great introspective moment: "I wonder if photographers are actually capturing visual memories of the moment so they don't forget; or they struggle to capture the 'feeling' of that moment so others will not foresake?"

Chaa Creek Eco Kids Camp 2013
Happy Earth Day! Chaa Creek has announced their Eco Kids Camp for 2013. It's a free 9 day all-inclusive camp, and the kids get to stay at the Macal River Camp the entire time, while learning about the environment. Truly an experience of a lifetime. They are having an essay competition; simply send in a 300 word essay explaining why you want to be an Eco Kid. Kids between the ages of 8 and 13 are eligible. Good luck!

On Friday, 19 April 2013, Corozal Junior College held its annual EXPO. took these photos from the EXPO, featuring exhibits by both CJC students, and supportive businesses and organizations from Corozal and elsewhere in Belize.

Contracts Signed to Begin Road Project in Santa Elena/San Ignacio
Today, in a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Works Conference Room, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project to begin works for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project, which includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The project which is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize was awarded to Norman Reimer of A & N Construction. The Ministry of Works will be assisted by supervision consultants, Becker International Consultants Limited. In addition to the aesthetic and infrastructural improvements, the BZD$5 million project will bring economic benefits and employment to the area. The works are expected to be completed in eighteen months. Present for the ceremony were Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Rene Montero, Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Mr. Errol Gentle and representatives from A & N Construction and Becker International Consultants Limited. End.

Channel 7

Oldest Taxi Stand Moved For Park Renovation
The downtown taxi-stand on Albert street in Belize city - it’s probably the oldest taxi stand in Belize – having been there for more than half a century. But tonight, the taxi-men have been unseated from their long held position – as the City Council has a plan to overhaul Battlefield Park. Except no one told the taxi drivers – until it was time for them to move – making it a battle over parking space. 7news has been following the story since Saturday. Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday, We were called out to the Battlefield Park, where a backhoe was already demolishing the structures inside. The parking area in front of the park is where the Downtown Taxi Cooperative and the Albert Street Taxi Union both operate. They couldn’t conduct any business there because the Belize City Council had already plugged the street with steel rods cordoning off the area from in front of the Belize Bank, all the way to Brodies. This effectively evicted all the taxi operators from around this area, without any consultation.

Alleged Burglar Accomplice To Court
Last week, Friday, 7News told you about 21 year-old Ryan Lozano, the young man who police shot to death after they caught him burglarizing a home. Well, the man who police believe to be his accomplice is at prison tonight. He is 33 year-old Lenny Bennett Benguche. According to Ladyville police, on Thursday at around noon, when they responded to a burglary in Los Lagos, they saw Benguche hiding behind the house. Lozano reportedly exited the house a few minutes after police arrived. Police say that they cautioned Lozano, 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 - An account which his family and neighbors dispute. They detained Benguche and transported Lozano to the KHMH, but he died the next day due his extensive internal injuries.

Alleged Killer in Libertad Charged
On Friday, we told you about the murder of 43 year old Sisto Victorio Osorio – who was killed in Libertad Village. As we told you, Osorio, was found lying face down on the pavement at noon on Friday, apparently dead. A man struck him in the head with a blunt object. Well, on Saturday 58 year old Marciano Correa, surrendered himself to police accompanied by his attorney Lionel Welch. He was charged for murder today and will be remanded to prison. There is no clear motive for the murder, but it may have been provoked by a family dispute. The deceased, Osorio is reported to have had a relationship with Correa’s sister. They had a fight – and Correa reportedly attacked Osorio on his sister’s behalf.

GOB: Why El Turk Should Be Extradited
3 weeks ago, we told you about the extradition proceedings for Khaled El Turk, the Lebanese Belizean who the United States Government has under indictment. According to Drug Enforcement Agency, Khaled El Turk trafficked large quantities of pseudoephedrine – the chemical precursor for methamphetamines – from 2009 to 2012. As a result, they’ve sent a warrant for his extradition on the charges of the importation of pseudoephedrine and conspiracy to the importation of pseudoephedrine, but as we told you, El Turk isn’t going quietly. He is resisting the extradition, and his attorneys made submissions on his behalf at the last adjournment before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Today, he was brought back to court, where the Government Crown Counsels were given an opportunity to respond to the submissions made by the defence. Those submissions are of a technical legal nature, so we asked one of his attorneys to explain it outside of court.

BWC VS BCC: Round 2
2 months ago, 7News told you about the attempt by the Belize Waste Control to get Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley jailed for contempt of court. It’s because of an outstanding 2.3 Million dollar arbitration award that the City Council owes to Belize Waste Control. Bradley was the attorney for the then City Council administration and last year, the court ordered the Council to pay it. They didn't and so Waste Control's Attorney Fred Lumor took the Mayor to the Supreme Court to ask Justice Michelle Arana to cite him for contempt. If the Court ruled in his favor, Mayor Bradley would be committed to jail. He delayed that warrant’s proceedings by asking the court for more time to properly put on record City Hall’s financial position. The matter was called up again today, and Justice Michelle Arana heard submissions in her chambers from Lumor and Bradley’s attorney, Michael Young. When he exited the court, 7News asked Lumor for an update and if a resolution was possible in the near future. Here’s what he told us Fred Lumor - Attorney for Belize Waste Control "The City Council last week sent a check of $50,000 to my client. The debt as of March 31st is almost $2.3m. So I can say to you that is pittance. They proposed to pay $10,000 a month so that would come up to $120,000 a year. The interest that accrues yearly is about $82,000. Realize that isn't a proposal. The matter is adjourned to June 10th and City Council has indicated to the court that they intend to reach a settlement with Belize Waste Control before that date. I have indicated to the court that on that day I intend to proceed if there is no settlement."

He Allegedly Gives Her a Hickey; She Gets Him Arrested
Tonight, 42 year-old Daniel Zetina, a Belize City resident, is out on bail on the charge of indecent assault, after he was taken to court today. According to a 46 year-old woman, on Saturday, Zetina pressed unwanted advances on her, where he fondled her, and gave her a love bite on the neck. She reported it to police, and requested court action against him. They arrested and charged him aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who granted him bail of $500 dollars. He was able to meet bail, and he must return to court on May 28, 2013.

PUP Accepts Fault For Voided PSA’s?
The PUP today issued an interesting release commending Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall for a judgment in which he found that a former PUP government had acted wrongly. Legall found that six production sharing agreements were voice because no environmental assessment was carried out before the agreements were awarded, and contracts were given to companies that were unqualified. Those contracts were signed during the last PUP government, but today a party release says, quote, “The PUP fully supports the Court rulings and pledges to abide by these decisions in a PUP government.” Speaking of the other major judgment handed down by Legall last week, in which he found that short term contracts for Judges are unconstitutional, the PUP calls those, quote, “attempts by the Barrow Administration to undermine the Rule of Law and the independence of the Judiciary.” The government plans to appeal both judgments.

Officer Stoned With A Brick While Guarding Former PM’s House
On Sunday there was the report of trouble at former Prime Minister Said Musa’s house. Musa called the police at around 11:30 to say that the police constable assigned to guard his home had been stoned. Musa told us that at about 10:30, the constable knocked on his front door to say someone stoned him with a brick. Musa says he didn’t see the officer bleeding, but still, he called 911 a number of times; unfortunately it was during a blackout and they didn’t answer. Finally, after power was restored, he called the police station and they sent CIB and Patrol teams – one of which took the officer to the hospital. We saw police searching the yard. Musa today described the entire event as “weird” but said he’s sure it was not directed at him.

