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10/11/2013 to 10/20/2013
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Today's Belize News

October 20, 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

Wolfe’s Woofers: Crime Is Out Of Control Everywhere
Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“Charlie, I need to find a bank and get a check cashed,” I said. “Do you want to go?” “No, I’m just going to hang around the motel and watch TV,” Charlie said. Charlie and I were on our road trip to the U.S. and we had spent the night in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I took the rental car and drove around until I found a branch of the bank that I use in the U.S. “George, you let that man get right in line in front of you,” said the lady directly behind me. “Well, I was hurrying as fast as I could,” George said.

“Friends of Belize” host benefit party in the US
Ken and Jenny Osterman recently had a Friends of Belize (FOB) Party to benefit the San Pedro Foundation (SPF). The event was held at their neighborhood swimming pool and cabaña in Martinsville, New Jersey USA. Ken and Jenny invited all their friends who had visited them in Belize since 1991. They also invited friends who have had to listen to them talk about Belize for the past 22 years. Almost 60 people attended. Kelly McGuire attended the party and provided the entertainment. Kelly donated 20% of the sales of CDs and shirts to the SPF. He also auctioned off a collection of CDs, shirts and hats to raise more money for the SPF.

1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team wrap up work on Caye Caulker
The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team comprising of four Marines from the United States Marine Corps and one Medic from the US Navy were on Caye Caulker Village to finalize the first stage of their partnership mission in Belize. The team of five’s last mission to Caye Caulker was on Thursday October 10th, when they met with the principal of the primary school and other stakeholders to wrap up their work in the area. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team partnered with the Belize National Coast Guard who introduced them to the various Caye Caulker authorities. Currently the Coast Guard is completing their last phase of their northernmost base situated on Ambergris Caye, and as such, the coast guard will have a permanent presence in the area. According to Ensign Glen Noh, the Belize Coast Guard meeting with the various entities on Caye Caulker will help foster a better relationship with the community.

Sartenja Stars shine at weekend football marathon
A large crowd of spectators gathered at the Ambergris Stadium on Saturday, October 12th to cheer on player as they competed in a one day football marathon organized by Ernildo Jones in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The games commenced around 10AM and by 4PM the winning teams were awarded a trophy and prizes. The first game was between the San Mateo Strikers and San Pedro FC. The boys played like professionals, but in the end the San Mateo Strikers defeated San Pedro FC in a 2-1 game. The second male game was between team Under 20 and Team Rest of the World. This game was extra fierce, but once again it ended in a 2-1 game in favor for Under 20.

San Pedro Darts Team retains national championship for three consecutive years
The San Pedro Darts Team is the defending champion of the 19th annual National Darts Tournament which was held from the 11th to the 13th of October at the San Pedro Lions Den. The event, organized by the Belize National Darts Federation, saw Belize’s best darts players from Cayo, Belize City, Caye Caulker and San Pedro Town compete for three days. The vigorous competition was hosted by the San Pedro Darts Team who were intent on retaining the championship on their home turf. The tournament ended with the Men’s double late in the night of Sunday October 13th, and following the event, the organizers announced the results and handed out trophies and prizes. The results are as follows: Men’s Singles: 1st place – Omar Guerrero (San Pedro Town), 2nd place – Elias Castillo (Caye Caulker) Ladies Singles: 1st place – Cecilia Joseph (Caye Caulker), 2nd place – Emerita Marin (Cayo) Mixed Trio: 1st place – Melanie Paz, Ricardo Manzano and Omar Guerrero (San Pedro Town); 2nd place – Felicia Richards, Orlando “Tuki” Depaz and Geovanni Mai (Cayo) Mixed Doubles: 1st – Cecilia Joseph and George Requena (Caye Caulker), 2nd place – Marie Osmon and Valentin Marin (Caye Caulker) Men’s Doubles: 1st place – Omar Guerrero and Ricardo Manzano (San Pedro Town), 2nd place – Valentin Marin and Wilbur Perez (Caye Caulker) Ladies Double: 1st place – Maria Allen and Steffany Garica(Poison Arrow – Belize City), 2nd place – Lorraine “Mailu” Leslie and Gaby (Jolly Rogers – Belize City) Team event: 1st place – San Pedro Darts Team, 2nd place – Caye Caulker Darts Team.

Misc Belizean Sources

Arenal Village Website
Arenal has a website. The village is planning for tourism, and has a tourism strategy. They don't mention the football field that is in both Belize and Guatemala, or the wide selection of beers...yet. Check out the site for more information. "We could now do this with your help, would love to implement a first step to bring tourism into our village – a soft, natural and authentic way of tourism – built small structures into single citizen’s properties – cabanas with thatched roof or apartments with a concrete roof – rent these accommodations to our visitors, offer full meal plan within the families – eating the ordinary daily food with the hosts, cooked on open wood fire – delicious Central American food – tortillas, fajitas, empanadas, chicken rice & beans, escabeche, salsas, spices and much more and carefully set our village up to a natural tourist place. "

Belize Audubon Society in Benque
The BAS will be doing an Urban Bird Watch in Benque this morning. "Thank You BTB for this wonderful flyer and participation in our Urban Bird Watch. Join us FB fans, bring your family and friends and lets go birding in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on October 20th, 2013. Share! Share! Share!"

Cristo Rey Family Day
Cristo Rey is having a Family Fun Day tomorrow, from 9:00am until 5:00pm. It'll be a mini-fair, and they'll have food, drinks, games, music, sales, and many other fun events. The Cristo Rey Neighborhood Watch, Cristo Rey Women's Group, and Village Council are sponsoring the festivities.

Cayo and Benque Celebrate 109 Years
Happy birthday Cayo and Benque! Both towns celebrated 109 years yesterday. Check out the small article in the old Government Gazette. In Benque, there will be a thanksgiving mass this evening at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 7:00pm. "A day like this in history Benque Viejo & former El Cayo, now San Ignacio & Santa Elena were given Township status. Happy 109 years to our beloved Benque Viejo. Tonight a Thanks giving mass will be offered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in celebration of our municipal anniversary at 7:00 p.m"

A rare site of a Russian plane landing at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize.


American Fugitive Awaits Deportation From Belize
Tonight forty seven year old American National Kenneth Gibbs is behind bars waiting to be deported to his country of origin. Gibbs was arrested in San Ignacio Town yesterday and according to Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio Police Department, Inspector Reymudo Reyes, Gibbs is wanted in the United States. INSPECTOR REYMUNDO REYES “Yesterday sometime around 11 o’ clock in the morning information was received about a Caucasian male person causing a disturbance on Burns Avenue. As a result police visited the area. They came in contact with the person where he was approached. He was asked for his particulars such as name, address and age. At the time he refused to cooperate with the police. He gave no information. He was searched; no sort of document for identification purposes was obtained from him so as a result he was escorted to the station. He was processed by special branch officer where his photograph was taken and fingerprint. It was forwarded to the Special Branch in Belmopan for verification purpose, and through the embassy checks were made and so forth. Later in the evening it was established that this was a person who was wanted in the States for parole violation and theft of motor vehicle.

Mexican Authorities Detain Belizean Woman For Shoplifting
A Belizean woman has been detained by Mexican police after she was caught shoplifting. Mexican police have identified the woman as 34 year old Shirley Adeth Arnold. Reports indicate that while Arnold was inside Chedraui supermarket at the Mall in Chetumal, store security personnel noticed through the security cameras that Arnold placed four liquor bottles inside her hand bag. Arnold then made her way to exit the store at which time the security personnel requested her to show the content of her hand bag which she did. According to the reports the security personnel found the four bottles in the bag and subsequently called the police. Late yesterday afternoon personnel from Melody clothing store, also in Chetumal, informed the police that a woman fitting the description of Arnold was also noticed shoplifting various blouses from inside the store. The police proceeded to check Arnold’s hand bag and found the blouses. According to reports Arnold remains under state police detention and will be charged for stealing.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Sailing Club
The Caye Caulker Sailing Club has kicked off preparations for the official launch of the club by sending kids off to San Pedro on October 19th 2013. They have started training using the Optimist Dinghys. The kids who attended the training are Cody, Mario, Harrison and Malik (missing). Mr. Neil Bradley, Chairman of the club, took the kids. The Club would like to thank San Pedro Belize Express for providing the transportation to San Pedro. There will be a meeting at the Caye Caulker Village Council on Sunday, October 20th at 10AM. Everyone is invited!

The Belize Times

Penner Gaan…UDP Next!!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was forced to “wheel and come again” in a desperate attempt to do damage control in the face of the reins of Government slipping away fast. This week, two major factors landed like bombshells for the UDP, first the outright rejection from residents of Cayo North East, and second the sudden flight of Elvin Penner. Barrow expected to be welcomed as some kind of royal messiah by residents of Cayo North East during his urgent three-day “tour” of the constituency on which the UDP’s Elvin Penner has brought shame upon. But the Penner Nationality and Passport scandal and new revelations of massive corruption at the Immigration Department involving UDP Ministers and the illegal sale of visas has hit a nerve in every right-thinking Belizean. Instead, Barrow was shunned and embarrassed. As the UDP caravan that included dozens of Government vehicles fuelled with tax dollars passed through Cayo North East, residents thumbed their noses, rolled their eyes and closed their windows and doors until the scent of death passed.

UB Faculty Outraged – UB Board forcing illegal contracts on lecturers?
Trouble is brewing at the national university, University of Belize, over the imposition of new employment terms for lecturers. On October 1st, letters signed by the Director of Human Resources Hertha Gentle were sent to 20 lecturers advising them to appear at the Human Resources Department to ...

UDP Induces with “millions and millions”
According to sections 32 (1) (a) and (c) of the Representation of People Act, “The following persons shall be deemed guilty of bribery within the meaning of this Act: (a) every person who directly or indirectly, ...

PUP Leader Demands Answers & Action!
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca took Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP to task, calling for answers and action at a press conference on the Immigration Scandal on Tuesday, October 13th. Independence Hall was filled to capacity as energized supporters flooded into its halls to listen to the Prime Minister in waiting take a stand for Belize. Hon. Francis said that the people of Belize deserved proper accountability from the Barrow Administration of what has really taken place at the Ministry of Immigration. He laid out seven points that must be addressed by the Government.

CABINET IS A CRIMINAL GANG For some time now, the Cabinet has been behaving like a gang of criminals. The issue with Toledo Rosewood was one of the worst cases of gangster behavior. Then the death of 13 babies and S.I.F. added fuel to the fire. The passing of a law ...

By G. Michael Reid The pressure continues to mount on the Dean Barrow government to do more than just talk about the endemic corruption that exists within its midst. The long weekend did little to quell the flustering ruckus surrounding Pennergate and to their credit, “the media nuh dih play fuh ...

This is the worst we have seen Dean Barrow. Really, it is the first time we have seen him this bad. Normally he swoops down and tries to polish and absorb the wrongs, inadequacies and failures of his ministers. The last time he slipped was at Old Belize on November 23, 2011 ...

Hattieville United, Rising Stars, Young Stars & Brown Bombers win in SMART Mundialito
The Hattieville Youth United Sports Club, Ladyville Rising Stars, Young Stars and Brown Bombers all enjoyed big wins in the 2nd week of the 2013 SMART Mundialito football tournament held at ...

Byron Pope wins Orange Walk bypass criterium
Byron Pope won the Belize Cycling Association’s annual Orange Walk bypass criterium on Sunday, October 13. Pope clocked 2:26:24 to win the $700 1st prize and a ...

Ports & Customs clash in interoffice basketball finals
Undefeated Ports Belize Limited will take on the Customs Department in the Belize District firms’ basketball finals, beginning at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Thursday and Friday night, October ...

G.G. – victim of passport scandal?
A series of negative implications, regional and international, as a result of the UDP’s passport scandal has begun to unfold, and Belizeans are already feeling the effects. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that the Governor General Sir Colville Young, on one of his recent travels, was sort ...

AMAZING GRACE – Little is much
I read an email a few years ago, and it changed the way I operated in life. The message was from one of those friends who believes they were placed on this earth for the sole purpose of forwarding ‘feel good’ emails. You know the type. Every five texts of ...

Hon. Jose Mai & SMART partner in support of education
The Hon. Jose Mai continues to provide education assistance to students of Orange Walk South. Six students from the Belize High School of Agriculture and one student from New Hope High School received education grants today ...

What would happen if fuel was $7.00 per gallon?
By Richard Harrison The pump price of fuel could be $7.00/gallon if the government would remove all taxes (except 10% GST) from the fuel that is imported. What would be the effects in the economy if the pump price was $7.00/gal? 1. A normal bus run from Benque to Belize City would cost ...

Barrow – the Real Economic Dunce
Since 2008 the Belizean economy has been experiencing consistent recessions. The downward slide began in 2008 and was officially acknowledged by the government in October 2009 – exactly two weeks after PM Barrow had claimed that Belize’s economy was doing great, puffing his chest, holding his ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Irreparable Damage!
by Anthony Sylvestre. Mr. Al-Jedda was born in Iraq in 1957. In 1992, Mr. Al-Jedda left Iraq and went to live in the United Kingdom. He subsequently, in June 2000, acquired British nationality. But Iraqi law did not permit dual nationality so Mr. Al-Jedda lost his Iraqi nationality automatically on acquiring British ...

Social Justice and the New Revolution – A Mantra from the Beginning… A Mantra that Must Continue…
From the onset, the mantra of the peaceful constructive Belizean revolution was social justice. For many, these are simply two words coined and perhaps conveniently repeated by our party members at our functions, and by many in the public domain, possibly understood and believed by some, maybe ...

By Dolores Balderamos Garcia There is a very famous quote from John Emerich Edward Dalberg ACTON, the first Baron Acton, who lived from 1834 to 1902. It is from Lord Acton’s Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton and is the first entry in a Dictionary of Famous Quotations compiled by Robin Hyman ...

By Francis W. Fonseca The International Immigration and Nationality corruption scandal which has rocked this UDP government and ended the political career of the first elected Mennonite politician, Hon. Elvin Penner, has sparked unprecedented public outrage and offers us important lessons moving forward. I highlight just three of those lessons in ...

PUP Leader Francis Fonseca: Let’s fix a broken system!
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca said that the next PUP Government will introduce sweeping reforms to fix the broken system under which the country is being managed. The Immigration scandal has, once more, brought focus on a system all too easy to corrupt if left unchecked in ...

PM Confirms Castro’s Scandal
One UDP politician glad for the Penner passport scandal is surely Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro. Three weeks ago, Castro was close to being stripped of his Ministerial portfolio as Minister of State in the Ministry of ...

Our pension in trouble?
Sisters and brothers, Running the risk of being irresponsible but ensuring we are all well informed we write to you today. I logged into my personal payment information in the intranet today and it finally struck me what the proverb “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush” really ...

Who is Ali Baba? And who are the thieves?
Dear Editor, It was quite interesting that Barrow used the analogy of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves in his last press conference. I was waiting for the press to pick up on it because if Barrow publicly called out Penner, and is publicly saying that he hopes his Ministers who ...

Removed from the list?
Editor Sir: Ever since the public announcement of the First Lady’s affliction she has been on my list for consideration for greatness. If a person uses her own tragedy to ameliorate the human condition, this is the stuff of which historical greatness is made. But we all somehow believe that the ...


“Some Girls” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up before 05.00 yesterday for what I knew was going to be a very busy day. Not so busy though that I couldn’t spend some time on the veranda. I had to drink my coffee somewhere and obviously I had yesterday’s edition of the blog to produce. Not enough time though to let things distract me. No stopping to ‘people watch’ the locals and tourists out on the beach for their early morning exercise. No gazing out at the ‘Sea watching the fisherman trawling for bait. Or the dive boats loading up with tanks of air. No, this was a day for action. With the blog completed and published I made and ate breakfast and then Rose and I focused on assembling and packing the remainder of the stuff for our move. We had already decided that although we had arranged for Tony ‘Brown’ to move our stuff for us we would move anything of a fragile/easily breakable nature ourselves.

Flying From Cancun to San Pedro, Belize on Tropic Air – Ahhhh The Views
So, here’s how it all works. The Tropic Air flight leaves from Cancun at 3pm Mexico time. You are advised to get there 1 hour ahead of time. One hour for an international flight? I am liking this already. You arrive at the Cancun airport to Terminal One. Erase from your mind visions of duty-free shopping and gorging at Starbucks. This is the terminal you didn’t know existed. Private planes and Maya Air (a tiny airline that flies around the Yucatan – mainly to Cozumel only). Tropic Air is in a tiny tiny tiny check in area/storage room. The world’s loveliest do-everything employee greets you. You find out later that he is the guy at the counter, the guy at security and the guy that helps you on the plane. I was almost ready for him to be the co-pilot.

Harvest 4 Kids Brings Out the Best in Belize
And it’s not just the corn…. Maize Harvest celebrations have been big in Belize for thousands of years… literally. Ever since our ancient Maya forbearers have thanked the gods for great rain and all the other essentials to get that mainstay of life, corn to grow, harvest festivals have been a big thing. But last weekend a new harvest festival celebrated a unique crop that was planted, maintained and harvested by 1000 mostly Belize City kids and this was one of our favourites harvests of all time… The novelty was that these were 1000 city kids who were part of an innovative program that pulled them out of the daily grind of city life and exposure to crime and gang violence that unfortunately gets so much media attention in Belize City, and gave them an opportunity to spend the summer camping, working, and experiencing a different way of life.

International Sources

“Regardless of who you make the trip with, Belize has something to offer everyone”. That was the opening sentence to an article in Brickell Magazine that features Belize and The San Ignacio Resort. The article, aptly titled “Breathtakingly Belize”, details Jorge Arauz’s first trip to Belize where he spends half his time having an adventure in Cayo (and at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel) and the other half relaxing in San Pedro.

Why choose Belize for an adventure holiday?
If you’ve got a taste for adventure and like trying your hand at exciting outdoor activities, you’ll probably be keen to go on holiday to somewhere that enables you to realise your passions while also enjoying great weather. One place where I think you can certainly do this is Belize. If you’ve got a taste for adventure and like trying your hand at exciting outdoor activities, you’ll probably be keen to go on holiday to somewhere that enables you to realise your passions while also enjoying great weather. One place where I think you can certainly do this is Belize. As such, you can be confident that whenever you decide to visit the country the climate should be more than pleasant enough for you to enjoy a wide variety of pursuits, both on dry land and in the water.

October 19, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Caye Caulker woman arrested for cocaine possession
A woman living on the island of Caye Caulker was arrested and charged for the offence of Drug Trafficking. 22-year-old Charlenne Young, a domestic of Back Street in Caye Caulker Village was busted with cocaine when police were on patrol on Wednesday October 9th. According to police sometime around 4PM on Wednesday, a team of Caye Caulker police were conducting mobile patrol near the Palapa area on Front Street when their attention was drawn to a woman acting suspiciously while with a group. One of the female officers proceeded to search the lady, later identified as Young. A search on the person yield three small transparent plastic bag containing a white powder suspected to be cocaine hidden in Young’s brassiere.

PUP says UDP “Wheel and come again!” PM Barrow “invites” Elvin Penner to resign from Parliament and the UDP
The Prime Minister of Belize and the Leader of ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) Honorable Dean Barrow is calling on one of his colleagues to resign from the parliament and the party. The call for the resignation of Honorable Elvin Penner, the elected member of Cayo Northeast Electoral Division, came after more irregularities were uncovered by Honorable Godwin Hulse, the Minister responsible for the Immigration and Nationality Department. But the larger opposition party in Belize, the People’s United Party (PUP), says that UDP is “backpedaling” and that PM Barrow had to “Wheel and come again” since the PUP first called for Penner’s head 13 days ago. Earlier in October, PM Barrow had booted Penner out from his Cabinet amidst public outrage over a passport and immigration scandal. The scandal first came to light when South Korean criminal Won Hong Kim (who is currently in jail) was granted Belizean nationality and a passport for US $120,000. More evidence of wrongdoing was uncovered and made public, which pressured the dormant PUP into full political gear, launching the first recall exercise in Belize’s history.

Ambergris Today

TMZ Says Belize Prime Minister Barrow Smack Talks About US Government
‘Ready for some International Smack Talk?” asks celebrity/paparazzi news website TMZ in the United States of America. Their cameras caught Prime Minister of Belize and his wife Kim Simplis Barrow last night, Thursday, October 17, 2013, on his way out of L.A. restaurant Madeo and asked him if he had any advice for the US Government to avoid another shutdown. Prime Minister Dean Borrow’s response was: “You have to switch to the parliamentary system.” TMZ took this as ‘Smack Talk’ towards the US Government and then had this to say about PM Barrow and Belize:

Belize's Independence Celebrated in El Salvador
On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the Embassy of Belize in El Salvador, represented by its Ambassador Celie Paz Marín, held a commemorative lunch for the 32nd Anniversary of the Independence of Belize in a private residence, an event attended by the Diplomatic Corps in El Salvador, as well as local authorities and special guests. Furthermore, this event was attended by the Honorable Minister of Culture and Tourism of Belize Manuel Heredia, who took the opportunity to have a meeting with his Salvadoran counterpart the Honorable Minister of Tourism José Napoleon Duarte, to share issues of common interest to both nations.

Gerry Guest Stars in Radisson's Caribbean Cooking Show
Whenever you are in Belize City make sure to visit The Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. I had the privilege of staying there and enjoyed the best that they have to offer. Now I know exactly what everybody has been buzzing about the Radisson on their social media pages. The Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina has everything, from great rooms, friendly staff, excellent services and excellent food and drinks (are you hooked, yet?). Let me elaborate more on their food since this hotel has an excellent Caribbean Cooking Show which is aired on the local Belizean Channel 5. The show captures their customer’s attention and opens their appetites; as it did mine.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Selling passports, citizenships and visas is a problem for all Belizeans at home and abroad
By Wellington C. Ramos When the news was made public that the Honourable Alvin Penner, the elected representative for Cayo Northeast, was removed for granting citizenship status to a Taiwanese citizen who is currently in prison in Taiwan, most Belizean citizens were shocked and outraged. Under both the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) we have had scandals with passports, citizenships and visas that are ongoing. Both political parties have pledged to end these problems during their political campaigns but to no avail. Under Belize’s laws, a person becomes a citizen of Belize if he or she was born in Belize, is the child, grandchild and offspring of a Belizean citizen, married to a Belizean citizen, lived in Belize continuously for over three years as a permanent resident and applied for economic citizenship and was granted a naturalization certificate. The granting of economic citizenships is where most of the money is made. However, this citizenship was intended to bring investors into our country to provide jobs for our people or to set up businesses in Belize to boost our economy.

San Pedro Trade & Liquor License renewal 2014
Now being accepted.

Mary Open Doors Pavillion
Feelgood news of the day. Mary Open Doors had some help with their pavillion from Ascon Architecture and New World Village. "It was a blast having NewWorldVillage team working with us on our pavilion at our shelter. Thank you all for your interest and for supporting our cause "assisting women and children affected by domestic violence". We would like to also take this opportunity to thank Ascon Architecture Company Construction and Pine Lumber their generous support. We could not have done this without your help. Thank you."

CCA October Festival
The Cayo Christian Academy is having their October Festival today at their campus in Ontario Village. They'll have many presentations from youth groups, along with food, drinks, and prized. "OCTOBER FEST>>>>>>!!!!!!!!! OCT 19th.....come one come all as we celebrate the goodness of God to CCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Belize Cyclists Head to Curacao
Best of luck to the Belize National Cycling Team as they head to Curacao to win the Caribbean Cycling Championships. They race over the weekend. "The National Team consists of male cyclists – Nissan Arana, Byron Pope, Joel Borland, David Henderson and Robert Liam Stewart; and female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley. God Bless you all and may you all do great!!"

BAS Conservation Lecture
The Belize Audubon Society will be in Benque tonight at the CACHE Cafe to give an educational lecture on conservation. Dirk Francisco will be presenting, and it'll start at 7:30pm. "Learn about Nature & Conservation and the good work of the Belize Audubon Society in Belize with a guest lecture by Mr. Dirk Franciso in Benque this Saturday October 19th,2013"

Private Charter,CHillin in Belize,Day Trip
Episode One of Two- Here's a look at a private charter day trip aboard the 45ft Stormie, our first stop Hol Chan Marine Reserve and then we're off to Shark Ray Alley, Coral Gardens and a visit to Caye Caulker.

Private Charter Day Trip Series Two
After Hol Chan we visit Shark Ray Alley and then onward to Caye Caulker.

Curious what it's like at Chaa Creek? Watch our site inspection tour. No models or fancy photography. Just the straight honest truth. Chaa Creek is a luxury eco jungle lodge resort just outside San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize. Perfect for a family vacation, couples or a honeymoon in Belize. Chaa Creek is one of the best luxury hotels & resorts in Belize. Chaa Creek offers a 5 star hotel experience for guests who travel to Belize.

Channel 7

The Visa Smuggling Ring Exposed: Belize-Cuba-Cancun
In June when Carlos Murga was intercepted at the airport in Cuba with 7 Chinese passports with Belizean visas - it raised all kinds of red flags. But, the Ministry of Immigration brushed it off, saying that he was simply a courier ferrying passports, the same way a Belizean might send his or her passport with a friend to Guatemala or Mexico City to get a visa for Canada or Europe - countries which don't have embassies in Belize. But was his mission really that harmless? We thought not. And that's why for months 7News has been following leads on this story, leads which consistently tell us that the Carlos Murga affair was not an isolated event, that he was part of a much larger operation, which you can either label human trafficking or visa smuggling. Now, with credible, first-hand information from an anonymous insider within this operation, 7news has finally connected the dots at the base of the ring - and it tells us how a highly efficient, very lucrative international visa smuggling operation was run from Belmopan to Cancun to Cuba. Jules Vasquez has the story:..

Hon. Elrington Aware Of Allegations
We did manage to speak to Wayne Salazar by phone this afternoon. He told us, quote, "I haven't got anything to do with (those allegations)....we don't work for the Immigration Department; we don't deal with visas and passports...I haven't been involved in illegal activities." End quote. Salazar is a driver for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been for 13 years- one who the Minister referred to yesterday in an interview with 7news. Here's what he said:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was also told that there was a driver who has been with the ministry from timely memorial it seems that he also appears supposedly to have been involved. I know that we have gotten instructions to get rid of that driver as well because there is a zero tolerance. The Prime Minister make no bones of it, he wants to have zero tolerance for this kind of thing and so pressure is brought to bear on us."

What Representatives Really Reap
And so while the focus has now shifted from Citizen Kim to a visa smuggling ring, politically, there's still a great deal of focus on Cayo Northeast Representative, Elvin Penner. He remains in Guatemala and some say he could return as early as Sunday. He still hasn't said if he will resign, or if he will stick around to fight an Opposition-led recall without the cover of a mass party. But, as we reported last night, he has good reason to stick around as long as he can because of the money apportioned to an area representative. The news tonight, is that we've had to revise our estimates, since new information says the salary we put up of fifty two thousand dollars a year is for a minister of state, which Penner is not anymore. The true salary for an area representative without portfolio is $3,229 dollars monthly or $38,750 dollars per year.

The PM And The Paparazzi
And while Penner is away so is the PM, and he even attracted the Paparazzi in Los Angeles. This video posted on the celebrity site, TMZ shows the Prime Minister and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow stepping into Madeo, an upscale Italian Restaurant in West Hollywood. Though the PM seems to be stepping very gingerly due to his bad back, on his way out he had a quip for reporters to who asked him about the US government shutdown:.. On Sunday in Los Angeles, the couple will attend a Brunch and Town Hall Meeting. After that he is expected to see a back specialist and will return to the country on October 25th.

Man Burned Up In Home, Was It Murder Followed By Arson?
Tonight the family of 33 year-old Michael Reynolds is waiting for confirmation that his body is the one that was found inside his home, which had been destroyed by a fire. That confirmation, for them, is simply for closure because they know instinctively that he perished in the flames. 7News has been following the story since this morning, and Daniel Ortiz has the details of the various angles. Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived, investigators from the Police Department and the National Fire Service were well-underway with their inspection of the rubble at #139 Sister Mary Benedict Street, just off Antelope Street extension. The house was almost completely destroyed by a fire which started early this morning. It is believed that the owner, 33 year-old Michael Reynolds, who works for the Ministry of Human Development, was inside, and he was burned to death. Voice of: Friend - First Responder "When I came out on the verandah I see the house in flames. We were the third set of people to be out here. There was no ambulance here yet because we had already called and they said they were on their way."

Fawda’s Fiery Protest
Phillip "Fawda" Henry is famous for his one-man protests. In the world of protesting, we're not so sure that's a distinction to be proud of, but nonetheless, he soldiers on - crusading single-handedly against an array of different causes. This morning he had his focus set on city Councilor Eric Chang. As we've reported, Chang has been in Taiwan for the last six weeks, and yesterday, he was stripped of his Deputy Mayor-ship and his Council portfolios. Well today, Fawda Henry tried to strip him of his dignity in a fiery protest. 7news was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting When Phillip Fawda Henry started out with this tenderly preserved Eric Chang campaign shirt on a hanger, you might have thought he was there to praise the former Deputy Mayor. But in a few minutes, this shirt was on fire. Phillip "Fawda" Henry "We need to stop this, we need to call it a quit, we need the United States Government to intervene and arrest this man for what he has done wrong in this country." "It's not only Penner, we know it's not only Penner. Why is a councilor abroad up to this day and haven't come back to the country Belize as yet. He doesn't even seem to be a Belizean, but he is abroad. I ask the Mayor to terminate his services for the fact that Belizean people are paying money to his pocket and he is abroad."

Belize’s New US Ambassador Will Be A Former Judge
The new US Ambassador to Belize has been confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Carlos Moreno is a retired jurist from California. US News outlets report that the 64 year old Los Angeles resident and son of immigrants grew up in a Spanish-speaking home. President Bill Clinton nominated him to serve as a federal judge for the Central District of California and he served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California until his retirement in 2011. In his confirmation hearings he said quote, "Helping the Government of Belize strengthen its rule of law will be one of my top lays a stable foundation for much-needed economic development in Belize." He noted also that an estimated 70,000 Belizeans live in the United States while tens of thousands of American expatriates live in Belize.

American Fugitive Found Wandering In Cayo
One of those expatriates is on his way home though, after he was nabbed by Cayo police as an American fugitive. 48 year old Kenneth Gibbs was picked up by Cayo police yesterday wandering the streets of San Ignacio. He was taken in for processing and when police ran his name they discovered that he is a US fugitive wanted in that country for breach of parole and theft. Gibbs has been in Belize for about a year, and now he will be returned to the United States, likely in the company of US Marshalls.

Half A Pound Of Product Found In Seine Bight
This morning between 6 and 9, an anti-drug operation was conducted on the Placencia Peninsula. A search conducted at the residence of 18 year old Julian Diego, a student of Belize City presently staying in Siene Bight Village turned up three separate parcels of cannabis in one of the bed rooms. 26 year old Billy Bernardez of Dangriga and 31 year old Emilio Sandoval of Seine Bight Village were also present. The drugs weighed a total of about half a pound. All three were jointly arrested and charged for one count of Drug Trafficking, and two counts OF Possession of control drugs.

Police Take Deadly Weapon Off Streets
Police are reporting tonight that they have taken a deadly weapon off the street. According to police they searched an abandoned lot in Belama Phase 4 last night. The officers found a kit bag, which contained a 30-30 sawed-off shotgun. No one was in the area, and it was deposited as found property.

No Arrest In Fleecing Of Southern Reigonal Hospital
Nasley Sommerville has been suspended as the Administrator at the Southern Region al Hospital and police have launched an investigation against her. But the Ministry of Health was hoping that by now she would have been arrested. But police say in order to do that they've got to get information from the bank in Dangriga - and the bank says that could take a few weeks. So Sommerville remains under suspicion, but not under accusation. Still, the Auditor General's office has found considerable irregularities in the adminstration of the account. The Auditors found that checques were cashed form the Maternal and Child Health Bank Account between January 2010 to September 2013. The auditors directly implicate Sommerville for directly cashing at least three cheques totalling $7,060.00.

Ras Fari Passes
He is a musician, a book writer and a salesman out at Tourist Village and a spiritual leader. That's why tonight the Rastafarian community in Belize is mourning the death of Boyse Miller better known as Ras Fari or Tuffist. Miller was an elder of the Rastafari movement in Belize. But recently he was diagnosed with liver cancer by doctors. His fight with the deadly disease was short and came to an end on Sunday. The 68 year old first came to Belize from Jamaica in 1990 where he has resided ever since. Today his fellow Rastafarian brothers stopped by our studios to give us a brief history of Miller. Ras Ruben "Ras Fari came to Belize in 1990 and ever since he came to Belize he has been promoting the rasta livity. He is a Nyabinghi, he is from the Nyabinghi order, so that the house that he promotes and ever since rastafari came here he was the one that started the celebration of King Selassie I birthday annually. He has set a lot of pillars. He is our elder in the entire houses of rastafari in Belize; boboshanti, Nyabinghi - all rastafari. He is like the pillar of the movement in Belize."

Does Hon. Wilfred Want Econ. Citizenship Restored?
Who's the richest man in Belize? You may say Michael Ashcroft, but according to, in 2011 this man Huang Maoru was the richest Belizean. The website says The resident of Guangdong, Shenzhen, China was worth 1.8 billion in 2011 and amassed his fortune as the Chairman of Maoye International Holdings, which operated 37 department stores in 16 Chinese cities. We don't know that he has invested in Belize or how he got his citizenship - or if he has ever been here, but We found this newsworthy because Wilfred Elrington as Foreign Minister discussed economic citizenship yesterday. He was passionate and here's what he said: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "Countries internationally have special programs whereby they allow foreigners to get expedited citizenship or residence based on investments which they make in those countries and they do it for two reasons; those people have the capital, those people have the expertise technology and those people have access to markets. So for example when Hong Kong was going back to China there were waves of Chinese from Hong Kong who were admitted to Canada, United States and the United Kingdom."

Four Family Members Charged
Tonight, 4 family members of a family living in Cristo Rey Village in Corozal are tonight charged with offenses after they got into an altercation with 6 men from the town. It happened on Sunday night at around 9 o'clock where the men were socializing on the village football field. A member of the Che family came out and requested that the men stop making noise. That reportedly annoyed the young men who then went to the Che family house and they began throwing stones at it. According to police, 4 family members, including Gaudencio Che, Shayan Che, Luis Che, and Mirella Che, came out of their houses armed with machetes and sticks and inflicted various injuries to the 6 men.

Channel 5

Elvin Penner says he signed documents that appeared legit
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner re-enters the country on Sunday from Guatemala where he says he has been getting medical attention and accompanied his mother who is recovering from [...]

The visa trail revealed
Carlos Murga was intercepted by Cuban authorities in June, flying into Jose Marti Airport with seven Chinese passports in his possession. The matter raised a brief stink, but that breeze [...]

A look at the investigating team in the passport scandal
Day thirty-one, and there is still no information coming out of the Ministry of Immigration on the extent of irregularities within the nationality and passport department. On Tuesday, Elvin Penner [...]

American Fugitive caught in San Ignacio
An American fugitive has been caught in Belize.  Forty-seven year old Kenneth Hibbs is wanted by U.S. Marshalls in his home country for violation of his parole and for the [...]

Charred remains of a body is found in a house on Antelope Street
In the early hours of this morning, a small house in the Antelope Street Extension area of Belize City was engulfed in flames. The Fire Department responded and extinguished the [...]

Lone activist, “Faada” Henry sets Eric Chang ablaze
Activist Phillip ‘Faada’ Henry was on center stage in Battlefield Park this morning. He is enraged at the passport fiasco and calling for the U.D.P. to pack up and leave. [...]

Student caught with drugs
Three persons are in Police lockdown after an operation this morning netted a large amount of marijuana. Between six and nine a.m., Placencia Police and the Special Branch conducted searches [...]

Belizean woman caught in Chetumal pick-pocketing
A Belizean woman is currently detained in neighbouring Chetumal after she was caught attempting to shoplift four bottles of liquor. According to media reports in Chetumal, thirty-four year old Shirley [...]

Police Constable charged for assaulting wife with machete
Police Constable Ronald Sutherland ran afoul of the law on September twenty-eight when he allegedly assaulted his common law wife with a machete during a domestic dispute at a home [...]

Burton Caliz gets off of manslaughter charge with a fine
Another police officer who found himself on the wrong end of the law in 2004 has been spared from additional jail time when he appeared in the Supreme Court.  Thirty-year [...]

Barrow’s advice for U.S. Government
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is currently in Los Angeles, California where he is meeting with the Diaspora along with his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow. The Barrows were hosted to dinner [...]

A flashback at the numerous immigration scandals
The sale of visas has been a lucrative business for immigration officials, agents and couriers. Nationals from countries as far as Sri Lankan, Somalia, Nigeria and primarily China pay thousands [...]

In 2010 Sri Lankans were detained in Quito, Ecuador with Belizean visas
In the following story, aired a week later on November ninth, a number of Sri Lankans were detained in Quito, Ecuador when they turned up in that country with Belizean [...]

Cannon Leroy Flowers says ministry should not investigate itself in passport scandal
The illegal issuance of nationality and citizenship has struck a chord across all sectors of society. The private sector, unions, and others have expressed outright indignation at the irregularities at [...]

Social partners say PAC hearings are a charade
The social partners: the Belize Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Churches, Evangelical Churches and the N.T.U.C.B. say they cannot support the current hearings of the Public Accounts Committee which [...]

International Day of Archeology
Archeology is celebrated on October twentieth worldwide and today, the Institute of Archeology in Belmopan put off a display for students and the general public. Educational displays and fun-filled activities [...]

Charly Black in Belize for concert at MCC Tennis Court
Charly Black is becoming one of the most widely received and passionately influential artists of this generation. Born and raised in an area known as Rio Bueno, Trelawney in Jamaica, [...]


Police Constable Gets Fined For Manslaughter by Negligence
On September 30 a jury of nine found 30-year-old interdicted police Officer Burton Caliz guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of San Pedro resident Leroy Pilgrim. Today Justice Troadio Gonzalez fined him three thousand dollars instead of imposing a custodial sentence. Caliz was ordered to pay the fine by January 24, 2014. Before handing down his sentence, Justice Gonzalez told PC Caliz that he recommends that he re-apply for his job as a police officer and that he should be favourably considered. He told him that in his view, he could not impose a custodial sentence. On February 12, 2004, Police Constable Caliz shot and killed a man in the line of duty. PC Caliz claimed that Pilgrim had a gun and they were involved in a struggle when his gun went off accidentally. PC Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter then later that charge was upgraded to murder. He served 14 months in prison. He was tried and found guilty of manslaughter back in 2005 and sentenced to 10 years. Upon appeal he saw his conviction and sentence quashed by the judges of the court of appeal and a retrial was ordered.

Belize City Local Government May Be The Only Municipal Office Operating Overdraft Free, Mayor Says
The infrastructural works on the streets are winding down as the Belize City Council prepares to focus on other projects during its term of office. Currently, Mayor Darrell Bradley says the Council has entered its 93rd street for upgrade. Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City “We are working very closely with the various utility companies, most especially the water company. We are identifying a list of additional streets; by the time we are finished this year, we should be at one hundred and ten. We had budgeted for one hundred but we have been able to do a little extra because of our tendering process and because of the way we select contractors and also because of City Council doing some of the works itself; we saved on the labor cost and things like that and because of our tendering process also we were able to generate resources to contribute towards BTL Park and Battlefield Park and so, the residents of Belize are getting extra out of this twenty million dollars – more than a hundred streets and you’re getting public spaces.

Special Branch + Placencia Police Raids Homes in Southern Belize
An anti-drug operation on the Placencia Peninsula has netted over 250 grams of cannabis. Early this morning, between the hours of six and nine, Placencia police and Special Branch conducted a search of several houses in the area which led to the discovery of three separate parcels of cannabis at the residence of 18-year-old, Julian Diego, a student of 1111 J.C Street, Jane Usher Blvd, Belize City, who is presently staying in Seine Bight Village. At the time of the search, Diego was in the company of 26-year-old, Billy Bernardez of St. Berries Street, Dangriga and 31-year-old, Emilio Sandoval of Seine Bight Village. The parcels were taken to the station and weighed; parcel one amounted to 201.6 grams cannabis; parcel two amounted to 11.2 grams cannabis and parcel three amounted to 38.6 grams cannabis. As a result all three persons were jointly arrested and charged for one count of Drug Trafficking and two counts for possession of controlled drugs.

Elections Scheduled for NAVCO Board
The National Association of Village Councils, NAVCO will be hosting its annual general meeting. It is expected that elected officials from 191 village councils will elect a new NAVCO board. They will present resolutions identifying the strategic areas of concern for the rural areas. A number of organizations will be present to showcase what they have to offer the delegates. These include the Social Investment Fund, United Nations Development Program, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Central Building Authority, Belize Trade and Investment Development Services.

Police News: Arson and Robbery
Officials are investigating a fire that occurred in the early hours of this morning. Police say they received information of a house fire on Antelope Street Extension. On their arrival the fire was still ongoing and a pickup truck that was parked in front of the house was also damaged by fire. When fire officials put out the fire, they saw an apparent burnt body on the floor. While police believe the body is that of 33-year-old Michael Reynolds, a driver for the Ministry of Human Development; however they say the body was burnt beyond recognition. Reynolds has not been seen or heard from. The body was transported to the KHMH where it awaits a post mortem examination. A businesswoman was robbed on Thursday morning. 39-year-old Mei Yint Kuant told police she was inside her shop, Kevin’s Shop on Campus Avenue when just before midday, a dark complexioned male person armed with a handgun and wearing a white shirt with his face covered with a white cloth and a black cap lowered on his face approached her. The woman said the man pointed the gun at her and told her not to close the door. He reportedly pushed her in the house and another male person wearing a green shirt who also had his face covered entered. The men then reportedly ordered the woman to get on the floor while they searched the house. The culprits made off with a laptop, two cellular phones, 800 US dollars and money from the shop’s cash register all totaling just over six thousand dollars.


Another Prestigious Award For LICU
Earlier in our newscast we told you about LICU’s participation in this year’s International Credit Union day. But there is more good news to report from the institution. La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited, as a Microfinance Provider, was invited to take part in a transparency competition among other financial institutions. The good news is LICU won the competition and its General Manager Yolanda Gomez and other representatives will be traveling to Kingston Jamaica to receive a prestigious award.

Muffles College Wins Poem Competition
This year the National Ozone Layer Unit in the Department of the Environment conducted a Poem Competition for high schools as one of its activities for “International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2013” observed in the month of September. Several high schools took part in the competition but at the end there could only be one first place winner. So who took the grand prize? Well tonight we are proud to note that it was no other than students of Muffles High School. Third and fourth form students Vickie Chan and Tristian Coleman travelled to Belmopan today where they were recognized by representatives of the Environmental Department for their first and third place win respectively.


Minister Edmund Castro breaks his silence as he denies Taiwan misbehavior
Persistent rumors have surfaced against Belize Rural North area representative Edmond Castro since his return from Taiwan a month ago. Reports indicated that he was accused of misbehavior with a Taiwanese protocol officer and that the Embassy over there was involved. On Thursday we put the question forthrightly to...

Councilor Eric Chang stripped of Deputy Mayor post
Following a caucus meeting at City Hall Thursday morning, the Belize City Council has confirmed that Eric Chang has been stripped of both his post as Deputy Mayor and his portfolio of works. Mr Chang has been fingered as the alleged courier in the immigration scandal, who made contact...

Foreign Affairs Minister says employee dismissed in visa incident
An employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was dismissed recently after a relative was reportedly caught with seven Chinese passports in Cuba. It is an example of the growing concern over a visa and passport racket with tentacles around the world. Minister Wilfred Elrington says that despite a...

Fatal road accident in the south
A German national lost her life on Wednesday, after her vehicle careened into a creek. Harry Arzu has the details of this horrific accident. Harry Arzu “A traffic accident that happened on the Stann Creek Valley Road at about 4:15 this evening in the village of valley community within...

Kolbe inmate convicted of harming prison officer
23 year old Jason Anderson, in prison on remand for the 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, was convicted on Thursday of wounding a prisoner officer. The confrontation between Jason Anderson and the officer occurred in February of this year inside the Hattieville Prison. Whilst at the Kolbe Foundation the...

Foreign Minister says he wants credit for tougher Guatemala stance
Ten days ago we brought you the reaction to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington’s statement at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City on September 30. It provoked a strong reaction from Guatemala but otherwise caused hardly a ripple in the wake of multiple scandals...

International Coral Reef Initiative meets in Belize
This week top experts on coral reefs from over 50 countries converged on Belize for the annual meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). For the past two years Belize has shared management of the secretariat with Australia; the two countries have the largest coral reef formations in...

BOOST program helps families in Belize Rural North
The BOOST program, part of the Government’s social protection initiative, is a cash transfer program offered to vulnerable sectors by the Ministry of Human Development. On Thursday we met with Minister of State and Belize Rural North area representative Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro who was...

Patrick Menzies calls for School boycott over Gender Policy
The president of BelizeCan, Patrick Menzies, has been on a crusade against the 2013 Revised National Gender Policy. After failing to get the attention of Government by various means, he has hit upon the idea of a voluntary school boycott. He explained via telephone on Thursday. Mr. Patrick Menzies-...

Meeting held on Intellectual Property rights
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) began a two-day meeting on Wednesday, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. High on the topic list was the issue of promoting and enforcing rights to intellectual property and copyright in countries such as Belize, in...

DOE awards winners of poetry competition on preserving the Ozone Layer
In celebration of the International Day of Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the Department of the Environment (DOE) hosted a poem competition that was extended to secondary school students across the country. We were invited to the office of the DOE where the first, second and...

Three men charged with illegal fishing activities
A tip on Tuesday night to the Fisheries Department led to a late night bust. The Department received information of illegal activities from concerned citizens at a campsite at the south end of Caye Chapel property. According to Fisheries Officer/Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa, there have been...

Kontiki Neighborhood Watch erect street signs in Cayo
The Kontiki Neighborhood Watch Committee continued in their hands-on service in the twin towns of Belize, this past weekend. The group , through funds raised, assembled several streets signs across the neighborhood. President, Vilma Stuarworth, took a few minutes to catch us up on what...


Embattled Penner defiant: only his constituents can request his resignation. Belize’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, held a press conference on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in Belmopan to announce a major shift by the ruling United Democratic Party from the stance it has taken since the passport scandal, in which Penner sits at the epicenter, first broke. The party, Barrow stated, had reached a unanimous decision to “request the resignation” of embattled Cayo North East representative Elvin Penner from his position as area representative, and, in effect, from the United Democratic Party. Penner has become somewhat of an albatross around the necks of those in the UDP administration, but he has said that he has no intention of listening to PM Barrow and walking away softly into the sunset. The Prime Minister bluntly said that an internal investigation that was carried out over the long weekend by the substantive Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and officials at the Immigration Department, has uncovered more instances of impropriety and irregularity on the part of the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Hon. Elvin Penner.

