Recent Belize News
10/21/2013 to 10/31/2013
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Today's Belize News

October 31, 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

Holiday Hotel Celebrates Halloween in Grand Style!
“Every year I say, ‘They can’t possibly get any better…’ and then they do!” Lisa McCorkle Guerrero echoed the sentiments of everyone who had gathered at the Holiday Hotel for its annual Halloween Bash. As one of the Holiday Hotel’s biggest celebrations, the annual Halloween Party attracts people from all across the country who show up in full regalia, eager to outdo the past year’s costumes. From the sweet and pretty to the outrageous to the full on creative, costumes abounded this year, and yet again, set the bar high for next year.

Jerdon Anderson and Gorge Olivarez make their mark at the Laguna de Bacalar Sailing Regatta
On Saturday, October 25th Jerdon Anderson and Gorge Olivarez, from San Pedro Junior Sailing Club, traveled to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico to represent Belize and San Pedro at the Laguna de Bacalar Sailing Regatta. This was the first time that sailors from Belize have been invited to attend an International Regatta, and they certainly made their mark as Jerdon Anderson took the top prize! The first four races of the division were held on Saturday, October 26th and Jerdan quickly took first place in the first three races. In the final race of the day, Jerdon was satisfied with finishing third. On the other hand Gorge started off in fourth place in the first race, second in the second and third race and moved up to first place in the final race of the day. The boys performed exceptionally well on the first day of race and were leading the Optimist division. Jerdon had placed first with six points and Gorge was closely behind in second with a score of nine points.

Saga Halloween Party (42 photos)
Kids and critters in costume....nothing cuter!

Ambergris Today

Remembrance Day Events in San Pedro
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour there will be a resounding silence throughout the Commonwealth; it will be for remembering all those fallen heroes of the two world wars and all the conflicts since and we shall remember them. Jamila Janmohamed, member of The Royal British Legion Belize would love to see the San Pedro Community show its support for the Belizean and Commonwealth veterans and their families by wearing a poppy and contributing to the cause.

Crime Stoppers Belize Wins Awards and Honors Local Media
Crime Stoppers has been in operation in Belize since 2004 and to date has become a household name after quickly gaining reputation as a legitimate organization that gets the job done by guaranteeing confidentiality to persons who provide tips on crime. Crime Stoppers Belize continues to work arduously to make sure that every household in the country knows about their service and uses it to tackle crime. One of the ways in which Crime Stoppers Belize is spreading the word about its service is through local television and radio commercials. They have been so good at producing effective commercial spots that in September of this year Crime Stoppers International recognized two of their advertisements. The first was a television ad featuring Marleni Cuellar of Channel 5, Indira Craig of Channel 7 and Anju Gidwani of Love TV and the second was a radio ad that featured the voices of Dorian Nuñez of Ambergris Today Online, David Marin a former panelist on Reef TV morning show and Jorge Aldana of The San Pedro Sun Newspaper.

Misc Belizean Sources

Turneffe Flats Honored with Green Globe Certification
The Turneffe Flats Resort in Belize announced today that it has earned Green Globe certification. The Green Globe Standard is a "structured assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners," according to To earn the certification members must have high standards in environmental, sociocultural, quality, health, and safety issues, plus contribute to local communities and their local environment. Turneffe Flats Resort, located 30 miles off the coast of Belize, recently led efforts to establish Turneffe Atoll as the country’s largest Marine Reserve. The resort offers fly fishing, scuba diving and marine eco-tourism activities. It also features a spa, casual dining, private villas and guest rooms.

Way Back When: Today In History
More than 400 people were killed in Belize, the capital of British Honduras, by a tidal wave in the wake of Hurricane Hattie that hit the area with winds of 200 mph. The storm also left many missing and thousands homeless. Gov. Sir Colin Thornley estimated that more than 75 percent of the buildings in Belize had been destroyed or damaged by the disaster "that overwhelmed our estimates."

The plaque that was presented to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the people of San Pedro Town
by Mayor Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui of Othon P. Blanco, Q. Roo, México.

American father and son convicted of band fraud and money laundering
A father and son duo is facing serious jail time in the United States after they were found guilty of bank fraud and money laundering involving offshore banks in the Cayman Islands and Belize. According to a report carried by News Channel 7 in Pensacola, a federal jury there found Gary Wayne Thomas of Daphne, Alabama, and son Brian Keith Thomas, 40 of Birmingham, guilty of laundering $4.5 million dollars in loans to off-shore banks in the Cayman Islands and Belize. The online report says that the men hid the in 2008 and stopped paying on the $56 million dollars in loans they received from New South Federal Savings Bank. The online report further says that over the last three years, Gary Thomas wired $2.1 million dollars from the off-shore banks to five Destin bank accounts opened by Brian Thomas and others.

Cubola's Living Together Sponsorship
Feelgood news of the day. Cubola Productions has teamed up with some local businesses to provide school books and training. Pictured is the San Jose Succotz primary school. Thanks, Cubola! "In June 2013, Cubola Productions offered to team up with donors in the private sector of the Cayo District to supply the 'Living Together a Belizean Social Studies Series' for Primary Schools Standard 1 book and workbook at cost price. As part of the package we also committed to supply free training for teachers... Each book and workbook have an identifying label and logo acknowledging the sponsorship made to the school and to the Standard 1 children. We thank the sponsors: Chaa Creek, Pine Lumber and Caracol YCD for their generosity and willingness to mentor our children in their quest to become responsible citizens."

Rotary Educates Our Youth
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their 'Educate our Youth' dinner and live auction to raise money for the 25 scholarships they provide to the needy children of Cayo. There will be a live auction along with some great food, including tortilla soup, coconut shrimp, lobster and beef kabobs, and chimichangas, which will be served by the SHJC Food and Beverage students. Thanks, Rotary! "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio will hold it's annual Fundraising Dinner & Auction. Pursuant to our motto 'Educate our Youth' the function will take place at the Cayo CET, Buena Vista Street, San Ignacio. A delicious surf & turf dinner will be served by students of Sacred Heart College and CET. Amazing prizes will be auctioned for our main goal: raising funds for the 25 permanent scholarships our club provides to talented and needy children from Cayo."

SMCU Visits Octavia Waight
The SMCU staff paid a visit to the Octavia Waight Centre while celebrating International Credit Union Day. Thanks, SMCU, for brightening their day! "Saint Martin's Credit Union - Belize staff celebrating international credit union week/day with elders at the Octavia Waight Centre, in San Ignacio Town. Giving back to our community."

Galen Halloween Bash
The Galen Student Government is having their Halloween Bash tomorrow night at Barrio Fino. Cloud 9 will be there. In related news, in Cayo, Fuego is having their Halloween costume party and Serendib is having their anniversary special.

Belize Wildlife Benefactor's Tour
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has an excellent idea for sustainable conservation projects. People can take a learning vacation that helps the local community. They'll be doing their first one in January. "How to find sustainable income sources for small wildlife conservation projects in developping countries? We have been working and pondering for a few years...and we are exited to share that in January 2014 we will try something new: An 8 day high-end tour to experience and support amazing wildlife conservation efforts while enjoying the best of Belize. Not for credit, but for wildlife lovers and conservation minded individuals with the desire to travel with a purpose. For those interested in an adventure, with 'creature comforts,' while contributing to wildlife conservation in Belize. Please share this message and the flyer with your friends and family or others who might be interested in learning more about this?"

VIDEO: Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize
The ultimate skydive in my 22 years of jumping! Exit from 13,500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds and NO wind) with my beautiful husband slaDE~ and our Arizona friend, Ginger. I deployed at 8,000 feet so I could soak in all the exotic beauty and sublime heavenly experience. A once in a lifetime never-to-forget skydive!!! BTW, my canopy is red, black and gray, and I am the last person to land in this video. WOOHOO! The Great Blue Hole is a stunning circular jewel surrounded by a ring of shallow luminous coral reef in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Measuring 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, this ocean-floor limestone sinkhole is believed to be the world's largest blue hole, made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Atolls are characterized by a large, fairly shallow lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. Only four known true atolls exist in the Western Hemisphere, and of these, three reside in Belize: Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glovers.

BELIZE PORT AUTHORITY NOTICE: ANNUAL LICENSING EXERCISE The Belize Port Authority (BPA) hereby informs the general marine public that the registration and licensing exercise for the year 2014 will commence on October 7th, 2013. During this exercise all vessels involved in coastal and river service shall be registered and licensed, including skiffs, Jet Skis, sailing vessels, launches, tugboats, barges, dredges or any other watercraft used to ply the waters of Belize, including the inland waterways, as required under the Laws of Belize, Chapter 234, Revised Edition- 2000, Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act.

Ms. Tanya Carter on her Belize Tour
The lovely and talented Ms. Tanya Carter on her Belize Tour performs in Corozal over the past weekend! Photo by Jordel Heredia

Channel 7

Canadian Retiree Killed In Consejo
Tonight, Corozal Police continue to investigate the first murder in 7 months in that district, and it’s a terrible one: the stabbing death of a 57 year-old female Canadian retiree. Investigators are seeking the help of the public because there are very few clues in the crime which happened in the secluded village of Consejo, a place where many North Americans settle down to retire. 7News went to the village, to find out how it unfolded; Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz The community of Consejo Village in the Corozal District has been shaken by the murder of Canadian 56 year-old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. The Consejo Shores area is a well-known real estate location where international retirees settle down, and as such, they expect to leave peacefully. That peace and sense of security was violated last night.

Accused Robbers/Killers to Court
So, while police are working on solving that murder, they believe that they’ve cracked the case of 61 year-old George Blanco, the truck driver who was killed on last week Friday when robbers targeted his meat wholesale delivery truck. Tonight, 21 year-old Alton Bailey, 33 year-old Roger Hernandez, 25 Roque Middle Middleton, 33 year-old Elario Frank Eligio are at prison after they were charged in Magistrate’s Court this evening. As we reported, on Friday afternoon, the Yo Creek resident George Blanco was with his boss, Abraham Penner, and they were driving through Sandhill when a gunman opened fire on the truck as it passed over the last speed bump in the village near the old Northern Road. Blanco was hit under the left armpit, and he died at the wheel. This caused the vehicle to veer off the road, and when it stopped on the shoulder, 3 men robbed Penner of $9,600 in cash and fled.

PUP Want Hon. Castro Recalled
It’s been 25 days and counting, but the PUP says that by next week, they’ll have about 2000 signatures vetted for submission to the Governor General to formally launch a recall in Cayo Northeast. And now, the opposition is embarking on another recall effort. PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat told us the decision has been made to launch a recall drive in Belize Rural North, that’s the home base of two-time UDP representative, the embattled Edmund Castro. As has been widely reported, Castro is accused of taking bribes to facilitate visas for Chinese. Alvorine Burgess says she paid him four hundred thousand dollars in bribes to facilitate 200 visas in five months. Castro empathically denies her claim, saying he did write a generic letter of recommendation for five visa applications but claims that he never took a penny from her. Castro’s attorney – who also happens to be the Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams has initiated libel proceedings against Channel 5 and Alvorine Burgess.

Floodwaters Rolling Into Belize City
Flood waters continue to roll towards the Belize District tonight and the after effects of a week of heavy rain are still being felt. The water is rising fast in Crooked Tree, and the Causeway is impassable for small vehicles. It is doubtful that busses will be able to go into the village tomorrow and NEMO has dispatched a boat to the area. Coast Guard has also dispatched boats to Rancho Dolores, and Freetown Sibun. Water is also rising in Bomba and Flowers Bank while Gracie Rock, Grace Bank, Biscayne, St. Pauls Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Anns, Santana, and Corozalito are experiencing flooding. But we do know that water is going down in Hattieville, but it’s rising at the mile 8 community of Western Paradise where we spoke to a pair of villagers today:

Closer Look At Police Shakedown In ATM
Last night we showed you how police shook down Thyrell Hyde in an Atlantic Bank ATM booth. His shake-down story is so incredible, that without the video evidence, it would be hard to believe. But with the evidence it is compelling, and stands out as one of the most outrageous police abuses ever caught on camera. Tonight, we take a closer look at the video to see how the cops made sure they got every dollar they could from Thyrel Hyde: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The camera inside the ATM picks up 2 men. The one in red is Thyrell Hyde, and the other in the corner is one of the police officers he says kidnapped him and took him there to rob him of money from his personal bank account. Inside the ATM room, it seems so ordinary, just like 2 close friends who have no trust issues making a withdrawal, but if the allegation is true, it is an obscene abuse of authority.

Report: Belize Business Climate Not Conducive
And crazy, corrupt events such as that can only serve to further tarnish Belize’s image as a country where it’s not easy to do business as usual. A report called “Doing Business 2014” sponsored by the World Bank says that Belize ranks 106 out of 189 countries in terms of “how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.” This is two notches down from last year, below the regional average for Latin America and the Caribbean which is 100, and far below Mexico which ranks 53rd and Guatemala which ranks 79th. The problem with Belize? Well, the study says that doing business in Belize is just plain difficult, from dealing with construction permits to registering property, to paying taxes, to getting electricity, it’s all just plain difficult in Belize. In terms of ease of starting a business Belize is ranked 167th – which is way below the regional average; in terms of getting credit, Belize is ranked 130th, and in terms of protecting investors, Belize is ranked 138. As you might expect, Government Investment Czar Mike Singh doesn’t like the report one bit. He says they have very little comments to substantiate the information provided, there’s no fresh, updated information from last year and this is because they have not had a formal point of contact in Belize. He says that this year his office has provided updated information on reforms but the new information will not be reflected until the next publishing.

Caneros Want To Cash In On Bagasse Bucks
Last night, we told you about the dramatic move which executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers took to voice a protest against Belize Sugar Industries and their parent company, American Sugar Refining: they walked en masse out of a stakeholders meeting. As we’ve told you it’s in relation to bagasse, the bi-product of sugar production after the sugar cane has been processed. BSI’s subsidiary, BELCOGEN, uses this material to generate electricity which it then sells to BEL. Currently, BSI reaps 100% of the profits it makes from that arrangement with BEL, but the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association wants a share in the earnings. Today, 7News caught up with the Chairman of the Association’s Committee of Management, and he told us that the cane farmers deserve a piece of the pie because they provide the sugar cane, the raw material which ends up as bagasse:

Guat Professionals Busted At Border: 3 Engineers + 1 Lawyer Face Remand
The police Mobile Interdiction Team has made another neat bust at the Western Border. This morning at 11:30 the MIT with K9 support searched a grey 2010 Toyota Hilux with Guatemalan plates coming over to Belize from Melchor. They found six rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition and two rounds of .380 ammunition inside the glove compartment. That’s an offence, and all four occupants, including three Guatemalan engineers and a lawyer were arrested and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. They are 31 year old Engineers, Jorge Mario Najera Bolanos, 33 year old Eva Haydee Soto Espina and 30 year old Melvin Alfredo Posadas Ponciano along with 32 year old lawyer, Luddyn Adolfo Fuentes Vasquez all from Guatemala City. They are detained pending arraignment in court, on 2 counts of unlicensed ammunition. And though it’s only eight rounds, any unlicensed ammunition charge IMPOES for mandatory remand.

Wesley Walking To Be Drug Free
This morning the students of Wesley College marched through the city streets chanting messages for a drug free Belize. It’s the schools 15th annual Red Ribbon Week which has become a part of its tradition in the fight against teenage drug use. The parade ended at the school's compound, and immediately after that, the entire school participated in a rally, in which the students displayed skits and dramas developed around the Drug Free theme. We found out more: Elizabeth Goff - School Counselor "This week is a very important week for us. We are celebrating our 15th annual red ribbon week. Red Ribbon Week is all about drug prevention, and so, this week, the school is united under the theme, "A Healthy Me Is Drug Free." They've been a lot of activities; we had the opening of the week with Ms. Jennifer Lovell, President of the Mental Health Association of Belize, and she gave a very powerful message to our students. Yesterday, our teachers wore caps or hats as a way of saying capping out drugs, saying no to drugs, and there were some very creative hats - it wasn't a competition, but it was just something that the teachers wanted to do. The kids love that; they loved to see the teachers involved. Today is Red Ribbon Day. We have always on the Wednesday, observed it as Red Ribbon Day. We got to Wesley Church as usual, so, we've had our church service, and there was the first part of the judging of t-shirt competition. Then, after service, we're taking our message to the streets, and we're almost at Wesley College, and it's been a very good parade. The kids have been much energized, very lively in sharing that message of saying no to drugs."

Consejo Road Is Rough!
At the top of our newscast, we told you about the murder in Consejo Village. Well, that wasn’t the only reason for our news team visiting the village. A month ago, 7News received complaints from residents of Consejo that the main road to their village has been long neglected, and is in need of major repairs. Whenever there are heavy rains, the road becomes impassable due to flooding. And, sure enough, today, when our news team used the road to get to the village, it was virtually impassable. We found 3 men on the road who were trying to alleviate the problem by opening up a drain on the most flooded section. They told us that the residents are fed up: Marco Antonio Manzanilla - Concerned About The Road "The road is really in bad shape. They came like 2 weeks ago to repair it, but they were asking for donations to repair it. They only thing that they did is repair the really bad holes, and now this rain fall again, it messed up the rode once again. Instead of elevating the road, they just covered the little holes. Now, we have the same problem once again. It doesn't make it any better because, for example, I have an Explorer, now I have to come with the Jeep. With the Explorer, I had 2 front bearing destroyed because of the waters being too high."

PAC Postponed
All of last week, the UDP members of the Public Accounts Committee were meeting with the social partner stakeholders to get them to buy into the UDP version of the PAC. Those consultations are still being parried back and forth but the UDP-PAC was to have resumed meetings this week under the old formula. But, it didn’t happen. Monday’s meting was postponed, and today, the Financial secretary Joe Waight showed up to testify as did member Patrick Faber, but it had to be postponed again. The reason? Faber tells us there wasn’t a quorum with one member out of the country and the opposition absent.

Channel 5

Canadian woman is stabbed more than eight times inside her house in Consejo
There is a brutal murder to report tonight; a Canadian woman was stabbed to death at her house sometime on Tuesday evening. Her body was found in a pool of [...]

P.U.P. Deputy Leader calls for recall process to begin for Belize Rural North
The P.U.P. has reached the threshold to trigger the recall mechanism in Cayo Northeast. In fact, the party has exceeded the threshold and continues to gather signatures. Meanwhile, Elvin Penner [...]

The Opposition plans to demonstrate in Belmopan on Friday
The P.U.P. will be in Belmopan on Friday, and we don’t mean just inside the House. Deputy Leader Julius Espat has confirmed that the party will be organizing a protest [...]

Godwin Hulse says visas are really no big deal and is not concerned about Castro
The man in the visa hot-seat, Minister of State Edmund Castro, continues to dodge the media at every turn. Apart from a lengthy press release in which he remembers recommending [...]

Minister Hulse speaks on 11 abrupt transfers from immigration department
It has now been forty days since the Wonhong Kim passport scandal highlighted the corruption in the Immigration Department. The matter is of national and even international importance, but while [...]

Tyrell Hyde says he will recover losses through court action against police department
On Tuesday, shocking surveillance footage of a police shakedown involving a university student surfaced in the media, following several attempts by the family of the young man to settle the [...]

Ombudsman says his department has been working on matter with police
Tyrell Hyde is unhappy with the Police response to his complaint. He has presented video evidence which shows the officers involved. He even has witnesses who will corroborate his story. [...]

Flooding continues to affect communities in Rural Belize
The rains are slowing down and in some areas, floodwaters are beginning to recede. In other areas, residents are having a hard time getting in and out of their houses. [...]

Land dispute continues on Cemetery Lane
On Saturday, Cemetery Lane in Belize City resembled a war zone as armed Police Officers and B.D.F. soldiers galvanized into action. It wasn’t another Operation Jaguar or Operation Restore Belize. [...]

The case of Glenn Tillett versus Lois Young and Nestor Vasquez
In June of this year, media personality Glenn Tillett’s case against Lois Young, Nestor Vasquez and the Social Security Board was freed to continue at the Supreme Court after the [...]

Attorney says neither Young and Vasquez gained anything from sale of Telemedia shares
In the afternoon session, Dr. Lloyd Barnett, who appeared for Vasquez and Young, seemed to suggest that the transaction did not involve B.T.L. directly and that S.S.B. needed to diversify [...]

Tillett says there will not be a chaotic situation to reverse transaction
Finally, we asked Tillett whether, if the court rules his way and finds the conflict of interest he proposes, there would be “a chaotic situation” as described by Doctor Barnett [...]

4 are charged in connection with the murder of Jorge Blanco
Late this evening, CIB personnel rushed over four Belize City men to court to charge them in connection with a murder and robbery that occurred on midday last Friday. This [...]

Carnal knowledge case involving Belize City bus conductor
A Belize City bus conductor will have to put up a defense in the Supreme Court for a charge of carnal knowledge of a thirteen-year old school girl for which [...]

Body of drowned Succotz man is retrieved from Mopan River
The lifeless body of sixty-five year old Carlos Valdez has been recovered from the Mopan River, following a massive search effort by family and friends since the canoe he was [...]

San Ignacio Police busts vehicle with 21 pounds of weed
Just after six p.m. on Tuesday, the San Ignacio Police searched a vehicle on the George Price Highway in front of the Ministry of Works in Santa Elena Town. The [...]

CWU formally booted from N.T.U.C.B.
On Monday, the Christian Workers Union was formally booted out of its umbrella organization, following a failed congress over the weekend which should have seen the ouster of President Antonio [...]


NEMO Issues Further Advisory on Flooding
In its latest advisory, NEMO cautions the public that the Belize River continues to rise and that communities that are experiencing flooding are Gracie Rock, Hattieville, Freetown Sibun, Grace Bank, Biscayne, Crooked Tree, St. Pauls Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Anns, Santana, Corzalito and Bomba. NEMO advises residents living in these to take the necessary action to safeguard life and property and move to higher ground. In addition, NEMO says that the Coast Guard has dispatched one boat to Rancho Dolores, Crooked Tree and Freetown Sibun to assist residents. Those heading to Crooked Tree Village are warned that small vehicles cannot access the road into the village. In the Mountain Pine Ridge, the northern side of the Privassion Bridge approach has been washed away and only small vehicles can cross over the bridge and must do so with extreme caution. The Guacamallo Bridge is under water and is impassable to vehicular traffic. The road network in the Mountain Pine Ridge is severely eroded and drivers are asked to drive with extreme care. The Low lying Bridge in San Ignacio /Santa Elena is still under water and remains closed to traffic. The Iguana Creek Bridge is and the Baking Pot Ferry remains closed to traffic.

Canadian Retiree Murdered in Northern Belize
57 year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, a Canadian retiree who lived in Consejo Shores, Corozal for the past few months, was brutally attacked and murdered at around six on Tuesday evening inside the two storey house that she rented. Police say that the woman, who was planning to relocate to San Ignacio Town, Cayo on Thursday, suffered multiple stab wounds to her upper body. Her attacker pounced with calculated precision and the only evidence left behind were an eight inch bloodstained knife on a sofa, a few drops of blood and footprints as he escaped the premises. ASP Daniel Arzu “We realized that access was not possible given the fact that the building was secure. It has one stairs which carries a metal door and that was locked. We made entry into the building via a ladder and inside, we observed a Caucasian female, a woman on the floor in the living room; it appears that person or persons may have made entry by climbing to the upper flat of the building and exited the same means by jumping down and made their escape.”

President of Public Service Union Has Questions on Recent Immigration Transfers
Rumors have been rampant since early this week that there would be a transfer of staff from the Immigration Department. Love News has confirmed with the President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades that this transfer has indeed occurred. In an interview this morning we spoke with Blades who provided his views on the reason for the transfer. MARVIN BLADES “The immigration scandal based on what we have been hearing is the only thing that would cause the ministry to transfer 11 clerks. That’s what I am hearing so far on the news; we have verified at least 7 or 8 for sure but we didn’t verify the others but I am pretty sure it’s happening to the rest of the officers. However, what we are trying to find out as I see it is where these officers have gone, which department or what ministry and were the proper procedures followed which is in place; as you know we have regulations that govern transfers. So, we need to find out where are the 11 officers; what department is they going into and who will replace them and what is in place for these officers who are going to replace these 11 officers.”

Immigration Minister is Unconcerned About Visa Allegations Made Against Minister Castro
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Edmund Castro, is the focus of an allegation being made by Alverine Burgess who claims that Castro is involved in a visa hustling ring. Castro through a press release denounced any allegations. Today we asked, Godwin Hulse, as the Minister of Immigration, is he is even looking into the matter. Hulse explained that the allegations made against Castro are not within his remit. HON. GODWIN HULSE “I haven’t heard all the allegations; there are so many things running around but what I want to say about visas specifically is that people must realize that the visa is a permission to come to this country; that is what it is. When you get to this country, when you get to any of the border points, you get a permit to do several things; you either get a permit if you want to be a student that’s called a student permit, you get a permit if you are a visitor for so many days, you get a permit if you’re going to work that you have to apply for. The visa is to get here. Citizens of many countries do not require visas to come to Belize; only a few countries require visas to come to Belize.

Immigration Minister Meets With Social Partners to Form Scrutinizing Committee
Last night we told of the meeting that the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, had with the social partners and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The basis of the meeting was the proposed amendments to the Immigration laws as outlined by Minister Hulse in a press conference two weeks ago in relation to the Nationality Scrutinizing Committee. Hulse told us more. HON. GODWIN HULSE “Well it was just information; it is courtesy, first of all. As you heard at the press conference that we held two Thursdays ago and announced that there will be this nationality scrutinizing committee that will now support the department in scrutinizing persons who apply for citizenship. So, we are doing everything to ensure that we bring some serious credibility to this process and we announced that we would invite a representative from the Belize Chamber of Commerce, a representative from the Belize Council of Churches and a representative from the NTUCB to sit on that committee along with CEOs from the various ministries.

A Look At Improving Communications on Climate Services
Climate change affects everyone but not all of us are up to date with information being release by experts due to various reason. Well, today a three day conference entitled, “National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services in Belize” commenced at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. For those three days, relevant stakeholders and professionals will be creating a strategic plan on how to funnel down key information to the common man. Love News spoke to the Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service of Belize, Dennis Gonguez and the Head of the Global Framework for Climate Services Office in the World Meteorological Organization, Filipe Lucio. DENNIS GONGUEZ “What we plan to do is we are looking to improving our climate service to different stakeholders in Belize. So, we are looking at how the meteorological service could provide better climate information.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How do you plan to trickle down the information to the common man?” DENNIS GONGUEZ “Well that’s what we are looking at; we are looking at strategic ways we can communicate and that’s why we have this consultation here, so we can look at ways, so we could communicate that information down to the everyday person and that is what we are looking at over the next three days.”

Belize Waste Control Says Mayor Misinformed Media
The owners of Belize Waste Control have responded to comments made by Mayor Darrell Bradley on Monday. When questioned about delayed payments to the sanitation company, Mayor Bradley said the Council is about ten weeks behind schedule in payments and the fact that they were in a similar position last year. According to the release from Belize Waste Control, the last payment from the council was received on October 3 and was payment for the period of July 15 to 19, which puts the council in arrears for 15 weeks. It says while during the previous Mayor’s tenure there were protests, she did not allow arrears to go beyond eight weeks. It ends by saying that they would welcome a discussion with the Mayor.


Doctor Mario Estradaban Testifies In Murder Case
The case against Eric Gonzalez, accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto, resumed today before Justice Herbert Lord in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court of Belize. On Monday October 28th 2013, the Crown, comprised of Councils Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis, introduced their first witness to the stand who testified as the then Scenes of Crimes Technician for the Orange Walk Police Department. Today, two other witnesses were called to the stand to testify, they are Dr. Mario Estradaban, pathologist at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and Juan Francisco Soto, father of the late Daniel Soto. With no objection from defence attorney, Simeon Sampson, the post mortem report of Daniel Soto produced by Dr. Estradaban, was accepted into evidence. While on the stand, Dr. Estradaban gave a vivid account, based on the facts of his report, of what caused Soto’s demise.

PUP Continues Recall Process
And while Elvin Penner has not made up his mind if he is resigning, the People’s United Party says it now has enough signatures needed to trigger a recall in Cayo Northeast. The opposition says it is pushing the issue because it is their duty and obligation to look over the best interest of the people. CAROLYN TRENCH-SANDIFORD – PUP, Deputy Party Leader “We have preceded in terms of the first step 30% threshold required to trigger the recall, we have gather over 30% of the signatures required and what we have done because of the experience with Election and Boundaries with the Oceana situation which you all know but also because we know that the elections and boundaries processes are also tainted, that was how Penner was able to register three to four hundred persons leading up to the elections with nationality that were gathered one and two days before the registration despite the provisions of the law which say you must be a Belizean and live somewhere for two months let us not forget that, so we have gathered the signature over 30% which I think it is two thousand plus at this point in time and we are continuing that process we are not stopping, so that has been completed so I can say now we can take it to the elections and boundaries commission but what we are doing meanwhile is also to double check and triple check, because we know that when those signatures go there, there are couple things that are going to happen.

Motion For Senate Inquiry To Be Presented Next Week Wednesday
On Monday we told you about a Notice of Motion for a Senate Inquiry into the Immigration scandal which was filed by the PUP Secretariat. The motion, which was discussed with social partners before it was handed in to the Clerk of the National Assembly, is slated to be tabled and debated at the next sitting of the Senate. PUP’s Deputy Party Leader for Policy & Reform, Carolyn Trench Sandiford says the Party is engaged in a multi-prong approach into allegations of corruption or conduct unbecoming of public officials. CAROLYN TRENCH-SANDIFORD – Deputy Party Leader, PUP “As you go along the stages what you are seeing is a blatant disrespect for the law in terms of fraud, in terms of doing what we would call kind of a parallel system of accountability in government, where is the money going? In terms of what I would say encouraging multiple players engage and involved in government affairs, at the end of the day it is not only about criminal charges and I think we need to be very clear on this and to look at it from this angle as well. Is not so about criminal charges as it is a blatant disrespect and disregard for something that is sacred which is our Belizean identity, when it comes to the passport matter what has transpired is that we have rendered to some extent suspicion on who we are when we leave this country, we carry not only a Belizean passport but we carry a CARICOM passport which gives us certain privileges when we travel in the Caribbean that is going to be suspect recently we understand and it is recorded that a plane landed in Miami and there were some issues regarding the passport of Belizeans...

Orange Walk Residence Complain About Street Conditions
The heavy downpour over the past week has not only left many areas of Town waterlogged but is also giving motorists a nightmarish ride and headache thanks to the potholes that keep popping up or get larger on most road surfaces. Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar took to the streets where we were inundated with complaints from motorists who are fed up with the bad road conditions since they are now facing expensive repair costs for the damage to their vehicles. Maria Novelo – Reporting If you are a regular commuter in Orange Walk Town, chances are that you may have either fallen into a pothole or may have developed severe back pain. Heavy rains this week has once again exposed the poor quality of roads in Town, as even the ones that were re-carpeted have developed new potholes.

BSCFA Addresses Non-Compliances
In the month of April, the BSCFA fell into non-compliance with Fair Trade standards after an audit was conducted by FLOCERT. The BSCFA immediately began working at addressing those non-compliances and wrote to FLOCERT informing them about the measures they plan to implement to address those issues. Recognizing the importance of the benefits of the Fair Trade movement such as commanding premium prices in foreign markets, the BSCFA has been working arduously ensuring that they keep up within the rules and regulations of the movement. However, FLOCERT seems not so convinced about the measures implemented by the BSCFA and therefore has scheduled to conduct a follow up audit in the month of November to verify that indeed those non-compliances have been addressed.

Canadian National Viciously Stabbed To Death In Corozal
Last night Corozal recorded its fourth murder as a criminal or criminals made their way into the home of 57 year old Canadian National Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. Nichiporowich, who relocated to Belize some six months ago, lived on the second floor of a two storey building located in the Consejo Shores Area of Corozal Town when her life was viciously taken away by a ruthless intruder or intruders. Our news team has been following the story since morning and here is what they found. Victor Castillo – Reporting The peacefulness surrounding a neighborhood in the Consejo Shores, Corozal, was shattered around 6:00 yesterday evening when several loud cries for help were heard coming from the residence of 57 year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. Neighbors, who refused to speak to the media on camera even after being interrogated by police, claim to have heard screams coming from the upper flat of this residence where Nichiporowich, a Canadian National who moved to the area three months ago, resided.

BSCFA Walks Out On BSI In The Middle Of Strategic Planning Presentation
Sugar Industry Stakeholders met today at the Gala Lounge to strategically plan the future investment of the Industry where key points were raised to remain competitive beyond 2017 in the Global Market. But that’s not all that happened. Our news team was on hand for the event and brings you the following report. Maria Novelo - Reporting In an effort to effectively compete in the global market where changes to the EU is imminent, Industry Stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and majority holder American Sugar Refinery, met today to chart a way forward in their new Action Plan for the Future of the Sugar Industry of Belize.


Body of Carlos Valdez recovered from Mopan River
The search effort for 65 year old farmer Carlos Rito Valdez, believed to have drowned after his boat capsized in the high rise Mopan River is slated to continue Wednesday. A surface search of the river was conducted on Tuesday, but there was not much the search team could...

Edmund Castro Continues to Evade the Media
The House of Representatives is scheduled to convene this Friday and while there is no official word on the reason for the unexpected meeting, it is certain that the recent revelations involving passport, visas and nationality scandals, will be put on the floor for debate. There,...

Belize Waste Control responds to Mayor of Belize City
On Monday night, we showed you Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley speaking on the Council’s current spat with Belize Waste Control and BML. Well on Tuesday, the Belize Waste Control hit back, saying the Mayor’s comments on payments were untrue. But before we get into that release, take a...

Police destroy marijuana plantation
Police destroyed a marijuana plantation on Monday. Between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30pm, Police conducted a joint Anti-Drug operation about 1 ½ miles Northwest of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. There, they came upon a marijuana plantation containing about 50 marijuana plants ranging from 2 inches...

Minister of Culture seeks stiffer penalties for tampering with sacred monuments and relics
It wasn’t too long ago that the nation’s attention was centered on the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological site in northern Belize. A portion of the site’s ceremonial temple was destroyed, reportedly at the hands of D-Mar’s Construction, for road aggregate. Four persons, company owner old Denny Grijalva,...

Mayor Bradley says all help is welcome to fix Belize City Streets
The Belize City Council has been revered for its tough approach to addressing the immediate fixing of over 100 streets under the Municipal Bond program. Now the Government is getting in on the act with works of its own. Mayor Darrell Bradley tells us more. Mr. Darrel Bradley- Mayor...

Price of Butane rises
The Government of Belize has announced a dollar increase in the price of butane. The new costs per 100lb cylinder took effect yesterday and are follows: in Belize City and Corozal $118.00, in Belmopan and San Ignacio $120.00 and Benque $121.00. Orange Walk residents will pay $119.00, Dangriga residents...

Patrick Menzies says he intends to change his approach
It turned out to be another rainy day for Patrick Menzies and some of his company, However, like he has proven in other occasions, his fiery nature did not sway him and still went on with what was scheduled to be the last leg of...

Day of Healing held in Yarborough Community
Since it began earlier this year the Day of Healing initative has been all over the City bringing a day of peace to crime-torn communities. On Saturday, despite the wet weather in the City, residents of the Yarborough area hosted fun activities. Co-organizer Jerome “Peeloff” Mejia...


The Inn At Robert’s Grove: A VERY Comfortable Way to Visit the Placencia Peninsula
A few months ago, I took my first trip to Placencia, the beautiful small beach town that is probably the second most popular beach vacation in Belize after Ambergris Caye. I loved it there. Love it there. And plan to return early and often. My first two nights were spent in the town proper (you can read about and see the pictures from those visits below). Next I moved a bit north to a resort just south of Seine Bight but a quick taxi ride from Placencia, The Inn At Robert’s Grove. A bit too comfortable in my suite and on the gorgeous grounds…I really didn’t want to leave. A picture of the main building with the dining room, the main bar and just a beautiful lounge area.

Living Together Sponsorship – Donors’ Program
In June 2013, Cubola Productions offered to team up with donors in the private sector of the Cayo District to supply the Living Together a Belizean Social Studies Series for Primary Schools Standard 1 book and workbook at cost price. As part of the package we also committed to supply free training for teachers. The feedback we continue to have from primary school teachers using the Series has been very positive. They have expressed a strong interest in having access to the Standard I book and workbook, the newest title in the Series, however many schools do not have the funds to purchase class sets. This is the first year of this programme but we hope to eventually gain more sponsors with the hope that all primary schools in the Cayo District will have access to these materials.

“The Way We Were” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Now we have moved up to the First and Second Floors (we moved up there after the burst pipe incident on Saturday) I have really been trying to get back in to my routine. You know. Get up early. Make a mug of coffee (black). Grab the iPad and go sit on the veranda. I’ve got the coffee worked out. I know where the essential ingredients are -coffee, water, kettle, spoon and mug- and I know where I keep the iPad. But the dilemma is which veranda? The heavy rain of the last few days though has made the choice a little easier. The veranda with the best cover – the western (lagoon) facing one on the First Floor. Decision taken -literally for me- it’s time to move one of the two chairs (fit for purpose) that we have until our patio furniture arrives (more about that in a future edition).

Top 15 Luxury Hotels in Belize
Here I am including a list of what I consider the best luxury hotels in Belize right now. Each place has something unique to offer, whether they are a hip boutique hotel with all the modern comforts and world class amenities or a rustic Eco haven in the middle of nowhere. If you think that I’m only mentioning the resorts below because they offer upscale full service or have exclusive clientele, you’re wrong. These properties have been hand selected because they offer spectacular views, exquisite food, the best tour guides and staff, and have a rich ambience rated “5 Star” in my books. Chaa Creek, Ka’ana, Blancaneaux Lodge, Chan Chich, Hamanasi, Chabil Mar, Turtle Inn, Roberts Grove, Cotton Tree Lodge, Belcampo Belize, Cayo Espanto, El Secreto, The Phoenix, Mata Chica, Victoria House

VIP Belize calls PM to Please Sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)
The VIP Invites ALL Belizeans at Home and Abroad to join our petition to help fight Corruption……a hard copy drive will be launched countrywide on Thursday Oct 31st. marking the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption For 10 years Belize has refused to sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). As a result, Belize is viewed as a country that is not serious about fighting corruption which has now become a cancer that has beseiged the heart and spirit of Belizeans. Every department of our Government is plagued by an entrenched Culture of Corruption that is retarding the development of our country, increasing poverty, crime, cost of living, education and negatively affecting every facet of society. As concerned Belizeans, we must unite to demand that our Prime Minister and Government sign the Convention NOW. By signing this petition you will show the country and world that we the people of Belize want to rid our country of corruption and thereby set Belize on the path to National Development, Peace and Prosperity.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Sugar Cookies n' Pumpkin Shapes
Today is un apperpriate day ta share t'recipe fer these pumpkin shapet cookies, I uset ta make 'um fer air youngns so at wen thay kum trayler frum skool thar would be a ‘pumpkin treet’ fer 'um. The n' lat'r yeers I made 'um fer t'gran'chiltre. All o't' youngns an' g’youngns have growd up, but who a'ken resist a purty cookie deceratid as un orange pumpkin! Thishere recipe a'ken be uset fer differnt seesons, it’s my favert at Christmus usin festif' cookie cutters.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas extends Belize PSA for two years
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has told investors that the Belize government has approved a two year extension to its production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Blue Creek project. The PSA now runs up until October 12 2015. Over the next twelve months the company intends to carry out a thorough review of its previously captured seismic and drilling results. Then, in the second year of the renewal, New World will have the choice to either drill one new exploration well or ‘drop’ the PSA. New World says it continues to look for a farm-in partner to share the exploration drilling costs at Blue Creek. "We are delighted to have received the approval from the Government of Belize for the third renewal period on the Blue Creek PSA,” chief executive Bill Kelleher said in a statement.