Belize’s Human Rights Report Card From US
The Office of the US Secretary of State has issued its Country Rpeort for Belize on Human Rights practices for 2012. The report says that “the most important human rights abuses during the year were the use of excessive force by security forces, including the deaths of five persons involving on or off- duty police officers and discrimination based on sexual orientation.” The report notes that, quote, “There was apparent impunity for high-ranking officials, but authorities took action against 51 police officers and brought criminal charges against 48 of them for alleged abuses.” In an interesting detail about the Hattieville Prison, the report notes that in 2012 prison “Authorities…seized 10 pounds of marijuana, 182 cell phones, 15 buckets of wine, BZ$4,692 dollars and 97 handmade weapons.”

Upgraded Drainage For Buttonwood Bay
A new drainage project was launched today in the Buttonwood Bay area. It will address the infrastructure needs of over six hundred area residents with the installation of close to six thousand feet of concrete drains with covers for sidewalks, as well as the replacement of driveways, walkways and installations of new culverts. 7news spoke to Area Rep and Minister of State Santino Castillo – who told us about the importance of this drainage project. Santino Castillo - Minister of State "Well today we're launching the Buttonwood Bay drainage project. This is a project that was in the pipeline when I went to the Ministry of Economic Development and it is one of the projects that I pushed real hard because it falls in my constituency, Caribbean Shores. To bring it to fruition, it is a $1m Drainage Project specifically in this area that will directly affect 600 residents. It's to fix all the drains.

PM Reports On Referendum To UN
Prime Minister Dean Barrow travelled to New York yesterday where is will meet with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. According to an official release, the PM will brief the Secretary General on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. From there, on Thursday, the Prime Minister moves unto Haiti where he and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington join fellow Caribbean Heads of State and Government at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Association of Caribbean States While he is away, Deputy PM, Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Guat Foreign Minister: Referendum Not Happening
And while the PM is at the UN talking to the Secretary General, the Guatemalans seem to be unilaterally disposing of the referendum. An article in the Prensa Libre today says that Foreign Minister Fernando Carerra has written to the Guatemalan Congress to tell them – basically - that the October sixth referendum is a no-go. Carrerra’s letter says there are three barriers: first, the education campaign that hasn’t started in that country yet; second, Belize’s 60% referendum thresh-hold and third the cost. He says that the only way to proceed is for Belize to have its referendum first, and if that succeeds then the Guatemalans would have one on June of 2014. Second, Belize would have to remove its 60% thresh-hold. Belize has flatly rejected both these conditionalities.

Training For Police Prosecutors
Today, over 25 law enforcement prosecutors were in Belmopan at the police training academy to learn about more effective prosecutions. For the next two weeks, they’ll be learning how to draw up charges and see them through to conviction. Superintendent Linden Flowers, the Commandant of the Training Academy tells us how it will be helpful. Superintendent Linden Flowers- Commandant - National Police Training Academy "It is very important for our police and the different agencies that are taking perpetrators or alleged perpetrators or persons who you suspect have committed a crime or an offense to be able to properly present that case in court. It is very timely. With a lot of the organizations we see more and more people are taking persons into court. A component of this course will also assist these sergeants and corporals for internal presentations of cases against Police officers who are charged for one offence or the other." Attendees are from the Police Department, the Fisheries Department and Municipal Traffic.

Legal Drag Racing In Belize?
All day yesterday, residents of the Belama area heard cars revving, and racing up and down the newly cemented Chetumal Boulevard. They were rag racing – which is usually a public menace and an illegal practice. But not this time; it was Westtrac’s first annual high octane car show. The highlight was the first ever legal drag race - with permission from the Mayor of course. Today one of the organizers, told 7news that the event was more than a success. Ron Lecky - Organizer of Car Show "What we had was Westrac's first annual High-Octane car show and it consisted of a car show and a drag racing event. Everybody was excited because it was the first legal drag racing for Belize."

SISE Road Works Pending
The new bridge spanning the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena is one step closer to reality after contracts were signed for the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The 5 million dollar project was awarded to Norman Reimer of A & N Construction while The Ministry of Works will be assisted by supervision consultants, Becker International Consultants Limited. It is expected to be completed in eighteen months. This road on the San Ignacio side will be across from the Loma Luza Boulevard on the Santa Elena – paving of which is already well underway. The project is sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize.

Channel 5

Plane heard over Corozal village
Police and B.D.F. last Thursday, found nine blue drums containing suspected aviation fuel and sixteen empty plastic gallon containers near a landing strip that was destroyed by the B.D.F. two years ago in the area of Back Landing in the Orange Walk District. The find was made when law enforcement units were looking for a [...]

St. Ignatius student dies and friend injured in accident
The Saint Ignatius High School of Santa Elena is mourning the death of one of its students and hoping for the recovery of another. On Saturday morning, the two students, who have also established themselves as outstanding athletes, hitched a ride from Cristo Rey heading back to San Ignacio. But they never made it because [...]

One hit murder in Libertad
There was a murder up north on Friday. A mechanic was killed reportedly over a bottle of rum and his best friend has been charged. Sisto Victor Osorio was hit on the head and died within minutes in the village of Libertad. Fifty-eight year old Marciano Correa turned himself in to the police and has [...]

Downtown cab drivers protest, but did they have the facts?
We’ve all heard the cliché progress brings problems, but it’s probably never been more real than right about now in Belize City, where traffic congestion, blocked streets and frustration are the crosses we all must bear. Mayor Darrell Bradley has a plan, and that plan includes more infrastructural development than we’ve seen in, well, forever. [...]

Battlefield Park undergoes a second renovation
But back to the City where a new project has caused an uproar at downtown Albert Street. We can’t exactly call it a facelift, or even a renovation. What it seems to be is a complete deconstruction of the historic Battlefield Park – razing it all to the ground, bandstand and all. Now it seems [...]

Drag racing on newly inaugurated Chetumal Boulevard
If we had to caption this story, we’d probably call it – ONLY IN BELIZE. It’s just one of those things that make you shake your head. Less than a week ago, Chetumal Boulevard just off the Northern Highway was inaugurated with much pomp, ceremony and fanfare. It was a project of which Mayor Darrell [...]

El Turk extradition case meets roadblock
The extradition case against businessman Khalid Jamil El Turk, of Lebanese extraction and wanted by U.S. authorities for conspiracy to import pseudo-ephedrine, resumed today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.  El Turk, who has been on remand since October 2012, is represented by attorneys Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester.  After tendering a bundle of documents [...]

Career burglar remanded for recent incident; accomplice killed
Thirty-three year old Lenny Benguche, one of two men caught in the act of breaking into a residence in Los Lagos last Thursday, was arraigned on a single charge of burglary when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this evening. Benguche was hiding behind the house when police arrived on the scene. Police [...]

John Baptist convicted of carnal knowledge against 6 year old
A man has been found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and is awaiting sentencing for that crime. Thirty-eight year old John Baptist Sr. was accused of one count of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature for crimes he allegedly committed against a six [...]