After being absent from his post since early September, former deputy mayor Eric Chang has been stripped of his title as Deputy Mayor and Works Councilor at the Belize City Council. The resolution was made at a caucus meeting held this morning by the Belize City Council. He will be replaced by Councilor Bernard Pitts. Mayor Darrell Bradley said that he had communicated with Chang and had told him to return to Belize from Taiwan to answer questions concerning what has become known as the “Penner passport scandal,” and also, had stressed to him that he was needed to carry out his duties as Deputy Mayor and Works Councilor. Mayor Bradley said he told Chang what would happen if he did not return from Taiwan by last Friday, October 11. Chang had accompanied the Mayor to Taiwan on an official visit at the start of September, but had stayed a while longer for what were reportedly vacation purposes. That vacation was to have concluded on October 3.

Auditor General has completed audit of hospital; police report filed. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley confirmed to Amandala today that her office has forwarded the results of an audit—looking into allegations of embezzlement of several thousands of dollars at the Southern Regional Hospital—to the Ministry of Health. Amandala was unable to reach Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, for official comment on the audit results. We understand that the results of the compliance audit, with recommendations, were sent over to his office Wednesday. At the time of this report, the Government of Belize had not yet released a statement on the matter. Just prior to the weekend, news broke that Nasly Somerville, SRH Administrator, was facing suspension, pending an audit to look into allegations that funds earmarked for the National Health Insurance program had vanished.

“WE’RE ROLLING IN $$$”: BARROW! Oh yea? Well, unions want some of that money! World Bank, however, rates Belize at 152 of 185, among poorest countries. Since the weekend, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow has been saying that Government is awash in cash—but now, the unions are saying that what they had long believed to be true is clear: that the Government can pay them the salary adjustment they have been requesting since 2008. George Frazer, a former General Secretary of the Belize National Teachers’ Union and one of the members of the union negotiating team, told our newspaper today that in 2008, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) took office, the cost of living had already risen about 30% since their last salary adjustment. Since then, said Frazer, it has increased at least another 5%. Frazer said that the minimum the unions had asked Government for is a 5% adjustment. Each 1% raise represents $3 million, and Government could now pay at least the 10% a year—$30 million dollars, he maintained. He told us that initially, Government had said that economic growth was slowing down, and whereas the Prime Minister disagrees with their request for a minimum salary increase, teachers believe that with developments this year—including the increase in government revenue due to the assumption of control over the international business corporations and merchant marine ship registries, which should boost revenue receipts by several millions—Government can accommodate the 10% increase in the next budget cycle.

At a press conference held at the headquarters of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) in Belize City on Tuesday afternoon, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said that Prime Minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Dean Barrow is ultimately responsible for the passport and visa hustle which has been happening under his administration—a scandal which the Opposition notes broke 26 days ago, still with no resignation by the former Minister of State for Immigration Elvin Penner, as the member of Parliament representing Cayo North East, against whom they are seeking a recall vote. Earlier today, Barrow publicly announced that Penner should resign from the UDP or face recall, although there are allegations from the PUP camp that the UDP has been threatening persons to withdraw scholarships and social aid if they were to sign the recall petition. “Let us not forget that it is Prime Minister Barrow who we must hold responsible for this matter. It is Mister Barrow who was negligent and reckless in purporting to confer authority on Mister Penner, giving him the power to sign nationality certificates. For him to say, as he did last week Thursday – for him to say that he will regret this decision to the end of his days is just empty, false, self-serving rhetoric. The evidence was clear: He knew Mister Penner’s weakness. He knew the man’s weakness and yet he facilitated that weakness. Barrow must be held responsible,” Fonseca said.

CCJ varies injunction barring payment of BTL dividends. When Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) declared dividends of 25 cents a share at its annual general meeting last month, the Government of Belize, the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) and the Central Bank were not paid dividends, because of a December 2012 order by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), freezing the payment of dividends to the public sector shareholders, pending the outcome of a legal challenge against the nationalization of BTL. Although that case has yet to be fully resolved, the CCJ today heard an application from the Government of Belize to have that interim injunction discharged. After a hearing held Tuesday morning in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where the CCJ sits, the court ruled that half the dividends declared for 2012 and 2013 should be paid to the parties. The original CCJ order did not, however, affect BTL’s smaller private shareholders, who have been able to collect their dividends. A press release issued by the Government today said, “Dividends for 2012 had been declared in the sum of $11,889,000. Dividends for 2013 had been declared in the sum of $12,388,000.”

When the Elvin Penner passport scandal broke just under a month ago, the outrage was over a single Belizean passport which had, again, ended up in the wrong hands, but Opposition People’s United Party Senator Lisa Shoman, who pledges to present a motion in Parliament the next time the Senate meets, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that what is evident today is “institutionalized rot” within the Immigration Department and “extralegal hustling and selling of visas.” Apart from endorsing calls for a criminal investigation into the passport scandal, the Opposition is calling for an independent Senate inquiry, to determine the scope of what has transpired. “This motion will be brought to the floor of the Senate at the next meeting and it will be put to a vote. We are talking to the social partner senators, and I understand that there is solid support for the idea. It will be put to a vote and that vote will be a public vote, and senators will be required to stand up and say ‘aye’ or ‘nay’, because Belizeans deserve to know who is going to allow this to be investigated by the Senate and who will refuse, and I am calling on every single senator –whether that senator is appointed by the UDP, by the PUP, or by the social partners to uphold and respect the Constitution and our powers and functions contained therein,” Shoman said.

To start with, the weather was perfect, and the Cayo Welcome Center is perhaps the most “welcoming” outdoor entertainment facility in the country, a must visit for any municipal authority planning to spend taxpayers’ money to upgrade their existing “Central Park.” The area that was once simply a drive-way approach to the front gate of the Norman Broaster Stadium has been splendidly transformed into what has been aptly named the “Cayo Welcome Center,” featuring a wide, roofed band-stand facing an open clay-tiled patio, about forty feet radius, bordered by a semi-circular four-foot high cement wall that provides seating as well as an enclosed array of decorative plants. Inside the patio facing the band-stand, chairs had been placed to take up the available space left by the boxing ring that stood about eight feet west of the band stand. The “Free Boxing Tournament” at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night, October 12, was a smashing success, as residents came out in droves to enjoy a night of great entertainment.

Benguche Park Fest Cycling Classic results. The 7th Annual Benguche Park Fest Cycling Classic was held on Sunday, October 13, starting (and also finishing) in front of the Benguche Park and heading to Sittee River junction and back. First place went to Kent “Mob” Gabourel, Jr., from San Pedro; this is son of the veteran footballer from Cayo, Kent Gabourel, Sr. Second went to Mark Gentle from Ladyville; third went to Edmund Camaal from Dangriga; fourth was “Champy” Galindo from Dangriga; fifth went to the only female who took part in this race, Patricia Chavarria. The next race coming up will be the T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic, which will be held on November 17. This is part of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration activities. For more information, riders can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022. SCFA Old Master/Paul’s Guest House Cup The Stann Creek Football Association’s (SCFA) 1st Division Tournament 2013 for the Old Master Rum & Paul’s Guest House Cup had Week 5 games on Friday and Saturday, October 11-12.

Veteran boxer/trainer Henry “Boxer” Gill, who says he is home to stay after spending over thirty years in the U.S., came to our sports desk this morning to show us some of the boxing gear he had brought home on his return. In our report in Amandala of September 4, titled “Henry Gill, a.k.a. ‘Boxer’ hopes to revive youth boxing in Belize City,” Gill had said he wanted to start working “with the kids” and was “talking to a number of people to seek help in providing a gym and the equipment needed to get the program going in Belize City.” Though he is still bubbling with enthusiasm for the sport of boxing, today we sensed a measure of impatience as well as some anxiety in Gill, as he revealed that no assistance has been forthcoming in getting a gym to start training the kids in his area. “I have some equipment I brought to start with, but I need a gym,” he explained. Gill opened a travelling bag with some boxing gloves, protective head gear and trainer’s gloves, and proudly posed for our camera with some of the boxing gear. He said most of the equipment was donated to him while he was in Chicago by an Italian boxer, Russel Forey, who was the Chicago Golden Gloves champ at the time.

The unchallenged culture capital of the nation, and often promoted as also the football capital, Griga has over the past weekend made a strong claim to another title, that of being the basketball Mecca in Belize; this after they were crowned champions of the first BBF “Gaspar Vega” Elite Marathon in Orange Walk Town on Sunday. In anticipation and preparation for its upcoming Elite Tournament, reportedly scheduled to be launched early in 2014, the Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) invited the various national associations to select teams to participate in a showcase basketball marathon over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, October 12-13. With the sponsorship of Hon. Gaspar Vega and additional financial assistance from Belize Telemedia Ltd., the BBF “Gaspar Vega” Elite Marathon was held at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex with eight teams participating, representing the six districts as well as Belmopan and San Pedro.

This editorial is about the integrity breakdown in Belize’s public service, which used to be known as the “civil service” during colonial days in the first part of the twentieth century. But, before we look at the public service then and now, we want to consider a major aspect of British colonial rule here. That aspect was terror, in the form of hanging sentences automatically carried out on natives exactly 21 days after any murder conviction. Several decades ago in the early years of this newspaper, when the newspaper archives were still in Belize City at the Bliss Institute public library, we did research on the murder cases in British Honduras during the 1950s. These cases were covered in detail in The Belize Billboard, which was a daily back then. The thing that struck us about the cases was that natives were being routinely convicted for murder, and hanged, after matters which would definitely have been ruled self-defence today. The late Amandala columnist, Smokey Joe, always used to talk about one of his friends, Sydney Middleton, from teenaged days in British Honduras, who was hanged in the early 1940s after slaying a bully under extreme provocation. British colonial law didn’t give a damn about natives. British colonial law didn’t want to hear any explanations: you killed, you hanged. Story done. How different things are today!

Denominational religion is a very important matter in Belize. No matter how much of a sinner you may have been during your earthly life, when you are dead your relatives will take you to the Christian church where you were baptized or confirmed as a child, for funeral services to be conducted. Many times at funerals, the officiating cleric has to struggle to find good things to say about you, and what he ends up doing is turning his sermon or homily into a dire warning about the inevitability of death and the wages of sin, that dire warning being, of course, aimed at the mourners and survivors. When our post-World War II generation was growing up in Belize City, there were four high schools attended by boys, two being all-male and two co-ed. There was St. Michael’s College, which was Anglican, and St. John’s College (SJC), which was Roman Catholic. Michael’s and SJC were all boys. Wesley College was Methodist and co-educational, and the youngest of the lot, Belize Technical College, established around 1952, was the only government high school back then, and also co-educational. (In the 1930s, there had been a St. George’s College, which was a combined effort of the Anglicans and the Methodists. Sometime in the 1930s, St. George’s split into Michael’s and Wesley.)

“Those who fail to sign [the contracts] will be removed from the October payroll!” – UB’s HR department. Faculty members of the University of Belize are up in arms over sudden changes to their employment contracts which, they contend, are stripping them of security of tenure without so much as a consultation with them. The University of Belize has defended the move, saying in a press statement issued this week that, “Only faculty and staff who were already employed by the institutions prior to the merger of 2000 – the Bliss School of Nursing, the Belize Teachers Training College, the Belize Technical College, the Belize College of Agriculture, and the University College of Belize – were granted “permanent” status until reaching the official age of retirement.” It added that, “All faculty members hired since the merger have been hired on the basis of annual appointments ‘to serve the University in a teaching, service, and research capacity’.” President of the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA), Allison Crawford, told Amandala that an unexpected faculty notice was released on Tuesday, October 1, listing about 40 lecturers who were being asked to report to Human Resources to sign their contracts by Saturday, October 12, or be taken off the end-of-month payroll.

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd “The party will rally around Elvin Penner. We believe that he deserves a second chance. We believe that we ought to help him persuade his constituents not to recall him.” - Prime Minister Dean Barrow Those were the words spoken by the Honorable Prime Minister at a press conference on October 4, 2013. To me, at least, it was amazing that after Cabinet and its head believed that Penner acted grievously enough to be removed from Cabinet, they still found it in their heart to throw their loyalty, energy and reputation behind this man. For this corner the writing was on the wall a long time ago when the man, Elvin Penner, with no apology said on January 18, 2012: “I’m trying to work with them [he meant immigrants he wanted votes from]. I’ve always committed myself from day one when I got into politics that anybody who applied for their nationality, and they qualified, I would pay half of the cost.” To me that was the public sign and what has followed is just an escalation of that.

— by Michael Finnegan To my generation our southernmost district of Toledo, due to its distance from our main administrative, commercial and population centres, the previously poor service by road and other communication networks, and the persistent level of poverty, appeared to be remote. This sense of remoteness which some commentators have argued was more psychological than physical, has hitherto hindered development in the once “Forgotten District.” With rapid advancement in communications and transportation infrastructure and services, this once sleeping giant, Toledo, has awakened and has become acknowledged nationally and internationally for its prominent role in our national development. Our school children of today learn of the bounty of Toledo’s natural resources, its agricultural and industrial potential, its rich culturally diverse heritage, of her leadership in sustainable development and environmental conservation efforts. Consider the contribution of her daughters and sons to our academic, cultural, economic, intellectual and social legacy. Cities of the Ancient Maya rise majestically above its natural parks and protected areas. Toledo has led the way in advancing Belize as a reputable Ecologically Friendly and Heritage Tourism destination. Toledo in recent decades has come centre stage in our national discourse on how to balance conservation and the Right to Development. Landmark legal decisions have been handed down from the highest judicial authorities of the country on matters regarding the land rights of the indigenous Maya while huge multinational companies rush in to explore for that elusive energy resource we refer to as “Black Gold”. Housewives in Europe ask for its superior chocolate products by name and their youth enjoy productions from artists from villages like Barranco or access research authored by Toledo’s distinguished citizens.

— by Jerry A. Enriquez When it comes to corruption, it is high time that we the people roar into the ears of all our political leaders: Enough! ¡Basta! No more! Nada mas! Gum{¬!. The people are sick and tired of corruption from one to the other cycle of government administration while there seems every effort to bypass the laws to prevent the perpetrators from being held accountable. It is why every party must join in a referendum for recall, and in calling for the pursuit of justice. These are important steps forward to demonstrate to all our leaders that the people will tolerate no more. In various elections since Belize’s independence, independent voters like myself who are not aligned with any political party, have voted interchangeably for UDP, PUP, VIP or no “P,” depending on their assessment of the issues, the performance of the ruling administration and comparative quality of leadership. The swing in voting pattern through each election has usually been a reaction against the abuse of power, scandals and corruption, cronyism, arrogance, lack of accountability and transparency, lack of genuine consultation and the lack of professionalism (or blatant disrespect for the public) that have surfaced in successive PUP and UDP administrations.

— by Beatrice Arnold In every career that exists there are certain mandates/protocols that an employee must follow if he/she wants to be successful. When those protocols are breached a series of reprimands could follow. In the field of education the same applies. There are so many things that teachers must do to ensure that they are on top of their game and that the probability of them appearing in-front of the Belize Teaching Service Commission is minimized. Now, for our readers who are unaware of this legal and institutionalized body, The Belize Teaching Service Commission came into effect on January 14, 2011 and comprises a twelve-member panel that includes some parents as well as individuals from across the education sector, labour groups, business sector and the teachers union. According to The Belize Education and Training Act, 2010 Part 5 ACT 17: (1) The Belize Teaching Service Commission shall enforce. (a) standards set by the Ministry for entry into teaching to assure the quality and status of the Belize teaching force and the quality of the delivery of education; and (b) all regulations governing the conditions of service of teachers with respect to employment, appointment, transfer, discipline and termination of teachers in government and government-aided preprimary, primary, secondary, tertiary and TVET institutions subject to the provisions of sections 19 and 21 of this Act.

From the time King Hatchet was a hammer, on every occasion that this country sends a sports delegation to an international meet, whether it is the Olympics or regional games, an official prior to departure will sing this refrain, “We don’t really expect to win, but the exposure to international competition will do us very good in the future.” For the past 75 years this “future” is yet to be realized. Over the past 30 years the same managerial personnel appear to beg for support, to utter the familiar refrain, to go on the trips, and to apologize for the same lousy results on their return. You can bet on it that for the next international foray, it will be déjà vu all over again. Why should this recurrent fiasco, except on countable occasions, be the usual experience that this country knows when it has such superb athletes? After all, upfront the government contributes “much,” considering their financial resources and political self-interest, and the businessmen have kept the industry alive. There are seminars and clinics from Olympic and international coaches and players from all over. Yet the international performances of our athletes are such that they should stay at home. This state of affairs will persist as long as the current structure is maintained, and maintained it will be if current officialdom has its way.

Norwegian Cruise Lines—which proposes to set up a US$50 million cruise port at Harvest Caye in southern Belize, near Placencia—has been working to galvanize support from locals for its project, and not only has it been lobbying for that support across villages in Toledo; it has also pitched a job offer to Cristina Coc – the main spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) – who the company recently tried to hire as its public relations officer in Belize. Coc said that about a month ago, she received a call from a Norwegian rep, who said that they had seen her on TV and they like what they see. The rep asked Coc to consider going to work with them, to help them make sure that the company gets good publicity. She told us that she later received a call from a Norwegian official in California, asking for a meeting. Coc, who told us that she was not interested in such a post, said that she asked the Norwegian reps to put the offer in writing, but they never did. According to Coc, she was invited to a meeting which Norwegian was having in Bella Vista in September to discuss the project. Coc said that while she did not attend the Bella Vista meeting, reports from persons who attended indicate that the emphasis was placed on greater tourism business and more job opportunities for locals.

Today over one hundred countries are observing the 21st annual World Mental Health Day under this year’s theme, “Mental health and older adults.” The international observance is funded by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization. Today, October 10, the occasion was marked at the Mental Health Resource Center by a balloon release and a ceremony attended by 75 people, including Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health; Dr. Gerardo Decosio, PAHO and WHO Country Representative; Lindy Jeffrey, Executive Director of the National Council on Ageing; and Eloisa Hassan, Miss Y Belize 2013, among many others. The ceremony started about 10:30 this morning with a welcoming address by Eleanor Bennett, Nurse in charge of the Mental Health Program in the Ministry of Health, while Eloisa Hassan, Miss Y Belize, spoke about overcoming challenges in life and Lindy Jeffrey gave the keynote address.

In the year 2000, we raised our Friday street price from $1.25 to $1.35. We did this in order to give our vendors an extra dime, from .25 to .35. We did it under pressure from our competitors, who had started offering them fifty cents for selling a dollar newspaper. Our competitors could do this because they make money printing three or four other newspapers, such as the San Pedro newspaper, the Chinese newspaper, the UDP Cayo newspaper, even The Belize Times in 2010/2011. This is how business works: rough. You can imagine how the cost of printing materials, such as paper, film, ink, plates, and chemicals has risen since 2000. We have to ask our weekend issue readers to take some of the cost. The newspaper will take .10 out of a .15 raise, beginning in November. We’ll give our vendors an extra nickel to take them to .40. We ask our readers’ indulgence.

Felipe Rodriguez, 17, of Alta Vista, Stann Creek District, has been missing since Sunday, October 13, and his father, Gilberto Rodriguez Lopez of Alta Vista, is desperate for him to be found. Rodriguez’s girlfriend told police that he left her house and went to the bus stop to catch a bus to go to Dangriga, and that was the last time she saw him. Rodriguez is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and of medium build; he is of Hispanic descent and has black hair, a narrow face, green eyes, small lips and thick eyebrows, and has a scar in the middle of the forehead. He was last seen wearing a pair of khaki long pants, a white long-sleeve shirt, and a pair of black tennis shoes. Police are seeking public assistance in finding Felipe Rodriguez. Anyone with information that could indicate his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told Amandala tonight, subsequent to a request we made last week for official comments on an online company, IPCBelize, claiming to offer fast-tracked Belize passports in 6 months for US$9,900, that the matter has been turned over by Belize’s Director of Immigration to the international intelligence agency – Interpol. That is because checks made locally have indicated that IPCBelize is not registered here, either as a local company or an international business corporation. This was confirmed, said Hulse, via the legal counsel within the Ministry of Finance, Gian Ghandi, who led the pertinent checks. Meanwhile, Hulse told us that his ministry is still pushing to effect changes in his ministry which would minimize the passport and visa irregularities and abuses which have been recently unearthed. Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington confirmed to the media that a former secretary of his was transferred to another Government job after her brother, Carlos Murga, was detained while traveling to Havana, Cuba, with Chinese passports containing Belize visas.

A German businesswoman and owner of the All Seasons Resort in Hopkins, Ingrid Stahl, 56, died after the vehicle in which she was travelling, from Belmopan to Hopkins, plunged over the embankment of a bridge at Mile 18 on the Hummingbird Highway, into the water about 25 feet below. She died almost immediately. Another occupant of the vehicle was injured and the third escaped unhurt. Information to Amandala is that Stahl lost control of her vehicle at the approach to the bridge and the vehicle plunged into the water. People in the area tried to rescue her, but were unsuccessful. Police took Stahl to the Dangriga Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. She reportedly suffered massive head and body injuries. Then at about 3:30 Tuesday evening, Love FM news director and talk show personality Ava Diaz-Sosa and her cameraman, Brian Castillo, were travelling on the George Price Highway from Belmopan to Belize City, when at Mile 43, the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to slide off the road and overturn.


“One Day at a Time” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The exertion of packing so much stuff on Wednesday must have got to me because I didn’t wake up until around 04.45 hours yesterday. Still early but… Out on to the veranda with my iPad and a mug of black coffee for a couple of hours of ‘me’ time before Rose got up.Spent a bit of time reading The Times on-line and then focused on finishing off yesterday’s edition of the blog. After a shower and a shave I got dressed and had breakfast (and another mug of black coffee) by which time Rose was up and ready for us to resume packing. This time the focus was on the paraphernalia we have managed to accumulate since relocating to Ambergris Caye. Going through the cupboards and drawers I was amazed by just how much stuff we have managed to accumulate in just seventeen months. We came across stuff that we brought with us from the UK but there was still a hell of a lot of stuff that we have acquired since being here.

Linux Build for children at BCVI
We got hold of some laptops and will be putting them in the hands of some children at the BCVI in Belize. They come ready with Vinux a flavor of Ubuntu Linux for Visually Impaired users, we are doing this in an effort to bring the children up to speed with new technologies and to put the school in an OpenSource base where costs are reduced as far as licensing goes and getting hardware in the hands of the children. Learn more about BCVI here. Going forward, the techs at BCVI will be able to clone one of the machines and make a few adjustments on the new hardware and get it up and running with a standardized build in no time at no extra cost, other than the hardware of course. We will be working on an actual build that can be setup as an ISO to share if others would like to use. We would also like to extend an invitation to Techies in Belize and elsewhere that would like to lend their time to expand the build to drop us a line and discuss how we can work on making this project a better one. Together we can make a difference.

Routine maintenance, my healthy eating solution and SAGA party
Yesterday I did not feel like writing so I took a maintenance day instead and did some laptop clean up so I could start a fresh back up. I was glad I did as AVG picked up a corrupted file, thankfully my next 2 scans came out clean. After that it was just patience to put everything on my external hard drive and second back up on several flash drives. Not terribly glamorous work but someone has to do it My big excitement of the week is my new healthy eating solution. After falling off the food wagon big time, I found a cook to help keep me on track. I set a weekly budget and told Claire what kinds of things we liked and she added her own suggestions. Mary and I headed north on Tuesday to put the first order in and Paul went and picked it up Wednesday afternoon. I knew most of what she was making but some of it was still to be a surprise, we ended up with hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh salad, black beans with peppers, fried mini tortillas and a big whack of snook. Claire’s cooking is super delicious and I love that all I have to do plate it and I am done. This is a great option for people on vacation who are renting a place with a kitchen and want a reasonably priced healthy food option without the cooking.

International Sources

READY FOR SOME INTERNATIONAL SMACK TALK??? The Prime Minister of Belize was last night ... telling us what's wrong with our government ... on his way out of an L.A. restaurant. Dean Barrow was leaving Madeo last night, flanked by personal security, when he was asked if he had any advice for the U.S. government to avoid another shutdown. His response -- "You have to switch to the parliamentary system." Boom. Smack talk! FYI -- Belize operates on a parliamentary system (a form of government with no president, in which the leader of the majority party is the leader of the country). Now, Belize has its problems, too -- according to the various media reports the country has a Caa1 credit rating -- which essentially translates to "piss poor."

A festival of international tastes
Those who attended last Friday’s International Food Festival hosted by the Honorary Consuls of the Consular Corps of Trinidad and Tobago had a delectable cornucopia of food to choose from. Many are probably still craving the unique flavours of the cuisines of 37 countries from around world. Held at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, the call of duty for Hilton’s executive Chef Umesh Meena was a lavish one, but with assistance from a team of 20 other chefs, the well organised and gala celebration of food came off without a hitch. The chef’s aim was to look at the signature or most popular dishes from each country and authentically produce them. There were dishes from countries including Austria, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Czech Republic, Chile, Sri Lanka, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Norway, Uruguay, Pakistan, Russia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Czech Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, Grenada, Guyana, Indonesia, Ireland, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritus, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Suriname, Switzerland and Syrian Arabic Republic. There seemed to be no end to the food, drinks and desserts available for the 300 plus patrons who ventured to try what these countries offered. One had to admire Chef Sombat Mekkhawong’s handling of the Thai suckling pig which he sliced to perfection. The whole roasted pig was a sight to see especially for pork lovers who couldn’t get enough of the cooked-to-perfection roast.

My Life: Jo Fairley, Co-Founder Of Green And Black's
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was in Green & Black's DNA from day one: I believe, like my friend and mentor Anita Roddick, that you can do good through doing business and the two are not mutually exclusive. Since we started trading with the Maya Indians, for instance, in Belize, there's been a massive increase in the number of children attending secondary school (and there was no secondary education in the villages before the farmers had the secure income from selling their cacao at Fairtrade prices).

Additional Charges Brought Against Tax Return Preparers Previously Charged with Helping Clients Hide Millions in Offshore Israeli Banks
The superseding indictment further alleged that the co-conspirators prepared false individual income tax returns which did not disclose the clients’ foreign financial accounts nor report the income earned from those accounts. In order to conceal the clients’ ownership and control of assets and conceal the clients’ income from the IRS, the co-conspirators incorporated offshore companies in Belize and elsewhere and helped clients open secret bank accounts at the Luxembourg locations of two Israeli banks referred to as Bank A and Bank B in court documents. Bank A is a large financial institution headquartered in Tel-Aviv, Israel, with branches worldwide. Bank B is a mid-size financial institution headquartered in Tel-Aviv, with a worldwide presence on four continents. The indictment also alleged, the co-conspirators incorporated offshore companies in Belize and elsewhere to act as named account holders on the secret accounts at the Israeli banks. The co-conspirators then facilitated the transfer of client funds to the secret accounts and prepared and filed tax returns that falsely reported the money sent offshore as a false investment loss or a false business expense.

ACP Fish II / CRFM / CARICOM meetings in The Bahamas
Since the inception of the ACP Fish II Programme in June 2009, Caribbean countries have benefited from close to €3 million allocated for 32 national and regional, fisheries and aquaculture projects. To date, 18 of these projects are completed, while the remaining 14 projects are at various levels of development or close to being completed. Starting next Monday, October 21, a team of regional officials, including eighteen (18) participating Fisheries Administrations and Organisations in the Caribbean, will meet in the Bahamas for a week of events that will review the progress of the programme and chart a future course that will build on the successes to date. The first of the three events will be the Fourth and Final ACP Fish II Programme Regional Monitoring Workshop, to be held at the Beach Tower Hotel Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, from Monday, October 21 to Wednesday, October 23.

Caribbean ministers call for continued financial support
Ministers of finance from the Caribbean, Ireland and Canada have urged the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue to support small highly vulnerable economies in its new strategy. “Of particular concern are the Caribbean countries in our constituency, which are small island states that are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and external macroeconomic shocks. This heterogeneous group of developing countries continues to struggle with the complexity of financing and implementing development solutions within the context of stagnant or contracting growth, declining competitiveness and unsustainable fiscal and debt positions,” said Jim Flaherty, minister of finance for Canada, who spoke on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines

October 18, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Problematic Beachside Croc Captured by ACES
Water enthusiasts on the southern end of Ambergris Caye can swim a little safer now that a rogue crocodile has been captured by the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) team. It is believed that the croc is the culprit in a encounter that harmed an Ex-Pat spear-fisherman last week as reported by The San Pedro Sun in Vol. 23 Issue 39. Over the last several weeks ACES has received many calls from residents of the southern beachside area of the caye who have sighted a crocodile swimming near the shore and under various docks. Based on information gathered, ACES was lead to believe it was the same croc that was involved in the recent altercation. On the evening of October 10th ACES Animal Behaviorist and Wrangler Vince Rose and ACES Apprentice Chris Summers set out to capture the troublesome croc once and for all. Aboard their boat The Swamp Thing, the team, along with the assistance of US Marines Andy and Roy and Navy Medic Axel , was able to lasso the croc in what resembled a Caribbean crocodile rodeo. The scrappy reptile eluded the team for quite some time and put up a good fight when it was finally captured.

SPTC and Cultural Committee host first ever Dia de la Raza celebration
The San Pedro Town Council working along with the San Pedro Cultural Committee celebrated, for the first time, the Dia de la Raza. The event was geared to celebrate the island’s rich ethnicity while showcasing how multi-cultural Belize is. Dia de la Raza was celebrated under the theme “Promoting Unity through Cultural Diversity – Belize, a Melting Pot,” and was held to coincide with Pan-American Day on October 12th. The event kicked off with a short ceremony where the Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero applauded the organizers for keeping culture at the forefront of the island’s events. In addressing the gathering, Carla Rosado of the Museum of Belize explained that San Pedro Town is living up to the national tourism mandate of “promoting cultural tourism.” Guest speaker at the event was Minister of Tourism and Culture Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. “We at the Ministry applaud these efforts that seek to highlight our culture while promoting our country. It showcases how rich we are and how diverse Belize is when compared to our neighbors,” said Heredia.

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye: Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site (#4)
You may find it hard to imagine that thousands of years ago the island of Ambergris Caye served as a trading post for the Maya. Locals have known about the concealed Marco Gonzalez Maya site located at the southern end of the island for many years, but with the ruins tucked deep within forbidding dense jungle only grave robbers braved the biting insects, slithery creatures and fierce flora to unearth and make off with invaluable artifacts. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Marco Gonzalez Board of Directors and the Belize Archaeological Department this hidden treasure is slowly seeing the light of day. With excited teams of archaeologist and their students unearthing a history 2,000 years old we now have the rare opportunity to explore the only island archaeological reserve in Belize. The elevated boardwalk and cleared areas allow passage to the sites where you learn about the amazing ways the Maya traveled, traded and lived on Ambergris Caye. The guided tour includes exploring the various excavated sites while you discover pottery shards and artifacts. Within the forest live exotic birds, iguanas and other harmless creatures that add to the outdoor experience.

Ambergris Today

Joel Magana Boasts Large Collection of Money from Around the World
He has been collecting monetary notes from around the world for over 12 years now and boasts bills from over 93 countries around the globe. You can say that Joel Magaña is the island’s resident money collector; a hobby that has gotten him quite an impressive collection. Joel dared us to name any country in the world and surely he pulled out money from at least five countries that we named out. There are some from countries that I had not even heard of, far, far away from our little island. He keeps them bound in an album and proudly displays them to anyone interested in learning more about his collection.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños at Black Orchid Restaurant
Everybody who makes them has his own special stuffing for the spicy pepper. Some only add melted cheddar cheese; others make a special cheese sauce, while some use cream cheese, but probably the best are the ones stuffed with a chicken/cream cheese mixture. Delightful! Then there is the outside batter – crispy, lightly or double battered or even beer battered. We all have our favorite combination. Black Orchid is the only place on the island that I have heard wrapping them delicious jalapeño peppers with bacon and let me tell you, they are amazing! The appetizer brings two large peppers sliced in half stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in yummy bacon! They are not battered and fried, just grilled to give the pepper a light charred flavor.

Misc Belizean Sources

Saga HS and Hopkins HS SNIP-a-thon San Mateo
Saga Humane Society is please to hosting Hopkins Belize Humane Society this weekend for our October SNIP-a-thon. Friday Oct. 17-Sunday Oct. 20 there will be visiting Vets doing a FREE SNIP clinic with check ups, vaccinations and vitamins. It will be a MASH clinic at the entrance to San Mateo. Please help us spread the word. San Mateo knows It's Hip to SNIP!

Belize Voted Among Most Relaxing Destinations by Lonely Planet
According to Chaa Creek’s Bryony Fleming Bradley, Lonely Planet’s nod to Belize as one of the top ten most relaxing destinations in the world is especially good news to travellers from the Americas. “It’s no surprise to us that a Lonely Planet blog survey listed Belize as one of the world’s most relaxing destinations. And it’s also good to hear that we’re in some very good company in the survey, which puts us on par with more upscale, distant chill-out destinations such as Greece, the Maldives, Seychelles and Thailand. “But what’s great news to travellers from South, North America and Canada, it means that you can travel to one of the top ten most relaxing destinations of the world at a fraction of the price of some of the others, as Belize is so close to many important North American travel hubs. To my mind, that makes Belize even more attractive,” Ms Fleming Bradley said

Buy and Sell Classifieds 15-Oct
This week's online issue of Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds. Hidden Valley Inn is hiring. Le Mar's Emporium is having their grand opening in November. Heinekin Happy Hour tomorrow in Belmopan. Smart has a new app. Mary Open Doors is having a Dia de Los Muertos bake sale.

Galen Initiative for a Valued Education
Galen had their GIVE fundraiser, which will allow them to award a high school scholarship to a lucky student. The Galen Eagles Band was there providing great entertainment. Thanks, Galen! "On Saturday, October 12 2013, the Fall 2012 MBA cohort hosted it's GIVE (Galen Initiative for a Valued Education) fundraising initiative at the ITVET, in Belize City. The gala was executed as the capstone project in partial fulfillment of the Master in Business Administration degree, with greater efforts in fundraising for a 4 year high school scholarship that will be given to one deserving Belizean student. The dinner/dance gala was well organized, and great support was received from guests in attendance. Filled with enthusiasm, all were happy to be a part of such a momentous occasion! Job well done Galen Eagles!!"

Archaeology Day at the IA
The Institute of Archaeology is celebrating International Archaeology Day today at the Museum Building in Belmopan. They'll be announcing the winners of the 'Preserving the Past for the Future' poster competition. They'll also have many Maya artifacts on display, and the IA team will be there to test your skills with some trivia.

BWRC Current Patients
The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic has some pictures of their current patients. Cute! They have a new post on their site in regards to their first year of operations. We are very exited to share that tomorrow Dr. Maas returns to help us reassess his work on Izzies arm and to provide assistance for several other patients cared for by Wildtracks, Belize Bird Rescue and possibly the Green Iguana Project (he is a rare board certified reptile vet after all...!) To begin with, we want to give a HUGE thank You to Adolf Maas for his amazing support, to Wildtracks for covering his plane ticket, to Ella Baron and Ian Anderson from Cavesbranch, Mariam Roberson from San Ignacio Resort Hotel and Sam Glionna for a free stay at your beautiful resorts and home. Looking forward to an amazing week, in gratitude (Dr. Isabelle)"

MML Adventure Sport Training Package
Maya Mountain Lodge is giving a 50% resident discount for their Adventure Sport Training Package. For more information, email them at or call them at 824-2164. In related news, they also have a cooking school package where they teach Mestizo and Mayan cooking..

BCS San Ignacio Branch
The Belize Cancer Society has a San Ignacio Branch that's been opened since March, 2013. It's located at the BFLA office on Church street. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they are having their 'Paint Belize Pink' campaign to increase awareness. They are also having a Cancer Walk from Esperanza to San Ignacio on the morning of the 26th.

Immigration Problems Through the Looking Glass – US and Belize
Here's the astoundingly modest claim of the Immigration Minister from the Central American nation of Belize: And we do have some honest people in the Immigration Department. This was his reply, as recorded by a local TV station to a question about reports of widespread corrupt issuance of illicit visas and nationality papers by members of his staff. He went on to say: But the world is real and things are real and if ten thousand and fifteen thousand is put in front of some people, the temptation is strong. So here we have a cabinet member, Godwin Hulse, ineffectively, trying to limit illegal immigration to his Third World country, but many members of his staff are not cooperating.

Primary School Competition, Dia de los Muertos
Open call to all primary schools in the Corozal District to participate in the Dia de los Muertos Altar Competition and Exhibit. Come out and be part of this cultural revival! Visit the Corozal House of Culture (NICH) for more information or call 422-0071. Deadline for entries is October 22.

Channel 7

Eric Chang Stripped Of Deputy Post + Portfolios
Deputy Mayor Eric Chang left Belize for Taiwan on September third - and six weeks later, he still hasn't returned. That is after he said he'd be back on October 3rd. When he didn't show, his boss, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley wrote to him saying he had to be back by October 11th, or else! Well the 11th came and went, with Chang only calling the mayor to ask for an indefinite extension. The mayor didn't accept it, and today the City Council met to decide Chang's fate. They decided to recall him as deputy Mayor on the basis that his prolonged absence was a "prejudice to the governance and order of the city." The mayor told us that - with the allegation of Chang's involvement in the Citizen Kim scandal - and his unexcused absence, the council had to act:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "I had written him, we had a telephone conversation and he indicated to me that he couldn’t give me a time frame when he would return to the City and definitely he could not come back by Friday of last week. I indicated to him that that was unacceptable and that the council needed to move on and by moving on I mean that the council will reconvene again and we will make a determination whether or not his absence is causing a prejudice to the governance and order of the City which we deemed this morning at the council meeting that it was."

Penner Has 100,000 Reasons Not To Resign
So now Chang stands stripped, much like the man he is allegedly linked to in the Citizen Kim Affair, Elvin Penner - which as we've noted before, is kind of odd, since each is, respectively, the first Chinese and first Mennonite elected in Belize. But coincidences aside, the situation for Penner is far more serious. As we've reported he's being asked by his own party and government to resign, while the opposition is trying to have him recalled - while at the same time he is at the center of at least two other investigations. Tonight, best reports say he remains in Guatemala- where he told Prime Minister Dean Barrow he would be seeking treatment for crushing migraine headaches. He still has not given the Prime Minister any answer on whether he will or won't resign - though he has been sending texts to members of the Cayo Northeast Committee saying he plans to go back to his people, which, observers say, will be quite a feat without cover from his party.

Hon. Elrington Says Visa Racket Has Touched Ministry of Foreign Affairs
And while that is the political dimension of the story - there is still the scandal side of it. There are no dramatic new revelations tonight, but we did have a quite frank discussion with the Foreign Minister about the alleged involvement of employees of his ministry in circulating Belize visas to dubious recipients in Cuba. As we reported in mid-June, Belizean Carlos Murga was intercepted at the Cuban Airport with 7 foreign passports bearing valid, new Belize visas. The Ministry of Immigration said the visas were properly paid for and documented. They concluded that Murga was just a courier, carrying passports across borders to Cuba. But, information around the case suggested that employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were involved in the carriage and conveyance of these visas - and that really, it was a little ring running from Cuba to Cancun to Belmopan - where passports would be delivered on that end, and new applications brought back. The lynchpin in that whole scenario is that Carlos Murga's sister worked as a secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hon. Edmund Castro Denies Making Sexual Advances On Protocol Officer
For the past two months, it seems like the Barrow Administration has been lurching from scandal to scandal. And somewhere in there is the Edmund Castro incident €“ which, depending on who you talk to, either did or didn’t happen when he visited Taiwan in mid-September. The report we got was that the Taiwanese had complained directly to the Prime Minister that Castro had made unwelcome sexual advances on a female protocol officer who was his escort in Taiwan. But no formal diplomatic complaint has been made, and while all kinds of stories have been buzzing on certain media outlets, we haven’t heard from the man himself. We got the opportunity to do that today when we met him at the Sandhill Community center. Here’s what he said:.. Jules Vasquez "What happened in Taiwan?" Hon. Edmund Castro "My brother, that’s pure foolishness. I heard about this foolishness when I got back home and I don’t believe in slandering anybody, so whoever is slandering me I don’t pay any mind to slander them back because that is not my style. I know my heart is clean. I know I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary - I didn’t do anything wrong. So, wherever that foolishness came from I can’t respond to something I don’t know about."

Imprisoned Man Gets 3 More Years For Wounding Warden
Tonight, 23 year-old Jason Anderson, who is on remand awaiting trial for murder, is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he pleaded guilty to wounding a Prison Officer during a routine search inside the Belize Central Prison. According to Officer Fernando Teck, on February 5, 2013, he attempted to search Anderson, who resisted, which caused them to get into a physical struggle. Anderson ended up pushing Teck to the ground, and he injured his knee, for which he had to receive medical treatment. Teck reported the incident to police who charged Anderson with harm, and today, his trial was to start in the Magisrate's Court. Before it could start, however, Anderson changed his plea to guilty, and because he has no previous convictions, and the fact that he didn't waste the court's time, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton sentenced him to 3 years, instead of the of the possible 5.

Man Found On Bus With Hundred Pound Bag Of Weed
Yesterday, Cayo Police arrested and charged 25 year-old Guatemalan Gerson Garcia, a resident of Melchor, with drug trafficking after officers stopped a bus and found over a hundred pounds of weed being transported among the luggage of other passengers. It happened on Monday morning at around 10:30, when a crowded Shaw Bus was passing through the Succotz Village in Cayo. The officers, acting on intelligence, stopped the bus at a checkpoint and searched among the luggage. They found 3 separate bags which contained a total of 104 pounds of marijuana. As a result, they detained 3 men who were on the bus, including Garcia, and after each men were questioned, the officers found out that it was he who boarded the bus with the illegal cargo. As a result, he was arrested and charged, while the other 2 men were released.

Hon. Elrington Unfazed By Guat Counterpart Carrerra’s Comments
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington made waves his bold address to the United Nations at the end of September. Seeming to adapt a stance of No more Mr. Nice Guy, Elrington called out the Guatemalans for encroaching upon, pillaging and laying waste to Belizean territory. That elicited an angry response from his Guatemalan counterpart Fernando Castellanos. Today, Elrington told us he isn’t moved by it one bit:... Jules Vasquez "Fernando Carrera, the Foreign Minister was extremely offended at the address you gave at the United Nations. They sent a 12 point letter of complaint to the OAS. Have you spoken to Mr. Carrera?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "I have not spoken to Fernando Carrera and I am not concern to be candid to what Carrera thought of the speech. What concerned me was what Jules Vasquez thought of the speech - I've never heard him made a comment on it. I didn’t say I applaud the Foreign Minister for standing up so robustly for Belize or nothing like that. The suggestion was that again the Foreign Minister might have messed up because we offended the Guatemalans.

Whose Property Is That Song You Downloaded?
We caught up with Elrington at a two-day national workshop on Copyright and Intellectual Property rights. Now these rights go largely ignored in Belize, but in fact, every published work, every trademark, every song, every usable idea that you document is protected under these laws. That’s why today was an awareness session where we found out more about these rarely invoked rights:.. Candace Westby Fisher, Deputy Registrar - BELIPO "The purpose of this workshop is to sensitize persons like yourself and the Belizean public as to copyright and the importance of it. It’s more than a song, it’s more than music. It affects everybody, it affects the users, the libraries, the archives - everyone and we are hoping that through this workshop we can provide you with answers as to what is copyright and why do I need to know about it and how will it help me."

City Council Nearing 100 Street Benchmark
The Belize City Council pledged to pave 100 streets in a year - and, quite incredibly, they are right on target. The mayor today told us that they are nearing 100 streets, and it's all coming together - even if drivers and pedestrians still feel inconvenienced. Here's how he explained the method behind what sometimes feels like madness:.... Mayor Darrell Bradley "We are at Street number 93 and we are working very closely with the various utility companies, especially the water company. We are identifying a list of additional streets. By the time we finish this year we should be at 110. We had budgeted for 100, we are able to do a little bit extra because of our tendering process and because of the way we select councilors and contractors and also because the City Council doing some of the work itself. We save on the labor costs and things like that and because of our tendering process also we were able to generate resources to contribute towards BTL Park and Battlefield Park, so the residence of Belize are getting extra out of this 20 million dollars; more than the 100 streets and you are getting public spaces."

What To Watch At Taiwanese Film Festival
The Taiwanese embassy in collaboration with NICH is hosting a Taiwan Film Festival at the Bliss this weekend. The 2 day event will feature 3 films that you won’t find on HBO or Showtime. It is free for movie-goers and today we found out what’s on the lineup. Kimberly Vasquez, ICA - NICH "This weekend the Embassy of the Republic of China Taiwan in collaboration with NICH are hosting their Taiwan Film Festival here at the Bliss Center. It’s a 2 day event and we have 3 films on the lineup all of them with English subtitles." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about these films?" Kimberly Vasquez, ICA - NICH "There are something for everyone; there is a live action kung fu movie (Kung Fu Dunk), there is a romantic comedy (Fishing Luck), and then there is the Oscar Nominated Cape #7 which was one of the biggest films to come out of Taiwan, so we have something for everyone in the film festival."

Yesterday was celebrated around the world as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer to mark the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The National Ozone Unit of Belize held a poem competition where high school students were invited to write poems about the importance of the ozone layer. Today, the Ozone Unit handed out prizes to the winners of the competition at the Department of Environment in Belmopan. Vickey Chan of Muffles College won first place and she was awarded with a tablet. Tsehay Eck from St. Catherine Academy won second place, and was awarded with a digital camera. Tristian Coleman of Muffles College won third place, and was awarded with a 64 gig flash drive. The theme for this year's celebration was "A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want".

Celebrating the Credit Union Movement
Today Belize joined in with the rest of the world in celebrating World Credit Union Day. Since 1948 Credit Unions around the world have been using this day to reflect and give recognition to the history of the movement. And around the country Credit Unions gave back to its customers today. We found out more. Lisa Coleman "Today is the International Credit Union Day, this is celebrated worldwide every 3rd Thursday in October. Since 1948 we have been celebrating International Credit Union Day, everybody worldwide is doing it. It’s a day in which credit unions reflect and just give recognition to the movement and the histories of credit union and give acknowledgment to its members for all its work and its contribution throughout the year." "This is day when credit unions around the world do little things for their members. Countrywide the credits unions are doing a little something like giving away little snacks whenever you go in there. You have St. John's that is doing blood test for their members, you can go there and do sugar test and high blood pressure test."