Caribbean 2013 Tourist Arrivals by Country of Origin
Following is a summary table of Caribbean tourist arrivals from the Caribbean Tourism Organization:

Bookbag Santa's new sleigh might break the bank
You may recall the teeny tiny Roanoke charity Bookbag Santa — I’ve written about them a couple of times. It’s a tax-exempt nonprofit that collects usable school supplies discarded by students here and ships them to poor and needy schoolchildren in Belize. Not only does that keep tons of material out of our landfill, but it puts those items to their best use elsewhere. Bookbag Santa has some exciting news to share. Saturday, it won an online contest, 100 Cars for Good, sponsored by Toyota. The prize is a new vehicle. That’s a real big deal for a charity that operates on a total budget of less than $1,000 per year. The outfit is a one-man shop run by artist/environmentalist/handyman Gary Hunt. He’s been taking used school supplies down to Belize since 1990, and he incorporated the organization as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2007. Its website is

Cultural awareness dance Nov. 13 will benefit Central American nonprofit
Students at Appalachian State University will host a cultural awareness event called Dance Around the World on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. to benefit the Tumul K’in Center of Learning in Belize. Dance Around the World is a multicultural dance featuring groups from Appalachian’s campus and the Boone community. Each group will perform and teach a dance that represents their culture. The dance will be held in Plemmons Student Union’s Parkway Ballroom. The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to give a suggested donation of $6. This event is organized by students in the Department of Communication’s Principles of Fundraising class to raise money for an international non-profit organization, Tumul K’in Center of Learning. Tumul K’in is based in Toledo, Belize. Its mission is to promote sustainable development through intercultural education while preserving Mayan culture and traditions. Proceeds from Dance Around the World will be used to purchase T-shirts for Tumul K’in’s Maya Day celebration, scheduled for Spring 2014.

Saving Paradise
Many of the male parrotfish fish found in the Ulithi atoll were once female. They are among several species in the coral reef-ringed waters that are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they change sex during their lifetime. With more than 200 miles of reef, Ulithi is one of the world’s largest atolls, or circles of coral reef that enclose a lagoon. Its sapphire and emerald waters are punctuated with dozens of diminutive islets, each with a halo of bright beach around a verdant center. Four of the islands are inhabited, with a population of just 400 to 600 on the most crowded, Falalop. (As home to Ulithi’s high school, Falalop’s population balloons during the school year.) Autonomous and overlooked, Ulithi has “essentially no red tape,” in Nelson’s words. The scientists can make a recommendation and, if they choose to, locals can implement them immediately. This instantaneous conservation is nearly unheard of in the field. It took more than 20 years of government negotiations and meetings for reef conservation proposals Crane worked on in Belize, for example, to be adopted.

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

October 30, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Birthday Cake & Memories:
I recently shared a photo of the last birthday party that my parents threw for me. It was my eleventh birthday, and I was in my last year of primary school. My dress is blue, with pretty lace and peplum, handmade by my mother. A lot of my clothes were sewn by her; you just had to find a pattern in the prom and style catalogues and she would whip up a similar look for far less. The photo I mention dredged up a lot of memories for me, and it seemed a few people who were part of the parties had their memories too. That is when it really struck me how much those parties must have meant to others; at some point, it stopped being about me.

The San Pedro Sun

UNDP hosts Workshop on Social Audit for Young Belizean Leaders
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with The University of Belize (UB) hosted a two day workshop on October 25th and 26th with the purpose of educating youth on Social Auditing. The workshop was held at UB’s Central Farm Campus in the Cayo District, with over 30 participants from across the country. The workshop aimed to increase prosecution capacity, community leadership and youth engagement in the running of the government. It also sought to promote the development of management, leadership and practical skills for social auditing from different dimensions, such as political, social, technical and teamwork, among young Belizean leaders. Opening the workshop were Doctor Cary Fraser, UB’s President and Daniel Alemu, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP, who both elaborated on the significant role that youth play in the development of a country and the need for transparency and accountability in the government.

Heavy rain causes severe flooding in Belize
Heavy rainfall over the past few days has caused severe flooding in various areas of the country. The five districts that have been affected the most are Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo, Belize and Orange Walk districts. According to the Weather Channel, turbulent weather is being caused by The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) which is causing thunderstorm production over the western Caribbean, the eastern Pacific and south/southwest of Mexico. The MJO is an intra-seasonal fluctuation or “wave” that occurs in the tropics when atmospheric circulation meets oceanic circulation. On Friday, October 25th, the National Emergency and Management Organization (NEMO) issued a public advisory stating that non-stop rain was affecting both the Cayo and Stann Creek Districts and that the Mullins River was 3ft above normal.

What’s for Dinner? Casa Picasso!
Tonight’s the night…hmm, wasn’t that a song??? Well there’s plenty to sing about today, and it’s not just Fred Astaire dancing around in the rain! After a slow-season hiatus the wonderfully delicious and island-hip Casa Picasso will officially open their doors tonight at 5:30PM for their third season on La Isla! Last Friday night, October 25th, the ever-so- gracious and downright fun owners Jacqueline and Adam hosted an open house soirée where guests were treated to a few of their new menu items and indulge in mouthwatering cocktails. Their very attentive wait staff generously circulated trays of tasty morsels, teaming with the likes of braised pork belly, peel n’ eat shrimp, Snook bites, chicken salad on cucumber slices, roasted cauliflower with cheddar sauce, sere shoots and beets with goat cheese to drool, I mean NAME a few. Of course pairing these bites with the likes of Bellini and Brazil 66 cocktails only took the taste sensations to a level off the flavor charts. Boasting new menu items, new cocktails, new wine choices and the strongest martini’s in San Pedro, Casa Picasso is the go-to place for creative food in an artful ambience.

Halloween 2013 Part ll. (32 photos)
Check out some more fun pictures from this year's Halloween celebrations

Kirt Jason Cruz- Diamond in the rough
About Kirt: Kirt Jason Cruz is a 35 year old Belizean artist originally from San Ignacio Town located in the Cayo District of Western Belize. Currently residing in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye Kirt is My Beautiful Belize’s newest Diamond in the Rough. Born into a family of 8, ( 5 siblings plus his mother and father), Kirt picked up painting at the age of 10 as he was influenced by his father, renowned Belizean artist (painter) Pedro Cruz. Painting has always been a part of Kirt’s life, but it was in 2006 that the artist really drew closer to his skill as art would become his therapeutic source after being involved in an altercation that would leave him partially paralyzed. Kirt struggled to keep art in his life after his right hand (which he used to paint) was affected by the incident. It would take months before he would make the transition from a right- hand painter to successfully teaching himself to use his left hand. While Kirt has limited mobility as his accident has also left him in a wheel chair, he hasn’t let these obstacles stop him from doing what he loves.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Sailing Club Excels in First International Regatta
On October 25th two young men, Jerdan Anderson and Jorge Oliverez from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye took to the sea in Bacalar Mexico, representing not only San Pedro but the entire country of Belize in an Optimist sailing regatta. This was the first time ever that that sailors from Belize have been invited to attended an International Regatta. 58 sailors from the Quintana Roo, Yucatan area represented Mexico and our two young sailors from San Pedro made a total of 60 competing in this Invitational Regatta. The Federacion Mexicana de Vela and its President Miguel Angel Pani Can hosted the Regatta. Jerdan and Jorge were two of 25 Optimist sailors racing in the two day event along with 35 Laser sailors and wind surfers. The first four races were held on, Saturday, 26 October. Jerdan Anderson took first place in the first three races and finished third in the final race of the day. Jorge Oliverez was fourth in the first race, moved up to second place in the next two races and then finished ahead of his teammate, Jerden, and the rest of the field sailing into first place in the final race of the day. At the end of an exciting day of racing, overall scores had Jerdan in first place with six points with Jorge solidly in second place with a score of nine points.

San Pedro Vocalized Support of Land Use Planning Efforts
On Tuesday October 22nd, during a public consultation, residents of Ambergris Caye vocalized their general support of land use planning efforts currently being championed for the community. This effort is being undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Belize Tourism Board, as a component of the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP), with the full collaboration of the San Pedro Town Council. The initiative follows on the heels of Cabinet’s endorsement of the National Sustainable Tourism Masterplan last year, which highlights the importance of a national land-use planning framework to enhance destination quality, guide appropriate new developments, and manage the redevelopment of the urban areas. A vast data collection and mapping exercise has been undertaken as part of the planning process to provide a detailed overview of the existing situation. It is intended that the new plans will grandfather in any existing land use, however Planning Consultant Mr. Monfort stressed that new additions and developments will need to conform to new regulations which will make stipulations on use, height, setbacks and % lot coverage. Similar efforts are currently being coordinated in other municipalities through the Lands and Surveys Dept. who were also represented at the consultation.

25 Years Ago: Old School vs. New School in San Pedro Num. 3
The old school was slow and the new school is fast. The old school was simple while the new school is complex or even complicated. This is not about which way is better but rather for the old heads to try to adapt to the new and the new generation to learn that there was another way and it worked. Those of the Old School still try their home remedies to combat many illnesses and medical conditions. There is gargling of warm water with salt, drinking warm coke with lime, lime with honey, rubbing of the chest with Vick vapor rub, inserting of feet in hot water, chewing of tobacco leaves, pinching the forehead with sharp prickles, and puffing of smoke into the ear. The list of home remedies goes on with some practices getting a bit weird like bathing with water with lemon leaves and warmed in the sun, or frying of a scorpion and applying it to a wound. The above were safe and efficient home remedies that were practiced to alleviate illnesses of various kinds. Today folks simply pick up the sick one and take him or her to the doctor for an injection, antibiotics, or ultra sound tests. Back then we didn’t have doctors in the island up until the late 70’s.

Flashbacks: Halloween in Old San Pedro
The Wizard of Oz was driving around San Pedro back in the 1980’s along with witches, devils and ghosts and they were high in possibility of winning the grand prize. Halloween in Old San Pedro was mostly for the children who dressed up for their Halloween fair, danced in a circle and won a prize or two. It was later that adults got into the frenzy that it is today with elaborate costumes, not to forget to mention that they are time consuming and expensive. But Halloween is Halloween and is the joy of sharing some fun even if it means driving around town in a golf car as our good friend Kay Scott the Photographer did in her youthful days. And her vehicle only had one front wheel, something we don’t see any longer. Thank God or we would hear about a flipping over every weekend with the fifty miles per hour that we have today.

Difficult Students (From Challenges to Solutions)
In previous articles I reviewed both positive and negative ways to deal with “Difficult Students” who constantly misbehave at school. Dealing with Difficult Students, Effective Ways to Deal with Difficult Students, Dealing with Loud and Playful Difficult Students. I encouraged teachers to have unbending and effective classroom management, and I suggested positive ways for them to deal with repeated and distractive behavior of students. However, several parents recently contacted me to complain about several difficult students whose constant power struggles with teachers at a high school in Belize City hamper the learning process of other students.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Belikin Calendar Unveil
One ofour favorite times of the year...

Belize's first youth prime minister
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Sound the alarm! The third party has been formed Since the 90s our case has been adjourned This is the calm before the storm We’re coming with a youth platform Constitutional amendments and legal reforms The female prime minister will be our tutor We are coming like a storm so be informed They have been afraid of youth voices Giving the youths choices Using the expressive arts to form alliances Where are the youth forums, councils, and youth governance? Because we are tired or receiving pittances and remittances And want to form cooperatives and industries And exercise our civil liberties

Oct 20, 2013 - Oct 26 , 2013 Fishing Report
We welcomed the Annual Orvis Bonefish Bonanza with 12 boats going out daily for 3 days. Orvis Travel’s Jeremy Kehrein hosted the annual trip with an enthusiastic group of both first time flats anglers to a couple flats veterans and returning guests. People are already booking for next year. Call Jeremy at 800-547-4322! More honeymooners visited us this week with Caroline and Jacob, and Martha and Justin, both were married on October 19!

PACT Supports Chiquibul
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust has awarded a grant to the Friends for Conservation and Development to help them manage the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Thanks, PACT!
Mary Open Doors is having a cake sale this Friday for Dia de los Muertos. Get a yummy cake and support a great cause at the same time. In related news, the SISE and Benque House of Cultures are both having Finados displays in memory of Elias Awe. There will also be the Belikin Halloween block party on Burns.

Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup
The Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup 9 ball tournament was Saturday at Mom's Backyard. It was a fun evening, and had a good showing too. It came down to one shot in the last game, with Luis and Oscar tied 3 to 3. First place was $200 and a trophy. Second was $100 and a trophy. Third was a case of Kubuli beer. Thanks to everyone that came out, and a special thanks to Mom's for hosting the event and giving the case of Kubuli. "It came down to one shot at the Halloween Cup! Congratulations, Luis, for taking first place. Oscar took second, and Wallace took 3rd."

Fuego Halloween Party
Fuego is having a Halloween costume party and happy hour. It'll be on Halloween night, and it starts at 7:00pm. Mistah Geeh will be mixing for the event. "It's coming.....Our FIRST Signature Event."

The Mopan River remains in flood stage and the ferry at Succotz village is closed to traffic.

The low-lying bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio town remains flooded and closed to vehicular traffic.

The Iguana Creek bridge spanning the Belize river in Blackman Eddy Village remains flooded and closed to vehicular traffic.

Friendly sporting matches played between Corozal & Mexico schools
On the evening of October 17, 2013, the Escuela Tecnica Secundaria Mexico Junior College of Corozal, Belize, took part in a friendly several sporting matches with students of the university, “Universidad de Quintana Roo” UQROO. The invitation by Mexico university was to continue to foster the friendly ties and goodwill between both neighboring countries. The Director of UQROO responsible for the physical well being of the students Maria de Guadalupe Cuellar Espadas warmly greeted and welcomed the students and delegates. On behalf of her institution, Cuellar Espadas thanked the Corozal students and teachers and told the visitors to enjoy this great event. She said this event "strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood between the two educational institutions".

Oct 29th - Traffic Jam today on Progresso Road! (Corozal)

We Restarted Our Lives in Belize
Veronique McKenzie didn’t exactly choose to make her home in Belize…more like, Belize chose her. In her former life, Veronique was working in sales, marketing, and advertising, splitting her time between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Her job gave her the opportunity for plenty of travel…but as the years progressed, she knew she needed to make a change. She considered moving to Marseilles in France where she is originally from…but before she did that, she decided to take a vacation. That vacation brought her to Belize…and to her new life. She fell in love with the beauty of Belize and the warmth of its people. She left Belize after her vacation…but the tiny country never left her mind. It felt like fate was calling her back to Belize…a feeling that was proven right on her return. Within weeks of returning to Belize for an extended stay, she met her husband Lance. Though the pair had been practically neighbors in LA, it took that trip to Belize for them to meet.

Channel 7

Cops Caught On Camera Shaking Down Man In ATM Booth
Six weeks ago, a young man named Thyrell Hyde came to us complaining that police robbed him, and then took him to the ATM to clean out his account. His story was compelling, but he asked us to stand down on it because he wanted to make the internal affairs process work without the prejudice of public exposure. So he complained to police and the ombudsman, but got no assistance. So today he came back to media with disturbing proof that what he said is true. Here's how he explained it to Daniel Ortiz.:.. Thyrell Hyde, Claims Police Robbed Him "They said that they were going to search the car and us and so they told the 2 females to go at the back of the car while they search the 2 males; myself and my friend. They searched us, I had $70 in my pocket and they took that.

Flooding Has Hatteiville On Gaurd
Tonight, floodwaters are subsiding in Western Belize, while they are rising in the Belize district. This morning the Belize District Emergency Committee will had an emergency meeting in the district Operations Center at the Sandhill NEMO office. District Emergency Coordinator Calbert Budd was getting the office's communication system ready - and the priority areas outlined. Tonight NEMO is reporting that River levels are rising in the Belize District as the Mopan and Macal Rivers empty into the Belize River at Branch Mouth and coastal communities in the south. The villages of Hattieville, Free Town Sibun, Gracie Rock, La Democracia; Gales Point, Ladyville, Lords Bank, Burrell Boom, Fresh Pond, Crooked Tree, Sand Hill, Grace Bank, May Pen, Bomba, Scotland Half Moon, Lemonal, Rancho Dolores, Willows Bank, and St. Paul's Bank are under flood watch. Today we visited Hattieville where villagers the water is rising but at this point it's not life threatening. We spoke to the chairman:..

Body Of Drowned Man Still Not Recovered
In the Benque Viejo area, the Mopan River has receded slightly, but still searchers have not found the body of the only casualty of the flooding so far, 65 year old farmer Carlos Rito Valdez. As we reported last night, Valdez was paddling his canoe across the Mopan River returning form his farm with plantains when the canoe capsized. Another man who was with him, Luis Baron managed to swim to safety, but Valdez and the canoe went under and did not resurface. Today, a body recovery team conducted a surface search downriver, looking at areas where the body may have gotten caught. They looked all morning but found nothing. The river is still too perilous to conduct searches in canoes or boats, and the search will continue tomorrow. In other flood news from the Cayo district, the low lying temporary bridge remains submerged and closed to traffic.

Castro “Kisses Off” The Media
Belize Rural North Representative and Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro went to Cabinet today for the regular Tuesday meeting. It's the last Cabinet meeting in at least two weeks as the Prime Minister is expected to undergo back surgery next week. The media did try to catch Castro as he left the Sir Edney Cain Building, but as this video from PLUS TV shows he got into his Toyota Fortuner and left before he could be questioned. KREM Radio reports that he blew the female media workers a kiss, before leaving. Castro has dodged and declined all interviews since returning to the country on Saturday, only saying in a statement that he intends to sue Channel 5 and Alvorine Burgess, the woman who claims she paid him four hundred thousand dollars in visa bribes over six months.

NTUCB Kicks Out Christian Workers Union
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has expelled the Christian Workers Union, just as the umbrella group said it would. The NTUCB took the decision unanimously at a special general council meeting yesterday. The NTUCB made its position clear in a press release 10 days ago saying that that CWU Leaders were compelled to stick by a timeline that President Antonio Gonzalez had publicly committed to in August. The CWU Leader, backed up by the majority of its member groups have decided instead to push that meeting back to February 2014. The NTUCB presided over an abortive attempt to hold an AGM last week Saturday but they failed to get a quorum.

Waste Control Snipes At Mayor, Calling Him “Dismissive”, Untruthful
Yesterday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media that the City Council was only ten weeks behind in its payments to Belize Waste Control. He added that this is about the same as last year. Well, Waste Control, which usually keeps a low public profile, shot back today with a scathing press release. It says Bradley's statement is untrue; the last payment was for the week of July 15 - 19th and it was received on October third. So, the weeks outstanding number 15 - not ten, extending from July 22nd to November first. The Mayor also said the council will pay in December, which Waste Control says would bring it to 19 weeks, which their press release says is, quote, completely unreasonable for any business to operate."

214 Foot Waterfall Che Chem Ha “Disappeared” In Flash Flood
As we've been showing you, there has been a lot of flooding along with the week of rains across the country. We've had one drowning and a few people rescued, but apart from that no major landslides or flash floods in populated areas. But, what looks to be a flash flood in the upper reaches of the Cayo District caused an entire waterfall to disappear! That waterfall is called Che Chem Ha, famous for its beauty. But that beauty is no more! Yesterday, Jules Vasquez went to see what happened to it - here's his report:... Jules Vasquez reporting We found Lea Pleitiez taking in the breath-taking vista of the Vaca Plateau - a quiet moment of reflection, and you probably couldn't find a better place for it as the expanse unfolds into so many mesmerizing shades of green.

Man Accuses Police And Produces Expended Shell
At the top of the news, we told you about the outrageous police who took Thyrell Hyde into an ATM to check his balance, and take out some money for themselves. And while it's not as sensational as allegedly getting robbed by the cops, we must also present the story from Carlton Gideon from Sand Hill, who says that officers put his family's life in danger last night. According to Gideon, he was at home with his 5 children when officers barged into his house, and with no warning one of them fired their weapon at his door which penetrated and went inside his house. He told us today that the officers behaved aggressively, and they came to the wrong house because they were looking for his neighbor: Carlton Gideon AKA Carlton Cox - Claims inappropriate behavior "I was in my bed, I had my 4 sons and one of my daughters in their own rooms and at the backdoor I heard someone knocking saying 'police.' I look through the window and I saw one person standing with a gun pointed at the window; my window is at my bed head.

Belize’s Disabled Need Help
Members of the Disabled People's International North America and the Caribbean are in Belize this week to conduct a capacity building workshop with the executive members of the Belize Assembly for Persons With Diverse Abilities. The international organization recognized that some of the national assemblies across the Caribbean were in need of strengthening and Belize was identified as a part of that project. With the help of the media, they are hoping to create awareness by educating the population about persons with disabilities and their rights and also strengthen the BAPDA's executive. Henrietta Davis Wray - Acting President (DPI NAC Inc.) "We are here in Belize my assistant and I to do a capacity building workshop with this organization. Coming out of the 8th regional assembly that was held on August 2011 in Jamaica, we recognized that some of the national assemblies across the Caribbean were in need of strengthening and so Belize was one of the organizations that were identified to be a part of that project."

Beer, Babes And The Enduring Mystique of The Belikin Calendar
The novelty of the Belikin Calendar has faded over time - it's not the big deal that was when it was first launched over a decade ago. But, still, even though slick and sexy images of all kinds have proliferated all around us, the Calendar retains a certain cultural cachet, a niche all its own. On Friday night at the launch of the 2014 version, Daniel Ortiz went looking for the answer to what's behind the mystique. Belikin Calendar from 7News Belize on Vimeo This year's 12 Calendar Girls were chosen in an open casting call on Facebook.

“Sticks” Still Seeking Community Healing
At the top of our newscast, we showed you the flooding from the weekend rains in different parts of the country. Well, one event which went on despite the weather was the Day of Healing, which as we've told you, is a community effort to promote positive activities in the different neighbourhoods where gang influence is heavy. 7News stopped by and we spoke to the organizer, and he told us that cancelling was not an option because the Yabra children would have been disappointed: Perry "Stix" Smith, Organizer - Day of Healing "It's still going on. We are not having any challenges because of the weather. The Father made us and he also made the weather. The weather, some might look at it as an obstacle, but we look at it as a blessing. This is not the first days of healing that water touched it and we gone through - from the time water come the people know already that Day of Healing will still happen."

Taiwan Still Helping With ICT
This morning a Signing Ceremony was held between the Government of Belize and Taiwan on Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology. The project started in 2006, with the objective of applying Taiwan's advanced ICT abilities to assist the government of Belize in progressing towards e-government. With a budget of 3 million dollars, Belize has received assistance to build a national ICT Center while providing training for IT personnel in order to improve the government's overall administrative efficiency. Today, the agreement was renewed and the Taiwanese Ambassador told the media what's behind it:.. H.E. David Wu - Taiwan Ambassador to Belize "We just renew an agreement which was signed in May 2009 when our President came to visit your beautiful country. At that time an agreement for the cooperation of ICT (Industry for Communication and Information) was signed by two Foreign Ministers and then the President and the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow - both of them held a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the ICT Center in Belmopan."

Bex About Bagasse
Bagasse, it's the byproduct of sugar cane production which BSI uses in its subsidiary BELCOGEN to generate electricity which it sells to BEL. It's a waste product, but it's also a value added product - and now, there's trouble brewing in the Cane industry because the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association want to share in the earnings from Bagasse. Today at a stakeholder's engagement conference in Orange Walk, President of the Cane Farmers Association Alfredo Ortega accused BSI and its parent company ASR of assuring their own future at the expense of cane farmers as they negotiated a new bagasse commercial agreement for themselves. HE announced that the Cane Farmers Association would be withdrawing from the event and they walked out after his speech.

Channel 5

6 immigration clerks transferred from Immigration Department
There are new developments in the immigration department corruption scandal tonight. First, News Five has been able to confirm that at least six public officers from that department have been [...]

PSU says suspension of persons from Department a sore spot
Acting Director of Immigration, Maria Marin, is the person who called for the suspension of three passport department staffers early in the administrative investigation. Sharon Neal-Flowers was the head of [...]

Ministry of Immigration meets with N.T.U.C.B. and Social Partners
This afternoon at two-thirty, senior officials of the Ministry of Immigration met with members of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and social partners. The meeting was held in [...]

Minister Castro dodges the media once again
While Ministry of Immigration officials met with the N.T.U.C.B., there was another very important meeting taking place not too far away. Cabinet met until nearly three this afternoon, and Minister [...]

Motion requesting a Senate Inquiry into passport scandal to be discussed
At the last full meeting of the Senate, Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman made clear her intent to bring a motion requesting a Senate Inquiry into the Immigration scandal. Since then [...]

Should Minister Edmund Castro’s finances be investigated?
And tonight’s question is: Should there be an investigation into the finances of Minister of State Edmund Castro? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

The chilling and telling video of the shake down of a young man by police
Tonight, there is chilling and telling video of the shake down of a young man by the police. The incident happened on the night of September eighth when Tyrell Hyde [...]

Eight-month pregnant inmate pleas to be released from prison
Thirty-six year old Jaziba Nasser is eight months pregnant, but she finds herself behind bars since last Thursday.  Nasser is remanded along with her husband, businessman Nazim Nasser and their [...]

Double tragedy for a San Ignacio family following traffic accident
A double tragedy has hit a family from San Ignacio following a traffic accident that occurred earlier this month. On the night of October seventeenth, forty-one year old Ricardo Tepaz [...]

Search continues in Succotz for elderly man who dies in boating accident
A search is underway in the Mopan River near Succotz for the body of a sixty-five year old resident who died while crossing the river. Carlos Valdez and his family [...]

Murder Trial of Vincent Tillett wraps up in court
On Monday in the Supreme Court, Justice Adolph Lucas wrapped up a trial on a charge of murder for forty-nine year old taxi driver Vincent Tillett. On November twelfth, Justice [...]

Special Constable pleads guilty to beating his wife
Also in the courts, Special Constable Barrington Brown, who works as a cabinet maker changed his not guilty plea to guilty of beating of his wife during a domestic dispute [...]

Republic of China and G.O.B. renews its ICT project
Since its establishment in 2006, the Information Communication Technology project, an agreement between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), has seen the construction [...]

17 weeks and no payment by City Hall says Belize Maintenance Limited
The Belize City Council has not paid Belize Maintenance Limited for sixteen weeks. BML is responsible for a large portion of the city’s cleaning needs…from the pruning of trees and [...]

Christian Workers Union officially expelled from the N.T.U.C.B.
The Christian Workers Union, following a meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize on Monday, has been expelled from the umbrella organization.  The dismissal was formalized as a [...]

Disabled Peoples International discusses issues affecting the disabled
The needs and rights of persons with disabilities are often overlooked in favor of others who are considered physically capable. The government has agreed to take every possible action so [...]

Belize to compete in Central American Boxing Championship in Nicaragua
A pair of Belizean boxers, led by Coach Leopold Smart and Boxing Association President Moses Sulph, left for Managua, Nicaragua this evening, where they will compete in the Central American [...]

From Yes to I Do, Channel 5 Will Follow You…Episode 2
Stay tuned to this station for episode two of our popular reality wedding, from Yes to I Do. In tonight’s episode, you will catch the challenges among the aspiring couples [...]


Young Man Says He Was Shaken Down by Police
A serious allegation has been made against members of the Belize Police Department. Late this afternoon 20 year old Thyrell Hyde visited Love News to make a complaint that he was the victim of a robbery carried out by police officers several weeks ago and he says that he is frustrated because so far no one has been charged even though he has provided video evidence of the crime. THYRELL HYDE “On the 8th September, I was in Belize City in the Buttonwood Bay area with some friends; we were parked by the sea side when the Police came up and came by the driver’s side and told all of us to get out of the car. We got out of the car and they told us that they were going to search the car and us and so it was two males and two females including myself and they told the two females to go to the back of the car and they searched the two males (me and my other friend); they removed the items from my pocket, I had my keys, seventy dollars, my phone and they took that. Two other officers were searching the car; one searched on the driver’s side and the other searched by the passenger side and after the search they said they will take us to station and they told the two girls that were with us to leave and if they stayed that means they want to go to station too.

Senator Files Notion For Special Select Committee
On Monday Attorney and PUP Senator Lisa Shoman filed a Notice of Motion to create a special select committee to institute and conduct enquiries and investigations into mismanagement or corruption by persons in Central Government or public statutory bodies. Love News spoke with Shoman earlier today and she told us more. SENATOR LISA SHOMAN “What I have been able to do is after talking to the social partners, we drafted up a notice of motion and put it for the social partner’s consideration and what I have done is presented it to the Clerk of the National Assembly. He has received it and he tells me that it will be on the agenda for next week.” LINETTE CANTO “Can you tell us a little bit more about what is in the motion and what is the process from here after?” SENATOR LISA SHOMAN “Essentially the motion sights two things: the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Senate. The constitution is what gives the Senate the functions and I believe the responsibility for us to carry out investigations and inquiry.

Students in Southern Belize Affected by Flood
Flooding waters continue to affect families across Belize. According to NEMO river flood levels was observed to be increasing in the Belize District as the Mopan and Macal Rivers raise as they empty into the Belize River at Branch Mouth and coastal communities in the south. The Hammock Bridge at Branch Mouth has washed away. The Low lying Bridge in San Ignacio /Santa Elena is still under water and remains closed. The Iguana Creek Bridge is still under water and the Baking Pot Ferry remains closed. In the south, the road in and out of San Pablo on the Southern Highway remains closed to traffic. In Toledo, Indianville and Magoon area is now experiencing flooding. Monkey River Village is also experiencing flooding. There is 3ft of water across the road. The school bus cannot leave the Village. The road is impassable. On the Hopkins Road there are some sections that are under 14 inches of water. NEMO advises persons to secure their property and move out early if possible especially residents of Hattieville, Free Town Sibun, Gracie Rock, La Democracia; Gales Point, Ladyville, Lords Bank, Burrell Boom, Fresh Pond, Crooked Tree, Sand Hill, Grace Bank, May Pen, Bomba, Scotland Half Moon, Lemonal, Rancho Dolores, Willows Bank, and St. Pauls Bank. The weather also made it a short day for students at the Toledo Community College as we hear in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.

Police News
San Ignacio Police was on mobile patrol yesterday afternoon on Stanton Street in San Ignacio Town, when their attention was drawn to two male persons of Hispanic descent. The two persons were stopped and informed that a search will be conducted on them for drugs and firearm. The search led to the discovery of two S&B nine millimeter round and a chrome and brown nine millimeter Luger Speer round stuffed inside one of the men’s left front pants pocket. That individual identified as 27 year old David Winsor of Apollo Street. Police requested gun license from Winsor which he was unable to produce and as a result he was escorted to the police station and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license.

Flood Waters Affect Residents
The flood waters caused heavy rains over the weekend are now heading out to the Caribbean Sea and are reaching the Belize River Valley area. And the evidence was everywhere today when we travelled up the Philip Goldson Highway and into some of the communities in that area. The currents in the riding Haulover Creek at Ml seven were strong and swift. Salvador Hernandez moved to Mile 20 along the Philip Goldson Highway 20 years ago and he says that every time there is a heavy and continuous downpour, the low-lying plains get saturated to these extremes. Salvador Hernandez, Resident, Ml 20, PG Highway “Like this weather here, now we have like 2 or 3 feet of water in some parts.” MARION ALI “So you don’t have a backyard when it floods?” SALVADOR HERNANDEZ “No, we don‘t have a back yard not even a front yard because the front of the yard is flooded. Yesterday morning that yard and the whole front of this yard was flooded and it is low very low land.”

Mexico and Belize in The Arts
Twenty years ago, in 1993, the Institute of Mexico in Belize was created as a cultural center, through which the Mexican Embassy developed different projects. The Institute plays a leading role in the recreational and artistic life of Belize and has become an essential part of the cultural infrastructure of this country. One of the main sections of the Institute is the gallery of exhibitions: this place is a dynamic site, which presents plastic art displays, highlighting to the Belizean public, creativity of Mexican artists and the vast cultural heritage of Mexico. Director of the Institute Dominguez Rodriguez Semerano shared more to Love News. DOMINGUEZ RODRIGUEZ SEMERANO “This is a very cultural center in Belize City to promote the Mexican culture but the Belizean culture too. This is free space for the Embassy of Mexico to show to the Belize people the tradition, culture and everything about Mexico and also everything about Belize; it is the home of Belizeans too. This kind of building is an effort of the Mexican government to show in some countries its cultures and make the presence of the Mexican artists stronger. A lot of big exhibitions about Mexican artists and Belizean artists; for example in the case of Belizean artists we have Angela Gegg, Pen Cayetano and a lot of artists from the state of Quintana Roo to show to the public of Belize his work but this is not only a gallery of art. In this institute we have many activities like music conference and different kinds of meetings.”

Workshop Focuses on Disabled Persons
Henrietta Davis-Raye is the Disabled People’s International for the North America and Caribbean Region and she is in Belize. The organization was launched in 1981 with a goal to achieve full participation of ALL persons with disabilities in the mainstream of life, through promotion and protection of their human rights. Davis-Raye is hosting a capacity building workshop for disabled individual here in Belize. HENRIETTA DAVIS RAYE “Disabled Peoples International is a cross disability organization that simply means national assemblies in each country must be comprised of a cross disability, meaning a physical disability, a hearing impairment or deaf, blind or visual impairment, intellectual impairment. There are other disabilities but those are the major disabilities that ought to be a part of your national assembly executive body.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “What’s the goal of the organization on a whole?” HENRIETTA DAVIS RAYE “The goal of the organization is to create an environment where persons with disabilities have access to the whole range of opportunities of advanced society and that is education, housing, training, employment, recreation. The state must provide the facilities to assist persons who have a disability.”

Judge Will Render Ruling for 2011 Murder In Two Weeks
Yesterday, after all the evidence was in for the murder trial of 49-year-old, taxi driver ,Vincent Tillett, the judge, Justice Adolph Lucas, in the trial which is without a jury, reserved November 12 as the date when he will give his ruling. Tillett, a resident of Antelope Street Extension in Belize City is accused of the murder of 23-year-old, Darwin Phillips, who died from a stab wound to his chest that was inflicted between 6 and 7 pm on February 13, 2011. The case for the prosecution was that Phillips was at a house on Antelope Street Extension shared by Tillett and Tillett’s common-law wife, Denise Stuart, when Tillett entered and went to the kitchen where he got a knife and stabbed Phillips. The prosecution had relied on the testimony of two eye witnesses; both were deemed as hostile witnesses when they refused to testify in accordance to statement they had previously given to the police. Those statements were, however, admitted as evidence.

Prices Upped for Liquid Petroleum
The price of liquid petroleum is has increased in most parts of the country. According to the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection the new prices took effect yesterday. The price for a one hundred pound cylinder will be one hundred and eighteen dollars in Belize City and Corozal; one hundred and nineteen dollars in orange Walk; one hundred and twenty dollars in Belmopan and San Ignacio, one hundred and twenty one dollars in Benque Viejo del Carmen; one hundred and twenty two dollars in Dangriga and one hundred and twenty three dollars in Punta Gorda. All the new approved prices are an increase of a dollar from the last modified list which was approved on September 5th.


Marijuana Plantation Goes Up In Flames
An anti drug operation by authorities led to the destruction of a number of marijuana plants. Between the hours of 4:30pm and 6:30pm on the 28th of October police conducted an anti drug operation about 1 ½ miles Northwest of Carmelita Village Orange Walk District where a marijuana plantation was found containing about 50 marijuana plants ranging from 2 inches to 4 ft in height. Police also found about ½ pound of cannabis resin and a black plastic bag containing about 60 marijuana trees that were place to dry under a shed. No one was found in the area and the plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

Case Against Matthew Williams Adjourned , Magistrate On Leave
The case against Matthew Williams for the unlawful possession of six passports, four Belizean, one Panamanian, and one Spanish resumed today before Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. After numerous adjournments since 2012 when the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a sting operation on William’s residence located in Smithsonian Street, Orange Walk Town, which resulted in the discovery of the passports, the case finally saw a break through approximately two weeks ago as trial began. After the testimony of former OCEANA vice-president Audrey Matura Sheppard, one of the prosecutions key witnesses, the case was adjourned to today when it was expected that Williams would present his defense. Of note is that Williams was allowed to act on his own defense after he failed to procure an attorney.

19 Year Old Missing For Ten Days, His Mother Fears The Worst
Tonight the family of 19 year old Toni De Carlos Pasos is frantically looking for him. According to Pasos’ mother, 55 year old Sandra Zetina, her son walked out of the house after an argument ensued between them. Sandra Zetina- Mother of Missing Person “On Saturday morning the 19th they told him that they have to leave the home and find somewhere to stay, right and when he came Saturday night I told him, here is your clothes and you just got paid and go and rent a room because you can’t stay here anymore, so I closed the door and in the morning when he got up his clothes was still there but he wasn’t there. I left the clothes outside an everything for three days, after the three days his boss came to me and he told me what happened to Tony because he hasn’t been to work for three days so I told well I thought he was there with him and he said no, so when I started asking friend if they had seen him or anything they said no, so I decided to go to the police station because he has never done something like that, anywhere he goes I always know where he is.”

Businessman Accuses Three Officers Of Bribery
There are serious allegations of bribery being made against three police officers attached to the Belize City Police Department tonight. According to the alleged victim, Thyrell Hyde of Belize City, the incident played out sometime in the month of September. Hyde reports that he and a group of friends were sitting inside his vehicle which was parked in the vicinity of the Buttonwood Bay Park when they were surprised by a group of police officers who were on patrol at the time. The group, according to Hyde, was searched by the officers and that is when the situation got out of control. Thyrell Hyde, Business Man “They searched me and my friend, they remove seventy dollars from my pocket, my keys, my cellphone and they took those from my friend also his keys and cellphone too and while they were searching us two other officers were searching the car and so I notice they had remove a manila envelope that I had in the glove compartment of the car, I had everything that it had to do with my contracts, copies of cheques and stuff like that and then the other officer proceeded to check the trunk and so I had my kick bag in there also and after they search that well they told me that they were going to take me to the station and so I asked him if I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and they haven’t found anything illegal what is the reason they will take me to the station and so the police man looked at me and he told but you could help yourself and I told what you mean and I told him well if money you guys want well you done take it from my pocket and whilst searching one of them found my ATM card and he told well we have the card here and so the two officer got into my car and drove me to the ATM machine and so they went to Atlantic Bank by the flag monument in Belize City and they ordered me to follow them into the ATM and they took out two hundred and fifty.”