Turneffe caretaker found dead
A caretaker of a fishing camp on Turneffe Island was found dead on Friday, but preliminary examination does not suggest foul play. Fisherman and owner of the camp Leopold Westby today told News Five that he went out to the camp on Friday at about ten am and could not locate sixty-five year old caretaker [...]

SATIIM says rosewood being cut during amnesty
The public furor over government’s rosewood amnesty has not died down. In fact, on Friday the flames were fanned by a very strong release from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. The organization is calling on the government to immediately rescind the amnesty, saying it is only serving to perpetuate a vicious cycle [...]

P.U.P. supports and gives credibility to 2 court rulings
The People’s United Party is weighing in on two recent court decisions. In respect of the OCEANA challenge on six oil contracts, the court declared them null and void because a required Environmental Impact Assessment was not carried out. The Opposition says it fully supports the Court rulings and pledges to abide by these decisions [...]

To control numerous brushfires across the country
Brushfires have been sparking all across the country; the Fire Department says it is caused by the dry spell. While there is nothing unusual about the “bushfires” residents of Lord’s Bank had a close call on Sunday when a fire spread dangerously close to many houses. The smoke billowed across the area as firefighters battled [...]

A common ground; Succotz gains a recreational park for kids
Each community needs open space and a safe environment for its youths to serve as a playground to foster friendship and also to begin to learn about the world of sports. Perhaps that is why in Succotz Village, it was important enough for the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia to make an appearance. According to [...]

James Adderley’s Sports Highlight
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   Week 13 of the FLB season found FC Belize inside the friendly Confines of the MCC grounds yesterday needing all three points to remain in the 4 team playoff picture as it took on San Ignacio United in a must win situation. However it’s [...]


Corozal Police Investigate Report of Drug Plane Flying Over Libertad
Last week Thursday 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 where they found nine blue plastic drums containing aviation fuel and 16 empty clear plastic fuel containers. The items were found about 100 yards from an abandoned runway that had been destroyed by the Belize Defense Force months ago. But that’s all that police found because despite numerous reports from residents of Crooked Tree and Carmelita Village that a plane was circling in the area no aircraft was found. But apparently a phantom plane is flying around because last night reports reaching our news room and the Corozal Police Department indicated that a drug plane had crash landed between the areas of Santa Cruz Lodge and the community of Estrella located a few miles outside of Libertad Village in Corozal. We received the information at around 9:30pm but upon making checks with several residents from Libertad the report was dismissed. Upon contacting the Corozal Police Department early this morning, we were informed that officers, accompanied by members of the Anti Drug Unit were dispatched to the area but nothing was unearthed.

Two Seperate Traffic Accidents Recorded In Corozal
A student of Cristo Rey Village in Corozal is lucky to be alive tonight after she was hit by a 10 wheeler truck on Saturday at around 9:00 in the morning. CTV3 News understands that the driver of the truck, Regino Loza, 61year old farmer of Patchakan Village Corozal, was driving his truck from a west to east direction when he knocked down Minelia Pena; a 15 year old student of Cristo Rey Village who was riding her bicycle in a south to north direction. It is alleged that Pena made a sudden left turn and collided into the mid section of the truck. She sustained a broken left leg, abrasions to the back of her left shoulder and received a large cut wound on her foot. Loza has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Yesterday evening around 6:00 Corozal police responded to a traffic accident at the Libertad junction. When police arrived at the scene they observed a blue pickup truck bearing license plate CZL-C-16228, overturned. At the time of the accident Esther Tun, Rosa Perez, Nayely Gillharry, Cayetana Perez, Lea Puck, Mariano Tun, Miniela Tun and three year old Mayrani Pena, were riding in the back of the pickup truck while 33 year old Yuri Lucas was behind the wheel.

New Horizon Building The Future For Our Future Generation
Last week we brought you stories from The New Horizons Group hard at work in the Belizean community, more recently in the north, with their medical, veterinary and school construction undertakings. Today CTV3 visited the construction site at the Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk where we found the New Horizons Group hard at work. Shelly Gillette – Reporting CTV3 has been following the New Horizons group bringing you stories of their work and collaboration with the Belize Defence Force and Ministries of Health and Education, during their 90-day deployment to Belize, between the months of March and June 2013. The Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk Town is one of the 4 recipients of a new building being constructed to accommodate new classrooms and much needed offices. Vice Principal, Perla Hoy expressed how vital the new construction will be to the school’s continued development.

Guatemala Backs Out Of Planned Referendum
The Prime Minister of Belize left the country on official business to New York and Haiti yesterday. In New York, the Prime Minister will brief the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will join fellow Heads of States of the Caribbean at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Associates of Caribbean States scheduled for 25th and 26th April, 2013. In Haiti, the P.M will be joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado. The Prime Minister is expected to return to Belize on Sunday April 28th 2013. During his absence, the Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Hundreds Take Part In Cancer Walk To Bring Awareness
On Saturday hundreds of Orange Walkenos took part in the annual cancer walk organized by the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group. This year’s 5th cancer walk was geared at creating cancer awareness but most importantly it honored those who are fighting the disease and paid tribute to those who have lost the battle along the way. Shelly Gillette – Reporting The Orange Walk Cancer Support Group saw a record high turnout, as the community came out in full support of the 5th annual cancer walk celebrating the group’s anniversary and outreach program. The walk, organized under this year’s theme, “The Fight is on against Cancer”, started at 6:00am from the San Martin Gas Station in Orange Walk Town. As participants made their way to the Orange Walk Central Park, where officially ceremonies took place, they had but one thing in mind to bring awareness about the deadly disease.

Man Accused Of Killing Victor Osorio Surrenders To Police
Tonight 58 year old Marciano Correa, Belizean laborer of Libertad Corozal, accused of the murder of 43 year old Sisto Victor Osorio, is behind bars. Correa, better known as Meko, surrendered himself to Corozal Police on Saturday in the company of his attorney Lionel Welch after being on the run for several hours. Correa appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this afternoon where he was charged with murder. All indications are that on Friday, at around midday, Osorio, also known as “Dalla Coin”, was walking along the main road in Libertad when Correa allegedly approached him from behind and hit him on the head with a blunt object. The victim’s body was discovered lying face down on the hot pavement by his close friend, Desmond Wade, a taxi driver of the same village. What exactly led to Osorio’s murder is yet unknown but reports suggest that earlier in the day Osorio became involved in an argument with a woman who happens to be Correa’s family.

Chan Pine Ridge School Burglarized For The Third Time
Chan Pine Ridge Government School fell victim to the hands of burglars for the third time this year as the schools snack shop was broken into over the weekend. Among the items stolen are a refrigerator, weed eater, wheel barrow, rakes, spades and about $200 in snacks and other supplies. “The Teacher, Mr. Iram reached at school and saw the school open and found out that the lock has been broken and unfortunately this is not the first time, on January they thieve worth of fifty dollars and then when the school opened on Easter the door was opened and luckily I took everything home during the holiday so that nothing happened so nobody took nothing, but this time yes during the weekend someone broke and they even took the refrigerator, they took the wheel barrow and they took some equipment for the agriculture that was kept there and they clean up the snack shop. We are sad to report that we had called the police over two hours ago and they haven’t come yet they give the same and sorry to say it but the silly excuse, we don’t have no vehicle or we don’t have any personnel and I would like to take this opportunity to tell the minister in charge of the police to stop buying top rides and expensive ride and instead of buying one buy motorcycle.”