How Boost Works In Rural Bze.
Boost is a targeted social assistance programme that has been praised by multi-lateral agencies as a model programme. It not just welfare or handouts, but is an incentive based system which ties assistance to how many children a mother has in school, whether they are actually going to school, or in the case of newborns, if they are going to the clinic. In Belize rural north 160 mothers got on the programme in 2011, and today the Department of Social Services went back to that community to sing up 75 more. We went to the Sandhill community center to find out how it’s going:... Hon. Edmund Castro "These single mothers are receiving cash money to make sure that their kids have food to eat and for them t go to school." Erlene Baptist "You come and you bring your Social Security card for your children, you get a credit union and they interview you and its as easy as that, easy as ABC." Jules Vasquez "How does it work? Like how many kids you have?" Erlene Baptist "Like how many kids you have and old folks at home. It goes according to the age of the child. I you have a baby, he/she gets like $20. If you have a child in 1st form, you get $45 and every year it goes up."

Channel 5

Eric Chang recalled as Deputy Mayor of Belize City
Eric Chang has not been back to Belize since his name came up in the passport scandal that has been dogging the government. It has been a little over a [...]

B.Q. Pitts Junior elected new deputy mayor for Belize City
According to Mayor Bradley, there are statutes within the City Council Act which prohibit councilors from prolonged, unexplained absences from office.  In this case, Chang has not maintained sufficient contact [...]

Foreign Minister he was approached about visas just days after assuming office
The sale of visas to Asian nationals and others by agents has been ongoing for years facilitated by high level officials.  Last Thursday, the Prime Minister told the media that [...]

Elrington says his secretary has been transferred from ministry following passport incident
Minister Elrington says that despite his secretary not having any involvement in the sale or facilitation of Belizean visas, direct measures were taken to transfer her from Foreign Affairs.  The [...]

Elrington says Penner scandal won’t affect Barrow Administration
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has also weighed in on the passport scandal.  His position is that despite the severe infractions that have taken place at the Immigration Department at the [...]

Sniffing on the trail of the brand new Belizeans
The investigation into the passport scandal is in its thirtieth day. There have been two major press conferences during that time. The Financial Intelligence Unit is on the case. The [...]

The richest Belizean on the Forbes also acquired Belizean citizenship
We first reported on Huang Maoru in May 2008. Maoru caught our attention because he was the first Belizean to make it as the richest man on Forbes Magazine. Huang [...]

Ambassador says he is concerned if Taiwanese nationals also broke immigration laws
The Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize has remained under the radar as it relates to the passport scandal even though Wonhong Kim was in a Taipei prison when he obtained [...]

Ordinary Belizeans weigh in on whether Elvin Penner should be criminal charged
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Barrow threw Elvin Penner under the bus and asked him to resign as area representative and from the United Democratic Party. The Prime Minister’s decision came [...]

Private sector in favor of senate-led investigation on immigration department
While ordinary Belizeans overwhelming support a criminal investigation, we asked the private sector today if they support a motion for a senate investigation. During a special sitting on October second, [...]

Lizarraga says that even if motion is passed, will it be endorsed by House
The irony, says Senator Lizarraga, is that regardless of the motion being tabled at the Senate, for it to be passed, it will need to be endorsed by the House [...]

Audrey Matura and client serves injunction against Fort Street Tourism Village
The Fort Street Tourism Village was created to give Belizean businesses an opportunity to profit from tourism. But for some time now, there has been a change in ownership and [...]

Freelance reporter freed of charge
After two weeks on remand, freelance reporter, Roy Davis, left the courtroom today a freeman. Two weeks ago, Davis was convicted of wounding Joyceln Davis when he punched her on [...]

1st ever Taiwanese Film Festival debuts this weekend at the Bliss
NICH in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is hosting a two day film festival. It is a cultural exchange program that will open with a [...]

Public consultations on the amendment to the Criminal Code
On October eight, the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee met in Belmopan. On the table were amendments to the Criminal Code, officially proposed to strengthen the protection of children against [...]

Healthy Living features caretakers; the work they do and the care they need
On October tenth, Belizeans joined in on the celebration of World Mental health Day. This year’s theme focused on Mental Health & Older Adults. And while the aging population certainly [...]


Transport System Has Its Difficulties
And while Edmund Castro is taking care of business in his constituency, as the Minister of Transport, getting the commercial buses to adhere to the regulations seems to be more of a challenge. Castro says that while there has been some improvement since inheriting the Ministry, getting the bus operators to comply with traffic laws has been easier said than done. Edmund Castro, Minister of Transport “We have hotline numbers that people can call in and report foolishness that is going on in the bus that they are riding; we have number system for buses. We have a phone bank per se that receives all the text messages and information and we process and follow through with letters to the owners of the busses once we get a number of complaints on them. But there are several things that we are still lagging behind such as the ticket system. The ticket system will not eliminate all of the problems but some of them because it is difficult to put all two hundred bus owners together.

Eric Chang Dismissed as Belize City’s Deputy Mayor
The Belize City Council today unanimously voted for a new Deputy Mayor. Bernard Pitts Junior has replaced Eric Chang, who has remained out of the country since he left Belize on September third to visit Taiwan. Today, Mayor Darrell Bradley told reporters that Chang’s prolonged absence has impeded the Council’s performance in the area of Works, for which Change was responsible, and Chang’s absence could not any longer be acceptable. Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City “The Council voted unanimously to select somebody else as Deputy Mayor particularly because we require that the Deputy Mayor be within the jurisdiction. I asked him to come back, he did not come back. I communicated with him in writing, the seriousness of this; I communicated with him over the telephone, the seriousness of this, he still did not return and so we need to do what is in the best interest of Belize City.

Taiwan Films Hit Silver Screen in Belize
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in collaboration with NICH is co-hosting the Taiwan Film Festival at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts this weekend, with the objective of promoting cultural exchange. Kim Vasquez, Program Officer at the Institute of Creative Arts, says that Belizeans are very much interested in this initiative and the response has been positive. KIM VASQUEZ “You know we have an international film festival here every year and so films coming in are not something new and Taiwan was not able to make the deadline this year to participate in that festival and we think it was a wonderful initiative on their part to decide to have their own film festival and the response we are getting so far from the public is great. I think there are different types of movies in the festival; there is a comedy, there is a drama, an Oscar nominated film at that; there is an action pack kung fu movie and so there is something for everybody. We have been getting a lot of calls and we have been getting a lot of positive feedback from the public.”

Education on Copyright Imparted Through Workshop
The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) is holding a two day workshop in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Issues on Copyright and Related Rights. According to Candice Westby Fisher of BELIPO the workshop aims to provide public awareness as to the rights available to rights holders as well as to get the input of Belize’s creative industry on the necessary factors to move copyright forward in Belize. CANDICE WESTBY “Well the purpose of this workshop is to sensitize persons like yourself and the Belizean public as to copyright and the importance of it. We realize that it is a foreign concept and so we are hoping that through this workshop we can provide an introductory to what is copyright that it’s more than a song. You will notice that on the topic, it’s more than a song, it’s more than music. It affects everyone; it affects the users; it affects the libraries, the archives, everyone and we are hoping that through this workshop we can provide you with answers as to what is copyright? Why we need to know about it? How will it help me? What is the purpose of this copyright and this intimate share of property? There are several issues, as you said earlier, with accessing materials freely; we have two collective management organizations in Belize and what they do is they should provide schools and so on with licenses in order for you to use material.

Movements of Belize Passport to Other Countries Uncovered
There are reports that functionaries of the Foreign Affairs Ministry have been allegedly involved in what has been termed as a “Visa Quote System”. In fact, reports are that those persons involved are facilitating the movement of the passports to Mexico where an intermediary picks them up and takes them to Cuba. Furthermore, reports coming out from Mexico are that in Cancun, a Belizean- the brother of a female employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was caught in Cancun with reportedly seven passports in his possession. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, told the media this morning what action was taken in that regards. WILFRED ELRINGTON “In relation to the relative of an employee, if a relative of an employee is caught but the employee is not caught but the suggestion as spun by the media and the rest is that this poor relative supposed to be responsible or in some way involved, when there is really no factual basis for it but nonetheless and very regretfully as soon as that information came to light, we terminated the services of that poor employee, without in fact, having any more information than that in fact her brother is involved in the transporting of passport. I don’t know if that is actually and totally fair to her but this is now the climate in Belize where if your brother do something wrong you’re supposed to be responsible for it; I can’t see how the two is connected.”


Four Persons Charged For Nearly Deadly Chopping Incident
An entire family of four; a father, a mother, and their two sons are lucky to be alive tonight and out of the Corozal Police Station. A few days ago we reported on the chopping incident in the village of Cristo Rey which resulted in six young men being severely injured. According to police, the young men were socializing at the football field in Cristo Rey when they were approached by one, Gaudencio Che who requested that they stop making noise. That is when the group went over to Che’s house which is located near the football field and began throwing stones at the residence. Members of the Che family came out armed with machetes and sticks which they used to inflicted a number of injuries to the group of six. As a result, four members of the Che family were arrested by police and charged at the Corozal Magistrates Court. However, the family told us today they were wrongfully charged. Reporter Irvin Aragon travelled today to the village and got the family’s side of the story.

P.M Willing To Spend Vast Amounts Of Money To Retain Majority At The House
The Prime Minister of Belize is presently out of the country seeking medical attention for his back and so is Elvin Penner only that he is consulting doctors in Guatemala for high blood pressure or at least that is what is being fed to the Belizean people. Penner traveled out of the country the exact same day that Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that he had asked Penner to resign as Area Representative for Cayo Northeast and from the United Democratic Party. What paved the road to Penner’s demise from politics is the fact that he assisted Kim Wong Hong, a South Korean National being investigating for embezzlement, to obtain a Belizean Passport while in detention in Taiwan. Most recently, an investigation carried out at the Immigration and Nationality Department has revealed more irregularities involving the former minister of state. While Penner has stated that he will consult with his constituents before making a decision as to his political carrier, the fact remains that he has become the prodigal son who is no longer wanted by the Barrow Administration. One thing the Prime Minister wants; though, is to hold on to his party’s majority in the House of Representatives and he intends to do so even if it means spending vast amounts of money.

Cholera Outbreak In Mexico Allegedly Causing Problems For Mexican Vendors At The CCFZ
In the month of September, an outbreak of Cholera in the Mexican State of Hidalgo was reported. Given the close proximity and the extensive borderline of Belize with Mexico, Belizean health authorities immediately took action to prevent the spread of the virus into Belizean soil. With the record sitting at forty four confirmed cases and an additional thirty three cases still awaiting confirmation in Mexico, a group of health inspectors were dispatched to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone to monitor the situation. Drastic measures had to be taken so much so that no Mexican food vendors are currently being allowed to sell food in the free zone.

LICU Celebrates International Credit Union Day
International Credit Union Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of every October to recognize and reflect on the history of the credit union movement and to promote its achievements. It is a day to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the hard work of those working in the credit union industry and its membership. This year Credit Union Week is being celebrated under the theme “Credit Unions Unite for Good: A Better Way” and joining in the celebration was La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited. Yolanda Gomez – LICU Manager “We are celebrating this year under the theme, Credit Unions Unite for Good a Better Way, that is so very fitting because the Credit Union is actually the pooling of resources be it our finances, be it our talents to be able to help each other, so it is people helping people through the pooling of our resources. Today we actually had a market day and a health fair. We have our members owners who sale plantain chips, who sales pastries, who sales delicious rice and beans, tamalitos, coconut oil, our plants and we had also the community based organization the socially responsible groups like ourselves, like the cancer support groups, we had the people from HECOPAB ensuring that we are creating an awareness for health, people giving out flu shots and SIRDI of course, trying to create strengthening of the sugar industry through the proper rehabilitation of the cane fields so these are just some of the activities we’ve been having today, we are ting up our day and we want to end with a raffle.”


What is the Police role in Immigration scandal?
Last week, the Police Department announced that it had launched an investigation at the Ministry of Immigration. A few days later, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie dropped a bombshell, when he informed the media that the man believed to be in the middle of the scandal, former Minister of...

Much debate and mass walkout at Tuesday’s public meeting
On Tuesday at the second Public Hearing, and possibly the last, in which the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee discussed with concerned bodies the proposed amendments to the criminal code of Belize, we shared with you Minister Patrick Faber’s comments on one of the most controversial issues surrounding...

PUP Leader defends party’s position on Immigration Investigation
At Tuesday’s press conference inside a packed Independence Hall, leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) and parliamentary minority, Francis Fonseca, was asked what moral authority they had to lead a charge for investigating the current immigration scandal at whose center is former Minister of State and embattled representative...

Senator Lisa Shoman calls for Senate Immigration Investigation
The woman leading the charge in the upper house for an investigation chaired by the Senate into the Immigration scandal, Senator Lisa Shoman, explained the benefits of such an investigation when asked if, like a previous look into the affairs of the Social Security Board, nothing seemed to come...

Arthur Saldivar hands over Immigration documents to Police
To some extent, Tuesday’s press conference was to have been the Arthur Saldivar Show. The intrepid attorney had been dominating headlines for much of last week after claiming to have recovered over 150 files he says were destined to be burned by the Immigration and Nationality...

Mayor Gilbert Swazo is not satisfied with progress of Dangriga Market
With the Immigration scandal dominating headlines for much of the last few weeks, few remember the scandal of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) being unable to monitor contractor Kennard Smart at the site of the renovated Dangriga Town Market because of alleged internal bribe-and-gift-taking that...

Police recover drugs from bus
30lbs of weed was confiscated from off a bus on Tuesday afternoon. Acting upon a tip, San Ignacio C.I.B Personnel intercepted the Westline bus between miles 64 and 65. Upon searching the back portion of the bus, Police found a Blanca Nieves soup powder box on top of the...

2010 Census Report is officially launched
In celebration of the Caribbean Statistics Day 2013, the Statistic Institute of Belize (SIB) in collaboration with the University of Belize held its official launch of the 2010 Census Report on Wednesday morning at the UB Jaguar Auditorium. This report, done every decade, gives insight to crucial information used...

PUP campaign to recall Elvin Penner continues
At 1,500 signatures and counting, the People’s United Party (PUP) caretaker in Cayo Northeast, Orlando Habet, stands very close to another chance at entering the House of Representatives. During his party’s press briefing at Independence Hall, Mr Habet, who enjoys the confidence of the party, gave...

UB President explains tenure system
Recently some lecturers of UB, through the media, anonymously expressed their discontent with the tenure system in the University. A press release issued on Tuesday from the University explained that there was a mere misunderstanding with the terms of employment within UB. We spoke with the president of UB...

Conference looks at ways to improve prosecution of illegal fishing
We have reported on instances where fishermen have been caught with illegal quantities of seafood products out of season and other instances of illegal fishing. Beginning on Wednesday in the Caribbean island of Grenada, authorities from the region are meeting to review techniques in terms of prosecution of offenses....

PM leaves for LA
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow left the country on Wednesday for Los Angeles, California at the invitation of Belizeans living in that region of the United States. The Belizean Task Force in Los Angeles has organized several meetings and fund-raising functions which the Prime Minister will attend. Prime Minister...

The Guardian

When Baby Want To Cry...
Certain extreme elements within Belizean Church groups are like the proverbial baby ... you look ‘pon them and they cry.' Many of them are influenced by hard core Religious Right organisations coming out of the USA and receive programmatic material, support and financial assistance from them. Naturally, the agendas of these elements within Belizean church groups are heavily influenced by the aims and core beliefs of US Religious Right Organisations since financial and programmatic support is more readily available to those who are fully aligned with their agenda. Churches, like any other organisations, are driven by numbers – numbers of members, numbers of backsides on pews, numbers of sympathisers, numbers related to financial contributions in the collection plate. Some of the mainstream churches have become so concerned by the inroads made by the more extreme evangelical churches that they have been tempted to become theological followers instead of leaders. Many political activists have also cynically jumped on the bandwagon, seeing this movement as an easy way to win support and votes.

No to Corruption!
The message was clear and the messenger was dead serious on Tuesday, October 15th, when Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, made his way to the NEMO building in Belmopan with the entire cabinet with him. He was to make a historic announcement- the United Democratic Party will simply not tolerate corruption even if it means that it comes that much closer to losing its margin of victory. The Prime Minister announced during a press conference that by a unanimous decision from Cabinet, it was decided that Hon. Elvin Penner would be asked to resign as a member of the Party and as Area Representative for Cayo North East. The decision was made after, “other instances of what to us are irregularities surfaced,” stated PM Barrow. He added that while the evidence presented to Cabinet was enough for it to act, in this manner, there may not be sufficient for a court of law to act on. He pointed out that there was a difference between “factual guilt and legal guilt.” He added that there was enough “material presented to cabinet to prove he was involved in irregularities.”

GOB gets $12M in Dividends from BTL
The Belize Telemedia Limited declared dividends in the sum of $11,889,000 for the year ended March 2012 and $12,388,000 for the year ended March 2013. In 2012 Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank Limited made an application to the Caribbean Court of Justice to restrain BTL from paying dividends to shareholders since the constitutionality of the nationalization was being disputed. On September 26th, 2012 the CCJ ordered that Government, being the majority shareholder of BTL, should ensure that no dividends be released before December 14th, 2012. Shortly after that order expired and the company had proceeded to pay dividends to its shareholders, the CCJ granted an extension on the previous order and ordered Government to return the money to an escrow account. Government abided by the ruling but made an application to the CCJ on December 17th, 2012 on behalf of the more than 1400 small shareholders. The CCJ approved Government’s application and dividends were paid to the small shareholders. However, the CCJ further ordered that there be no payment of dividends to the large shareholders (GOB, Central Bank of Belize and the Social Security Board) until the Court says otherwise or the matter is heard to completion.

The Trough is full - PUP looking to pillage!
You could almost see them salivating as they spoke during their press conference on Tuesday. The PUPs are hungry for power and much more so, they cannot bear being out of office because they cannot feast at the bounty that the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, has been able to prepare for the people of Belize. In his Independence Day address the Prime Minister highlighted that the government has almost 100 million dollars which will be spent on infrastructural development across the country. He explained that 25 million dollars will be spent at the Lake Independence Boulevard with the construction of a number of facilities including a bus terminal, a community center, a bridge and even an office for the National Bank. Then he explained that there will be 30 million dollars spent on the Belize City Center and 40 million more which will be spent on a sporting facility in each municipality.

Look who is Pointing Fingers
I think the Prime Minister made an excellent decision yesterday, October 15, to withdraw support from Penner at any level of representation in the National Assembly. While I was initially inclined to agree with the reasoning that Penner had been punished sufficiently by being dismissed as a Minister of State, many UDP supporters were expressing to me that the degree of shame that this gentlemen has wrought upon our country is too deep to merely demote him. They were saying that no amount of wailing at a wake can bring back the dead, and Penner is dead as a politician. It was a better decision to figuratively bury him and take our chances with the electorate, hoping that a newer, cleaner candidate will be more appealing to campaign for. Why I said I was keen on the PM’s decision is that although I think that Penner would have survived the recall process, he would have brought too much long term political damage to the United Democratic Party even if he were only an area representative. We would have been seen like Social Security in the old PUP days, that whenever a benefit claim was denied, the worker would curse out the SSB employees and accuse them of jilting pennies from the workers but allowing Courtney to walk away with $3.34 million.

Harsher Penalties for Immigration Offenses
Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration, Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and NEMO, has announced proposed changes to the process for becoming a Belizean citizen. Minister Hulse is well aware of the weaknesses in the system and has raised concerns about it long before he was appointed to the Cabinet. Soon after he was appointed Minister of Immigration, he reformed the Passport issuance system to limit the potential for fraud and under table dealings. His next objective was to improve the Nationality section of the Immigration Department by first starting with a review of the system. However, in wake of the Wong Hong Kim experience, Senator Hulse expedited that review and announced changes on Thursday, October 10th.

Public Consultation on the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013
Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee A public consultation on the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013 was held on Tuesday of this week in the Jaguar Auditorium at the University of Belize Campus in Belmopan. Organized by the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, the public meeting was to further consider the Act, which was read in the House of Representatives at the last house meeting and which seeks to protect children from various sexual offences.

The PUP Grunt
Fishermen in Belize have a belief that when they go on fishing expeditions and the first fish caught is a grunt, they immediately have to move away from that fishing spot. The Grunt is one of the most undesirable fish in the sea and when it is hauled up, it is time to move away. Figuratively speaking, that is what Arthur Saldivar is to the People's United Party. He is the PUP Grunt, so it was that when he showed up at the PUP press conference on Tuesday everyone simply moved away.

People’s Coalition Committee in Cayo has a new Board
A new Board for the People’s Coalition Committee (PCC) in the Cayo District has been elected. Those elected last week Wednesday night at the San Ignacio Police Station were Julian Sherrard to the post of Chairman , Edwardo Juan to Vice Chairman, Sherry Gibbs to Secretary, Mary Loan to Treasurer and Superintendent Ralf Phillip Moody to the position of Ex-Officio Member.

Diamonds In The Rough
Roger Espejo and kids and Devon Tyrone Bowden doing homework It's 9:30p.m. in Cadle Alley where residents have shut down from the world - all is clear and all is quiet. A lone young man works from an old, cranky, wooden verandah and hovers over the steps as he scribbles away, buried in a school book and an exercise book - the only positive sign of life within this area. Positive because compared to the only other two souls around - one of them smoking a blunt and another rolling a joint close by - Devon Tyrone Bowden shines like a diamond. Pensively working at English Literature this late, in the heart of the ghetto, with no supervision, dangling off an old verandah, and impressively using the light from a public lamp to deliver on his home work, this young boy separates himself from most kids his age. UDP caretaker, Roger Espejo, visits with Devon's mother, Azarene Flowers and pledges support on his behalf and that of the Ministry of Education. Like many other deserving kids that have received an “education subsidy” from Mr. Espejo in Fort George this young star embodies the dedication required to succeed. "If half the kids in school would study with that tenacity, "Mr. Espejo tells his chairlady who accompanies him on this nocturnal mission, "the city would be a much different place."

Mark King assists Fire Victim
On October 3rd a fire destroyed a home in the Lake Independence constituency, leaving the Taylor family homeless. Having seen the need of the fire victim, Hon. Mark King quickly activated resources to assist the family and on Monday, October 14th, a family fun day was organized at the basketball court behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde (complex) Building to raise funds to assist the fire victims.

New Members appointed to UB Board of Trustees
The inaugural meeting for new members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Belize in accordance of the University of Belize Act Chapter 37, Revised Edition 2000 was held October 11, 2013 at the Conference Room, UB’s Administration Building, Central Campus, Belmopan.

Driver charged for Forgery
On Tuesday, October 15th, a salesman and a driver were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and forgery. First to be arraigned was a Universal BPO salesman, 26-year-old Godswell Phillip Flores, who was read two indictable offenses. They include one count of theft and one count of forgery. Flores is accused that sometime between October 5, 2013 and October 7, 2013, whilst in Belize City, with intent to defraud Universal BPO, he forged a Belize Bank cheque with serial number, #000793 dated October 4, 2013 in the amount of $860.94. He is also accused that on October 5th, 2013, he dishonestly appropriated for himself, 6 blank cheques property of Universal BPO with serial numbers, #793, #794, #795, #796, #797 and #798, which cost $.10 each, all to a total of $.60 cents, property of Universal BPO.

Murder in Cristo Rey Village, Cayo
On Friday last, a man lost his life in Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District. The body of Leroy Tzib, twenty years of age, and a caretaker of Cristo Rey Village was observed to be on the center of the main road through the Village. Leroy Tzib had a cut wound to the left side of the neck, rib cage and right side of the chin and as a result was lying face down in a pool of blood. At the scene of the crime, Geovanni Oscar Pech, a 24 years old handy-man handed himself to police. Found on Geovanni Pech was a pocket knife strapped to his belt, which was “suspected” to be the murder weapon as it was stained with a red substance. Geovanni Pech, who was observed to have a wound on the head, reports that at about 8:30p.m. last Friday, he and his nephew Fernando Tzib were attacked by a group of male persons and he was only defending himself. The body of Leroy Moises Tzib was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital morgue and at10:25 p.m., after examination by a Doctor, he was pronounced dead. Pech meanwhile has been charged in relation to the killing of Tzib. Cristo Rey Village is a tightly knit community of close family members living side by side. This latest incident in Cristo Rey has strained these family relationships and brought a new set of concerns for the local Crime Neighborhood Watch Committee.

83-year-old murder suspect granted bail
On Friday, October 11th, 83-year-old Manuel Cucul was today granted bail in Supreme Court in the sum of $10,000 or two sureties of $5,000 each after being on remand for the May 10th, 2012 murder of his wife in the village of San Marcus in the Toledo district. His attorney, Kevin Arthurs was successful in securing his bail after he submitted that his client is not in good condition to be at the Kolbe Foundation due to his age. He added that his client has been diagnosed with dementia and amnesia on June 1, 2012 by a Psychiatric Nurse. The nurse who accessed him said he is disoriented, repetitious and deluded and that he had impaired mental and physical ability. Arthurs also submitted to the court that his client's physical and mental condition were also deteriorating. The Kolbe Foundation had become alarmed that he was in a feeble state and they questioned how long he would be able to survive in the harsh conditions at the prison. According to Arthurs, at age 83, his client was the oldest inmate at the Belize Central Prison. Arthurs also submitted to the court that the dementia was affecting his client’s ability to defend or prepare a defense in his case.

Corozal man walks from murder charge
Victor Hendy, 27, was acquitted of murder on Tuesday, October 15th, when he appeared in the Orange Walk Supreme Court. Hendy stood accused of the murder of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Annette Palacio, an Orange Walk woman who was strangled to death, on January 30th, 2009. Hendy was set free after a no case submission was made on his behalf by his attorney Kevin Arthurs. The submission was upheld by Justice Herbert Lord and Hendy was free to go. Justice Lord was of the view that there were a number of inconsistencies between the testimonies of the police officers who came to the court which gave way to doubts. There was also very little evidence against Hendy. With that, Justice Lord directed a 12 member jury of 7 women and 5 men to return a formal verdict of not guilty against Hendy. The police evidence against the accused was that he was in a relationship with the deceased, Annette Palacio, 29. On the night of January 30, 2009, he left Belize City enroute to Orange Walk and upon his arrival, he got a call that his girlfriend, was at a bar drinking with another man.

Stabbing incident has Woman charged with attempted murder
On Tuesday, October 15th, 19-year-old Stacey Jones, an unemployed of #10 Victoria Street in Belize City was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court after being in lock down since an early morning stabbing incident on Friday, October 11, on North Front Street in Belize City. Jones, who was unrepresented, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she was charged with one count of attempted murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Acteshia Nunez. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offences bail was denied and she was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 29th. The allege stabbing incident is said to have occurred on Friday night, on North Front Street at about 1:30 a.m. Police investigation into the incident led them to visit the KHMH trauma room where they saw Acteshia Nunez, suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper part of her body. Police recorded a statement from Nunez who told them that her attacker was Stacey Jones.

Leroy Ramsey in Court of Appeal for Attempted Murder
28-year-old Leroy Ramsey was convicted on two counts of attempted murder on April 19th of this year. He was accused of trying to kill Lindon Broaster and Cecilio Madrill on February 19th, 2008. Supreme Court Justice Traodio Gonzalez sentenced Ramsey to 8 years for each count but ordered that they run concurrently. On Tuesday, October 15th, his case was brought before the Supreme Court by Anthony Sylvester. In court, Sylvester submitted that the trial judge erred during the trial in a number of areas. Sylvester said there was a miscarriage of justice when the trial judge did not give clear instructions; hence the jurors could have interpreted the law poorly. The second ground for appeal submitted by Sylvester was that the trial judge failed to adequately direct the jurors regarding the accused alibi witness which in the trial was his common-law wife, Stacey Williams. On the night of the shooting, Broaster, Madrill and Robert Wagner were together on Raccoon Street. Madrill did not show up to testify in court and Broaster had to be treated as a hostile witness when he took the stand and testified contrary to his statements provided to police. Broaster maintained that he did not see who shot him. Wagner was the only cooperating witness for the prosecution. According to Wagner, he saw when Ramsey pulled out a gun and fired shots in the direction of Broaster and Madrill. Broaster was shot in the left chest while Madrill escaped unhurt. After the hearing, Ramsey escorted back to the Belize Central Prison where he awaits the decision of the court.

20 Acres of Corn Harvested in 17 Minutes to Benefit Hundreds of Children
Hundreds of children from Belize City will be able to attend summer camps thanks to an extremely successful harvest of corn on Saturday, October 12th. The Belize Camping Experience (B.C.E.) is a non-profit Belizean organization that was established in 2006. They work with schools, churches and community residents to organize summer camps. Last year, there were over 1000 children in B.C.E. camps. After the camp is over, there is a follow up program in which members of B.C.E. hold regular fellowship with children from the camp throughout the year. B.C.E. is preparing to host a number of camps for the 2014 summer and the organization is expecting to host more than 1200 children. In order to cover most of the expense for the camps, B.C.E. holds an event called Harvest for Kids. Under the Harvest for Kids program the organization approach farmers and asks them to loan the program some of their best farm land. Last year four farmers loaned the group a total of 40 acres of farm land. This year, Harvest for Kids has a total of 77 acres land for crops. The organization then reaches out for donations of seeds, fertilizers and chemicals. The organizers work with farmers to plant corn and tend to the crop. They also take children from camp to the farms in order to teach them about farming. Most of the children enjoy riding on the heavy duty machines such as the fertilizer spreader and four-wheelers.

Love Crew involved in Accident
Love Fm’s talk show host Ava Diaz-Sosa, and cameraman, Brian Castillo, were involved in a traffic mishap at mile 43 on the George Price Highway. Castillo who was driving a Love FM’s pickup truck was headed towards Belize City when upon reaching an area near mile 43 he lost control of the vehicle on the slippery highway and ran off the road into some bushes. The vehicle ended up on its left side with Castillo and Sosa inside. Sosa told us that they were travelling towards Belize City when the driver just lost control on the slick road and the vehicle ran off the road into a ditch on the side of the road. She said she was thankful that she had on her seatbelt at the time of the incident and that she and her driver escaped unhurt.

Customs faces Port of Belize in Firms’ Basketball show down
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition will commence its championship round on Friday, October 18th, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City at 9:00 pm between the Port of Belize/Airport and Customs. The championship round will utilise the best of three format.

Paradise Freedom Fighters take over lead in Belikin Cup
The 2013 Opening Season of the Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Competition continued over the last weekend with three games on the schedule. On Saturday, October 12th, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions, Police United, and the visiting Verdes FC played to a 1-1 draw. The home team, Police United, was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Bernard Linares scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 19th minute of play to give the Police United a 1-0 lead. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the Police United. In the second half of the game, the visiting Verdes FC was finally able to get onto the scoreboard when Jamil Cano scored the equalising goal in the 75th minute of play for a 1-1 draw.

Hilly Martinez receives Mario Vasquez Raña Sport Merit Award
At the General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) held in Toronto, Canada from October 9-12, 2013, Mr. Hilberto “Hilly” Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, was conferred with the “President Mario Vasquez Raña Sport Merit Award”, the highest Award in the Americas. Hilly has served the sporting community in Belize for over 40 years especially in the discipline of Weight Lifting, Basketball, Softball, Cycling and Sailing. In 2008, the International Softball Federation elected and inducted him into the International Softball Federation’s Hall of Fame. He has also served in the International Community as a Member of the Technical Commission of the Central American Sports Organisation (ORDECA) and has been the Chef-de-Mission of many Belizean Contingents to regional and international games. Hilly Martinez has served as Secretary General of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association for over 30 years. In February of this year, he was unanimously elected as President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.

Primary Schools Football Competition at the MCC
The Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games. On Tuesday, October 15th, in the first of three male games played, Queen Street Baptist School defeated Salvation Army School by the score of 2-1. The goals for Queen Street Baptist were scored by Arthur Bailey while Shawn Billary scored for Salvation Army. In the second game, St. Luke Methodist School defeated Ephesus SDA by the score of 3-1. All three goals for St. Luke Methodist School were scored by Justin Menzies, while Jose Ramos scored the only of the game for Ephesus SDA. In the third and final game of the day Ebenezer Methodist School blanked Unity Presbyterian School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist School were scored by Tyreek Muschamp (3), Bernard Bailey (3), Godwin Neal (2) and Jonathan Perrera. The competition continued on Friday, October 11th with two games. In the first game played, Queen St. Baptist defeated Unity Presbyterian School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored Keenan Rowley.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Belize Tourism Board’s Digital Workshop
A Digital Workshop will be held on October 25th at Tropical Paradise starting at 9m to 12 noon. The BTB wants to promote your business to potential visitors. By listing your accommodation service, transportation service or tour/activity operation, you will encourage thousands of tourists to learn about your business and potentially visit when they arrive. This is a great opportunity to get exposure and gain revenue. Participants can expect to be facilitated by BTB personnel in setting up and accessing their listing on the newly redesigned website. Come out and learn about the new Content Management System which will allow each stakeholder ease of access via persinalized codes to manage and update his/property’s profile on the recently redesigned


“Golden Years” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up just before 04.00 hours yesterday morning to find when I got out on the veranda with my coffee (black) and iPad that it had rained during the night/ early morning (couldn’t tell you which because the sound of rain has no chance of waking me from my sleep). Straight to The Times on-line to read the various articles covering England’s victory the previous day over Poland. I know that I watched the game but … I then set about producing yesterday’s edition of the blog and finished pulling it together and publishing it around 06.00 hours when I showered, shaved and dressed. I had to get out early so that I could meet Victor (the welder) to give him the money for the materials he needs to buy for the hatch covers for the septic tank that he is going to make for us before he caught the 07.30 hours Belize Water Taxi to Belize City. I did this with time to spare – met him at 06.45 hours – and then headed off to Estel’s for (in my opinion) a well deserved breakfast. And, while I was there, started to write today’s edition.

Eight Things I LOVE About Cancun and Some Things That…Well…Not So Much
I often hear from people that they hate Cancun. ”I SO would not go there ever again.” But the more I visit (I’m guessing I’ve been here at least 15 times), the more I like Cancun. The better it gets. But first a few simple warnings. Cancun is NOT the place to visit if you are looking for an exotic locale. Or if you are looking to impress your friends. Or If you want to commune with the locals (the Mexican accent you hear at the front desk may be the only way you know you are in Mexico.) Not the place if you want to get off the beaten path. If you want to have a beach to yourself. If you actually want to feel like you are in a foreign country. Do Americans even need a passport to get here? I think maybe they do. But that is a recent development. (Imagine Mexicans trying to get into the USA with only a birth certificate? No. You probably can’t.) Cancun is…EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. Fantastic. And here is what I think IT is. I LOVE Cancun and I’m not ashamed. Here is why.

Simple Pizza Sauce
This pizza sauce is semi-homemade because I don't start from scratch with tomatoes. I actually start with tomato sauce and tomato paste. Nevertheless this sauce is way more healthier than store bought sauce. You can control the taste by adding your own favorite spices to the sauce.

Simple Homemade Pizza

October 17, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Danriga -Belize’s basketball mecca
Dangriga was crowned the elite basketball champions of the Gaspar Vega Elite basketball tournament this past weekend. Eight teams participated- one team representing each district as well as Belmopan and San Pedro. Dangriga won a cash prize of $1000. Dangriga had a 3-0 record defeating Belize, San Pedro and San Ignacio in the final game. Daniel Nolberto, the young veteran, led his youthful team in impressive fashion. This weekend’s elite tournament was a preview of the National elite basketball league that is scheduled to commence early next year.The rosters of theses teams will not necessarily remain as they are for the national elite league but if it is any indication of what’s to come, there are a lot of young and new faces that will be introduced to the basketball landscape. Here are few names to look for in the future: Brian White- Belize, Trevaughn Usher, Shai Peters- Dangriga, Randy Usher and Roger Reneau- Orange Walk, Jaime Carbajal- San Ignacio.

BTB hosts digital workshops across the country
On Friday, September 20th, the BTB’s Digital Marketing Team and Digital Marketing Agency (Olson) concluded a one week countrywide workshop to sensitize and enable Tourism Industry partners to become digitally empowered through the use of BTB’s newly constructed Content Management System (CMS). The CMS will allow each stakeholder ease of access via personalized codes to manage and update his/her property’s profile on the recently redesigned To complement the training, workshop participants were given marketing tips, and updated on BTB’s branding strategies, as well as upcoming digital marketing initiatives. Workshops were carried out in Punta Gorda, Placencia, San Ignacio, Belize City, Orange Walk Town and San Pedro Town.

San Pedro Junior Sailing Club takes first place at Corozal Bay Regatta
Several sailing enthusiastics made the journey from San Pedro to Corozal on Saturday, October 12th to support the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC) as they participated in the annual Corozal Bay Regatta. The trip sure was worth it as in the end, Gorge Olivarez of theSPJSC took the top prize. Seven young sailors from SPJSC participated in the regatta, all placing within the top 15 out of 34 sailors. But it was Gorge Olivares who took the grand prize, winning the first place trophy in the Optimist division. Kevin Vasquez also made his mark at the Corozal Bay Regatta winning second place in the Optimist division. The other San Pedro Junior sailors who placed in the top 15 are: Jerdan Anderson 8th, Christian Trejo 9th, Blanca Vasquez 10th,DavinPuc 12th, and Faith Noel 15th.

Lizard Tales: Cadejo
In Belizean villages such as San Jose Succotz, the Cadejo is described as a hairy, goat-like animal or a large, shaggy dog, hence its name, which translates from the Spanish as “tangled hair”. The Cadejo is said to have the hooves of a goat, the horns of a bull, and the tail of a puma or lion, and its flaming eyes and foaming mouth give it an aura of evil. Stories of the Cadejo are told among the Maya in Belizean villages, and also in Guatemala. The Cadejo may appear as a white animal, protecting drunken men who have lost their way in the jungle. Most often, however, it appears as a black animal, seeking out habitual drunkards who have fallen in the streets. The Cadejo hungrily licks their mouths and follows them for nine days until there is no longer a chance that they will get well.

Ambergris Today

Caye Caulker Native Wins in Body Building Competition Abroad
Belizean women seem to be on a trend of bodybuilding and are stepping up to the challenge to transform their bodies into healthy works of arts. We have seen local Sanpedrana Katherine Portillo on the spot light and most recently Belizeans Zarifa Waight and Cricel Castillo. This week we bring to you a Caye Caulker native who resides in the United States of America; her name is Luna Novelo. Luna Novelo grew up in the lovely island of Caye Caulker and is the daughter of Caye Caulker resident Jim Novelo and former wife Cindy. Luna is currently living in Kansas where she was a cheerleader at her high school and is now happily married to Matt Ellis; she has become a professional body builder.

Working Towards Affordable Insurance for Low-income People in Belize
IDB and ICB sign agreement to develop micro-insurance for low-income people in Belize - On September 30, 2013, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Insurance Corporation of Belize (ICB) signed a technical cooperation agreement to jointly finance a project to develop and implement sustainable micro insurance solutions in Belize. The project is designed to increase formal insurance coverage for low-income people throughout the country. The aim is to provide affordable property and agricultural micro insurance coverage that is specifically tailored to the needs of beneficiaries in rural and agricultural areas, as a means of maintaining income levels in the event of weather-related losses affecting the crops, houses and properties of insured persons. The agreement was signed by IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno and Thomas Erdulfo Nuñez, Chief Executive Officer of ICB, at the 16th annual FOROMIC in Guadalajara, Mexico. FOROMIC is the leading conference on micro, small and medium enterprise development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Flashbacks: Downtown San Pedro Then and Now
In the center are the very beginnings of Sun Breeze Hotel. And note that there is no San Pedro Town Library with BTB offices. Neither is there the building which houses a Real Estate Agency and Chocolate Boutique. Now the famous Ruby’s Hotel is not there yet. Instead we see the family home of Mr. Romel Gomez Sr. The cream colored building was for Mr. Apoloño Escalante, father of Homero Escalante and is now a part of Holiday Hotel. Do note that there is only one vehicle on this now busy street and is going in the wrong direction. Finally notice that once there were concrete lamp posts on the street but due to high salinity the steel rusted and caused them to crack and crumble. Today we have a totally new and different south end of Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

25 Years Ago: Old School vs. New School in San Pedro Num. 2
Yes we are talking about the Old School but not referring to the old R.C. Primary School on the beach and the new one by the airport. Neither are we talking about the old high school where the Town Hall is now located and the new one behind the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Rather we keep talking about the old way of living or doing things and how it is done today. What a great variety of food we have in San Pedro today from delicious meat or poultry dishes, to pastas and pizzas and of course a whole range of salads and desserts. I was raised in the 1950’s with a plain diet of corn tortillas and beans accompanied with fried fish. I mean that was six times a week and for many people it was seven times a week and 12 months of the year. For a little variety on Sundays we had a treat of corned beef…yes corned beef! However we did not get it every Sunday because it had a ridiculous high price tag of 50 cents. I remember fighting with my brother to have the privilege of opening the tin can of corn beef with the attached metal key, and also to be able to dip my finger into the meat and have a first bite.

ABC Pre-School Grand Halloween Fair 2013
Get the ghouls and gals, witches and wizards, zombies, vampires and even the adorable fairies and princesses ready for ABC Pre-School’s Grand Halloween Fair. Costume Competition, Miss ABC Pre-School Contest, lots to eat and drink and much entertainment for the entire family. Special Guests: Burger and Fries the Clowns!! Come and join in the fun at ABC Pre-School Compound on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. To 10:00 p.m. Don’t miss out the fun!

The Reflection of Good Governance on Young People
Our young people today look up to those in Government and the private sector. They are watching every step they make and are ever more vigilant in calling out wrong doings. I am totally impressed with the level our young people today have reached, in terms of standing up and fighting for national development. It is the part of the elected officials to be responsible decision makers, and avid thinkers, as it relates to policies affecting young people, and people in general in Belize. Young people have seen enough where both current and past administrations have allegedly mismanaged tax payers money. They are tired of all the snafu and propaganda, and are looking for real change. They are hoping to work with the Government of the day to effectively help to reconstruct the economic climate of Belize.

Public Consultation Land Use Development in Ambergris Caye
Invitation to attend public consultation on the land use development study for Ambergris Caye The sustainable tourism program (stp) of the ministry of tourism and culture, and the Belize Tourism Board, in conjunction with the San Pedro Town Council and consultant Oriol Monfort will be holding a public consultation on Tuesday 22nd October at 6:30 pm at the lion’s den, on barrier reef drive, San Pedro. The Purpose of this Consultation is: 1. To update the community on the baseline data collection, mapping and planning activities to date 2. To present to the community the draft land use plans and development guidelines 3. Invite comments and feedback on the land use plans as presented All potential stakeholders to include the businesses and residents of Ambergris Caye, real estate agents, industry associations, ngos and civil society are encouraged to attend.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Sudden Rise in Popularity of Belize’s “Sea Cow”
A naturalist guide at the Lodge at Chaa Creek cited a recent article in the Charleston South Carolina Post and Courier as highlighting a growing interest in one of Belize’s favourite animals, the manatee, and raises concerns that this iconic Belizean marine mammal may be relocating. Brion Young, who is also assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre, said the Post and Courier article confirms his own observations about the manatee’s growing popularity. “It seems that the manatee is attracting more attention in our northern neighbours and appears to be growing in numbers when making its annual passage up and down the Atlantic Coast. “That’s good news for us, as public awareness is important for any endangered species.

Iguana trauma!
Another great day with Helping Paws Across Borders! Maybe they should add claws to their name? After saving this iguana from a dog attack a vet on their team that works with exotics was able to treat her and stitch her up! She seemed happy for the help. Plus they treated almost another 70 island pets yesterday.

By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Belizeans get caught up eena politricks Di think bout fight demons with bullets and sticks Whilst this thing is about powernomics From Ralph-a-nomics to Barrow-nomics Deh buoys di play lone gimmicks, dah comics Independence day speech promise, embarrassing Skerrit Di give the impression that PUDP deh dah war Belizeans need to see far the hardware magnets are slowly becoming Belize’s Pablo Escobar We need to teach wi children monopoly Deh buoys want full control of the economy To enrich deh pickney, at the expense of the citizenry Its economic skullduggery With dummy company, limited liability No one will get Geg’s money, Discovery solutions is ah entity, its own a company Cruise solutions is another company Remember when BTL and Smart’s relationship was fiery Ashcraft owned both companies We are making the biggest mistake of our lives, If we listen to their lies! Belizean open unu eyes!

Chopping incident in Corozal leaves young men injured
There was mayhem in Cristo Rey village, Corozal on Sunday night and it left 6 people with chop wounds. According to police a group of youths was on the bleacher at the park in Cristo Rey, Corozal and were reported to be making noise around 9:30 pm. A man, who lives nearby, identified as Guadencio Che is reported to have approached the youths asking them to stop making noise, and then he left. Police investigations show that the group of young people followed Che to his house across from the football field and started hurling stones at the house. Police say that the Che family then reportedly came out armed with machetes and chopped up the stone-throwing youths, leaving them with some serious chop wounds.

BCS San Ignacio Branch
The Belize Cancer Society has a San Ignacio Branch that's been opened since March, 2013. It's located at the BFLA office on Church street. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, they are having their 'Paint Belize Pink' campaign to increase awareness. They are also having a Cancer Walk from Esperanza to San Ignacio on the morning of the 26th.

SHC Fair and Business Expo
Sacred Heart College is having their annual fair and Business Expo the last weekend of October. There will be a parade during the day on Friday the 25th, and the talent show starting at 6:00pm. Saturday the 27th, the Business Expo and fair start at 10:00am, and at night they'll have a dance. There will be games for all ages, along with trampolines, a dunk tank, a wide selection of food and drinks. This year, they'll be having something different with a 'Car Smash and Cut' fundraiser, where you can break the windows out, paint, drill holes, and cut up an Isuzu Trooper.

SMCU Celebrating Credit Union Day
Saint Martin's Credit Union, the credit union for Cayo, is celebrating International Credit Union Day today from 8:00am until 3:00pm. You can learn about why credit unions are a better choice, and how they help the community, along with learning about the various services they offer. They'll also have free snacks and drinks for everyone. See you there! In related news, they'll be closed on Saturday, the 19th so they can attend the annual Credit Union Convention, but the ATM's will be working fine. They'll be open again on Monday. "YOU'RE INVITED - International Credit Union (ICU) Day OPEN DAY at SMCU on Thursday 17 October from 8:00am to 3:00pm - WIN A CELL PHONE - Membership Application Fee WAIVED - FREE SNACKS & DRINKS! See you there."