What's Next For The BSCFA?
And while the fate of the Belize Sugar Industry seems to be in limbo, the ‘walkout’ thrown by the BSCFA comes under the basis of principles where the association felt their basic economic rights are being trampled. So, what’s next for the Association? That’s what we asked the top brass of the Association in a follow up meeting today. Alfredo Ortega– BSCFA “Estamos en una manera unida para trabajar porque cada uno de nosotros representamos una cantidad de caneros e diferentes sucursales, nosotros en diferentes juntas generales los caneros no han puesto de que busquemos esa manera de negociar y conseguir un beneficio en lo que es el bagazo y hoy es un día de que marchamos y marchamos juntos porque representamos una organización y objetivo es ver de tener un beneficio por el uso del bagazo ahora el bagazo es un sub producto que genera dinero, economía y nosotros como caneros debemos de conseguir un share de esa economía que brinda el bagazo , nosotros de aquí vamos a tener una justa con los caneros y vamos a reportar hasta donde hemos llegado en estos momentos en relación a la negociaciones y allí vamos a tomar en los consejos de los caneros.”

BSCFA Walks Out On BSI In The Middle Of Strategic Planning Presentation
Sugar Industry Stakeholders met today at the Gala Lounge to strategically plan the future investment of the Industry where key points were raised to remain competitive beyond 2017 in the Global Market. But that’s not all that happened. Our news team was on hand for the event and brings you the following report. Maria Novelo - Reporting In an effort to effectively compete in the global market where changes to the EU is imminent, Industry Stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and majority holder American Sugar Refinery, met today to chart a way forward in their new Action Plan for the Future of the Sugar Industry of Belize.


Edmund Castro issues a formal statement on visa allegations
On Friday, we told you of the lengths to which Prime Minister Dean Barrow avoided the press on his return from Los Angeles, California, by having his personal vehicle taken to the airport tarmac, stopping only to greet party supporters who made a rare appearance. One day later, it...

Eric Chang severs communication links with Belize City Hall
City Councilor Eric Chang continues to be absent from the country of Belize even as he remains accused of complicity in the granting of a passport to disgraced South Korean businessman Won-Hong Kim. It has been over three weeks since he promised to return and he has not. The Council...

Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. denies visa quota system
The press continues to seek the views of Cabinet members on different facets of the immigration scandal. On Monday, Tourism and Culture Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. was asked if he is aware of the widely-reported visa quota system for Ministers and whether he facilitated any such visas. Here is...

Stevedores short of quorum at convention
Stevedores angry with the leadership of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) had vowed to proceed with a convention intended to oust president Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy, despite the official disapproval of the majority of the eleven bargaining units within the Union. These units had agreed to...

Father ends his life after daughter dies in crash
A traffic accident causing the death of a little girl, proved too much for her father who ended his own life in grief. Police reports have it that on Thursday, October 17th, 41 year old Ricardo Antonio Rosa Tepas, a Naturalized Belizean of Santa Elena Town, was driving his...

Southern Regional Hospital Administrator has suspension extended
There are new revelations regarding the investigative audit conducted at the Southern Regional Hospital. The Auditor General was enrolled by the Ministry of Health to conduct an audit at the hospital, following reports of suspected irregular activities. Over the three years, it is reported that about four hundred thousand...

Family land dispute erupts on Cemetery Lane
They say you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family. That quote from American author Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” was dramatized this past Saturday on Cemetery Lane in Belize City. In 1933, two families lived on the same plot of land, #404 Cemetery Lane. One was...

Mayor Darrell Bradley has initiatives to address sanitation payments
Rumors have been circulating for sometime that sanitation companies Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC) plan to picket City Hall over the annual problem of falling behind on sanitation payments. At last report, although the Council disputes the figure, Belize Waste Control is owed 15 weeks...

Weekend weather causes flooding in Four districts
Since Thursday of last week, there’s been a consistent downpour of rain over the country which led to some flooding in the City of Belmopan on Friday. Those showers continued on over the weekend though; causing flooding in four of the six district. Plus news...

Belize City Mayor Begins Countdown to Open the BTL Park
As of Monday, it is 41 days and counting to the opening of BTL Park. Today, the press was invited to the formal countdown, launched by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, who updated the press on what has been done so far. Mr. Darrel Bradley-Mayor of Belize City...

NICH and Museums Association of the Caribbean Launch Master Plan at AGM
Museums – they are where a nation’s collective soul resides, housing relics of the past for people of the present to look at and possibly divine the future. But in a rapidly evolving world, are they still relevant? That is a question members of the Museums Association of the Caribbean...


Lady whistleblower has reportedly “spilled the beans” to both the US Embassy and the office of the Ombudsman. Last Friday afternoon the media houses of Belize thronged the Philip Goldson International Airport waiting to “ambush” Prime Minister Dean Barrow for his comments on recent allegations that another of his Ministers of State, Hon. Edmond Castro, was reportedly involved in corruption, this time a visa scandal. The Prime Minister had been in Los Angeles when the Castro scandal broke. Still trying to deal with Minister of State Elvin Penner’s sensational “Citizen Kim” passport scandal in the Immigration Ministry, PM Barrow, just off a 9-day visit to California, apparently was in no mood to speak to the media about anything of the sort. The Prime Minister used his clout to have his vehicle waiting on the tarmac of the airport, and he and Mrs. Barrow walked from the United Airlines jet, after greeting some of his supporters, straight into his vehicle. His driver sped off, leaving a startled and disappointed media behind.

Ashley Smith is very lucky to be spending tonight at home because of the possibility of her being sent to prison after she was arraigned late this evening at Magistrate’s Court #8. According to police, Smith (whose age was not provided in court) is the Customs officer who, between August 30, 2013, and September 26, 2013, allegedly stole $4,966, the property of the Customs Department. Police believe that Smith took the cash that was paid to her and replaced it with cheques written out in the same amounts, so that at the end of the day there would be no discrepancies with her account. The matter was investigated after her superiors started seeing the cheques and realized that the company name that was printed on the cheques was not a company with which they had ever done business.

A Yo Creek father of three children was shot dead during an ambush by two robbers at about 12:30 Friday afternoon in Sandhill, at Mile 19 on the Philip Goldson Highway at its junction with the old Maskall Road. George Blanco, 60, was driving his company truck from Belize City to Orange Walk, along with his boss, John Penner, 42, and Penner’s two sons, Abraham, 20, and Gerhard, 22, after selling meat to suppliers in the city. As he slowed for the pedestrian crossing at Mile 19 in Sandhill, suddenly one of two men who were standing on the left side of the road near the speed bump fired into the front of the vehicle, killing Blanco almost instantly. Blanco was hit under the arm, and slumped over the steering wheel. The two robbers, who were armed with a gun and a knife, approached the truck from the left and right side of the vehicle, robbed the boss and his two sons and escaped with over $10,000 in cash.

Headline — 29 October 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego The Tepaz family of Santa Cruz, Cayo, is going through terrible grief, mourning the deaths of their father and their sister. Their sister, Glendy Tepaz, 14, died yesterday, Sunday, in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) while undergoing treatment for injuries sustained as a result of a road traffic accident in which her father was the driver of a vehicle that ran off the road and smashed into a container that was inside a yard. Then yesterday, Sunday, after his daughter’s death, her father, unable to bear the excruciating pain, drank a herbicide and died shortly after. Police reports are that about 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, they went to the junction of Joseph Andrews Drive and Branch Mouth Road in San Ignacio, where they saw a grey Toyota pickup truck with damage to the front portion parked on the right hand side of the road. Their investigation revealed that Ricardo Antonio Rosa Tepaz, 41, a naturalized Belizean of the Santa Cruz area of Santa Elena, was driving his 1987 Toyota pickup truck to San Ignacio when he lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and collided with a container that was inside a yard

The brochure featured 6 images of cauliflower-looking, genital warts on the tip of the penis, as well as warts at the vagina and anus, in color. A “very graphic” STD brochure, which features close-up shots of grossly infected female and male genitals, fell into the wrong hands on Friday morning – oddly, at a Drug Awareness Fair held by a Northside primary school in Belize City. The principal of the school, who described the material as “very graphic,” confirmed to our newspaper that the incident did occur, but went further to say that the matter was immediately arrested when the school’s management learned children were collecting the brochures with the gross sexual images. Six images, which appear in the inside fold of the brochure, feature cauliflower-looking, genital warts on the tip of the penis, as well as warts at the vagina and anus. (All these are body parts, we note, shown in the brochure in color.)

Incessant rains which poured significant amounts of water across the country late last week and over the past weekend have caused various incidents of flooding in some rural areas of Belize, particularly in the Cayo District, where rising water levels forced families to relocate for their safety. On Friday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) issued a flood watch for several villages in western and southern Belize, and by Friday night, torrents of heavy rain began to drench the country, mainly in the western and southern regions. The rains which caused the localized flooding were as a consequence of a cold front that passed over the Yucatan peninsula. In the communities of Arizona, Teakettle and Maya Mopan, floods affected several families, with some areas recording as much as 12 inches of water. In the south, North Stann Creek was 4 feet above normal water levels, while waters were about 12 feet above normal at Hope Creek Village.

Orlando “Landy” Habet, the member of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) who has been leading the charge to gather signatures for a petition to recall Cayo North East area representative Elvin Penner, told Amandala today that they plan to push until Sunday, November 3, 2013, to gather signatures of constituents—to ensure that they are well above the 30% threshold required to trigger the vote. According to Habet, who ran against Penner in 2012 but lost by 17 votes, the division has 5,800 registered voters, and they have managed to obtain the signatures of over 1,800 of them for the recall petition. Habet said that although they have already pushed beyond the minimum number of required signatures, they will work over the weekend to gather even more signatures.

It was an abbreviated weekend of football in the Belize City Mayor’s Cup due to intermittent showers during most of the preceding week and throughout the weekend. All the Premier League Belikin Cup games, scheduled for Sunday, were cancelled; but the Mayor’s Cup did get in two games on Friday night, while their Saturday and Sunday games had to be called off because of the weather. And there is a different type of cloud looming over the management of the Belize City Mayor’s Cup. In the opener this past Friday night at the MCC, Tulish FC bombed Third World, 8-2, with 2 goals from Jermin Aval and 1 apiece from Misael Munoz, German Sandoval, Reynaldo Gonzales, Marlon Gutierrez, Brandon Cacho and Isau Suazo. Both Third World goals were by John Smith. The much anticipated nightcap clash between league leaders Fort George United and West Lake ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Wayne Miller shook the net for West Lake, while Henry Gillett hit the target for Fort George, who maintain their 1 point lead in the standings over second place West Lake. But the game was not without an element of controversy.

The Southern Secondary School Sports Association (SSSSA) has held its regional competition to select their regional champions to represent the Southern Region at the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) tournament on November 8-9 in Belize City. Participating high schools were Stann Creek Ecumenical College (ECU), Julian Cho Technical High School (JCT), Georgetown Technical High School (GTC), Independence High School (HIS), and Toledo Community College (TCC). The following are the results of female (F) and male (M) competition games held at Stann Creek Ecumenical College and hosted by Agriculture and Natural Resource Institute, ANRI. Utilizing a double-elimination format, (F) ECU defeated JCT, 25-17, 25-18; (M) ECU def. GTC, 17-25, 25-8, 15 – 8; (F) ECU def. HIS, 25-18, 25-13; (M) TCC def. ECU, 25-8, 25-8; (F) JCT def. HIS, 25-11, 25-22 (HIS eliminated); and (M) GTC def. ECU, 23-25, 25-21, 16-14 (ECU eliminated). Playing in the championship round then, (F) ECU defeated JCT in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18 (championship game); while (M) GTC needed 3 sets to defeat TCC, 25-23, 18-25, 18-16 (championship game).

The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) Volleyball Competition 2013, which began back on Wednesday, October 2, with 5 female teams and 5 male teams participating, will hold its championship finals this week at Bird’s Isle. Participating female teams were from St. Catherine Academy (SCA), Nazarene High School (NHS), Ladyville Technical High School (LTH), Wesley College High School (WES), and Belize High School (BHS); while the males were St. John’s College (SJC), Anglican Cathedral College (ACC), Ladyville Technical High School (LTH), Wesley College High School (WES), and Belize High School (BHS). One female and one male game was played daily at Bird’s Isle from Monday to Saturday of each week, and after completion of a double round-robin regular season, they are now down to the best-of-3 games championship finals series featuring the top two female and male teams from the regular season standings.

The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) tips off its CSSSA Basketball Tournament 2013-2014 tomorrow, Tuesday, at Bird’s Isle. Weekday games begin at 5:10 p.m., while on Saturday’s the games start at 10:00 a.m. Six (6) female (F) teams and nine (9) male (M) teams are participating in this year’s competition. Female teams are: Pallotti High School (PHS), Ladyville Technical High (LTH), Gwen Lizarraga High (GLH), St. Catherine Academy (SCA), Belize High School (BHS) and Wesley College (WES). Male teams are: WES, GLH, Nazarene High School (NHS), LTH, St. John’s College (SJC), Anglican Cathedral College (ACC), BHS, Sadie Vernon Technical (SVT) and Excelsior High School (EHS). It’s a single round-robin regular season, with knockout semifinals scheduled for December 2-3, and the best-of-3 finals series ending on December 9, in time for the Nationals, which take place on December 13-14.

As far as we know, the only trade union historian in Belize is Nick Pollard, Jr., and he has an admitted agenda, which is the rehabilitation of the image of his late father, trade union leader/politician Nicholas Pollard, Sr. Right now, we need some help from Nick, Jr. The nationalist history of British Honduras/Belize in the post-World War II era was similar to that of other countries in the British Caribbean, in that the political leadership which emerged to lead these countries to independence, such as that of Eric Williams in Trinidad and Bustamante/Manley in Jamaica, came out of the trade union movements which had fought for workers’ rights during colonialism. In Belize, the leaders of the People’s United Party (PUP), founded in 1950, infiltrated and took over control of the General Workers Union (GWU), which had been founded by Clifford Betson, a shipwright, about six or seven years before. In national elections held in 1954 and 1957, the PUP and the GWU ran and won as the PUP/GWU ticket. But after 1957, the GWU was emasculated by the PUP, and it was essentially replaced by the Christian Workers Union (CWU), which was subservient to the George Price-led PUP.

Last Friday afternoon I decided to roll up to the airport to view for myself the circumstances of the Belize Prime Minister’s return from Los Angeles by way of Houston. I changed my schedule slightly so that I could reach the airport around the PM’s scheduled 2:30 arrival time. When I got to canalside before 2, however, my younger brother told me that it had been announced on the 12:30 news that Rufus X had called off his airport demonstration because of bad weather. On the Thursday evening news, it had been reported that Rufus had obtained a license to demonstrate at the Philip Goldson International Airport on the PM’s arrival, and that he would be meeting later Thursday evening with his COLA group to plan the details. On the face of it, it seemed as if Rufus had gotten the license all on his own, and I thought this was a most interesting idea. Now, please understand. Rufus X and I are friends and colleagues from UBAD days, a matter of 44 years and more. We have major differences from time to time. For example, I think Rufus is the person most responsible for the breakup of UBAD in favor of the UDP in 1973, but Rufus saved my life in 1984. He owns 10 percent of Kremandala, Ltd., and 20 percent of KREM Radio. I personally moved away from COLA after January of 2010, but Rufus has remained prominent in the group’s leadership.

The proposed changes to Belize’s Criminal Code will this week be reviewed at a third House Committee meeting—this time being held with key legal authorities in Belize who will provide invaluable technical input to refine the proposed amendments. The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, headed by Education Minister Patrick Faber, is leading the review of the bill before it goes back to Parliament. That committee is slated to meet Wednesday evening at the National Assembly, and the Belize Bar Association, the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) are due to be present at that meeting. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd has highlighted a number of concerns about the proposed amendments to Belize’s Criminal Code – one of them being the removal of the offense of marital rape: a provision under which a man could be charged for raping his wife, particularly in the event of spousal abuse.

Belize was represented in Montevideo, Uruguay, last week by Eddie Webster, Clerk of the National Assembly, at a regional meeting for Parliaments of Latin America captioned, “ICT strategic planning and use of social media in parliaments.” Whereas the National Assembly currently has a website, it has no presence on social media. Webster told Amandala today that a new Facebook page would be set up to improve the dissemination of information to the public. The meeting was coordinated by the Global Center for ICT in Parliament, based on Rome, Italy. That center was launched by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in cooperation with the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) in the context of the 2005 World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS).

Late this evening the Government of Belize issued a notice indicating that the controlled price for Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as butane, is being increased, effective today, Monday, October 28, 2013. The last price increase took effect on September 6, 2013. Today’s increase of $1 on the 100-pound cylinder puts the price at the highest recorded for the last 12-month period. Last November, butane prices fell from a high of $118 to $117. Prices continued to fall to $113 through to April. In fact, official data indicate that this price held for five months, until the price hike in September.

Two men were busted with 2 1/2 pounds of cocaine in Benque Viejo del Carmen, in the area of the Western border. Guatemalans Jonathon Sandoval and Robin Velez, both 23, were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday, where Sandoval pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, a plea which the court accepted and for which he was given a 3-year jail sentence and a fine of $100,000. His accomplice, Velez, pleaded not guilty, and the court remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until December 10. The incident occurred about 4:30 Thursday evening. Policemen of the newly formed unit called the Mobile Interdiction Team said that they were on routine patrol in the Western border area at that time when they saw a car clear the border and head towards Benque. They stopped the car and conducted a search for drugs, ammunition and guns.

— by Paul Rodriguez Sex – Moslems know better Editor Sir: Colin bh has been forgiven. I will not need forgiveness, for I shall not offend while I more fully explore the issue of rape and modesty in dress for women. Allow me to state right off that the sexual act between a man and a woman is one of the beautiful human acts, if it is the gift of oneself to another. It is so exalted an expression of love and freedom that very often the Creator signifies His blessing by the creation of a new person. For any act to be one proceeding from love, it must be completely free. Therefore consensuality is of its essence. Even if you are in bed with your wife and she says “Stop it!”, your efforts should cease then and there. To continue is to invite a charge of “RAPE”. This is a very tough saying, but to climb to the summit of civilized behavior, we must strive to reach greater respect for the “NO.” Nakedness, total or partial, does not itself constitute an invitation: it may be to attract, which may be mere flirtation.

- by Russell Czarnecki Dear Editor, In Zelda Hill’s letter to the editor dated October 25, she makes a mistake common among Belizeans when – while referring to sexual predators – she incorrectly attributes this reprehensible crime to “depraved tourists.” During the seven years I’ve lived in Belize, I can recall very few cases (still too many, of course) of non Belizeans involved in this type of activity, while hardly a week goes by without some local being arrested and charged with a crime against a minor. It’s always easy to blame someone else for the things we find unpleasant about ourselves, whether it’s crimes against children or spouses, or crimes against the nation committed by crooked politicians.

— by Emily L. Wilt Dear Sir, You have managed to glean many good articles from U.S. and British sources, the most recent being by Eric Kasum. There are a lot more fairytales that need correction. George Washington did not always tell the truth. Pocahontas did not save John Smith and Lewis and Clarke did not need a guide to get to the West Coast – just a few examples. When I taught high school history, I was a pedestal kicker. My principal was not happy when I showed a filmstrip about the aftermath of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. “That’s not very patriotic,” he said. “Guess not” I replied.

Police came up and caught the thief red-handed. A San Pedro resident, Alfredo Cowo, 22, was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on Friday, October 25, and was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until December 5. Cowo was captured red-handed by police while struggling with his victim to steal his footwear off his feet. He has been charged with robbery, handling stolen goods, and keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Nelson Rhaburn, 19, of Pescador Drive, San Pedro, told police that at about 3:30 Wednesday morning, he was on Pescador Drive helping his friend when two men walked up to him. One of them, who was holding a gun in his hand, pointed the gun at him while his partner took away Rhaburn’s Camel bag, valued at $250, and a wallet valued at $65, and which contained $250 in cash.

Sentencing has been deferred to November 4, 2013, for the 2009 crime. Lloyd Elijio, 22, is spending his first night at the Kolbe Foundation after being convicted of the October 25, 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord, 22. The trial started on October 21 and the Crown’s prosecutor, Sheneiza Smith, called Lord as its main witness. He testified that at 12:30 on the afternoon of October 25, 2009, he was followed by Elijio from the Swing Bridge, down Queen Street, New Road and into Hydes Lane. According to Lord, although he was being followed by Elijio, he didn’t expect anything to happen, since he knew Elijio. But when he got in front of the DHL building on Hydes Lane, he saw Elijio pull out a gun from the left side of his pants waist and fire at him. A shot caught him in the left side of the chest.

The five persons were taken to prison after being unable to meet bail. Today, Kaylani Gentle, 27, Marcelle Valles, 30, Delia Martinez, 21, Jose Moralez, 47, and Pedro Campos, 24, were all charged with drug trafficking when they appeared over at Magistrate’s Court #8. According to police, at 3:30 yesterday evening the San Pedro residents were socializing at Captain Guts Bar in San Pedro when a raid of the bar was conducted by police looking for illegal drugs and firearms. When the police arrived at the table where the five persons were and searched an ashtray that was under the table, they found 20 very small parcels of suspected crack cocaine. All five persons, along with the suspected drugs, were taken to the police station, where the parcels were weighed and amounted to 1.47 grams. Gentle was additionally charged with drug possession after police found a pipe which allegedly contained 0.17 grams of suspected powder cocaine inside her cigarette pack.

This morning, Albert Moody, 25, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was arraigned on two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. According to police investigations, at 11:45 p.m. on October 20, Elroy Perdomo, 18, of Kraal Road, and Steven Lambey, 26, of Reggae Street, were riding on separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard toward the Port of Belize when they heard what sounded like shots being fired. After hearing the sounds, both men told police that they felt a burning sensation, and realized that they had been shot – Perdomo in his left ankle and the left side of his buttocks, and Lambey in his right calf and the right side of his abdomen.


We were sworn to secrecy until after the Casa Picasso Restaurant menu tasting
Another first for the tacos and probably everyone else that was invited to the special secret event, we got to taste pretty much the whole menu. That is the kind of thing that happens on the island when your friends that own one of the most popular restaurants in town decide to do some quality control with their new staff before high season opening. We started with cocktails and the specialty martini’s included: cucumber & green tea, limeade, bohemian luxury, breakfast martini, and Maharajah. Other drinks our table tried were basil mojito, AC iced tea and blue lagoon. You can find out more on how they are made by visiting the Casa Picasso drinks menu. Next came tapas, and the plates kept coming as fast as we could clear them. We sampled: skewered chicken breast roasted button mushrooms. ginger sesame conch, lobster mac& cheese, savin rock lobster sliders, gambas a la plancha, rendered pork belly with oyster sauce culantro & diced tomatoes, beef carpaccio, snook poke, potato ricotta gnocchi with organic asparagus, roasted beets, gratin de chou-fleur. Also on the appetizers part of the menu menu we tasted chilled octopus salad and Cesar salad. Everything was delicious which was no surprise with Jackie and Adam in charge and the great staff they have hired.

Invest Belize DVD
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) unveiled its Invest Belize Video on the 28th of October, 2013 at the ITVET building, upper flat conference room. In collaboration with Compete Caribbean, the mandate has been to ensure that the rich offerings of Belize are showcased in a manner that truly promotes and further develops the Belizean economy; whilst attracting competent investors. Belize is no longer Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret, as efforts made have paved the way forward to ensure that the Natural Niche Belize effortlessly is highlighted as BELTRAIDE remains the pioneer in this venture.

Casa Picasso in San Pedro: Tasting the Entire Menu at One of the Very Best Restaurants in Town
Casa Picasso, a personal favorite of mine in San Pedro, re-opens today and well…someone’s got to test the new menu, right? I was a very lucky recipient of an invitation to the gathering. A small group of friends got together last night to taste 23 different menu TWENTY THREE! items PLUS the delicious new and inventive cocktails. I love fun cocktails. I knew we’d be tasting but I thought maybe 4 or 5 dishes. I actually pre-ate a bowl of granola just in case. Mistake. At the end of the night, 23 dishes later, I was ready for hibernation. It’s the next morning and I am still feeling a bit stuffed. Stuffed and lucky. How often do you get to do something like this?

The medicine of the Maya in Belize
“For every ailment or difficulty on earth, the Spirits have provided a cure – you just have to find it.“ Don Elijio Panti. Elijio Panti was the last Maya Shaman or Doctor-priest of Belize. He died at the age of 103, after a rich life devoted to healing others, physically and spiritually. In our trip to this culturally rich country, Belize, my personal interest in alternative forms of medicine was stimulated by the fantastic heritage left to the modern Maya people related with traditional healing and medicinal plants. Maya’s early medicine originated thousands of years ago, at the age of the first built temples. The knowledge was passed on orally from generation to generation, or as part of an intense training in the case of the traditional healers. With the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, inevitabelly the Maya assimilated some cultural and religious aspects into their belief system, including into the healing traditions. “Traditional healing is a system of healthcare which uses ancestral plants and healing vines of many roots. This form of healing must involve the act of religious prayer and spiritual well-being, and to the Maya, they honored their gods with prayers and thanked them for the remedies that cured and eradicated their illnesses.”, says Dr. Rosita Arvigo, founder of the Belize Ethnobotanist Project, one of the most prominent specialists in Maya medicine and taught by Don Elijio Panti.

There are certain places on this planet where the restless spirits of the dark linger. They manifest as curious voices and sinister smells; they move things about; they dart out of the shadows as ghostly apparitions. These are the places considered the most haunted in the world. You’d be forgiven if you assumed Belize was not of them. But you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. Known for its unspoiled beauty, its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems, Belize does not immediately come to mind as a hot bed for the paranormal; however, considering its small size, the country’s overflowing with fearsome and persistent legends — stories so terrifying they are passed down from generation to generation as part of the region’s folklore. Belize’s legends include amazing tales of ghostly apparitions whose eyes glow red, jungle gnomes with backward feet who’ll rip your thumbs off and beautiful but deadly women who’ll steal your heart and then your soul. Goblins: Tata Duende

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Daffodil Cake
Today it’s fife yeers since I sed “auf wiedersehe” at t'bedside o'my fath'r’s trayler goin. I pref'r ta use t'Germun term becawz it speeks o'a “seein agin”. At t'memerial servus we set t'ables wit daffodil plants at t'fambly took trayler ta plant . . . a remind'r o't' resurrecshun jes like new life n' spryun'. Wen I saw thishere recipe n' un old Bettee Crock'r file, I had ta post it, wit a few personal adaptatyuns, o'corse. Ingredyints: ¾ cup flour ¾ cup sugar 10 egg whites ¼ tsp salt 1/2 cup sugar 6 egg yolks

International Sources

Belize’s UDP Party’s Success Overshadowed By Opposition – Analysis
In 2010, the Belize Minister of Works, Hon. Anthony Martinez, signed three contracts with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to carry out several international development projects. [1] The contracts fell under Belize’s goal to alleviate poverty in its heavily impoverished Southside region. The plan was called the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project. [2] This project was an apparent success, and was carried out under the initial aegis of the Belizean United Democratic Party (UDP) government. Many Belizean public officials were confident that this government was capable of achieving the country’s historically elusive goal of reducing poverty. [3] Starting off as a two-year project with a number of phases, the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project was targeted at improving infrastructure in Belize’s Southside as well as to reduce crime throughout the country, increasing economic development, and lowering unemployment, all of which used to be disproportionately focused in Belize’s troubled Southside district. [4] Moreover, the company tasked with improving the region’s infrastructure primarily utilized unemployed and poor Belizeans as an effective labor force. This strategy has given employment to those who previously did not have jobs. [5] However, despite these successes, the UDP government came exceedingly close to losing the most recent elections in 2012 by a very close margin (17-14). This near-loss can be attributed to the recent scrutiny and effective propaganda used by the opposition which was directed at existing political corruption within the incumbent government. These accusations could significantly overshadow UDP’s effective electoral mobilization and its economic strategy in future ballots.

Mayan medicine looks to nature
Ethnobotany is the study of indigenous cultures and their use of herbals for healing. And while Belize is a hotspot for ethnobotany, it’s actually happening every day in our own community. My path through this rainforest of knowledge began on a small island in Belize. I was completing a masters in neuroimmunology and was on winter break after having spent a month in Vancouver, B.C., working with the world’s expert in the inflammatory mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. I was relaxing in a hammock in the breeze after a day of bonefishing when an older couple asked for help with their motorboat. While tinkering with their outboard motor, we shared our views on the relationship of the mind-body. My experience building custom automobiles was actually coming in handy as Anita told me about her lupus that had flared up during meetings of the Citrus Growers Association, of which she was the president, forcing her to bed for a week each time.

Bob Seipt of Riverton
Lifelong Fremont County resident Bob Seipt passed away Sunday, October 27 at his home in Riverton, at the age of 95. His children Paul Seipt and Jean Younkin were with him when he died. He is survived by his son Paul Robert Seipt and his wife Marjorie of Richland, Washington, his daughter Jean Ann Younkin and her husband Tim of San Pedro, Belize, three grandsons: Matthew Seipt (Heather), Brian Judson (Sara Hiat) and Charles Seipt (Outhai), and one granddaughter, Natalie Judson (Darren Ojard).

October 29, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

National News: Public Service Minister meets public officers on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
Public officers in Belize Rural South had the opportunity to engage with the senior staff of the Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries as part of a Minister’s Consultation and countrywide tour. The visit to the area is being led by the Minister of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries, Honorable Senator Charles Gibson and his team, which included his Chief Executive Officer, Marian McNab. During the two-day tour in the area, Hon. Gibson and his team met with 105 public officers working in the various government offices in San Pedro Town, and 28 officers from Caye Caulker. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Hon. Gibson said that the countrywide tour started three months ago and has seen him visiting all of the districts, with Belize being the last.

Crime Stoppers Belize wins two regional awards
Since 2004, after it was introduced by the Rotary Club of Belize, Crime Stoppers has had a very visible presence. Crime Stoppers Belize has (and continues to play) a vital role in having firearms removed off the streets, has helped in the recovery of stolen items, has brought successful convictions for many crimes and helped in the apprehension of international fugitives hiding in Belize through anonymous tips reported to the international organization. But Crime Stoppers Belize has also been successful in receiving international recognition for their public service announcements and on Thursday October 24th, the organization recognized the partners who have been assisting with their work in country.

Drinking Water Notice
After the continuous rains over the weekend, many residents have been experiencing flooding which has contaminated their drinking water, leaving it unsafe to drink and requiring treatment. In order to avoid becoming ill, all households whose drinking water has been affected are asked to treat their water. 1. Add 1 tablespoon of Clorox to five gallons of water, mix completely and leave to stand for 30 minutes before using. DO NOT use bleach that has perfumes. 2. Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute. 3. Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package.

Avoid Contamination from Flooded Waters
Ministry of Health The Ministry of Health is advising all persons residing, visiting or working in flooded areas to reduce health risks by avoiding contact with rivers and streams that may contain contaminants. Flooded streets, rivers and streams may be contaminated with sewage and other wastewater from septic tanks, pit latrines or other sanitary facilities. The Ministry of Health advises the following to persons in these areas: 1. Keep out of rivers and streams until further notice. 2. Parents do not allow your children to play with toys or any items that have been in contact with the water. 3. Individuals who come in contact with the water, including those involved in cleaning up flood debris, should practice good personal hygiene and wash their hands frequently with soap and clean warm water.

Saga Halloween Fundraiser a Howling Success!
Friends and furry Saga Humane Society fans donned their most creative garb and braved the rainy elements to attend the 10th annual Saga SPOOKTACULAR Halloween party which was held at BC’s Bar on Sunday afternoon, October 27th. With live music courtesy of Valentino, delicious food for sale, raffle giveaways, silent auction and Ms. Charlene and staff graciously tending to the guests, the party was a great opportunity to raise funds for the humane society while enjoying some good old fashioned Halloween fun. Of course the highlight of the day was the pet costume contest and many of the owners wore coordinating attire. Judges Tamara, Jan and Allan had a tough time deciding on the winners as all of the contestants where so imaginative...

Halloween 2013 at the Holiday Hotel! (64 photos)
Every year, we think that the costumes just cannot get any better, and then we're proven wrong! What an amazing array of costumes and creativity! The Holiday Hotel is one of the best places for Halloween fans, and their annual Halloween Bash is a MUST!

Ambergris Today

Stationary Cold Front Causes Flooding in Belize
A stationary cold front in the Yucatan Peninsula has brought heavy rains into the country of Belize and major flooding in the west and south of the country. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has been issuing warnings as major highways, road and bridges have been flooded and their team is working arduously in helping persons living in the low lying areas. Weather forecast calls for more rain as conditions remain moist and unstable. Skies will be cloudy to overcast today and one can expect several showers, periods of light rain and a few thunderstorms over most areas. Mariners have been asked to exercise caution because easterly to northeasterly winds with higher gusts near showers and thunderstorms will produce choppy sea conditions. The sea condition will be locally rough at times today. High temperatures today will be in the low 80’s along coastal areas, while in the countryside, the high will reach the upper 80’s. Similar weather conditions are expected through to Wednesday morning.

Marie Sharp’s Belizean Products Highlighted at World’s Largest Food Show
The ANUGA food show, which is the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair, had the participation of Marie Sharp Proud Products of Belize. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), presented the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at the ANUGA 2013 Food Show, Germany, October 5-9, 2013 and was a huge success. This was the first time Caribbean Export has taken a collective of food and beverage producers to ANUGA as part of Caribbean Kitchen. The 212sqm space showcased a variety of food and beverage products from across the region, including Taste13 award winners Banana Ketchup from Baron Foods, Tiger Malt from Beverages Caribbean Inc. and Marie Sharp’s Fruit Flavors from Belize. This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection. The four Caribbean companies that were selected for the Taste13 competition were; 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).

Pic of the Week: Saga Humane Society Halloween Party for the Canines
Saga Humane Society held its annual Howl-o-Ween Spooktacular party for the entire family and allowed for pet owners to have some Halloween dress-up fun with adorable animals. The event was held at BC's Bar on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Prizes for the pets included that of Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Best Couple (Pet and Owner) and Most Original!

Holiday Hotel Halloween Bash 2013
On Saturday, October 26, 2013 the Witch Doctors, Spartans, Minions, Princesses and many more hit the biggest Halloween Party inside the Holiday Hotel. The crowd cheered as the Halloweeners walked the red carpet with their impressive costumes. BumSquad DJ DZL turned up the party with his hype tracks. The night ended with the awarding of costumes (Most Creative, Best Goup, Scarriest, Funniest, Best Make-up and Managers Favorite). Congratulation to all the winners and see you all next year!.

Misc Belizean Sources

Saga Halloween Party 2013 at BC's Album One
Lots of awesome photos

Reaffirmation of Sister City: Othon P. Blanco to San Pedro (18 photos)
On Friday, October 25, 2013 Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Gabriel Nuñez, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Mayor Kevin Bernard attended the signing of the Reaffirmation of Sister City Relationship between Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo and San Pedro Town, Belize.

The family of Carlos Valdez, 65, is tonight holding a vigil on the banks of the Mopan River in the village of San Jose Succotz after their loved one fell into the flooded river this morning. He remains missing and is believed to have drowned. On Monday evening, close family friends were employing a traditional method of trying to locate the body by placing a lighted candle inside of a calabash and releasing it on the water. According to tradition, a prayer is offered calling the name of the missing persons and when the calabash reaches where the body is, it will circle the spot. Valdez and another man were in the process of transporting plantains from his farm across the river when the tragic incident happened. Family members say that Valdez and his companion had alrady made two trips across the river and on the third, something went terribly wrong. The duo was thrown into the raging river after the skiff started to take on water and they could not remedy the situation near one of the rapids. Valdez' companion was able to hold on to debris and branches near the banks of the river and make it to safety, but says that he watched helplessly as Valdez went under and did not resurface.

Roots Wraps and Smoothies Grand Opening
Roots Wraps and Smoothies is having their grand opening on Saturday, November 2nd. After a long Halloween Block Party on Burns, and a few hours of sleep, a smoothie will pick you back up, and get you ready for the Rotaract Haunted House at Hode's. They deliver wraps and smoothies all around Cayo for lunch, and the menu is on their page. They are located at 38 West street. Have a great grand opening.

Massage Training in Cayo
The Vision Exchange is getting ready to start another course in massage. They are planning to start this coming weekend. Contact Jude at 652-8595 for more information. "Massage Therapy, Yoga, Meditation, Cleansing, Integrative Studies, and Retreats. Schedules are Flexible. Taking the full course consecutively is ideal, although we want to support people who may not be able to fit this into thier lives. We are excited to offer weekend and week courses with certification upon completion which must be completed within the year according to the start date. "

Belikin Halloween Block Party
This year's Halloween Block Party on Burns avenue is Friday, November 1st. There will be multiple costume contests, DJ's, a laser show from DJ Caesar, and even live music from Emmanuel Mangar. Don't miss it. Best of all, it's free. Special thanks go to Belikin, Mr. Greedy's, and the SISE Town Council for making this event happen.

Sacred Heart College Fair and Expo
Sacred Heart College had its annual fair and business expo this weekend. The weather was less than optimal, but the new auditorium provided more than enough space for everyone to eat, play, and enjoy the festivities. The Maya Mountain Adventure Club had a great display, and they are offering 75% off to students, and 50% off to Belizeans for their adventures this coming season. "While the weather refused to cooperate, they still made the best of it at SHC for this year's festivities. The talent show was spectacular, and there were some unique displays. The Car Cutting was a hit, literally. There was tons of great food both days. In Bloom performed some classics for the event too."

Belize featured on LeBron James' website
We're always proud to see young #Belizeans representing our country well. Kudos to Coach Tarr and these talented young men.

Hanal Pixan and La Dia de los Muertos
The Corozal House of Culture is delighted to take the initiative in conducting a cultural competition for primary schools in the Corozal District. Northern Belize has a fascinating history, many of our customs originated like many of our ancestors from the Yucatan. One particular custom that is slowly dying out in Corozal Town is the celebration of Hanal Pixan of the Maya and La Dia de los Muertos(All Souls Day) of the Mestizo. As a leading institution in cultural learning the Corozal House of Culture would like to take this opportunity to offer our primary educational institutions an exciting and interactive way of learning more about this lost tradition. An altar competition and exhibit will be held on Friday November 1st, 2013 at 10 a.m. The House of Culture will stay open into the night allowing the community to come out and view the altars. Join us for this reclamation of our heritage.