John Baptist Failed To Return To Court
The trial against Belize City resident John Baptist, accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl, originally from the Corozal District began at the Supreme Court on Monday April 15th. But Baptist’s trial was put on hold on Thursday April 18th 2013, after he failed to return to court. Baptist is accused of abusing the girl several times between 2003 and 2010 when she was six years old. The victim, who is now a teenager, took the stand and testified that Baptist would abuse her mostly at nights and when it was dark. The teenager relayed that at first Baptist would touch her inappropriately and on other occasions, fondled and performed oral sex on her. She did not report the abuse since Baptist had threatened her with her life. With all witnesses taking the stand, Baptist, who had secured bail from the Supreme Court after he was arraigned for carnal knowledge and aggravated assault and of an indecent nature, was notified that his trial was coming to an end and his faith now lay on the hands of the jury. With that in mind Baptist did not return to court and is now a fugitive of the law as the judge has issued a warrant for his immediate arrest.


Guatemala suspends simultaneous referendum
Fernando Carrera, Foreign Minister for Guatemala, says that his Government has decided to suspend the simultaneous referendum that was scheduled for October 6 between Belize and Guatemala. Luis Fernando Carrera Castro told the Guatemalan media today that a letter has been sent to the Legislature explaining the decision. He...

Guatemalans arrested for panning gold in Belize’s forests
Three Guatemalan nationals busted inside the Chiquibul National Park in the Cayo district on Friday morning, were arraigned on firearms charges when they appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today. They are 32 year old Marcos Domingo Parrah, 40 year old Estevan Putul, and...

Traffic accident claims the life of a teenager
There have been a number of road traffic accidents over the last few weeks and we have another fatal one to report on tonight. A 16 year old died in this one while his 17 year old friend continues to fight for his life. A little after 7:00am on...

8 persons involved in road accident
There was another road accident over the weekend, this time involving eight persons. On Sunday evening, a 1998 Green Toyota 4 Runner was travelling on the George Price Highway toward Santa Elena Town. When it reached Miles 48-49, the left rear tire blew out, causing the driver to lose...

Teenager recovering after being knocked off cycle
A teenager is recovering after she was knocked down in Cristo Rey Village. Police say 15 year old Minelia Pena was riding her bike when she made a sudden left turn into an oncoming truck. She collided into the mid section of the white 10 wheeler truck and sustained...

Car overturns on Phillip Goldson Highway
On Friday night, sometime after 10:30, authorities were tipped of about a car that was swerving across the Phillip Goldson Highway. When Corozal Police were dispatched to the area, they intercepted a brownish Toyota Corolla car. The car was travelling toward Corozal Town. Police say they tried to stop...

Extradition hearing of Khalid El- Turk continues
Lebanese Belizean businessman Khalid El- Turk is being sought by the United States for illegal importation and conspiracy to import pseudo-ephedrine. El-Turk returned to the Belize City magistrate court this morning as his extradition hearing continues. Government counsels Magalie Perdomo and Illiana Swift responded to the charges by El-Turk’s...

Citco case with BWC still in Court
The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control reported to Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that they are still some ways from negotiating a settlement to pay off $2.3 million owed in a judgment in favour of the sanitation company since 2005. Attorney for BWC Fred Lumor explains the...

Murder accused Marciano Correa hands himself in to Police
The man accused of killing Libertad resident Victor Osorio Chi, handed himself into Police. The accused, 58 year old Marciano Correa, did so in the company of his attorney Lionel Welch on Saturday. On Friday afternoon, Correa and Chi got into an argument when Correa allegedly took a stick...

Marvin Neal charged with murder of Steven Valencia
A man who handed himself in to police on Friday is facing a number of charges. Today, the twenty five year Marvin Neal was charged for killing PUP activist Steven Valencia, which happened on the night of January 24th in the Trapiche area. Valencia was murdered during a home...

Body of an elderly man found on Turneffe Island
The body of an elderly man was found on Turneffe Island on Friday. 65 year old Joseph Matute, a caretaker who lives on the island, was found dead at around 3:00 pm on Friday. He has since been transported to the KHMH, where a postmortem will be conducted to...

Attempted Burglary of Civil Service Credit Union
Information to PLUS News is that thieves hit the Dean Street offices of the Civil Service Credit Union over the weekend in an attempted burglary. However, police sources have confirmed to PLUS News that they were unsuccessful in getting into the premises and nothing was removed.

Toledo woman claims partner set house on fire
A woman in Toledo says her common law husband assaulted her then set their home on fire. On Wednesday afternoon, the two were at their home situated in a village in the Toledo District, when according to the woman, for no reason – her partner slapped her and threatened...

New Recreational Park in San Jose Succotz Village
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust was established in 2008 and since then the organization has been supporting the efforts of Belizeans across the country. Over the weekend, the Village of San Jose came alive to the music of marimba, children’s laughter and spirited play as the trust held...

Prosecutors’ Training Course held in Belmopan
The Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, including the Fisheries Department and Municipal Traffic, are taking part in a Prosecutors’ Training Course. The course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan and is aimed at improving the effectiveness of the Police Department and other...

New Horizons in Punta Gorda providing Dental Care
New Horizons gives U.S., Canadian and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. The group also aids in the construction of structures such as classrooms and provides medical and dental treatment as...

Prominent Belizean / Guatemalan Lawyer passes away
Telesforo Guerra, the man who represented John McAfee after he fled from Belize earlier this year, passed away from stomach cancer. Guerra, who is originally from Benque Viejo, Belize, was celebrated as one of Guatemala’s finest lawyers and is the former Attorney General of Guatemala. Plusnews understands that Guerra...

PM on official business to New York and Haiti
The Prime Minister is currently out of the country on official business to New York and Haiti. The PM departed on Sunday to first meet with the Secretary General of the UN, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon. The purpose of the meeting is to brief the SG on Belize’s position...

The Belize Times

Gangsta Government
The United Democratic Party Government of Dean Barrow is at it again! Another precious industry is being pillaged to benefit a few UDP cronies, and it is being done in open view of Belizeans and through the abuse of the system of Government. This time, it is the exploitation of the Rosewood Industry – a lucrative sector which has come under the grip of the family of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, like many other sectors such as land and goods importation. The Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, who once claimed to be so concerned about the depletion of the precious wood that she introduced a ban, seems to now have abandoned her principles and oath to the people of Belize, and has surrendered, and is even participating in the facilitation of the UDP’s exploits. “It is the reality of this trade”, Alamilla griped on Monday. She had just returned to the country, or rather to a hot kitchen, boiling from the news that the UDP Cabinet had reversed the moratorium to reinstate the exportation of Rosewood during an “amnesty period”. Cabinet, which has been losing political credibility, now seemed to have lost its mind. In addition to allowing the illegal cut rosewood for export, the UDPs endorsed that they would split the illegal profits 50/50 with the illegal loggers.

G.I.V. it to Vega! – Exclusive: The Rosewood Trail
Ignacio German Vega, the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister, is directly involved with two companies suspected of engaging in the Rosewood trade. Vega holds majority shares ...

Francis Fonseca Working For Freetown
On Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 Freetown Area Representative and PUP Leader Francis Fonseca joined with the Belize City Council for the ...