SI United Visited FC Belize
The SI United played against the FC Belize at the MCC Grounds Sunday. There was a late goal that ended the game in Belize's favor 1 to 0. The next game is on Sunday, the 27th of October, at Broaster Staduim, where they play the BDF. "Was an exciting match all the way to the end. The guys played well, controlled the whole match but couldn't finish. Late extra time goal would end the game 1-0. Looking forward to bounce back with some late reinforcements next game."

Community Outreach with ReefCI
ReefCI joined forces with TIDE for the annual TIDE Fish festival and had lots of fun spreading the word about the invasive lionfish! ReefCI donated free samples of delicious beer battered lionfish! The general public were encouraged to give feedback on eating and buying Lionfish. The kids had fun participating in colouring competitions and a wordsearch! And there was a beautiful, innovative selection of lionfish earrings on display and on sale! It was a great day and a huge success. Team ReefCI also won first prize in the fishing competition, and won an additional prize for catching the most lionfish!!

Channel 7

Penner, No Word On Resignation
Representative for Cayo Northeast Elvin Penner remains in Guatemala tonight. 7news has obtained footage of him crossing the western border on the Guatemalan side last Friday evening at about 4:30. He is seen – apparently with family – lugging a heavy suitcase – not looking quite like the man the Prime Minister described as going to seek medical attention for debilitating migraine headaches. And as his big red suitcase might suggest – Penner isn’t expected back until next week Tuesday or Wednesday. But, in the interim he remains in contact by telephone. He hasn’t answered the Prime Minister yet to say whether he will or won’t step down as UDP standard-bearer for Cayo northeast. Today, via telephone, the Prime Minister confirmed that Penner has not called him to state his position. But we do know that Penner has been communicating with some in the UDP and reports say he’s been telling them that he’s been treated unfairly, even unconstitutionally. We are told that Penner has communicated officially to the UDP that he will come back and consult with the people of Cayo Northeast and his committee to decide the way forward.

The Political Chess Game Begins
And so that’s the state of play tonight: the PM abroad, Penner undecided, the future unclear. Which gives us time to review yesterday – which was quite a day – in terms of history and the political back and forth. We start at the beginning, in Belmopan when Prime Minister Dean Barrow became the first PM or Party leader to urge a sitting member of the House to resign: Jules Vasquez Reporting In terms of grand entrances the leader of the Opposition got the nod as he walked into his press conference yesterday. And while the PUP party leader sat flanked by his deputy leaders - candidates and supporters were all around a very full room The Prime Minister also sat with his Deputy Prime Minister and all of Cabinet - and while we did see a few party supporters, the NEMO conference room had the sense of officialdom, the PUP event was like a political rally. Both events also centered on documents - the UDP spoke about that which cannot be disclosed, Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "I do not want to be pressed on the details of names etc, because I will not give them out. I cannot."

Saldivar's Documents Re-examined
And, as you saw, lost in the mix of political gamesmanship leading up to a possible bye-election was Arthur Saldivar and his Immigration documents. Last week he strutted across the public stage, a louche whistle blower with not just horse-hair, but the entire horse-hide in hand, making glib promises about “a document a day” and sponsoring a media worker to go to South Korea to talk to Citizen Kim. And then, suddenly, he was a fugitive on the run, and then…he fell off the radar; “to be continued…” he said. But yesterday the Saldivar mini-series came to a too-abrupt end: he posted a few documents on facebook, flashed them before the media, and handed them over to police. He was, in the end, it appeared, beleaguered by the burden of the documents. Tonight we take a look at those few documents that Saldivar has posted online: Jules Vasquez Reporting Commissioner of the Supreme Court Winston Smiling carried the bag full of immigration files, along with an entourage of sorts from the PUP Headquarters down the street to the Queen Street Police Station.

Scores Of Small Lobster Seized
Tonight, 30 year-old Hubert Palacio and 50 year-old Luigi Marin, are out on bail after they were taken to court along with fellow fisherman 43 year-old Mark Sewell in connection with a bust of 431 undersized lobsters which the Fisheries Department made last night. According to the Fisheries Department, these men were at a fishing camp south of Caye Chapel, when they were busted with the illegal haul. Today, Supervisor Hampton Gamboa explained to us about what led to the raid, and what the effects on the environment this illegal act has caused: Hampton Gamboa - Fisheries Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit "The public had called us yesterday about 6 or 7 with some reliable information, and we pursued the information last night at around 9 or 10. Fisheries officers went the southern part of Caye Chapel, where on one of these islands, they found a fishing camp. We searched the premise and were able to find 2 iceboxes. One was partially filled, and the other had just a couple lobsters. After the officers proceeded with the procedure weighing each individual, we ended up with 431 undersized lobsters."

Citizen Kim's Saga Continues In S. Korean Court
The man we call Citizen Kim, properly known as 52 year old South Korean Won-Hong Kim has been indicted to stand trial for embezzlement in South Korea. News reports from South Korea say that he was indicted on Monday on charges of conspiring with the jailed chairman of the country's third largest conglomerate in a massive embezzlement case. That Chairman for SK Group, Chey Tae-won was convicted of embezzling nearly $45 million US Dollars from the group. Citizen Kim was a former adviser to SK Shipping is accused of participating as an accomplice in the embezzlement scheme, as the man responsible for the chairman's investments. When the Chairman went on trial in 2011, he fled South Korea for China and turned up in Taiwan in July where he was arrested for an immigration offence. That’s when maneuvers were put in motion to fraudulently get him a Belize passport. That was personally seen to by Elvin Penner who signed the nationality certificate and the passport, and by his own words “(saw) to it that (Kim) would get proper attention and would get his passport the same day.” Penner’s driver picked up the passport at the Immigration office on September ninth and days later a diplomat from another country, we are told, conveyed the passport to Kim in jail.

Who Burned Immigration Dept's Chavaria's Van
A senior immigration officer had her vehicle set on fire over the weekend. Therese Chavaria – who is currently holding over the Passport Section right now – told police that at 3:00 am on Saturdaymorning she saw her Dodge Caravan on fire near her home on Lumber Yard Crescent. Chavaria was awakened by a loud bang and police say it is a case of arson. Her home is just a few blocks away from the Fire Department and the blaze was quickly extinguished by fire personnel. The vehicle is valued at nine thousand dollars and was completely destroyed.

World Bank Study: Bze Per Capita Income Among Region's Lowest
The World Bank’s 2014 World Development report says that, on a per capita basis, Belize is among the poorest countries in the Caribbean. Per capita income refers draws a very rough average of how much each person in a country makes basically by dividing the population by the GDP. Of the 14 CARIBBEAN countries for which information was gathered, Belize was the third lowest, with a per capita income of $4,180.00 US dollars. Only Guyana and the US Virgin Islands were lower. Bahamas at $21,280 and Puerto Rico were the highest.

Belize Census, A Slight Return
The results of the 2010 census were released in 2011, but the statistical institute of Belize chose today Caribbean statistics day to release to final, official census. It was staged at the Jaguar auditorium at the university of Belize where minister of state in the ministry of finance Santiago Castillo Jr explained how statistics can be important to planning:.. At the time of its release in 2011 the census was criticized for showing Belize’s population growth at a below average level and the household size shrinking...

Where Pets Are Treated Like People
The Belize Animal Center first caught our attention back in 2004 – when we hard about their service of pet grooming. Well, tonight the news is that they have moved on up – to a new location with a new range of services. It’s an interesting business model because the expanded facility is owned and operated by two women. We visited their new digs at #1 Mike DeShield Street in Belama Phase two: They moved into their new digs in September. And yes, the street is named after the founder of the Animal Center, the now deceased Mike DeShield.

Jevaun Needs Expensive Meds
A nine year old standard 4 student of Holy Redeemer Primary School has been diagnosed with a rare disease. Jevaun Freeman is suffering from a condition which causes him to bleed through his pores. It is a disease that cannot be treated here in Belize and needs urgent attention. Earlier this week, his mother came by our studios to ask the public for assistance in hope that she can get her son out for treatment in Guatemala. If you would like to assist, you can contact his mother at telephone number 6-0-4-2-5-0-5. The World Pediatric Project has found the medication to treat him and has arranged to bring it to Belize - but it is expensive, over ten thousand dollars and they are trying to fundraise to get the payment for it. So if you can help it would be appreciated.

House Cmte Meeting Was A Marathon
At the end of our lengthy newscast yesterday, 7News told you about the public consultation on the proposed amendment to the criminal code. It went for just over 4 hours, and we could see why. The extensive amendment was carefully explained, clause by clause, to the gathering at the UB Gymnasium. The speakers also addressed some of the questions submitted in writing as they progressed through their presentations. Tonight, we revisit a small excerpt where the Deputy Solicitor General explained the significance of equal protection for both young girls and young boys, which inadvertently introduced the issue which the Church wants clarified. The Committee for Foreign Affairs and Constitution has pledged to carefully consider all submissions made in writing. The Deputy Solicitor General has also pledged that corrections in wording will be made so that there can be no doubt that the proposed amendment does not nullify Section 53.

Channel 5

Elvin Penner says he isn’t resigning and he is coming home on Sunday
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today for Los Angeles California and was hoping that he would have accepted Elvin Penner’s resignation from the U.D.P. and as area representative [...]

Barrow says U.D.P. cannot expel Penner as elected area rep
As we told you, Penner will be back in Belize on Sunday and he is not resigning as yet. Via phone today, he also told News Five that he will [...]

A closer look shows irregularities in a bundle of nationality documents
On Tuesday, attorney Arthur Saldivar handed over a bagful of immigration documents to Police – including files and binders. Those documents were allegedly in Saldivar’s possession for over a week. [...]

Eric Chang to lose title and rank as deputy mayor
By midday Thursday, Eric Chang will probably no longer be the Deputy Mayor of Belize City. That’s the word coming out of City Hall today. Chang had been given an [...]

U.D.P. Chairman breaks down the options for Penner
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has made it abundantly clear that his initial position to give former Minister of State Elvin Penner a second chance, has now changed following disclosure of [...]

August says P.U.P. struggling; and explain 3-step process of bye-election
But the prospects, according to August, are less than likely that the People’s United Party will emerge victorious if a bye-election should be called since he claims that the opposition [...]

Should Elvin Penner face criminal charges even if he resigns as area rep?
Tonight’s question is: Even if Elvin Penner resigns as Area Representative should be still face criminal charges? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

Despite being removed as Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan’s signature continues to appear on passports
As we continue to dig into the immigration scandal, we unearthed the following detail. The signature of former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, remains a fixture in all passports currently [...]

Opposition and business community both want independent investigations into scandal
After much public outrage and an overwhelming demand for a criminal investigation into the illegal issuance of nationality certificates and passports at the Immigration and Nationality Department, the Belize Police [...]

Cayo northeast constituents say that they are being bribed by the U.D.P.
At Tuesday’s press conference, the P.U.P. also disclosed that voters are reporting that inducements are being offered by the ruling party not to sign a recall petition.  Likewise, there are [...]

Was Elvin Penner legally authorized to sign on Belizean birthright?
There is still debate on whether or not the Prime Minister had the legal authority to allow Elvin Penner, as a Minister of State, to sign nationality certificates and passports. [...]

Dickie Bradley says a minister of state cannot be a member of Cabinet
Bradley also pointed out that Penner could not be removed from Cabinet because he is a minister of state and could only attend cabinet sittings by invitation. Bradley turned to [...]

The attempted rape of a minor lands 2 men before the courts
Two men from the Corozal district have been hit with a slew of charges after an attempted rape on a minor. The sixteen year old girl from Xaibe Village told [...]

Corozal residents charged following chopping frenzy
Today one man lies critically injured in the K.H.M.H. and five others are recovering from wounds they received at the hands of a machete-wielding family in Cristo Rey, Corozal. According [...]

Major bust of undersized lobster
The Fisheries Department is reporting a major bust of undersized lobsters. A total of four hundred and thirty-one undersized lobsters were confiscated and four persons were detained. They have been [...]

2010 Census on Population and Housing officially launched
The 2010 Census on Population and Housing was officially launched today in a glossy report, even though the findings were released since 2011. Still yet there is interesting information. In [...]


Terms of Employment Misunderstood Within University of Belize
Yesterday the University of Belize issued out a press release clarifying concerns raised to the media in regards to the misunderstanding of the terms of employment within the University of Belize. The press release says that according to the University of Belize’s Faculty and Staff Handbook faculty members are employed on an annual basis and, subject to an annual review of job performance by their supervisors and such appointments can be renewed. It was reported that the Administration of the University requested that the teachers sign a one year contract. This made the teachers uneasy and if there is still doubt amount the teachers, President of the University, Doctor Carey Fraser set the record straight. DR. CAREY FRASER “The press release that was issued yesterday clarifies what tenure is in the international university system. I think there was a sense that tenure was, in fact let me put it this way, because some people were made permanent during the merger; there was the assumption that this was the part to “tenure” but I wanted to make the distinction that being permanent was part of a civil service public service arrangement but tenure in universities means something very different.

University of Belize Has New Board
The University of Belize has a new board of Trustees. An inaugural meeting for new members of the Board of Trustees was held last Friday. According to the President of the University, Doctor Cary Fraser, the new board is in accordance with the University Of Belize Act Chapter 37, Revised Edition 2000. DR. CARY FRASER “This is part of the regular process of renewing the board. Board members serve standard terms and there is a time limit on service on the board and so, what has in fact happened is that the board which I came and met has had some changes but now there has been a process of establishing a new board that will in fact oversee the university over the next several years.” Harrison Pilgrim, Appointee of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports was elected as the Chairman of the Board with Steve Spiro, Private Sector representative for Tourism nominated by the Minister, elected as the Vice-Chairman.

Immigration Documents Now In The Hands of The Police
Last night we told you attorney Arthur Saldivar handed over one hundred and fifty immigration files to the Belize Police Department. Saldivar told Love News today that he did so because too much unwanted attention was being focused on him and not Elvin Penner, who had signed the nationality certificates. And even though Saldivar handed over the files to the police, he says this is not his last move. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “I was being made the focus of the police’s effort and that kind of attention is unwarranted when we are dealing with such a serious matter. Instead of having the focus on me I believed that it was prudent to hand the documents over even though it was outside of the time line that I had set in relation to the exercise that was on the way to basically influence an impending investigation into the matter. I spoke to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aragon and to Mr. Blackett personally; other persons spoke with the Commissioner and other members of the Police Department and the arrangement was made for an orderly transition to have the documents be handed over.

Fatal Accident Reported in Southern Belize
“A traffic accident that happened on the Stann Creek Valley Road at about 4:15 this evening in the village of valley community within some 18 miles from Dangriga has claimed a woman’s life. A large number of spectators were in the area observing the scene trying to find out what really happened. Eye witnesses are saying that the accident occurred at as I mentioned before at 4:15 pm with a woman driving an SUV apparently on her way to Dangriga. Reports to love news indicate that the driver of the vehicle lost control of the vehicle and missed a bridge then plunged into a river. Reports are that the woman that was driving the vehicle sustained fatal injuries and the body is still in the river. Police investigations continue.”

Significant Bust of Undersized Lobsters
Last night Fisheries Department personnel made a significant bust and detained four persons. Following a tip last night Fisheries personnel confiscated a total of 431 undersized lobsters. Those detained were 50-year-old Luigi Marin, 24-year-old Gerald Foreman, 30-year-old Hubert Palacio, and43-year-old Mark A. Sewell. According to Fisheries Officer/Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa, there have been a number of encounters in the area South of Caye Chapel. Gamboa said the area is a well-known lobster nurture ground and they are looking at someone having over 400 lobsters in their possession that did not even made it to a juvenile stage due to them being underweight as well. In court this evening, only three of the four men found at the campsite on the South end of Caye Chapel made it to court to answer to the charges. The charges were withdrawn from Foreman. The trio was charged with one count of possession of undersized lobster tails. While Marin and Sewell pleaded not guilty to the charge, Palacio pleaded guilty and told Magistrate Leslie Hamilton that he was guilty of the charge. Marin and Palacio were additionally charged separately with one count each of engaging in Commercial fishing without a license. Palacio was charged a total of nine thousand one hundred and twenty five dollars. Palacio who is a first time offender has to pay the 500 dollars by November 30, in default six months imprisonment, while the balance must be paid by December 31.

Recent Statistics Reveal Major Key Points
Today Belize joined the region in celebrating Caribbean Statistics Day 2013. The Statistical Institute of Belize held an official launch of the 2010 Population and Housing Census Report at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus. According to Demographer at the Institute, Jacqueline Smalls the findings of the reports reveal three major key points. JACQUELINE SMALLS “One of the things that we observed is that despite this small size of the population, our population is in fact growing at a very fast pace. In CARICOM, for example, most population growth is under 1 percent per annum’ ours is almost 3 percent per annum; so, that is one of the things that stood out very clearly in the census. Another thing is that we talked about literacy; even though our literacy is not at where we would want it to be, it is obvious that we are improving. When you look at youth literacy, for example, more than 4 out of 5 persons (youth 15 to 24) is considered illiterate and one of the things that people who do studies on gender is usually concerned about is the difference between males and females. We saw where in the adult population there is a huge gap in almost 10 percent in literacy between males and females with the males being at the lower end.

Will Parents Heed CAN’s Call to Skip School?
Belize Can continues with its call for parents to join in their efforts and support their fight by not sending their children to school. The call was made official yesterday and according to President of Belize Can, Patrick Menzies, they are receiving good support. PATRICK MENZIES “So we are looking at the detrimental part of this new gender policy that many have compared and said it’s even worse than the Heads of Agreement in 1981; this is stronger, it’s more powerful and significant to our country and to now have the OAS doing the exact same thing to obligate the Americas that signed the treaty, to be a part of this thing that will greatly affect our country, it will affect our culture, it will affect our churches; I don’t know of any country in Central America that is as blessed as Belize to have such a beautiful relationship between the Church and the State. We call it a Christian democracy where a church is the part of the Senate that’s not common. Menzies adds that they have delivered a letter to the Minister of Education yesterday but there has been no response from government on the boycott.

UDP Cayo Northeast Is Ready to Work With New Candidate
The UDP Cayo Northeast Committee says it is ready for fresh elections. Fermin Magana is the Chairman of the Committee. FERMIN MAGANA “The reason why the committee has decided that they would no longer support Mr. Penner is because of what the latest findings have been. There are more and more evidence mounting as to the things that happened at the ministry, that we have found ourselves at the point that we can no longer support him. I will be honest with you, I believe there is a lot of support for Mr. Penner out there still yet but when it comes to when the Prime Minster came, we noticed that people are saying that you know what, ‘yes we do support Mr. Penner but we are also willing to listen to what the party has to say.’ In it release the Committee says supporting the party leader’s demand for the resignation hey wish to underscore the impressive record of achievements in Cayo Northeast and know that their best option for progress s to continue the close cooperation between the constituency and the Central Government.

PM Leaves Belize For Medical Reasons
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today for Los Angeles, California. Yesterday Prime Minister Barrow said he will be seeking medical attention for his back problems. Aside from seeking medical attention Prime Minister Barrow who is accompanied by his wife will attend a number of fund raising functions and meetings organized by the Belizean Task Force in Los Angeles. The Prime Minister is expected to return to Belize on Friday October 25. In his absence Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.


The UDP says it will no longer support Elvin Penner
The future of Elvin Penner as Area Representative for the Cayo Northeast constituency is uncertain. After weeks of having quite the active support of the United Democratic Party, Mr Penner is now on his own. On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted an impromptu press briefing with a...

UDP campaign to keep their majority margin in the House
The UDP hit the ground running on a campaign to safeguard their majority margin in the House, following the PUP’s pursuit to recall Elvin Penner. This weekend, our Cayo correspondent Kent Pandy, caught up with the Prime Minister in the Cayo Northeast Constituency, where he told us their efforts...

PUP says it will not let up pressure on immigration scandal
Following Tuesday morning’s press conference in Belmopan, the People’s United Party went ahead with their own previously scheduled press briefing at party headquarters, Independence Hall, Tuesday afternoon. Party leader Francis Fonseca opened by insisting that if Prime Minister Dean Barrow believed that by now distancing themselves from Elvin Penner...

Nine year old Jevan Freeman fights rare disease
Nine year old Jevan Freeman of Belize City needs assistance for what promises to be a long fight against a rare disease. In September the Holy Redeemer Standard Four student was diagnosed with idiopathic thromocytopenic purpura or ITP for short. Behind that mouthful is a painful experience: excessive bleeding...

Minister Faber tells public meeting ambiguous language of Criminal Code Amendment will be rectified
The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee entertained a number question and concerns at their second opened discussion Tuesday evening at the UB Jaguar Auditorium. The topic of discussion was rooted on the which were first tabled at the House of Representatives and caught the attention of the country...

CCJ makes order on BTL dividends
On Tuesday morning the Caribbean Court of Justice heard an application by the Government of Belize to discharge a conservatory order it had issued in December 2012 restraining the payment of dividends by Belize Telemedia Ltd The Order was an extension of an earlier order made upon the application...


Small World Story from Nebraska to San Pedro Belize
Today brings a great small world email story from Matt who has been coming to San Pedro for 11 years and as so many do he fell in love San Pedro Belize, so much so that he decided to get married here. Below is part of the email I got from Matt yesterday, he is big into genealogy and researching his family history unexpectedly led him to back to Belize. Do you know if Ramon Nunez has a son, nephew, cousin or any other relation named Andre or Andreas? The reason for my question is a funny story. One of my hobbies is genealogy. My wife would probably call it an obsession. Regardless, I came into possession of a family history book of a family line that is related to me albeit a bit distantly. Going through the book, I came across a fourth cousin who got married in San Pedro to one Andre or Andreas Nunez. It’s hard to make out the first name. It really could be either. I don’t have the information in front of me right now but if memory serves, he would likely be in his 50s. I can get his age and marriage date if needed.

Celebrating Belize – September 21st Flight over the Blue Hole AND the San Pedro Parade
Hi again- this is Meg with what will be my last guest scoop while Rebecca is out of town. So far I’d focused on the first half of our honeymoon in the Mountain Pine Ridge, since we had done some things not yet featured on San Pedro Scoop. For the second half of our honeymoon, we headed toward the sea and spent 5 nights just north of San Pedro, at Cocotal Inn. I won’t go into Cocotal too much, other than to say that our cabana was super cute, as was the resort dog, Mara. We were lucky enough, even though it was “rainy season,” to wake up to sunrises like these each day! Much of our time was spent snorkeling and diving, so we don’t have great photos of that. What I did want to share was our biggest honeymoon splurge- a flight over the Blue Hole with Maya Island Air! Early in the planning process, we had considered diving the Blue Hole- but realized that we would be exceedingly new divers, and that wouldn’t be worth the safety risk or stress involved. We briefly considered tagging along on a trip as snorkelers, but decided that it would be an unnecessarily costly and long day. Actually the flight was cheaper than snorkeling would have been- and by doing it on the morning of Saturday, September 21st, we’d have the rest of the day free to celebrate Belize’s independence. We woke up early (as we had been doing all trip- and which was the reason we missed the block party on Friday night) and rode bikes down the beach to town, where we had a hearty Belizean breakfast. I could get used to this view every morning.

Working for a Positive Change – BBS Technical Committees
The Bureau wishes to thank the experts that are currently engaged in national standards development work in the various technical committees below. Kindly click on the link to view the present Technical Committees and the Belizean experts that are currently members of these committees.Working for a Positive Change – TCs Acknowledgement Please contact the Bureau if you would like to know more about the work of the technical committees. As citizens of Belize, let us continue to contribute to our society by actively participating in the standards process. We welcome you to be a part of the process!!!

Creating a stir for competitiveness
Take a walk down any store or shopping center in Belize and one cannot help but to reflect on how the domestic market is bulging at the seams with imports. Foreign products line the aisles and greatly outnumber domestic products and it’s a strong indication that merchandise trade is alive and well for palates inebriated with the flavour of foreign lands, not to mention the importers who look for every opportunity to satisfy them. Understandably, businesses are driven by profit and remain ever so vigilant of those products that drive their bottom line. The domestic market twisted, turned, shaken or spun on its head is simply a reflection of a narrow and lacklustre manufacturing base that on occasion has sputtered very few successful domestic products.

“Another Day in Paradise” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up just before 04.00 hours yesterday morning and on the veranda with my coffee and iPad within minutes of this (well it doesn’t take too long to make instant coffee – really good coffee is sadly wasted on me). Straight to The Times on-line to read the pre match articles about England’s all important World Cup qualification Group H game versus Poland later in the day. The consensus of opinion was that we should win it but would it be a nail biter? I then spent a bit of time looking at forward predictions for exchange rates for sterling versus the US dollar. When you live in a foreign country and your assets are in a different country the exchange rate you achieve can have an important bearing on your standard of living. We don’t have to exchange any sterling just yet awhile but if the market moves favourably then it makes sense to convert sterling to US dollars. The rate has improved lately but I have a gut feeling that it may improve a bit more so I am going to hold fast just a little bit longer. Time will tell , of course, if my instincts proved to be correct.

Unique and Outstanding Natural Monuments in Belize
Belize is blessed with unique and outstanding monuments that receive worldwide recognition, the most popular being the Belize Blue Hole. Since Belize is still relatively unknown, these natural wonders remain unspoiled, but this is not only because of a low count of tourists arrivals; this is due to regulations that have been implemented by the government and more importantly, responsible travel practices that have been adapted by Eco-travelers. From rainforests to underwater marvels, here are three natural monuments in Belize that solidify the country as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Half Moon Caye, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Great Blue Hole.

Oct 6, 2013 - Oct 12 , 2013 Fishing Report
Jenny and Rob are getting married here this week but are taking a few days ahead of time to get in some good fishing IN. Lots of tarpon around after a couple days of unsettled weather but tough to hook!

10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
While the decision to relocate to a lush, tropical country may have been an easy choice to make, the process of actually picking the country may be an entirely different story. With so many amazing countries out there in Central America alone, how can you be confident that you’re making the right selection? Consider Belize Sharing a border with Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, the tiny country of Belizehas been receiving a lot of attention from expats in recent years. So what does Belize have to offer that has so many people coming back for more? 1. Scenic beauty Only a fraction, around 20% of Belize’s land is used for human purposes (agriculture and settlements) leaving the rest, natural and unspoiled. Filled with majestic landscapes, waterfalls, archaeological sites and thousands of species of plants and animals, there is always something new to experience in Belize. And because Belize has 174 miles of Caribbean coast line, you can enjoy the beach life and the exotic rainforests all in one day.

Belize’s Most Beautiful Beaches
A country facing the Caribbean Sea, Belize offers beaches – plenty of them, and most uncrowded. For the most part, all you have to do is head south and get past the regular tourist trail of the Northern Cayes. All along the south coast, from Dangriga to the Placencia Peninsula, there are beaches on shore and offshore idyllic cayes or islands — a little something for everyone. Hopkins is one of my favorite places to relax. Located on the east coast, and a short drive from Dangriga, this five-mile beach is quiet, nicely lined with coconut trees and with plenty of local life around, as well as budget accommodations. Hopkins is also an authentic Garifuna village — so while you spend some days burying your toes in the sand, others can be spent sampling Garifuna dishes, taking drumming lessons or exploring local art in this unique Afro-Amerindian beach village.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Friet Egg Deessert
Here’s a deessert if'n y'all want ta have sum fun wit a ‘menu’ … er if'n y'all air cookin fer at mun who loves ‘brakefuss all day’. Befor we talk about t'recipe …..Let’s step back into my moth'r’s Mennonite kitchin. She ofte had a'standin un hern cupboard a bowl o'rich milk frum air own coe. Thar it would sit until it thickenet wit a slightlee sour taste an' velvetee taxuture. I nev'r ate it but wen I startid datyun' my husban'-ta-be we discuverd it wuz a komfert food ta 'im. Aft'r at, if'n my mom knew he wuz a'kummin, she made shure she greetid 'im wit a bowl o'whut wuz callt “Dikja Malch” (Thick Milk) Noe, hop-skip-jump ov'r lan' er oceun ta t'kitchin o'a famus French chef. He is fixin Crème Fraiche (pronoucet krem fresh) Thick Milk er Crème Fraiche — whut’s n' a name ?? t'ransfermashun o'common ta gourmet !

International Sources

Everyday Leadership: Leaders must surround themselves with expertise
On a trip to Belize in February of 1999, my brother Jack and I decided to float the Mopan River. This river begins in Guatemala and flows across the middle of Belize to the Caribbean Sea at Belize City. We had floated the Macal River a couple of days before and had a great time. We headed to San Ignatio to rent a canoe. There, we located a heavy fiberglass canoe that was not well made for white water or any flowing stream. For that matter, I can't imagine it being successful for any body of water. However, it was the only canoe we could find. Finally, off we set with the huge canoe loaded on top of our rental vehicle. Unfortunately, the Belizian man, named Felize, who located the canoe for us, insisted on taking the trip with us. He was concerned with getting a tip and the canoe back.

Consolidated Water: Liberate Our Water
Before we get down to business, I have to explain that title. Since you probably wouldn't believe me if you didn't see it for yourself, here's the link to the page of the company website the quote below is from. For some small island nations there is no choice but to liberate fresh water from the sea. Larger countries and coastal communities have or are considering augmenting their potable water supplies with desalinated water in efforts to meet their growing population needs and add a component of supply that is truly drought proof." Is it just me, or does anyone else picture a mass exodus of little cartoonish water droplets happily running through the streets proclaiming their new-found freedom to the world in style of School House Rock? In all fairness, it's not just Consolidated Water (CWCO) that uses "liberate" to describe what they do. Apparently, it's common in the industry. I'm not sure why, but perhaps "Reverse Osmosis Membrane Separate Our Water" wouldn't exactly roll off the tongue as an article title? Plus, who in their right mind wouldn't want to invest in a liberation campaign?

Central America Infrastructure Report Q4 2013 - New Market Report
Construction sector growth remains on the whole unattractive across the region. Growth is expected to slow in Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the near term, whilst we believe Panama's current industry boom as a limited time horizon. El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras are all struggling to post positive growth, and considering their small industry sizes are significant underperforming. Consequently, we see high risks, small scale and limited growth opportunities across the region as a whole. That said, we do see potential growth in a number of sub-sectors, including social housing, renewables and hydropower, gas conversion, and airports and ports. Local and regional companies, as well as Chinese construction companies, will be most likely to benefit.

October 16, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Invitation: Public Consultation on the Land Use Development Study for Ambergris Caye
The Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) of The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and The Belize Tourism Board, in conjunction with The San Pedro Town Council and Consultant Oriol Monfort will be holding a public consultant on Tuesday 22nd October at 6:30PM at The Lion’s Den on Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro. The purpose of this consultation is: 1. To update the community on the Baseline Data Collection, Mapping and planning activities to date. 2. To present the community the draft land use plans and development guidelines. 3. Invite comments and feedback on the Land Use Plans as presented. All potential stakeholders to include the businesses and residents of Ambergris Caye, real estate agents, industry associations, NGOs and civil society are encouraged to attend.

Juan Carlos Montejo is the island’s newest SCUBA Instructor!
When was the last time you said, “I love my job”? Like Juan Carlos said, becoming a PADI open water scuba diving instructor is about living your dream but it’s also about life transformations – both his and those around him. San Pedro is an island in transition; the fishing village has been swallowed buy a booming tourist industry. Vocations that were once viable are swallowed along with it. Tourist Guides, Divemasters and SCUBA Instructors are a natural vocational transition for those with knowledge of boats and the sea. After many years playing and working in the sea, and working at White Sands Dive Shop, Juan Carlos Montejo has joined the ranks of the elite with his recent certification as SCUBA Instructor.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Sailing Club Tops Corozal Regatta over the Weekend
It’s the mighty San Pedro Sailing Club that is making waves all around the country and regattas they compete in. After a successful golf cart wash fundraiser to help them travel to Corozal Town, the sailing team was able to travel and compete at the Corozal Regatta over the weekend taking the first and second place spots. It was Jorge Oliverez and Kevin Velasquez of the San Pedro Sailing Club who took first and second place, respectively, at the Corozal Regatta that took place over the weekend. Taking the third place spot was Antonio Ricardez from Belize City. The Junior sailors from San Pedro did such a great job that they also managed to that the 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th and 15th place spots in the regatta, all in the top 15 out of the 34 sailors!

BTB Holds Successful Digital Workshops
On Friday, September 20th, the BTB’s Digital Marketing Team and Digital Marketing Agency (Olson) concluded a one week countrywide workshop to sensitize and enable Tourism Industry partners to become digitally empowered through the use of BTB’s newly constructed Content Management System (CMS). The CMS will allow each stakeholder ease of access via personalized codes to manage and update his/her property’s profile on the recently redesigned To complement the training, workshop participants were given marketing tips, and updated on BTB’s branding strategies, as well as upcoming digital marketing initiatives.

Education in Belize: From Vulnerability to Growth!
Since I started publishing short articles to describe, not define, past and current Education systems in Belize, some educators claim that I seem unfair and ungrateful to them, and that I should criticize/blame no one other than students themselves for their failures at school and during the learning process. I have stated before, and now loudly repeat: I highly admire and respect all teachers who devote their professional lives to helping educate others, especially young people. Anyone who chooses to pursue the teaching profession as a career deserves the maximum respect and appreciation from every member of every community throughout the world! Teachers in Belize and throughout the world: you have my utmost respect and admiration!

Pic of the Week: Get Hooked at D Catch Bistro, Cayo Welcome Center
People in San Ignacio, Cayo are buzzing about the brand new eatery located at the Cayo Welcome Center called D Catch Bistro. Now you can enjoy the best of seafood when visiting the Western Belize. You can't miss this place with its coloful enviorment, inviting staff and great location. Congratulation to Pablo and Ana Ico on their new business venture and we all wish them the very best. So when in Cayo, we recommend you to stop at D Catch Bistro, say hello to Pablo and try one of their seafood dishes along with a cold beer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Tagging Advances Knowledge of Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon
Most anglers think of bonefish, permit and tarpon fisheries as being catch-and-release, which leads to the assumption of low mortality, sustainable fisheries. However, there are threats to these fisheries that are often not considered, or are just unknown. Most fly fishermen think of bonefish, permit and tarpon fisheries as primarily being catch-and-release. This leads to the assumption of low mortality and sustainable fisheries. However, there are threats to these fisheries that are often not considered, or are just unknown. Conservation strategies are needed to counteract these threats and ensure sustainability of flats fisheries. However, information is needed to create efficacious conservation strategies. Belize River Lodge is working with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (BTT) to create a research tournament to collect information to guide conservation strategies with a tournament called the Belize Tagging Challenge, and the catch does not count toward the tournament unless the fish is measured and tagged.

DIA DE LA RAZA 2013 - PAN-AMERICAN DAY 2013 (34 photos)
Dia de la Raza, a culture filled event celebrating the different races with dances, food and music.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
The Institute for Social and Cultural Research, part of NICH, had the Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk last week, and Cayo was well represented. Antonio and Nalleli, along with the rest, are now certified Intangible Cultural Heritage guardians. "UNESCO, the Belize National Commission for UNESCO and the National Institute of Culture and History launched an eight day National Workshop on Community - Based Inventorying of Belize's Intangible Cultural Heritage. The objective of the workshop is capacity building as part of the national implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Note: All photos are privately owned." They have a video of their social event.

Panerrifix Plays at Corozal Festival
Musical Interlude. Panerrifix played steel drums, like only they can, at the 2nd Annual Festival Hispanidad y Mestizaje up in Corozal this weekend. Check out the video from the festival. "They Did a excellnt job on plaing the Steel at the House of Culture in Corozal this past weekend."

9th Annual By-Pass Classic
Cayo was represented well at the 9th Annual By-Pass Classic. Congratulations to Jose Choto of Belikin Western Spirit, who came in second in the Masters, and Oscar Quiroz of Team Xibalban, who came in fourth in the Junior category.

Census Report Launch
Caribbean Statistics Day is today, and the Statistical Institute of Belize invites everyone to the official launch of the 2010 Census Report. It'll start at 9:00am at the Jaguar auditorium at the University of Belize, and the statistics will be on display all day. In related news, the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee had a public hearing on the criminal code yesterday.

Benque Urban Bird Watch
The Belize Audubon Society has teamed up with the Belize Tourism Board, Smart, CACHE, NICH, and the Benque House of Culture to do an Urban Bird Watch in Benque. Dirk Francisco will be leading the watch, and it's free. It'll be Sunday, October 20th, starting at 6:00am. "Join us FB fans, bring your family and friends and lets go birding in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on October 30th, 2013. Share! Share! Share!"

Cayo Flights Coming Soon
Expanded flights to and from Cayo's Maya Flats airport are only one month away. Tropic Air, which currently has one inbound and one outbound flight per day, will be expanding that to 4 inbound and 4 outbound starting on November 15th. There will be direct flights to and from Placencia on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In related news, Tropic Air Belize has a new flight simulator, which is the first of its kind here, and it will help them improve on safety and service. "Don't forget NONSTOP Placencia to San Ignacio flights start soon!"

Channel 7

Historic First: PM Calls On Penner To Resign And Face Recall
When we left you on Friday - the UDP were rolling out to Cayo Northeast to defend Elvin Penner and his seat, but tonight, the political landscape has changed completely. It is like night and day: today the Prime Minister said Penner's actions are indefensible and is calling for him to resign as standard bearer so that a new candidate can be elected in a bye-election. It is a historic first in Belizean politics and an incredibly risky maneuver for the UDP, which only has a slender two seat majority in the house, but Barrow says new evidence forced his hand. That evidence was unearthed by the Immigration Minister, the Director of Immigration and the CEO this weekend who reviewed files amassed since April - when Penner was first given authority to sign nationality certificates. Barrow told the media at a hastily called press conference at the NEMO Conference Room in Belmopan that the new information shows that Penner has to go, from the house of representatives and from the UDP. He interrupted Cabinet to hold the press conference - with all his ministers in two - and after he had called Penner in Guatemala to give him the news:

UDP Goes For A “Heat Check” In Cayo Northeast
And the PUP responded in a press conference this afternoon in Belize City. It was feisty and we'll have that shortly, but first to give you an idea of what the UDP is facing on the ground in Cayo northeast, 7news went to Duck Run village on Saturday night to see how the Prime Minister was received at a public meeting: Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday Night at the Community football field in Duck Run 2, the mostly Hispanic residents of that village and all the surrounding areas gathered for a public meeting called by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP. The villagers filed in, waiting patiently for his arrival. His deputies got there first, ready to flank him at a moment's notice. And when the Prime Minister arrived at his third public meeting for the day, he was in full political mode, meeting and greeting Duck Run 2 villagers - who'd never had this Prime Minister visit them before.

PM Discusses the Penner Back-Story
There were nine or ten meetings held in Cayo Northeast this weekend and Elvin Penner did not attend any of them. We spoke to the Prime Minister about his extended absence and whether that or other reasons influenced the change in position. Once of those reasons possibly being that the UDP asked him to resign before he was induced by the other side. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "In terms of Penner being a dead weight or the consideration of his perhaps being induced by the opposition to resign - well, I did hear that, but I had a couple of meeting with Penner and quite frankly I was satisfied that Penner isnt going to go. Penner obviously was harboring thoughts of perhaps be able at some point to make his way into the Cabinet - I put paid to that on Thursday and I think that upset him. Penner was harboring thoughts in any event being able to run again at the next general elections - this has now paid to that, but all I am saying is that in all those circumstances I was convinced that he wasn't going to go anywhere." "Really, it is the honest truth - what has changed now is the evidence that Hulse found over the weekend." Jules Vasquez "Was his absence at the meeting - was he required to be at those public meetings? Nine or ten of them he didn't appear."

PUP Roars To Life With Feisty Press Conference
And while the Government held its press conference at 11:30 this morning in Belmopan, the PUP did its thing at 2:30 this afternoon in the city. Although the word "response" may be a little inadequate because it appears that the opposition may have been caught a little on the back-foot, trying to break down a door that the UDP has now left wide open. But the PUP did completely reject the narrative being offered by the Prime Minister. They said it's not any revelation that forced the dramatic change of position on Penner - it's the reaction of voters in the northeast to the UDP's round of weekend meetings. The PUP press conference was held at their party headquarters at Independence Hall Headquarters - which was filled to the capacity with supporters. That created an atmosphere more befitting a public meeting than a press conference, which the party leaders seemed to revel in:... Henry Charles Usher, PUP Chairman "Why is it that only today that after the weekend in which the Prime Minister was utterly refused in the Cayo Northeast Division - turn away by the people of Cayo that he concocted the ridiculous story about the CEO, the director of Immigration and the Minister sitting down over the weekend and finding new evidence against Elvin Penner."

Weekend Killing: 21 Year Old Stabbed To Death In Cayo
Tonight the family of 21 year-old Leroy Moises Tzib, a resident of Cristo Rey Village, continues to mourn his death after he was fatally stabbed on Friday night.

Media Personality Ava-Jean Escaped Unhurt As Vehicle Flips
At the top of our newscast, we showed you that press conference where Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced to the nation that they’ve ostracized Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner from the UDP.

Woman Remanded For Stabbing Another
Tonight, 19 year-old Stacey Jones is being bars tonight after she was taken to court for allegedly stabbing another woman. According to police, they found Acteshia Nunez at the KHMH on Friday morning at around 1:30, and she was suffering from multiple stab wounds to the upper body. Nunez reported to them that she got into an altercation with Jones who pulled a knife and stabbed her several times, causing the injuries. As a result, police arrested and charged Jones attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. She was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who remanded her to prison due to the nature of the offence. She will be brought back to court on November 29, 2013.

Mobil Interdiction Team Gets Gun On bus
Tonight, the Mobile Interdiction Team is reporting that they have recovered one more gun, but this time, it was on a crowded public bus. The Officers stopped a J&J bus at the La Democracia checkpoint, and they searched the entire bus, which led to the discovery of a 9mm pistol which was had a magazine containing 12 live rounds of ammunition. The loaded gun was found wrapped in a piece of cloth found inside a knap sack. Nobody claimed it, so it was deposited as found property.

UB Makes No Apologies For One Year Contracts
Last week, 7News told you about the uncertainty at the University of Belize where members of the teaching staff continue to feel pressured into signing what they described as brand new 1-year contracts. As we told you, the Administration announced at the beginning of the month that they had to sign these contracts by this weekend or they would be taken off the payroll. A number of teachers felt like they were blind-sided because they were under the impression that they had security of tenure. Well, today the UB Office of Public information issued a press release saying that these teachers are mistaken. They say that according to the UB Faculty and Staff Handbook, faculty members are employed on an annual basis and, that employment is reviewed before the teacher is given continued employment. They claim that for a number of years, this performance review process has not been rigorously applied, and they now seek to apply it across the board.

Harvest For Kids Strikes Up 15 Combines For this Year’s Corn Crop
This weekend, the fledgling child outreach program, Harvest For Kids, had their big celebration to mark the end of their summer program. Harvest for Kids, as we’ve told you, is an initiative where children from Belize City, who are forced to grow up in the gang landscape full of violence, are given an opportunity to spend their summer camping in the outside districts. They are invited into the homes of the farming communities to show them a different way of life. 7News attended this year’s harvest which is the biggest yet. Here’s how that went:

PM Will Do Anything To Ease Bad Back
And, after that brief respite, back now to hard news. The Prime Minister leaves the country tomorrow. Yes he’s leaving in the middle of a very cute juncture in his tenure as Prime Minister. He’s going to attend a fundraiser for his wife’s charity with the Belizean community in Los Angeles. But he’s also going to treat his bad back. The PM has chronic and acute back pain – and he told us today – at this point he’ll try anything to get relief:…

CCJ Decides: GOB, SSB, CBB Get 11+ mil BTL Dividends; PM Unimpressed
Now, our next three stories would have been headlines on any other day – but on a crazy day like today, they’ve ended up at the bottom of the news. The first is on a consequential judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice. It has to do with millions of dollars BTL dividends that have been with-held for the past two years from Government shareholder sin the phone company, namely Social Security, the Central Bank of Belize and the government of Belize. Well today a high powered team of lawyers from the government’s side and from the Ashcroft alliance went to the Caribbean Court of Justice headquarters in Port of Spain Trinidad to argue over whether the dividends should be paid to government or continue to be held in escrow.

Saldivar Resurfaces With Promised Trove Of Trashed Immigration Files
And in another story that surely would have been a headline on any other day, today Arthur Saldivar resurfaced. He hasn’t been arrested and his home hasn’t been searched but he did have – as promised – a big bag of immigration files with multiple green folders. They would appear to be compelling evidence of widespread corruption for the media to look over – but they were just flashed before the media – before the entire bag was taken to police. Saldivar spoke to the media in Independence Hall after the PUP Press conference had reportedly refused to take his matter on board. Here’s what he told and flashed in front of us:…

Public Hearing On New Child Protection Law
Last week, 7News showed you extensive coverage on both sides of the issue concerning the amendment to the criminal code, specifically sections 46 and 47. Both sides agree that this law the law is progressive because it seeks to provide better protection for children against sexual exploitation. But the issue is that the Church says that there is an implied repeal of Section 53 which criminalizes sodomy, while the child rights advocates say that the Church is over-reacting and jumping at shadows. The Standing Committee for Constitution and Foreign Affairs heard submissions from the church, and because they couldn't deal with all the presentations in cue, it sparked a public meeting. That meeting was held at the UB Gymnasium, and our colleagues at Plus TV attended.

Channel 5

Barrow says Penner should resign as area rep and U.D.P.
There are new developments from the ongoing immigration corruption saga which makes a bye-election in Cayo Northeast a strong possibility. But here’s the biggest, first…Elvin Penner has been asked to [...]

Mounting evidence against Elvin Penner in passport scandal is uncovered
We’ll get to the recall process in a few, but first the evidence. According to the PM, it was enough for him to act immediately, and he has the unanimous [...]

Penner is to respond to request for resignation by Wednesday
So what of the man in the hot, dark seat? Elvin Penner earned distinction in 2008 when he became the first Mennonite to be elected to the House of Representatives. [...]

U.D.P. says they will pull back campaign against the recall of Penner
If Penner does the unthinkable and refuses to resign that leaves a recall as the only process to get rid of him. For the past week, the P.U.P. has been [...]

P.M. offended by suggestion of corruption within his government
With the decision, the evidence and the recall out of the way, the PM also fielded other queries and suggestions. One of those is that Penner has enjoyed the protection [...]

26 days since scandal broke; P.U.P. demands that Penner resigns or be recalled
Within two hours of the Prime Minister’s disclosure that there were more irregularities in the issuance of passports and the involvement of the former minister of state, the Opposition held [...]