Channel 7

Floods Beset Belize, One Man Loses Life In Roaring Mopan River
Relentless rains caused flooding in the Cayo, Stann Creek, Toledo and Belize Districts this weekend - and tonight, we have the first casualty to report. 65-year-old farmer Carlos Valdez was swept to his death this morning when his canoe capsized in the turbulent Mopan River near Succotz. Right now, because of all the rains and the waters coming down from the Maya Mountains, the river has over-run its banks, and its waters are raging with heavy currents and fast swirling eddy's. Valdez, who is a farmer was ferrying plantains over from his farm on the other side of the river to his home in Succotz.

Floodwaters All Across the Land
Presently, flooding is being experienced in most parts of the country. In Santa Elena, the temporary bridge is completely submerged - and this morning the area was best used by recreational fishermen, looking for some hungry Tilapia. Those in the area tell us the water had risen since yesterday. Further west in the Mountain Pine Ridge, The northern side of the Privassion bridge approach washed away, and only small vehicles can access the bridge with extreme caution. The Little Vaqueros bridge entrance is partly washed away. The Guacamallo Bridge is under water. The human impact has been greatest in greater Belmopan, specifically the areas of Maya Mopan, San Martin and Salvapan. Emergency Response teams had to rescue 6 people in Valley of Peace last night and another six in Frank's Eddy this morning. In Roaring Creek, the water is still a few feet below the deck while Camalote, Teakettle, Bullet Tree, and Santa Familia are all under alert for flooding. Shelters have been opened at the More Tomorrow and Belmopan. In Belmopan, those Shelterees in the UB Gymnasium had to be relocated due to a bomb threat at the University of Belize.

Castro Issues Statement Against Whistleblower/Channel 5
Turning now to politics, there's quite a bit to report tonight. First, neither Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro nor Prime Minister Dean Barrow have spoken with the press, but Castro did issue a statement through the Government Press Office this morning. We'll get to that shortly, but first to other developments. The Prime Minister has called a house meeting for Friday - this is expected to be a sort of legislative housekeeping - as the PM will be leaving the country shortly after for surgery on his ailing back. Also, the opposition has now formally prepared a Senate motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate irregularities and wrongdoing at the Immigration Department. The proposed composition would be one senator form the government, one form the opposition and three from the social partners. The opposition is banking on the social partners in the senate to support the motion, but as with all other matters, only a vote by the government senators can carry it.

Penner Back To Hospital
And while Government prepares ready to offer staunch defence to Edmund Castro, they can do so because they say his name is only on a generic letter of recommendation for visas. Not so, for Elvin Penner whose name is on the passport and nationality certificate for an international fugitive. And while Penner remains in the UDP bad books, best information from those he has spoken with indicate that he does not intend to resign as his Party Leader, Prime Minister Dean Barrow asked him to. Best information also suggests that he still ha snot met with the Prime Minister to discuss what he plans to do. Reports today say that Penner had to be hospitalized at the Belize Medical Associates again. Which is one more reason for him not to resign, as the sickly Penner also gets health insurance coverage as a Member of Parliament.

Mayor In Search Of Eric Chang
And so, where is Eric Chang, the other man who needs to answer to the public about the Citizen Kim scandal? The Belize City Council made the decision to strip him of his post as Deputy on October 17, and according to Mayor Darrell Bradley, who we caught up with at another event, it was also the last time he spoke with Chang. He told the media today that they've made calls, sent emails, and text messages, but Chang just isn't responding: Mayor Darrell Bradley "He has still not come into Belize City. The difficulty that we have is since removing him from being Deputy Mayor and his Works portfolio, the City Administrator and I communicated with him via email (we could not get him by phone) he did not respond. Our situation is that we really have not had any contact with him."

Juniour Heredia Denies Any Visa Quota system
And form Chang, back to Castro. Today, we got an opportunity to speak with his cabinet colleague, Manuel Heredia Jr. As we've told you, 7News has received multiple credible reports of a visa quota system among ministers, but all those who we've spoken to, have denied that it exists - with only their boss, the Prime Minister letting on that there is hustling afoot in the Department. Heredia Jr. joined those ministers who denied that it exists when we asked him about it, and he told us that the whistle-blower who came out against Castro obviously has a malicious agenda: Geovanni Brackett, reporter "Were you aware of any visa quota?" Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism "To be very honest I commute every day between San Pedro, if anything about that at this point I cannot comment on that. I know very little. Probably if anything is there I might know tomorrow at Cabinet, but at this point it is very difficult for me to comment."

Senior Counsel Rodwell vs. Inspector Fitzroy
It's been some time since Attorney Rodwell Williams, the Prime Minister's law partner in the firm, Barrow and Williams, has made the news. Well tonight, he's back, and not in a good way; the esteemed Senior Counsel is at the center of an ugly dispute with the well-known Yearwood family, of which former police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood is a member. The problem is that both sides claim to have title documents for a piece of land on Cemetery Lane. Things finally came to a head on Saturday afternoon, when the police and BDF went to the Yearwood family yard to install a structure to be placed on the parcel under dispute. 7News was out there as the confrontation unfolded, and Daniel Ortiz has the story. Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday, out in the rain, the police officers stood outside on the street in front of lot 404 on Cemetery Lane, guns at the ready, and they were supported by BDF officers. These heavily armed security forces were there to oversee the delivery of the yellow hut on a parcel of the Yearwood land. The Yearwood, just as determined as the police, stood their ground, getting soaked, as they voiced their protests that they didn't intend to allow the hut to be put on what they claim as their land.

Stevedores’ Abortive Attempt At CWU Congress
When we left you last week Friday, it was with the news that outspoken stevedore, Deon "Ras" Pitta would be offering himself as president of the Christian Workers Union in a General Congress Meeting, to remove Antonio "Pancho" Gonzalez and his general secretary, James McFoy. It has been an issue unfolding for weeks where the Stevedores and some members of the CWU, backed up by the NTUCB, want to replace Gonzalez because he's not held elections or presented financials over a decade, which is against the provisions of the constitution. This weekend, the NTUCB oversaw that meeting, and 7News was there to see if they could reach critical mass to remove Gonzalez. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 9 a.m., when we arrived at the Bird's Isle Basketball Court, there were very few members of the Christian Worker's Union members present. That was, after all, the scheduled start time of this General Congress Meeting, but with less than 20 people, it was hardly mentionable.

Family Fears Worse For Missing Man
Tonight a Belize City man is missing and his family fears for the worst. 27 year old Nigel Ferguson went missing 2 Sundays ago on October 14th. That was the same day he was released from police custody after being detained for questioning for the murder of 28 year old Deon Yorke - who was shot and killed on October 19th. What got family members worried was when Yorke's bungalow house was set on fire last Tuesday night. Today 7news spoke with Ferguson's sister in an off camera interview. Voice Of: Tyeshia Garnet, sister of missing man "Everybody wants to know where he is and they wants to know if anything happened to him because after he was locked down and they let him out nobody has heard from him after that. He came home took a bath and change and said that he was going to see a friend and that was it."

Man Convicted For Shooting Based on Victim Testimony
22 year-old Lloyd Eligio, who was charged with the October 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord, was convicted today in the court room of Troadio Gonzalez. He is at prison tonight, awaiting sentencing. The main prosecution witness was the victim, Mark Lord. He took the stand and testified in the trial that Eligio, who he saw and knew very well, followed him on Swing Bridge on October 25, all the way to Hyde's Lane, where he opened fire on him in front of the DHL building. One of the bullets struck him in the chest but he survived after emergency surgery. Under cross-examination, Eligio got a chance to challenge his accuser, Mark Lord, and he tried to convince the jury that Lord was mistaken. Throughout, however, Lord maintained his certainty that Eligio was the gunman.

Alleged Shooter To Court
25 year-old Albert Moody is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly making an attempt on the lives of 2 Belize City men. As we reported, 26 year-old Steven Lambey and 18 year-old Elroy Perdomo were riding on Central American Boulevard, when a gunman ambushed them and opened fire. Perdomo was shot to the ankle and rear end, while Lambey was shot to his calf and abdomen. Both men were rushed to the KHMH and treated for their injuries.

Regional Museums Meet In Belize
Today, representatives of the National Institute of Culture and History and the Museum Association of the Caribbean met in Belize for their annual general meeting under the theme, "Pooling our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships". The purpose conference is to discuss how to strengthen tourism by adding in a strong cultural component. Tourism and Culture Minister, Manuel Heredia Jr. told us that cultural tourism is an important topic for the conference: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism "This event is the Annual General Meeting of the Museums and we have the President of the Caribbean Association and we have our staff Ms. Diane Haylock who is our president along with her staff over here to be along with this conference which I think will be a very fruitful one."

BTL Park, The Big Countdown
It's been almost 3 months since the ground breaking ceremony for the Belize City Council's renovation of BTL Park. During that time, City Hall has been challenged by critics who say that the project had stalled. So today, Mayor Darrell Bradley pre-empted further criticism by updating residents the progress that the contractors have made. According to Bradley, if the weather permits, it will be opened in 41 days: Mayor Darrell Bradley "The project is a transformative initiative to BTL Park. The project is being done in 3 phases; the first phase has been totally completed, this includes adding 40% more park space. We did a massive land reclamation and we constructed a sea wall. The second phase is the adding of the park features; we will raise the park by 6 inches. We will put sidewalks all around the park, there is going to be an area for skating. There is an ample theatre, there is a pier, there is greenery, there are park benches, and there are garbage bins - so that phase 2 involves the making of this facility look like a park."

Mayor Says CITCO Only Owes Waste Control Ten Weeks
One other question which the media took the opportunity to ask Bradley about was the arrears to Belize Waste Control. As we've told you, the garbage company and its employees are at a tipping point, because the Council owes them more than half a million dollars. Today, when we asked Bradley for an update, he told us that by their information, they are 10 weeks behind, and there is absolutely nothing they can do to catch up at this point. More than that, according to Bradley, City Halls intends to wait out the contract with the other company, Belize Maintenance Limited, which they will not renew in 2015. According to Bradley, that's the only foreseeable relief for BWC: Mayor Darrell Bradley "The point is that we are about maybe 10 weeks behind with them and in relation to this current period we are not anywhere more behind with them that we were last year. The difficulty is that I maintain these sanitation contracts represents 45% of the City' s outlays. It is too costly on the City and what we are doing is unsustainable. If you recall last year at this present moment there were Waste Control personnel right in front of my office picketing. I know that under Zanaida's terms in office there were protests as well. This is a situation which goes on for years and years and it only going to be solved if we take a very realistic look at the sanitation contractors."

Channel 5

Like P.M. Barrow, Minister Edmund Castro dodges waiting media
On Saturday, Minister of State Edmund Castro entered the country. He was in Miami on government business when he became the subject of serious allegations of corruption. Castro is accused [...]

Whistleblower discloses specifics of meetings with Castro to Ombudsman
Castro dodged the media Saturday, but he won’t be able to dodge the very serious allegation made against him. The informant, who Castro has identified as Alvarine Burgess, has now [...]

Castro comments via press release following emergency U.D.P. meeting
Castro’s only comments came via press release today following an emergency U.D.P. meeting. According to the release, Castro makes clear that the allegation was a lie. He was never engaged [...]

Will there be a senate-led investigation into the Ministry of Immigration?
Still on the immigration matters….Following up on notice from the floor of the Senate on October seventeenth, the Opposition Senator, Liza Shoman will be moving a motion at the next [...]

The long list of visa irregularities
While Castro bunkers down in the face of very compelling, firsthand information against him, there are other visa irregularities coming to light. Tonight, twenty-two Indian nationals are incarcerated after they [...]

Land dispute involving attorney Rodwell Williams gets fiery
On Saturday, tensions escalated on Cemetery Lane in Belize City because of a dispute over one tiny parcel of land. On one side of the dispute is prominent attorney Rodwell [...]

Attorney says police cannot intervene in civil matter
As we mentioned earlier in the newscast, on Saturday Police gave an undertaking that they would not act until a meeting with Rodwell Williams and the Young family is convened. [...]

Christian Workers Union holds its congress
The anticipated congress of the Christian Workers Union proceeded on Saturday morning at Birds Isle. Tensions were bubbling for weeks because of a call for action from the stevedores while [...]

Major flooding affects western and southern communities and kills a Succotz man
The torrential rains over the weekend affected southern and western communities where water levels rose significantly. The flooding has already taken one life. In Succotz, a man, sixty-five year old [...]

Albert Moody, allegedly involved in Belize City shooting, has his day in court
Twenty-three year old Jane Usher Boulevard resident, Albert Moody, today appeared in the Magistrate’s Court related to a shooting incident in Belize City on October twentieth. Moody has been charged [...]

Lloyd Elijio found guilty of the attempted murder of Mark Lord
A jury of five men and four women today convicted twenty-two year old Lloyd Elijio of Belize City for the attempted murder of Mark Lord in October of 2009 in [...]

Court of Appeal orders new trial for convicted murderer Kimberly Brannon
The Court of Appeal today ordered a new trial for forty-three year old Kimberly Brannon, also known as Kimberly McLaughlin, and set aside her conviction and sentence of life imprisonment [...]

City Council defaults in payments to Belize Waste Control; is it habitual?
The perennial issue of the cost of garbage collection in Belize City, the result of seemingly exorbitant contracts signed with sanitation companies years ago, is one which continues to plague [...]

Councilor Eric Chang still not in communication with City Council
Former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang remains absent without leave in Taiwan since departing for his home country in early September.  Chang, who has been accused of participating in the conveyance [...]

24th Annual Museum Association Of the Caribbean General Meeting
The Museum Association of the Caribbean (MAC) is holding its twenty-fourth annual general meeting under the theme “Pooling our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships.” The goal is to develop concrete [...]

41 days to the official launch of the newly renovated B.T.L. Park
The countdown for the official launch of the newly renovated BTL Park has commenced and, to mark the occasion, Mayor Darrell Bradley was on hand to erect a sign notifying [...]

Weekend Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The persistent downpour across the nation over the weekend forced a cancellation of most of the scheduled sporting events. [...]


Weekend Weather Floods Homes in Belize
The weather system that hovered over Belize this past weekend and into part of Monday brought with it heavy and continuous rains that created flash floods in several locations over the country. On Sunday, this was how the George Price Boulevard looked at mile 47 looked; traffic was backed up as vehicles were guided thru the safest part of the road. A couple miles away these homes were inundated as the waters rose in their area. Further up the Highway, the river at the Roaring Creek Bridge swelled to just under the deck and posed a threat to motorists using the highway. Entire communities on the periphery of Belmopan such as Maya Mopan, Salvapan and Las Flores were flooded and their residents were forced to make adjustments. Today two families had to evacuate to safety at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. Clare Moody, who is the District Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, told Love News that the organization is doing all that is possible to assist those who have been displaced and those who remain at home but have suffered losses.

Minister of Tourism Knows Nothing of Visa Hustling
Prime Minister Dean Barrow arrived back in the country on Friday. The media attempted to obtain comment from the Prime Minster in regards to the ongoing slew of allegations against Ministers of Cabinet on what has been coined as “Visa Hustling”. Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmund Castro, is accused of being part of the visa hustling business. Today we asked another government minister on whether or not he knows anything about visa hustling within the government. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, told Love News today, that he recalls of recommending an individual to obtain a visa but was never involved in any of the nefarious allegations that are surfacing. HON. MANUEL HEREDIA “Definitely I know nothing whatsoever; I can guarantee you that Cabinet has not collectively, as I was asked before, nothing that is misleading nothing collectively has ever been spoken about in Cabinet.”

Garifuna Celebrations Announced by National Council
Love news got the details of the upcoming events from member of the National Garifuna Council Belize City branch, Barbara Elijio BARBARA ELIJIO “On November 2 we will have the Belize City Choir Cultural Show at Bliss Institute and it will be at 7 pm. On November 9, we will have National Solidarity Mass at Adolphus RC Church in Seine Bight Village at 9am. On November 9, we will also have our Miss Garifuna Belize National Talent at the Multi Sports Complex in Seine Bight Village. On Sunday, November 10, we will have Garifuna drumming at MCC Tennis Court from 6pm to 11pm. On Thursday, November 14, we will have the school’s children rally at 1:30pm at the House of Culture for one dollar per child. On Thursday, November 15, we are asking for all Garinagu and other ethnic groups to please put on our cultural wear for Cultural Awareness Day. On November, 15 at 6pm to 11pm, we will also have Garifuna drumming at MCC Tennis Court. On November 16, we will also have Cultural Night and Storytelling at MCC Tennis Court from 6pm to 11 pm. On November 16, we will have Belize City Branch Solidarity Mass at Saint Martin’s de Porres Church and on Sunday, November 17 Garifuna Drumming from 8pm to 11pm at MCC Tennis Court. At MCC tennis court we will also have the Garifuna Drumming from 8pm to 1am again on 18th night. On November 19, we will have the reenactment starting at Bottom Dollar Supermarket on North Front Street and then 8am is the Thanksgiving Mass at Saint Martin’s de Porres Church and after that it is Garifuna bashment from 10 until.”

Retrial Ordered for Woman Convicted of Killing Spouse
An appeal by 43 year old Kim Brannon, who was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, was allowed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Brannon’s conviction was quashed, her sentence was set aside and a retrial was ordered for her. Brannon was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, Anthony ”Antics” Herrera, who was fatally chopped in his head with a machete on December 13, 2008, while he was in bed at his home at Burrell Boom horse race stadium. Brannon’s appeal was allowed on the ground that the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury with regard to a confession statement that Brannon gave to the police. The judge ought to have told the jury that it should consider whether the statement was voluntarily given and if it was true. Brannon was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, while The Director of public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal represented the respondent. Brannon was convicted on November 15, 2011. She was sentenced on December 2, 2011.

Murder Trial For Orange Walk Resident Starts Today
In Court news from Orange Walk, the case against Eric Gonzalez began today in the Supreme Court. Gonzalez is accused of the murder of Daniel Soto on February 26th, 2009. The crown presented its opening statement this morning before Justice Herbert Lord and a jury of twelve persons. The prosecution presented forensic evidence including pictures of the crime scene and the weapon believed was used to kill Soto, and they also called on their first witness to testify. The crown is being represented by Sabita Maharaj and Senior Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis. Eric Gonzalez is being represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson. The incident occurred on evening of February 26th 2009. The ten sixteen year old Daniel Soto reportedly got involved in an altercation with then eighteen year old Eric Gonzalez on Savannah Street in Orange Walk Town, during which Soto picked up a stone to defend himself from Gonzalez. Reports add that Gonzalez left promising to return to exact his anger. Gonzalez returned to find Soto on Mangal Street in the same area and this time he carried a five inch blade knife which he used to stab Soto on his left thigh. Soto succumbed to his injury while undergoing surgery at the Northern Regional Hospital moments later. Gonzalez escaped into Mexico but was caught months later. The trial continues on Wednesday October 3th 2013.

Remanded For 46 Days On Attempted Murder
Twenty-three year old Albert Moody, one of two persons who the police believe was involved in a shooting incident, was charged with two counts of attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Moody was also charged with two counts of use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and wounding. He was remanded into custody until December 13. The incident occurred around 11:25 p.m. on October 20. 27 year old Steven Lambey and 18 year old Elroy Perdomo, were riding bicycles on Central American Boulevard heading towards Port of Belize when their assailant who was standing on the side of the street, fired several shots at them. Lambey was shot in the right side of his abdomen and his right calf, while Perdomo was shot in his left ankle and the left side of his buttocks. Lambey’s injury was classified as dangerous harm, while Perdomo’s injury was classified as wounding.

Entertainment and Tourism Zone Coming For Belize City
Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley invited the media to BTL Park, Newtown Barracks this morning to provide an update on the ongoing refurbishment to the park. MAYOR DARELL BRADLEY “The project is being done in three phases; the first phase has been totally completed, this includes adding forty percent more park space. We did a massive land reclamation and we constructed a sea wall. The second phase is the adding of the park features; we will raise the park by six inches; we will put side walk all around the park; there is going to be an area for skating, there is an amphitheater; there is a pier; there is greenery; there is park benches; there are garbage bins and so phase two involves the making of this facility look like a park. Phase three is an innovative aspect of the park and this is the economic development portion and what this entails is the construction of 23 kiosks for vending purposes. The total plan for BTL Park is to ensure that the park is a commercial plaza for this area; you will know that this are of Belize City is an entertainment and tourism zone and our vision for BTL Park is that the park will be a place that is steaming with economic activity every single weekend from Thursday to Sunday.”

President of Mental Health Association Opens Red Ribbon Week At Wesley College
Wesley College is celebrating its 15th Annual Red Ribbon Week under the theme “A healthy ME is drug free”. The week was officially opened this morning by Jennifer Lovell, President of the Mental Health Association. The week runs from October 28th to November 1st and students along with the faculty will be participating in a series of activities. These range from the “Put a Cap on Drugs Day” where staff will be wearing hats as a symbol of capping out drugs, to the annual parade of students through Belize City streets. Organizer and school counselor Elizabeth Goff told Love News that Red Ribbon Week has made an impact over the years. ELIZABETH GOFF “Yes, it is our fifteenth year that we celebrating Red Ribbon Week. We started back in 1999 and this work is ongoing; it’s not something where we will see immediate results but I believe very strongly that having Red Ribbon Week as a part of our school wide campaign and of course the ongoing prevention work is making a difference in our school.”

Police Finds Cocaine In Villager’s Shoe
Jostyn Bleu, a resident of Ladyville, was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug when he appeared in court today. Bleu pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of 500 dollars and his case was adjourned until December 13. The incident occurred around 2:50 p.m. on October 26. The police reported that they saw Bleu walking on Central American Boulevard and when they stopped him and searched him they found 5.8 grams of cocaine in one of his shoes. The police also reported that when they took Bleu to the police station and searched a knapsack he had they found 0.9 grams of cannabis.

Jury Says Guilty in Attempted Murder of Lord
A jury of five women and four men deliberated for about three hours today before it found 22 year old Lloyd Elijio guilty of the attempted murder of Mark Lord, who was shot in the left side of his chest around 12:30 p.m. on October 25, 2009, on Hyde’s Lane. The trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez, has deferred sentencing until November 4 in order to give Elijio time to prepare a plea for mitigation. Lord testified that he was walking on Hyde’s Lane going towards Barrack Road when the gunman, whom he identified as Elijio, appeared in front of him and shot him. Elijio testified and denied that he committed the offfence. He said that at the timeof the incident he was at his grandmother’s house on Morning Glory Street eating. He called one witness who testified that he did not see Elijio until about 1:30 p.m. that day. Elijio was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.

Minister Castro Denies Involvement in Visa Procurement and Seeks Legal Recourse Against Accuser and Channel Five
We have been attempting to speak with Minister of State Edmond Castro after allegations were made of his involvement in the visa hustle reportedly orchestrated by some Ministers of government. Castro, who was out of the country at the time, returned on Saturday and did not grant an interview to the Press. However today Castro issued a release in which he rejects and condemns what he calls the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him. Castro said the allegation that he collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas is not true. He says he was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from his accuser.


Incessant Rains Cause Minor Flooding In The North
The incessant rains have caused major flooding in the Southern Districts of the country; leaving a number of bridges under water and even eating away a portion of the Southern Highway. Due to the heavy downpour, the North also experienced some flooding of its own over the weekend. Regional Director for NEMO in Orange Walk and Corozal, Elodio Aragon, gave us an update on the most vulnerable areas affected. Elodio Aragon– Regional Director, NEMO OW & Corozal “We’ve Checked the villages and with our chairpersons, they are our contacts and up to now everything is ok in all the villages, except to San Estevan where the chairman reported to us that there is a need to evacuate a family that his house was flooded and everything which we have done that already so, apart from that everything is ok in the villages. I also work along with the Mayor because the Mayor is part of the NEMO committee so we keep constantly in touch and I have spoken to him today and he has mentioned that yes there are a few problems with the drains but he is doing his best he has been to the hot spots where we know it usually get flooded and he has been working at that and he was here at the Marcus Canul Area where there a few houses that are in low lying areas and these will always get flooded when the rains come and therefore he has been there and he done what he can. He has a team with all his workers when the weather is like this they concentrate in trying to ensure that people are not flooded in their homes so I have spoken to him and he told me we are doing our best and we have it under control and we ask people to be patient.”

BWU Elects New Committee, Gongora Remains As President
On Friday, October 25th, 2013 we told you about the Belize Worker’s Union’s annual general meeting where the pressing issue on the agenda was the election of a new committee to run the affairs of the union for the next two years. After two years in the position as the chairman for the union, Ramiro Gongora was briefly stripped of his title after the committee was formally dissolved and the elections got under way. Two hours later, Gongora once again emerged as the captain of the Belize Worker’s Union’s ship; however, he is not steering alone. Ramiro Gongora, Chairman, BWU “We came to an end of a two year service, the members, since 2011 we were elected in office and two have passed and now we have our AGM today and a new committee was elected for continuing serving the workers of BSI.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Now, tell us about the committee, who were the members who were elected this year?”

Dollar Increase In Price Per Hundred Pound Cylinder Of Butane
Tonight there is bad news for consumers of Liquid Petroleum Gas as Government has approved a $1.00 hike in the price of Liquid Petroleum Gas, commonly known as butane. The supplies Control Unit reports that effective today the new controlled prices for LPG will be as follows: in Belize and Corozal $118, in Belmopan and San Ignacio $120, Benque $121, Orange Walk $119, Dangriga $122 and Punta Gorda $123. The last time changes were recorded in the price for a hundred pound cylinder of butane was back in the month of September when consumers saw an increase of $4.00 in the price after experiencing a $3.00 decrease in the month of April.

Senate Investigation Demanded In Lieu of Passport, Nationalization And Immigration Scandal
Late this evening, the PUP Secretariat issued a Notice of Motion for a Senate Investigation. The release states that in lieu of the ongoing corruption in the irregularities and improprieties in the processing and issuance of the Nationality certificates and Passports issued by the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality; Section 61 (A)(2) of the Constitution of Belize, Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize sets out the powers and functions of the Senate as including (d) “instituting and conducting enquiries and investigations on any matter of public importance including inquiries into mismanagement or corruption by person in Central Government or public statutory bodies.” The release continues with its terms of reference to investigate and inquire into all policies, process, procedures and issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality and to investigate any and all irregularities, improprieties and wrong doing in the issuance of Belizean Nationality certificates, passports and visas. The release was signed by Senator Lisa Shoman.

BelizeCan On The Move Again Will They Any Effect On Government?
Activist Patrick Menzies and his organization known as the BelizeCan Patriots, have gone off the hook in trying to get Government to freeze or retract the National Revised Gender Policy 2013. BelizeCan also wants Government to formally state that Gender equals male and female only. Putting an end to victimization in Belize by both Government and private sector and the retraction of section 47G -2B and 3 of the proposed amendments on the criminal code is also on the list of demands. Marches, collection of signatures and even a national school boycott has had no impact on GOB who continues to revise the document. Since all his attempts have failed, Menzies is once again planning a national demonstration at the foot of the National Assembly in Independence Plaza, Belmopan tomorrow Tuesday 29th, Oct 2013.

Joint Operation Leads To Confiscation Of Marijuana
A joint drug operation between members of the Special Branch and the Quick Response Team from the Orange Walk Police Formation over the weekend led to the detention of two minors and 32 year old Marva Janet Castro from the Village of August Pine Ridge, Orange Walk. On Friday October 25th, around 1:45pm, a search was conducted at Castro’s residence which led authorities to the discovery of a blue warm cap containing 222.5 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result, Castro and the two minors were escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where they were arrested and jointly charged for drug trafficking.

Corozal Resident Allegedly Stabbed During Altercation
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that a stabbing incident in the Corozal District over the weekend left one woman hospitalized. Allegations are that the incident played out at D Spot Lounge located on 4th Avenue Corozal Town when the victim became involved in an argument with another woman. The victim was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital and later transferred to the Northern Regional Hospital. It is not yet known what caused the confrontation between both women or if the victim’s attacker has been detained by police.

Clear The Land Castro Dodges The Media, But Issues Statement In His Defence
After his name was thrown into the Visa Scandal, The Honorable Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport Edmund Castro is making headlines, but the news is not good for the Rural North Area Representative or his Government for that matter. Castro arrived back in country from Miami over the weekend and just like the Prime Minister, he dodged the media making no comment on the latest scandal. He did issue a statement today though, rejecting and condemning, quote unquote “the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week.” That story alleges that Castro collected a whopping 400 thousand dollars for 200 Visas he facilitated for Chinese Nationals. And while that story placed Castro on the hot seat, once again putting his integrity in question and bringing much scrutiny against him, Castro’s release states that “the allegation is a lie” and that he, “was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from the woman now turned self-proclaimed whistleblower.”

Murder Case Against Eric Gonzales Gets Under-way At Supreme Court
Today in the Northern session of the Supreme Court of Belize, the case against Eric Gonzalez, accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto, began before Justice Herbert Lord. Four years has passed since Gonzalez was arrested in neighboring Mexico and subsequently handed over to Belizean authorities and today a jury of twelve, four men and eight women listened to the opening remarks of Senior Crown Counsel’s Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis. The accused is represented by Senior Counsel, Simeon Sampson. The Crown introduced their first witness to the stand who testified as the then Scenes of Crimes Technician for the Orange Walk Police Department. Pictures of the crime scene and the weapon believed to have been the one used to inflict the stab wound on Soto were all admitted into evidence. Since the defense did not object to the witness’ testimony it was accepted by Justice Herbert Lord. With that, the trial was adjourned for Wednesday, 30th October 2013.


Orange Walk man killed during robbery
Police are yet to release official details but there was a murder on Friday during lunch hour in the Belize District. The incident took place in the village of Sandhill at the entrance to the Old Northern Highway (Maskall Road). The deceased has been identified as 58...

Prime Minister avoids press at International Airport
Since last Wednesday, October 16, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been out of the country attending a fundraiser for his wife Kim’s charity work and attending to his back problem. He left behind a mushrooming scandal involving a Minister of State whom he had personally delegated the right to...

Mark King steps up and address the media
The Prime Minister can count on the support of at least one Minister of State, who knows a thing or two about facing unfriendly fire. Minister of State Mark King, who earlier this year was backed by his party as he battled criminal charges in relation to a melee...

NTUCB says it is up to the membership of the CWU to determine its fate
On Thursday we brought you the reactions of Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) executives Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy to the attempt to oust them from the Union’s leadership by disgruntled members. On Saturday, October 26, Deon Pitter and Raymond Rivers, who are at the forefront of the effort to oust...

Minor on remand for drug trafficking
One minor, from Succotz Village, Cayo District, has been remanded for drug trafficking. Reports have it that the minor was travelling on public transport, on Friday morning at around 6:30 am on route to Belize City. The minor was allegedly acting suspicious, the authorities then proceeded to search the...

Pastor Shows The Power of Forgiveness
The Face of Forgiveness is a movement founded by a man whose life was forever changed, following a freak accident, only to become a testament to the power of forgiveness. It seemed like an ordinary day in July of 2001, Dr. Johannes Christian and his foster son were...


It’s Time to Join BELTRAIDE Consultancy Directory!
Do you offer consultation services? Are you in a skilled profession? Most importantly, are you seeking for new clients? One thing is true: consistently attracting new clients is the most challenging part of running your business. It is time for you to join BELTRAIDE’s consultants Directory.BELTRAIDE has been working with several local and international projects and at times, they are a need for local consultants. Therefore, we invite you to join our consultant database to have more quickly and recent access to the opportunities. You do not only get access to project but can also get contacted by current and prospective investors. Join BELTRAIDE’s Consultant Directory. It is quick, easy and free of cost! You just need to email us your full contact information, with list of services you provide and your experience.

Nothing Cuter: Kids, Adults & Pets Dress Up for SAGA’s 10th Annual Halloween Fundraiser
I’ll admit it. I was worried. It had been a rainy rainy night and the SAGA Humane Society’s Halloween Bash was set to start at 11am Sunday at BC’s Beach Bar. For the kids and the pets to dress up and come out, it was going to have to dry up a bit. And we got lucky. After a brief but torrential downpour at about noon, the weather dried up a bit. Thank goodness. Nothing cuter than a grumpy dog stuffed into a costume. Nothing. And from the back. Talk about crafty! Little Miss Belizean Newspapers.

Even Belize’s Top Competitors Love Her
Just having a read of Perth Now, as you do now and then, and in the Travel Section, couldn’t help notice a big section on Belize. Now, by way of background, Perth is a city in Australia, and Australia, as you know (because they don’t let you bloody forget it) has the largest barrier reef in the world, suitably titled The Great Barrier Reef, and is a UNESCO World heritage listed site. (sound familiar?) The Australian rainforests are described (usually by Australians) as the largest, most pristine in the world. Now, in addition to the barrier reef, Australia is known for being a highly competitive society. Have you ever watched Australia football (Australia Football League or AFL, or Aussie Rules as it’s more commonly known)? Protective gear such as helmets is unknown, and US footballers are laughed at for their use of so much body armour.

“Heroes and Villains” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I will ‘open up’ today’s edition by apologising to regular readers for the couple of days absence. When I started the blog at the end of October last year I never intended that it would be a daily blog but that I would try to publish a minimum of six editions a week. I haven’t always stuck to this self-made promise but the weeks when I haven’t have been few and far between. Last week though I just knew that I would struggle. There was just too much going on. In fact even when I have published I have forgotten to include things that I thought might be of interest. For example I had so much on my mind last week that I forgot to mention that someone, somewhere must have known that Rose and I had moved in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Why? Did someone send us a “Welcome to your new home” (we did receive one from my sister Chris)? No, but it was something equally as nice as that. The San Pedro Town Council sent out a team of guys to fill the many and deep potholes of the road north of the bridge. I don’t know how far north of us they went (a bit selfish I know ) but it made the drive back and forth to ‘Town so much more pleasurable. That was until the heavy rains started (and we have had some really rainy days and nights) and I am sorry to ‘say’ that the potholes are already back!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Rube Meetloaf
I like rube san'wiches so why nairy a rube meetloaf? It’s verr tastee, I luv t'pairyun' o'sauerkraut, groun beef, an' swiss cheez n' thishere recipe. If'n y'all wish, y'all a'ken put a lay'r o'cernet beef slices un top o't' sauerkraut which would add un authantic taste as n' a rube san'wich. Leftovers air greet servet cold fer san'wiches. 1 1/2 pounds groun beef, I uset leun 1 egg 2/3 cup breed crumbs 1/2 teespoon salt 1/2 teespoon pepp'r 2 tablespoons cucumb'r relish

Up Boom Creek: Listening to the beats of Belize
Suddenly, in the darkness, I forget where I am. It has been a long day of movement and miles. I know I am paddling a canoe at night, on my knees in the bow, twisting my body with each stroke, trying to make as little noise in the water as possible. There are drums on the breeze, a faint rhythm that comes and goes. The blue-black shapes around me are pure jungle, a dense canopy of plants and animals, close on all sides. I pull my paddle through the water again, our boat glides forward, and, just as suddenly, I know: I'm in Belize. The drums continue in the distance, louder with the breeze, then softer; there is Garifuna dancing in Hopkins, the beat drifting across the mangroves to our boat in Boom Creek.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas extends Belize PSA for two years
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has told investors that the Belize government has approved a two year extension to its production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Blue Creek project. The PSA now runs up until October 12 2015. Over the next twelve months the company intends to carry out a thorough review of its previously captured seismic and drilling results. Then, in the second year of the renewal, New World will have the choice to either drill one new exploration well or ‘drop’ the PSA. New World says it continues to look for a farm-in partner to share the exploration drilling costs at Blue Creek.

Mayan civilisation brought back to life
Tourists interested in Mexico’s Mayan past can scramble over ruins, ride canoes and swim in subterranean rivers. The once flourishing Mayan civilisation peaked around 900 AD and was centred in what is today southern Mexico and Guatemala but its influence can still be seen throughout much of Central America. The Mayan people built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. The Mayans also transported huge amounts of goods between Central and Northern America. A variety of trade goods were transported along the Yucatan Peninsula using huge dugout canoes that stayed close to the coastline and took advantage of sea currents and tides. They also travelled inland, navigating through canals, lagoons, swamps and lakes. Similar views can be enjoyed on a trips to the lagoon in Bacalar, near Mexico’s border with Belize. From Bacalar, it is possible to take a river journey to Rio Hondo passing sunken boats that were once used by the English to transport valuable mahogany trunks out of the Guatemalan jungle.

October 28, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Native Wisdom
How native are you? A visit to the jungle gives an insight to Dennis and his friend Richard.

Letter to the Editor: Helping Paws Across Borders says Thank You
I am writing you from New Mexico, USA where Helping Paws across Borders is located. My organization was just recently in and around San Pedro for a weeklong spay and neuter campaign hosted by Saga. I wanted to say thank you to all of the local businesses and people that welcomed Helping Paws across Borders volunteer team with such kindness and generosity. I wanted to let you know that your community went above and beyond to assist us. I would like to just mention a few of the businesses that helped with this venture. Exotic Caye Resort, The Melt (incredible), Road Kill Bar, Fido’s, Wet Willy’s, Captain Morgan’s, Ultimate Golf Carts, Belize Golf Carts, Monchos Golf Carts, Ramon’s kitchen staff, the owners of the wonderful rental house, the wonderful people of San Pedro, the community of DFC, the local volunteers that came in to help, Caye Caulker Humane Society and of course Saga Humane Society.

Doctor Love: Business Tips
How can new islanders take a business and ensure its success? Well, the Doctor has some tips.

Ambergris Today

Honeymooners’ Adventures in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Newlyweds Mark and Jen Ledford just recently spend five nights at Casa Azul in Ambergris Caye, Belize for their honeymoon. We came across their awesome video footage of them snorkeling with the marine life at Hol Chan Marine Reserve/ Shark Ray Alley, ‘golf carting’ around the back roads and San Pedro Town, jet skiing, kayaking, and more snorkeling off the resort’s dock. Mark did a great job at putting the video together and documenting all the fun and adventure they experiences as the new Mr. and Mrs. Ledford. Congratulations to the newlyweds and we wish them a wonderful life together; and many more future visits to Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Education in Belize: Difficult Students (From Challenges to Solutions)
In previous articles I reviewed both positive and negative ways to deal with “Difficult Students” who constantly misbehave at school. Dealing with Difficult Students Effective Ways to Deal with Difficult Students Dealing with Loud and Playful Difficult Students I encouraged teachers to have unbending and effective classroom management, and I suggested positive ways for them to deal with repeated and distractive behavior of students. However, several parents recently contacted me to complain about several difficult students whose constant power struggles with teachers at a high school in Belize City hamper the learning process of other students. While re-reading my previously published articles, I noticed a reader’s comment to suggest that today’s difficult students need “a good paddling” as they used to get in the past. Once more, I remind readers that we cannot live in the past! This is 2013 and we need to adapt classroom management methods that are in line with 21st Century ways of living and learning.