Cabinet shuts up Sedi? – Foreign Minister feels heat for mild position on Guatemala’s new passports
Reliable sources have disclosed to the BELIZE TIMES that Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington almost got his head chewed off at this week’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. ...

Divine Intervention
By G. Michael Reid Sometime ago in another life, before the Police Press Officer thing, I did some construction work. I did many things by myself so I did not use much of a crew but from time to time, I did have the need to hire help. There was this ...

ROSEWOOD SCANDAL A major part of our colonial past was the exploitation of our logwood and later, our mahogany resources. So important was the wealth from mahogany to the exploiters that the official logo/motto for the colony was “sub umbra floreo”, under the shade of the tree we flourish. They, the British, ...

On January 11, 2013, Lisel Alamilla had the most expensive fire heart in Belize’s history. Some were appalled by the inferno and condemned the blaze as a senseless political show. Others championed Alamilla for attempting to remain consistent and rooted in her conservation upbringing. Belizeans leaned forward and clasped their palms to ...

Preston Martinez wins BNE Weekend Warriors Cross Country
Team M&M Engineering’s Preston Martinez won the “A” Division of the 4th annual BNE Weekend Warriors’ Cross Country while Team Santino’s Santino “Chief” Castillo won the “B’ Division on ...

Camalote United outmatches Capital City Emeralds 16-0
The Camalote United women’s softball team spanked the Capital City Emeralds 16-zip by mercy rule in the first week of the 2013 Cayo Softball competition at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in ...

DHC Excellence continues undefeated cricket streak
The defending national champs, Excellence Cricket Club, posted their 7th win at home 187-158 over Sunrise of Lord’s Bank in Double Head Cabbage last Saturday, continuing their undefeated ...

Bus operators face conflict in Chetumal
Belize’s bus operators are facing major problems with officials in neighbouring Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico over the use of the parking facility at the Mercado Lazaro Cardenaz, known to many Belizeans as the “Mercado Nuevo” or “New Market”. The Market Administration recently issued notices of eviction to ...

Rosewood Plunder & Pillage! – Toledo Villagers report sound of trees falling late at night
With the April 9th amnesty granted on the exporting of the Rosewood, the Ministry of Forestry has virtually started a dreadful open season on the endangered species. Reports to the BELIZE TIMES from the Toledo District are that the illegal cutting and transporting of Rosewood has increased ...

AMAZING GRACE – Trinidad, Football and Belize
A couple weeks ago I was excited about a game being played between Trinidad and Belize. Not long after a grand entrance into the country, I saw on the news the visiting football team expressing their displeasure with the playing conditions of the field where the game was to be ...

Running to Stand Still – The latest images of Norris Hall
By Yasser Musa The Image Factory Art Foundation’s latest exhibit Springfield – An Amish Settlement by a veteran Belizean photojournalist Norris Hall is a somewhat strange plunge into a sort of sublime world. Our last meaningful collaboration with Hall came with ...

Guest EDITORIAL – Solutions to Crime
When I sit down and talk to elders and ask them questions like “How was Belize in the past?” they always seem to answer one thing. “SAFE!” However, safety has eluded the citizens of Belize for quite some time now. Crime is rampant; people fear for their lives as they ...

Are Child Sexual Abuse Crimes Underreported?
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph I believe that child sexual abuse crimes in our nation are underreported. It seems that reports in the “Major Crimes Report by District” from the police department may not match up with cases in the news or what is reported to the Department of Human Services. ...

In my perspective – Is It Worth It?
By Rayford Young Ever since Barack Obama became the President of the United States of America the Secret Service has reported the attempts on his life have tripled compared to any other president. Not only the attempt on his life is up but the racist, demeaning and personal attacks towards him, ...

CitCo increases Garbage Tax… it’s not even in effect yet!
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley announced this week that the garbage tax for city residents will go up by 20%. While it had residents raising their eyebrows and clenching their fists in agony of the economic stress that’s coming, the truth is that the increase is ...

The Rosewood Scandal
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. The government’s decision to return thousands of confiscated rosewood to loggers, who cut them illegally is a brazen and naked attempt to legitimize corruption. The UDP government should not “get-away” with this outrageous action against what is the best interest of the Belizean people. If it does, ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE: Do weh deh want! Monday, April 22, 2013 11:34 by anthony sylvestre The Belizean people must feel like Rodney Dangerfield; they gets no respect! Certainly not from this UDP government. They do what they want, say what they want and simply don’t care. And this latest rosewood scandal is proof of this. And scandal it is. Now most of us have never ...

Guatemala eyes OAS Secretary General post Is this bad news for Belize?
Guatemala is lobbying vigorously throughout the region for support for its former vice-president, Eduardo Stein, in the upcoming elections for Secretary General to the Organisation of American States to be held in June 2013 in Antigua, Guatemala. The OAS is the regional body which is mediating the ...

Opposition statement sparks regional interest in Belize-Guatemala differendum
Statements made by the Opposition People’s United Party in direct response to a decision by Guatemala to print millions of new passports that will include an image showing Belize as part of the map of Guatemala, ...

PUP Leader Hon. Francis visits residents of Belize Rural Central
PUP Leader Hon. Francis and Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores on house to house visit. This past weekend April 13th and 14th People’s United Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca visited seven ...

Moody’s says debt sustainability not achieved
Despite Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s chest beating over proclamations that a fiscal cliff has been averted as a result of last month’s restructuring of the Superbond, a recent analysis by Moody’s rating services in New York indicates that the crisis may have likely been postponed but ...

Oceana wins! – Court tells GOB to follow the law
The Government of Belize has been told that it must follow the law when it comes to the granting of production sharing agreements (PSA’s) ...

Ex Port Commissioner to Norwegian Cruise Line: Look before you leap
Dear Editor, 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 ...

Paul Rodriguez says Western Civilization values is under attack
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 ...

Kudos to Party Leader Francis Fonseca
Dear Editor: Let me congratulate the Party Leader on the acceptance of the Mayor’s invitation on the opening of the Chetumal Boulevard, excellent speech by the Party Leader chartering a new way in politics. Hon Francis is truly a Leader .His speech should be repeated often. Keep up the good work ...

Village Council elections – better leaders needed!
Dear editor, With the election dates for Village Councils now set and published by the powers in government, it is important to revisit the purpose and benefits of good leadership at the village/community levels. Over the years, the true essence of a Village Council has been eroded. Independence and autonomy have ...

No respect for the dead!
Dear Editor, The disturbing stories of graves with the remains of peoples’ loved ones being exhumed improperly and faultily to make space for the resting of others by the Belize City Council are sickening. It seems the Council get anything right! Not taxing, nor street paving and much worse, burying the dead. I ...


“Shades of Gray” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Didn’t really do too much at all yesterday morning apart from use the Daltile website to try out different tile combinations for my bathroom. The site contains a great little tool that enables you to choose a photograph of a bathroom layout (or upload one of your own) and then choose tiles from the catalogue to see how they look. After ‘playing’ around with a host of different colour combinations and tile types and sizes I think I have made my choice. I am going for shades of grey (gray for American readers). Rose and I then took care of general household chores and then pulled together a list which details what fitting is for which room e.g sinks, fans, taps, etc, and sent this to Daniel Camal, our building contractor. With that important task completed we had a light lunch and headed to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arriving at the site we went straight to the First Floor to see that Angel was busy removing block and cement work to make the northern facing window in the Utility Room the right size.