Orlando Habet says threats have been made by U.D.P. functionaries
Former P.U.P. standard bearer Orlando Habet lost to Elvin Penner by a mere seventeen votes in the last general elections. Habet has maintained all along that the elections were stolen [...]

P.U.P. wants full report and a senate investigation
Aside from a report on the investigation in the passport scandal and the purported sale of visas, the Opposition is also looking at another investigation.  Senator Lisa Shoman first presented [...]

The moral authority of the P.U.P. is questioned
Back to the P.U.P. Press Conference. The Opposition, as well as other social partners, amid the ongoing scandal, has been calling for an inquiry into the issue of impropriety at [...]

Before change of heart, U.D.P. was in full campaign in Cayo Northeast
Last Friday, the Prime Minister was asking to give Penner a second chance and over the weekend, the PM was in full blown campaign mode. He was in Cayo on [...]

Penner tells News Five he has not resigned
The situation remains very fluid as to any resignation by Elvin Penner. A few minutes ago, News Five spoke to Penner by phone. Penner said the following… first, he clarified [...]

Barrow says documents could have been destroyed and investigation sabotaged
The United Democratic Party is under sustained and heavy fire. One of their own has been implicated in massive corruption in the Immigration Department and public outcry has been unceasing. [...]

Arthur Saldivar hands over bundle of nationality and passport documents to police
One man, however, who has a bundle of documents which were purportedly assigned for destruction, is attorney Arthur Saldivar. The documents include dozens of completed application forms, as well as [...]

Telemedia ordered to issue half of dividends to S.S.B., G.O.B. and Central Bank
At a sitting in Trinidad, the Caribbean Court of Justice this morning heard an application by the Government of Belize in respect of a 2012 order on Telemedia dividends.  At [...]

PM Barrow to seek medical attention in the U.S.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow hopes for an answer from Elvin Penner by tomorrow. It’s not exactly an ultimatum, but the PM leaves the country en route to LA on Wednesday. [...]

Cristo Rey resident murdered by his cousin
Aside from the passport scandal, there is crime to report. A man was stabbed in Cristo Rey, Cayo District, over the weekend. At the center of the latest homicide is [...]

James Adderley and the weekend of sporting activities
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 3 of the Belikin Cup saw San Ignacio United come to the MCC Grounds Sunday evening in a [...]


PUP Wants Senate Inquiry into Immigration Irregularities
Just hours after the Prime Minister of Belize announced that he is calling for the resignation of former Minister of State, Elvin Penner via a press briefing in capital city, Belmopan, the main opposition, People’s United Party held a press conference at their headquarters in downtown Belize City. It was a gathering attended not only by members of its National Executive and the media but as well by the staunch supporters of the blue and white. (VO starts – show audience of press conference) At the start of the press conference while the PUP Chairman, Henry Usher summarized the saga involving Minister Penner and the ministry of immigration, he had one question to start off the press event. (VO ends) HENRY USHER “What a difference a weekend makes. Five days ago, the Prime Minister had a press conference in which he threw his full support behind the Honorable Elvin Penner. Even before last Thursday, the UDP soldiers were on the ground campaigning for this man, Mr. Elvin Penner, who has by all accounts done a grievous harm to the country of Belize. Twenty six days ago, the Prime Minister made an announcement of corrupt and blatant criminal activity within the immigration department. Twenty six days ago; and just today we have heard about a police investigation into these matters. What took them so long? What took the police? What took the departments of immigration, nationality, the minister of immigration so long?”

Elvin Penner Asked to Resign From House and Party
Cayo Southeast area representative Elvin Penner has been asked to resign. The call came from the Opposition a little more than a week ago and today Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the call for Penner’s resignation after a special session of Cabinet. Prime Minister Barrow said the decision was taken after being briefed by Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse. Minister Hulse and his team had spent the holiday weekend looking at records dating back to when Penner was given the authority to sign back in April of this year. PM ON PENNER 1 “More evidence has surfaced of the involvement of Elvin Penner in other instances of what to us is impropriety. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I got into trouble some time ago when I made a point which however you want to lookat it, is a point fo fact, there is a clear difference between factual guilt and legal guilt; there is a clear difference between factual evidence and legal evidence. Documentation that may speak to a particular state of affairs may for one reason or another simply not be admissible in court under the very technical rules of evidence by which we are governed. So, I want to make clear the material presented to Cabinet was and is enough for us to feel that Elvin Penner was involved in additional instances of what, I will term, irregularities. In that context, the Cabinet, as in fact, the essence of the parliamentary party or certainly, the essence of the party in the House of Representatives, has decided that we can, under the circumstances, no longer continue to support Elvin Penner meaning that in our view, he cannot any longer continue to represent the people of the Cayo Northeast constituency of and in the name of the United Democratic Party.”

Chopping Incident Reported in Northern Belize
In addition Corozal Police are investigating a chopping incident. Police say that on October 13th at about 9:30pm, they responded to a chopping report in the Village of Cristo Rey in the Corozal District. Initial investigations revealed that a group of young people was on the bleacher in the park in Cristo Rey making noise, when Guadencio Che approached and informed them to stop making noise and he left. The youths reportedly went over to Che’s residence across from the football field and started to throw stones at the house. The Che family reportedly came out armed with machetes and attacked the youths inflicting serious chop wounds on the youths identified as 18 year old Kenroy Choc of Yo Chen village who sustained injuries to his left shoulder, left arm and 5 chop wounds in the head, 39 year old Manuel Choc received a cut wound to his back of his head, a 15 year old minor who received a large cut wound on his left hand, 20 year old Ezequel Pook received 3 large cut wounds in the head, a 16 year old minor who received a large cut wound to the back of his head and Carlos Lizaraga received a large open cut wound in his head and was transported to the K.H.M.H in a critical condition. Police have since detained 4 members of the Che Family as investigations continue.

Immigration Officer Awoken By Her Vehicle Engulfed in Flames
Belize City police are investigating a case of arson. According to police reports, on Saturday October 12th at about 3:00am, acting upon information received of a vehicle fire on Lumber Yard Crescent, CIB Personnel visited the scene where upon arrival a Red Dodge Caravan was seen engulfed in flames. Owner of the van, Therese Chavaria a Belizean Immigration Officer of Lumber Yard Crescent reported to police reported that she was awaken by a loud bang and was informed by her neighbors that her vehicle was on fire. Fire was extinguished by fire personnel. The vehicle is valued at nine thousand dollars and is insured. Police are investigating.

Prime Minister Says They Will Move On With or Without Penner
The People’s United Party has been trying to collect about one thousand eight hundred signatures to recall Area Representative for Cayo North East and former Minister of State Elvin Penner. If they are successful then the recall will lead to a bi-election which PUP Standard Bearer for that same constituency Orlando Habet hopes to win. As part of his tour of the west, Party Leader of the United Democratic Party, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was in San Ignacio Town on Saturday where he addressed a crowd of UDP supporters. But who has been M-I-A is the representative for that same constituency Elvin Penner. In his speech, Barrow told the voters that the UDP is moving with or without Penner. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “Right now the opposition is seeking to recall him; I have already removed him from the Cabinet, they want to remove him from the house. My point to you this morning is this: we have said that nobody is perfect and everyone deserves a second chance and when you compare Penner and his actions with respect to one passport with the PUP and their actions with respect to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of passport. By God if they can still be where they were cocked up in the national assembly. then we don’t see why Penner cannot come to the people of the North East Constituency and ask to be given a second chance.

Caribbean Court of Justice Hears Application From Government of Belize
This morning the Caribbean Court of Justice heard an application by the Government of Belize to discharge a conservatory order it had issued in December of 2012 restraining the payment of dividends by Belize Telemedia Ltd, BTL. The Order was an extension of an earlier order made upon the application of two Lord Ashcroft related parties, Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank Ltd. According to a release, that order had directed GOB to exercise its powers as controlling shareholder of BTL to prevent payment of dividends to GOB, Central Bank of Belize and Social Security Board. The release says that by consent of the parties, today the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ varied the Order to allow fifty percent of the dividends declared by BTL for the financial years ended March 2012 and 2013 to be paid to these shareholders. Dividends for 2012 had been declared in the sum of eleven million, eight hundred and eighty nine thousand dollars. Dividends for 2013 had been declared in the sum of twelve million, three hundred and eighty eight thousand dollars. All dividends payable to the small shareholders of BTL were paid in December 2012, as permitted by the CCJ. However, the release states that over 90% of the dividends, due to GOB, CBB and SSB were held back. As a result of today’s order one half of each of the remainder of these years’ dividends may now be paid. GOB was represented at the CCJ by Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, Naima Barrow and Iliana Swift. The opponents to the GOB’s application, Dean Boyce, was represented by Lord Goldsmith and Senior Council Godfrey Smith and British Caribbean Bank Ltd, was represented by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay and Jose Alpuche.

Business Owner High-End Vehicle Stolen
Police are also investigating a case of stolen vehicle. According to reports, on Octiber 13th at about 5:00pm one Karl Michael Pickwoad Business owner and a residence of University Heights, Belize City reported that he parked and left his 2005 white in colour Nissan patrol vehicle at his residence around 5:30pm on Saturday October 12 and then headed to San Ignacio on the following day. Pickwoad was later notified by a family member that his vehicle was not in his yard. Pickwoad immediately made his way back to Belize City and arrived at his home around where he did not find his vehicle where he had parked it. Pickwoad made checks in the area but did not locate his vehicle. The Nissan Patrol SUV vehicle is valued at sixty five thousand dollars and inside the vehicle at the time was one white in colour Apple I-pad valued at seven hundred and fifty dollars and one Rayband sunglasses black in colour with gold trimmings on the side values at two hundred and forty dollars. Police investigations continue.

Police Seeks Father in Report of Indecent Assault
And a disturbing report is coming out from Corozal. Love News understands that on Monday October 14th, at about 8:30am an 8 year old female student of Patchakan Village, Corozal District, accompanied by her mother visited the Corozal police station and reported that in sometime in the ending of the month of November 2012 while at home sleeping she was awaken by her father fondling her. She further stated that he had repeatedly fondled her from then until Sunday, October 6th 2013. She also stated that when she went into STD 2 where she presently is, her father started to practice oral sex on her. Preliminary medical examination conducted on the child confirmed that no hymen is present, but shows no signs of manipulation. Police are seeking the father.

Father Rescues Daughter From Rape Incident
Corozal Police are investigating a case of attempted rape. According to reports, on October 10th at about 4:00pm a 16 year old girl of Xaibe Village, Corozal District, reported to police that while she was walking on the San Roque Road heading home to Xaibe Village, waiting for her father to meet her on her way home, she saw three male persons riding bicycles from the opposite direction. The teenage girl told police that a while later one of the male person turned back and rode pass her in the same direction that she was going and he went a little further ahead and then the person turned back and did a hand signal to the other persons behind her. she then look backed and saw that the other two male persons were coming towards her and when they reached to where she was one of them grabbed her around her neck and the other one grabbed her around her waist and threw her to the ground. The male person who was holding her by her waist tried to take off her pants as she was screaming and the one that was holding her around her neck took out a knife and held it to her chest and told her to stop screaming. The girl told police that while on the ground her father arrived to her aid and the persons holding her let her go and ran away. She further stated that during the struggle she lost her BLU cell phone valued at two hundred and seventy dollars. Police have since detained the three men pending investigations.

Attorney Saldivar Hands Over Immigration Files to Police
Executive member of the People’s United Party, Arthur Saldivar today handed over the immigration documents that have been in his possession for the last few weeks, to the Police at the Queen Street Police station. But prior to surrendering the files, Saldivar, following a press briefing held by the main opposition party, presented the application forms for the media to see. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “This is simply to tie up all that has transpired and to basically get rid of the documents, put it to the right persons and assure that the public has the ability to determine how it goes from here. With what appears to be original documents being handed over to the authorities, the media asked Saldivar if he has secured copies of the files in an effort to ensure that there is a backup should files go missing in the middle of an investigation. This is what Saldivar had to say. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “You all have back up files and now I must leave. You have the backup files on your cameras and it’s on Facebook. It is within the public domain. I am not a prosecutor; that’s not my role.”


New Evidence Discovered Shows Penner Is Deeply Involved In Passport Fraud
How deep is Penner implicated in this latest immigration fraud, is something which the appointed Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse did not reveal today. What he did state; though, is that he has instructed the director of Immigration to hand over all documents found at the department with inconstancies to the relevant authorities, including the police department. But will Penner face criminal charges now that he does not have the support of his party and how will the department carry out a criminal investigation if the main man accused is not even in the country? Those are questions that we hope will be answered in the days to come. Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration "Even though now there are files that we cannot locate we are able to retrieve enough documentation to be able to establish a paper trail. As Hon. Prime Minister said that may not be sufficient for the authorities to seek any conviction. I think he laid that out very well, but it was sufficient for me to sensitize the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of this situation. What I can properly say at this time, we continue with this investigation.

P.M Tell Penner To Resign From His Seat And The UDP Or Face Recall
A bomb went off today in Belmopan as the Prime Minister of Belize, during an impromptu press conference, asked former Minister of State Elvin Penner to resign as Area Representative for the Cayo Northeast constituency and from the United Democratic Party. The Prime Minister sang a whole different tune this morning as he went from defending Penner, to basically chastising him. And he did not do it alone. With the support of nearly his entire Cabinet, Dean Barrow, after the conclusion of a Special Session of the Cabinet, announced to the nation that the United Democratic Party no longer wanted Penner on their side of the ring. What we can say is that the UDP basically washed their hands and fed Penner to the wolves. This is after an investigation carried out at the Immigration and Nationality Department, dating back to April of this year when Penner was first given the authority to sign nationalities by the Prime Minister, proved that he is involved in other instances of corruption.

Disturbing Case Coming Out Of Corozal, Another Father Abuses Of His Daughter
The latest crime statistics released last week by the Belize Police Department showed that in the Districts of Corozal and Orange Walk there has been an increase in reported cases of carnal knowledge compared to 2012. For the year 2013, ten cases have been reported in Orange Walk so far. That’s nine more than last year. In Corozal there were two cases in 2012 and up to date there are seven. Apart from carnal knowledge case Corozal Police also have their hands full with recent cases of incest. In less than a week two female minors have visited the department reporting that they were abused by their father. The most recent case was recorded on the 14th of October when an eight year old minor, accompanied by her mother, reported to police that sometime in the month of November 2012 whilst at home sleeping she was awaken by her father.

Four Charged For Chopping Incident In Corozal
Corozal Police are currently investigating a chopping incident that left six persons injured and four behind bars. On Saturday night at about 9:30 a group of youths were hanging out at the park in the Village of Cristo Rey in the Corozal District, apparently making way too much noise, when Guadencio Che, who lives nearby, approached the group, asked them to stop making noise and then left. The group of young men then went over to Che’s residence located across from the football field and started to throw stones at his house. At that instance members of the Che family reportedly came out of the residence armed with machetes and attacked the young men inflicting serious chop wounds to all six of them. Eighteen year old Kenroy Choc of Yo Chen Village sustained injuries to his left shoulder, left arm and five chop wounds to the head.

Criminal Caught Red Handed Burglarizing Home In Palmar
Tonight a 23 year old resident from the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk is celebrating his behind bars. If you may recall, back in 2007 Eric Castillo was convicted for beating 30-year-old Nelson Castellanos to death inside a holding cell at the Orange Walk Police Station. In 2009, after spending two years behind bars waiting for his trial, Castillo was acquitted after a jury of twelve found him not guilty of murder. Well, tonight Castillo is back in prison for breaking into the residence of Alberta Catzim located in the Village of Nuevo Palmar. According to eye witnesses around 4:00pm on Sunday while the annual Fiesta Del Pueblo was in full swing Castillo decided to burglarize Catzim’s residence.


Minister of Immigration says new penalties can’t be applies to Elvin Penner
We continue our coverage of Thursday’s press conference hosted by the Minister of Immigration and Nationality. At the gathering, which saw the presence of Minister of Immigration and Nationality Senator Godwin Hulse, his CEO, the Director of Immigration and the Prime Minister, the Minister presented the plan for reform...

PM explains how Elvin Penner received authority to sign Nationality Certificates
In Thursday’s newscast we aired part of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s response to PlusTV’s Louis Wade’s question about how, when, where and from whom Elvin Penner received the authority to sign nationality certificates and conduct other business in the Immigration and Nationality Department. We now review the entire response,...

PM issues stern warning to colleagues in Cabinet
An exasperated Prime Minister Dean Barrow has issued a stern warning to his colleagues in Cabinet to avoid a reported scheme where select Ministers operate on a quota basis where visas are concerned. As an example – a Minister has a quota of a certain number of visas, let’s...

VIP disappointed in Government’s handling of Immigration scandal
As the dust settles from Thursday’s press conference, reaction from the public begins to mount. On Friday, Vision Inspired by the People made their sentiments public. The VIP says it is “Utterly disappointed in the government’s handling of the current immigration scandal. We believe that the government press conference...

Washington comments on swift dismissal of Elvin Penner
The shenanigans in Belmopan have apparently gotten the attention of Washington, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse have been in touch with U.S. Charge D’affaires at the Embassy, Margaret Hawthorne. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “I have heard from my CEO that the Charge expressed great...

Journalist Glenn Tillet calls Rise and Shire to express his views on Press Conference
The entire nation had their eyes and ears turned to the press conference held Thursday in which the PM, Hon. Godwin Hulse and other representatives of the Immigration department publicly discussed what might be considered one of the biggest scandals of 2013 to rack the UDP administration. The two...

VIP concerned with lack of Integrity Reports
Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) has another issue to hash out and that is the Integrity Reports – or an unflattering lack thereof. Public Relations Officer for VIP Bobby Lopez tells us more. Mr. Robert Lopez- Officer of Public Relations of the VIP “The law says that that...

Woman stabbed several times in Belize City
A woman was stabbed multiple times in Belize City. On Friday morning, the police, acting on information received, paid an early visit to the KHMH. There they found 23 year old Acteshia Nunez of 8 Miles, Belize District suffering from multiple stab wounds to her body. According to police...

Man in critical condition after being shot
A man was shot on Thursday evening. According to police investigations at about 6:45 pm Thursday evening, a man was standing in the gate of his ex common law wife when a second man appeared from behind and fired several shots at him hospitalizing him in a critical condition....

Stepfather detained as Police investigate carnal knowledge report
Police in Orange Walk are investigating a report of unlawful carnal knowledge on a 13 year old. On Thursday morning, the minor, accompanied by a Child Protection Officer, visited the Police Station and reported that on two occasions, her stepfather had sexual intercourse with her. The child was taken...

Over a hundred logs confiscated in Freshwater Creek area
Over a hundred logs were confiscated during a recent operation. The bust took place at saw mills within the Freshwater Creek Area. There, found were 180 unstamped, freshly cut logs. We understand that as a result of the bust, some seven...

Cayo Northeast recall process moves along despite challenges
Political aspirant Orlando “Landy” Habet has been handed a lifeline to join the House of Representatives with the effort to recall the man who defeated him in the last general election, Elvin Penner. Orlando Habet lost by 17 votes in 2012 but with Mr Penner’s immigration troubles the effort...

Fire in Dangriga destroys a restaurant and Southern Workers Union Office
A fire in Dangriga, destroyed a building that housed a restaurant as well as the office of the Southern Workers Union. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu visited the scene of the blaze’s aftermath and filed the following report. Mr. Harry Arzu- Dangriga Correspondent “The flames...

189 cheques missing from Southern Regional Hospital
On Thursday, we spoke with CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen regarding the audit being conducted by the Auditor General at the Southern Regional Hospital. At that time, Dr Allen informed us that he did not have formal data to disclose to the public, but now...

Project to build a cruise tourism port at Stake Bank and North Drowned Caye receives environmental approval
The project to build a cruise tourism port at Stake Bank and North Drowned Caye recently received environmental approval and on Friday CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Development says barring a few more issues to work out a Memorandum of Understanding is on the way. Michael Singh...

Mayan Community supports NCL Project
The Mayan Community has come out in support of the Norwegian Cruise Line Project, calling it an “eco-friendly” development. According to the release, twelve Mayan villages were represented at a meeting held on September 15, where respected Mayan leaders publically expressed their support for the project....

World Egg Day celebrated in Belize
The second Friday in October every year is World Egg Day. Orlando Habet is president of the Belize Poultry Association and he told us how and why it’s being celebrated this year. Mr. Orlando Habet- President of the Belize Poultry Association 5“This day is celebrated as…internationally...

FIFA World Cup Trophy to visit Belize
Local bottlers of Coca-Cola, Bowen and Bowen Limited, are promoting the soft drink giant’s tour of the FIFA World Cup Trophy ahead of next year’s football final in Brazil. The current trophy was established in 1974 after the original Jules Rimet Trophy was won in perpetuity by Brazil in...

UB Nursing Department hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Forum
In commemoration with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Faculty and Staff of the Nursing Department at the University of Belize, hosted an awareness forum under the theme “I Support.” Shadel Dyer-Young attended the forum and filed this special. Shadel Dyer-Young: “The search conducted by the World...

BELTRAIDE signs an agreement to join a regional trade information network
Belize’s trade and investment service, BELTRAIDE, has signed an agreement to join a regional trade information network. It hosted the press on Friday to give details. CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment Michael Singh summarizes the importance of the network. Hon. Michael Singh- CEO in the Ministry...

Lion’s Den gym hosted an eight-match boxing event
The Lion’s Den gym is hosting an eight-match boxing card featuring Belizean and Guatemalan amateur pugilists. We spoke to trainer and event promoter Clinton Tucker for details. Mr. Clinton Tucker- Trainer and Promoter “Ca’ da eight bouts we have , no? Actually, da wah tournament, but we want to...


Consumer Watch Newsletter
The Bureau presents the Volume 5 Issue 2 of its Consumer Watch Newsletter for 2013. Please feel free to download, read and circulate with your colleagues, friends and family.

International Standards Ensuring Positive Change
The Belize Bureau of Standards is proud to join with the rest of the international community in observing World Standards Day 2013 an annual event which is October 14. This year it is being celebrated under the theme “International Standards Ensure Positive Change” and like many themes of the past it pays tribute to the efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide that voluntarily collaborate to develop standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate technological advances and develop innovations. In this issue the Bureau extends its gratitude to those professional who are now integrally involved in standards development at the national level. Our article “Working for a Positive Change”, exposes the work of these professionals who are now working towards the development of standards in the various key sectors of the Belizean Economy.

Belizean Women Product Development
The Centre for the promotion of Micro and small enterprises in Central America and Dominican Republic (CENPROMYPE), initiated the project called Inclusive Value Chains, meaning; “Actions that promote the productive and facilitate the participation of companies from the base of the productive structure and promote decent jobs, gender equity and environmental sustainability” in collaboration with Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Ministry of Economic Development in Guatemala (MINEO). The project ideally will contribute to reduction of poverty through the consolidation and strengthening of productive value chains that promote tourism and local development with the addition of micro and small enterprises that contribute to sustainable development in cross-border territories.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is pleased to announce that following the recent call for designers, seven designers have been selected to be supported to attend Dominicana Moda (DM2013) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on October 21-26, 2013. The seven fashion design firms are; ILashan Apparel & Handmade Jewelry from The Bahamas; the Andrew Harris Collection of Barbados; Odanis Valdez Polonia from the Dominican Republic; MARSAE of Guyana; Mag Art from Haiti; Patwa Apparel Ltd from Jamaica and MEILING Inc. from Trinidad and Tobago.

“Another Day in Paradise” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up just before 04.00 hours yesterday morning and on the veranda with my coffee and iPad within minutes of this (well it doesn’t take too long to make instant coffee – really good coffee is sadly wasted on me). Straight to The Times on-line to read the pre match articles about England’s all important World Cup qualification Group H game versus Poland later in the day. The consensus of opinion was that we should win it but would it be a nail biter? I then spent a bit of time looking at forward predictions for exchange rates for sterling versus the US dollar. When you live in a foreign country and your assets are in a different country the exchange rate you achieve can have an important bearing on your standard of living. We don’t have to exchange any sterling just yet awhile but if the market moves favourably then it makes sense to convert sterling to US dollars. The rate has improved lately but I have a gut feeling that it may improve a bit more so I am going to hold fast just a little bit longer. Time will tell , of course, if my instincts proved to be correct.

Amish Cook: Soup recipe blends broccoli an' cauliflow'r
Thishere sekunt week o'Octob'r turnt out ta be nice an' sunny altho mernings air cool. It wuz a purrfeck week ta catch up un outside wurk. One evnin my husban' Joe an' t'boys cleart out one o'air gardens an' tillet it. Joe plannd a groun cov'r crop thishere year ta hep replenish t'soil. We were’t uset ta a'doin thishere wen we livet n' Indiannie but wit t'soil bein so san'y roun here it will hep. Thishere year we air a'trine a wint'r radish, altho nairy edibull, at will hep prevent weeds an' also replenishes t'minerals neetet n' t'soil. Sevrul famblies n' air church districk have tride 'um an' had good results.

International Sources

Belize: Nature Lovers Take Note
Belize isn't really mountain country, but its offers some impressive rolling hills and highlands, some of the most beautiful of which are in Belize's western-most, largest, and most fertile district -- Cayo. Geographically, the more than 2,000 square miles of this district offer everything from broad farmlands, gently rolling citrus orchards and cattle ranches to rugged mountains laced with caves and deep river gorges. No wonder that along with agriculture, eco-tourism is now a mainstay of Cayo's economy. Tourists are drawn by the many caves, waterfalls, and Maya archeological sites... more sites than any other district in Belize. In fact, more than 60 percent of Cayo district is wildlife sanctuary, national park, or preserve.

15 places to visit that are natural: Part 2 (Video)
According to MSN on Tuesday, there are 15 natural wonders of the world. Six of those happen to be in the United States, while the other nine are in other countries across the globe. MSN has compiled a list including: Gullfoss in Reykjavík, Iceland, Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell, Australia along with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Iguazu Falls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, The Great Blue Hole in Belize, and Dead Sea in Jordan. Each location has its own factor to make it alluring.

Green growth: lessons in climate resilience from world’s poorest
Some LDCs are at the forefront of efforts to cut pollution, adapt to climate change and achieve economic and social development. As the world waited for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to release its latest report last month, the climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern emphasized that: “It cannot be a case of either achieving growth or tackling global warming. It must be both.” In rejecting a trade-off between addressing climate change and securing growth and development, Stern supports a low-carbon resilient development approach, which brings together three traditionally separate goals: the reduction of climate change emissions (climate change mitigation), adaptation to the effects caused by climate change and economic and social development. This approach has been pioneered by nine of the least developed countries (LDCs) — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Laos, Mozambique, Nepal and Rwanda — over the past four years.

Locals help protect Guatemala's rare forests
Indigenous communities of northern Guatemala have been given the right to make a living off their tropical forests, preventing illegal logging and destruction. The project helps save the forest as well as combat poverty. Guatemala’s northern province, the Peten, is home to the Maya Biosphere Reserve – a vast area of tropical forest, wetlands and Mayan ruins. It’s considered one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. But the lush area that lies between Mexico and Belize, is also home to crippling poverty. For centuries, the indigenous population has suffered under colonization and military dictatorships with many locals driven away, forcefully relocated and even murdered.

October 15, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

FIFA World Cup Trophy to make historic visit to Belize on November 7th
Bowen and Bowen Limited, the official owners of the Coca-Cola franchise in Belize, are gearing up to host a historic visit of the FIFA World Cup Trophy. The much anticipated visit will take place on November 7th, but ahead of the arrival of one the most prized sport trophies in world, Bowen and Bowen is launching a month long promotional campaign. The campaign was launched on Monday October 7th and Bowen and Bowen are hoping that the tour will be a once- in- a- lifetime experience for Belize.

Loggerhead Turtle rescued and treated after shark attack
The turtle was placed on an antibiotic treatment in order to prevent infection, and regular cleaning of her wounds is necessary for a full recovery. “Assisting sea turtles in distress is an important part of what the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program is all about. It is exciting when we can do something for one of these awesome prehistoric animals who have, for centuries, managed to survive as a population,” said Kirah Forman, biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. “We are hopeful this turtle will be another success story, and will be able to swim off into the sea to continue making her contributions to the ecosystems.” The turtle is being housed at the Hol Chan Office and is expected to do a full recovery. The San Pedro Sun congratulates all those who put in a little of their time to continue rescuing Belize’s wildlife, and we certainly hope this turtle recovers and can continue gracing the Caribbe

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye: Sailing on the Rum Punch II (#3)
Ahh, the Rum Punch II. Where do we begin? Probably not with the drink, because we’d never leave the dock if that were the case (yes, George’s rum punch is deliciously lethal). The Rum Punch II harkens to the days of yore, when the best way to enjoy Caribbean sailing did not include big motors or modern day amenities. George’s knowledge of the sea makes you itch to take a turn steering the boat that has sailed the Caribbean since 1985 (and he happily obliges, giving everyone a taste of real sailing). The Rum Punch II offers full day trips, sailing, snorkeling and beach bar-b-q, with a stop at our sister island, Caye Caulker; manatee watching trips, sunset cruises or customize your sailing experience. Add to the experience, some sips of George’s special cocktail: a blend of coconut rum, Caribbean dark rum, pineapple juice and tropical punch. Wowza! A trip to Ambergris Caye can’t be complete if you don’t have a cold rum punch aboard the delightfully quirky, old-timey Rum Punch II!

Misc Belizean Sources

Kontiki Neighborhood Watch Installs Street Signs
The Kontiki Neighborhood Watch has achieved one of their big goals this week with the installation of street signs. It's great to see a community come together and achieve sucesses like this. The pictures really say it all. Thanks, and well done, KNW!

Paul Nabor Coming to Cayo
Paul Nabor, the great Belizean singer and songwriter, will be coming to Cayo for 2 shows the weekend before Garifuna Settlement day. He'll be playing at the Soul Project on November 16th, and the Cayo Welcome Center on November 17th. A big thanks to Running W Meats for sponsoring the concerts.

Rotaract's See Clean See Green
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio has pictures from their See Clean See Green art competition they had at the Cayo Welcome Center, which was the night before they had their Macal River clean up campaign. "Judging of our Final Posters took Place on Friday, October 11th, 2013, with Finalists coming from Mount Carmel High School and Sacred Heart College. The club was making early preprations of the location since around 4:30p.m. There were young local artists presentations, Rotaract Trivia Questions and Prizes, and announcement and distribution of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Consolation Prizes. We take this moment to thank our Sponsors for the Paint/poster Prizes who were: Fuego Bar & Grill Belize, Cahal Pech Village Resort, San Ignacio Belize, Atlantic Bank San Ignacio Branch, Hun ch'ik Tours, and Belize Telemedia Limited"

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Hicaquena Luna Novelo wins body building competition in Colorado
You all might remember Luna Novelo? Luna is one half of the set of twin girls born to local Hicaqueno Jim Novelo and his former wife Cindy. Well, Luna has grown up … and boy is she fit! She used to be a cheerleader at her high school in Kansas. These days she is married to Matt Ellis. And she is a weight lifter. On Saturday, October 12th she competed in the NPC Natural Colorado Open Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini & Physique Championships in the Bikini division and won first place!!!! Luna trained with Team Heugly for the show. In one of the pics you can see her standing with one of her trainers, Tiffany Heugly. Another photo is of her with her biggest cheerleader, he husband Matt.

NEMO Awareness meeting scheduled
Thursday Oct. 17th at 7pm.


TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation
One day I received the private message below from the TripAdvisor Support Team about how they wanted to do charitable donations on behalf of their destination experts. I thought it was a great thing they were doing and wrote back and asked if I could blog it when the results were in. I got a yes and they would let me know when they were ready to let the cat out of the bag. In appreciation of your dedication to our travel community, TripAdvisor has allocated a large fund to be donated on your behalf to some internationally recognized and respected organizations that do great work for the benefit of people and destinations worldwide. You’ve volunteered so much of your time helping other travelers plan memorable and enjoyable trips to the destinations that you know and love, and we’re excited to be able to make a contribution to the betterment of those destinations through this effort. We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be making a donation of $250 (USD) on behalf of each and every Destination Expert. All you need to do is tell us where you’d like your donation to go. You may choose to allocate your donation among one or more of these organizations: Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International or FINCA.

Why Expats Fall in Love with Belize
Recent years have seen expats flocking to Belize at an ever-increasing rate. While it’s long been a favorite of scuba divers and explorers, what is it about this Central American nation that’s brought it onto the radar of people looking to relocate there for the long haul? Here are a few of the reasons more and more North Americans are turning to Belize as their retirement destination of choice. 1. It’s physically and linguistically close to the U.S. Belize is the northeastern-most of all the Central American nations, making it the easiest of all to access from the U.S. You can be there in as little as two hours from Houston, or closer to three from a number of other cities in the eastern United States. Sure, expats move abroad looking for a change from their former lives and culture. But it’s still nice to be able to get back to visit friends and family without too much time or hassle. Not to mention, the shorter, less expensive flights make loved ones more likely to come visit you as well. Besides, despite its proximity, Belize offers plenty in the way of new and different experiences.

Simple Pizza Dough
This pizza dough in very easy to make. In this video I show you how to make the basic dough, but in future videos we'll be adding spices to jazz up the taste of our pizzas.

International Sources

VIDEO: TRAVEL: So...I went to Belize and..
spent a few days out in my home land this summer to explore my country from the perspective of an adult. I have not been to Belize in quite some time and wanted to visit my family and seek opportunity for future projects and relationships. There are no bells and whistles added to this video, it was a random clip assortment put together just to push the video content out to the friends and family. While putting it together i was inspired to play around with some weird clip add ins that i felt were necessary to throw in before or after a clip. It was also something to keep me entertained for a lil while. dont let me hold you up... Check it out.. BELIZE

World’s 10 Most Romantic Places To Retire
Fields and pastures, trees and jungle, rivers and livestock. Here and there a small house of concrete block or timber, in the distance the outline of the Maya Mountains. This is the region of Belize known as Cayo. You reach Cayo via one of this country’s three highways, the one headed west. The land in Cayo is fertile. Farmers grow corn and sugarcane, watermelons and citrus. You see Mennonites driving horse-drawn carts and children walking home from school. Everyone going about his or her business, not much bothered by government shutdowns or the mounting deficit. Here, in this land of escape, where life is simple, those things don’t seem to matter or even to register. Life here revolves around the land and values independence above all else.

Central America on the way to further progress
Central America consists of seven independent countries: Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. This continent covers 521,504 square kilometers and has an estimated population of 45 million people (2013). In recent years, the average contribution of the poultry sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Central America has been estimated at 2.5% and 12% to the agricultural GDP. The capacity of the poultry business varies, depending on the size of economy and consumption of each country in this region. Belize is a small country with a population of only 356,660 citizens. This country has a surplus of meat and eggs, because its demand is totally covered by domestic supply. According to the annual report of the Belize Poultry Association (BPA) in 2012, production of poultry meat totalled only 17,476 tonnes, with a per capita consumption of 49 kilos. On the other hand, egg consumption fluctuated between 122 and 125 eggs per capita, reaching a national production of about 44.6 million eggs.

Belize Biology Odyssey
This summer, eighteen Hendrix students explored the marine environment in Belize as part of a marine biology taught by Dr. Jenn Dearolf. DR. JENN DEAROLF, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY: So in the marine biology class we’ve studied coral reefs and spent a lot of time studying the organisms that they would see on the coral reefs. It's very difficult to expose students here to the marine environment. We study things here at Hendrix, but then we need to get out into the marine environment and actually see it and so we went down to Belize to do that

Exploring an ancient Maya city in Belize
The great cities of the Ancient Maya vanished more than 1000 years ago. Some of the most impressive have been restored, while others are still under investigation. Milpa is one such city, its rapid rise, sudden fall and complex urban structure shedding new light on the precariousness of Maya existence. Professor of Archaeology at Boston University Norman Hammond will give a free public lecture on his work exploring the ancient Maya city of La Milpa in Belize, Central America, this Thursday, at the University of Waikato.

October 14, 2013


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Wolfe’s Woofers: Tiefing
I was standing outside one of the grocery stores on the middle street. The door to the store opened and one of our local beach hustlers walked out. He was accompanied by a guy that I only know as The Jamaican. “Yuh see dat?” the Jamaican said. “Mi tiefing three Milky Way candy bar.” “Weh [...]

Doctor Love: Dumped
Dear Doctor Love, I just got dumped by my boyfriend of two years. This is the third time this has happened to me and I am just so sick of it. It is always such a struggle for me because I am embarrassed and ashamed. I know that people must think there is something really [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

Education in Belize: From Vulnerability to Growth!
Since I started publishing short articles to describe, not define, past and current Education systems in Belize, some educators claim that I seem unfair and ungrateful to them, and that I should criticize/blame no one other than students themselves for their failures at school and during the learning process. I have stated before, and now loudly repeat: I highly admire and respect all teachers who devote their professional lives to helping educate others, especially young people. Anyone who chooses to pursue the teaching profession as a career deserves the maximum respect and appreciation from every member of every community throughout the world! Teachers in Belize and throughout the world: you have my utmost respect and admiration! Now, having said that, where I see an impenetrable wall of confusion being perpetuated by many Education policymakers and educators, especially in Belize, is through the adamant refusal to change and/or adapt to 21st Century times. That wall will continue to grow, as long as educators refuse to be seen by others, especially by students, as vulnerable. No one is perfect, and that applies to each educator, parent, student, or community member.

Belize focuses on securing computer networks
Over 100 computer networking specialists and enthusiasts gathered in Belize City, Belize for the sixth regional meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). The weeklong event drew local and regional participants to Central America’s only English-speaking territory for a series of presentations and hands-on technical workshops delivered by Caribbean and international computer experts. CaribNOG co-ordinator Bevil Wooding described the volunteer-based group as important to ongoing efforts to strengthen and protect Caribbean computer networks from a host of new threats. “The headlines have been filled with stories of computer hacking, unauthorised surveillance and damage or loss caused by failed computer systems.”

The concept of a community looking after itself is being exemplified by the members of the Kontiki Neighborhood Watch group. At 7:30 am today, members were out bright and early installing street signs around the community. The signs were secured through funding raised at last year's family Fun Day. The next Family Fun Day comes up next month. Kudos to the people of the Kontiki area of San Ignacio town.

Boxing at the Cayo Welcome Center
Boxing, fireworks, and Heineken, what more could you want. The boxing matches at the Cayo Welcome Center drew a huge crowd Saturday night. A big thanks to the SISE Town Council and Fuego Bar and Grill for making it happen. Airbender Ashanti Garcia was there.

El Pilar 30th Anniversary Celebration
El Pilar is having its 30th anniversary. Yes, it might be more like 1730 years since it was at its height in the early Classic Period, but the site has been open to the public for 30 years. To celebrate, there will be an exhibition and presentation on El Pilar at the Cayo Welcome Center on October 25th, from 9:00am until 4:00pm. The festivities continue on the 26th, when the Duke of Edinburgh Award Belize will be having a day hike, starting at 6:00am, from El Pilar to the Cayo Welcome Center, and then, starting at 3:00pm, they'll have the big ceremony to celebrate the special event. Dr. Anabel Ford, from the University of California at Santa Barbara, has done extensive research at El Pilar, and has a great website on it.


Belize and Beers
Belize and beers is not your average story, I’m almost sure the same goes for every country. In Belize you’ll notice that you won’t find a wide variety of beers and this is because the Belize brewing company has long had a stronghold on the beer market making most foreign ales prohibited. However, there is an exemption on beers brewed in the Caribbean due to an open market agreement with CARICOM, which recently caused the reduction of importation prices giving Belizeans a few more options. As of late 2009, you can now more readily see beverages such as Heineken which is produced in St. Lucia, Carib Beer of Trinidad and Tobago, and Red Stripe of Jamaica at stores countrywide. The Belize brewing company also brews Guinness, although its not the ubiquitous draft available in North America and Europe, their website says its brewed bigger and bolder (you’re right, that means more hops and more alcohol). I think its something we’ve adopted from Jamaica and the Caribbean since Guinness Stout is big in the culture.

International Sources

Where are all the ladies at?
Last week 70-odd of the world’s whale shark researchers converged on Atlanta for the 3rd International Whale Shark Conference. It was an unusual meeting in having so many exotic tropical countries represented in such a small group of delegates. Overall I’m happy to say it was a great success (Sorry AJC, would have linked the original and not this syndicated version, but y’know, pay walls…). One of the more interesting themes explored at the meeting was the lack of a robust global population estimate for this species. It’s the biggest fish in the world, how hard can it be to count it? Well, pretty sharking hard, as it happens. And yet, some tantalizing bits of evidence were echoed in talks from several locations and these hint to a much larger global population of this species than we are aware of. Maybe.

Life in the Caribbean aboard HMS Lancaster
HMS Lancaster is on patrol in the Caribbean, tracking drug runners, on standby should hurricanes hit and waving the flag for the UK. BBC Radio Lancashire’s news editor and former Visitor reporter Nigel Thompson has sent us this report from the frigate... There’s a framed picture of Lancaster castle’s John O’Gaunt gateway in the officers mess aboard HMS Lancaster but step outside, through the plate steel doors and out of the ships’ main “citadel,” and it’s a world away from north Lancashire. Searing heat and a horizon made up of a cobalt blue sky and azure sea greats the eye while the whining pitch of the tuned diesel engines overwhelm the senses. This is the mid-way point in HMS Lancaster’s deployment on the Royal Navy’s North Atlantic patrol; six miles off the coast of Belize in search of drug traffickers making the run from south America to Mexico, the US and beyond.

October 13, 2013


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Saga hosts October snip-a-thon
Helping Paws Across Borders (HPAB) embarked on their four day campaign to spay and neuter island pets and strays. This is part of the San Pedro Saga Humane Society’s October Snip-a-thon that aims to spay and neuter over 300 dogs on the island. The group of 15 veterinarians, vet techs and dog trainers along with Saga Humane Society employees are hard at work rounding up dogs to be spayed and neutered. On Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th the group is stationed at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso’s property in the DFC area, using Saga’s Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital (MASH). Free medical treatment and vaccinations are also being offered.

Ambergris Caye welcomes The San Pedro Mad Skills Dancers
The San Pedro Mad Skills Dancers (SPMSD) group was formed on September 30, 2011 by Cesar Cerpa to provide youth with a medium to express themselves through the art of dance. Since then the group has been formalized and made their debut performance on Saturday, September 3rd during the Costa Maya Festival 2013. Cesar Cerpa is a self-taught DJ whose motto is to “uplift youth for a better tomorrow” and founded SPMSD to help troubled youth to change their lives through dance. “We want to help the youth better themselves. This dance company is free of charge for any person willing to learn how to dance,” said Cerpa.

Belize Lions collect over $7K for Mexico’s flood victims and celebrate World Service Day
The Belize Lion Clubs in Zone 59 conducted countrywide fund raising activities on Friday October 4th to raise monies for the flood victims in the southern and central states of Mexico. The organization is reporting that the events were successful and that the funds collected will be passed on to the Lions Club International Fund (LCIF). According to Melanie Paz, Chairperson of the Lions Zone 59, the San Pedro Lions Club raised a total of $5,000 from a radio-thon, dollar drive, bingo and barbeque. The Belize City Lions Club was able to raise $2,000 and the San Estevan Lions Club is yet to indicate how much monies were raised. Paz said in total the Lions of Belize will be donating over $7,000 dollars and will be handing over the monies to LCIF who will be conducting humanitarian efforts in the affected areas.

Celebrating Dia de la Raza in Central Park, San Pedro Town

Misc Belizean Sources

Prime Minister, Dean Barrow in Esperanza lastnight! (4 photos)

The annual Harvest for Children event organized by Belize Camping Experience was held today near Banana Bank, Cayo District. The idea of the program is to teach inner-city children about how the food they eat, in this case corn, goes from the field to their dinner table. It also teaches the children what goes into agricultural production in the hopes of drawing them to being farmers and agriculture production technicians. Here are snapshots of today's event.

Belize is represented at Maya ceremony in Guatemala
Belize has representation at a Great Sacred Maya Ceremony being held today Poptun, Peten, Guatemala. The annual event, which is held on October 12, is taking place in front of the sacred Maya Temple at Tikal. According to correspondent Aurelio Sho, the ceremony starts with “a night vigil to spark sacred energies of our ancestors” and ends with the ceremony at Tikal. According to Sho, thousands of Maya people from Guatemala along with a delegation from Jalacte village and other communities in southern Belize are taking part in today’s festivities. Included in the Belize delegation are representatives of the Tumul K’in Center of Learning and Ak’Kutan Radio.

Death Threats Made To Min Of Health CEO For Investigation Into Missing Money
Ministry of Health is putting the brakes on an investigation into financial irregularities at the Southern Regional Hospital. That’s after the CEO in the ministry of health Peter Allen received a death threat at his office today! Allen told us that he got a call this morning from someone identifying himself as “Mike Moss”. He told Allen that he should call a press conference tomorrow to say that all the accounts at Southern Regional have been investigated and are in perfect order. Allen said he couldn’t do that – and the caller told him that he must not want to live and that if he didn’t he would be dead by the end of the week – and that there was a hit out on him. Allen received the call on his cell phone, and the number calling him matched the number of a call made to one of his ministry’s financial officers the week before. In that case, the officer was called by a Mike Williams, who said he was from SIF and wanted to come to her home to do a survey. Another senior finance officer also got a call at the ministry last week.

Belikin Calendar Video
Belikin has their Belikin Calendar video out. Can you find Cayo, and a Cayo calendar girl? They released the behind the scenes a few weeks ago, but this is shorter and one of the final cuts. "Belikin Beer presents to you the promo video for the 2014 Belikin Calendar. The launch for the highly anticipated calendar will be on Friday, October 25th 2013 at the Princes Poolside, Belize City."

Rotaract See Clean See Green Art Competition
Rotaract announced the winners of their See Clean See Green art competition last night at the Cayo Welcome Center. They also had a bake sale fundraiser. This morning, they did their Clean Up Campaign along the Macal river. "The Rotaract Club San Ignacio had their See Green See Clean art contest winners announced at the Cayo Welcome Center last night. They also had a bake sale, and the pastries were delicious. D Catch was happening, as always, and their combo ceviche, with octopus, shrimp, and conch, can't be beat."

SHJC's School Leadership Program
Sacred Heart Junior College is offering a certificate in School Leadership. Registration is next week. Contact them for more information. "The Certificate in School Leadership Program prepares educators to lead and manage the Quality Child Friendly Schools of 21st century Belize. Principals and other prospective educational leaders are supported in understanding and applying theoretical concepts, developing school leadership skills and dispositions in order to transform their schools into Quality Child-Friendly Schools." The program sequence.