Help our Dogs help us! Keep our homes and neighborhoods safe by getting them Medical help to stay Healthy! (9 photos)
Yesterday's Free Clinic in San Ignacio provided full services such as: Check Ups, Tests for Heart-worms and Tick Fever, Free medications for Heart-worm & Fleas/Ticks, De-worming Vaccinations Coordinators and Volunteers are: Ms. Clara Lee Arnold - Hopkins Belize Humane Society Mr. Humberto Wolhers - Curator at The Belize Zoo Mr. Ruben Tesucum - Vet Assistant at Paws Veterinary Clinic Mr Sean Kuylen - Volunteer Visiting Veterinarians are Dr. Jen Riley, Dr. Angela Gimmel, Dr. Kelly Schmitz Local Veterinarians are Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durant, Dr. Mia Canton, Dr. Eduardo Tesucum and Dr. Jorge Lopez. Weather permitting, they will be going on to the Belize Zoo, Monday and Tuesday.

(12 photos)

(9 photos)

(6 photos)

In Hopkins village, flooding was also evident.
(4 photos)

Water level was elevated at the bridge in Hope Creek, Stann Creek on Sunday afternoon.

Even the banana farm along the Southern Highway at Mayan King was affected by flood waters on Sunday afternoon
72 hours will cause root rot!!

This is the situation as it was in San Roman around midday on Sunday. Water was touching the deck of the small bridge rinning through the village.

The river in Teakettle village
In front of the Dream Valley Jungle Lodge.

A group of men and boys from San Roman village, Stann Creek turned a flood event into a fun Sunday afternoon.

Swasey Bridge
Reports from the south say that the level of the flood waters flowing under the Swasey Bridge has risen significantly.

The junction of the George Price Highway and the Hummingbird Highway on Sunday morning.

The George Price Highway in Roaring Creek village had water covering the road near the Garbutt Service Station on Sunday morning.

A chunk of the Southern Highway near the junction with the Georgetown road was severely compromised today
(4 photos)

Bridges on the Buena Vista road
There are reports that the approaches to two bridges on the Buena Vista road (Cayo district) may have been compromised/washed away. Motorists need to be extremely careful and it is not advisable to attempt to drive through the water at this time.

Flood waters flowing under the Swasey Bridge along the Southern Highway.

At the junction of Trio village on the Southern Highway.

Water levels were up at Bladen along the Southern Highway on Sunday afternoon.

Fishing, VIDEO
While in Blue Creek, Toledo on Saturday evening, I observed two little boys fishing in the flooded river. In about 15 minutes, they had collected quite a good catch.

Sittee river

Placencia village ...

Sittee River at Kendall community
The Sittee River at Kendall community is also flooding at this time. The new Kendall brdige keeps traffic flowing on the Southern Highway.

On the Southern Highway ...
the people in this house assured me they were ok. The house is surrounded by flood waters.

Water on the Santa Familia road.

Flooding yesterday in Maya Mopan, Belmopan.

Spillway at the Vaca Dam
More water is heading towards San Ignacio town as water has started to go over the spillway at the Vaca Dam. Unconfirmed reports are that both the Mollejon and Vaca Dams are spilling at this time.

The Iguana Creek bridge is inundated.
The road to Spanish Lookout via this route is closed.

Water level in Roaring Creek is below the deck of the bridge.

The low-lying wooden bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena is open to vehicular traffic as of Sunday evening.

A part of the Southern Highway close to the Georgetown raod junction has started to collapse.
Concerned motorists have erected makeshift warning signals to alert motorists of the danger.

Girl Empowerment Campaign
The Special Envoy for Women and Children will be embarking on a countrywide Girl Empowerment Campaign, which will be launched in Belize City on Monday, October 28, 2013. This tour is an extension of the My Precious is Precious initiative, which started with the launch of a child friendly book on “good touch, bad touch” in April of this year. As we continue efforts to educate the public on sexual abuse of children, the Girl Empowerment Campaign will focus on high school girls. Our aim is to encourage these young ladies to delay their sexual debut and not to give in to the pressures they may face at this critical point in their development. The campaign will also seek to educate teenage girls about sexual abuse, and to provide information for those who have been or are still being victimized on seeking help and recovering from the trauma of these experiences. We want to remind them that their bodies are also precious. The tour will make 9 stops over 6 days as per the schedule below. In each location, a mini rally will be held in which Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and other inspirational speakers hope to inspire the young ladies in attendance to see their true value and cherish their bodies.

Just as the residents of British Honduras were starting to breathe a sigh of relief because the 1961 hurricane season would soon be ending, a powerful Category 5 hurricane named Hattie hit Central America on Halloween. The Atlantic hurricane season in 1961 officially began on June 15 and ended on October 31. Unlike the hurricane which devastated British Honduras in September of 1931 and killed over 2000 persons, eleven years previous to Hattie Atlantic tropical cyclones began to be given names; and three years later in 1953 were first given female names. Janet was therefore the first ‘female’ to hit the country in 1955 when it made landfall in the north. Hattie’s appearance in 1961 was the second female-named hurricane to make landfall in the country; and packing winds in excess of 150 miles per hour was unprecedented until hurricane Mitch in 1998.

HBHS Animal Clinic
They had a very successful weekend of free spay and neuter clinics, seeing 100's of dogs and cats. Shelly Marin got some great pictures of the doctors and their clients. Thanks to all that made this happen! "Exhausted but happy after a busy Spay and Neutre day in San Ignacio. Thanks to Clara Lee Arnold, Hopkins Humane Society and Humberto Wohlers and with the largest amount of Drs in one single clinic so far: Drs. Edwardo Tesecum, Mia Canton, Jorge Lopez, Isabelle Paquet-Durand, Angela Gimmel, Jennifer Riley and Kelly Schmitz. About 100 dogs and cats were seen, dewormed, treated and operated today. Now we gather up again to go get ready for one more day tomorrow."

Team Belize Visited Basketball Showcase
Feelgood news of the day. Earlier this year, a group of Belizean students were able to attend the Lebron James basketball showcase in Akron, Ohio. They had a great time, and learned some valuable lessons, before heading back to Belmopan. "Belize is a small Central-American nation located on the Carribean Sea to the southeast of Mexico. A coastal nation of less than 350,000 people, you would think that the basketball talent pool would be quite minimal. Though Belize is not quite known for it’s basketball talent on the world stage just yet, a team of high-schoolers were able to make the trip up to Akron, Ohio this spring to showcase their talent in the King James Classic – LeBron’s annual showcase for young talent and collegiate scouts. Though they came motivated to make a name for themselves in the USA, they left with an even stronger message to bring home with them to inspire others in their country."

National Bartender Competition
Benqueño Andres Ponce took 2nd place at Traveller's National Bartender Competition. The 3 drinks he created at the event were a Kumquat Caipirinha, a Pitaya and Mango layered Ru-a-Rita, and his slippery banana mystery drink. He is been the senior bartender at Chaa Creek. Congratulations, Andres!

Free Spay and Neuter Clinic
The BWRC, along with the Paws animal clinic and the Hopkins Belize Humane Society, are offering free spaying and neutering today at the Santiago Juan layout. "In conjunction with PAWS clinic and Belize Wildlife referral Clinic- free spay/neuter clinic coming to san Ignacio."

Road condition in Corozal from junction of Copper Bank
Oct 27th - Road condition in Corozal from junction of Copper Bank - Progresso Road - Saltillos - Pueblo Nuevo Ferry. Exercise caution when travelling these areas especially at night!

Saint Francis Xavier Primary School Inducts New Scout Members
Today a very important activity took place at the Saint Francis Xavier Primary School in Corozal Town as the students and faculty of the institution were honored with the visit of the Governor General himself Sir Colville Young. But this was no ordinary visit, the G.G travelled to Corozal for the second Investiture Ceremony of Scout and Cub members of the 13 Corozal Saint Francis Xavier Scout Group. Group Scouts Leader, Valdomir Catzim, told us that the 13 Corozal Saint Francis Xavier Scout Group plays an important role in the development of the school and the community itself. The group, we understand, has assisted several organizations in their activities to raise funds. Members have also always been at the forefront of the schools activities.

Dental Health Week Comes To An End With Video Competition
Eight students will receive prizes for their brave participation in a one of kind video competition held by the dental department of the Northern Regional Hospital. The video competition was planned in line with the celebration of Dental Health Week celebrated under the theme; “Brush and Floss Everyday and Keep Cavities Away”. Four primary schools from the Orange Walk District participated in the competition as two of their students submitted their video. Out of the eight submissions, only three came out as the winners of the competition, however, everyone single participant won a prize. Selecting the winner was very difficult for the judges since all the videos were at par.

Shop Till You Drop With Grace
Imagine getting the opportunity to shop till you drop even if means shopping for one particular product. Sounds exciting right? Well, this morning one lucky Grace Kennedy customer from Orange Walk had the opportunity of a lifetime as she won a Wheelbarrow Shopping Spree. Meaning that she was allowed to grab Grace Kennedy Products off the shelves of S.P Store for free. Mine you; she only had five minutes to do so. Here is how Consuelo Tuyul did. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Consuleo Tuyul makes the wheelbarrow shopping spree look easy right? But in realty it’s not, yet the difficulty of the game was the last thing on Tuyul’s mind as she ran down the aisles of S.P Supermarket and filled her cart with strictly Grace Products.

MCHS Holds First Time Ever Mega Alumni Mixer
In commemoration of their 60th anniversary, Muffles College High School held a Mega Alumni Mixer last night. Since its inception in 1953, Muffles College High School has been providing quality and exceptional education to its students. The achievements of the institution to date are countless and as student enrolment grows, so do the challenges. But that aside, last night’s reunion served two purposes. Maria Johnston, Principal, Muffle College High School “We had Alumni Mixer, it is a first of its kind in Belize for a high school to be inviting the graduates to just get together and to mingle and to reconnect with the school.”

P.M Pulls A Fast One On The Media
Yesterday we reported on the ongoing corruption that is stirring up in the Immigration Scandal where another Minister namely, Edmund Castro is being accused of facilitating over 200 Visas for Chinese Nationals at two thousand dollars each. If you do the Math, that’s 400 thousand dollars in a span of 5 months from October 2012 to March 2013. And while his name is making the rounds in the media headlines, a telephone interview provided by our colleagues at 7News revealed that Castro categorically denied having taken any bribes or facilitated any transaction of visas. It’s a very disturbing accusation and a growing pain for the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, who returned to Belize today from his somewhat personal and business trip to Los Angeles.

Broad Daylight Robbery Turns Deadly, Yo Creek Resident Is Murdered
A broad daylight robbery turned to murder today claiming the life of 61 year old delivery truck driver, Jorge Blanco, from the Village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District who was traveling back home to Orange Walk after a day of business in the city. The incident happened near the village of Sand Hill in the Belize District, at mile nineteen on the Philip Goldson Highway to be exact. Our news team comprised of Maria Novelo and Cameraman Jesus Melgar has the story. Maria Novelo – Reporting This pool of blood on the Philip Goldson Highway marks the spot where 61 year old Jorge Blanco laid mortally wounded. The Yo Creek resident and father of 3 was returning from Belize City around midday today driving a truck accompanied by his employers, Abraham Penner and his two sons of Shipyard Village. And in just a few seconds as they crossed this pedestrian ramp in Sandhill, tragedy struck. It is alleged that the culprits robbed Blanco and his travelling mates of almost ten thousand dollars in cash that was contained in a bag. Abraham Penner told us what he witnessed.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Chronicles is looking for help
Caye Caulker Chronicles is looking for someone who is willing to volunteer their time with keeping the Caye Caulker Chronicles up to date. Anyone interested can email for more information. (Caye Caulker Residents Only)


It was another great Halloween in San Pedro
We started out at Pedro’s Hotel annual pimp n ho party for some live music with the Cover Ups, this is always a good party to start the night before heading into town. As I mentioned in my Rainy day Belize City shopping post, I was in it to win it for a prize and I walked away with a $100 gift certificate for Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Resort. That was a great way to start the night and as soon as the prizes were handed out we all headed to town for the main event. Every year Caprice Bar at the Holiday Hotel hosts the island’s biggest Halloween bash and costume competition, it’s always guaranteed to be a good time. As always the famous red carpet was rolled out for the party and the street was packed with people watching the costumes arrive. DJ Dzl kept the crowd dancing and the bartenders were super busy all night long.

2013 Halloween in San Pedro, Belize is HUGE Once Again – Plan for Next Year
If you are a fan of Halloween or just amazing parties, San Pedro Belize is the place for you to celebrate the holiday. As always, the biggest party is at the down town Holiday Hotel and this year, the costumes were as elaborate and creative as ever. The intermittent rain did not keep the crowds away. I honestly don’t know why this town is not FLOODED with tourists at the end of October. It totally should be. Holiday Hotel is the HUGE party but there are many many more. Halloween Belize style is the real deal. My buddy GingerScoop (this time aka Princess Fiona of the Shrek group) attended the big bash and took some amazing pics for me. Check them out… Kevin and Krista look amazing.Jackie and Adam of Casa Picasso…a real life Yin and Yang.

Chaa Creek Congratulates Andres Ponce
The Management of The Lodge at Chaa Creek takes this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Andres Ponce for winning 2nd Place in the National Bartender Competition that was held in Belize City on October 25th 2013. According to Andres, he had to prepare three signature drinks to secure the 2nd place position. The drinks he created were:A tropical Ru a Rita which was layered with Pitaya and Mango, a Kumquat Caipirinha which is named Katryna and a Mmystery drink with slippery banana and ancient barrel. The competition was sponsored by Travellers Liquor, Smart and Tropi Gas. Andres has been working at Chaa Creek for the past two years as a senior bartender.

Heavy rainfall causing localized flooding
The National Emergency Management Organization hereby informs the general public that heavy rainfall from a cold front that’s passing over the Yucatan is causing localized flooding across certain parts of the country. This is expected to continue within the next 48 hours. NEMO is monitoring and responding to the affected areas. CAYO DISTRICT Roaring Creek is rising fast and will likely flood the Roaring Creek Bridge and low-lying areas in the village of Roaring Creek. In Arizona, Teakettle at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Friday 25TH October 2013 the Teakettle Creek rose and flooded out which affected about eight families. Maya Mopan, Belmopan is experiencing flooding which has affected several families. The Belmopan City Council deployed a team to provide assistance to people. - See more at:

International Sources

Calamity Calling: A GlobalPost investigation into global climate change
Forget the debate over climate change. Calamity is already upon us. A yearlong GlobalPost investigation assesses the damage from the Amazon, to Africa, to the Gobi, Greenland and beyond. Listen carefully to what the world's climate experts are saying. Their latest report on global climate change is — quite literally — a list of climatic calamities. Here's a sample, with italics added for emphasis: "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia." "Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years." We've also examined the impact of climate change on coastal regions and sea life, including the disappearing beaches of the Mexican tourist mecca of Cancun and the dying coral reefs off the coast of Belize.

October 27, 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

Meet your National AIDS Commission Island Committee members
My name is Auxiliadora Ugarte, better known as “Chila”, and I have been living in Caye Caulker for the past 27 years. Originally from Nicaragua, I came to Belize to learn English. I fell in love with Belize and eventually called this lovely country my home. I have 2 daughters and also the owner of Chila’s Cabin Rental. I enjoy dancing, hanging with friends and most of all socializing. After graduating from college, Iimmediately became an employee of the Ministry of Education (MED) in Nicaragua as an Assistant in Administration. After a year, I was promoted to the Human Resource Department after which I became the Chairperson for 4 years.

Grand Re-Opening of Shell One Stop Orange Walk Service Station
The eagerly anticipated re-opening of the tastefully renovated Shell One Stop Service Station in Orange Walk Town took place on Thursday October 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM on location at Belize-Corozal Road. Customers are invited to join in the festivities, and take advantage of special giveaways to mark the occasion, including vouchers for free fuel which will be given to selected winners throughout the day. The popular service station which provides vital services to customers of Orange Walk Town has undergone extensive renovations to its convenience store, which now features an upgraded forecourt, canopy and dispensers.

Weekly Police Report
*Acting on anonymous information, San Pedro Police conducted a house search in the Boca Del Rio area on Thursday, October 17th at around 3:45PM; present at the house was Honduran National, Vilma Esperansa Castro. Upon searching the house in a room adjacent to the bedroom, officers discovered a large amount of drugs under some clothes on a table. Police also discovered documents belonging to 29 year old Hector Lopez. *On Wednesday, October 16th, while conducting a police patrol in the San Pedrito area, San Pedro police drew their attention to a suspicious person. The person was later identified as 25 year old Jermaine Moody. According to police, Moody disposed of a transparent plastic bag, which he had pulled out of his pocket, into a blue garbage bin. On Friday, October 18th at around 5:45PM the San Pedro police conducted a house search on the house of Nelson Acosta of San Mateo area. Present at the house while the search was being conducted was Glenda Estrada. While searching the house, police discovered 26 single packs of Custom Elite Cigarettes. These cigarettes are illegal items under the Belize Custom Law.On October 22nd, at about 3:06pm 64 year old Timothy Joe Younkin, retired American National and a naturalized Belizean presently living with his wife Jean Ann Younkin at Mile 2, North of San Pedro Town reported that on September 2nd, 2013, sometime around 8:30AM they left to the U.S.A leaving their doors and windows properly secured. He stated that they returned back to Belize on Saturday, October 19th, at around 5:00PM on Sunday October 20th, his wife discovered that their blue (12x14x8”deep) lock box which was inside the guest bedroom and contained US$2,000 and BZ$500 in cash, was missing. 19-year-old Nelson Rhaburn, maintenance worker presently residing on Pescador Drive San Pedro reported that on Wednesday October 23rd, between 3:30AM and 4:00AM while on Pescador Drive assisting a friend to his house at above location, he was approached by two male persons, one of whom was armed with a handgun which was placed in his mouth while the other male person robbed from him his Camel bag valued at $250.00BZ, a wallet valued at $65.00US containing $250 cash.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pablo canals. There is a very large crocodile cruising your area looking for a meal. The croc is believed to be a repeat offender (dog eater) that was relocated and has returned. ACES will be in the area today to scout and try to catch it for identification. If it is the croc we think it is, it will be placed in captivity. If you see a croc in the San Pablo area over 10 ft please call Vince at 631-6366.

Hawksworth Bridge
Low Lying Bridge entrance to San Ignacio submerged but receding. One entrance/ exit Hawksworth Bridge. (4 photos)

Hawksworth Bridge
San Ignacio - Low lying bridge, entrance to/from the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena submerged by flooding from the Macal River but receding. One entrance/exit Hawksworth Bridge - See the level of water on the "No Entry" - Oct 26th

Iguana Creek
The bridge spanning the Belize River at Iguana Creek was submerged earlier today.

Teakettle village
This is the river flooding in Teakettle village. The photo is taken in front of Dream Valley Jungle Lodge.

Macal River
This is what the Macal River in San Ignacio town looked like at dawn today.

Sister City relations
Sister City relations signed yesterday between Chetumal, MX and Belize. In a warm ceremony, the Mayor of Othon P. Blanco, Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui, officially endorsed sister city relations between Belize City and San Pedro Ambergris Caye, with the aim of strengthening exchanges in culture, education, tourism, economy and health. In attendance at the ceremonies were members of the council of Othon P. Blanco and special invited guests. The Mayor of Chetumal handed the signed framed letters of formal sister city relations to Mayor Daniel Guerrero of San Pedro Belize and Manuel Heredia, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Belize City, who represented Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley in his absence. "We want to preserve our mutual feelings of peace and friendship we share among our cities and two countries. We have as the new generation of Belizeans and Chetumaleños to keep this relationship and fraternity alive" said Mayor Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui.

Belize Cancer Society-Corozal Walk
Corozalenos showed their never ending support to the Belize Cancer Society-Corozal Branch! Despite the heavy rain the cancer walk was on. Kudos to Dr. Melanie Grange for heading the event!


The rain did not keep the crowds away from Casa Picasso
It was totally worth going out in the rain the rain last night for Casa Picasso Restaurant season re-opening and birthday celebration. Chef ‘s Ben, Chap Ross, Lena Ac and Sheldon Baptist cooked up some tasty food in vast quantities, over 600 appetizer bites in two hours. I told Leisa it was better than a wet dream having servers walking around the restaurant continuously feeding you sinfully good and artfully made appetizers for two hours. The beef wellington, roasted beets with goat cheese, and pork were the talk of the night and none of the appetizers stayed on the plates long. For dessert, Chef Amy Knox of Wild Mango’s made a spectacular and delicious Picasso inspired cake. Thanks Jackie and Adam and the entire Casa Picasso team for a fun and very delicious evening. It is worth stopping by to check out Casa Picasso’s tempting new menu, cocktails and martinis. To make a reservation, call call 226-4443 or 671-2326. Casa Picasso offers complimentary pick up and drop off from anywhere south of the bridge in San Pedro Town area.

Rainy day Belize City shopping
Onto the real reason for my trip, I was looking for some fun edgy shoes for Halloween so I had Jeff drop me off near Brodies. I hit about 10 stores and unfortunately struck out, nothing I saw was quite right. All was not lost though, I got big silver hoop earnings that I could not find in San Pedro and I scored on vitamins at Brodies pharmacy. They have a large selection of Good N Natural and Sundown Naturals. 5 bottles of various stuff cost me $71.71 bzd including a mysterious $7.90 discount and all of them were well within their expiry date by a year or two. As for my costume I decided to wear my red and black patent boots from last year, nothing I saw beat them and I am in to win it for a prize at the annual Pimp n Ho pre party at Pedro’s. While my outfit will be good, I would have to go all out to compete $1000 grand prize at the Holiday Hotel. People really do a spectacular job on their costumes for that one and it is worth going to see even if you do not dress up, people line the street just to watch the Red Carpet entrances.

Belikin Beer Belize Scoop: A New Brew Coming, One Retired and A Chance to Win a Signed 2014 Calendar!
At the risk of sounding like a total cornball, I had one amazing amazing day yesterday. Belikin, THE beer of Belize, invited me to a luncheon to meet the ladies of the very popular 2014 Calendar and to see that calendar unveiled to them for the very first time. Cool on its own but get this… It all took place at Belikin’s brewery in Ladyville, in the beautiful brewery taproom and finished with a tour of the facilities. And then an evening party at the Princess Casino and Hotel in Belize City with DJs, the ladies all glammed up and signing the calendars, a good sized group of US soldiers and much of the Who’s Who of Belize City. Let me just put it this way. I wore a dress for the second time in my 7 years in Belize.

How to get from San Ignacio Belize to Hopkins Village Belize
Catch the bus in the San Ignacio city center bound for Belmopan. Cost $3bze per person. 1 – 1.5 hours Transfer buses in the Belmopan station bound for dangeinga. Cost $6 bze per person. This leg of the journey is one of the most scenic as it winds you through the cloud covered mountains. 1.5 hour ride. Transfer buses at Dangriga bound for Hopkins Village Note: make sure the bus will go into the town of Hopkins, if not you will be left off 4 miles out side of town on a dirty road. Currently only two buses per day make this trip at 10:15am and 5 pm from Dangriga. Tip: enjoy the ride and sample some of the vendor’s treats that hop on and off your buses. Most food is safe especially the dried goods like one of my favorite fried plantain chips. There are also a number of other snacks and breads. If there would be anything I would avoid is any pre-packed meals containing meats and cheeses as you don’t really know how long they have been out in the Belizean heat. If you can see where they are made or if it is made to order you should be alright.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: It's a Peece o'Cake!
I thunk I’d use thishere Saturdee post ta share sum simple cake deceratyun' tips wit y'all. Birthdays air a speshul time fer kids…

International Sources

Martinique Commits Huge Sums For Carifta Games
Martinique says it will spend more than €500,000 (J$70 million) to stage the 2014 Carifta Games in its country. The announcement comes six months after the Eastern Caribbean French-speaking island was awarded the games, at the Carifta Congress in The Bahamas. Addressing the media at the recent State of the Industry Conference at the Madiana Palais des Congres Convention Centre in Fort-de-France, Susan Garcia, the woman in charge of Caribbean International Affairs, Martinique Athletics, said the government and private sector collaboration would cover the funding needed to stage the event. Making reference to the likes of Jamaica's Usain Bolt, Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Aleen Bailey and Antigua's Kim Collins - who started their road to fame on the Carifta track - she promised that the vanguard junior athletics competition will be the best Carifta of the century. "Our main objective is quite simple: making this, the best." Her only concern she said was the glaring absence of Belize from the games over the past few years. "We are making a call for Belize to become a part of the games. Belize has not been coming for a number of years, we want all Carifta nations this year."

The ING New York City Marathon returning – and so is the annual Belize Toys for Tots Drive and New York City Marathon Breakfast Brunch. On Nov. 3, when the five-borough race makes its comeback after being sidelined in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, members of the of Belway Inc. will be collecting new Christmas toys for needy children in Belize. The collection and the breakfast will be held at 436 Fourth Ave. (between Eighth and Ninth Sts.) starting at 9 a.m. The brunch ends at 2 p.m. Donated toys must be unwrapped and appropriate for children between of one and 13 years old. The toys can be dropped off at the Fourth Ave. location through Dec. 14. For information, call F. Richard (Butch) Fairweather at (718) 768-8370

Wolgemuth 50th
The children of John and Thelma Wolgemuth are blessed to celebrate their parent's 50 years of marriage with them. They married on October 12 at Chicques Brethren Church, Manheim. The golden anniversary was commemorated with a trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize in July with the entire 26 member family. Grandma and Grandpa led the way enjoying snorkeling with sharks and rays, zip-lining, cave-tubing, ocean kayaking and hanging out by the pool.

Lonely Planet's top 10 best overseas family holiday destinations
3. BELIZE Whether you're looking for a beach to sit on, or much more (particularly as kids get past six or seven), Belize is an affordable Caribbean trip that is a boon for families. It's compact, cheap and nearly everyone speaks English. There's super wildlife to see - growler monkeys and crocodiles by land, sea turtles and (harmless) nurse sharks by mask and snorkel - plus kids can learn the drums on the beach. In the interior there's still more fun in the water, with underground rivers to tube, jungle lodges on swimming holes and Mayan ruins reached by boat. Cabanas, often with kitchenette, cost around $US50 ($A52) a night at the beach/dive centre of Placencia, a couple hours south of Belize City.

Today in History - Oct. 27
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch cut through the western Caribbean, pummeling coastal Honduras and Belize; the storm caused several thousand deaths in Central America in the days that followed.

Living Overseas on Your 401K
According to Fidelity Investments in 2012, those aged 55 and older had an average balance of $143,300 in their 401k account. But is this enough to retire on? Maybe not in the U.S., but retiring overseas can be much more affordable than retiring in the U.S. The Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRP) in Belize gives retirees an exemption from tax on all income derived from sources outside of Belize. To qualify you must just prove that you can deposit $24,000 a year to a bank in Belize done in one deposit or spread out monthly.

October 26, 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

Three Belizeans appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
On Wednesday October 23rd, three Belizean men were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for their outstanding and selfless service to their communities. Frank Alexander Lizama and Colville Ludwig Young Jr. were both appointed Order of the British Empire: Mr. Lizama for his contribution to art, education and politics and Mr. Young for his contribution to education and music. Receiving the insignia for Member of the British Empire was Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton for his contribution to music. The appointments were announced in June 2013 as a part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Ambergris Caye makes final preparations to celebrate Youth Week
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports are gearing up for National Youth Week 2013. The activities are being celebrated under the national theme, “Our Voice, Our Impact.” The ministry, working with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) has planned several activities for the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye from the 3rd to the 9th of November. The activities will kick off on Sunday, November 3rd with a Youth Ecumenical Service at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The service will be conducted by a Youth Pastor and will include inspirational gospel music as well as life changing youth testimonies. There will also be a bicycle race starting at the Boca del Rio Park at 1PM. A three-day Cultural Music Workshop will also start at 2PM at Central Park which is being coordinated with the assistance of the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council. During the workshop the participants will choreograph a performance that will be presented at the National Youth Award ceremony later in the week.

GOB to invest $50 million for water and sewer expansion for northern Ambergris Caye
The Government of Belize is planning to invest $50 million in the Belize Water Service Limited for an expansion project that will see water and sewer services introduced to northern Ambergris Caye. The announcement was made by both San Pedro Town Mayo Daniel Guerrero and Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. during a consultation meeting on Tuesday, November 22nd at the San Pedro Lions Den. The two political leaders made the announcement in response to two questions raised about the island’s waste management at a public consultation regarding the Ambergris Caye Land Use Development Plan which is a project under the Sustainable Tourism Project. “Having the proper infrastructure is very essential as this island grows. There is a $50 million investment for the expansion and infrastructural development of the water and sewer system for the north of the island which will be forthcoming next year. This has been in the planning stage for some years now, and we are finally pleased to say it has been approved as a project proposal.

Baile de la Cabeza Del Cochino: The Hogs Head Dance
The Hog Head or Cabeza Del Cochino is one of the liveliest traditions in the Mestizo culture that is still practiced today. The tradition of the Cabeza Del Cochino is that it is held at a festival as a sign of a productive year. The hog’s head signifies wealth and health for the family that is giving the offering. This tradition is still practiced today in several villages in the Northern District of Belize and is done using the same simple ways as their ancestors did before. The head of the hog is usually bought at the farmers market, then cleaned and seasoned to taste. It is then wrapped in plantain leaves and secured with the veins of plantain stems. The hogs head is placed in a large cast iron pot known as “el caldero” and placed over a fire hearth. Some people have adapted to the modern ways of baking in an oven with all the traditional fixings, but to ensure the consistency that has been passed on from one generation to another, the best way is still via the fire hearth. Once the head is cooked, it is removed from the pot and the plantain leaves are taken off. The head is then roasted over the fire for half an hour to ensure that the brains are cooked properly.

Ambergris Today

United Nations Day Commemorated in Belize
United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the United Nations Charter and a day that we take to reflect on the contribution of our organization and its staff to the development and wellbeing of the people of Belize. This year, 2013, we are proud of the renewed partnership of the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programs, highlighted by the launch of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2013 – 2016 that was signed with the Government of Belize in 2012. The priority areas for our continued support are: •Human rights with equity, equality and non-discrimination •Economic and social well-being, citizen security and justice •Environmental and natural resource management, disaster risk reduction and climate change •Democratic governance

San Pedro RC School All Saints Day Fair
The San Pedro RC School All Saints' Day Fair is here once again. The event will take place on Friday, November 1, 2013 starting at 5:00 p.m. at the School Grounds. So come on out and support the RC School fund raiser event. Lots to eat and drink! great raffles and fun games for all!

Misc Belizean Sources

DATE: Friday 25th, October 2013 TIME: 11:45 a.m. The National Emergency Management Organization hereby informs the general public that heavy rainfall from a cold front that’s passing over the Yucatan is causing localized flooding across certain parts of the country. This is expected to continue within the next 48 hours. NEMO is monitoring and responding to the affected areas.

John Greerand his efforts in keeping La Isla Bonita clean
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Carlos Barrientos presented an award of recognition to Mr. John Greer, on behalf of the people of San Pedro, for his efforts in keeping La Isla Bonita clean. Mr. Greer and his team currently cleaned approximately 7 miles up north from Robles to El Secreto Resort and gathered up to 30-35 tons of garbage. Mr. Greer occasionally cleans different areas in town as well. Thank You Mr. Greer!

San Pedro sailors Gorge Olivarez and Jerdon Anderson
San Pedro sailors Gorge Olivarez and Jerdon Anderson represent Belize as they compete against 40 other sailors in Bacalar, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico this weekend. The San Pedro Sailing Club thanks Tropic Air for flying the kids to Corozal, and Menzies for shuttling them to Chetumal, James Ritchie of Captain Shark's for providing 2 new life jackets for the sailors, and of course, Graham Verralls (Caribbean Villas) for his incredible support to the sailing club that has led to this venture!

ABC Preschool Party
Don't miss out on this super cute Halloween fun at ABC Preschool today!

MCHS Educators Embrace Environment
Feelgood news of the day. Mount Carmel High School faculty and students took a day to plant some trees in the neighborhood. "On October 15,2011, 34 Royal Palm Trees were planted by teachers and students of MCHS. Event planned by the ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB."

Cayo Cancer Walk Postponed
The Cancer Walk from Esperanza to the Cayo Welcome Center will be postponed until next weekend due to weather. "Guys we had to postpone the walk due to incremented bad weather. Please see the details below. We encourage everyone to make all efforts to join us next Saturday same time, same place"

Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup
The Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup 9 Ball tournament is happening tomorrow at Mom's Backyard. We'll have trophies for 1st and 2nd place this time. Call 620-1242 for more information. "Mom's Backyard presents CAYO SCOOP HALLOWEEN CUP, Single-Man 9 Ball Tournament on October 26th & 27th at 11 a.m. Sharp.. REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00.. Race to Five Double Elimination PRIZES: 1st & 2nd Place Trophies plus Cash Prize, 3rd Place 1 Case Belikin Beer. (Note: Players should register by Friday, October 25th at Mom's or by Contacting 620-1242 or 626-4519) Remember, to be the man; you got to beat the man!"

VACANCY - Belize Social Investment Fund (SIF)

2nd Corozal Scout and Cub Scout investiture ceremonies
Sir Colville Norbert Young, GCMG, MBE, the Governor General of Belize, and also patron of the Scout Association of Belize and Spouse: Lady Norma Young were special guests at the 2nd Corozal Scout and Cub Scout investiture ceremonies held at 10:00 this morning at the St. Francis Xavier Primary School. Scout leaders from our neighbouring city of Chetumal, Mexico were also invited guests.

Corozal: Deep ravine on the Ferry Road
Emil Cano, Work Supervisor at the Ministry of Works in Ranchito confirmed to the Corozal Daily this afternoon that his Ministry will be fixing a deep ravine on the Ferry Road on Monday Oct 28th. Vehicles, especially small cars should exercise extreme caution when approaching this ravine which falls about 300-400 yards before the ferry on the Corozal/Ferry Road. We did not attempt to cross the ravine as it seemed treacherous for our small vehicle. Additionally, Mr. Cano informed us that the road leading from the Chunox ferry to the village has been repaired and is now accessible. The road from the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry to Saltillos which is the junction to Progresso and Cooper Bank will be graded and fixed beginning Monday Oct 25th. Once that road is completed, then the road from the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry to Corozal Town will be repaired, weather permitting. There are a couple of trouble spots on Ferry Road but this ravine has cut across it making impossible to cross with a small car. Without a 4x4, we were unable to reach to the ferry going up from town. Ministry of Works stated to the Corozal Daily this afternoon that this spot will be fixed Monday Oct 28th

Channel 7

Back From LA, PM Takes A Cue From Dodgers, Avoids Press At PGIA
Remember how the Prime Minister was in Los Angeles? Well, he must have learned a thing or two from the LA Dodgers! 'Cause that's just what he did today - dodged the press. The entire media, six TV News stations, along with radio and print - were waiting at the airport, on what was a very unusual day at the PGIA. Unusual because for the first time in memory, the gate was rolled out at the entrance - and every vehicle coming in was stopped and questioned about their business at the airport. This barrier is usually only activated at night and we've only rarely seen it in the day - such as on occasions when foreign leaders visit. But the barrier wasn't for the press, we were let in without any problem. The mood suggests that the barrier was put up to prevent any trouble that may have been started with a protest led by Rufus X at the airport junction. But, guess what? That protest never even happened. Rufus called it off this morning, but still the security forces were in high alert.

King On Castro: Maybe, Maybe Not
Of course, after all that bragging, the PM didn't face the press today, but the casual nature in which new elections are glibly discussed in public is certainly something to take note of. And that's because the UDP has put Cayo Northeast into play by abandoning Elvin Penner - and now, Belize Rural North's Edmund Castro is under intense scrutiny because a whistleblower who hustled visas has emerged to claim she paid Castro hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in just a few months. We stress Castro has emphatically denied taking any bribe, but he hasn't denied signing a letter recommending visas for the woman. He is still in Miami, but yesterday via telephone he told us, yes he signed, but no he didn't take any money. Jules Vasquez "You have had a meeting with someone and you recommend her for some visas." Hon. Edmund Castro "Yes." Jules Vasquez "Do you recall how many it was?" Hon. Edmund Castro "There is no way in the neighborhood of 20, 30 or 40 nor 200 - no way." Jules Vasquez "Only on one occasion?"

Cargo Truck Driver Killed By Robbers At Speedbump
And turning away from politics now, there is a murder to report tonight. A 61 year old driver from Yo Creek was killed today in a ruthless roadside robbery. George Blanco was driving with his boss, who is a meat wholesaler from Shipyard, when a gunman seized upon the vehicle in Sandhill. Jules Vasquez found out what happened next:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Four men were in this Cargo truck when it passed the last speed-bump in Sandhill near the Old Northern Highway Junction. That's when a gunman on the left side of the road shot the driver, 61 year old George Blanco - while a man with a knife came up on the right. The driver fell over the wheel dead, and the vehicle veered off the road. Abraham Penner was sleeping behind the driver. Abraham Penner "I just heard like a tire blow out and by the time I heard that the man said stop and give me all the money, if not I will kill all of you. My brother and my father jump out the other door and the gunman opened the driver's door and driver dropped out because he was dead and then I jumped out and he (the gun man) said give me all the money. I lay down and I pull out my wallet and after that the two guys; one with a knife and the other with a gun....."

Customs Cashier To Court, Almost Gets Remanded
LAST NIGHT, WE told you about the Customs cashier who allegedly ran a scam with Customs money. Well, police say that the officer is Ashley Smith, and she was taken to court today on charges of theft. As we told you, Smith was recently transferred to the cashier's section after being employed with Customs for 7 years. Sometime between August 30 and September 26, she allegedly stole $4,966 from the government purse. Police say that she did it by taking cash from customs receipts and then reimbursing the missing money with bogus checks so that the books would balance out at the end of the day. As we told you, the checks allegedly came from her brother's company's check book, which he claims was stolen. Late this evening, she was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on the charge of theft, and she was granted bail of $10,000. A few minutes before the closure of the clerk's section - which would have forced Smith to be remanded for the weekend - her family and friends arranged for a bail bondsman to cover the amount, and she was released. She did her best to dodge the media, where she dove into a car which drove off immediately.