April 14, 2013 - April 20, 2013 Fishing Report
This week was all about permit and bonefish due to the high winds that prevented the tarpon junkies from venturing out to the flats west of Ambergris. --Ed

International Sources

Offshore Drilling in Belize Falls Into Its Own Great Blue Hole
A little environmental success story (or energy exploration failure, if you prefer) for this Earth Day. Last week the Supreme Court of Belize struck down contracts for offshore oil exploration that the nation’s government had issued in 2004 and 2007 and extended in 2009. Drilling would have been in the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world and home to unique features like the Great Blue Hole and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. But a couple of signal events had occurred between the issuance of those contracts and today, namely the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a change of government in Belize. The BP spill didn’t affect Belize directly, but it did energize both green NGOs and the Belizean citizenry to question offshore oil. That included a public—i.e. not government sanctioned—plebiscite last year that unsurprisingly, given its anti-oil sponsors, rejected offshore drilling. (But before being too dismissive of the results, about eight percent of Belize’s total population did vote in balloting that was carefully conducted among registered voters. The same sponsors had tried for an official referendum, but the then-pro-drilling government shot it down.) In last week’s court ruling, Justice Oswell Legall (excellent name for a judge!) argued 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.”

April 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The April 21st, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Latest Invasion Of A Western Home:
    There has been much talk, even in the news, since last Tuesday of the latest aggravated burglary, also known as a home invasion, in the west taking place at Rumors Hotel on the western outskirts of San Ignacio Town, the owners of the hotel has been informing the public that nothing is further from the truth. While owners of the hotel are not disputing that the incident took place in the area, the establishment, they say, continues to be a safe haven for guests, customers and visiting friends. San Ignacio police informs that a massive nationwide manhunt is underway for two known convicts believed to have pulled off the brazen mid morning crime. The prime suspects, both from the Cayo District, are Marvin “Bombo” Neal, 20, Belizean laborer of an Eve Street address in Santa Elena Town and Jarod “Steal Bob” Lamb, 25, Belizean laborer residing in Ontario Village.
  • Attempt Rapist Remanded:
    A Guatemalan wonderer is today cooling his heels in jail on an attempt rape charge. A 22 year old woman reported to San Ignacio Police that it was shortly after 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 13 as she was walking on Bullet Tree Road in San Ignacio Town when she was approached by a male Hispanic person wearing a green polo shirt, dark short pants and a white cap. The complainant told the police that the man grabbed her by the neck and dragged her into a drain on the road side where he continued struggling with her in an effort to pull off her skirt. She resisted the attempt until another female came to her assistance and pulled her away from the aggressive man.
  • Wade Busted With Twenty Eight Pounds Of Weed:
    Thirteen days after an impressive drug bust in Georgeville Village by San Ignacio Police, yet another large quantity of suspected marijuana has been intercepted, this time in Santa Elena Town Cayo. The report reaching us indicates that just thirty minutes into the lunch hour on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, a team of officers on mobile patrol on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town intercepted a green Toyota Camry bearing Belize City license plates # BC-C-42803 in the vicinity of Three Flags Super Store.
  • Rosewood Amnesty:
    A release from the Government Press Office today informed that A ‘Rosewood Amnesty’ was declared by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development on the 9th of April 2013. The release goes on to inform 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). The Ministry reiterates that the amnesty is only for rosewood that was previously cut.
  • Young Bank Now Enjoying Reliable And Safe Water Supply:
    Residents of Young Bank, a community on the outskirts of Camalote Village in the Cayo District, now enjoys quality, potable water twenty four hours a day thanks to the Government of Belize. The official ceremony begun sharply at 3:00 p.m. with the singing of the national anthem by the gathering this was followed by an opening prayer by pastor Gilberto Perez while the welcome was delivered by the Camalote village chairman, Raymond Sheppard. Community leader Miguel Aldana gave an overview of the community over the past 13 years outlining the many struggles the community endured throughout the years every time the dry season came around.
  • Elections and Boundaries:
    Public Notices
  • Ten Ways To Ruin A Relationship:
    1. Be critical. Even "constructive" criticism can make your partner defensive and reduce the feeling of safety in a relationship. Being harsh and judgmental when angry can trigger a "flight or fight response." 2. Insist your partner be exactly the same as you. Hendrix and LaKelly Hunt say "absolute compatibility" is an express route to a dull relationship. If you insist your partner have the same feelings and perceptions as you do, it can lead to despair and misery. 3. Flee from intimacy. If you habitually avoid being physically or emotionally close with your partner through escaping into work, hobbies, television, or other activities, you risk creating a divide between you and your partner that may become impossible to breach.
  • US Holds Back Recognition For Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro:
    The US government is refusing to recognise Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro's victory in disputed elections in Venezuela. Secretary of State John Kerry said the US was not yet ready to validate the results of Sunday's poll. Mr Maduro's narrow victory has been challenged by the opposition leader, Henrique Capriles. Mr Capriles is insisting on a vote-by-vote recount and has now submitted a formal request for one. However, the National Electoral Council in Venezuela has so far refused to order one, and the Supreme Court said on Wednesday that there was no legal basis for it.
  • Mexico Drops Drug Link Charges Against General Angeles:
    Prosecutors in Mexico say they have dropped the charges against retired general Tomas Angeles Dauahare. Gen Angeles, a former deputy defence minister, had been accused of having links with a drug cartel. Prosecutors said they could not corroborate allegations made by two witnesses against the general. Shortly after the announcement, Gen Angeles was released from the maximum-security jail where he had been awaiting trial. He had been facing charges of "organised crime to further drug-trafficking", which he had denied all along.
  • Canadian Travel Agents, Journalists & Wholesalers to Visit Belize!:
    The Canadian Market has been one of our growing markets in North America. The Belize Tourism Board has been aggressively working within this market; from successful trade shows to road shows and sales presentations. It gives us great pride to be welcoming a large contingent of Canadian Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Travel Writers, on Monday, April 15th, 2013. The Belize Tourism Board has organized a familiarization trip (FAM), to give 25 Canadian travel industry professionals an opportunity to learn about and experience Belize. The group of travel agents will be in the country from April 15-22. The FAM Tour will consist of a series of site visits at various properties in inland Cayo, Mountain Pine Ridge Area, Placencia and San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and will include popular tours in the respective areas.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Woofer: The Bachelor
Middle-aged bachelor Mr. Hopkins' aunt is trying to marry him off. But he has people to take care of him. Two in fact...

Editorial: Two things we can make happen in San Pedro Town
There are two things in our community of 18,000+ people that we are sorely missing here in San Pedro…an ambulance and a morgue. Why is this need so apparent to me? How many times have we seen injured people thrown haphazardly into the back of a police truck or onto a golf cart and rushed to the doctor or clinic? Who knows what further damage is caused while they are being improperly transported, not to mention the exposure to the elements such as blaring heat, rain, wind and dust. Adding insult to injury, there is no sense of privacy as the injured, maimed or ailing individual is paraded through town for all those to see. How hard would it be to transport the ill and wounded in a more efficient and effective manner? A used taxi van could be easily converted into an ambulance by simply pulling out the seats, installing a surface for a stretcher and stocking it with essential emergency medical supplies. With some community fundraising, this affordable mobile emergency unit could be donated to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for use when needed by the doctors on call. Not only could the vehicle serve as an ambulance, but in cases of fatalities the van could be used to transport bodies.