ISIS Belize Study Abroad Summer 2013
Feelgood news of the day. The Institute for Sustainable International Studies just released a video chronicling their Study Abroad Summer 2013 students. They got to learn and have fun at the same time. From trips around Cayo to help with livestock, to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, to Xunantunich, to the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, and out to the cayes, it's in their video. "Want an awesome study abroad experience in Belize, an English speaking country. Contact us at for an experience to make your facebook friends jealous. We specialize in Animal Science, Traditional Knowledge, Marine Science and Tropical Ecology."

Issues on Copyright and Related Rights
The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO), in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is hosting a two-day workshop on "Issues on Copyright and Related Rights". The workshop is open to all persons who fall under the Copyright Act of Belize, including but not limited to: artists, photographers, architects, computer programmers, musicians, performers, graphic designers, writers, publishers, students, filmmakers, producers, directors, actors, and librarians.


BSCFA Meets With Government Officials To Discuss Issue Of Bagasse
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association will be receiving technical assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture if the need for it arises in charting a way forward in the negotiations for the New Commercial Agreement. Early in the month of October, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received confirmation through a letter that the Belize Sugar Industries Limited will not be compensating cane farmers for the sale of the by-product of sugar cane; Bagasse which is used by Belcogen to generate energy which is then sold to BEL. However, the BSCFA is not willing to go down that easy and requested an emergency meeting with government officials, one of them being Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Gasper Vega. In the meeting, which took place yesterday, the DPM committed to act as intermediary in order for a mutual beneficial agreement to be reached by both parties. Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management “Esta junta se llevó a la raíz de la negociación con BSI, como se fue en un pare la negociación entonces escribimos al vice-primer ministro siendo el ministro de agricultura que queremos tener una junta también y ayer llevamos a cabo esa junta adonde le informamos a el de parte de la asociación más a donde hemos llegado con la negociación, como estamos hasta en estos momentos...

Muffles High School Holds Cultural Day
Students of Muffles High School were out of class today but that doesn’t mean they were not learning. Today the high school celebrated their annual Cultural Day at the Crystal Palace Auditorium where the various ethic groups living in Belize were featured. Dressed in the different cultural wears, students of the different form levels entertained the audience with their presentations. Anerita Cajun- Head of Dept. Social Studies “Today we did something different from what we have asked, what we did today is just dramatization depicting Spanish novels, Los Finados by David Ruiz, and this year we decided that we are going into dramatize it, making it look real and it will be something very good since the “Los Finados” is getting closer as well so we are just trying to combine cultural day and Los Finados together and this year we decided to do something different like do it in Spanish instead of doing it in English every year. So as well what happened is that Muffles College has sixty years of existence as well and sometimes we need to make a change on what we do.”

Investigation On Missing Files Carried Out
The focus of yesterday’s press conference held by the appointed Minister in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality pin-pointed basically what would be the fate of Elvin Penner. But one point that caught members of the head table off guard was that of Attorney Arthur Saldivar and the nationality applications, with a number of inconsistencies, he claims to have in his possession. It has been confirmed that there is no warrant issued for Saldivar’s arrest or to search his home as was rumored. That is a sticky situation which presently has the Immigration and Nationality Department in Belmopan under lock down. In the case of the fraudulent passport which was issued to South Korean National Kim Wong Hong while he was in detention in Taiwan, three officers were suspended. These same three officers are being blamed for the destruction of files missing from Immigration and Nationality Department these include the files for Kim Wong Hong and those that are being presented by Saldivar to the media.

VIP Makes Demands, Threatens To Hold Demonstration If Those Are Not Met
While much was said during yesterday’s press conference there are those who believe that nothing was accomplished, for the use of better words. The Vision Inspired by the People shares that same sentiment and today, in a press release, they documented their discontent and disappointed in the way Government is presently handling the passport and nationality scandal. The VIP believes that yesterday’s press conference failed to address the salient demands of the unions, other Social partners and the VIP on the matter. Instead of addressing the issues affecting the nation Government chose to use the opportunity to further salt the wounds of Belizeans by implementing knee jerk proposals designed solely to placate the growing indignation of Belizeans against the system of corrupt governance, according to the VIP.

13 Year Old Abused By Stepfather He Faces Prison Time
Yesterday a man from the Corozal District was arrested and charged with five counts of incest for having sexual intercourse with his 13 year old daughter since the age of six. Tonight there is another disturbing case of sexual abuse against a female minor to report. This time it involves a 13 year old and her stepfather. Reports are that yesterday, the child, along with her mother, visited the police station accompanied by a Child Protect Officer and reported to authorities that on the 22nd of September, at around 1:30pm, while at home in the Village of Guinea Grass, her stepfather had sexual intercourse with her. But that was not the only time the child was abused by her stepfather. It happened again on the 3rd of October. The child was taken to a doctor who certified that she was carnally known. Police have detained the 36 year old man who is of Guatemalan Nationality pending charges.

What? Minister Selling Visas
The rumor mill continues to churn and does so strongly with allegations that Ministers of this UDP Government were involved in a lucrative business; the sale of Visas. The Prime Minister admitted yesterday that such incidences, if uncovered by the media, could lead to the fall of his government. These allegations of ministers selling visas are rampant with the latest passport scandal. While the Prime Minister admitted to have heard of such allusions and although he has absolutely no proof, he sent out a very strong message to ministers in his government. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Minister Hulse will be here to attest to what I am saying. I have heard such reports and Minister Hulse and Minister Boots and all of the ministers would tell you that I have repeatedly said in cabinet, ladies and gentleman I think we are doing a fine job. We may have our problems; there are the second term blues. A friend of mine has suggested that second term should be referred to as quick sand terms. But I believe we can come through in the end and come through well. But if there is one thing that can and will bring down this government it is hustling in immigration. I have heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God sake stop it, stop it!

P.M Says Penner Embarrassed The Party
Was former Minister of State Elvin Penner legitimately authorized to sign nationality and passport documents? Tonight, that is the question that still looms in one of the biggest scandals ever to hit our country regarding the illegal sale of the Belizean Passport. Although many details are still not clear, what was confirmed yesterday during a lengthy press conference held by the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality is that Penner began signing nationality and passport documents in May of this year. So who gave him the authority? Well, it came from no other than the leader of the nation, the Prime Minister of Belize. What the P.M did not reveal yesterday is why he had doubts of putting Penner in the Ministry in the first place. Dean Barrow, PM of Belize “Before I sit down I want also to say again how extremely sorry I am that what has now happened, happened under the watch of the United Democratic Party, how absolutely ashamed I am that one of my ministers was central to what in fact occurred. When I placed Minister Hulse in charge of that ministry it was because I knew that there was a problem in the ministry. A problem developed because at that time Penner had not been given the authority as I recollect signing nationality certificates. Penner complained to me over and over again that he felt as though he were a fifth wheel to a wagon. That he was Minister of State but that he had absolutely no authority. And he asked that he be brought more into the picture.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy Student’s earns scholarship
Congratulations to Ocean Academy graduate 2013, Shania Sanchez, for earning a two-year scholarship from the Belize Tourism Board to study Tourism at the University of Belize. We are very proud of you and wish you every success!


How I fared on my Guinness for gas cap exchange
When Mary and I stopped to gas up, the station attendant pointed out that the gas cap was missing. I knew we could easily go get one at Captain Sharks but I decided to pass by the Tropic Air Hanger first to see if Dick could help me find a spare one. As we pulled up to the window, he happened to be standing right there with a few of the mechanics. While I was asking him about a getting a cap from Glen, Lindsberg overheard our conversation and offered that he had a spare cap and he would bring it the next day. Sure enough not long after Dick got to work, I got a text that said: Cap here, some Guinness for Lindsbrg would be nice. I was glad he gave me drink preference as I was just going to do regular Belikin or Rum. I picked up 6 beers in Boca Del Rio, headed to the hanger to trade them for the gas cap. After that I delivered it to Felipe at Pedro’s Hotel so it could get on the cart that needed it. How will did I far in my gas cap barter? 6 Beers cost me $24 BZD and a new gas cap at Captain Sharks would have cost $32 BZD. Hearing how happy Lindsberg was with his Guinness beers priceless. He took them home on his break to make them nice and cold for a Friday night treat after work.

“Higher and Higher” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With an appointment at The Dental Center yesterday at 10.00 hours I took an executive decision (sounds grand and terribly important doesn’t it) not to publish an edition. I was up before 05.00 hours and didn’t have to leave home until around 07.45 hours so I had time to produce an edition but I just wanted to chill out. So I did. When it was time to go Rose took me to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal and I caught the 08.00 service and arrived in Belize City shortly after 09.30 hours and, given that I had a little time to spare, I made the short walk to Brodies in Albert Street to pick up a couple of grocery items and then took a taxi to Mercy Lane for my dental appointment. First off Doctor Pedro Habet removed the seven stitches that had been inserted last Friday when the bone for the remaining implant had been grafted. With this completed he then did three fillings and then finished off the session by giving my teeth a thorough clean and polish. That’s it now until next April/May when I will return to have the implant fitted.

International Sources

Ambassador to Belize: Who Is Carlos Moreno?
The next ambassador to the Central American nation of Belize—the only country in the region where English is the official language—will be a retired jurist from California. Nominated July 8, Carlos R. Moreno, who served ten years on the California Supreme Court, would succeed Vinai K. Thummalapally, whose service started in August 2009. Born November 4, 1948, in Los Angeles, Moreno grew up in a Spanish-speaking home in the small community of Solano Canyon in Elysian Park, not far from Dodger Stadium. Although his Mexican immigrant mother arrived in the U.S. with few skills and no resources after his father’s death, Moreno graduated public high school, earned a B.A. in Political Science at Yale University in 1970 and a J.D. at Stanford Law School in 1975.

Manatees frequenting more northern waters, including Lowcountry
Manatees move north from Florida and summer in Lowcountry waters, where there are 50 or more sightings each year. One of the puppy-faced mammals poked its nose from Charleston Harbor for a breath of air last week, wowing staffers at the South Carolina Aquarium. They don’t go back en masse until water temperatures drop to below 70 degrees. With temperatures still largely in the 70s, the animals don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave their summer digs. Manatees are bulbous, seal-like creatures whose lolling, seemingly serene behavior has delighted onlookers for generations. They are said to have inspired the myth of mermaids. The animals tend to turn up near docks, particularly where a freshwater spigot runs. But they also roam estuaries and tidal rivers as dolphins do, hunting food. Biologists are now learning something pretty surprising. “As long as the temperatures are warm enough they’ll stay,” Powell said, “and they’ll stay as long as they can.” There’s even some suspicion that manatees might be gradually relocating. They have been spotted as far north as Massachusetts and now are seen more commonly up and down the East Coast, Powell said

IICA, EU embark on million $ programme to improve agriculture health, safety
The Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement supporting development and modernisation of sanitary and phytosanitary measures applied in the Caribbean, with a view to improving access to the European markets for agricultural products from this region. The agreement was signed in Georgetown, by the director-general of IICA, Victor M Villalobos, and the ambassador and head of delegation of the European Union, Robert Kopecky, within the framework of the XII Caribbean Week of Agriculture. Based on this agreement, a programme of sanitary and phytosanitary measures that will have a life span of 42 months and a budget of US$5.8 million will be implemented. The beneficiary countries are the members of Cariforum—Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The view from Europe
In recent months, the voice of Caribbean civil society has been coming to the fore in ways that challenge or bypass politicians, the political class and traditional politics. Whether in relation to the environment, the abuse of human rights, freedom of speech or on gender issues, well founded if sometimes small national groups have been raising difficult issues in ways that are beginning to bring about change. In some cases they are doing so in collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from outside the region, or are being spurred into action by reports produced by international agencies or foreign governments. The effect is to remind those in the region who feel that the old ways and a lack of accountability are best, that if the Caribbean wishes to prosper in an increasingly transparent global society, local voices need to be taken greater notice of; and that what once were solely domestic issues are now likely to come to the attention of investors, governments and activists in other parts of the world.

Belize Developer Moving Ahead With Island Project
A Belize developer has revived plans to build a $100 million tourism and cruise ship facility on islands southeast of Belize City. In a public conference last week, Michael Feinstein, president of the Feinstein Group of Companies, detailed plans to build a deep water port on Stake Bank Caye for a cruise ship dock, as well as a retail, marina and residential development on nearby North Drowned Caye. A concrete causeway would connect the islands to the mainland. The project has been discussed for a decade but the development was delayed by "government interference," Mr. Feinstein told the conference. The current plan still does not have government approvals, but Mr. Feinstein said the proposal is back on the agenda. Cruise lines have been actively looking for an alternative to the current Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, which was also developed by Mr. Feinstein's company. The Stake Bank project should be supported as part of evolution of the cruise industry in Belize, Tom Greenwood, president of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, said at the meeting.

October 12, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Caye Caulker Woman charged for cocaine possession
A woman living on the island of Caye Caulker was arrested and charged for the offence of drugs trafficking. 22-year-old Charlenne Young, a domestic of Back Street in Caye Caulker village was busted with cocaine when police were on patrol on Wednesday October 9th. According to Police sometime around 4PM on Wednesday, a team of Caye Caulker Police personnel were conducting mobile patrol near the Palapa Area on Front Street when their attention was drawn to a woman acting suspiciously while with a group. One of the female officers proceeded to search the lady, later identified as Young. A search on the person yield three small transparent plastic bag containing a white powder suspected to be cocaine hidden in Young’s brassiere.

National News: More scandal unravels at the Immigration and Nationality Department
The scandal involving the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner is heating up again. Attorney Arthur Saldivar disclosed on Monday October 7th that 150 nationality applications were leaked out from the Immigration and Nationality Department and shows that the embattled Penner processed and signed all applications and they all contained inconsistencies. The latest revelation came on the deadline set by the People’s United Party (PUP) for Penner to resign or face recall. PUP initiates the recall of Elvin Penner On October 2nd, the Opposition PUP’s Party Leader, Francis Fonseca wrote to Penner advising him to resign as standard Bearer for Cayo North East by Monday October 7th, or face a recall by his constituency. “If you fail to resign…by 5PM on Monday October 7th, the PUP along with the electors of that division will initiate your recall as the Divisional Representative of Cayo North East Electoral Division in accordance with the Recall of Elected Representatives Act No. 20 of 2010” wrote Fonseca.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve receives $199,500 grant from PACT
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, working through the Belize Fisheries Department, was awarded one of six grants given out by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT). The grant award ceremony took place on Monday October 7th at the Belize City House of Culture, where the Ambergris Caye based Hol Chan Marine Reserve was awarded $199,500. A total of $736,769 in new project grants was given to six different groups in the country.

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye: ACES “Crocodile Scientific Investigators” CSI Adventure (#2)
Looking for a once-in-a-life time experience? Do you enjoy educational, hands-on experiences? Do critters with big teeth scare and thrill you? Ranked as the #1TripAdvisor activity on Ambergris Caye, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary/ACES team of experts are a non-profit organization permitted by the Belize Forest Department to conduct ongoing research and management of this magnificent, modern-day dinosaur. Join the team as they night “eye-shine” the mangrove lagoons for American crocodiles aboard the Swamp Thing. Learn all about these protected apex predators, the delicate mangrove and marine habitats of Ambergris Caye and other native wildlife in the area. Excitement adds to the experience when witnessing nail-biting efforts to catch, tag and release wild crocs. Croc rescues and releases often coincide with the evening. A great family adventure for kids and adults alike. Visit their website at or call 631-6366.

Ambergris Today

Seafood Market Opens in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Island residents, businesses and tourists can now enjoy the perks of shopping for seafood in one particular location and can be sure it’s the best products at great prices. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye now counts with a newly opened seafood market, the National Fishermen Producers Co-operative Society Ltd. So what can you find at the new sea food market? Products include Lump Crab Meat, Caribbean Crab, Shrimps, Scallops, Crab Claws, Salmon Fillet, Smoked Salmon, Squid Rings, Octopus, Fish Fillet and Whole Fish. Seasonal products include Spiny Lobster Tails, Market Cleaned Conch and Ground Conch. Barbara Bradley, Executive Secretary of National Fishermen Producers Co-operative Ltd, explained that presently they are accepting produce from local fishermen but only if they are taken to Belize City.

San Pedro Darts Team Receive Donation from Town Council
The San Pedro Darts Team will be hosting the 19th Annual Belize National Darts Tournament at the San Pedro Lions Den from Friday, October 11, 2013 to Sunday, October 13, 2013. Councilor Gaby Nuñez presented a check of $1,000 on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council to Melanie Paz of the San Pedro Darts Team. The money donated will go towards the purchasing of trophies, new dart boards and other items needed for the tournament set up. The Belize National Darts Tournament will bring in about 100 players and supporters to the event and everyone is invited to attend. The tournament commences on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6p.m. There will be lots to eat and drink.

Misc Belizean Sources

I am Ramon's Video
A short video describing the rebuilding at Ramon's. In news from San Pedro, Ramon's Village says they're well on their way to recovery, and the management has set a goal to be fully reopened by the end of the year. They've been hard at work to rebuild the damaged parts of the resort, and in order to promote the reopening, they've started production on a video series called "We Are Ramon's" to showcase far along the resort has come since the fire, which destroyed 29 of its 71 cabanas. A press release from the resort pledges that the business place will be "back, bigger, and better than ever on December 20, 2013".

has been extended for another week (October 18, 2013).

UB Breast Cancer Awareness Day
The University of Belize had their Breast Cancer Awareness day on Wednesday. Paint Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Oasis of Blessing at Octavia Waight
The Oasis of Blessing is today all day at the Octavia Waight Centre auditorium.

Boxing Entertainment in Cayo
Tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center the Belize Development Council and the SISE Town Council will be having a cultural night with Boxing and entertainment, including Airbender Ashanti Garcia performing.

Issues on Copyright and Related Rights
The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO), in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is hosting a two-day workshop on "Issues on Copyright and Related Rights". The workshop is open to all persons who fall under the Copyright Act of Belize, including but not limited to: artists, photographers, architects, computer programmers, musicians, performers, graphic designers, writers, publishers, students, filmmakers, producers, directors, actors, and librarians.

Channel 7

Hundreds of Thousands Embezzled From Southern Regional Hospital, Administrator Suspended
Just last night we aired an update into the ongoing audit of the Southern Regional Hospital - where there have been rumours of substantial misappropriation of public funds. But, after the CEO Peter Allen spoke to us in the morning, later that evening when he was heading up to Belmopan he got a call from the Auditor General's Department. They had made dramatic and disturbing findings. This afternoon via telephone from Belmopan CEO Allen told us what they told him:.. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "What they found was 3 cheques totaling $7,060 which were drawn from the hospital account which manages funds for NHI deliveries of babies at the hospital. They found 3 cheques totaling $7,060 w which was made out to cash or to the administrator Nasley Sommerville. What is more distressing is that they cannot account for 189 cheques." "With 3 cheques totaling $7,060 - 189 cheques of course may amount to very significant sums of money and it appears that somebody was running a separate checking system, so that there were multiple cheque books. This may well amount to very significant sums of money. You had mentioned figures in the hundreds of thousands and I think that may well turn out to be true."

83 Year Old Murder Suspect Gets Bail
Bail for murder is extremely rare, but so is an the case of an 83 year old charged for killing his wife. And so, tonight, 83 year-old Manuel Cucul, a resident of PG, is out on bail for murder after spending several months in prison for allegedly killing his 82 year-old wife, Maria Chen. Cucul's attorney, Kevin Arthurs, applied to the Supreme Court for bail, and the matter was heard by Justice Troadio Gonzalez today. Arthurs submitted that Cucul was diagnosed with dementia and amnesia. Arthurs told the court that given the rapid deterioration of his client's health, the medical staff at the Kolbe Foundation became concerned that he wouldn't be able to survive under the harsh conditions among the prison population.

Mayor Won’t Accept Chang’s Request For Extension
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley gave his Deputy Eric Chang until today to appear for a meeting with him. That deadline came and went without any sign of Chang. Chang did send the mayor an email earlier in the week asking for an extension to October 25th to deal with his ailing grandfather in Taiwan. Via text message, we asked the mayor if this had been granted, and late last night Mayor Bradley sent us a text message saying that, quote, "We are not inclined to grant any extension for his post as deputy and works councilor." End quote. Today when the deadline for Chang to show up had passed, we asked that mayor if any decision has been taken to move Councilor Chang. He told us, quote, "Not yet, council will meet next week…and then make a decision." Chang has not returned our requests for an interview. Is he in the country, or isn't he? Well, there are varied reports on that - with multiple phantom sightings. We don't know about any of that, all we can say is he hasn't presented himself to his boss, the Mayor.

Hulse Denies Visa Quota, PM Laments It
So is there a visa quota system for ministers or isn't there? It is a perplexing question - because there are mixed messages coming from Cabinet. On Wednesday, the Minister of Immigration flatly denied any knowledge of any such system. Here are his remarks:.. Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us if there any such system?" Hon. Godwin Hulse "Absolutely none, I don't know where they got that information from. No minister is allowed to sell visas. Nobody in this country is allowed to sell visas. The process of getting a visa is applying to the Department. When you apply to the Department, there is a fee that you pay. The Chinese I think pays $2,000, Indians pay something else, and other nationals pay another price. You apply there and you get your visa." Daniel Ortiz "So you're saying categorically, that this system does not exist."

PUP Cayo NE Hopeful Says UDP Smothering Recall With Intimidation
And as much as Penner has embarrassed and pained the Prime Minister, as party leader, to keep his government together, Barrow has ordered his senior ministers to go and support Penner in Cayo northeast and campaign to block a recall effort. That support was rolled out on Sunday, in time to seriously dampen the PUP's recall petition drive. Landy Habet is the PUP Standard bearer who lost by only 17 votes to Elvin Penner in the 2012 general election - and he is the man who would face him or his successor in a bye election. Today he told us how the effort has been somewhat stalled:.. Orlando "Landy" Habet - PUP Standard bearer "On Sunday we were organizing a rally but we got some information early that the government people would be there trying to disrupt things to agitate something against it and so just about in the morning we found out that Mr. John Saldivar, the Deputy Prime Minister, the UDPs from San Ignacio - they had a meeting right beside where we were preparing for our activity. What we did was deployed the people out to do a house to house campaign. When we found out that the government was also doing a house to house campaign. but this was an anti-Penner petition campaign. The people are saying that they come in and they say that they came to apologize on behalf of Mr. Penner who is suffering from high blood pressure so he can't be here personally to ask for an apology. That's the campaign."

Man Critical After Iguana Street Shooting
When we left you last night, it was with the news that a man had been shot during the news - and was in a serious condition. Well, 28 year old Shane Vernon survived four shots but is in a critical condition. Vernon was shot in front of the home of his ex-common-law-wife late yesterday evening. It happened just before 7:00 Iguana Street. The 28 year old had gone to visit his child and was standing outside the gate wife when a gunman came from behind and opened fired. Vernon was shot 5 times to the upper right back, lower right abdomen, upper left back, the neck and to his right hand. We understand that he was not the intended target for last night's shooting. The shooting is believed to have been retaliation for a recent stabbing incident. Tonight he remains hospitalized in a critical condition.

UB Lecturers In Uproar After Secure Employment Replaced By 1 Year Contracts
Teachers from the University of Belize met with an attorney today to find out about the implications of a new contract system set in place by the Administration since the beginning of the month. Their concern stems from the fact that they are expected to sign 1 year contracts when many of these lecturers and professors, who have been at the University for over 10 years, believed that they had security of tenure. 7News understands that the 1-year contracts were handed to the entire teaching staff, and they are expected to sign on to these new terms of employment by Saturday, or risk being removed from the payroll. As we've said this comes as a big surprise to the long-standing teachers at UB because their ongoing communication, before this 1-year contract emerged, was that they have security of tenure based on their credentials, and their years of service.

Cabinet Smiles At Stake Bank, MOU Next
A few weeks ago, we reported that the Stake Bank and North Drowned Caye Cruise Tourism projects had gotten full environmental clearance. But, the matter is still before Cabinet - and is pending the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Government. But today CEO in the Ministry of Trade Mike Singh told us that it basically has the executive green light:.. Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "We've been looking very closely at the project. There has been some request to Mr. Feinstein to make some adjustments and I will tell you the particular adjustments have to do with his request to develop Drowned Caye as a commercial island whereby you would have a tax free zone. There is of course a lot of concern by the domestic economy in Belize City that that would take away a lot of the business."

Norwegian Says Mayans Support Harvest Caye, Greg Ch’oc Says Not So Fast
In other Cruise port news, Norwegian Cruise Line says that it has gotten the support of twelve Mayan Villages in the south for the Port to call that they are proposing to build on Harvest Caye. As we showed you, the project has had its number of opponents who do not believe that mass cruise tourism should be opened up in the south, but according to NCL, 12 Mayan Villages have given public support for the project. A release from the company says that Mayan Leaders of these 12 villages were in attendance at a meeting on September 15, and they announced their support, urging other villagers who attended to support the project as well. These leaders reportedly explained to the villagers that the NCL development on Harvest Caye will give outlying villages the opportunity to provide fruits, vegetables, arts and craft to tourists without having to leave their homes for markets farther away than the island.

Garbage On Beach Causing San Pedro Headaches
3 Weeks ago, 7News told you about the island of garbage which washed up onto the shorelines of San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Well, 7News has received a complaint that the San Pedro Town Council has not done enough to clean up the beaches, which is still under those mountains of garbage. The individual claims that locals on San Pedro have been trying to organize themselves to make cleanup efforts but they need help, which hasn't been forthcoming from the Town Council. As a result, we contacted Mayor Daniel Guerrero today who told us that the person making that complaint is being unfair to the Town Council. He said that since this situation took place, his council has been working very hard to try to clean up, but according to Guerrero, for every few days of progress that they make; more garbage just washes up on the beaches.

The Return Of Ramon’s
And in better news from San Pedro, Ramon's Village says they're well on their way to recovery, and the management has set a goal to be fully reopened by the end of the year. They've been hard at work to rebuild the damaged parts of the resort, and in order to promote the reopening, they've started production on a video series called "We Are Ramon's" to showcase far along the resort has come since the fire, which destroyed 29 of its 71 cabanas. A press release from the resort pledges that the business place will be "back, bigger, and better than ever on December 20, 2013". The video series can be found at the Ramon's Village youtube page.

Trading Information for Trade
Today Belize launched its National Trade Information Network in coordination with the Caribbean Export and Development Agency. It's all about what the trade experts call Market Intelligence. David Gomez of Caribbean Export explained:.. David Gomez "The good this is for the entire Caribbean region this is then the first launch of any national trade information network across the Cariforum region. When you look at trade portals across the world, the one deficit all of them have is information on the Caribbean. The one challenge you always have is understanding what companies exist where or what types of products and services they are providing and who is doing what." Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "Ideally it offer the kind of information on productivity, on availability of products, on policies, on value and volume of products that have move and available to be moved so that anybody making a decision on investment for instance let's say you want to invest in grain production and you need to understand what the current productivity of grain, what are the markets, what are the exports and it gives you a good idea whether the investment makes sense or not."

What’s In an Egg?
The second Friday in October is set aside for world egg day, and today, for the second year, the poultry association decided to organize a school feeding programme. They did it at Stella Maris where they used 400 eggs to cater 200 egg and bean burritos. We found out more:.. Orlando "Landy" Habet "This year we partner with BAHA and they came up with the bright idea to lets show people that eggs cannot only be consumed alone but egg is a product that is so versatile that it can be consumed with any other product, we are going to combine it with beans, tortilla, a banana each and also some milk." Jules Vasquez "is the consumption of eggs by the Belizean population still robust?" Orlando "Landy" Habet "Yes, as a matter of fact in 2003 -2004 the consumption was just a little bit over 110 eggs per person per year. In the last 6-7 years we have increased the consumption now to about 150-160 eggs per person per year."

Belize vs. Guat In Boxing
And eggs are a great source of protein for boxers - and the ones we met today at the Lion's Den boxing camp will need a lot of it. Tomorrow they are facing off against a roster of Guatemalan boxers. It's happening at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio and we went into the Lion's Den to find out if they are hungry for a victory over Guatemala:.. Clinton Tucker - Trainer, Lion's Den "It's about national pride, the pride of the gym, the pride of the boxers - it's all about pride on a whole." Alex Neal "The truth is that you feel a little nervous - I feel a little nervous but after I get into the ring and feel some punches and stuff, the lion in me just starts to get aggressive, hungry because I am always hungry to fight." Warren Davis "A little bit nervous, but still strong, ready to go, ready to take on this boxer. Whosoever come in front of me just have to man up and bring their best because I will bring my best also. I've been working out for a long while." Jules Vasquez "Can you prepare for an opponent that you don't know?"

A New Basketball Elite League
This weekend the Belize Basketball Federation is set to host a two-day basketball tournament in Orange Walk. 8 teams, including 1 from each district, will compete against each other to find out who is the best of the best among the elite ballers of the country. Today, President of the BBF stopped by 7News to tell us why you should view it as previews of coming attractions: Paul Thompson "The Belize Basketball Federation will be hosting a basketball tournament in Orange Walk Town this Saturday and Sunday. This tournament is for elite players and 8 teams will be participating. Teams from each district as well as San Pedro and Belmopan." "This tournament is being sponsored by the Area Representative for Orange Walk North and by BTL. This tournament is a preview to the elite league that the Belize Basketball Federation is planning for next year. The best players from each district will be in Orange Walk this weekend vying for champion of this tournament."

Channel 5

ComPol says Penner not under investigation
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner is not the subject of any investigation, administrative or criminal. That was confirmed today by Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. It’s a stunning revelation. [...]

Minister of Immigration admits to corruption in department
The Police are not looking at Penner. What then will they investigate? Perhaps, they will investigate the persistent reports that there is a parallel passport scheme which bypasses the protocol [...]

Visas hustle…Godwin Hulse says it’s happening
And then there is the damning revelation of a quota system being operated by U.D.P. ministers. The Prime Minister admits to getting reports of that large scale nationality hustle, and [...]

New measures to clamp down on hanky-panky at Immigration Department
On Thursday’s newscast, we showed you the highlights from a press conference which lasted nearly two and a half hours. The head-table was intent on looking to the future, while [...]

News Five goes tracking Wonhong Kim at his Piscine Area address
The nationality certificate obtained by Wonhong Kim, the South Korean fugitive who got Belizean nationality and passport states that Kim resides in Belmopan. There is no house number provided, but [...]

Landy Espat says there is need for a re-registration exercise
The involvement of Elvin Penner in the issuance of nationality certificates and passports has far reaching implications. Earlier today, Landy Espat, a member of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, wrote [...]

Will there be a recall? U.D.P. and P.U.P. operatives on the campaign
At the break of the scandal, the Opposition asked Penner to resign or be recalled. Last weekend, the P.U.P. went into full gear and started the collection of signatures required [...]

Julius Espat says press conference filled with hypocrisy
The two hour and a half press conference offered on Thursday by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration was informative; it brought out information long in circulation that [...]

Opposition says there has been no meeting with Elvin Penner
Since the last email Penner sent to the media in late September, he has remained mum and away from the watchful eyes of the public. The opposition has called for [...]

Elderly P.G. man accused of murdering his wife, out on bail
In other news….the oldest inmate to be on jail on remand is an eighty-three year old P.G. man charged for killing his wife back in May 2012. But tonight, Manuel [...]

Mechanic found guilty of obtaining property by deception
A Belize City mechanic who reportedly swindled money from two customers, who were also his friends, was before the court today to answer to two counts of obtaining property by [...]

Belize City man critical after Thursday night shooting
Twenty-eight year old Shane Vernon remains in critical condition tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot in the City on Thursday night. According to police, Vernon, who [...]

VIP joins in the recall of Elvin Penner
The Vision Inspired by the People political party says that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse is a disappointment to them. Today that party came out swinging in the wake of [...]

Social Partners will not give any legitimacy to the PAC
The P.U.P. Deputy Leader, Julius Espat is also the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. The opposition has walked away from the scheduled hearings because a proposal to change its [...]

A basketball tournament in Orange Walk this weekend
The Belize Basketball Federation has been engaged in promoting young athletes to eventually make to the big leagues. So this weekend, the B.B.F. is hosting a major event in Orange [...]

Please assist 9 year old Jevaun Freeman
Nine year old Jevaun Freeman from Belize City is afflicted with a rare disease which can’t be treated locally. He was first diagnosed with the condition on September twenty-third and [...]


Students of Stella Maris Dined For World Egg Day
Yesterday we told you about World Mental Health Day and today we’ll tell you about World Egg Day. It is celebrated on the second Friday in the Month of October and Belize has been recognizing the day for the past seven years. As part of the activities the Belize Poultry Association hosted breakfast for the students of the Stella Maris School in Belize City. Orlando Habet is the Manager of the Belize Poultry Association. ORLANDO HABET “It is important because we want to create awareness for the conception of eggs. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO has been promoting for several years now the use of eggs also as an ingredient, as a nutrient to combat not only malnutrition but also poverty and determine it a nutritional property. We have been doing our share and because we have partnership with the Federation of Poultry Producers of Central America and with the Poultry Federation of Latin America, they also celebrate World Egg Day and everybody celebrates it on the same day. One of the things we want to do also is that apart from the awareness of egg conception, we want people to understand that the nutritional value of eggs is so superior to many other products that one egg a day does not hurt you in anyway.

Compol Says Penner Is Not Being Investigated by Police
Love news spoke with Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie who confirmed that indeed a criminal investigation is underway however former Minister of State Elvin Penner is not a part of that investigation. ALLEN WHYLIE “Police have launched an investigation in respect to the issue of the nationality section pertaining to the certificates that where seen on the TV.” AVA DIAZ SOSA “So would that then indicate that you’re looking at Mr. Saldivar? Are you looking at Mr. Penner? What exactly is the investigation looking at, at this point in time?” ALLEN WHYLIE “As I said it’s looking at the Nationality section so it would have to be the missing files.” AVA DIAZ SOSA “As well when he spoke to the media a couple days ago, Mr. Author Saldivar suggested or indicated that there was the search warrant issued and in fact he was being sought. Is that so?”

Prime Minister Wouldn’t Want Recall Mechanism to Succeed in Cayo Northeast
Thursday’s press conference with Prime Minister, Dean Barrow and Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse revealed much more than time permitted us to share. While it was the UDP Government that enacted the Recall Mechanism, Prime Minister Barrow said that he would not like to see the process take effect in this instance, but added that Penner can never again be a member of the UDP Cabinet. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “We have now been able to unlock this Petro Caribe largesse, if you will, which will allow us to drive the infrastructure job creating development agenda in a way that as I said will usher in hitherto unseen, golden age of growth in this country. We believe in the context of that larger picture, we are entitled to go to ask the people of Cayo Northeast to help us preserve our government even if it means thereby they are preserving Penner’s seat.

Fundraiser Scheduled To Help Terminally Ill Patients
The Belize Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation dedicates it’s time to help terminally ill patients who cannot afford medical expenses. The patients are either affected by cancer, diabetes, mental or other life limiting illnesses. On Saturday the Foundation will host its annual awareness concert at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The event will begin at four in the afternoon and will feature a number of local bands. The Foundation will have food and drinks on sale in an effort to raise funds to keep their work going. According to organizers it is a family affair and everyone is invited to come out and learn more about the important work of the Belize Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation.

Accused Murderer Granted Bail
An elderly man who is charged with the murder of his wife is out on bail. 83-year-old Manuel Cucul of San Marcus Village in the Toledo District is accused of killing his wife in May 2012. Cucul’s attorney Kevin Arthurs successfully argued for bail in front of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Justice Gonzalez granted Cucul bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars or two sureties of five thousand dollars each. Arthurs submitted that his client was diagnosed with dementia and amnesia on June 1, 2012 by a psychiatric nurse. The nurse who assessed him said Cucul is disoriented, repetitious and deluded and that he had impaired mental and physical ability. Arthurs also submitted that his clients physical and mental condition were also deteriorating and questions have arisen as to how long he would be able to survive in the harsh conditions of the prison population.

Father Gets Shot While Visiting His Son
A man was shot five times on Thursday night but is alive after having undergone corrective surgery. 28 year-old Shane Vernon, a messenger at RSV Media Centre had just gone to visit with his son on Iguana Street Extension and was standing in front of the gate when at around six- 45 pm, a gunman who was stalking another man, approached from behind and opened fire. The intended target fled, leaving Vernon right in the path of the bullets. Four of the shots ripped through his upper body and the fifth struck him in the back of the neck. Vernon’s brother told us on the basis of anonymity how it unfolded and what the doctor’s prognosis is. Brother of shooting victim “It was a mistake because he doesn’t mess with anybody; he’s one of the coolest persons and he didn’t’ have any problem with anyone but you know what’s happening in the streets right now; people just firing bullets like their lost.”

Memorandum of Understanding Coming On Stream Soon for Stake Bank Project
Last month it was reported that the Feinstein Group’s development plan for North Drowned Caye and Stake Bank received approval by National Environment Appraisal Committee. Well according to Michael Singh of the Cabinet’s Sub-Committee on Investment, a memorandum of understanding will soon be signed in regards to the Stake Bank Project. MICHAEL SINGH “We’ve been looking very closely at the project; there have been some requests to Mr. Feinstein to make some adjustments. I will tell you the particular adjustments have to do with his request to develop Drowned Caye as a commercial island, whereby you will have a tax free zone. There is of course a lot of concern, by the domestic economy of Belize City, that that would take away a lot of the business. So we’ve requested some adjustments that I believe he has agreed to. I haven’t gotten a report out of the latest cabinet briefing on it so I don’t know exactly where they went to but I do know that he has removed some of the concerning issues and I believe that we should be moving forward to a MOU stage hopefully in the next week or two.”

Mayor Says Chang Needs To Return to Belize ASAP
Belize City Deputy Mayor Eric Chang remains away from his desk. Mayor Darrell Bradley had publicly said he had given his deputy a deadline of today to report back to the job, but that did not happen. Mayor Bradley told Love news as far as he is aware Chang remains in Taiwan. He said Chang had requested an extension for his absence. Bradley said that request was denied and Chang needs to return and face the music. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY “What we have done as a council is that we have taken a decision that I was to write him which I have done and I had required that he comes back into the jurisdiction today. He’s not coming to the jurisdiction today. He got the email, he phoned me and we had a very lengthy discussion as it relates to when he is coming back into the country. We are treating this from 2 stand points: (1) there is a very serious issue as it relates to his name being called in the immigration scandal.

Opposition Party Works to Meet Target for Recall Mechanism
This weekend, PUP’s Standard Bearer for Cayo North-East Orlando Habet will deploy his full team to once again continue the collection of signatures to trigger the recall mechanism. Habet’s aim is to successfully recall Former Minister of State and current Area Representative for that constituency, Elvin Penner. Habet told Love News today that so far about one thousand three hundred signatures have been collected out of the one thousand eight hundred that is needed. ORLANDO HABET “What people are concerned about is that if the Government of Mr. Barrow formulated and passed this legislation to give the citizens of this country an opportunity to have a recall of an elected representative, why is it now that when the citizens are taking advantage or utilizing that advantage that has been given to them through this legislation. why is it that the government now comes and enforce, comes out to do an anti-campaign against the very legislation that they passed? So, we are still out there; the government is doing their own job of going against the petition. We still are collecting signatures maybe slower than we did on Saturday because maybe we should have anticipated that they would be out there but I am still confident that we will be able to collect those signatures and then that will test the mechanisms firstly to trigger the recall and then go into the referendum but yes I am confident that if we get to an election I will win my election and they do not have a candidate that will be prepared at this moment but because they can see that comparably my leadership is far beyond and above what Mr. Penner has had. “

Governor General Travels to Grenada
Governor General Sir Colville Young left Belize today for Grenada. The Governor General will be the guest of honour at the October graduation ceremony of the University of the West Indies school of continuing studies. In the absence of the Governor General, Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo will be acting Governor General.


Immigration Ministry outlines new protocol for immigration documents
On Thursday the Minister of Immigration and Nationality Senator Godwin Hulse stepped forward with measures to stop the rot at a Ministry that has been the subject of numerous scandals, none more damaging than the recent furor over Citizen Kim Won-Hong originally of South Korea. Noting that Belize has...

Immigration Investigation is concluding
The trio of Immigration officers accused of aiding former Minister of State Elvin Penner in his misadventures find themselves subject to inquiry by the Public Service. On Thursday CEO in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, indicated that the investigation is closing down and the Public Service...

Arthur Saldivar will disclose Immigration documents at Press Conference
Though official authorities have denied it, attorney and political aspirant Arthur Saldivar has become the key target of the embattled Department of Immigration and Nationality, who are looking for his files of 150 documents which he charges outlined a grave operation to sell not only passports, but visas to...

The Human Rights Commission of Belize publicly condemn the misconduct of Elvin Penner
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB), one of the oldest NGOs in the country, issued a press release in which they publicly condemned the reproachable misconduct which the former Minister of State Elvin Penner has been associated with. According to the press release, HRCB has joined others in...

Audit continues at Southern Regional Hospital
Following concerns of irregularities reported at Dangriga’s Southern Regional Hospital, the usual internal audit conducted by the Ministry of Health was expanded to invite in the Auditor General’s office. CEO Dr. Peter Allen today said the matter was under investigation as of Monday but the Ministry had acted immediately...

Ministry of Health reviews accounts and strategic plan
The Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) staged a “Health in Development” Forum at the Radisson Hotel on Thursday, during which it presented its national health strategic plan and the national health accounts. Opening the event, Ministry CEO Dr. Peter Allen outlined the...

Belize still on cholera alert
The deadly and contagious disease cholera is on the rampage in Mexico and its health authorities met with their Belizean counterparts in the Free Zone a few days ago. Ministry of Health CEO Dr. Peter Allen gives details of Belize’s preparations to stave off the disease. Dr. Peter Allen...

Crime rate down for first 9 months
According to Police Statistics, the crime rate is down for the first 9 months, when it is compared to the same period of the year 2012. The difference, as it pertains to crimes in relation to murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft and carnal knowledge, is a mere 6 figure...

World Mental Health Day celebrated
Thursday was World Mental Health Day and the focus of activities is on older adults. The Ministry of Health coordinated activities along with the Mental Health Association in Belize City and today at the Mental Health Resource Center the official ceremony was observed. We asked Secretary of the Mental...

CAPS plans Youth Center for Belize City
The Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) program spearheaded by the chief social sector Ministries of Government – Education and Human Development – will move into high gear over the next year with an infrastructure splurge costing over $3 million. Contracts were signed with contractors BAE and Usher Construction...

Public hearing planned to discuss the Criminal Code Amendment Bill 2
The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee has secured a venue for a public hearing to further discuss the Criminal Code Amendment Bill 2. That forum is scheduled for next week Tuesday, 13 October at the Jaguar Auditorium at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus. Persons or interested bodies wishing...


In the press conference about the “Penner Passport Scandal,” PM Barrow admitted that he had heard reports that some of his Ministers were involved in a visa scam – but had no proof! Barrow said what Penner did was “damned wrong”; he is “absolutely ashamed” of him; “he can never return to the UDP Cabinet”… but the PM has “an interest in preserving the government of the UDP.” Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed in a very ‘informative’ press conference held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel this afternoon, which included Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse; the Director of Immigration, Mrs. Maria Marin; and the CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, that he too has heard reports that a number of Cabinet Ministers are involved in corruption, to wit, the selling of visas to foreign nationals, mainly from Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

No more defending Hon. Penner over passport scandal. It is typically a bad sign for the government of the day when the unions begin to mobilize in opposition to their actions. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), which represents seven unions, including the Public Service Union, came out today with a stern censure of the government and those responsible for the raging passport scandal coming out of the Immigration Department. NTUCB, in its late release to the media today, had some choice words not only for the Prime Minister, but also for the law enforcement authorities and the people of Belize in general. First, to the Prime Minister, who has insisted that there is no need for a criminal investigation into the matter, the NTUCB stated: “As evidence continues to come to light daily, even the blind can see that laws have been broken here! Vital processes have been circumvented and the integrity of our sovereign nation has been shattered.”

Shane Vernon, 28, of Iguana Street, Belize City, is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot four times in the back at about 8:30 tonight on Iguana Street in front of the gate of his home. Vernon was standing in front of the gate, holding his baby, when a gunman approached from the direction of Seagull Street and shot him multiple times in his back. Vernon collapsed, and the shooter, according to witnesses, ran back up into Seagull Street and then got into a car that sped away. Police officers who were in the area responded quickly and took Vernon to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The latest reports reaching Amandala tonight are that Vernon was taken into the operating theater to undergo surgery.

The passport only costs $9,900. Amandala has learned that an entity which identifies itself as IPCBelize is claiming to be offering fast-tracked Belize passports and other residency services to persons who want to relocate to The Jewel—an offering which Belizean authorities say is not legitimate. Although there is a residency requirement of 5 years for persons wishing to apply for a Belizean passport, the entity’s website claims that persons who pay a specified fee can get a Belize/CARICOM passport in as little as 6 months. More specifically, the homepage says, “Second Passport, Citizenship & Residency in Belize! You can have a Belize passport in as little as 6 months [for] $9,900.00.” “A $3,900 advance is required with the remaining $6,000 balance due upon order completion (30 days),” said a post on, citing a correspondence issued in response to a query for a Belize passport. The name of the responder is listed as Richard Hoffmann with a Belize City P.O. Box number – 2481.

Crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department today continue to demonstrate an increase in the number of carnal knowledge cases reported to police – along with a concomitant increase in the number of arrests for such cases. For the first three quarters of 2013, there have been 57 cases reported—a sharp 58% rise over the total for January to September 2012. Meanwhile, related arrests have also increased by 58%, according to the police data. Overall, major crimes are down by roughly 11%, with murder, rape, robbery and theft down by double-digit figures. More specifically, murders are down by 24% over the same period last year, with 25 fewer murders recorded between January to September 2013, versus the same period in 2012. Up to the end of September, police recorded 81 murders, contrasting with 106 up to last September. Over 40% of those murders were recorded in Belize City.

The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children held a press conference, in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City Wednesday morning, at which they presented Government’s defense for controversial changes to Belize sexual offense laws—changes which some concerned citizens have criticized as oddly introducing gender neutral clauses which, they contend, favor the legitimization and mainstreaming of homosexuality and other acts banned under Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code as “unnatural crimes.” The press conference was held in the context of a breakfast meeting with the press. When we showed up, in an effort to catch the main part of the press briefing, Judith Alpuche, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, was countering allegations that the legislative proposals are being implemented by the Government of Belize to accommodate UNIBAM – United Belize Advocacy Movement, an NGO which is challenging the constitutionality of Belize’s anti-sodomy law in the court.