MIT Gets One Kilo At the Benque Border
Last night we told you about the Guatemalan car with drugs that was intercepted at the Western Border. Information was sketchy at news time because the bust was made at 4:30pm and the search of the car was ongoing. Well tonight, the Mobile Interdiction Team is reporting that their K-9 officer named "Toonje" sniffed something illegal in the rear of the car. A search was conducted and it led to the discovery of one 1 Kilo of cocaine stuffed beneath the right rear passenger seat. Occupants of the vehicle were 23 year old Robin Danilo Carias Veliz, an unemployed of San Luis, Guatemala and 23 year old Jonathan Gregorio Adolfo Chacon Sandoval, an unemployed of Chiquimula, Guatemala. Both were arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. They appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate Court today. Jonathan Sandoval pleaded guilty and was fined one hundred thousand dollars plus a five dollar cost of court and sentenced to 3 years of Imprisonment. Robin Veliz pleaded not guilty and was remanded until December 20th, 2013.

NTUCB Says Full Steam Ahead With CWU Congress
Tomorrow, elements of the Christian Workers Union will push forward with a national congress and they will do so with the blessing, support and financing of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB Executive held a meeting last night where they decided that the October 26th promise must proceed as planned, no matter who doesn't like it. They followed that meeting with an unusual 9:00 pm press briefing at the PSU Office on Kut Avenue in Belize City and 7News was there. 2nd. Vice President Marvin Mora explained why they must push ahead: Marvin Mora, 2nd VP - NTUCB "We as a congress have a responsibility to open up the avenues to facilitate the process for those members who need the change, who want the change. We call on the membership of the CWU, we are asking them for them to come out this Saturday to go to Birds Isle where it will be held so that they can really put their house in order." Adelaida Guerra, 1st VP - NTUCB "He knows what he agreed upon and he has faltered to every bit of what he agree to do."

President Pitta?
But the office Christian Workers Union today sent out a release urging members not to attend the meeting, in spite of what the NTUCB says. The release says, quote, "The CWU reiterates that it has not sanctioned or authorized any meeting or Congress for 26thOctober, 2013. The Union calls on all members not to attend any unauthorized meeting." End quote. It closes, "The Congress...shall be held in February 2014 and emphatically not on the 26thOctober, 2013." But this evening, the Stevedores and their advisors had even more emphasis when they denied allegation made by CWU President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary James McFoy. They told 7news that at last Friday's meeting of shop stewards, stevedores Deon Pitta and Raymond Rivers voted in favour of that February meeting. This evening Pitta and Rivers held a press conference along with their advisor where they flatly denied that: Jules Vasquez "According to Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. McFoy you all voted in favor of a February meeting. That's what they said." Deon "Ras" Pitta, candidate for CWU President "That's a lie"

Heavy Rains Bring High Waters
This morning NEMO sent out a press release warning about the effects of heavy rains from a cold front that is passing over the Yucatan. It has caused some flooding across certain parts of the country and according to NEMO, it is expected to continue in the next 48 hours. NEMO has been monitoring and responding to affected areas. This morning the Roaring Creek was rising fast, but up until this evening, water levels have receded under the Roaring Creek bridge and the bridge remains passable to vehicular traffic. This morning the North Stann Creek was 4 feet above and was falling at mile 20, 12 feet above at Hope Creek. The Mullins River was at 3 feet above normal and was rising. Cabbage Hay Creek was 5 feet abover normal and also was rising. The communities places on Flood watch this morning included, Sarawee, Hope Creek, Mullins River, Santa Rosa, San Roman and Georgetown.

Cowo to Court
22 year-old Alfredo Cowo, a resident of San Pedro is in jail tonight after he was taken to court for armed robbery. According to police, on Wednesday, Nelson Rhaburn was walking a friend home when an armed assailant ambushed him and held him at gunpoint. This man shoved the gun into his mouth and demanded that he hand over all his possessions. Fearing for his life, he gave the man his Camel bag, a brown wallet with $250 in cash, to a total value of $630. When the man attempted to flee, Rhaburn grabbed him and they ended up in a struggle. San Pedro Police officers who were alerted to scene, detained the assailant, identified as Cowo, and they retrieved the firearm from his hand, along with all the stolen items. It was discovered that the weapon was a .32 handgun, which was loaded with 3 live rounds. The officers arrested and charged Cowo with robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Caught Stealing On San Pedro
Tonight, 21 Edwin Flores and 18 Alvin Gonzalez, both residents of San Pedro, are at prison after they were taken to court for burglarizing a man's home and getting caught in the act. According to police, both men broke into Wilson Vivas's house on Wednesday, and they stole an assortment of clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, an Xbox gaming system - complete with peripherals and video game discs - to a total of $2,010. Police were alerted to the crime in progress, and they detained Flores, who was allegedly in possession of all the stolen items. Flores was arrested, and all the items were recovered. Investigators got information of a man matching Gonzalez's description, who was seen fleeing the scene of the burglary, so police arrested him also.

Saldivar Meets With Social Partners
On Wednesday, we showed you the fence-mending meeting UDP Public Accounts Committee member John Saldivar held with the churches. Well this afternoon at ITVET, he held a follow up session with a broader group including the Chamber, the Union, the Evangelical Association and the Council of Churches. SAldivar is trying to bring them all around to a suitable compromise after they criticized the UDP version of the PAC, calling it a charade. This evening Saldivar spoke said the mood of the meeting was cordial and he said he presented them with a proposal for the way forward:... Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "We went over the proposal that was arrived at - at the meeting on Wednesday with the Council of Churches. We made that proposal to the other three social partners, discussed it, aired it out and they have asked for a few days to consider it." Reporter "Is there a clear road map on the way ahead?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Polices "I believe so. I believe that the chamber and the unions have promised to get back to us by Wednesday of next week, as to whether they are comfortable or not, with the proposal that has come out of the meeting with the Council of Churches. After that then well decide on a way forward."

Tonight, 27 year-old Kaylani Gentle, 30 year-old Marcella Vayes, 21 year-old Delia Martinez, 47 year-old Jose Moralez, and 24 year-old Pedro Campos are all at prison tonight after they were taken to court for trafficking in cocaine. At around 3:30 yesterday evening, San Pedro Police raided Captain Guts Bar looking for illegal drugs and firearms. All 5 defendants were present, when the officers found a red ashtray under the counter of the bar. It contained 20 small parcels of crack cocaine to a total weight of 1.47 grams. They were all arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Gentle was allegedly caught with a pipe and 0.17 grams of powdery cocaine inside a cigarette pack. She was additionally charged with possession of a controlled drug, and possession of pipe.

Courtney Goes International
4 weeks ago, 7News showed you Courtney Gillett and Cindy Burgos, Belizean violinists who were invited to participate in a 2 week residency of the Central American Youth Orchestra, which was held in Panama. Well, part of that experience was that a camera crew from an international press organization followed the members of the orchestra around as they did their normal practice routines. When they returned to their countries, this crew followed some of the members where they would observe how these musicians operate at home. As such, the crew is in Belize, and they're featuring Courtney Gillett as the representative, while they are here. The crew did an extended interview with Gillett, and afterwards, 7News spoke with her about the experience of having the cameras here to feature the Belizean talent in classical music. Here's what she told us: Courtney Gillett "It's a documentary that they had started while we were in Panama for the Central American Youth Orchestra and they are just featuring some of the musicians who took part in that orchestra. They traveled by bus to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador, and so on. They have been following us around, trying to see what we do here in our own country, how we make our own folk music. They're in Boom today trying to see what remnants of folk music is left in the village after so many years."

Channel 5

Whistleblower makes an official report on the visa hustle involving Edmund Castro
Prime Minister Dean Barrow finds himself in a conundrum tonight having returned to the country to face another major accusation of corruption in his administration. We will have what happened [...]

Prime Minister returns to the country…and dodges the media
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been out of the country for more than a week – combining official and medical business. One day before he left the country, the PM [...]

Mark King says he doesn’t know what the hullabaloo is about
A group of U.D.P. supporters turned up to welcome PM Barrow home. They weren’t allowed past the barrier into the main airport area, but Minister of State Mark King was. [...]

Penner says he is to meet with PM early next week
Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro now shares the corruption spotlight with Elvin Penner, his comrade in the immigration shenanigans. Penner came back into the country from Guatemala on Sunday. He [...]

A delivery truck driver is murdered on the job; his bosses robbed
A delivery truck driver was brutally murdered in broad daylight during the lunch hour. The Yo Creek resident, George Blanco, was employed by John Penner Meats; his life was cut [...]

Standoff between the CWU membership and its executives leads to a general congress
Plans to convene a general congress by the membership of the embattled Christian Workers Union remain in motion, despite strong dissuasion from the organization’s executive committee.  On Thursday, President Antonio [...]

Union activist says he is prepared to legally defend result of CWU elections
Union activist, Dale Trujeque, who has been closely advising Pitter and Rivers in their effort to bring about change, told the media this afternoon that despite the mixed messages being [...]

Raymond Rivers says executives playing games to retain control of union
Meanwhile, outspoken representative Raymond Rivers says that many of the correspondences being issued by the union are unofficial since they do not bear the seal of the CWU.  According to [...]

A flashback on how Nigerians traveled across continents to make it to the Great U.S.A.
We have been reporting on the immigration scandal for weeks. This time round, it involves the illegal issuance of a Belizean passport and nationality certificate to a fugitive, Wonhong Kim. [...]

Social Partners call on opposition to return to PAC hearings
Government representatives of the Public Accounts Committee, led by pro-tem chairman John Saldivar, met with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Evangelical Association today where [...]

Nazarene High celebrates drug week
A school in our neighborhood, Nazarene High, is celebrating Drug Week under the theme “Shine Bright Like Me, Be Drug Free.” And after four days of activities ranging from poetry [...]

Daylight’s saving time in Mexico
If you are planning to head across the northern border into Mexico over the weekend, it is recommended that you take note that Mexico ends its daylight saving time at [...]


Robbery of Delivery Truck Leads To Murder
A resident of Orange Walk was brutally murdered during the robbery of a delivery truck earlier today. Reporter Linette Canto and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the scene and filed this report: LINETTE CANTO “Residents of the generally quite village of Sandhill had their midafternoon meal rudely interrupted by the sound of a gunshot. Mile 19 on the Philip Goldson high way with its junction with the old Maskall Road was the scene of chaos and tragedy this afternoon as 61-year-old, George Blanco lay dead on the ground, the victim of a brutal day light robbery. John Penner, proprietor of John Penner Meats situated in Yo Creek, Orange Walk had just completed his round of meat delivery in Belize City and was heading back to Orange Walk with his two sons and his driver. It was a routine trip for them until they reached Sandhill Village. There, things took an ugly turn as two robbers held them up and murdered the driver. John Penner told us that they have been robbed before but no one was hurt in that incident. This time they were not as fortunate. “

Prime Minister Eludes Media At Airport
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, returned to the country this afternoon from the United States where he attended fund-raising events with his wife, Kim, and after seeking medical attention for a sensitive back. But back home, more allegations have been circulating, encompassing more names of persons reportedly linked to the recent immigration scandal. Since the Prime Minister’s absence, another junior Cabinet Minister’s name has been called in the scam. So while that Minister, Edmund Castro, is also away on official business, the media flocked to the Philip Goldson International Airport this afternoon in the hopes of landing a joint interview with the PM on the latest allegations. But that effort did not result in much because the PM did not exit through the usual Departure Lounge area. Instead, his vehicle was waiting from him on the tarmac and he was whisked off into the City in total avoidance of the press. Marion Ali was at the PGIA and filed this report. MARION ALI “Media personnel waited anxiously in front of the arrival lounge area at the PGIA hoping to speak with the Prime Minister about new allegations surrounding the visa and passport scam. The wait for his arrival was promising this time with junior minister, Mark King showing up. His presence in his words is to give the Prime Minister support.”

Duo Charged With Burglary
Two men, 22 year old Edwin Flores and 18 year old Alvin Gonzalez, were charged burglary when they appeared in court today. Flores was also charged with two counts of handling stolen goods. They pled not guilty to the charges. The prosecution objected to bail and Magistrate Stephanie Gillett upheld the objection and remanded them into custody until December 10. The burglary occurred on October 23. According to the allegation, the two entered as trespassers the dwelling house of Wilson Vivas and stole an assortment of clothing and a pair of tennis shoes. Quick response by the police led to the apprehension of Flores who was one of two persons seen running from the scene. Gonzalez was apprehended later the same day. The police reported that they recovered all of the stolen items from Flores. Flores, however, denied that they found him with the stolen items. He claimed that the police found them in an empty lot.

Flood Watch In Effect For Some Villages in Southern Belize
A cold front that is passing over the Yucatan is causing localized flooding in certain parts of the country. According to the National Emergency Management Organization, water is rising fast in Roaring Creek Village and the Roaring Creek Bridge will likely flood as well as low lying areas in the village. In Arizona, Teakettle the creek rose and flooded out affecting at least eight families. While in Maya Mopan flooding has affected several families. On the George Price Highway between Central Farm and Blackman Eddy approximately 12 inches of water was reported. The Iguana Creek Bridge has about two inches of water on it. In the Stann Creek District, the North Stann Creek is four feet above and falling at mile 20; twelve feet above at Hope Creek and rising. Mullins River is three feet above normal and rising. Cabbage Hay Creek is five feet above normal and rising. The communities of Sarawee, Hope Creek, Mullins River, Santa Rosa, San Roman and Georgetown remain under a flood watch. In the Toledo District Blue creek is three feet above the bridge and rising and the road is closed. The Moho River at Jordan is above normal and rising as is Bladden. Flood watch has been issued for San Benito Poite, Jordan, Aguacate, Crique Sarco and Bladden.

Guats Busted with Kilo at Western Border
Two Guatemalan nationals who were detained yesterday at the Benque Viejo border appeared in court today. On Thursday a joint anti drug operation was conducted at the Western border where a car was searched and officials found a package with suspected cocaine. The two occupants of the vehicle, 23-year-old Jonathon Sandoval and 23-year-old Robin Veliz were detained and taken to the Benque Viejo Police Station. The cocaine was weighed and amounted to one kilo. Today in court, Jonathon Sandoval pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined 100 thousand dollars plus three years imprisonment. Veliz pleaded not guilty to the charge. Both men were sent to Central Prison.

Government Cashier Accused of Stealing Almost 5K
Ashley Smith, a cashier for Customs Department, was charged with the theft of four thousand nine hundred and sixty six dollars when she appeared in Court today. Smith pled not guilty to the charge. She was offered a bail of ten thousand dollars which she was able to meet. She is to return to court on December 3. According to the allegation, Smith stole the money between August 30 and September 26.

Drug Bust Lands Minor Behind Bars
A minor has been charged for drug trafficking in San Ignacio. For details of that story and other police news we join San Ignacio correspondent Elaine Berry. ELAINE BERRY “On Thursday 24th October at about 12:10pm police officers from the San Ignacio formation visited the home of 22-year-old, Trevor Lamb, a Belizean laborer of Second Street here in San Ignacio. A search was conducted at the home and police discovered a bulb socket inside a room containing (3) .38 special rounds of ammunition. Also present at the time of the search were 22-year-old, Ian Ifield, Belizean labor of Church street, Fernando Juan, a 43-year-old, Belizean electrician of Clarissa Falls, Apolinera Landero, a 37-year-old, Belizean domestic of Shawville and Marvin Escalera, a 48-year-old Belizean taxi driver also of Shawville. They were all arrested and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. They were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrates Court this morning where their charge was read. They all pleaded not guilty and were remanded to prison until 28th January, 2014.

Health Minister Says Media Creates Mischief
Today we got a rare opportunity to speak with the Minister of Health Pablo Marin. Rare because it’s not always that he is seen in public government functions or accepts to give interviews and we will tell you why he has opted to do that. But since we had this rare opportunity to speak with him on record we asked him to give us an update on the investigation of the misuse of public funds at the Southern Regional Hospital. He told us how far they are in the investigation and the hurdles his people have faced. PABLO MARIN “As you know, the first step we did was to send our auditors in there; we found out that there were some misuse of some funds. When we did that they did threaten the life of my CEO and some of our AO’s in the ministry, yet we still continue and we sent the Auditor General there and we did do a report. We found that there is about $360,000 plus missing from the funds of the NHI which is very sad to know. We have found some checks, about maybe 3 checks but in reality it’s more than that. We do know or we speculate that it’s not only one person who did this but more than one. The investigation is there and has already been given to the police. The person has been suspended already from the Ministry and further investigation is being done on that.”

Laborer Arraigned Following Attempted Robbery in San Pedro
Twenty-two year old Alfredo Cowo, a laborer of San Pedro who allegedly put a pistol in a man’s mouth and robbed him, was charged with robbery when he appeared in Court today. Cowo was also charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until December 5. The incident occurred on October 23 in San Pedro. The complainant, Nelson Rhaburn, reported to the police that he was walking a friend home when his assailant accosted his and put a gun in his mouth. Rhaburn said the gunman stole his camel bag and his wallet which contained 250 dollars. Rhaburn said that he began to struggle with the gunman and fortunately for him the police arrived and subdued the gunman and recovered from him all of the stolen items. The police also recovered the firearm, a .point 32 pistol with three rounds of ammunition in its magazine.

Five Arrested in San Pedro for Crack Cocaine
The police’s discovery of 1.47 grams of crack cocaine in a red ashtray under a bar counter in San Pedro, has resulted in the arrest of five persons. They are 27 year old Kaylani Gentle, 30 year old Marcella Vayes, 24 year old Pedro Campos, 47 year old Jose Morales and 21 year old Delia Martinez. They were charged with drug trafficking, a charge to which they pled not guilty.nGentle alone was charged with possession of 0.17 grams of cocaine and possession of a metal pipe. She pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug and not guilty to possession of the pipe. Magistrate Stephanie Gillett fined her 500 dollars and ordered her to pay by November 30. If she defaults on payment she will serve six months. They all pled not guilty to drug trafficking and they were each offered a bail of $6,000. They are to return to court on December 5. Yesterday around 3:30 p.m. police went to Captain Guts Bar in San Pedro to search for firearms and drugs. When they searched under the bar counter they found an ashtray that contained 20 parcels of crack cocaine. When they searched a cigarette pack Gentle had they reported that they found 0.17 grams of cocaine.


Whistler Blower Points Out Castro In Visa Scandal, He Says "It Wasn't Me"
Since the Immigration Scandal news first broke in September of this year, every day thereafter new information continues to surface from several angles of deep rooted corruption. While Elvin Penner was at the forefront of the news for a while, tonight another Cabinet member is being accused of the same corruption. Channel 5 reported last night that Junior Minister Edmund Castro is allegedly involved in the lucrative visa hustle. The allegation is backed up with an interview given by an insider who broke the silence and spoke on the hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid by ‘would be’ nationals to acquire a visa ‘under the table’. One Minister, who has categorically denied allegations of his involvement, is Minister of National Security John Saldivar. Saldivar was met by the media this morning in Belize City where he denied any connection in this scandal.

Murder Case Against Eric Gonzales Set To Commence
Four years after his arrest, 12 Jury’s were selected today to hear the case of Eric Gonzalez who is accused of stabbing at the time, 16 year old Daniel Soto. The incident took place on February 26th, 2009 in Orange Walk Town when both youths were reported to have been hanging out together on Mangal Street in the Louisiana Area and an argument erupted between them. It is alleged that Gonzalez left the area to get a kitchen knife and upon his return inflicted a stab wound to Soto’s upper thigh. Police reported upon arrival that they saw Soto lying down on his back in a drain bleeding profusely and died en route to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Clocks In Mexico Go Back One Hour
On midnight Sunday October 27th, Mexico and Belize will have the same local time. That is because Daylight Savings time in Mexico will end and the winter season begins. A release issued by the Embassy of Mexico advises those traveling within Mexico on the evening of Saturday October 26th, to adjust their clock one hour backwards before going to sleep. Belizeans with business appointments, or catching planes or buses across the border should take particular note.

Corozal House Of Culture To Host Cultural Lectures
On February 24th, 2012 the Corozal House of Culture was opened to the general public, with funding from the Belize Tourism Board, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH and the Corozal Community. Since the birth of the house of culture, Coordinator Debra Wilkes Gray has organized several activities with the objective to highlight the importance of history and culture. And this Friday the work towards that goal continues as the house of culture features a lecture segment with Angelita Magana a culture advocate. Debra Wilkes Gray “We are very excited about Friday’s night event; it is a premier lecture of our historical lecture series entitled, Perspectives of Our Past, and it is going to become a signature of event here at the House Of Culture each yea we will feature local elders who are able to articulate history according to their views. Mrs Angelita Magana was the founder, the pioneer of the San Joaquin Fiesta which started in 1966 and she will be speaking on the origin and the early years and developments of the San Joaquin Fiesta, to be a chronological history of how it all came about, how the community came together and the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad because we are all human so I think I would be very interesting to come and I am inviting the community to come to listen to her to hear what really went on.

Premier Gas Station Inaugurates State Of The Art Facility
Today a major accomplishment which brings a state of the art facility to the reach of Orange Walkenos was celebrated. What started as small company has now become Orange Walk’s leading service station. We are talking about Shell One Stop and Convenience Store which now offers its valuable customers a state of the art facility including world class fuel pumps and the company’s latest signage. Today, after months of arduous work, the new facility and services of the gas station was inaugurated in grand style. Reporter Irvin Aragon has the story. Irvin Aragon – Reporting A new state of the art facility at Orange Walk’s leading fuel and service station was officially inaugurated today and opened to the public. With a short presentation and many giveaways throughout the program, Shell One Stop celebrated this huge milestone with its valuable customers and friends.

BSI Stalls Renegotiation Process On Bagasse
Last week we told you about the ongoing negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the Belize Sugar Industry and American Sugar Refinery, (ASR) when it comes to the Commercial Agreement on the sugar cane by-product, Bagasse. While some provisional agreements have been reached, negotiations are at a standstill as it pertains to the payment of “Baggase”, a crucial point of interest for the BSCFA which represents thousands of cane farmers. This morning on the Despierta Belice Show, key players of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega and CEO Oscar Alonzo, gave the public and the 6,000 cane farmers an update on the issue with the hope that both companies can come to an agreement by the start of the new crop season set for November 25th.

BMDC Says Hike On Imported Onion Prices Is Beyond Their Control
Yesterday we aired the concerns of fruit and vegetable vendors located at the Fort Carin’s Market Plaza in regards to the high price they have to pay for a sack of imported onion to the Belize Marketing and Development Board. For vendors, the price is way too high, so much so, that they themselves have had to increase the price per pound of onion since there is a shortage of the local product. That ultimately is affecting their business overall as they have seen drastic declines in sales. But according to BMDC, there is nothing they can do since the price per sack of imported onion is indeed high. Silverio Marin, Administrator, BMDC “Tengo entendido que la gente está descontenta con el precio sin embargo el incremento en el precio es debido a factores que nosotros no podemos controlar, ha habido fuertes lluvias y tormentas de lado de México y nosotros importamos la cebolla blanca en específico de México entonces las lluvias han causado el incremento en el precio, debido al escases que hay.”

OWTC Weighs In On Passport And Immigration Scandal
While this latest revelation will surely attract the attention of many organizations, the Orange Walk Town Council wasted no time in sharing their sentiments on the issue. In a release issued today, the council expressed its utter discontent with the manner in which the passport and immigration scandal has been handled by government. According to the council, there has been absolutely no transparency in the so-called investigation into corruption which is not only the government’s business, but is everybody’s business. The release states and we quote “We find it ludicrous that the government speaks of total corruption within the Immigration Department, admits that former Minister of State Elvin Penner is in the center of it, and still refuses to allow him to be the subject of a criminal investigation.” End of quote.


Revelations and allegations on the passport scandal continue to heat up
The Immigration Department has been shaken to its core. For the past month, reports of illicit acts by former Minister of State Elvin Penner, at the passport and immigration departments, has taken over airwaves, social media and domestic discussions. Each week, new shockers are revealed, exposing a serious problem...

Minister John Saldivar denies participation in immigration scandal
Following on the heels of shocking admissions by Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he has heard of – but not seen evidence of – visa quotas for Ministers and institutionalized “hustling” and the scandal surrounding former fellow Junior Minister Elvin Penner, it is another possibly crippling blow to an...

Orange Walk Town Council discontent with Government’s handling of Immigration Scandal
In the midst of the immigration storm, another entity has come out calling for an independent investigation. Late Thursday evening, the Orange Walk Town Council issued a release expressing its discontent with the manner in which the passport and immigration scandals have been handled by Government, calling it a...

Cabinet voted to remove Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension System
On Thursday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar met with the press outside the party headquarters, where he was the scheduled guest on party station WAVE Radio’s morning program. He spoke to us about the removal of the Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Scheme, which under law was instituted to...

Defiant CWU execs say they do not recognize Saturday meeting
Earlier this week we brought you the insurgent waterfront workers who are demanding that the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) go through with a meeting scheduled for October 26, at which they intend to put long-time president Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy to pasture. The two men have led the...

Over half of the students at a primary school in Cayo are no-show
On Thursday morning, teachers and staff of Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio, Cayo were baffled when three quarters of their students did not show up for classes. We spoke with the Vice Principal Shelan Humes who was able to confirm this. According to Humes, neither their staff nor...

Postal Clerk detained after parcels go missing from Belmopan Post Office
Reports have it that a female postal clerk is in quite a bit of trouble after being caught in the possession of mail and packages that did not belong to her. The parcels of mail, which were reportedly taken from the Belmopan Post Office, were allegedly found inside the...

Christian group objects to Belikin video ad
Some television viewers are calling for the removal of what they describe as a highly sexual and exploitive video commercial aired on prime time TV. Belize Brewing Co. Limited’s Belikin Beer, this month released a promotional video for its 2014 Belikin Beer Calendar Launch. The video has obtained airing...

San Ignacio Police conduct sting operation on human trafficking ring
San Ignacio Police believe that they have busted persons involved in a human trafficking ring. On Tuesday, shortly before midday, the department conducted a sting operation that led to the apprehension of four persons. Police intercepted a white Cadillac car bearing a Mexican license plate, in front of the...

Gwen Lizarraga High School marches against drugs
“Say No to Drugs!” It is a mantra children hear from they are very young. But statistics suggest that the impact of the message is not the same for all boys and girls. Schools in Belize City have for several years now sought to further ingrain the message through...

Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation hosts a Mayan Expo
In the name of indigenous cultures, this past Saturday, the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation hosted a Mayan Expo, attended by the Yucatan Mayan Cultural Delegation of Orange Walk. The exhibition is part of an effort to highlight the original people of the Americas, their ways...

The Guardian

Satiim and GOB to Court again over Oil
Who owns the Sarstoon Temash National Park? That is the question Justice Michele Arana is now trying to answer after counsels for SATIIM and surrounding Maya communities, U.S. Capital Energy and the Government of Belize concluded their presentations on Wednesday, October 23rd. It is a complex case, since arguments are based on a judgment currently under appeal, but the decision by Justice Arana will be based simply on the question of ownership. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay represents SATIIM and the four Maya communities that surround the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Courtenay presented his submissions on Tuesday, October 22nd. His case is based on a June 2010 ruling by Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. In 2007, Conteh ruled that the villagers of Santa Cruz and Conejo were entitled to customary land tenure rights of their ancestral land. Then in a 2010 case he referred to as a sequel, Conteh ruled that all 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District have customary land tenure rights and government is obligated to protect those rights and ensure that such ownership is formally registered. The Government of Belize took the judgment to the Court of Appeals and in July of 2013 the Court upheld Conteh’s judgment that the Mayas have customary land tenure rights but rejected the order that Government must grant titles and do all in its power to enforce those rights.

Government officials meet with Churches on PAC
On October 8th, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Council of Churches, the association of Evangelical Churches and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a joint statement in which it called the Public Accounts Committee meetings being held at the end of every month a charade. The release explained that the groups did not support the Public Accounts Committee's public hearings and said there representatives only attended the hearings as observers. After the release, Hon. John Saldivar who chaired the first two meetings of the PAC, committed to have meetings with the churches to determine what their point of disagreement was and on Wednesday, October 23rd, the meeting materialized. Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Patrick Faber and Hon. Mark King, as representatives of the government on the PAC, met with the council of churches at the Wesley building on Albert Street. After the hour and a half meeting, Hon. Saldivar explained that it was fruitful. He explained that he was happy at the directions the talks went, and he was of the belief that they can reach a consensus as to how the PAC is to move forward. For now he added that the plan was to have further meetings with the other social partners to talk about the recommendations that came out of the first meeting. That meeting is scheduled for next week Wednesday after which a detailed announcement will be made as to what role the churches and the social partners can play in the PAC.

Chief Magistrate says Sewell should be Extradited
The Chief Magistrate ruled on Tuesday, October 22nd, that there was enough evidence presented by the United States Government to have Gary Sewell extradited to that country. Sewell has been in the Belizean courts fighting extradition from 2010. The U.S. is claiming that Gary along with his brothers Mark and Dwayne imported cocaine into the U.S. through Mexico. They are alleged to have sold marijuana in Texas from December 1994 to August 1997. They are also accused of moving as much as 1 million dollars from drug proceeds to Houston, Lakeland, Florida and Belize. After the Chief Magistrate’s ruling, Sewell has 15 days to apply to the Supreme Court for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. If that fails Sewell will be extradited to the U.S. to face charges there.

Corruption comes in many flavours, and though all of them may seem sweet at the time, they all leave a terrible, bitter aftertaste. Corruption harms perpetrators, victims and society at large and yet its flavours are so tempting that few of us can resist completely. Individual corruption is so widespread and pervasive that sometimes we do not even recognise it for what it is. Is there anyone who has not used a little “white” lie to get out of an embarrassing situation? How many of us would be tempted to cheat on a test if the examiner left the answer sheet in plain view? Evidence suggests that infidelity is one of the commonest forms of cheating and is found amongst women and men. Favouring friends or family members for a job, business or scholarship opportunity is equally common. Cheating in sport at every level is so prevalent that we are no longer shocked when it is disclosed. When we do any of these things it diminishes us as a person and makes it more likely that we will progress to worse because corruption is a winding path and step one often leads to step 2 and so on until step “no turning back”. Often people are drawn into the web of corruption by those who are already involved and asked to do a “simple” favour. Thus compromised they feel unable to refuse larger and larger favours until they are entirely enmeshed in the slime. Or maybe, an employee is a little short of cash one week and “borrows” something to tide himself over with the intention of paying it back but instead continues to borrow and never repays. Corruption hurts those who do not get a job or scholarship even though they are more suitable. It hurts all of us because it leads to inefficiencies and waste of our scarce resources. It can result in badly built and dangerous structures that cause death and injury.

Three Belizeans Appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
This morning at the Belize House, three Belizean men were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for their outstanding and selfless service to their communities.

CARICOM seeking New Image
Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque, was in Belize on Monday, 21st and Tuesday, 22nd October to hold consultations for the development of a strategic plan for CARICOM. With the visit to Belize, LaRocque and a delegation from the secretariat have been to 11 of the 15 member states of CARICOM. They are also expected to make calls on all member states including the two associate member states. The delegation has been meeting with senior public officials in each country as well as members of the media, members of the private sector, civil society, youth, members of the opposition and institutions that are part of the CARICOM architecture.

Award Of Contract - Infrastructure Component Design And Certification Consultant Road Safety Project
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, in keeping with the long-term Vision for improvement in road safety, that through an integrated and comprehensive approach, together with demonstrated respect between all road users, the frequency and severity of traffic collisions (road trauma) is reduced, is pleased to announce the award of contract to Anthony Thurton and Associates Ltd. for the Design and Certification Consultancy. The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project is a first step in developing a comprehensive and long term road safety strategy. The project was officially launched on 14th March, 2013 and is being implemented through a BZ$14,495,000 loan from the CDB, and GOB counterpart contribution of BZ$3,191,000.

Belize Dry Cleaners Donates Medical Pillows to Public Hospitals
Lascelle Arnold hands over pillows to Minister and C.E.O The Owner of the Belize Dry Cleaners, Lascelle Arnold, attended a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in June of this year that focused on laundry and dry cleaning for hospitals. The Belize Dry Cleaners provides dry cleaning services for most of the country’s hospitals; therefore, Arnold believes it was important for him to attend.

Institute of Mexico in Belize 20 years working for the culture of Mexico and Belize
Twenty years ago, in 1993, the Institute of Mexico in Belize (IMB) was created as a cultural center, through which the Embassy develops different projects. The IMB plays a leading role in the recreational and artistic life of Belize and has become an essential part of the cultural infrastructure of this country.

Nurses in training at the University of Belize hold educational outreach
Students in their final week of training before leaving to do their practicals at the clinics around Belize, held an educational outreach on Wednesday at the University of Belize Campus Grounds in Belmopan. The focus was on Reproductive Health, primarily that on pre-conception care, cancers of the reproductive systems, sexually transmitted infections and contraception. The theme for the Nurses, in their fourth year at the University of Belize was “Step Up. Take Charge. A Healthy Belize Begins Today.”

Minister Pablo Marin welcomes the donation of wheelchairs
Hon. Pablo Marin, Area Representative for Corozal Bay, and his executive committee are pleased to be the recipients of a donation of ten wheelchairs from the Belize Indian & Merchandise Association (BIMA). The wheelchairs were donated this month along with a financial contribution for the Special Needs program at Maryhill School in Corozal Town. Two of the wheelchairs have already been personally donated by the Minister to persons in need and the remaining will be distributed shortly. Special thanks to BIMA for the donations.

Hon. Pablo Marin improving Public Spaces in Corozal
Area Representative for the Corozal Bay constituency, Hon. Pablo Marin, has been working diligently to upgrade public spaces in his constituency through contributions from donors in the U.S.

New NAVCO executive elected
On Saturday, October 19th, the National Association of Village Councils held their Annual General Meeting at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

Misdirected Protest
Carlos Galvez, operative of Mike Espat, led a group of students in protest through the streets of Punta Gorda Town on Monday, October 21st, to express their frustration at the incomplete education they have been receiving in the last six weeks. According to Galvez, when parents showed up to the school last week to collect midterm reports they saw that their third and fourth form science students had no grades for Physics and Chemistry. They then learnt that there had been no teacher available for those subjects since the school year started. Mr. Abdullah Adebara, Nigerian national, had been the teacher and Head of the Science Department in recent years. However, he has had problems renewing his passport. Therefore, the Teaching Services Commission has not granted him a teaching license.

Response to Article in the Amandala Newspaper of October 20, 2013 written by Colin BH
Response from Mr. Kim Simpliss-Barrow October 22, 2013 Statement by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow on Amandala Article I wish to express very grave concern about an article published in the Amandala newspaper of October 20, 2013 entitled “Bake it Again” by Colin BH. The article expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No.2) Bill. Although the entire article leaves much to be desired, the section quoted below is among the most appalling of the opinions expressed: “the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence.” The piece goes on to explain how there can be “benefits” from the rape of women, but not from the rape of men; the point being that these crimes should carry different penalties. Although I fully respect the right to freedom of speech and while The Government of Belize, as well as my Office, has demonstrated an openness to recommendations for improving the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, the views expressed in this article absolutely cannot be condoned.

The promotion of Agricultural SME’s in Belize for the Export Market
A two day workshop on the international promotion of agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises SME’s ended on Wednesday at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The Workshop was brought about by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) working in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA).

Indian businessman fined for hugging a Customer
On Tuesday, October 22nd, a charge of common assault was placed against businessman, 49-year-old Bhishan Kumar Issrani who was accused of hugging one of his would-be customers, a female age 18. The young woman told police that Issrani pressed himself against her body for 20 seconds making her feel uncomfortable. In court, Issrani was charged with only one count of common assault upon the 18-year-old student. The facts of the case was read out to him and after hearing the student’s allegations, Issrani agreed with the facts and pleaded guilty to the offense. The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith who dealt with the matter, imposed a non-custodial sentence upon Issrani where she ordered him to pay a fine to the court and compensation to his young victim. He was ordered to pay the court a $200 fine plus a $5.00 cost of court forthwith in default of payment he is to spend 2 months imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay the victim $150.00 in compensation for his action towards her. That compensation was also ordered to be paid forthwith in default another 2 months imprisonment. Within minutes Issrani paid up all fines and was able to go free.

53-year-old charged with indecent assault of 15 year-old girl
On Tuesday, October 22nd, 53-year-old Medardo Cocom, a resident of Belize City was charged in court for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl. Cocom, who was unrepresented appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 15-year-old girl. Allegations are that on Friday, October 18, Cocom, according to the minor, committed an aggravated assault of an indecent nature against her when he rubbed his right hand down her breast. In court, Cocom pleaded not guilty to the offense and bail was offered to him in the sum of $1000. Prosecutor in the case, Sgt. Egbert Castillo expressed concern over the proximity that Cocom lives to the victim. Chief Magistrate then asked Cocom if he could relocate until the case is disposed of. Cocom, however, said he had nowhere else to go. But when faced with either being remanded to prison or relocating, Cocom was quick to provide an address for a male relative whose home he told the court he will be able to move in.

Michael Reynolds’ Death Ruled as Accidental
Police have classified 33-year-old Michael Reynolds’ death as accidental after a post mortem examination determined that he died as a result of “Asphyxia by Mechanical Aspiration due to Third Degree Burns by Dry Heat”. Police and the Fire Service responded to reports of a burning structure at #139 Antelope Street Extension at about 2:20 a.m. on Friday, October 18th. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it could spread to nearby structures. A subsequent search of the house led to the discovery of a severely burnt human body. The body was found on the floor in the corridor that leads from the living room to the bedroom. According to police, the body was burnt beyond recognition. However, they have sufficient evidence to believe that the lone occupant of the house, Reynolds, was the individual inside at the time of the blaze. The Fire Service’s investigation has revealed that the likely cause of the fire was electrical because of compromised wiring. Reynolds was a driver for the Department of Human Development.

Dion Yorke Gunned Down on New Road
Police have detained two men and are looking for another in their investigation into the murder of 28-year-old Dion Yorke. According to police report, Pickstock Street resident Dion Yorke was walking on New Road and heading towards Hyde’s Lane at about 11:58 p.m. on Friday, October 18th, when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire. Yorke was struck by bullets to the upper left chest and left arm. After hitting his target, the gunman fled the scene on a bicycle. Yorke was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but succumbed to his injuries at 12:43 a.m. Police recovered two 9 mm SFL brand expended shells from the scene. They have detained two men for questioning and are looking for another person of interest whom they believe can assist in their investigation.