Doctor Love: “I am whatever they want me to be”
Dear Doctor, I have terrible luck with men. My last relationship just ended. It was a mutual breakup but I really didn’t want it to end. I did not fight it though, because it has happened before and I know that fighting it is useless. I don’t know what it is. I do everything I [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

Homosexuality in Belize, and Why I’m a Criminal
As I mentioned in my last post about Minister Louis Farrakhan, during his recent visit to Belize he did tone down his conservative (or as I see it, racist and homophobic) rhetoric. But one thing he did have a none-too-subtle attack on was religion’s favourite scapegoat, homosexuality. He described governments’ and people’s acceptance of same-sex relationships as “sanctioning something that God don’t sanction”, and berated Belize for bowing to foreign pressure and becoming “a whore to American aid”! And he echoed many religious leaders around the world (including those in Belize) when he said that ordinary people should be afraid of the LGBT “agenda”. Another ‘conspiracy’ to keep the paranoid minister awake at night… Of course, Farrakhan and his religious kin are suspicious of the LGBT movement, for the simple reason that they do consider gay people to be sinners (they don’t believe that nonsense about “God loving the sinner but not the sin” any more than anyone else does), and they do think that homosexuals should be punished (or should be threatened with punishment at the very least). And in Belize they have the law (or a common interpretation of the law) on their side – Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code states that any person who has “carnal knowledge” with any other person that is “against the order of nature” can be imprisoned for ten years.

Soul Project Live Collage
The Soul Project, probably the best hang out in Cayo, if not Belize, has a video collage of many of the artists that have played there. Whether it be an open mic night, or a scheduled event, you'll hear great music, and have a fun time.

Hands for Life Swigs Party
More pictures from the Hands for Life Swigs Party. Those 'shots' were out of this world. The Caribbean Coolers were a hit, thanks to Island Time Beverages. Bedran Hall was jamming that night, thanks to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Let the playground building begin. "$1,400 profit from our fundraising event... NOW TIME TO PLAN A FAMILY DAY, WALK-A-THON & Inauguration for our first PLAYGROUND for a primary school in Cayo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)"

DYS Reproductive Health Training
Starting tomorrow, the Department of Youth Services in Benque will be having reproductive health training sessions for 14 to 25 year olds. The classes are free, and will be from Monday through Thursday from 3pm until 4pm. Call 803-3027 for more information.


Seven Year Old Suffocates In Tons Of Rice
Tragedy strikes yet another Mennonite Community this week, as tonight we report on the death of seven year old Jacob Dueck who was killed at a rice processing plant in Blue Creek, at around 5:45 yesterday evening. CTV3 News understands that three children were playing in what is known as the dump bin, a container which holds over 30 tons of rice, at the grain facility of Peter Remphel. Employees of Remphel were unaware that the children were inside the dump bin, which was holding approximately 15 tons of rice, when they turned on a machine known as the “augur” which feeds rice down into a cleaning machine. As a result the three boys were sucked into the tons of rice. Two of them managed to jump out, but the same cannot be said for seven year old Jacob Dueck who was pulled down into the tons of rice. All efforts to get him out proved futile since he was buried beneath the grains. We understand that workers had to dig into the rice for more than 45 minutes before they located the seven year old who was already dead.

Week 20 Of Crop Shows Excellent Sucrose Content
Week 20 of the 2012/2013 sugar cane crop season began on April 10th and ended on April 16th 2013. So far the factory has milled a total of eight hundred and sixty thousand eight hundred and eighteen tons of cane. That’s eighty one thousand eight hundred and ninety three tons more compared to last year when seven hundred and seventy eight thousand nine hundred and twenty five tons of cane was milled during the 20 weeks of crop. For this week alone the factory milled forty five thousand four hundred and ninety five tons of cane. Taking a look at sugar production ninety one thousand seven hundred and seventy six tons of the sweetener has been produced so far. Compared to last year its nine thousand eight hundred and thirteen tons more when eighty one thousand nine hundred and sixty three tons of sugar was produced. This week’s sugar production stood at five thousand two hundred and seventy eight tons.

Libertad Resident Murdered In Broad Daylight
News spread like wild fire this afternoon, Corozal had recorded its third murder in less than a month. The victim has been indentified as 43 year old Sisto Victor Osorio, a resident of Libertad Village in the Corozal District. All indications are that Osorio was involved in an altercation with another man which ended his life. The main suspect of Osorio’s murder is tonight on the run and police are still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, in order to find out what went wrong. Elmer Cornejo and cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled further north this afternoon and filed the following report. Elmer Cornejo - Reporting When we arrived at the scene minutes after one this afternoon the body 43 year old Sisto Victor Osorio, a resident of Libertad Village in Corozal, had already been carted away from the scene by Corozal Police.

The Story Of A Cancer Survivor
Over the course of this week we’ve brought you the stories of two Orange Walkenos who are presently battling against cancer, one of them a 22 year old female who at the age of 18 was diagnosed with Dysgerminoma a rare form of ovarian cancer that most commonly occur in young women of reproductive age. But while there are numerous patients who continue the fighting against the disease, there are also those who are survivors. One of them is 62 year old Dina Pech, a resident of Orange Walk who was diagnosed with breast cancer seven year ago. Her story is one of struggle, hope, togetherness and survival. Worldwide, breast cancer accounts for 22.9% of all cancers excluding non-melanoma skin cancers in women. Prognosis and survival rates for breast cancer vary greatly depending on the cancer type, stage, treatment, and geographical location of the patient. Survival rates in the Western World are high for example; more than 8 out of 10 women in England diagnosed with breast cancer survive for at least 5 years. In developing countries, however, survival rates are much poorer.

George Price Highway Claims Three Lives
There was a horrific fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway yesterday evening which claimed the life of three persons. At about 6:45, Hattieville Police responded to the traffic accident that occurred between miles 7 and 8. Upon arrival, police observed two vehicles, a gray Suzuki car and a red Chevrolet pickup truck. Both vehicles were on the right side of the highway, when travelling from Hattieville towards Belize City. Two bodies were seen inside the red pickup truck and one on the left shoulder of the highway. Both vehicles were extensively damaged. Initial Investigations revealed that sometime around 6:45 yesterday evening, Marlon Martinez, was travelling alone in the gray Suzuki car and upon driving through the area between miles 7 and 8, there was a head on collision between the gray car and the red pickup truck.


Mail Delivery! The Postman Butterfly
Postman Butterflies (Heliconius melpomene) are tropical butterflies found in Central and South America. They are most common along sunlit forest edges with flowers. Belize’s Chaa Creek is home to a wide range of butterfly species, most famous including the Blue Morpho butterfly. Our reserve is bordered by dense rainforest, rivers and streams which the Heliconius melpomene butterfly loves. Over their large range, Postman Butterflies have many geographic subspecies with very different markings. The subspecies found in Belize is dark brown to brownish black in color with a broad band of orange across each forewing and a stripe of pale yellow along each hindwing. The orange, yellow, and black colors of this butterfly are a form of aposematic (warning) coloration meant to warn potential predators like birds that it is poisonous.