With 7 teams participating in this 2013-2014 PLB Opening Season, each team will play 6 games in each of two round–robins, making it a total of 12 regular season games per team, 6 at home and 6 on the road. (With an uneven number of teams in the tournament, each week there is one team “resting.” Last weekend, it was Police’s turn to sit and watch.) On Krem Television’s Sunday night football report, following the Saturday night game between BDF and Verdes at the Carl Ramos Stadium, Krem’s Mose Hyde asked Tilliman if there was any truth to the rumor that this might be his last season. Tilliman, who played last season with FC Belize but is now with Verdes FC, confirmed; this would be his last semipro football season.

Tonight was tip-off time for the semifinals of the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms Tournament 2013, and word just reached our sports desk that Port of Belize and Customs were both victorious in the first game of their best-of-three games semifinal series. In the opener tonight, Port of Belize trailed for three quarters before pulling out a 1 point, 57-56, win over a game Belize City Council. Port was led by Vince “Post” Estrada 15 pts, Earl Johnson 14 pts 8 rebs, and Ian “AC” Augustine 9 pts 7 rebs; while City Council had Ian Ferrera 16 pts 4 rebs, Densford Bevans 15 pts, and Kenroy Usher 10 pts.

The 2nd Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament got under way with Week 1 games on Saturday, October 5, at the MCC Grounds, after special guest,national team star Ian Gaynair kicked off the first ball to open the tournament. Like last year, 10 teams are participating in the tournament, with all uniforms provided by SMART. All teams will play each Saturday, so the regular season will run for 9 weeks, followed by two more weeks for the semifinals and finals. In game 1 on Saturday, Brown Bombers dropped defending champions Hattieville United, 3-0, with goals from Naheem Gentle, Sherwin Requena and Tyreek Mushamp. Game 2 saw Collet Strikers with the 1-nil win over Survivors, courtesy of a goal by Tyrel Estrada. Game 3 was another 1-nil score, as Justin Menzies scored to give Third World the victory over Young Stars. It was 1-nil again in game 4, as Nelson Tablada’s goal gave City Boys Junior the win over Belize Elementary. And in game 5, Ladyville Jaguars played to a 0-0 draw with Rising Stars, which is also out of Ladyville.

The World Bank recently released numbers indicating that about $400 billion has been pilfered from Nigeria’s treasury since independence. One needs to stop for a moment to wrap one’s mind around that incredible figure. This amount – $400 billion – is approximately the gross domestic products of Norway and of Sweden. In other words, Nigeria’s corrupt ruling class stole the equivalent of the entire economy of a European country in four decades! This theft of national funds is one of the factors essentially making it impossible for Nigeria to succeed. Nigerians alone are not responsible. We all know that this corrupt cabal of Nigerians in power has friends abroad who not only help it move the billions abroad and help them hide the money, but also shield the perpetrators from prosecution. - pgs. 249, 250, THERE WAS A COUNTRY, Chinua Achebe, Penguin Press, New York, 2012 Belize is a small country where it sometimes seems that the majority of the citizens must be either hungry or greedy. That combination of hunger and greed has contributed to a culture of corruption which has well nigh overwhelmed us since we achieved political independence 32 years ago.

In their newspaper attack on Mose Hyde and KREM TV last week, the ruling UDP inadvertently blew up the propaganda line the ruling faction of the Opposition PUP have been pursuing since 2009. The PUP faction which re-acquired control of the PUP in late 2011 began that propaganda line in 2009 with their expensive and ill-fated National Perspective newspaper. Their propaganda line claimed that we at Kremandala were bought and paid for by UDP Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The PUP ruling faction deliberately ignored all evidence to the contrary of their propaganda line, because they have sought to establish and preserve a neoliberal dogma purity in the party. It was important for them to discredit any criticism coming out of Partridge by convincing the PUP faithful that, contrary to its entire 44 years history, Kremandala had become a little Tommy Tucker.

“We cannot, and will not, in any way shape or form, legitimize ‘the government investigating itself!’” In a joint statement issued today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), and the church community – the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches along with the Belize Council of Churches — issued a statement calling the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meetings being led by the ruling United Democratic Party a “charade.” “This joint body opines that without an objective oversight element (as is indicative in the NTUCB’s Senate representation proposal) in effect for these hearings, the process is significantly flawed and has no credibility as an investigative process. We emphatically declare that we refuse to lend credibility to such a charade,” their joint statement said.

— by Elma Whittaker-Augustine Clinical Psychologist Belize has been faced with increased crime and violence for a couple decades. In 2012, Belize was rated as the 6th most violent country in the world with a murder rate of 41 per 100,000 residents with the majority of murder, burglary and theft occurring in Belize City. The murder rate for 2012 was also reported to be 15% higher than 2011. In January 2013, the highlight was four brutal murders in the George Street Area, Belize City, and adding to the ongoing statistics is the recent murder in September of the National Karaoke Latino Champion. Crime in Belize has become an overwhelming societal problem that affects us psychologically/personally. What factors are contributing to high crime and violence in Belize? Why has Belize become so violent? Others have weighed in on this issue, which is not the scope of this article. However, some contributing factors are the following: increase in the business of drug trafficking, which involves the availability of guns used to protect territory and profits and to deal with rivals; increase in drug use and abuse; gang affiliation and culture which promote a favorable attitude towards a gangster lifestyle, including violence and drug use; high unemployment rate; the lack of opportunities and positive social outlets for our youths; the breakdown of many family values that impact respect for self and others; the increasing divide between the “haves and have nots”; the adaptation of negative foreign culture, etc.

— by Jerry A. Enriquez In various general and local elections since Belize’s independence, Belizeans like myself who are not aligned to any political party have voted interchangeably for UDP, PUP, VIP and no “P” depending on their assessment of the party’s performance in government and the quality of leadership. This swing in voting pattern has usually been a reaction of the people against the abuse of power, scandals and corruption, cronyism, arrogance, lack of accountability and transparency, lack of genuine consultation and the lack of professionalism (or blatant disrespect for the public) that have surfaced in each government administration. From one election period through another, the Belizean people have been searching for a government administration that they can trust to rigorously promote their general welfare and protect their rights; to provide effective and efficient public services, social order and security; to ensure strong systems of justice; and, to provide economic opportunities that derive wide benefits to the society.

— by Beatrice Arnold-Geban The September celebrations are all over and the workload at school has intensified. Now, even with the challenges and opportunities school leaders and teachers experience each day, classroom management has been a topic of great discussion amongst colleagues, since children continue to demonstrate behaviours that are unacceptable. Reports of conflict between children in the classroom are escalating and to some extent teachers are “at their peak”, sad to say, with a few students. The causes of the conflicts include provocation, name calling, racial insults, wounding caused by scissors and pencils, rough playing on the playground, old beefs, wrestling techniques such as the sleeper, and the list goes on. As educators are caught in the midst of these situations, and having to investigate cases on a weekly basis with due process having been applied, the question that leaps to the surface is, why are our children so angry and aggressive? Before addressing this question we will look at the concept of anger.

As Lent is once again observed, one cannot but notice the surfeit of churches that abound in this city of 70,000 people: the Catholic Church; the Anglican Church; the Methodist Church (American and English); the Episcopalian Church; the Adventist Church; the Mormon Church; the Salvation Army; the Mennonite (Zoe) Church; the Jehovah Church; the Buddhists (Saki Gaki); the Islamic Temple (Sunni or Shiite?); the Gospel Chapel; the Grace Chapel; The City Mission; the Bethel Assembly; the Turner Church; the Central Assembly of God; the Calvary Temple; the Hindu Temple; La Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía; Iglesias de Dios Pentecostes de Belice (Donde es la oficina central?); and their branches. All of the above, except three, are of the Christian tradition, and all except four preach the Canonised Bible, the history of the Jews, both the old of Moses and the new of Jesus the Christ.

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd As a former leader of a leading Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), I got to learn a lot about the relevant guidelines pertaining to these and the level of scrutiny and accountability they endured. Nothing done by NGO’s can be secret or left unaccounted for. They have to file annual reports, audited statements and any amendment/resolution bringing changes to their structure of mission. Their records are open books accessible to anyone who wants to do a check. Thus, I was flabbergasted when I heard the government mouthpiece make attacks without verifying their information – then I knew they had to be acting out of pure maliciousness. So, for the record, I want it to make it known, that unlike the perception government wants to give, that NGO’s need to be monitored more and made more accountable, that is sheer nonsense and their usual attack on any entity that challenges their modus operandi and status quo. Rather, the problem I had with the law as it stood, was that the Ministry responsible for NGO’s failed to do its part and monitor the NGO’s based on existing laws, and the company registry where they are first registered is also delinquent in their responsibility.

Today, rumor surfaced that the Belize Police Department, specifically, the Belmopan police, had obtained a warrant to search the home of attorney Arthur Saldivar, the PUP political aspirant for Belize Rural North, who has been releasing documents to the media which are purported to be evidence of widespread corruption at the Passport and Immigration Departments. It is believed that the search would have been an effort to get hold of the files, which Saldivar says he has in his possession. Since Monday of this week, Saldivar had embarked on a two-day series of “revelations” of suspect Immigration and Nationality files, some of which he said are from a total of about 150, which he and his so-called “associates” had allegedly come upon as they were about to be destroyed.

At a meeting held this Tuesday, the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, a standing committee of the House of Representatives headed by Education Minister Patrick Faber, decided—in light of major public concerns over legislative changes being made to sexual offenses outlined in Belize’s Criminal Code—to host a public consultation next week. A notice issued today by the National Assembly confirms that the public hearing on the Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill. No. 2 of 2013 will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. inside the Jaguar Auditorium at the University of Belize, Belmopan campus. “Any persons or interested bodies wishing to give their views and/or recommendation on the bill are invited to do so either in person at the meeting or, in writing to the Clerk to the National Assembly,” the notice said.

One man is dead and three others suffered severe injuries after the vehicle they were travelling in from Consejo Village to Corozal overturned on the Consejo Road at about 4:30 Friday evening. The four men were travelling in an extended cab pickup truck when between Miles 6 and 7 on the Consejo Road, the driver of the truck, George Johnson, 36, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to flip over. As a result, Martin Armstrong, 22, of 2nd Street, North Corozal, lost his life due to massive head and body injuries he sustained – injuries that included a puncture to the right side of the abdomen. George Johnson, the driver; Alfred Massam and Benigno Loria all suffered injuries. Johnson complained of pain in the head, chest and feet; Massam complained of pain in several parts of the body; and Loria complained of pain in the chest and right foot.

Belize law enforcement officials, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo, conducted a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from September 25 to the 28. The operation resulted in the task force destroying 22 marijuana fields across the country and about 37,970 mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million U.S dollars. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. The training involved the use of a caving ladder which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert the ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area.

A Corozal resident who was visiting Calderitas in neighboring Chetumal, Mexico, escaped with his life after a man shot him in the lower side of the face then, when he fell, attempted to shoot him again to end his life – an attempt which failed because the gun jammed. The gunman then escaped in a car that was waiting for him. The incident occurred at about 4:30 Monday evening, and the victim, identified as Javier Guerra Delmar Tun, 41, of San Joaquin Village, Corozal, was taken to the Chetumal General Hospital, where doctors operated on him. His condition has been declared as serious but stable. The taxi driver who took him to Calderitas was detained for questioning by Chetumal police.

— by John Oliver Dear Editor, Roundabout article – interesting; we have several, some useful sizes as at the Northern and Western Highways; others, no more than a pimple in the road that does more damage than good. Do we have any kind of traffic engineer on CITCO staff? The other thing, we need to learn how to navigate them. As far as I can see, there is no instruction in the booklet for the driving test, but who reads that anyway! Some [motorists] go all the way round the outside, some cut across all lanes, some wait at the edge, seemingly terrified to enter the fray!

The Tourist Police Unit headquarters, located in the House of Culture compound on Regent Street, was burglarized, and 4 Bersa pistols (serial numbers 35576, 35577, 35575 and 35581), and an undisclosed amount of bullets and shotgun cartridges were stolen. The burglary occurred between 4:30 Tuesday evening and 7:30 Wednesday morning, October 9. Police reported that a quantity of .9mm live rounds, 12-gauge cartridges, .9mm magazines and (1) black Dell brand laptop (S/N # 2647059625) were also stolen. The estimated cost of the stolen items is not yet known. Police said that they have detained a policeman and are seeking another policeman who they believe can greatly help their investigation.

This morning, Gilbert Goodger, 25, a resident of #5 Slaughter-house Road, was arraigned in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on charges of robbery and wounding. According to police, at 2:30 p.m. on September 29, Sheng-Jye Jou, 25, was walking unto 3rd Street from St. Thomas Street when he was approached by two men who told him to hand over his things. Before Jou could react or comply with the demand, he was punched on the mouth, causing a cut to his lip. Jou’s Hua-Wei brand cell phone valued at $400 was then stolen from him. He was able to report the matter to police, and after investigating the matter, police arrested Goodger for the crime.

Police have detained the father of a 13-year-old girl, a resident of a village in Corozal, and they plan to charge him with incest following reports by the girl’s mother, 31, that he gave their daughter alcohol at his home, and then had sex with her. The mother, along with her daughter, went to the Corozal police and reported that about 6:30 Monday evening she went to pick up her daughter from her husband’s house in Xaibe. She said that on her arrival at the house, she did not see her daughter, so she went into his bedroom, where she saw her daughter sprawled on the bed, naked from the waist down, and the girl was intoxicated. The father was in the room, undressed. The mother removed her daughter from the bed and took her to the police, who took her to the Corozal Hospital, where she was examined by a doctor. At the end of the examination, the doctor concluded that the child had been carnally known.

Aaron Bailey, 23, a carpenter of Neal Pen Road, was arraigned this afternoon for the shooting murder of Gary Pratt, 28, which occurred on Antelope Street Extension. According to police, on October 4, a little after 10:00 p.m., they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they saw the lifeless body of Pratt. Pratt, originally from Punta Gorda, was shot twice in the back and succumbed to his injuries, but police believe that the bullets that found their marks on Pratt were meant for someone else. Bailey was unrepresented when he appeared in court today, and since the charge is an indictable offense, no plea was taken from him and neither could he be offered bail.

Felix Mai, 62, a taxi driver of Corozal, is lucky to be alive after he was held up by two armed robbers, who attempted to rob and kill him at about 12:15 Saturday morning, October 5, at Baeza Layout area in Corozal. Mai managed to escape after he hit one of the robbers – the one who was choking him from behind, with his head, and struggled with the next robber, who took out a knife and was attempting to stab him in the stomach. As a result, Mai received scratches on the abdomen and on the jaw, but he succeeded in opening the car door and escaping from the vehicle. He then ran for help from some men who were in the area. Upon seeing this, the two bandits quickly jumped out of the car and ran into the bushes.

The Belize Times

Barrow’s Cesspool of Corruption
It is now very obvious why for two long weeks, when the evidence of wrongdoing at the Ministry of Immigration was mounting and staring the UDP Government in the face, the self-styled anti-corruption Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, refused to call for a criminal investigation into the scandal. In fact, not only did Barrow ignore the loud calls for an investigation into obvious criminality at Immigration, he changed into his lawyer’s robe to tongue lash the media if they suggested criminal wrongdoing and he proclaimed that as Prime Minister and lawyer he saw no evidence of anything criminal. By doing this, Barrow who pretends to be a Dictator of the Executive and Legislative branches of Government sent out a threatening notice to all arms of Government, whether independent or not, that launching any sort of investigation would be going against him and his word.

The Recall Is On! – PUP at 60% of threshold
In the next few days, the Opposition PUP will obtain the required 1,800 signatures needed to trigger the recall and just removal of disgraced Elvin Penner in Cayo North East. Up to today, Thursday October 10th the Recall Team has obtained 1,200 signatures of Cayo North East residents calling on Penner to face a recall. This represents 66% of the amount needed to trigger a referendum to recall. Leading the efforts are PUP Western Caucus leaders including Cayo North East’s Orlando Habet who informed the BELIZE TIMES that the efforts are moving full steam ahead.

NO INVESTIGATION AT IMMIGRATION On Tuesday evening, a few minutes before the immigration office closed several police officers arrived supposedly to start an investigation, call it a bogus investigation. Not a single member of staff was asked any question about Elvin Penner or what Elvin Penner may have done ...

Dead Man Walking
By G. Michael Reid There is a theory that people will only talk about anything, in particular a news story, for a maximum of nine days. It is known as the “nine day wonder. In Belize, we say that it will “blow over like a little breeze”. It is obvious that ...

Go by bus, go by dory, just go!
The UDP government is in full crisis mode. Their political panic is at fever pitch. Dean Barrow appears confused, frustrated and exposed. Godwin Hulse seems cornered, cagey and compromised. Penner is clearly caught red handed and is in self-preservation mode. His trump card is the bag of nasty dark secrets of ...

Mr. Belize prepares to defend title
On November 1st, the highly anticipated Belize Body Building & Fitness Competition will be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts for the epic clash of chiseled and well-toned bodybuilders who will be vying ...

St. Martin De Porres boys lead goal scoring
The St. Martin De Porres RC School boys are leading the Belize City primary school football male competition The St. Martin boys ran over the Salvation Army School boys: 6-0 last Wednesday. Michael Deshield Jr, Marquis “Weasel” ...

UB Jaguars win ATLIB softball championships
The University of Belize Jaguars male and female teams won the Association of Tertiary level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) national softball championship tournament at the Governor General’s field in Belmopan on Saturday, October 5. The UB Lady ...

Barrow vs. the People – PUP, BNTU, NTUCB, PSU, HRCB & Chamber demand Investigation at Immigration Department
He came into power proclaiming to be the people’s champion. His actions however, have proven quite the opposite. Following the latest passport scandal to rock his government to its core, Dean Barrow has taken off his Prime Minister’s cap and put on his UDP boxing ...

AMAZING GRACE – Free Passport
For the past couple of weeks the headline on the news was centering on the alleged passport scandal. It is not a new thing, where for personal gain, a person in power would get into the shady business of selling out our birthright (Nationality)! This means we now have to ...

The People Demand House Lots
For the last five years this UDP government has been a total failure in addressing the pressing need for house lots in the ...

Breaking the Silence of Teen Dating Violence
“We need to take a harder look at what’s really going on. Stop trying to treat the symptoms and treat the cause of the problem. Maybe we should try a little harder to help these kids before they feel so cornered that they turn into monsters.” - Aaron B. Powell For ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – “Watertight!” he says
By anthony sylvestre So I was watching the Wednesday night Channel 5 newscast and there was Godwin Hulse (I would have said Honourable but if he were, he would do the honourable thing and resign just about right now). So anyway, Godwin was trying to pick sense out of nonsense with ...

Proposed Legislations are “Over Reaching” – Senate Probes
The Senate met on Thursday October 3rd to consider 19 bills which were passed, some in a rush, by the House of ...

By Sufferah In the streets there is famous slang that people use when you are “dragging your feet.” They call it, “you di bav!” Out of everything going on in the country right now, and Barrow is not trying to do anything, I really think that “Barrow di bav!” Dean Barrow also ...

The Police – A Political Apparatus
The Belize Police Department has become a State apparatus. The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is even worse. It is more aggressive in that role. It operates independent of ...

When a person takes something and uses it without the owner’s permission, that person is a thief. When a person does not tell the truth and resorts to lies, that person is a liar. Under Barrow’s administration, we have seen the rise of many thieves ...

Crumbling City
It is clear that had the Mayor of Belize City not gotten his hands on the twenty million dollar loan/bond, he would have been dead in the waters with nothing to show for it. But while the business community felt sorry for him – we ...

Successful clean-up campaign in Yo Creek
The Yo Creek Village Council, with the assistance of the Hon. Jose Mai organized and carried out a successful cleanup campaign in the village of Yo Creek. Seven weed eaters, three tractors and bush hogs, the town ...

The Dawn of the New Revolution
The winds of change have begun to blow over the land. The trumpet has been sounded and the members of ...

UDP Bites Mose
Dear Editor, There is a part of me that wanted to say “da good fu Mose” after last week’s attack by UDP cronies on him. The reason why a part of me didn’t feel sorry for Mose is because Mose has been living a lie – talking the talk of false ...

Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development
Dear Editor, Some people might ask, what is “Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development”? Well, in my perspective, the majority of our young people in Belize are poor and thus, OVERLOOKED. The system TOLERATES this. We, at the Teens Belize Organization say that this must change. There is URGENT NEED ...

Wanted: Penner’s Head
Dear Editor, Dean Barrow is making a fool of himself as Prime Minister, trying to defend Penner, instead of doing the right thing which is to let the law take its course and have Penner be charged and arrested. Barrow has come up with all sorts of big words for excuses as ...


Where there’s smoke…
But apparently a lot less of it these days as the US Army Southcom teamed up with Belize law enforcement agencies to create cannabis raids that would bring tears to the usually cheerful rosy-hued eyes of Creech and Chong. The destruction of marijuana plantations and seizures of processed cannabis and seeds is reportedly up as high as 200%, thanks in no small part to support from the US Army Southcom which has provided helicopter assistance for Belizean law enforcement agencies to launch raids in remote areas. We hesitate to call them joint operations, but what can you do? Reports are that one operation was conducted early in the year, and it was repeated from September 25 to 28, 2013. A release form the US Embassy says that 38 Belizean personnel from the Belize Defence Force Special Assignment Group, the Belize Coast Guard SEALs, and the Belize National Police Anti-Drug Unit worked with the US Military Liaison Office and Joint Task Force – Bravo on this operation.

Amid the ongoing immigration and nationality scandal, the powers that be held a press conference on Thursday, 10th October 2013. In my humble opinion, it brought to the fore, a level of: arrogance, haughtiness, self-righteousness, indignation and outright support of malfeasance as per the standing powers that be. I make no bones about it, I am a supporter of neither of the major political parties in Belize and my view, in no way, seeks to endorse the current Opposition. Nonetheless, as they say, “heavy is the head that wears the crown”. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am certain the party hacks of the current administration certainly will not agree with mine. On the same token their opposite number(s) in the Opposition probably won’t fully embrace my viewpoint either. Yet to be honest, after seeing successive PUDP administrations come and go and, in particular, witnessing the utter display of pompous self-indignation demonstrated by the actors at yesterday’s press conference, I am suffice in saying that once neither the PUP nor the UDP like what you have to say, it is a clear indication that you are on the right side of history, in terms of calling a spade, a spade.

A Climb Back in Time: The Mayan Ruins of Caracol
Did you know Belize has the highest concentration of Mayan sites in the world? Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of jungle treks or just want to see beautiful architecture from this incredible culture, the Mayan sites of Belize have got you covered! One of our absolute favorite adventures is a visit to the infamous Mayan ruins known as Caracol. Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize, and one of the largest in the world. It covers 65 square miles (bigger than modern day Belize City!) and at the height of its political power boasted a population of over 120,000 people. The complex is surrounded by a thick, high-canopy jungle and includes five plazas, an astronomic observatory and over 35,000 buildings. The tallest and most spectacular is the massive pyramid known as Caana, or “Sky Palace”. It’s topped by three temples and rises 140 feet in the air, making it the tallest man-made structure in Belize. The highlight of the trip is climbing to the top to marvel at the 360° panoramic views of the jungle below.

International Sources

Chill Out On The Central American Coast | Casa Solana, Cayo Espanto, Belize
There is something about vacationing in Central America that is absolutely awesome. There are some prime spots to choose from and they all have a back door to nature’s beauty, be it a beach of the jungle. Casa Solana is a one bedroom, oceanfront bungalow that is the perfect window to its surroundings. The one bedroom bungalow is located on the western tip of the island. The guests can take full advantage of the beach and the warm glow of Cayo Espanto‘s infamous sunsets. The bungalow is decorated with very Caribbean architecture mixed with the chic style of modern times. This bungalow is a refreshing change from the bustle of big hotels and resorts. Aside from the beach location, there is a private infinity plunge pool, a broad verandah, and a separate dining area. There is a bathroom en-suite and a king size bed to die for. Check out the villa in the gallery below and visit the Cayo Espanto website for reservation details.

Friends of the Belize Zoo Plan Block Party Fundraiser on Oct. 19
The SUNY Cortland community has rallied in the past to support an adopted zoo in a different country. On Saturday, Oct. 19, they will continue their efforts, this time by hosting a block party to support renovations to make the Belize Zoo more accessible to the public. The block party, which is open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parking area beside the Marketplace Mall in downtown Cortland. The festivities will continue at 7:15 p.m. inside the Blue Frog Café, site of several prior zoo fundraisers. The block party will feature family-friendly carnival games and activities and possibly a few furry guests from the Cortland SPCA and other groups. That evening's festivities at the Blue Frog will include games of chance, music, magic and refreshments. The presence of Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, an environmental educator at the Belize Zoo, will highlight the day's party. Anrewin-Bohn, in his second visit to SUNY Cortland, will be on campus to promote the zoo from Oct. 14 to 23. Additionally, the 12 SUNY Cortland students who took part in an class work project have been invited to come talk about their experience in helping the zoo.

Training for regional banking regulators to be held in Cayman
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is joining with the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA) and the Caribbean Group of Bank Supervisors (CGBS) to host a five-day Banking Analysis and Examination School for banking supervisors in the Caribbean. The training course will take place at the Grand Cayman Marriott Hotel, Monday through Friday, 14-18 October, with exams being held on the final day. The course will be led by facilitators from the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Regional participants are expected from the central banks of Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Suriname, Turks & Caicos, Venezuela and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), with local participation from CIMA’s Banking and Policy divisions.

October 11, 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

New Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to La Isla Bonita
This week we introduce Diana Sanchez. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Diana will be serving Ambergris Caye for 27 months, focusing on areas south of the airstrip area. Diana has been in service with the Peace Corps for three months now and participated in a two month training in Valley of Peace located in the Cayo District. Diana will be working alongside the Ministry of Health and The Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB) to promote health education as it relates to maternal and child health. Diana also wants to work along with the community to reduce the risk of non-communicable (chronic) diseases. She aims to promote healthy living to tackle the four main types of non-communicable diseases, which are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

Southern Zone Wins Police Minister’s Awards for September 2013
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar today presented his Monthly Awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during the month of September, 2013. The Southern Zone, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region. Senior Superintendent Mariano this afternoon received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.

San Pedro Darts Team receives donation from SPTC
The San Pedro Town Council on Thursday October 10th handed over a donation to the San Pedro Darts Team. The assistance given to the local darts team is to help them meet expenses as they make final preparations to host the annual National Darts Tournament organized by the Belize Darts Federation. The tournament, which is hosted at different venues annually, will be held on the weekend of October 11th to the 13th in San Pedro Town at the Lions Den. The San Pedro Darts Team will be hosting four other teams from Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio Cayo over the three days of the tournament. The event will start at 6PM at the San Pedro Lions Den. It has been over eight years since the local team has hosted the Annual National Darts Tournament.

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye (#1)
Snorkel Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley. Officially established in 1897, and by far the most popular site in the area, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is located off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, just a short 15-20 minute boat ride from San Pedro Town. Hol Chan means “little channel” in Mayan, and it is the dramatic coral walls that border this narrow, 30 foot-deepchannel,as well as the coral and sea grass perimeter that offers spectacular snorkeling and diving. Imagine marvelous creature encounters with turtles, eels, eagle and southern rays, trunk fish, trumpet fish, butterfly fish, squirrel fish, tangs, barracudas, crabs, parrot fish, wrasses, star fish, squid, damsels, groupers large and small, grunts, jacks, conch and perhaps a nurse shark or two!

Ambergris Today

Belize’s Deon McCaulay Tops Strike List in World Cup Qualification Games
Belize’s Deon McCaulay sits on the top position of most goal strikes at the final chunk of World Cup qualification games, proving to be one of the best along the ranks of world-renown Lionel Messi. In fact, at the moment McCaulay bests Messi (Argentina) and other great players like Peter Byers of Antigua & Barbuda, Blas Perez from Panama and Luis Suarez from Uruguay. McCaulay is #1 at the moment after racking up 11 goals in eight games. The 26-year-old forward struck four times in the first-round play-off, but his most impressive feat was scoring seven goals in six second-round round games - despite his team being knocked out by Guatemala. So even though Belize has long since been eliminated, forward Deon McCaulay shows that he has ‘got game’ and proven to be a great player, knocking elbows with the best in the sport.

100th Anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize Celebrated with New Stamps Issue
The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps was officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913.

Misc Belizean Sources

Stolen Boat: San Pedro
REWARD WILL BE GIVEN. 2013 28’ Wahoo Center Console Fishing Boat Name – Lil Charli 2 – 2013 115HP Yamaha Four Stroke outboards – White color Hull Color – Dark Blue White gunnels and interior T-Top Blue Rod Holder on T-Top Simrad Radar mounted on T-Top Simrad GPS Forward stora ge compartment with Smoked Plexiglass Door Smoked Plexiglass door on side of console

Mayor Daniel Guerrero attends the 102nd National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) [also called the Double Tenth] held in Belize City on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Also present at the event was Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and other honorable guests.

SPTC donates to the San Pedro Darts Team
Councilor Gaby Nuñez, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council, handed over a cheque of $1,000 to the San Pedro Darts Team who will be hosting Darts Nationals at the Lion's Den on Friday - October 11 at 6:00 p.m., All Day Saturday - October 12 and All Day Sunday - October 13. There will be lots to eat and drink while you watch the tournament. The money will go towards the purchasing of trophies, dart boards, prizes and the setup of the tournament. We encourage everyone to come out and support the San Pedro Darts Team and make it a successful event!

The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites project made a great donation to the Institute of Archaeology. One of the objectives of the MTBCAAS is the enhancement of the tourism experience by improving the local infrastructure and services. They donated some much needed tools and equiptment which will be used at many sites, including 4 in Cayo: ATM, Xunantunich, Cave’s Branch Cave and Barton Creek Cave. "The Belize Rural Development Programme Phase II (BRDPII) 'Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites' is a 24 month action promoting broad-based rural economic growth and reduction of the incidence of poverty in the rural communities of Belize."

The Cayo Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds for October 8th
The Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds are online again, and they've released this week's issue. Always a lot of great Cayo information in it, from restaurants to nightlife to stores.

Yoga at Soul Project
Kate Devine from En Lighten Up Yoga is offering yoga classes at the Soul Project 3 days a week. Tuesdays and Fridays, it's at 9:00am, and on Sundays, it's at 5:00pm. Get flexible and a great workout at the same time. In related news, Discover Yoga Belize is offering yoga packages for Belize, and they are doing one at Ak'bol in San Pedro, the You Betta Belize It Yoga Fest 2013, starting on December 8th.

The State of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Belize
When picturing Belize, many people imagine beaches, snorkeling, and Mayan ruins. The Caribbean country is about the same size as the state of Massachusetts, and has a population of just over 324,000. The people who live in Belize are as diverse as its environmental attractions. Because of its natural beauty, Belize has become a popular tourist destination. Despite its riches of natural and cultural diversity, Belize is not a paradise for all. Women face many unique challenges. According to the World Economic Forum’s measure of gender equality—which is based on women’s economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment—Belize was ranked 102nd out of the 135 countries in 2012. It falls second to last among the Latin American and Caribbean countries. The National Gender Policy in Belize states that women are recruited for jobs and promoted at lower rates than men, and they receive lower salaries and fewer employee benefits then men who hold the same positions. The lack of opportunities for women means they often find themselves financially dependent on their male partners.

Channel 7

The Big Reveal: Citizen Kim Scandal Sparks New Immigration Regulations
This afternoon at 2:30 at the Biltmore, the Ministry of Immigration and the Prime Minister held a marathon press conference dealing with all the immigration issues that have cropped up in the last three weeks since the Citizen Kim scandal has emerged. As you might guess, that's a lot of issues - and in fact, the press conference ran for two hours and twenty three minutes, which is the longest in memory. It finished an hours and a half ago, and we've put together the most important bits. We start with the opening remarks from Minister Godwin Hulse where he outlined the dramatic new penalties that are proposed for those who violate immigration laws in the future:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "There are those who believe that the Belizean nationality and passport is a commodity to be traded on the open market to any bidder. To those we say this game has ended. We will start with a vigorous re-organizing and re-structuring of the department for better efficiency with the assistance and the expertise at the Minister of the Public Service." "Two; we will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dear say that time has not permitted for us to consult with all the actors in the public sector but be assured that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will ensure that you participate. If you have not heard it before - we apologize to you. But this is the action we intend to take."

Tourism Police Guns And Ammo Stolen
And while the Immigration Department grapples with stolen nationality documents, police have to worry about stolen guns, four of them, along with 557 rounds of ammunition, and then some. Between 4:30 Tuesday evening, and 7:30 Wednesday Morning, someone broke into the tourism police unit booth at the House of Culture and stole four 9mm pistols, the 557 - 9mm rounds we told you about, 32 - 9mm magazines, 150 - 12-gauge cartridges and a Dell laptop. 7News understands that investigators are looking closely at 2 officers to see how if they are connected to these stolen guns and bullets. The weapons were formerly kept at the police armory, but were recently relocated to the TPU Headquarters where we understand they were kept basically in a drawer.

MIT Gets Ammo Stash
And while the Tourism Police Unit is doing an inventory of their guns, the new Mobile Interdiction Team picked up an illegal ammunitions cache in the Cayo District. This morning, officers from the unit searched an abandoned lot in Roaring Creek village, and they found 100.6 - or 3.5 grams - of cannabis, and 30 twelve-gauge shot gun cartridges. No one was in the area, so the items were deposited as found property. Meanwhile, Caye Caulker police were on patrol yesterday evening, when stopped 22 year-old Charlenne Young on Front Street, who was acting suspicious. A female officer searched her and found 3 small plastic bags in her bra which contained cocaine. It was weighted to be 1.6 grams, and as a result she was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. She was arraigned today in San Pedro Magistrate's Court

Arthur Saldivar’s Files Still Relevant
As we showed you earlier, all eyes tonight are on Elvin Penner and what he plans, or does not plan to do next, some of the focus tonight must also remain on Arthur Saldivar. We've pretty much confirmed that there is no warrant for his arrest or to search his home - and more on that later - but the 150 files that he purports to have remained a subject of great interest to the media and grave concern to the department. Today the CEO in the Minister conceded that they don't have those files: Candelaria Saldivar, CEO - Ministry of Immigration "We are presently in the process of doing an inventory check of all our files which will indicate whether or not any of our files are missing." Samiyyah Andrewin, reporter "No I understand. Tthat occurred because Mr. Saldivar has indicated that he has some files. I am asking in your investigation so far prior to Mr. Saldivar coming up with these files that he said that he has - did you also look at other applications signed by Minister Penner to make sure that there were no irregularities there." Candelaria Saldivar, CEO - Ministry of Immigration "Minister Penner has been signing certificates since May. That would have to be a very extensive investigation which at this time we have not been able to take on."

Police Minister On Saldivar’s Files
And in a neat family feud, we today asked Candelaria Saldivar's brother, the Minister of Police John Saldivar whether a warrant had been issued for the arrest of their cousin, the attorney Arthur Saldivar. Here's what the police minister said:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "As far as I am aware there is no warrant issued for his arrest or for the search of his house. As far as I am aware the Immigration Department is concluding its investigation into the missing files and whenever they are able to determine the files that are missing they will pass that information to the Commissioner of Police who will then begin his search for those files and obviously by his own admission the best and first place to start would be with Arthur Saldivar." Jules Vasquez "So then it's not unforeseeable that if he does not wish to cooperate, a search warrant may be issued?"

Police Minister “Guided By” Immigration Minister
We also asked John Saldivar whether there is an ongoing police investigation at the immigration Department. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse yesterday said the Director Maria Marin had called in police, but today Saldivar seemed not to know about it:... Jules Vasquez "Did the Mose Hyde complaint initiate any chain of events which would lead to a police investigation of the Immigration Department?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "It hasn't because the complaint would have to come from the department and from the Director of Immigration and I believe that the Commissioner of Police is waiting to hear from the Immigration Department or the Minister responsible for Immigration if any investigation by the police is warranted." Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Police was invited in at 4:30 yesterday by the Director of Immigration and the CEO who are the competent officials and the right persons to invite them to look at all aspects of the situation including files that are missing and files held by Mr. Saldivar's report. There is no holds bar. Its comprehensive because of the fact that we are continuing the inventory and investigations into this matter, the Director feels it's appropriate and so does the CEO as is their right to invite the police to look at the whole comprehensive package of photocopying files that are going missing etc."

Hon. Saldivar Candid On Visa Issue
And sticking with Saldivar, earlier you heard the Prime Minister talk about the prospect of visa hustling in his government. Saldivar is a senior minister in that government and we asked him what he knew about it:.. Jules Vasquez "Someone or a representative may come and say 'Minister I need your help in getting a visa for my constituent who is from China and his uncle wants to come.' Is that something that was practice under the UDP and has it raised red flags in your knowledge as former Minister of Immigration and in the Cabinet itself?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "In terms of red flags, I am not aware of any of that. What I am aware of is the granting of visas - there is a process that it goes through and persons have to qualify, they have to meet certain requirements and the department goes through its process of vetting these applications and once they are approved is because they have pass the process that the Immigration Department has set."

Eric Chang Asks Mayor For An Extended, Extended Stay
And while Saldivar says he only checked on a couple visas, one name we've heard in that visa mix is Eric Chang. But we can't ask him about it because he's still out of the country. Ealrier this week you heard the mayor say that he has to be back by this Friday. Well, 7news has learned that Chang ahs contatced the mayor asking if he can postpone his return until October 25th because his grandfather in Taiwan is ailing. The mayor would not return our text message asking for a comment on this.

Hon. Saldivar’s Response To Social Partners On PAC
We also asked Saldivar about his posiion on the social partners criticizing his version of the public accounts committee. They called it a charade and here's what he said about that:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "First of all I'm a bit confused because they participated in the first two sessions and did so willingly. Now to have the turn back that they have done, I dint understand where it's coming from, but I am yet to understand what it is that they would like to see us put in its place if they are not satisfied with what is happening now." "I believe that the chairing of the committee by a government member in particular of me at this time is simply because the opposition chai does not want to attend the meeting and should we halt the proceedings simply because the opposition chair doesn't want to attend the meeting? I don't believe so." "I am yet to hear from them what it is exactly that aggrieves them and to see if we can fix it."

Hon. Saldivar Mobilized For Penner In Cayo Northeast
And finally for Minister Saldivar tonight, we asked him how he feels about throwing his support behind Elvin Penner in Cayo Northeast where Saldivar is part of the campaign to keep him in office as a representative: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I have been on the ground campaigning. I was in Cayo over the past weekend on Sunday basically supporting Hon. Penner. More importantly, ensuring that the People's United Party cannot use this episode to try to get one step closer into government." Jules Vasquez "Is it a dilema for you in any way support someone who according to the Prime Minister, has done a egregiously wrong and from all outward appearances has constructed an entirely false narrative about citizen Kim." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I didn't get that." Jules Vasquez "Does it put you in a difficult position that this person has manifestly done wrong by the Prime Minister, the press and by the public - has done an egregiously wrong but yet as a politician you have to fall in and jump behind Elvin Penner and start cheerleading for someone who is apparently morally bankrupt."

Bzn. Milton Palacio Coaching College B-Ball
Way back in the late 90's Milton Palacio assumed iconic status in Belize as one of the finest basketball players ever to touch a court wearing our flag. The Belizean American went unto a successful 14 year professional career, playing eight seasons in the NBA and six in Europe. Well, the news tonight is that Palacio has retired and is now a coach. KHQ 6 out of Idaho reports that he has joined the Idaho Univseristy men's basketball coaching staff as Director of Player Development. Palacio reunites with Idaho head coach Don Verlin, who was an assistant at Colorado State during part of Palacio's collegiate career at that college.The coach tells an Idaho TV station that he'll serve principally as a mentor for the young players, teaching them about taking care of academics, and the finer points of the game.

World Mental Health Day
Today is world mental health day and the theme this year is, "Mental Health and Older Adults". Indeed, amongst all the difficulties of aging, the fact that older persons may suffer from depression and anxiety is often overlooked. Experts say that many times persons 60 years and older have difficulty contending with the loss of ability to live independently because of limited physical mobility or mental health disorders. Today at the resource center on Vernon street, Kathy Esquivel of the mental health association discussed those issues and how you can help mitigate them for that older person in your life:.. Geovanni Brackett, reporter "What are the mental health challenges face by older adults?" Kathy Esquivel "Obviously there are all kinds of issues especially health issues and things like dementia, Alzheimer's but there is also a certain amount of depression if you are shut in or if you have health issues. There are physical and emotional issues for the older adults that we need to recognized."

PAHO’s Financial Report On MOH
Today, PAHO presented its Final Report of the Health Accounts of the Ministry of Health. Now if that sounds like something you might want to look into to find out about the minister's fuel allowance - really it's not all that sexy, it's a bureaucratic exercise to find out how much of the country's GDP is spent on health in Belize, and also how much is mis-spent. CEO In the Ministry Peter Allen explained:.. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "Healthcare financing doesn't just look at the total amount of money but how we distribute the funds and how equitably the funds are distributed to provide services not only for curative care but also to look at how we promote health, how we promote wellness, what do we do to try to keep our people healthy which is fundamentally the principal objective of our government and of course of the Ministry of Health." "The national health accounts look at the trend over a period of years and look at as a percentage of the budget and as a percentage of the gross domestic product of the country - how much are we spending on health. Are we spending enough? Are we spending it wisely? Do we need to spend more? Or do we need to re-distribute the way that we are financing our health services and that's precisely what this report gives us - the evidence to suggest that we can make some adjustments. We can do better in the way we invest our resources in the national health system."

G Collective Toured Europe
Today the Garifuna Collectives returned to Belize after a 2 week tour in Europe. The band played in 6 cities including London England, Warsaw Poland, Prague Czech Republic, Brussells Belgium, Utrech Netherlands and Bern Switzerland. It's the first time any Belizean band has played those faraway places and today they stopped by our studios to share with us their firsthand experienced.

Man Shot On Crenshaw Block
And before we close tonight, we have one more item. A man was shot this evening in Belize City. It happened on Iguana Street near the area known as Crenshaw Block. He was seriously injured but did not die. He is reportedly in a stable condition at the KHMH at this hour. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Channel 5

Two murders within hours in the Wild West; masked man kills Camalote resident
Belmopan Police believe that they have in custody the two persons who murdered American David Reichel and Filipino Alry Rose Sardido on Saturday in Roaring Creek. But even as they [...]

A deaf/mute was also killed by gunman as he fled the scene
Within an hour, Honduran Oscar Leonel Benitez was murdered to protect the identity of the man who killed Juan Carlos Olmedo. In a tragic twist of fate, both killer and [...]

Missing Teakettle man is believed to have been murdered
There is another case that could turn out to be murder as a family from the Arizona area of Teakettle is convinced that their father and husband, Pedro Ruben Andrade [...]

Guatemalan is murdered in Jalacte
While the overnight murders of two Camalote residents are making headlines tonight, the brutal slaying of a Guatemalan national, who was killed in Jalacte Village over the weekend, has gone [...]

Despite his dismissal from cabinet, Elvin Penner is getting his perks
It has been twelve days since we first broke the story on the issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national who had never set foot in Belize [...]

Arthur Saldivar says conflict of interest in passport investigation
On Monday, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the ongoing investigation into the recent passport scandal involving junior minister Elvin Penner who has since been dismissed from cabinet.  While [...]

Will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal?
But will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal? There should since there is enough to suggest that a crime was committed in the issuance of a [...]

Amendment to Criminal Code; is legal language favorable to gay rights cause?
While the issue of the passport scandal took center stage in the House last Friday, amendments to the Criminal Code as they pertain to sexual offenses against children and persons [...]

Ex-cop found guilty of manslaughter by negligence
After deliberating since midday today, a jury of seven women and two men delivered a verdict to determine the fate of interdicted cop, Burton Caliz.  Caliz was accused of manslaughter [...]

Controversial Belize Infrastructure Limited opens in Belmopan
The government announced today the formal opening of the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The interim general manager of BIL is Christy Maestre.  If the name sounds familiar that is because Maestre [...]

Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries, under the American Sugar Refining Limited, have been enjoying a fruitful relationship since ASR successfully purchased seventy-eight point six [...]

A workshop to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity
In Orange Walk Town today, a national workshop got underway to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity. The workshop is sponsored by UNESCO in partnership with NICH. Its [...]


No More Junior Ministers for Immigration Ministry, Says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, have put forth a set of a set of proposals on how the procedures will now follow for the procurement of Belizean passports and nationality documents. The proposals follow the recent passport and nationality scandal that emerged at the Ministry – an indignity that has the former Minister of State, Elvin Penner, facing possible recall from the House of Representatives and, depending on a police investigation, perhaps criminal charges. At a joint press conference this afternoon at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, Senator Hulse laid out the proposals, which will now include a series of new features. HON. GODWIN HULSE “We will start with a vigorous reorganizing and restructuring of the department for better efficiency with the assistance and the expertise of the Ministry of the Public Service. (2) We will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dare say that time has not permitted for us to consult with all the actors in the public sector but be assured that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will ensure that you participate. So, if you have not heard it before we apologize to you but this is the action we want to take.

Criminal Code Seeks To Hold Both Males and Females Culpable
On countless occasions we’ve reported on the crime of unlawful carnal knowledge. In those instances and under the criminal laws, the male has always been held responsible. But in the proposed amendments of the criminal code, the guilt of that offence is being considered to be shared between both the female and the male. Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Daly, explained how the bill proposes to do that. MICHELLE DALY “In the present criminal code you would only have carnal knowledge of a female. If you have sex with an individual under the age of 16 you could only bring an offence against the person who had sex with the female. We sought to have this law be applicable to both male and females in a bid to protect the boys who were previously unprotected under this offence. So now whether you are a boy or a girl having sex under the age of 16, it is illegal, it is deemed unlawful sexual activity. Now where you have individuals who are between 16 and 18 and they consent to sex, they have the right, legally, to consent to sex it is not an offence. What we have sought to do because we appreciate that there are for instances, say a boy who is 17 who has been in a relationship with a girl who is under 16 to provide a mitigating defense for an individual in that situation where they are both technically minors but one would have been able to consent and the other not consent.”

Beretta Pistol Found in Abandoned Lot
Police say a search of an abandoned lot on Lakeview Street resulted in the discovery of a black pietro Beretta point 380 pistol with a 13 shooter metal magazine containing one live brass colored point 380 round and eight live point 380 rounds of ammunition. The weapon was found inside a black plastic bag which was buried and covered with coconut limbs. No one was in the area at the time and the firearm was labeled as found property.