Byron Pope to Central American and Caribbean Games
The Belize Cycling Association represented Belize at the XIII Caribbean Cycling championships held in Curacao over the weekend of October 19-20, 2013. During the Caribbean Championship, eight slots were available and Belize in the person of Byron Pope qualified in the 8th and final spot for the Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for Vera Cruz, Mexico, in November of 20 14. In the Elite Males Road Race, some 85 riders participated in the 7.200 Km or 18 laps. At the end of 3:13:25.934, it was Frederic Theobald of Guadeloupe who was the first rider to cross the finish line. The second rider to cross the finish line some 46.666 seconds later was Emile Abraham of Trinidad and Tobago and he was followed by Efren A Ortega Rivera of Puerto Rico, Marloe Rodman from Jamaica, and Jean Marie Poyo of French St. Martin to round off the top five finishers. The other top finishers in the Road Race included William De Jesus Guzman of the Dominican Republic, followed by Quienten Winkel of Curacao, Vincent Eric of French Guyana, Hillard Cijinte of Curacao, and Byron Pope of Belize. With Pope’s 10th place finished, he has now qualified to attend the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for Vera Cruz, Mexico in 2014. The other Belizean riders Edgar Nissan Arana finished 30th, Robert Liam Stuart finished 39th, while David Henderson did not finished the course. Meanwhile, in the female road race, Shalini Zabaneh finished 10th out of 16 riders with Kerah Eiley placing 12 in the event. The event was won by Tamiko Butler of Antigua in a time of 1:48;48.867, and she was followed by Zoenique Williams of Bermuda, Nicole Mitchell of Bermuda, Juana Isidra Fernandez of the Dominican Republic and she was followed by Solymar Theophile of Guadeloupe.

Port of Belize leads in championship series
Leroy Forbes scores 12 points for the Port of Belize The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition commenced its championship round on Friday, October 18, 2013, between the Port of Belize and Customs. The Port of Belize defeated Customs by the score of 71-61 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The top scorers for the Port of Belize were Earl Johnson with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist, Ian Augustine with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and a steal and Leroy Forbes with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. For the Customs squad, the top scorers were Kevin Lorenzo with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals, Winston Pratt with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists and Marvin Skeet with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals. The second game in the series will be played this Friday, October 25, at 9:00 pm at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. Winston Pratt scored 17 points for Customs Earl Johnson scored 24 points of the Port of Belize

Belize Defence Force regains lead in Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize 2013 Opening Season Belikin Cup competition continued over the last week of play with three games. On Saturday, October 19, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits blanked the defending champions Police United by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Deon McCauley of the Belmopan Bandits in the 45th minute of play. Meanwhile, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo town, the home team Verdes FC also blanked the visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters by the score of 1-0. Nahjib Guerra scored Verdes’ goal in the 33rd minute of play for big win. In the final game of the evening played out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, the current leaders in this year’s competition the Belize Defence Force shut-out FC Belize by the score of 2-0. The 1st goal of the game for the Belize Defence Force was scored by Stephen Martinez in the 8th minute of play that gave his team the only goal really needed. However, in the 90th minute of play, Tarrel Flores scored his team’s 2nd and final goal of the game for the big win.

Belize City Primary Schools Football competition winding down
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football competition is coming to a close at the MCC Grounds. On Tuesday, October 22, there were three games played in the Quarter Final Round of the Boys’ competition. In the first game of the afternoon, St. Martin De Porres School eliminated Belize Elementary School by the score of 5-0. The goals for St. Martin De Porres were scored by Glen Arzu, Michael Deshield (2) and Marquis Conorquie (2). In game two, Ebenezer Methodist School eliminated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist School were scored by Tyreek Muschamp and Bernard Bailey. In the final game of the day, James Garbutt School eliminated St. Joseph by the score of 1-0. Victor Lopez scored the only goal of the game for James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School. On Monday, October 21, the regular season came to an end. In the first of two games in the Boys’ competition, Belize Elementary School defeated James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Ajani Vaughn and Jonah Chebat. In the second game, St. Martin De Porres won over St. Ignatius School via the default route.

Vega’s Cup Tournament rolls on in the North
The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, October 20 with games in the Orange Walk North Constituency. The games were played at two separate venues. At the San Pablo Football Field in the first game played, Jaguars United FC defeated Aliari by the score of 4-2. In game two, Awe’s United and San Luis FC played to a 2-2 draw, while in the final game of the day, Old School defeated San Pablo Youngsters by the score of 6-0. Meanwhile, the games in group B were played out at the Nuevo San Juan Football Field. In the first game of the day, No Limits won via the default route over San Antonio. In game two, San Jose FC defeated San Roman FC by the score of 3-0. In game three, San Pablo FC blasted Santa Cruz Misilitos by the score of 11-0. And in the final game of the day, Santa Cruz FC defeated Douglas Real Juve by the score of 6-1. The competition will continue this coming Sunday October 27, 2013.

No More Cayes - What is Global Climate Change?
All this talk about Global Climate Change, all this talk about going green, about the people creating machines to make global changes to the Earth’s crust and atmosphere, about the ice breaking in the north so what is Global Climate change? It is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as "a change of climate which is attributable directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods." Causes of Global Climate change Scientists believe that the main cause of unnatural changes to the environment of the Earth comes from the actions of humans. However, other circumstances have had severe impacts on GCC such as the expansion of a global economy and the development of new technology. The human activities, moreover, having a direct result on the build-up of Greenhouse Gases (GHG’s) in the earth's atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. According to the World Future Council, Carbon dioxide is produced when coal, oil and natural gas (fossil fuels) are burned to produce energy. Fossil fuels are responsible for 80 to 85 percent of the Carbon dioxide that is being added to the atmosphere. Methane produces gas by cultivating rice, ranching cattle and sheep and by decaying material in landfills. Human activities have increased the concentration of methane in the atmosphere by about 145% above what should be present naturally. These GHG's trap heat radiated from the earth this results in a "greenhouse" or warming effect.

International Credit Union Day (ICU) celebrated in Belize
Credit Unions in Belize celebrated International Credit Union (ICU) Day last week Thursday. ICU has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The day is recognized to reflect on the credit union movement and to promote its milestones. It is a day to recognize those who have contributed greatly to the movement and show members our appreciation. This year’s ICU Day was held under the theme, “Credit Unions Unite for Good: A Better Way”; emphasizing the benefits of Credit Unions working cooperatively around the World. There are now some 56,000 cooperative financial institutions world-wide, holding some 300 million members in 101 countries that pool their resources for the common good. One of those Credit Unions who held an open day last week Thursday in recognition of ICU was the Saint Martin’s Credit Union (SMCU) located on Eve Street in San Ignacio Town.


“Public servants, teachers …want more …not less than 6%, and I’m saying I can’t do that.” – PM Barrow While Prime Minister Dean Barrow had recently declared to the nation that there are currently “millions and millions” of dollars in the government’s coffers, which prompted the unions to clamor for a long awaited salary adjustment, apparently the time is still not right for government to accommodate such an increase for public servants. During an event organized by the Belizean Task Force in Los Angeles, California, last Sunday, October 20, Barrow responded to several questions that were posed by Belizeans in the diaspora regarding their concerns about various national issues affecting the country of Belize and its populace. One of those questions to which the Prime Minister responded was about training programs to empower public officers in order for them to be able to provide enhanced services to the general public. While answering the question, Barrow veered off into the union’s call for a salary adjustment.

More headache for PM Barrow; Hon. Castro says, “I’m innocent!” While much of the scrutiny of the recent Immigration scandal has been directed at former Minister of State, Hon. Elvin Penner, there may be another damning scandal on the horizon that could possibly implicate yet another sitting member of the ruling UDP. As the nation is still grappling with the circumstances surrounding the fraudulent issuance of Belizean passports and nationality to numerous foreign nationals, including an international fugitive, reportedly by government officials, the issue of a suspected visa hustle within the current administration, given credence by none other than Prime Minister Dean Barrow himself, has also come to light. Well-connected Chinese nationals apparently have paid large sums of money to get hold of these visas so that they are easily able to make their way to the United States, from Belize.

Stevedores want General Assembly now, not next February, to oust Gonzalez and McFoy. Spokespersons for the stevedores—the most vocal faction of the Christian Workers Union (CWU)—are insisting that a General Assembly planned for this Saturday, October 26, to eject president Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy, must proceed, notwithstanding a decision by the union’s executive last Friday that the meeting—years overdue—should be postponed until next February. Deon “Pitta” Pitter told Amandala that there has been “game playing.” He alleged that Gonzalez has secretly convinced the union liaisons from entities which the union represents—which include workers of Social Security Board, the Central Bank of Belize, the Institute of Creative Arts, the Statistical Institute of Belize and the Belmopan City Council—to keep him as president, despite serious issues over the state of the union’s finances. Speaking with Amandala this morning, Gonzalez roundly denied the allegation. He told us that union members decided via vote while he and McFoy were absent from the meeting.

Amandala understands that a female postal clerk, attached to the Belmopan Post Office, was today arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court after a newly-installed surveillance camera captured footage of her removing mail without authority. Sinquest Martinez, O.C. Belmopan Police, today confirmed to Amandala that the accused person was charged with four counts of stealing a postal package and one count of burglary. The incident reportedly occurred this past Saturday, October 19, at the Belmopan Post Office. Deputy Postmaster General, James Gabourel, told Amandala today that the management of the Belize Postal Service became concerned earlier this year, based upon reports that items had gone missing from the parcels and packages of various customers. As a result, Gabourel said that investigations were launched, but at the time, they could not find out who was culpable.

From our various readings, it appears that when the invading European soldiers and their missionaries first encountered African and Native American peoples centuries ago, some of our people were buck naked. It seems the Europeans were embarrassed, scandalized, intimidated, and so on. For sure, though, some of the invaders were “turned on.” That’s another story. These native peoples were living in tropical forests where the heat was intense, and it seemed natural to them to move unencumbered by clothes. In addition, sex was a routine aspect of the lives of Africans and Native Americans, and it was not considered sinful, shameful, or sick. It seems that the Europeans felt that it was a most urgent requirement for our people to start wearing some clothes to cover their so-called private parts. At this point of our discourse, a couple things occur to us. One is that the Old Testament story goes that when Adam and Eve, our “first parents,” were innocent, free of sin, and close to God, they were naked. After they sinned, according to the Bible, by eating from the Tree of Knowledge which had been forbidden to them by the Almighty, they immediately became aware of their nakedness, and they became ashamed. The second thing that occurs to us is that, by comparison with the Muslim world, the Christian Western world around us sometimes behaves as if we would like for our women to wear as few clothes as possible.

On my weekend visit to San Ignacio/Santa Elena on the occasion of the Mighty Avengers’ Hall of Fame Awards, I stayed over for the nights in Belmopan. Now, at the twilight of my long life and career, I find myself easily adapting to the quieter nature of the Capital City where I find myself spending more and more of my time as I am winding down. In the mornings I travelled to the “Twin Towns” where I would visit my friends Pappy Smith, Speedy Henry and Arturo Azueta on a daily basis, sit with them and spin the yarn reminiscing of good times and bad times, spinning the yarn mostly about football. You can see how our country which is so small is tightly knitted together. I learnt that my good friend Pappy Smith had five children, all daughters. And do you know that one of the girls is married to the former Member of the House of Representatives for Cayo South, the Hon. Ramon Witz? Do you see how we are all intertwined? I did not know this until I was speaking to Pappy spinning the yarn.

ADS…AN AD… As politics is the art of the possible, so is advertising the art of persuasion. Advertising (ads) is getting people to buy a product. It is the ultimate form of propaganda, very lucrative, very influential, very powerful, very dangerous. Prior to any ad campaign being mounted, a marketing survey is conducted; researchers study the psychological profile of the people targeted; analysis is done of their economic status and of their physical environment. Once the market survey is completed, a variety of techniques is employed to establish why you need this product, why you can’t live without it. From the subliminal through half-truths and misinformation to the absurd and the comedic. The Americans, Madison Avenue, have so perfected the ads that they can market a non-entity to the Presidency.

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd “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…My own experience is that people want to come to Belize to live, to do business… they want to invest in the country and if a way could be found to make those people come, it would help us in terms of capital, it will help us in terms of technology, It will also help us in terms of markets.” (Sedi Elrington’s pro-economic citizenship pitch October 17, 2013 in a press interview.) You know, ever since I heard about this economic citizenship programme in the early 90’s, the justification has been: transfer of technology to our people; much needed investment to stimulate the economy; access to markets worldwide for us; and revenue into our treasury. Thus, what Minister Elrington is saying is recycled verbiage. You know, I was young and foolish then to believe these lies, but now after 20 years let’s examine the bullshit we have been fed and let us assess if the sale of our birthright for 30 pieces of silver has indeed brought us these things. Better yet, after two decades, can Minister Elrington or any government official show us how 20 years of sale has given us the technology, investment, markets and revenue? Why are they desperate to sell our birthright and passports?

Close relative says the .22 bullets aren’t just rusty; they are “too rusty” for them to be any good. A family of four will be spending their first night at the Belize Central Prison tonight after police allegedly found six rounds of .22 calibre ammunition inside a safe in their home. Businessman Nazim Nasser, 42, his very pregnant wife, Jaziba, 36, and his two sons Jamal, 19, and Hilal, 18, were jointly charged with keeping the unlicensed ammunition. According to police, between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., they visited the Nassers’ home on Coconut Drive in San Pedro Town, armed with a warrant to search for illegal firearms and ammunition. Present at the time of the search was Nazim, and when police searched inside a safe that was in one of the bedrooms, they found the six S&B brand rounds.

Two thieves who police say had been preying on students in the area of Princess Margaret Drive in which the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Saint John’s College (SJC) campuses are located, were arrested at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon by Precinct 4 police. A female student, 17, told police that at about 11:30 Tuesday morning, October 15, she and a friend of hers were walking in the vicinity of UWI on Princess Margaret Drive when a man came up to her and grabbed her purse. She tried to grab it back, but he punched her in her face forcefully, causing her to let go of the purse. The thief then rode away with the bag, which contained her BlackBerry cell phone. According to the student’s report to police, in the following week, at about 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 22, she saw the same robber who had attacked her lurking in the area while she was walking in front of UWI on Princess Margaret Drive.

Gary Seawell was back in court today, where he appeared hopeful that arguments his lawyer, Arthur Saldivar, had made at his last appearance on September 11, 2013, would prevail and prevent his extradition to the US. But his hopes were quickly dashed within three minutes of the Chief Magistrate’s entrance to the court, when she concluded that there was sufficient evidence to extradite Seawell to the United States to face charges of drug importation and money laundering. Saldivar’s submissions were that the depositions or affidavits had no oaths on them and therefore held no legal ground for the court to consider, and that the documents were not properly authenticated, which meant that the court had no legal evidence against Seawell.

Foul play ruled out, autopsy inconclusive. Yesterday morning, at about 10:00, after the odor of rotting flesh started to become oppressive in a neighborhood in Ranchito, Corozal, concerned neighbors of Frenchwoman Michelin Nayard, 73, a retiree who had been living in the village for years, went into her house, the door of which was open, to see what was happening. They found her decomposing body on the floor in the bedroom. The body was identified by her son-in-law. Police went to the scene, and due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body, an onsite autopsy was conducted promptly, and immediately after the exam Nayard was buried at the Ranchito Village Cemetery. The result of the post-mortem exam, however, was inconclusive due to the advanced state of the body’s decomposition. Police are not suspecting foul play, since no signs of violence were observed on the body, and they believe that the woman died of natural causes.

A British national who has been living in Belize since 2007 died after she was knocked down by a motorcycle in the area of Mile 2 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, near Siesta Inn, while she was crossing the road, at about 7:00 Tuesday evening. Patricia Johnson, 64, of Bella Vista, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died while doctors were giving her medical treatment. The driver of the motorcycle, Jason Grant, has been arrested and issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Information is that Johnson was walking across the road with her dog on her way home after buying some items at the nearby store when a speeding motorcycle knocked her down. As a result, she suffered massive head and body injuries. The driver of the motorcycle was unhurt, and the cycle was impounded by police.

Although an order has been handed down by the Belize City Magistrate Court for Gary Seawell, 36, of Ladyville, to be extradited to the United States to stand trial on charges of drug importation and money laundering, he is slated to stand trial in the Belize Supreme Court to face unrelated charges – two counts of keeping prohibited material, for a hand grenade and a bulletproof vest that were in his possession; four counts of keeping prohibited firearms; three counts of keeping prohibited ammunition; and two counts of keeping ammunition without a gun license. He was also charged with two instances of drug trafficking for 315 grams of ganja and 3 kilos of cocaine respectively. He is presently on remand at the Belize Central Prison, awaiting trial at the Supreme Court. The incident from which the charges stem, occurred about 10:30 on February 15, 2010, at a farm in the Esperanza area in the Cayo District. Police on an anti-drug operation said that they went to an area in Esperanza where they executed a search warrant on a small farmhouse that was about 4 miles into the bushes flanking the George Price Highway.

— by Zelda Hill October 23, 2013 Dear Editor, I wrote the Belize Broadcasting Authority (BBA) concerning the inappropriate and provocative Belikin calendar-launching ad that is being run on most of our local TV stations during the news and perhaps at other times of the day since last week. If other Belizeans would like to officially protest the running of this ad, which will probably cease by this Friday (the day of the event), or to report future inappropriate ads and programming, the email address of the BBA is I would like to further express my concern through this medium in regard to the escalating instances of violations to clause 17 of the terms and conditions of the Broadcasters’ licenses. The Belize Broadcasting and Television Act Chapter 227, Revised Edition 2000, gives the BBA the authority to determine and ensure that the services, operations and programs of radio and television stations are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their licenses and that they are considered appropriate by the BBA. We need more monitoring of the media by the BBA, for the protection of our children from vulgar and offensive messages that are being broadcasted by radio and television through local and foreign programming, especially through ads that are promoting alcohol.

— by Gilroy Usher, Sr. Dear Editor , I would like the government to have compassion on Belizeans and remember that charity begins at home. This is concern for a family of born Belizeans, specifically the Wagner family near Pen Road extension that needs help in getting a letter of recommendation to lease a swamp land that they filled up and built a house on to escape the terrible burden of house rent. This lot is in an area where many UDP cronies have been given rows of lots near the police sub-station on Fabers Road extension after squatting on the property as well. When the family asked the area representative of Port Loyola for a recommendation letter to lease the land, they were informed that it would not be prepared for them because they can’t get the property. We are talking about poor people, who need a little help from their area representative and the Government to improve their standard of living.

The 2013 Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament lit up the MCC Grounds again with Week 3 games on Saturday, October 19; and with wider goalposts. After complaints that at 10 feet wide, the advantage was too much in favor of goalkeepers versus strikers, the goalposts were widened to 14 feet for the Week 3 games. The height remains at 6 feet. And already it has resulted in the most goals scored in this young competition. Seven (7) goals were scored on Saturday, after 6 in Week 1 and 5 in Week 2. When the 5 games involving all 10 teams in the competition were over on Saturday, 3 teams remained undefeated – Brown Bombers, City Boys and Ladyville Jaguars. The Jaguars have drawn all 3 of their games so far, so they are not high in the standings, but Brown Bombers have registered 3 straight victories, and now enjoy the top spot in the standings. After the single round-robin regular competition, the top 4 teams will play in knockout semifinals, with the 2 winners squaring off in 1 game for the championship.

It’s shaping up to be a real tough race to the championship of the first ever Belize City Mayor’s Cup football tournament, as marathon champs West Lake is just 1 point behind league leaders Fort George United, and these two teams clash in the nightcap this Friday night in their only meeting in the competition, which follows the “La Liga” format – no playoffs. There’s reportedly a handsome prize of $5,000.00 for the champion; $3,000.00 for the 2nd place finisher; 3rd place receives $1,500.00; and there is a $1,000.00 Fair Play award to the most disciplined team. The winner of the Belize City Mayor’s Cup will be the team that earns the most points from their 11 games played in the tournament, since there are 12 teams participating. The race is hot, and we are just around the half-way point in the competition, which will run longer than 11 weeks due to the fact that Kephawn Pawn FC had briefly withdrawn, and then returned to the competition.

The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) informs football fans and the general public of the Central American U-16 Championship to be held in Belize at the FFB Stadium from November 18-24. The tournament consists of all seven (7) Central American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Belize. Camp for our U-16 is being conducted on weekends. The following players (home zones indicated) are in camp: Orange Walk – Marlon Garcia and Randy Augustine; San Pedro – Alexander Cadle and Brian Guardado; Belize City – Keyon Luis; Hattieville – Nasheb Ysaguirre; Belmopan – Dale Pelayo, Jamal Tejeda, Jamir Alpuche, Rogi Solorzano, Elton Gordon and James Gonzalez; Roaring Creek – Mario Valencia, Noa Moro and Eddy Valencia; Spanish Lookout – Kelvyn Dueck;

Two men are alive after they were fired upon and hit while riding two separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard towards the Deep Water Port at about 11:35 Sunday night in front of Kings Store. Elroy Perdomo, 18, of Kraal Road, was shot in his buttocks and his ankle, while Steven Lambey, 26, of Reggae Street, was shot in the right side of the abdomen and the left calf. They were both taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were treated for the injuries, and Perdomo was later released after being placed on observation. The other man, Steven Lambey, has been admitted to ward, where he is recovering, in a serious but stable condition.

Police of the River Valley area are seeking the thief or thieves who rustled two bulls, slaughtered them and left the heads behind. The bulls are valued at about $4,500, the property of Bruno Sutherland, who lives on Central American Boulevard, Belize City, but has a house in Bermudian Landing. The bulls were found butchered on his farm in Rancho Dolores at about 9:30 Saturday morning. Sutherland told police that he travelled to his farm and on his arrival, began to check his cattle. He found that two bulls were not accounted for, and after checking around his farm, found their heads; their carcasses had been taken away. One bull was white and the other was black. The white bull reportedly weighed about 2,000 pounds and was valued at about $3,000, and the other bull weighed about 1,000 pounds , and was valued at $1,500.

Last weekend the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) infiltrated and busted a drug supply ring in Cayo that had been operating between Arenal and Melchor, Guatemala, and transporting marijuana into Belize. A hundred pounds of marijuana was confiscated, and three smugglers were arrested, but one escaped. The two smugglers who remained in police custody are Sergio Isaiah Vega, 28, of Arenal, and Gustavo Ruiz, 30, of Benque Viejo, Cayo; police have meanwhile issued an arrest warrant for the escaped smuggler, Anibal Gabino Garcia, 30, also of Arenal. Vega and Ruiz were jointly charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug to another, and supplying a controlled drug to another. Sergio Vega was additionally charged with one count of “being concerned in the making of an offer to supply a controlled drug to another, offering to supply a controlled drug to another, and conspiracy to commit the crime of supplying a controlled drug to another.”

Today, Francisco Gomez, a resident of Mile 24 on the George Price Highway, pled guilty to handling stolen goods after he was found in possession of a truck rim, valued at $2,000, which belonged to Joe Fuzzy, a businessman of Belize Aggregates Ltd., located at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway. He had been out on bail after initially pleading not guilty to the charge of handling stolen goods. However, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, he changed his plea to guilty. Gomez, who reportedly assisted in the removal of the truck rim from Fuzzy’s business place on October 25, 2012, told the Chief Magistrate that he did not want to plead guilty, although he admitted that he had indeed assisted some men in stashing the stolen rim, but claimed that he was not a part of the group that actually stole the rim. He then asked the Chief Magistrate for leniency on his behalf, and since he had no previous convictions, he was fined $150 plus $5 cost of court, which is to be paid by November 29, 2013, in default of which he would serve 6 months in prison.

He changed his plea to guilty for handling stolen goods. Carlos Beltran was sentenced to 8 months in prison this afternoon after he changed his not guilty plea to guilty for handling stolen goods. On August 12, 2013, Eric Pott, a resident of E Street in Buttonwood Bay, reported to police that when he arrived at his house earlier that day, he was stunned to discover that his 32 flat screen television, and his touch screen laptop computer and speakers had been stolen. Pott told police that he had left his house secured on August 6, when he had left for Guatemala. Police launched an investigation, which led them to Beltran’s house at #1693 Urban Avenue in the Buttonwood Bay Area, where the stolen items were found on a sofa in the house. Beltran was not at home when the house was searched, but arrived several minutes later, at which point he was informed of the offense.

Merdardo Cocom, 53, a laborer of Belize City, was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today. Although the details of the assault remain sketchy, what we do know is that Cocom allegedly used his right hand to rub against a 15-year-old female student’s breast. Cocom pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail of $1,000 and one surety of the same amount, but he has to reside at a Partridge Street Extension address he provided to the court, until the matter is heard in its entirety. He must also stay away from the minor and report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Justice Arana hears Maya challenge to GOB’s oil contract with US Capital. “They might as well just roll up that PSA and smoke it!” attorney for Maya tells Court Hearings concluded today in yet another episode of litigation between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo, who have launched a new suit against the Government of Belize in a claim which they maintain, is intended to vindicate their customary land rights affirmed by a trilogy of cases lodged before the Belize courts. “We believe that it is fundamentally important to tie all of these rights affirmed by the court and international law that Belize has ratified to bring bearing on the Government’s issuance of development concessions—and one of them being oil development under the production sharing agreement [PSA],” Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), the main affiant in the case, told the press when hearings began on Tuesday.

On Sunday, October 13, Amandala staff reporter Rochelle Gillett tied the knot with Matthew Flowers at the Mt. Zion S.D.A. Tabernacle. The service was intimate and non-traditional, with the dapper looking groom being escorted up the aisle by his two lovely step-daughters, Ianne and Quianna Gillett. The bride was elegant in her wedding gown, and instead of being given away by her father, she was escorted up the aisle by her son, Maliq Gillett, and her step-son Lexan Flowers, with Maliq acknowledging Matthew’s request of his mother’s hand in marriage with a handshake. Giacomo Sanchez, brother of the groom, and Natalie Gideon, a close friend of the bride, acted as best man and maid of honor, and Ps. Jerome Bevans officiated the service.

The Belize Times

Castro’s Visa Hustle – “For God’s Sake Stop It!” – PM Barrow
A whistleblower has blown the lid on a major visa hustle involving at least one UDP politician who collected thousands upon thousands of dollars in the sale of Belizean visas to Chinese nationals. Two weeks ago, at a press conference on October 10th, a beleaguered Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted to having learnt that there was a major Ministerial visa hustle, where Ministers had acquired special quotas of visas to sell to make extra cash. Barrow said he had “heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people” and he bawled out to those Ministers, saying “for God’s sake stop it, stop it!”, because according to him, “…that is what will cause the government to fall”. Well, Barrow’s catastrophic prophecy is coming of age. UDP Minister Edmund Castro has been fingered in a corrupt hustle where the UDP has prostituted our country for fast money. Castro, we understand, is only one of five Ministers who has been engaged in this illegal act.

Landy Meets Recall Target! – PUP gears for victory in Cayo North East
Orlando “Landy” Habet, the PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North East, and his hardworking team, have successfully met and are now surpassing the targeted number of petition ...

Francis – A Great Leader
Hon. Francis Fonseca has all the substance of a great leader. Good things are coming to Belize through Francis. In contrast, despite all the recent press given to the rotten ...

King threatens Mayor Bradley – Gang Minister says waiting to see the Mayor is like “waiting for God”
It seems like a smart political offensive set up by his challenger in Caribbean Shores, but the threats launched by UDP Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King on UDP Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley come off much too personal to think that Santino Castillo may be instigating it. In an leaked email under the subject “Lake I” sent by King to Bradley on Tuesday October 22nd, King lets off on Bradley for failing to provide support for two projects which King had promised to deliver to residents in Lake Independence. In the email, King berates Mayor Bradley for his failure to communicate with him and attacked him saying that “even sitting at the council to see you is like waiting for God”.

“Hotbed of Corruption” – First Immigration, Now Lands Ministry
A hapless and helpless Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted that his Administration’s Ministry of Lands is a “hotbed of corruption” while speaking before a group of Belizean-Americans in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Barrow was ...

Think About It
CESSPOOL VS HOTBED The wanton and widespread hustling and corruption at the immigration department relating to passports and visas has been described as a cesspool of corruption. Speaking to Belizeans/American in Los Angeles a few days ago Prime Minister Barrow described the mess at the Ministry of Lands as a ...

UDP Corruption Inc.
By G. Michael Reid The United Democratic Party is experiencing serious implosions which will undoubtedly lead to the eventual crumbling of this delicately constructed dolly house. It seems unlikely that the Penner situation is going away anytime soon and well into its second month, it is still the hottest topic on ...

There were three curious things happening over the past three weeks. The first was an unusual spike in marijuana arrests and finds. The second was an increase in trafficking in persons’ arrests. The third was an unnatural strength of evidence and whistleblowing coming to the surface about the UDP’s criminal involvement ...

Belmopan Bandits bounces back, beats Police FC
The Belmopan Bandits made a comeback when they defeated Police United FC, 1-0, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, October 20. Harrison “Kafu” Roches looked to get ...

Belmopan Bombers bomb Warriors in men’s softball
The Belmopan Bombers walloped the Camalote Warriors 14-7 when the Cayo Softball Association’s men’s competition continued at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote on Saturday, October 20. The Bombers’ pitcher Dion Guzman gave up ...

Byron Pope qualifies to Central American & Caribbean Games
Congratulations are in order for National Road Champion, Benny’s Megabytes Byron Pope, who qualified to participate in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Veracruz, Mexico. Pope finished in 10th place overall in the ...

Canon Leroy Flowers calls for Independent Inquiry into passport scandal – “You cannot investigate yourself; that is impossible…”
The ever-outspoken Canon Leroy Flowers of the Anglican Church has added his voice to the loud calls for an Independent Inquiry into the scandal at the Immigration Department. While appearing on Channel 5’s Open Your Eyes on Friday morning, Canon Flowers called on the authorities to investigate ...

Wanted: Eric Chang!
Mayor Darrel Bradley’s incompetence and deceit is in full display in his inability to reel in passport scam suspect Eric Chang back to Belize, so he could face the public and answer some very serious allegations. Chang has been absent since early September. He had travelled with ...

Dean Barrow’s Moral High Ground
Five years ago, Prime Minister Barrow, in momentous decree at the foot of the National Assembly in Belmopan, declared “our national nightmare is over... I rise to report to you today, Mr. Speaker, that here in Belize finally our long nightfall too is lifted.” In reference to the PUP’s term ...

AMAZING GRACE – Jesus, Pharisees, and Halloween
Halloween is coming up in just a few days. Soon the streets will be overflowing with children in costumes as creative as a ‘toilet paper monster’, as adventurous as Spider-man, and as cliché as a witch. They will be going from door to door, yelling out the age old phrase ...

PUP officials talk Agriculture with President of the University of Zamorano
As part of the President of the University of Zamorano, Honduras, Dr Roberto Cuevas Garcia’s Scholarship Raising Tour in Belize, an official lunch meeting was held with People’s United Party officials. The Zamorano Alumni Association invited ...

The Importance of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013 is the greatest gift that we can give the children of our country. When I heard that the act was read in the House of Representatives, I was extremely thankful to all policymakers (too many to mention from all political ...

Taxation and Financing for Community Charity
By Richard Harrison In the time before these times it used to be that in Belice a business paid taxes on the profits that they would declare. It used to be....that a preparing its tax filing for the year....could deduct from taxes....all those contributions that the business made during that year, ...

Stories of a Sufferah – Dem Sell We Out!
It is very sad to see how the present administration has turned our country into one big bargain center. It’s almost like you can purchase anything that this “beautiful jewel” has to offer. First they started by selling out our natural resources, our logwood, or forest and marine territory, but ...

Barrow has millions…but not for Cayo South
The Prime Minister’s inducement of Cayo North East voters with “millions and millions” has angered many struggling families and right thinking organisations who have been clamouring for the Government to provide financial support or ease in these harsh economic time. Teachers, public officers, police officers, ...

Eyes Wide Shut!
Godwin Hulse is a wolf in sheep clothing. After years of pretending to be someone who stood for reform and righteousness, when the PUP was under constant criticism, he is now showing his true self. Hulse is standing center stage of the biggest immigration scandal in the history of Belize with eyes wide shut. One where everyone around him has admitted to massive corruption, wholesale exploitation and the abuse of power and authority. It is so bad, that the UDP’s sins have vilified Belize’s name and image on the world stage. But instead of cleaning up house and doing the honorable and right thing, Hulse has defended his colleagues in the UDP Cabinet. There is no evidence of anything criminal, he has held. And when there is proof of it, he refuses to expose it, because “I cannot!”

Questions to PM from the people of Toledo West!
By Hon. Oscar Requeña The people of Toledo listened keenly as the Prime Minister bragged how money is not a problem for him and his government. In fact, he boasted that millions will be spent to try to buy the election ...

Peace…and the New Revolution
By Carolyn Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader “..Poverty is one of man’s greatest tragedies. The talk of peace in the world makes me laugh. There can never be peace so long as one man has his belly full and another is starving…” - Francisco “Pancho” Villa, Mexican Revolutionary…assassinated July 20th, 1923 The journey of ...

BELMOPAN IS BROKE! – Mayor, CitCo will penalize taxpayersThe Belmopan City Council is broke. It is functioning on a deficit budget. At a town hall meeting held last week the Mayor and the City Council conceded that they were doing nothing about the ...

Barrow vs. The Maya
Dean Barrow, the most nepotistic Prime Minister in the history of Belize, has once again hired his “hot-shot” brother Denys to collect big bucks at taxpayers’ expense. It is an all-too familiar song: “I get value for money when I pay millions upon millions to Lois and Denys”. He hired Lois and Denys in the name of nationalism to fight off Lord Ashcroft. That battle, as we now know, was a farce. After paying off his family, Barrow then went to the UK and cozied up with Lord Aschcroft, thousands of miles away from the earshot of Barrow’s zinc fence. At the end of the day, Lois will get millions, Denys will get millions and Ashcroft will get millions. Do you see the value for money he was talking about? But let’s take a look at Brother B’s latest assignment. The task at hand: to facilitate an oil company’s invasion of the Sarstoon Temash, an area declared for the benefit of the Maya people of the south by former Chief Justice of Belize, Dr. Abdulai Conteh.

By Francis W. Fonseca This weekend, our People’s United Party will hold Conventions to elect new Presidents and Executive Committee’s for three (3) critically important Standing Units of the Party as established under Article 10 of the PUP Constitution, R.E. 2010. Article 17 of the PUP Constitution establishes The Marshall’s Community Service ...

Poor Family Denied Access to Land
Dear Editor, I would like the government to have compassion on Belizeans and remember that charity begins at home. First I want to make it absolutely clear that nobody is asking for a Minister to get involved in the illegal sale of passport and visas again. This concerns a family of born ...

None of us are free…
Dear Editor, In one of his most mind boggling songs, “None of us are Free”, blues and ballad singer Solomon Burke sounds a very powerful message. That song informs us that there are many sisters and brothers crying out across the oceans and across our land right here in Belize, and ...

Give us a Whistle Blower’s protection law
Dear Editor, I want to make the following suggestion to the current Government and the future Government of Belize: Government in Belize should put a Whistle Blower's Law that allows the Belizean people to expose corruption or wrongdoing and protects them from retribution and also rewards them with 10% of whatever Government ...

Bad back Barrow needs a heart!!
Dear Editor, Belize’s Ali Baba had to travel to the United States for seven days, in the middle of the biggest scandal involving passport larceny and his forty thieves, because he claims to be suffering from a bad back. Truth be told, he was indeed seen standing up all twisted up, ...


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3 Ambergris Caye Bars that do Trivia and 2 great Halloween parties
Trivia has started up again at Pedro’s, Cindy is the quiz girl, cost $5 to play and teams can be up to 5 people. The winning team takes the pot. Sandy, tacoboy and I joined forces last night and called ourselves team Halloween. We were up against Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor, Wacha Wacha Wacha’s and one lone player – all formidable opponents. We came close to winning but lost ground in the end on the real and fictional people round. Team Team Wacha Wacha Wacha’s took the $70 prize . Ambergris Caye bars that do weekly Trivia – Coco Loco’s beach bar at 7:00pm on Tuesdays, Pedro’s Pizza 7:00pm on Thursdays and Crazy Canucks beach bar 7:00pm on Fridays. Each bar does it slightly differently but they all make it lots of fun. So grab a few friends put on your thinking caps and g win some money. BC’s was doing trivia on Fridays as well but I am not sure the status on that, just stop stop by the bar and ask Charlene.

The Orange Julia Butterfly
The Orange Julia is a beautiful and cheerful butterfly that can be found in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Souther America. See also: The Malachite Butterfly The wing of this butterfly ranges from 83 to 92 mm and is colored orange with black markings. According to Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide David Juarez, the Orange Julia feeds on nectar from flowers and most of the time, they prefer red or blue flowers. The species is popular in Butterfly houses because it is long lived and active throughout the day.

International Sources

‘Catastrophe’ If $3.3m In Conch Exports Banned
PLACING the Queen Conch on the ‘endangered species list’ could be “catastrophic” for the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries, the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources said yesterday, adding that conch harvesting for local consumption was pumping $6 million annually into this nation’s fisheries sector. #In his address at the opening ceremony for the 6th meeting of the ACP Fish II Programme steering committee, Mr Gray called on CARICOM to help ensure the Queen conch (Strobus gigas) is never added to this list. #Last year, Wild Earth Guardians, a non-profit environmental activist organisation, filed a petition in the US to list the queen conch under the Endangered Species Act. Such a move would eliminate all conch trade between the Caribbean and the US, which currently imports more than 70 per cent of the remaining regional conch harvest - including some 600,000 pounds, worth roughly $3.3 million a year, from the Bahamas.

Absurd Creature of the Week: Burrowing Botfly Grows Huge Feasting on Your Flesh
Nota bene: This week’s creature is a spine-covered parasitic larva that burrows into living human beings, feeding on their flesh and growing positively plump. Some descriptions here might be hard to stomach, and the squeamish should not under any circumstances watch the videos of the extraction process. Unless the circumstance is someone tricking you into it, which would be pretty funny. When insect taxonomist Chris Carlton of Louisiana State University went on a collecting trip in Belize, he did what many travelers do: He picked up a souvenir. It was even free, which was pretty sweet. After spending a month in Central America, he returned home and unwrapped his gift to himself. Unfortunately, the unwrapping happened on the top of his noggin. Carlton’s scalp had become home to a human botfly larva, a spiny parasitic maggot that digs into living human flesh, feeds on the inflamed tissue surrounding it, and grows to more than an inch long.

Big Catch of Big Cannons at Blackbeard Shipwreck Site
The final week of the expedition at the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship,Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR), is pulling out the big guns. Literally. Five cannons, four weighing 2,000 pounds and one nearly 3,000 pounds, will be lifted from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean Monday, Oct. 28, weather permitting. All the cast iron cannons fired six pound cannon balls, and will bring to 20 the cannons raised from the site. This will be the biggest 'catch' of cannons recovered at one time. "We think the largest of the four cannons may be of Swedish origin since the only other recovered gun this size was made in Sweden," Project Director Billy Ray Morris observes. "We also hope to recover two large concretions each the size of a twin bed. They may contain barrel hoops, cannon balls and other treasures." Blackbeard is known to have gathered a hodge-podge of cannons from different countries as he equipped his vessel with 40 guns. To date, 29 guns have been located at the shipwreck site near Beaufort. The research team, led by the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, has recovered artifacts from 60 percent of the site, including cannons, anchors, gold dust, animal bones, lead shot, medical and scientific instruments, and much more. Altogether about 280,000 artifacts have been recovered. Full recovery is planned by 2014. An extensive Queen Anne's Revenge exhibit is at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

This Is What “International Living” Looks Like…
Not so long ago, only sailors, soldiers and the super wealthy got to see the world. But today, globetrotting isn’t just a job for mariners or the preserve of the jet set. You can cruise to Europe for up to 70% off standard prices if you know how… You can use a host of websites to organize low-cost, luxurious accommodation for a few months—enough time to try a place on for size—before moving on to the next… You can sit on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sipping wine in April, and kick back on a beach in English-speaking Belize in May… Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and—if you know where to look—you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Let’s be clear about something: Right now, living internationally is more affordable than ever before. In fact, done right, it’ll cost you less than it would to stay home.