“Heroes” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
What I thought was going to be the high point of my morning yesterday turned out to be quite horrible . Watching Arsenal struggle against a ten man Fulham team. It was tortuous. Only two good things to say about it really. We won the game (and secured three points). And it eventually finished. Never thought I would so look forward to seeing an Arsenal game end because we were so inept. For some welcome relief I resumed reading “Calico Joe” by John Grisham. A completely different style of writing for him but, nonetheless, very enjoyable. This restfully whiled away a few hours before it was time for Rose and I to head for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Because we were going on a Poker Run in the evening we got to the build around 1.30 pm and it was hot, really hot. A walk around the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and we could see that further work had taken place to prepare the apertures for the windows that will be installed relatively soon.

International Sources

At the end of January 2013 we put Barton Creek Outpost on the market and by the middle of February we had a deposit on it. The Outpost sold, we hugged some necks, shed some tears, packed a few things and after 8 and a half years, left Belize. We are now three weeks into readjusting to the US and I have realized a few things during that time. American grocery stores make my head spin. The pledge of allegiance at Little League games makes my eyes leak. I like good roads and air conditioning. The US is incredibly wealthy. The abundance in the US is hard to get used to after being surrounded by so much poverty. NEWSFLASH: The people of the US are not in financial distress. Oh but everyone is in debt, it’s all credit cards, blah, blah blah. Here’s an idea, take your family to a 3rd world country for a year, live in a similar fashion to the locals.

This week in paradise | Caye Caulker, Belize
We’ve been on Caye Caulker, Belize for just over a week now. It was a fairly last minute decision to hop over the border from Guatemala, but it turned out to be a brilliant move! Caye Caulker it a colourful, pretty little Caribbean island just off the Belize barrier reef. Its proximity to the Blue Hole means that diving around here is pretty good – the diving was put on the map by Jacques Cousteau – so if it’s good enough for Jacques…!

Chaa Creek a 'Top Value Spa'
Not a month goes by where Chaa Creek isn't on a top 10 list. This month they made's list for 'Top Value Spas' and Fox News' list of 7 'stunning jungle and rainforest retreats.' "The Lodge at Chaa Creek prides itself on being a true eco lodge, 100 per cent devoted to green, sustainable tourism. Set on 365 acres on a private nature reserve in Belize, the riverfront resort offers a vast menu of adventure travel packages at great rates. After a day of spotting exotic animals, hiking along a medicinal plant trail, canoeing at sunset on the Macal River, horseback riding or rainforest ziplining, guests like to chill at the jungle bar or relax with luxurious spa treatments. While the cost of a therapeutic massage is not cheap at $85 (or $70 for a custom facial), the environment is priceless: al fresco pampering with views of the rainforest, a musical backdrop of tropical birds and a spa that is decorated with fresh flowers every day."

April 21, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Understanding the Crocodile
It’s been three years since I was last in Belize, but part of me felt like I never left. Maybe it’s because I am just continuing what I started- investigating how human pollution and disturbances are affecting parasites and disease in the crocodiles of Belize. Many people ask, “Why do you care about what happens to crocodiles?” If you REALLY understand about how the environment works, you know that crocodiles are on top of the food chain where they live, they are like the lions of the jungle, the king. And if something bad happens to them, it will be a negative domino effect on the rest of the Marisa Tellezenvironment, even effecting humans. Anytime there has been mass populations of crocodilians dying, or being killed senselessly, it always comes back and bites people in the butt, either through food (because the fish disappear), or through economy (because many communities use crocodilians as a way of ecotourism, some African villages have become VERY successful and economically stable based on this).

Reading The San Pedro Sun at Comox Glacier, Canada
It’s really fun to receive photos from readers all over the world with their copy of The San Pedro Sun. To think that they take the time to pack a copy of the paper, and while enjoying the sights, sounds, smells and other fabulous things on their travel, they actually remember to unpack it and snap a quick picture to share with us! (darn it, sand got in our eyes…excuse us…sniffle…)

Belize’s environmental giant Lionel “Chocolate’ Heredia memorialized
On April 12, 2013, Belize lost a giant in the conservation world in the person of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia. Chocolate passed away in Caye Caulker around 1:30PM on that Friday afternoon, with his beloved wife Annie by his side. His death is a significant loss to Belize as he impacted the country and the tourism industry in ways that are so far-reaching. Of special significance was his fight for the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve.

Misc Belizean Sources

Tarr trying to shape Belize program into a winner
Darwin Leslie has no problem looking a person in the eye, enveloping his oversized hand when greeting someone and telling you how lucky he is as he stood in Gillen Gymnasium at John F. Kennedy High School. He is one of the coaches on the up and coming Belize basketball program chock full of high-school age players that is scheduled to play in the King James Shooting Stars Classic Friday through April 28 inside the Akron Sports Center. The Belize team had its first practice in the U.S. Saturday afternoon at JFK. "We've never had this in the existence of Belize," Leslie, 31, said. "This is a new world to these kids and to us, the coaches." This is Akeem Watters' second trip to the United States from his native land in Central America. He and a handful of Belize players made the trip the King James Classic last season.

Earth Day Tree Planting
The U.S. Embassy took some time out to celebrate Earth Day and plant some trees at Belmopan's Our Lady of Guadelupe HS. "Tree Planting/Clean-Up at Our Lady of Guadalupe High School"

Add!ction at Belize Fashion Week
Gabriela Barrera has uploaded a short video with her creations that were shown during Belize Fashion Week. Cayo was represented well. Nice job, Gabriella! "Add!ction's First Runways at Belize Fashion Week 2013.... hope you all like it . Posting the second runways soon"


Belize Zoo Night Tour
Our group was very impressed with the Belize Zoo accommodations and night tour. We rented Pond houses for 82USD for the night including breakfast and dinner, 20usd per extra person per room and the night tour was 60USD for 7.5 of us. Cindy and Marie decided the couples would each get a pond house, I told he could Forrest bunk with us when we found out there was an open style 2 bedroom one. After paying we did a house tour. The three pond houses were all had a rustic cottage feel, ours was the perfect spot to host the party. The only thing that was missing was a non screened in viewing area like the smaller houses had. The layout was super cool though and we had loads of sleeping options. 2 double beds on one side and split with a half wall made up of Bathroom and beside it kitchen on the other side was 1 double bed and a single. Both sleeping areas had their own bathroom and veranda entrance. I almost forgot rooms also came with ceiling fans and standing fans. Dinner was meatballs with rice and beans but we opted to go have a bite to eat at a restaurant before our tour and then do a potluck pig out later. We had enough food and drinks to survive a famine After we ate we all agreed a short nap time was in order then everyone would meet up at our place and head off for the 7pm tour.

“I’m Down” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
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.

International Sources

Belizo Zoo – One Woman’s Dream To Save The Endangered Jaguar!
There is no doubt about it that Sharon Matola is passionate about what she does: saving lives one at a time. The lives of animals that is. The biologist and environmentalist is the founder and director of The Belize Zoo, which is currently the only zoo in the country. Getting to the zoo’s current state was certainly no easy task, but Matola’s determination and passion towards saving the indigenous species of Belize was steadfast. No person was going to stand in her way. The Baltimore native acquired an early interest of the natural world, attracted to anything from dogs, cats, birds, and even insects. Matola even recalls training a squirrel, by teaching it to sit on her knee and eat peanuts out of her hand. Today, a squirrel is a minuscule critter for Matola to handle for she has gained much experience working with large, exotic animals including pumas and jaguars.

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