Mayan Leaders Say Yes to Norwegian Cruise Line for Harvest Caye Development
The leaders of the Mayan Community have expressed support for Norwegian’s Cruise Line , NCL, developments on Harvest Caye through a release sent out this afternoon. The release says that twelve Mayan villages were represented at the meeting on September 15, where respected Mayan leaders publically expressed their support for the NCL project. The release further states that the Mayan leaders are urging the villagers to support the project as well. In fact, according to the release, the leaders are asking the villagers to understand that quote, “Norwegian’s development will greatly benefit their local communities, even those located miles away from Harvest Caye,” end of quote. And here is how, the Mayan leaders are persuading the villagers to support the NCL project; the release says that Norwegian’s development on Harvest Caye will give outlying villages the opportunity to provide fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts to the island without ever having to leave their village. However, the release does not mention that the villagers have expressed support for the project. The Government of Belize and NCL have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development. NCL plans to invest fifty million dollars in the project to create a world-class cruise destination.

One in Four Persons Has A Mental Disorder: World Mental Health Day
Today over one hundred countries are observing the 21st annual World Mental Health Day. Belize joins the international celebration which is funded by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization. Today a ceremony was held at the Mental Health Resource Center. Eleanor Bennett of the Mental Health Program in the Ministry of Health told Love News that even though the Ministry the offering services to persons with mental disorders, there are several challenges that need to be overcome. ELEANOR BENNETT “It has been a challenge especially to develop programs that is tailored to this population and this time in their lives but the Ministry of Health has been able to provide a wide variety of services for people with these mental conditions such as Alzheimer and mental depression. Also a big part of our focus has been mental health promotion; making people aware of some of these and how to deal with them.

Robbers Hit Police Unit: Firearms and Ammunition Missing
Four firearms and a number of ammunition were stolen from the Tourism Police Unit on Regent Street. Police say they responded to a report that sometime between four thirty Tuesday evening and seven thirty Wednesday morning someone broke into the unit and stole four Bersa pistols, a quantity of nine millimeter live rounds, 12 gauge cartridges, nine millimeter magazines and a black Dell brand laptop. The value of the items stolen is not yet determined.

Family of Missing Man Says Police Are Not Helping Them
A man has been reported in the Unitedville Village in the Cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with the family who believe that their love one is dead. FEM CRUZ “Forty year old Luis Andre Sosa, a resident of Unitedville in the Cayo District has been reported missing since last week Wednesday night, October 2 and up to this time he has not been seen or heard from. The family and friends of Andre came from Orange Walk Town and are here in United Ville at the riverside conducting a search. The family wants to voice their frustration.” SISTER OF MISSING MAN “He was staying here in Unitedville since seven months ago; he was working here with the Chairman, Mr. Mai. They told us the last time they saw him was Wednesday night and he did not arrive at work on Thursday. So they told us to come and search and to ask for assistance from the police and there is no assistance from the police. Up to now we are searching and we can’t find anything; we are so frustrated. We just want to find his body to bury him; we don’t want him to stay here like an animal. Please if there is anyone who knows something please help us; my number is 669 5706 and 661 6651, please help us. My mother doesn’t know what to say, she is dying, she says she wants to die too because she wants my brother. If he’s not alive at least we want his body.”

Policeman Steals Art From Vendor in Western Belize
A police constable has been charged for the offence of handling stolen goods and resisting arrest. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details. ELAINE BERRY “On Tuesday, October 8, at about 2pm Belizean businessman Elicia Carlitos Landero of Bullet Tree Village here in San Ignacio, reported that sometime between 4 and 4:30pm on Saturday, October 5 he was in front of the Manzanero building situated in the Savannah Area here in San Ignacio when he fell asleep. Upon waking up he noticed that 16 of his canvas paintings worth $5100 were stolen. On Wednesday, October 9 at about 2pm police visited a business establishment in Santa Elena and in a room which is located in said building, Police discovered a black in color bag containing some canvas paintings. It was later learned that said bag was taken to the establishment by a uniformed police officer identified as 34-year-old, PC 798 Ernesto Buckley of a Unitedville address who is posted at the San Ignacio Police Formation. The said items that were discovered were reported stolen by Landero. PC Buckley was later arrested and charged with the crime of handling stolen goods and resisting arrest. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate Court this afternoon where he was granted bail of $1500 and will return back to court on December 19, 2013.”

Victims of Flood in Northern Belize Assisted
The District Emergency Management Organization in Orange Walk continues to monitor the flooding in key areas in the district. While the waters slowly recede, as of the beginning of this week DEMO Orange Walk’s relief and supplies committee has been fully mobilized visiting four villages providing food supplies. Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “The Relief and Supplies Committee has been at work since Monday and up to around 9 last night was distributing food to residents in four villages in the Orange Walk District who have been affected by the swelling of the Rio Hondo River. NEMO Regional Coordinator for the North Elodio Aragon tells us more.” ELODIO ARAGON “The water is down considerably and vehicles can go into both San Antonio and San Roman. So all the villages are now connected back to Orange Walk; we can go there by vehicles. Again what we have done the day before, yesterday and today was to get into the villages and issue supplies to every individual family bBecause some of them might not be able to go to work and some of them might have suffered a lot of losses and therefore at the least we can do is get in there and assist them with some food. So we have been there, we have delivered food to San Antonio, Santa Cruz, San Roman and Douglas. We took rice, beans, sugar, oil and flour.”

Labour Opportunities and Migration: Challenges and Opportunities
Migration prompted by labour opportunities was the focus of a ceremony held this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Local Government, the event was dubbed Intra-Regional Labour Migration Flows: Challenges and Opportunities in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Minister of Human Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, spoke of the importance of migration flows and how it molds a society. HON. ANTHONY MARTINEZ “There are certain features of our geographic and social economic reality that makes migration in general and labor migration in particular, a key issue in our country. We are a small country, in terms of our land space but our small population and corresponding low population density, there is lots of space to spread out. Coupled with our geographic location on the Central American mainland this makes for very porous borders. I think we all are aware of the general parameters of the migration issue and we all have educated guesses or life experiences about the impact of migration particularly for labor purposes in our society.”


Minister Hulse Reveals New Immigration Regulations Amidst Passport Scandal
As we mentioned earlier in the newscast, there will be stringent measures implemented in the passport, nationality and even the visa section of the Immigration and the Nationality Department. At the press conference held today, Minister Godwin Hulse outlined a number of new rules to protect the issuance of any of these documents, some of which will be implemented forthwith. Hoping to bring the current scandal to an end, the Minister began by saying that a new committee will be formed to scrutinize the process before it is even signed by the minister. But most importantly, an entire new form in the nationality section will be introduced bearing an entire new set of requirements. Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration “One; we will start with a vigorous organizing and restructuring of the department for better efficiency with assistance and expertise of the ministry of the public service. Two; we will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dear say that time has not permitted us to consult with all the actors in the public sector.

Penner Kicked Out Of Cabinet And That Is Where He Will Remain
The harsh reality of this entire tittle-tattle in the passport and nationality issuance is that the United Democratic Party and its leader, the Hon. Dean Barrow, continue to support the Former Minister of State in the Immigration and Nationality Department, Elvin Penner. In fact, the Honorable Dean Barrow says he believes that Penner should be given a second chance by the people of Cayo Northeast. But at the same time he held his ground and mentioned that Penner will never make it back into Cabinet. That is somewhat contradictory since the top brass of the UDP has been dispatched to Cayo Northeast to appeal and persuade voters not to take part in the on-going recall process launched by the Opposition and supported by numerous organizations including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Bear in mind that the UDP only has a two seat majority in Parliament and losing Penner, although somewhat ironic, would be like losing their Ace card.

Father Of 13 Year Old Charged For Having Sex With His Daughter
Last night we told you about the disturbing case of incest coming out of the Corozal District and tonight we can tell you that the man responsible for having sexual intercourse with his 13 year old daughter is behind bars. CTV3 News understands that under the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, Corozal Police arrested and charged the father of the 13 year old minor with five counts of incest. This is after she reported to police that her father had been sexually abusing her since the age of six. We can say that the abused stopped after the child’s mother found out. She reported to police that on Monday October 7th, she went to her husband’s house located in the Village of Xaibe to pick up her daughter.

Major Crimes Reduces But Carnal Knowledge Remains A Problem In The North
Latest statistics coming out of the Belize Police Department show that major crimes continue to decrease. Statistics for 2013 up to the end of September show that the murder count decreased from 106 in 2012 to 81 in 2013. Robbery and burglary reports also declined from 381 in 2012 to 219 in 2013 and 817 in 2012 to 712 in 2013 respectively. If we take a look at statistics here at home, Orange Walk recorded 11 murders in 2012 and 3 in 2013 so far while Corozal has witnessed 2 murders in 2013 that’s 8 murders less compared to last year. Robberies and burglaries have also declined. In 2012 Orange Walk experienced 28 robberies while in 2013 there were only 15. As for Burglaries, there were 89 in 2012, 2013 had recorded 47 up until the end of September. Corozal on the other hand has seen 18 robberies so far. That’s eight less compared to 2013. While the case of robberies decreased, the same cannot be said for burglaries which increased by eight compared to 2012 as it went from 55 to 63 cases. Of great concern is that cases of carnal knowledge are also on the rise here in the north. In 2012 Orange Walk saw one case of carnal knowledge. For the year 2013, ten cases have been reported. In Corozal there were two cases in 2012 and up to date there have been seven.


Standing Committee hears public unease with the Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2)
Public objection to the Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2) has compelled the Government to engage in consultation with interested parties. The first open discussion was held On Tuuesday in front of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee at the National Assembly, where persons made oral and written submissions...

Special Envoy begs media to support controversial Gender Neutral Bill
The lengthy Criminal Code (No. 2) Amendment Bill, 2013, is only just in committee and has yet to be returned to the House of Representatives. But the bill which Government claims seeks to toughen sexual offences against children, is under fire. The Constitutional and Finance standing Committee has already...

Police Department has launched independent investigation into immigration scandal
Minister of Immigration the Honourable Godwin Hulse noted to PlusTV that, contrary to public belief, a thorough investigation was conducted at the department, following the passport scandal involving Elvin Penner, However, all indications were that that investigation turned up nothing to cause alarm. Well on Wednesday night the Minister...

Senate makes amendments to Criminal Code Bill
A glaring error in an amendment to the criminal code appeared before the Senate last week Wednesday for its final vetting process. What is very disturbing about this lucid error is the fact that it went unnoticed by the legal draftsman in the Attorney-General’s office, it was read and...

Aaron Bailey charged for murder of Gary Pratt
On Wednesday a Belize City man was arraigned for the murder of 28 year old Gary Pratt. Mr Pratt, who had only recently relocated from Punta Gorda, was fatally wounded on Friday night, while socializing on Antelope Street. It is the first murder in the old capital in months...

Police trying to identify human remains
On Monday we got a report that the Belmopan Police Formation visited an area about 100 yards away from the entrance of the Garbage Dump, on the Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District. According to police reports, they discovered what is suspected to be the decaying remains of a human body,...

Matthew Williams charged with unlawful possession of a passport
Orange Walk resident Matthew Williams appeared in the Orange Walk Town Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody to answer charges of unlawful possession of a passport. According to police a sting operation at Williams’ home in July of 2011 saw the recovery of multiple Belizean passports including that...

Stamps commemorate centennial of arrival in Belize of Pallottine Sisters
The Pallottine Sisters came to Belize in 1913 and have left their mark on the Belizean landscape, particularly in education. On Wednesday, to mark the centennial of their arrival, the General Post Office introduced a set of commemorative stamps. The event was held at Pallotti High...

Immigration Officer Carlos Amaya dies at age 41
On Monday night, a well-known Immigration Officer passed away. He is 41 year old Carlos Amaya, of Corozal Town, who served had served the Immigration Department from the early age of 20. Carlos Amaya rose up the ranks and up to the time of his death, he was the...

The Guardian

They are Desperate
The recent drive by the People's United Party to have Hon. Elvin Penner recalled is the most recent act by the opposition that proves that they are very desperate to regain power. But this issue is not the only one that they have grabbed on to in an effort to drum up public support for their ulterior motive. We can recall that they tried to do very much the same thing with the Public Accounts Committee. That move however was unsuccessful and it is now being proven that the PAC can actually do work if it wants to. Having seen that they cannot get any traction on that issue, the PUP simply sat on their hands and waited to pounce on the next thing than surfaced, and sure enough it did. Now the very same players who were doing the media rounds on the PAC issue are doing the rounds on the immigration matter. These persons include Francis Fonseca, Julius Espat and Arthur Saldivar.

We Lied and We are Sorry
Plus TV’s owner and his former co-host were at the Supreme Court on Monday, October 7th, where they were seen with their caps in hand and tail between their legs as they publicly apologized to Hon. John Saldivar for speaking mistruths about him. The matter had been called up for case management before Justice Abel, but before it could proceed, Plus TV’s owner, Louis Wade, notified the court that they were going to apologize to Hon. Saldivar. They were then given some time to finalize the apology. Shortly thereafter Hon. Saldivar spoke to the media. He explained that he was not seeking financial compensation in the matter since, “this was about my reputation, I am defending my name, it wasn’t about the money. I am not interested in getting any money from Plus TV or Mr. Andrews.” Hon. Saldivar explained that the entire matter was one that he found very offensive since he guards his name and reputation jealously and does not like when anyone tries to impute improper motives to his actions. He added that he was vindicated and was happy that the parties agreed with making the apology.

Investigation at Immigration
Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, has asked the police to go in to the immigration department to conduct an investigation to determine whether or not files have been removed or stolen. The request came on Tuesday evening and the police have gone in to the Nationality section to conduct their investigations. Meanwhile, work at that section of the department has been put on hold. The investigation was triggered after Arthur Saldivar came up with a story that he intercepted files from that department that were to be destroyed. The files appear, to say the least, suspect, with pictures looking like portraits painted by amateur artists and what Saldivar purports to be genuine documents not having the necessary security features that they would normally carry.

New Youth Centers at Gwen Liz and Youth Hostel
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed contracts with Usher Constructions and BAE Constructions on Wednesday, October 10th, for the construction of resource centers to be located on the Gwen Lizarraga High School compound and the Youth Hostel Compound. These contracts amount to $3,298,307.70 and were awarded based on the Inter-American Development Bank’s tendering procedure for Belize. Six bids were submitted for the contract to construct the youth center on the Gwen Liz compound and four bids were submitted for the construction of a resource/visitor’s center at Youth Hostel, a new girls’ dormitory plus the rehabilitation of the sporting grounds. At the end of the procurement process, Usher Construction was awarded the contract for the center at Gwen Liz at a cost of $1,522,049.70 and BAE Construction was awarded the contract for the Youth Hostel project at a cost of $1,743,258. Both projects are expected to be completed twelve months after commencement.

Root Out the Problem
Every post-independence administration has been racked by some scandal at the Immigration Department. Directors there have been shuffled and re-shuffled, there has been one instances when a director was retired early. Millions of dollars (under Musa's tenure) had gone unaccounted for. Passports were at times sold by the bucket-full. The U.S. visa of Max Samuels, while he was a minister, was cancelled because of what was going on at that department. There was even an instance under Carmen Zetina that 200 passports went missing. Then again there were other instances when passport applications were processed as if they were running an assembly line. Those people processed did not even set foot on Belizean Soil. What took place most recently at the immigration department then we can say was unavoidable and we can surmise is just symptomatic of a disease that has long existed within that department. Apparently it does not matter which administration is in office, these types of activities will continue to happen time and time again, unless there is a complete clamping of the systems that guard against abuse. But it is easier said than done; after all the sale of passports be it legally or illegally is something that fetch those who trade in the business quite a handsome return. The reward for those who do it is simply too much to be brushed aside.

Electoral Authorities of Belize and Guatemala meet to strengthen bilateral cooperation
The highest electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday, October 6th in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala´s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation.

Medical Practice Bill Finally Reaches National Assembly
Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, is receiving praises in the medical community for being true to his word. Minister Marin promised medical practitioners that his number one agenda in this new administration would be to push the Belize Medical Practice Act for which members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association have been lobbying for over 17 years. Doctors were skeptical up to the last minute. When the President of the Belize Medical and Dental Association, Dr. Adelita Zaiden, informed them that the bill would be read in the House of Representatives on Friday, September 28th, most said that they would have to see it to believe it. Their skepticism is understandable. Practicing in such an unregulated field has been frustrating for medical professionals, but since the bill has been read a first time in the House they are now one step closer to establishing a level playing field for all in the sector.

Minister of Health Attends 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, was among health officials that agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025.

PACT Awards over $730,000 in Grants
Sen. Alamilla with PACT Officials and Grant Recipients The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is a statutory board responsible to encourage and promote the protection, conservation and enhancement of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. On Monday, October 7th, PACT awarded grants to four organizations and two researchers to fund conservation projects. The grants amount to a total of $736,769.

PM Explains the Belize Private Pensions Act
Over the past couple of weeks there has been much speculation as to the effect that a new Pensions Act will have on some schemes, particularly those in the three main utilities in the country, namely BEL, BTL and BWSL. On Friday, October 4th, Prime Minister Dean Barrow visited with members of the BWSL staff to explain it. Shortly after the meeting, he explained it to the media.

Truth about the Proposed Amendments to the Criminal Code
Kim Simplis-Barrow, Michelle Daly and Luwani Cayatano Children rights advocates have been concerned about Belize’s archaic laws on sexual offenses for decades. They have complained that in many instances the punishment for sex offenders amounts to a slap on the wrists. For almost six years the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, has been working with the Ministry of Human Development, the National Committee for Families and Children and other social partners to review the Criminal Code of Belize as it relates to sexual offenses against children. Such review and analysis has resulted in proposed amendments to the code in order to more clearly define types of sexual offenses and institute more strict punishment where necessary. Therefore, the proposed Criminal Code Amendment (No. 2) Bill establishes harsher penalties for perpetrators of sexual abuse and offenses against young girls and, finally, provides protection for boys against sexual predators.

Three Men to stand Trial for Murder
On Monday, October 7th, businessman, Orel Leslie, 27, Brandon Baptist, 27, Construction Worker, and Tyrone Meighan, 19, unemployed were committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for the murder of Ex-BDF soldier, James Noralez who was killed on November 23, 2012. The killing took place at the junction of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway. The three men appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) was held in their case. At the end of the PI, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith told the men that she found that a prima facie case had been established against them for the murder of EX-BDF Soldier, James Noralez. Noralez met his untimely death at the junction of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway, at about 7:13 p.m. Police reports are that when they responded to the Linda Vista area in the vicinity of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway they found the body of James Noralez, with a total of 14 gunshots. According to police, they found 7 S&B expended shells and 1 slug at the scene. James Noralez was pronounced dead on arrival at the KHMH at about 8:17 p.m., that night. Meighan, Baptist and Leslie were initially charged on Monday, November 26, 2012 with Noralez’s murder and ever since then they have been on remand for that murder. Their next court appearance will be at the Supreme Court for the 2014 January session.

First Murder in Belize City in three Months
Police have arrested and charged 28-year-old Aaron Bailey and remanded him to prison until November 28th, after he was charged with the murder of 28-year-old Gary Mancel Pratt. Pratt is a resident of the Water Supply area of Punta Gorda Town and was in Belize City for employment opportunities. According to a friend, he was recently selling newspaper until he landed a job working on Government’s Belize City Center project. Unfortunately, he would not live to enjoy his first paycheck. Sometime around 10:10 p.m. on Friday, October 4th, Pratt was socializing inside a yard at #7005 Antelope Street Extension when a man approached and fired several shots at him. He was struck twice to the back and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. However, there was nothing doctors could do for him. Pratt was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m. Police have since detained one individual in relation to the murder and believe that it was a case of mistaken identity. Those close to Pratt say he was not a trouble maker and did not hang out with gangs. However, records show that he was arrested and charged for a murder in 2003. He was found not guilty of the charge.

Janitor charged with Theft from JEC
On Friday, October 4th, a former janitor and employee of JEC was charged with 19 offences. 49-year-old, appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where she was charged for stealing $55,330.00 worth of jewelry from JEC. She was charged with 18 counts of handling stolen goods after police claim she was found in possession of the jewelry which was stolen between July 2012 to October 1, 2013. In court, Baizar was unrepresented and no plea was taken. There was no objection to court, but she was asked to surrender her travelling documents. Baizar told the court that she should be granted bail because she did not do this. The magistrate however told her that her explanation was not enough since the amount of items she is accused of stealing is over $55,000. Baizar then added that she should be granted bail because she has two young children to care for who are in school and whose father is in the USA and that there is no one else to care for them. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer then offered her bail in the sum of $30,000 plus one surety of the same amount which she met.She is due back in Cour on December 4, 2013.

Man chopped and shot in Cayo for defecating on a farm
On October 2, Julian De La Paz left home in the direction of his brother’s farm located on the Valley of Peace Road. De La Paz reported to his partner that he had gone to defecate at a ‘milpa’ owned by Juan Bautista and in the process of doing so he was chopped and shot by 62 year old Salome Pineda. Julian de La Paz was then picked up by a red pickup, driven at the time by a Mennonite, and then taken by an ambulance in Spanish Lookout to the Belmopan Hospital. Julian de La Paz has since been transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for more advanced treatment. Salome Pineda is a farmer from Buena Vista Village.

Security Guard busted with Marijuana
Security guard, 33-year-old Richard Smith, of #65 Belama Phase 4 area appeared in Court before Magistrate Clive Lino where he was read two criminal offenses of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply another person for the purpose of drug trafficking. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered and met bail in the sum of 6 thousand dollars. He is to reappear in court on December 2nd, 2013. On October 3rd, Smith was allegedly found in possession of two quantities of marijuana in the amount os 9.3 grams and 3.8 grams.

Woman Special Constable has case struck out
On Friday, October 4, Woman Special Constable, 36-year-old, Jennie Tanner saw a criminal charge of extortion struck out. This is the second time the extortion charge has been struck out against Tanner in the past 4 months. In court, Magistrate Clive Lino heard submissions made by Tanner’s Attorney, Anthony Sylvester. He stated that the charge of extortion levied against his client was not properly before the court and that the matter is an indictable offense and that it should remain an indictable offense. Sylvester added that the continuous striking out of the charge and then bringing it back is an abuse of process. He noted that his client had already been charged on January 30, 2013 with the offense of extortion then it was struck on June 28th. The matter was then brought back in August even after Tanner had been acquitted by a police tribunal. Sylvester said that disclosure should have been handed over to them from August 30, 2013 for trial to commence on September 30, 2013, but that did not occur. With all that, Magistrate Lino found the delay to be negligent and he noted in court that the prosecutor did not adhere to the ruling of the court and struck it out. Allegations are that on December 11, 2012, on Caye Caulker as a woman police officer Tanner allegedly demanded $100 in cash and 2 margarita drinks from Christopher John Graham.

First Caribbean Raising Awareness on Breast Cancer
The management and staff of First Caribbean Bank are doing their part to raise awareness on breast cancer and raise funds to support those battling the disease. Since August, the Belize branches have been holding fundraising activities among staff, family members and friends. They have donated money, bought T-shirts and participated in raffles, game nights and other events. The funds raised will be handed over to the Belize Cancer Society. The First Caribbean family held its second annual Walk for the Cure on Saturday, October 5th. The walk started from in front of the BelCan Bridge branch at 6 a.m. Participants wore T-shirts proclaiming “CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Supports the Fight against Cancer”. Many wrote the names of their loved one who was lost to cancer on their shirts and as they walked through the streets of the city they handed out cancer information leaflets to pedestrians and motorists. Rosanna Villanueva, Public Relations Officer of First Caribbean Bank, said, “It is a very special activity for us because awareness saves lives.” She continued, “Cancer is something you may not be dealing with now but in the future you may be facing it personally or have a loved one dealing with it.”

Immigration Assistant II Officer, Carlos Amaya passes at the age of 41!
On Tuesday, October 8th, 41-year-old Immigration Assistant II Officer, Carlos Amaya, who was well-known to many in the news and at the court environment passed away shortly before 12 midnight on Monday. The Immigration officer died sometime between 11:30 and 12:00 midnight from complications he suffered from what sources tells us was a case of double pneumonia. Officer Amaya had been ill since Sunday, October 6, which was when we understand relatives had to rush him to a local hospital after his condition worsen. The Immigration Officer served the Immigration Department for 21 years.

Long Standing Literacy Project comes to an end in Belize
A long standing Literacy Project came to an end recently with the handing over of equipment to the Belize Department of Education. Handed over to the Ministry of Education’s District Centers were the final investments of net books and other related electronic equipment under a five year project, which in its lasting thrust, will assist Curriculum Officers in supporting teachers in the implementation of curricula. In 2008, the Rotary Club of San Ignacio along with the Rotary Clubs of District 5370 in Alberta, Canada was awarded a Rotary Foundation 3-H (Health, Hunger and Humanitarian) Grant of US $325,000 to fund a Belize Literacy Program (BLP). That initial input in 2008 had grown to US $2,000,000.00 lately; bringing a multi dimension of benefits to a wide number of Primary Schools around Belize. The general goals of the BLP were to improve student performance in primary schools and to reduce the drop-out rates. Money was raised by hard working Rotarians in Alberta, Canada to ensure that the objectives of the BLP were achieved.

Celebrating Senior Citizen’s Week in Cayo
That was the banner that was strung at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio on Thursday of last week for the Sister Josella Day, where residents were treated to music by the Nina Maya Marimba Group. As of September 30th and throughout last week, a variety of schools took the time out to visit the Octavia Waight Center, a home for the elderly. Included among those welcomed visitors to the Octavia Waight were the students from the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Santa Elena Town. Residents from the Octavia Waight were then taken out last Friday for a picnic at the Orange Gallery at mile 60 of the George Price Highway. The Climax for Citizen’s Week was reached on October 5, with Cayo residents joining in for a walkathon from the Octavia Waight Center to Bullet Tree Falls. Sister Josella Day, which was celebrated for the first time at the Octavia Waight Center, is in memory of Sister Josella Flowers, a Roman Catholic Nun, who passed away this year. Sister Josella Flowers contributed some 16 years to the Octavia Waight Center; having previously contributed to the Belize Educational System.

New Stamps Issue – “The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”
The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps is scheduled to be officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913. In Benque Viejo, the Pallottines planted the first seeds of evangelization, education, nursing, gardening and home skills. From these early seeds flourished 100 years of ministry to the country of Belize spanning the districts of Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize and Toledo. At its peak, 102 Belizean young girls answered the call and served in one or more of the 19 schools or hospitals staffed by the Pallottines.

Ebenezer Methodist and Queen St. Baptist win in primary schools Football competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Football competition continued over the week with a number of games played at the MCC Grounds. On Tuesday, October 8, in the first of two boys’ games played, Ebenezer Methodist blanked St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Travis Flowers. In the second game, Queen Street Baptist won over St. Ignatius School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Queen Street Baptist were scored by Masum Ahmed and Arthur Bailey. The competition then continued on Monday, October 7, with two more games on the schedule. In the girls’ game played, Belize Elementary School defeated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 7-0. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Allyana Musa, Keila Oyuela (3), Juliana Ramos (2) and Kristin Musa.

New Executive for Belize Athletics Association
The Belize Athletics Association held its General Assembly on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Centre in Belize City. The highlight of the General Assembly was the elections of officers for period 2013-2017. The elections were conducted by the Electoral Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association which consisted of Mr. Winston Carr (Chair), Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, Ms. Sharon Frazer and Mr. Orton Clarke. The General Assembly also had the participation of Mr. George Peryer and Lincoln Eatman of NACAC, and Mr. Allan Sharp, Chairman of the National Sports Council of Belize. At the end of voting, Hugh Staine was elected President. Elected to serve as 1st Vice President- Daland Jones 2nd Vice President- Jaheed Smith, Secretary- Leisjia Barrow-Chung, Assistant Secretary- Michelle Young, Treasurer- Ellison Flowers and the Committee Members are Phillip Murray, Andrew Pilgrim and Phillip Marin.

Port of Belize, Atlantic Bank, City Council and Customs semi-finalists in Firms’ Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition will enter its semi-final round on Thursday, October 10, 2013, at Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. In the first game schedule to commence at 7:30 pm Belize City Council will see action against Port of Belize/Airport and in game two it will be Customs/MoE against Atlantic Bank/PKF. Meanwhile, the Knockout round came to an end on Friday, October 4, at Bird’s Isle. In the first game, Port of Belize/Airport eliminated BTL by the score of 65-49. The top scorers for Port of Belize/Airport were Earl Johnson with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and steal, and Lennox Bowman with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BTL were Devon Lozano with 16 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and Lupito Acosta with 11 points. In the second game played, Atlantic Bank eliminated Belize Bank/Broadway by the score of 71-58. The top scorers for Atlantic Bank were Eyan Rene with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, Dave Apolonio with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals, and Ervin Orosco with 11 points,7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. For the Belize Bank/Broadway Team the top scorers were Terrique Gabb with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal, and Marcel Orosco with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Belize Defence Force is current leader in Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season competition continued over the last weekend with three games. On Saturday, October 5, in the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home team Belmopan Bandits won over the visiting San Ignacio United by the score of 4-1. The Belmopan Bandits got on the scoreboard first when Elroy Kuylen scored his 1st of 3 goals in the 11th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increase when Kuylen scored his 2nd goal in the 29th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. In the second half of the game, the Belmopan Bandits continued its dominance over the San Ignacio United Team when Deon McCaulay scored his team’s 3rd goal of the game in the 51st minute of play for a commanding 3-0 lead. However, it was not until the 57th minute of play that the San Ignacio United squad was able to break through the Bandits defence when Anthony Gonzales scored his team’s only goal of the game for a 3-1 deficit. Elroy Kuylen scored the Belmopan Bandits final goal of the game in the 88th minute of play to give his team the 4-1 victory.

Vega Cup Tournament rolls on in Orange Walk North
The Vega Cup Tournament 2013 continued on Sunday, October 6, with games at two venues. There were four games on the schedule for San Luis Football Field. In the first game, Old School won via the default route over Douglas Galaxy. In the second game of the day, Awe’s V United defeated San Pablo Youngsters by the score of 5-1. The goals for Awe’s V United were scored by Jorge Ruano, Floyd Jones (2), Edwani Munoz and Bertram Brown. In game three, Untouchables edge AC Aliari by the score of 4-3. The goals for Untouchables were scored by Alberto Godoy (3) and Ricardo Marin, while the goals for AC Aliari were scored by Gadiel Samos, Adrian Armstrong and Dario Westby. In the final game of the day, Barrio Boys blanked San Luis FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for Barrio Boys were scored by Osmy Medina and Francisco Coyock.

Central Region Volleyball competition opens
The 2013-2014 Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. On Tuesday, October 8, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy defeated Ladyville Technical by the score of 25-9 and 25-9. In the male game played, St. John’s College defeated Wesley College by the score of 25-14 and 25-14. On Monday, October 7, in the female game played, Nazarene High School defeated Wesley College by the score of 25-15 and 25-14. In the male game, Belize High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 26-24, 15-15 and 15-10. The competition then continued on Saturday, October 5, with two more games on the schedule. In the female game, Nazarene High School defeated Ladyville Technical by the score of 24-16, 25-23 and 16-14. In the male game it was Ladyville Technical over Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 25-17 and 25-11.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Sailing Club Established
Sunday, 6th October 2013, Caye Caulker Today some 20 persons from a wide cross section of Caye Caulker community attended the inaugural meeting of the Caye Caulker Sailing Club. A presentation was received from Alan Usher Development Board Member from the Belize Sailing Association who also witnessed elections for the principal officers of the new club. Club appointments will follow shortly. The newly elected Board consists of: Chairman: Neil Bradley Treasurer: James Dombrowski Secretary: Shary Trejo The new board undertook to urgently launch it’s Optimist program for Caye Caulker boys and girls up to the age of 15 and to fully participate in the upcoming regatta year of 2014; re-establish annual Easter regattas and resume racing of the traditional classes. The new club will immediately benefit from the International Optimist Dinghy Association “6 of 5" scheme in which on boat is gifted for every five purchased.

Caye Caulker resident busted with cocaine
Caye Caulker Police have detained and charged a woman from the island for drug trafficking. On Wednesday at around four in the afternoon officers were on routine mobile patrol when they observed a group of persons in the Palapa Area on Front Street. Because one of the women in the group was acting suspiciously, she was immediately searched by a woman police officer. The search turned up three small transparent bags containing cocaine in the woman’s brassiere. The woman, identified as twenty-two year old Charlenne Young of a Back Street address, was escorted to the Caye Caulker Police Station. On Wednesday evening, Young was formally charged for the trafficking of one point six grams of cocaine. Today she was escorted to the San Pedro Town Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned.

The October 13th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Penner’s Passport Predicament: Undermining Government’s Development Agenda:
    “Yes, I am the substantive minister. I can assure you that immigration has taken an inordinate amount of my time to deal with visas, to deal with permanent residence, to deal with the issuance of passport, to deal with nationality and we have many more reforms that we are bringing into place. But they require legal cases and all sorts of things, and it takes a bit of time to bring them in; in addition to the other work that I do.” Those are the words of the Substantive Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, in an interview with Channel Five Television News this past week. Therein lies an important truth, which is that the current predicament in which the former Minister of State Hon. Elvin Penner finds himself, having been kicked out of Cabinet for his bad judgment in pushing through and approving a Belizean passport for an international criminal who has never set foot in Belize, is costing not just the disgraced Minister of State, but the Substantive Minister and, indeed, the entire government an enormous amount of time and energy that could be better spent carrying out its development agenda.
  • Vindicated! Plus TV & Patrick Andrews Apologize to Hon. Saldivar:
    In April of this year, Belmopan Area Representative and Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar took out a law suit against Plus TV and Patrick Andrews for defamatory remarks that Andrews allegedly made against Saldivar as a cohost of the Belmopan-based station’s morning show, Rise and Shine. The comments made by Andrews in December of 2012 were about the Minister’s use of funds provided to him as part of the Prime Minister’s now annual Christmas Cheers program to enable area representatives to assist their constituents during the yuletide season.
  • The Cost of Corruption:
    Delroy Cuthkelvin Chairman, Editorial Board. Our headline story already declares it, but so salient a point it is, we feel compelled to reiterate. The scandal that broke and continues, apparently, to unfold within the Ministry and Department of Immigration and Nationality surrounding the issuance of at least one Belize passport to an undeserving and unqualified person, who has turned out to be an international outlaw, has imposed and continues to impose an enormous cost on the Nation. In this kind of climate, there is always the possibility that, for good measure, a good deal of false allegations will be thrown into the mix for greater effect. Yet, there is no denying the fact that at the heart of the matter is Corruption, to whatever degree; and the truth is that Corruption, any amount of it, is too much, as the true cost of it is always multiplied a million times.
  • Police Minister’s Monthly Awards: Southern Zone & Placencia Sub-formation Perform Best in September:
    Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar on Wednesday, October 9, presented his Monthly Awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during the month of September, 2013. The Southern Zone, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region. Senior Superintendent Mariano received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.
  • Camalote Blazers Win Miley Garcia Softball:
    Trophy Presentation by Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia
  • Rehabilitation - Participation - Transformation: Contract Signed for IDB-Funded Project Targeting Youths:
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed Contracts on Wednesday October 9, 2013 in the Altun Ha Room of the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The contracts that were signed amount to BZ$3,298,307.70 and were signed with two local contractors for infrastructure works under the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project. The works comprise the construction of a Youth Center located at Gwen Lizarraga High School Compound in Belize City at a cost of BZ$1,522,049.70 and the construction of a Dormitory Facility, Resource/Visitor’s Center and Rehabilitation of the Sporting Grounds at the Youth Hostel as well as the Rehabilitation of a Carpentry Building at the Youth Cadet at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway at a cost of BZ$1,743,258.00.
  • Strengthening Bi-lateral Cooperation: Belizean and Guatemalan Electoral Authorities Meet:
    The highest electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met last Saturday, October 6, 2013 in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala´s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation. The meeting took place within the framework of the new confidence-building measures that both countries adopted last May with a view to improving the conditions necessary to establish a new date to hold the simultaneous referenda, which will determine if the territorial dispute between both countries is submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement.
  • Faith Lift …Only then will Belize Prosper!:
    By Zelda Hill. Once upon a time, an aspiring, young and desperate nation was in deep trouble. Her people had been mistreated and enslaved and then, just when they thought it could not get worse, they found themselves wandering aimlessly in the hostile wilderness. They and their children were disgruntled and weary and they needed rest; a place that they could proudly call home. They had been hearing from those that God spoke to, that up ahead there was that ideal place, a prosperous land which abound with much fruit, with pomegranates, and figs and grapes in clusters, a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13:23- 27). They would not only be blessed in every way but they would be able to be a blessing to other nations.
  • New Commemorative Stamps" “The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”:
    The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps is scheduled to be officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913.
  • Belmopan Ac tive Youth get $200,000 from US Embassy:
    A signing ceremony was held in late September at the United States Embassy in Belmopan for the establishment of a grant project for youth drug prevention for Belmopan and surrounding communities. The project is being funded by the United States Embassy Belmopan and will be implemented by the Belmopan Active Youths (BAY), a youth organization established in April 2012. Signing for the grant, which is valued at US$100,000, were Mr. Joseph Boski, Grants Program Officer for the United States Embassy and Mrs. Anna Banner Guy, President for BAY. The grant funds for youth drug prevention program will be utilized for the following activities:
  • Would Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Matchup Stop TV Ratings Nightmare:
    There’s plenty of star power to go around between the Red Sox and Dodgers. The Red Sox have a couple of superstars in David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, and the Dodgers have a couple of their own in Clayton Kershaw, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. They also have the high-priced Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, with highpriced Andre Ethier possibly able to play every day by the time the World Series rolls around. High-priced Matt Kemp is injured, but his handsome- enough-for-Rihanna mug will be there for the cameras.
  • New Markets for Independence & Benque Viejo: Belize Government & European Union Sign Contract:
    Two contracts were signed on Wednesday October 2, 2013 signaling the start of construction for new Markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The works, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU), as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II (BRDPII), will be executed through contracts with Jebco Construction Limited. Construction is expected to be period at a cost of BZE$649,060 for the Benque Viejo Market and BZE$650,787 for the Independence Village Market.
  • A New Milestone for the Belize Coastguard: Graduation Ceremonies for Coastguard SEAL Team 001:
    Established just over Seven years ago, the Belize Coastguard has quickly grown into an exceptionally skilled, highly equipped force; and the force has just moved up yet another level, having just established the Coastguard SEAL, inaugurated in late September. Graduation ceremonies for Coast Guard SEAL TEAM 001 were held September 25, 2013. The Team of 8 underwent 12 weeks of rigorous training. They are the cream of the crop, having been selected from among an initial intake of 19 officers. They were pushed to extreme limits, being subjected to grueling physical and mental torture.
  • Keynote Address - Coastguard SEAL Graduation: “Constantly Changing for Operational Effectiveness on an Ever-Changing Landscape”:
    I would like to start off my remarks here today with a quote from Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. Alfred Mahan in one of the earliest of the many magazines articles that flowed from his pen after 1890, wrote: “The stoppage of commerce compels peace”. The economic strangulation of the enemy from the sea by the assertion of overbearing power at sea drives the enemy from it. This statement had given rise to the notion that “Control of maritime commerce through command of the sea is the primary function of navies”. Distinguished Guests, we are here today to participate in yet another milestone in the achievements of the Belize Coast Guard. The Graduation of Belize’s first SEAL trained seamen.
  • Double Victory for UB Jaguars, Male & Female Win ATLIB Softball:
    The University of Belize women won the National Softball Championship tournament organized by the Association of Tertiary level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) at the Governor General’s field in Belmopan on Saturday, October 5. In Game 1, the UB Lady Jaguars spanked the Independence Junior College Predators 8-2. IJC’s Veleesha Tylor’s struck out 2 batters, and gave up only one hit, but she walked 9 batters. Danalee Burns, Deanna Garbutt, Rochelle Orellano, Karlene Lewis and Aleesha Taylor scored in the 1st inning. Judy Soberanis, Lewis and Aleesha Taylor crossed the plate in the 2nd; the UB girls left 3 runners on base. IJC’s Sylvia Cabral scored in the 1st inning and Briana Leslie scored in the 2nd. UB’s Desiree Hulse struck out 2 batters and walked 5, while UB made 2 errors, but IJC left 2 runners on base.
  • Local Government Symposium 2013: The Role of Elected Officials in Local Economic Development:
    The role of local governments at the town and village council levels are becoming increasingly vital these days as we seek to deepen and broaden our democracy and as we endeavor to develop our communities in ways that are relevant and truly responsive to the needs and desires of our people at every level. Towards this overall end, a Local Governance Symposium was held two Mondays ago in Belize City. It was sponsored by the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project, CARILED, which is an organization dedicated to spurring economic growth in the Caribbean by creating the right atmosphere and putting setting up mechanisms for small business. The Symposium was attended by Mayors and other essential personnel from municipal governments
  • OVER $700,000 IN GRANTS: PACT Awards Funds for Small, Medium and Large Projects:
    On Monday, October 7, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the House of Culture in Belize City, where it awarded $736,769 in new project grants. Research Grants as well as Small, Medium-Sized and Large Grants were awarded for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows. Recipients of Research Grants were Mr. Alex Anderson ($20,000.00) for Baseline Population Abundance Estimate and Development of a Monitoring Plan for Queen Conch at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve; Mr. Wilber Martinez ($20,000.00) for The Ecology and Conservation of the Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus Bairdii) in Central Belize.
  • SICA on Money Laundering & Drug Trafficking:
    Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking were the main issues discussed at a meeting of judges and judicial officers from Central American nations convened this past Monday, October 7 in Belize City. The meeting was sponsored by the Central American Integration System or, as it called in Spanish, El Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA). The judges and judicial officers attending were from Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Belize.
  • Health Minister Attends PAHO Directing Council Meeting:
    Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin was among health officials that agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025. The joint plan of action was approved by the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that convened last week in Washington D.C. It calls for policies to promote prevention and control of NCDs and reduce their risk factors. Under the joint plan of action, health officials agreed to specifically promote prevention of NCDs beyond health, expand and provide universal access to health services for NCDs, reduce tobacco intake by 30%, promoting healthy diets to reduce the impact on children, and improve the surveillance of risk factors among others for NCDs.
  • BDF leads Belikin Cup Football: Belmopan Bandits Off to a Promising Start:
    The Belize Defence Force are leading the Belikin Cup Premier League of Belize tournament after bombing Verdes 2-0 at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga last Saturday, October 5. Carlton “Fubu” Thomas struck the first goal, and Vallan Symns converted a penalty for the 2-0 victory. The Belmopan Bandits also enjoyed a 4-1 win over San Ignacio United at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night; Elroy Kuylen scored a hat trick and Deon Macaulay added a 4th goal. The Paradise Freedom Fighters drilled FC Belize at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town on Sunday afternoon. Franz Vernon scored thefirst goal, Lisbey Castillo added a second and Franz Vernon retuned to scored a third
  • Telemedia are National Softball Champions: Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy Take Second Place:
    Belize Telemedia repeated as back to back national champs while Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy placed 2nd when the Belize Softball Federation held its 14th National Women’s Softball Championship at the home of softball at the Roger’s Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, September 29. Roaring Creek’s pitcher Leyandra Guy had led the Grace Kennedy girls to a 4-2 win over the Cayo district champs, Camalote Blazers, in Game 2 Friday night, while pitcher Francine Salazar struck out 6 batters and walked 2. Roaring Creek also won Game 4 of the tournament 11-4 over Double Head Cabbage Mel’s United by mercy rule in the 6th inning on Saturday morning. Leyandra Guy struck out 6 batters and walked 2, while the Roaring Creek girls collected 12 hits off Annette Morey’s pitching.


Hidden Valley Inn – Some of the most relaxing and terrifying things I’ve ever done!
Once again, this is Meg, guest-scooping for Rebecca while she’s out of town. We just got back from a fantastic honeymoon in Belize, and so far I’ve told you about our visit to Caracol, as well as our trip to ATM Cave. Rebecca stayed at Hidden Valley Inn last year, and did a great job covering the amenities of the Inn itself – so much so, in fact, that her blogs helped us settle on it for our first stop! (See the end of this post for those articles!) Rather than rehash all that, I figured I’d focus on the rest of the property. Hidden Valley Inn sits on almost 7300 acres of wilderness in the Mountain Pine Ridge- about an hour down the dirt road from Georgeville, near Blancaneaux Lodge. Outside the main lodge building and 12 guest cottages, there are over 90 miles of hiking trails and 5 major waterfalls on the property, plus 1000-Foot Falls, which is just over the property line. We spent 5 nights onsite, and of the 4 full days we were there, two were spent exploring all the property had to offer rather than taking day trips nearby. One was perhaps the most luxurious thing I’ve ever done and one was, surprisingly, one of the scariest! The second full day of our honeymoon, we booked the day at “Secret Pools and Falls.” Basically, this is a private waterfall roped off just for your party, which includes a great picnic lunch and a bottle of chilled champagne.

Did more people or less people come to Belize this year?
OK, quick quiz. Did more people or less people come to Belize this year? And the winner is… More. Yep, according to the good folks at The Belize Tourism Board, who get paid to keep track of such things, overnight visitor arrivals for the period of January to August for this year have improved over last year. For example, in January, February and March, the increase was 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% respectively, and 8% for both July and August. This is good news, and The Belize Tourism Board released the information in much the same way it was received by tourism industry stakeholders – with big smiles across the faces. We are growing as an overnight tourism destination, attracting the sort of people who stay longer, spend more money, and get to know Belize and Belizeans better. For the entire eight months, 17, 228 more tourists arrived this year as compared to last year, and 7 News Belize reports that the BTB is confident that Belize will reach the three hundred thousand visitor overnight mark.

Toledo Cacao Farmers win award in Seattle, Washington
Well we are back home after a wonderful weekend is Seattle. The Northwest Chocolate Festival was a huge success, and we were proud to be participants. Chocolate was sampled, friendships were formed , and countless hours were spent geeking out over chocolate processing. We also walked away with a bronze award for our 72% Belize in the single origin chocolate category, which was a huge honor for us. Hurray for Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize and their high quality cacao beans! Looking forward to next years Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Amid the ongoing immigration and nationality scandal, the powers that be held a press conference on Thursday, 10th October 2013. In my humble opinion, it brought to the fore, a level of: arrogance, haughtiness, self-righteousness, indignation and outright support of malfeasance as per the standing powers that be. I make no bones about it, I am a supporter of neither of the major political parties in Belize and my view, in no way, seeks to endorse the current Opposition. Nonetheless, as they say, “heavy is the head that wears the crown”.

International Sources

20 Stunning Stats and Facts from World Cup Qualifying
The top scorer from the qualifiers so far is Deon McCaulay, of Belize. He scored 11 goals in eight games before his nation was eliminated at the Round 2 stage in the CONCACAF zone.

Four Caribbean brands make Taste13 final in Germany
The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).

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