October 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Former California Judge will be Belize’s US Ambassador
A new US Ambassador to Belize has been confirmed by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Nominated on July 8th, Carlos R. Moreno, who served for ten years on the California Supreme Court, will succeed current US Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, who has been in Belize since August, 2009. The 64 year old Los Angeles, California resident and son of Mexican immigrants grew up in a Spanish-speaking home. Moreno is a retired jurist, having been a federal judge for the Central District of California and having served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California until his retirement in 2011. In his confirmation hearings, Moreno told the approving committee that, “Helping the Government of Belize to strengthen its rule of law will be one of my top priorities…it lays a stable foundation for much-needed economic development in Belize.” He cited in his remarks that an estimated 70,000 Belizeans live in the United States while tens of thousands of American expatriates live in Belize.

El Secreto Resort trains 25 staff members in basic first aid
The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross is very pleased to announce that on October 22nd and 23rd, a first aid training for the staff members of a resort on Ambergris Caye was conducted. 25 staff members of El Secreto Resort received training in basic first aid under the watchful eye of First Aid Instructor Jermaine Santos from Belize City. According to Laurie Norton, Red Cross Coordinator in San Pedro Town, El Secreto Resort is located 11 miles north of San Pedro Town and the resort’s management understands the importance of having trained staff onsite. “Not that anyone wants to have an emergency situation, but it is a part of life and unfortunately things do happen. With this many trained staff members on hand, El Secreto will be better prepared for any situation,” explained Norton.

Ambergris Caye family charged for unlicensed ammunition and contraband cigarettes
San Pedro Police have detained four people after they were busted with a large quantity of contraband cigarettes and unlicensed ammunition. They are 35-year-old Jaziba Nasser and 42-year-old Nazim Nasser (husband and wife) along with their two sons, 19-year-old Jamal and 18-year-old Hilal Nasser, all Lebanese nationals. Sometime around 4PM on Wednesday October 23rd, San Pedro Police visited a residence located on the second floor of a supermarket on Coconut Drive on Ambergris Caye. All four were jointly charged for being in possession of unlicensed ammunition, and they were taken to the Belize City Magistrate Court on Thursday October 24th. Because of the nature of the offence, no bail was granted and they were remanded to prison. According to police, more charges for the contraband cigarettes are expected to be brought forward by the Belize Customs Department.

Spending your days on Ambergris Caye: Ladies’ Night, Wet Willy’s (#6)
Ladies night at Wet Willy’s has been a long time favorite for just about anyone who comes to the island, and for locals it punctuates the middle of the week with a night of fun and dancing. It’s a “Must Do” kind of a thing. Located on the beach over the water, patrons get to rock the dock while dancing under the stars. DJ Tracks spins the latest jams while prizes and giveaways are offered throughout the evening. Ladies get in for free and the gents get a free drink with their admission. Drink specials add to the merriment and a great time is had by all! Come in early and grab a bite before the party starts. Wet Willy’s is the only “smoke-house” on the island and offers a great menu of burgers, wings, sandwiches and more!

Ambergris Today

Ministry of Health receives donation of Antimicrobial Pillows
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin was on hand at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, for the symbolic delivery of approximately 300 pillows donated by the Belize Dry Cleaners for hospitals across the country. The antimicrobial treated pillows measure 20” X 26” and are filled with 8oz garneted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipe-able and flame resistant. The pillows will be delivered over the next couple days to five hospitals: Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Western Regional Hospital, Northern Regional Hospital, San Ignacio Community Hospital and Corozal Community Hospital. During the brief handing over, Minister Marin commented that “the donation of these pillows will help in our efforts to provide the best quality of care for the public, especially when they are required to stay in a bed for treatment or recovery purposes.” The pillows were handed over by the Managing Director of Belize Dry Cleaners, Mr. Lascelle Arnold. He mentioned that they felt the need to donate the premium quality pillows because “they will undoubtedly be beneficial for the purposes of infection control.”

My Body is Precious – Girl Empowerment Campaign
The Special Envoy for Women and Children will be embarking on a countrywide Girl Empowerment Campaign, which will be launched in Belize City on Monday, October 28, 2013. This tour is an extension of the My Precious is Precious initiative, which started with the launch of a child friendly book on “good touch, bad touch” in April of this year. As we continue efforts to educate the public on sexual abuse of children, the Girl Empowerment Campaign will focus on high school girls. Our aim is to encourage these young ladies to delay their sexual debut and not to give in to the pressures they may face at this critical point in their development. The campaign will also seek to educate teenage girls about sexual abuse, and to provide information for those who have been or are still being victimized on seeking help and recovering from the trauma of these experiences. We want to remind them that their bodies are also precious.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caribbean Export launches Belize national trade information network
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network on Friday, October 11, 2013. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region-wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a National Trade Information Network (N-TIN). The other countries include Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname and Jamaica. Over the past year, the agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs. According to David Gomez, manager for trade and export development at Caribbean Export, “The N-TINs are central to the delivery of enhanced trade information services and will contribute to the establishment of mechanisms at the regional level for similar services delivery… the process involves both data collection and compilation and identification of services that respond to the trade information needs of CARIFORUM exporters and the wider private sector.”

Heavy rain in the south
Underneath all this water is a bridge. The sudden rise in water levels in rivers in the southern part of the country this afternoon left students of both the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho Technical High School stranded. According to Aurelio Sho of Ak’ kutan Radio, the bridge at Blue Creek was submerged, preventing children from villages and communities beyond Blue Creek from returning home. Villages that are beyond Blue Creek include Aguacate, Jordan, San Benito Poite, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon, Otoxha and Dolores.

Organic fair set for this weekend in Punta Gorda town
If you are interested in knowing more about organic farming, then the place to be this weekend in Punta Gorda town. The fifth annual organic fair, organized by the Belize chapter of Sustainable Harvest International is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at the Central Park in Punta Gorda town. The two-day event will kick off with an organic forum and presentations on Friday morning and continue in the afternoon with tours to organic farms in Toledo. On Saturday, the organic fair will bring various displays by partner organizations and participating farmers to the PG Central Park. The annual organic fair is being held with the theme “feed the soil.”

Lights repaired at Jane Usher Boulevard basketball court
Residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City can now use their basketball court in the night. That is because the lights at the facility have been repaired. According to a press release issued today, the repair of the lights at the basketball court in the Jane Usher Boulevard area was carried out by Gilroy Usher Senior and the PUP Port Loyola Committee. According to the release, the lights will enable youths to take part in sporting activities at night. The other added benefit of having the lights repaired, according to the press release, is that they provide illumination “for part of a large area behind the court that is otherwise jet black at night and very unsafe to travel due to the absence of any street light.”

Modern Maya Documentary
Sandro Teck, a well known artist from Bullet Tree Falls, is highlighted in the documentary about the Maya in the modern day. Scott Saiz, one of the New Mexico State University students who took the Belize Documentary Film course over the Summer, did this wonderful documentary, which not only features Sandro and his family, but also manages to capture some of Belize's wildlife at the same time. Xunantunich is shown in the documentary too. They even go spearfishing in the Mopan to catch some fish. Well worth the watch. "Documentary about a Belize Artist and his way of life in 2013"

Halloween Buy and Sell Classifieds
The Halloween issue of the Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds is out. There's a great article in this one about the health benefits of yoga, written by Jude at the Vision Exchange. "Belize's original classified ads publication. Classified ads are only $5 every two weeks and Business ads start at $15 per week with designs included. Deadline to place ads are every Saturday @ 12 noon."

Belize Cancer Society Visits SHJC
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society paid a visit to Sacred Heart Junior College to educate them about cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. SHJC will be a big participator in the Cancer Walk that will start in Esperanza at 5:00am this Saturday. "Thank you to Dr. Marvin Manzanero for taking time out to join us in educating the students of Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) about cervical cancer, prostate cancer and healthy sexual practices. It was indeed a very informative and pleasant afternoon spent in the company of young adults. At the end of the session the president of SHJC student council presented our branch with a cash donation from a fund raiser they had conducted on our behalf. Thank You SHJC for your support towards the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch."

Belikin Halloween Block Party
Mr. Greedy's, Belikin, and the SISE Town Council are teaming up again to bring another awesome Halloween Block Part to Burns avenue. It'll be on Dia de los Muertos, Friday, November 1st, and it'll be free, as always. Check out that DJ line up. Don't miss it! "Belikin Beer presents the Biggest and Spookiest HALLOWEEN Block PARTY!! Hosted by Mr Greedys Pizzeria In Conjunction with the San Ignacio Town Council It's all going to be happening On Burns Avenue in San Ignacio Town!! Costume Contest! Lots prizes for the Funniest, Scariest, Sexiest, Most Creative costumes. NO COVER CHARGE MUSIC & LASER SHOW BY: Caesar production sounds DJ Chris and DJ Chronic DJ Wolverine for some trance and EDM music"

SHC Parade and Fair
Sacred Heart College has their parade and talent show tomorrow, and their fair and business expo on Saturday. There will be a car smash on Saturday. "Friday - Parade Friday night @ 6 - Talent Show, BBQ and Rice and Beans Sale, tamales, nachos, garnaches, cake, lemon pie etc. Saturday - SHC Annual Fair Lots of food and entertainment for the family!! Trampoline, bouncy house, face painting, ring toss, etc. Tamales, pibil, garnaches, nachos, pizza, BBQ, cake, lemon pie etc. Football, Dog Show, Marching Band Business booths - Come get special deals! Saturday Night @ 8 - SHC DANCE Don't miss out on our biggest event of the year!!!"

Rotaract Resurrects Haunted House
Rotaract is bringing back their haunted house this year, and it'll be on Saturday, November 2nd. The festivities will once again be at Hode's, and will begin after the sun goes down. There will also be a costume competition. "The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is Pleased to announce their Costume Competition and Horror House event... Prices for Horror House: $2.00 anyone under 10, $3.00 for anyone above 10. Costume competition entrance: FREE!"

BIWG Charity Fundraiser
The Belmopan International Women's Group is having their yearly fundraiser tomorrow night at the George Price Centre. The theme is 'White Havana Nights,' and they'll be serving traditional Cuban food, and will have Carlos Perrote playing for the event. As always, they'll have a silent auction and many door prizes. "The Belmopan International Women's Group strive to make a positive difference in Belmopan and neighboring villages, extending as far as San Ignacio and including institutions such as the Dangriga Cancer Center. Once a year they hold a major fundraiser, a themed night filled with music, food, dancing and of course, wonderful company! Please join us and help play a part in making a difference in lives of your neighbor!"

El Pilar Exhibit and Hike
El Pilar is celebrating 30 years of being open to the public this weekend. To celebrate, there will be an exhibition and presentation on El Pilar at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow, from 9:00am until 4:00pm. The festivities continue on Saturday, 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. "El Pilar has more than twenty-five identified plazas in an area of approximately 100 acres (38 hectares), ranking it equal with major centers of the lowland Maya area. It is the largest center in the Belize River area, more than three times the size of such well-known centers as Baking Pot or Xunantunich. The site is divided into three primary sectors: Xaman (North) Pilar, Nohol (South) Pilar and Pilar Poniente (West). The eastern and western sections are connected by an offset causeway system extending between two large public plazas."

Diver 'VANISHES' in Portal to Maya Underworld
Researchers, diving into natural pools in Belize in the quest for offerings from the ancient Maya, found what's believed to be the country's first recorded fossilized remains. Watch as one diver 'disappears' into the pool's floor. Videographer: Marty O'Farrell

World Responsible Tourism Awards – ReefCI photos in the final
These are the five pictures that Chris Tafuri submitted for photography section of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. He was inspired by his ReefCI trip and decided to focus his entries on the Lion Fish eradication program at ReefCI. Chris says; ” I’m honored just to be mentioned and to be recognized for my experiences at such a wonderful and beneficial endeavor that ReefCI provides. It truly was a an experience of a lifetime that touch my soul and enhanced my spiritual being!” We wish Chris good luck and are looking forward to hearing the results on 6th November 2013 at the WTM!

Flooding in rural Toledo district strands students
Underneath all this water is a bridge. The sudden rise in water levels this afternoon left students of both the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho Technical High School stranded. According to Aurelio Sho of Ak’ kutan Radio, the bridge at Blue Creek was submerged, preventing children from villages and communities beyond Blue Creek from returning home. Villages that are beyond Blue Creek include Aguacate, Jordan, San Benito Poite, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon, Otoxha and Dolores.

WIN-Belize speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize has also issued a statement condemning the Amandala article on the issue of rape which appeared in the Sunday, October 20 edition of the newspaper. WIN-Belize in its statement condemned the article saying that “the tasteless and nonsensical comments … were written without consideration for the emotional harm such comments would cause victims and families.” The organization also called for the newspaper and the writer of the article “to apologize to the women and children of Belize.” The WIN-Belize statement goes on to say that “to make comments such as (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2) the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3) It is a natural act; and (4) the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence is unbecoming, for women should not be portrayed as sex objects.”

Channel 7

“Clear The Land” Signed Visa Recommendations, But Says He Didn’t Take A Bribe
Minister of State Edmund Castro is in Miami tonight where he is attending a Conference on Transport. But while he's away, his name is making the worst kind of headlines here in Belize. Last night Channel 5 presented an interview from an anonymous female whistleblower who claims that she bribed Castro to facilitate 200 visas for Chinese passports at two thousand per visa. That's four hundred thousand dollars in bribes - and he allegedly did it all in just five months from October 2012 to March 2013. It is a damning accusation, and while no documentary proof was offered in last night's report, the firsthand account is compelling, if not completely convincing. This afternoon, we tracked down Castro in Miami via cell phone. He gave an emphatic denial:.. Jules Vasquez "Minister, would you say you've heard these allegations about you that you have accepted $2,000 per visa application? You have expedited applications through your office using, using your office and that you have taken a bribe. How do you respond to these allegations?"

Police Minister Says Castro And Penner Have To Answer For Themselves
And while the Prime Minister has his hands full with that matter, Police Minister John Saldivar is washing his hands of it; he told the media today that Castro and Penner would have to answer for themselves. Here are his remarks when we caught him outside of UDP Headquarters today: Marion Ali, reporter "Are you or were you involved in any way in this immigration scandal?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Definitely not." Marion Ali, reporter "In any of the activities?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "You don't even need to ask that question. Its definitely not." Marion Ali, reporter "What about other ministers of the Cabinet? Is the Cabinet itself investigating any other person other than Minister Penner. Minister Castro's name has also come out?"

Guat Car Found At Western Border With Drugs
About an hour ago, customs and the police Mobile Interdiction Team intercepted a Guatemalan car entering Belize through the Western Border. Sources tell us the car appears to have at least three packages of drugs. At this hour, the search continues, and best information tells us that so far one package has been found with a white substance. The vehicle is a 2012 Toyota Aries with Guatemalan plates. Two Guatemalans were inside. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

The Weakest Customs Scam (Possibly) Ever
People try to run all kinds of hustles through the Customs Department, some ingenious, some just average. But the one we're reporting on tonight seems just plain dumb. After three weeks of investigation, the Customs Department today called in CIB to arrest a female cashier who had allegedly been fleecing the department. So far it looks like only a few thousand dollars are missing, but it's how she did it that's the news. The female officer, who has been with customs for 7 years was recently transferred to the cashier section. In August, customs noted that they had been getting an unusual number of blank cheques. That was odd enough, but what sent the red flags all the way up was that the companies never did business with customs. When they investigated, they concluded that this female cashier had been taking cash from the customs receipts, and then reimbursing the money with bogus cheques so that her books would balance out at the end of the day. The cheques? Those apparently came from her brother - who's accusing her of stealing his company's checkbook. Customs found that only about five thousand dollars was misappropriated. Tonight she remains in police custody at the Queen Street Station pending charges.

Air Freight Shipments On Freeze At PGIA
AMERIJET is the leading Air Freight service provider to Belize. They bring in shipments once or twice weekly - and they do so for a number of cargo companies couriers and e shoppers including One Bin, E Zone, DHL, and FED-Ex. But tonight, over a hundred packages are on hold - and some folks are even saying they can't clear their Halloween Costumes for weekend fairs because of changes at the airport which have effectively put a freeze on Amerijet packages. According to our information, the Airport has moved the terminal where air cargo is cleared to a new area between BDF Camp and the Airport. But it seems the new smaller, and more expensive location is also a logistical nightmare for AmeriJet because they have to get flatbed trucks to cart their packages all the way around to the Price Barracks road, which is also bad news for Customs because the bonded items have to go out, however briefly, on the open road.

“Pancho” and McFoy Close Ranks, Say Stevedores, NTUCB Will Have To Wait
The Christian Workers Union is at a cross roads. As we reported earlier this week, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, which is the umbrella body for labour unions, and the stevedores are demanding that they hold a Congress as they had committed to do on October 26th - that's Saturday. But, last week Friday in Belmopan, an assembly of the Union's member entities voted 13 - 2 to postpone that meeting to February of next year. The stevedores say that has no validity; they are proceeding with their Congress on Saturday - and proceeding to elect a new president and secretary general. But, today in their first interview since August, Gonzalez and McFoy stood their ground; they say it wasn't their decision to change the date, that's what their members decided, members including the stevedores: Antonio "Pancho" Gonzalez, CWU President "We as the executive - we deplore the kind of actions they have taken because we believe that to dialogue, understanding, discussion we can move more positive ahead rather than with negative actions. We saw some internal setbacks; financial constraints and so forth and at a meeting on the 18th October, 2013, with all the representatives from all areas including the two stevedores, they decided to change the date of the congress to February 2014."

Lebanese Caught With Ammo, Get Remanded
Tonight, 43 year-old Businessman Nazim Nasser, 19 year-old Jamal Nasser, 18 year-old Hilal Nasser, and 36 year-old Jaziba Nasser, are all in prison after they were allegedly busted with unlicensed ammunition yesterday. According to San Pedro Police, at around midday, they conducted a raid on the family's home on Coconut Drive, where the officers executed a search warrant for illegal firearms and ammunition. Inside one of the bedrooms, the officers found metal safe, which contained 6 live rounds of 22 ammunition. All 4 who were present, were arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Understanding the Nexus Between Gangs And School Dropouts
Yesterday, we told you about the CARICOM workshop to assist Belize's social sector to better understand and combat the trend of youths participating in Gang Activity. It is a 3 day conference under the theme, "Youth, Gangs and Violence Partnering for Social Development and Crime Prevention." The experts are here to discuss one of the most confounding problems of this era: the culture of youth and gang activity. And this afternoon 7News caught up with visiting Belizean social scientist, Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty. Gentle-Genitty is an assistant professor at the Indiana University's School of Social Work. She's been studying the link between youths who drop out of formal education, and their eventual pull toward gang life. She explained it briefly to us: Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Ph. D. - Assistant Professor, Indiana University "To have a society that is a schooling dependent society. There is a anticipation that all children are going to go to school and they are going to do well and they are going to move on to better and brighter things. When that process is disruptive there is no true process for them to be re-engaged and often times we see that the dis-engagement happens at a time when there is nobody to supervise those kids and then they end up in an environment that we may seem as being deviant. Those deviants may lead to petty thief/petty stealing that would eventually get them to prison, but we also see them taking a route of gangs as an option. That's not necessarily the best route but as we examine our society we have to look at what avenues have we provided for students that have decided to step out of school."

How You Can Help Jevaun
A week ago, we told you about 9 year-old Jevaun Freeman, who is suffering from a rare disease which causes him to bleed through his pores. His mother gave an impassioned plea to the public to help her raise funds to afford the treatment he needs, and her workplace has answered her call. Tiffarah Young Castillo, Jevaun's mother, works for the NICH's Institute of Creative Arts, and in an effort to assist her raise $12,000 needed for the medication, they are holding a turkey dinner sale. Today, 7News spoke to NICH's Communications Officer, Shari Williams, who explained why they want you to support by purchasing one of the turkey dinners: Shari Williams, Comminications Officer - NICH "Jevaun Freeman who is the son of Tiffarah Castillo, she is a security officer here at the Institute of Creative Arts, a NICH employee. We've been trying; our staff along with our President Mrs. Diane Haylock has been thinking of ways how to support this mother during her time of intense pressure.

High School Celebrates Drug Freedom
Today, the students of Gwen Lizarraga took to the streets to celebrate Drug Week. Now, with the pervasive presence of marijuana, we know that staying drug free means more than just marching through the streets. We asked the principal how they balance out positive messaging against negative social influences:... Dr. Lorna Mckay "We are celebrating Drug Week and this is one of our parades that we usually have every year. Our students made banners depicting how they feel about Drug Week." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "What are some of the challenges you find in terms of talking to young people who are now using more drugs at a younger age and how do you see since Drug Week has been implemented, have you seen a change?"

Crimestoppers Congratulates to Media Partners
And while they're fighting drug culture, Crime Stoppers is fighting crime. And a big part of that is public messaging, getting the public to know about and trust that hotline as an anonymous and effective way to fight crime. And today CRIMESTOPPERS rewarded its media partners who participated in the two Crime Stoppers advertisements that received regional recognition at the Crime Stoppers International conference held in September. At the press conference, the media also got an update on the latest activities of the programme. Chris Garcia, Crime Stoppers Belize "It was more or less 3 things; 1). We haven't had a press conference for years and so we needed to do something so the public know what we are doing. 2). To thank the media, all of you for assisting and promoting us throughout the years and making people know about the crime ring, what's happening so that they know what type of information to give and 3). To acknowledge our sponsors and supporters that gives money and in kind."

Channel 5

Minister Castro alleged procured visas to Chinese nationals at $2000 a head
On Wednesday’s newscast, we showed you a glimpse into the institutionalized visa hustling scheme. The man allegedly at the center of it is Minister of State Edmund Castro. He has [...]

A sergeant in the police department is the run man in visa scandal
Our source got hold of that passport and it shows that the visa hustle is still going on….at least as recently as August 2013. Tonight, we have part two of [...]

The lucrative scheme of the passport scandal revealed
We also revisit the lucrative scheme which allegedly netted two thousand dollars per visa. According to our source, they did this between October 2012 and April 2013 – a total [...]

Why did confidential informant decide to come forward?
Our confidential informant says she no longer continued in the visa scheme in April of this year. But as the passport shows, the hustle continued. Our C.I. maintains that she [...]

National Security Minister says he is unaware of the sale of entry permits
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, has also responded to questions regarding his possible involvement in the sale of visas, in light of recent reports that there is an ongoing [...]

2 Guatemalans detained after being found with 1 kilo of powder cocaine
A pair of Guatemalan nationals, identified as Jonathan Gregorio Adolfo Sandoval and Ruben Delilo Carrias Veliz, was nabbed at the western border this evening following a search of a vehicle [...]

Cuban and Mexican nationals taken to court
Cuban nationals twenty-nine-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and twenty-nine-year-old Henry Reyes, arrested by San Ignacio police on Tuesday, have been transferred to Benque Viejo del Carmen where they were arraigned for illegal [...]

CWU Executives ask membership to stay away
The membership of the Christian Workers Union, an estimated seven hundred men and women, employed by various private and public sector agencies, is in a wrangle.  President Antonio Gonzalez has [...]

Gonzalez says there is no misappropriation of funds
According to McFoy, members of the union cannot call a congress without the consent of the general council.  Furthermore, McFoy says that they absented themselves from a recent meeting to [...]

No payments to Belize Waste Control; 8 persons laid off
Belize Waste Control has not been paid for more than three months – that’s over half a million dollars in arrears. Of course, this is nothing unprecedented. If fact, it [...]

City Council owes millions of dollars to Belize Maintenance Limited
Of course that is little consolation for workers of Belize Waste Control. And there’s less consolation for the other sanitation company – Belize Maintenance Limited. BML is owed fifteen weeks [...]

Mayor Bradley Council will not renew contract with BML
The Mayor says that rather than looking at arrears, the Council has to look at the big picture – which is that the city is paying far too much to [...]

Driver charged in near fatal traffic accident on Boom/Hattieville Road
It has been a month since a near fatal traffic accident occurred on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. As many as four vehicles were involved and five persons were injured. The [...]

25 year old sentenced to 10 years in prison for firearm and ammunition charges
The trial of twenty-five year-old Belizean, Michael Alexander Dawson for kept firearm and ammunition began two months ago; it concluded today in the Courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Dawson was [...]

Church says its role in PAC hearing is to uphold integrity and accountability
The Public Accounts Committee, led by pro-tem chairman John Saldivar, has reached out to the Council of Churches and is extending an olive branch to other social partners, following a [...]

Crime Stoppers Belize honors the media
Crime Stoppers has become a household name; the organization quickly gained a reputation because it guarantees confidentiality to persons who provide tips on crime. Crime Stoppers public service announcements, in [...]

Father asks for help in finding his 14 year old daughter
A Belize City father is looking for his missing daughter, Moesha Chee. Kenrick Chee was informed four days ago by the child’s mother that it is the third time the [...]

Healthy Living looks at breakfast on the go
If you’re a person who’s committed to having breakfast every morning then the following story may not be for you. If you are one of the many who finds that [...]

More News: Scroll up from here


Another Minister’s Name Surfaces in Immigration Scandal; Minister of National Security Says He Is Clean
New information linked to the recent immigration scandal continues to surface. Since this week started, there have been new names of at least one more Cabinet Minister circulating as well as those of operatives who helped in the scheme. While that junior Minister is not available for comment one Minister who has categorically denied any involvement in the scam is Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, who spoke to reporters today. JOHN SALDIVAR “Definitely not” MARION ALI “In any of the activities?” JOHN SALDIVAR “You don’t’ even need to ask that question and definitely not, ok?”

Caught on Camera: Postal Clerk Tampered and Stole From Mail and Parcels
On Wednesday Love News reported on the case of the missing mail at the Belmopan Post Office. Today Belmopan Police formally charged 32 year old Tania Davis, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, Cayo, with, among other offenses, Burglary, Mail Tampering and Handling Stolen Goods. The second grade postal clerk at the Belmopan Post Office was charged after investigations revealed that mail had been going missing since June of this year from the post office. Deputy Post Master General, James Gabourel told Love News today that the Belize Postal Service views the incident as an isolated case and that the post office had to install a hidden camera to solve the mystery of the missing mail. JAMES GABOUREL “Earlier this year we were getting complaints from a few customers and the record will show that we have at least 5 such costumer complaints where costumers were complaining that they were not receiving specifically, electronic gadgets in their parcels or packages. The matter was investigated by our Postal Inspector. However, we could not come up with exactly who the culprit was.

Marie Sharp’s Products Highlighted As Unique At World’s Largest Food Show
The ANUGA food show which is the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair had the participation of Marie Sharp Proud Products of Belize. Marie Sharp told us about her experience at the fair. MARIE SHARP “It was a very, very busy food show; ANUGA is the world’s largest food show and I think that because our products were picked for its uniqueness because they are fruit flavored habanera, they were showcased at the entrance of the show grounds. So, you find that buyers go there first to see what unique products are listed there and then they would then come around and taste and try. Apart from ourselves we had one other Caribbean island that was best product out there, he had banana ketchup; so, he was a unique product also and so you find that because of that we had people come to our booths to look for us and I mean from all over the world.” Sharp said that a number of countries showed great interest in her habanero sauce. MARIE SHARP “We had about four major ones; one is Kuwait, the other one is Dubai and we have Ireland and Canada. So, if we can land these companies, it’s more money for us, more money for our workers, and more money for our people we are supplying and we can buy more peppers. So actually the whole country benefits from our success.” The fair was held in Cologne, Germany and Marie Sharp won the Taste 13 award for her fresh fruit Habanero Sauce.

Union Members Fight for Change in Leadership
Two days ago the stevedores who have a gripe with their leadership in the Christian Workers Union of which they are a part, announced that they will hold their General Congress this Saturday to conduct elections. The two representatives were accompanied by Dale Trujeque, an expert in Industrial Relations who is providing pro-bono assistance to them in their fight for change of leadership. The stevedores, Dion Pitter and Raymond Rivers, say they represent other stevedores who have concerns over the management, or lack thereof of fees paid to the CWU over the years. They also alleged the leadership of the CWU, President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary, James McFoy, of gross mismanagement of those funds. But today McFoy and Gonzalez came back swinging, denying the allegations. Here’s what they told Love News today. ANTONIO GONZALEZ “The allegations that are founded are baseless, we are prepared and we have always been prepared to any finance auditing and things like that. We don’t have any fear that there is any kind of misappropriations whatsoever. The dues are utilized for the daily, weekly and monthly sustenance of the union when it comes to expenses, salaries, traveling, rent, utilities.”

Prisoners Go To Court Following Discovery of Drugs in Cell
Three inmates of Belize Central Prison, charged with three counts of drug trafficking, were freed of the charges when they were dismissed today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They are 24 year old Orel Leslie, 37 year old Wesley Emmanuel and 41 year old Floyd Anthony. They were arrested and charged when a prison officer searched a cell around 10:30 a.m. on April 6 and found three separate parcels containing cannabis tucked in crevices in a wall of the cell. During the trial, the prison officer testified that he searched cell number six and found the cannabis, which were 213 grams, 62 grams and 323 grams. But under cross examination by Leslie’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, the officer admitted that the inmates were housed in cell number ten. Arnold then submitted that whatever was found in Cell # 6 was of no concern to his client. Chief Magistrate Smith then dismissed the charges.

30 Years Ago El Pilar Was Rediscovered
Tomorrow an event to celebrate thirty years of the re-discovery of the archeological site of El Pilar will be held in San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District. An exhibit and presentations will be held at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow morning. Organizer of the event, Cynthia Ellis Topsey, says that a hike for the youths has also been scheduled. CYNTHIA ELLIS TOPSEY “One of the first things we are going to do is to walk down memory lane and have young people walk or ride to the El Pilar site; that will be Friday evening. There will be young people coming from Benque, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Belize City, and Dangriga. Doctor Annabelle Ford and many of the pioneers believe that a lot of the solutions to the challenges of living in Belize could be found in the wisdom of Maya history and heritage; so, Friday afternoon there will be a walk just to the entrance of El Pilar. In the morning of October 25, that’s Friday, we are going to have displays of the El Pilar journey at the Cayo Welcome Centre and in the night Doctor Ford, Father Richard and others will be sharing with the young people, forty young people, about what is the journey of El Pilar has been like. The following day which is the Saturday, we will walk through some of the trails of El Pilar and the young people will walk to the Cayo Welcome Center signaling the beginning of the celebration with a cultural program at the Welcome Center.”

A Punch In The Face Lands Man In Jail For Sixteen Months
Twenty-six year old Ernesto Reyes, a laborer with no fixed address charged with wounding, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he was about to testify. Reyes’ sentence is to take effect from August 28, 2013 when he was arraigned. The incident occurred around 8 a.m. on August 26, 2013. The complainant, Britman Mariano, testified that he was walking on Albert Street and when he reached in front of Adventist Primary School he saw Reyes walking in front of him and he approached Reyes to tell him that he, Reyes, was wanted by the police. Mariano said that when he touched Reyes’ shoulder, Reyes turned around and punched him in his face and it caused a cut wound to his left eye.

Six Live Rounds Land Family in Prison
A family of four, all of them naturalized Belizeans residing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, became inmates of Belize Central Prison today when they appeared in Court and were charged with kept ammunition without a gun license. They are 42 year old Nazim Nasser, his wife,36 year old Jaziba Nasser who is pregnant and their sons, 19 year old Jamal Nasser and 18 year old Hilal Nasser. The pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Sheringe Rodriguez remanded them into custody until November 29. Police charged them yesterday when they searched a house on Coconut Drive in San Pedro and found six live rounds of point 22 caliber ammunition in a metal safe. Jamal pled guilty to the charge when it was first read to him but he changed his plea when the charge was read a second time to him. The four were represented by attorney Lionel Welch.

Belizean TV News Anchors Recognized by Crime Stoppers
Love TV’s Anju Gidwani, News Five’s Marleni Cuellar and 7News’ Indira Craig were today recognized for their vital participation in the advertisement created by Crime Stoppers Belize. Crime Stoppers International Awards for the Best TV Public Service Announcement were presented to all three ladies and Chief Operating Officer for the organization, Chris Garcia, explained the purpose. CHRIS GARCIA “Every year we come across, many times, some of the same children and listening to them they speak differently about crime. They talk about telling their brothers not to do certain things. Some of them would tell us, “Miss, I used to hear gunshots all the time and I’m scared and now that I know that we can do something, I tell my mommy that we should call the Crime Stoppers.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “The number- 0-800-922-TIPS and web address are the key information being projected to the audience. The viewers are also made aware that any information passed unto Crime Stoppers Belize is confidential with possibly monetary reward. Last year, Crime Stoppers Belize won a regional award for its gun violence video advertisement depicting how a fired bullet can affect the entire community and this year the idea was to encourage community participation.”


Motorcycle rider detained following traffic accident
Police have detained the driver of a motorcycle involved in a traffic accident on Tuesday evening. Jason Grant, a 31 year old electrician of Faber’s Road, was driving toward the Haulover Bridge on his black Honda motorcycle when at the entrace of Bella Vista subdivision on the Philip Goldson...

No comment from FIU on Penner investigation
The press cornered Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Marilyn Williams, at court on Wednesday and asked for an update on the investigation of former Minister of State in Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner. The FIU has made it a policy not to comment on its ongoing investigations and...

Belize-Can School Boycott reaches Belmopan
In Tuesday night’s newscast, we brought you highlights of a school boycott taking place in the north. Some parents have pulled their kids out of school in protest of the proposed 2013 Gender Policy. As we mentioned, GOB has held off from implementing the policy, until further reconsideration of...

Court of Appeal to consider bail for appellant in money laundering case
Wednesday was scheduled for the hearing of the criminal appeal of Michael and Melonie Coye, father and daughter, and their former company Money Exchange International Limited, all of which were convicted last August in the Supreme Court of money laundering offenses. Arthur Saldivar, the attorney...

Former workers of BWS may obtain a settlement for wrongful termination
PLUS News has been reliably informed that the six former workers released by Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) may obtain a settlement for wrongful termination from the company earlier this year. The matter was adjourned Wednesday afternoon by Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel to November 29, reportedly because the...

Assault trial of Brian Audinett and Allan Kell set for December 13
On Wednesday morning trial was scheduled for House of Representatives Sergeant-At-Arms Brian “Yellowman” Audinett and Allan Kelly, accused of using insulting words, harm, assaulting and wounding a police officer and common assault and threatening words on Philip “Fawda” Henry and PC#1366, Wilbert Chi. However, the matter was adjourned to...

Justice Michelle Arana to decide on SATIIM Court Case
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana will consider her decision in the case between four Government entities and U.S. Capital Energy on one side and Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Alcaldes of four Maya communities surrounding the Park on the other. On Wednesday Senior Counsel Eamon...

Stakeholders in solid waste management meet
The Transfer Station and Sanitary Landfill opened months ago to great fanfare. On Wednesday we got a chance to find out more from stakeholders who were holding a workshop in Belize City. Gilroy Lewis is Project Director for the Solid Waste Management Authority. Mr. Gilroy Lewis-Project Director “Today’s workshop...

CARICOM Strategy Meets with Renovated Hope for Social Inclusion
A three-day workshop began on Wednesday in Belize City hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat and dealing with the subject of youth violence. We hear from the Secretariat’s Program Manager for Sustainable Development, Beverly Reynolds. Beverly Reynolds – Secretariat’s Program Manager for Sustainable Development “We begin a three day workshop...

Innovative Sanitary Pillows Arrive to Belizean Hospital Beds
In an effort to sustain infection control within the hospital unit, the Belize Dry Cleaners donated 300 antimicrobial treated pillows to hospitals across the country. The 20” X 26” pillows are filled with 8 oz garnetted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipeable...

Police say robber is targeting students in the Princess Margaret/Coney Drive area
Police in Belize City say that they have dispatched added security in the Princess Margaret/Coney Drive vicinity, after catching a robber they believe have been targeting students in that area. One such incident is believed to have last week Tuesday. A 17 year old reported that while she was...

University of Belize Launches Reproductive Health Fair
It was all about reproductive health on Wednesday morning at the University of Belize. A group of 4th year students, for their reproductive class, joined their efforts to promote reproductive health awareness in the UB grounds through education. Ms. Julie Simpson- Fourth Year Nursing Student This fair...

Dental Health Week Celebrated with Fair in Central Health Region
Under the theme “Brush and Floss Every Day and Keep Cavities Away,” this week is being observed as Dental Health Week. Today there was a fair held on the grounds of the Central Health Region. Senior Dental Surgeon in the Ministry of Health Dr. Raphael Samos explains. Dr....

Belize to be represented in modeling contest in New York
Gambita, literally means small shrimp in Spanish. Gambita is also the name of an American retail company that sells clothes to petite women around the world. The reason we tell you this is because this coming Friday, October 25th, Gambita will be hosting a modeling contest in New York...

PlusNews tours Central Belize
PlusNews gets you a bit more familiar with an intimate resort nestled near the Sibun National Forest Reserve, as well as a popular tour corporation that offers thrilling and unforgettable adventures. Shadel Dyer-Young completes her coverage of a media familiarization tour...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

88 West Halloween Party


More of El Secreto Resort
During day 2 of the San Pedro Belize Red Cross first aid training I took the opportunity to walk around the grounds of El Secreto and take some pictures so you can see what it looks like. The resort located 11 miles north, is a beautiful property with 13 individual thatched roof villas, each one decorated with Belizean flavor, luxurious finishes, outdoor private jacuzzi and private patio shower. To see inside the rooms check out the blog post Belize Luxury Resort El Secreto shhhhh…it’s a secret by Romantic Travel Belize. It is easy to see why the resort made the Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2013. Day 2 of training went well, the staff for the second half of the training were eager to do their hands on practical sessions. Over breakfast I was getting to know Jermaine more and asked about how he got involved with Red Cross and first aid. I leaned that he has been active doing first aid for just over 7 years, and has done CPR 7 times in his life – he is only 21. The last time Jermaine had to preform CPR, he saved his neighbors baby’s life.

Lola’s Art & Vern’s Restaurant in Seine Bight Village: Put Both on Your List!
On August 31st, I wrote about the small Garifuna village of Seine Bight. The town that is just north of Placencia and so different from that lovely beach spot…and very interesting in its own way. After staying in Placencia for two nights, I moved up to Robert’s Grove (WOW…AND another place I STILL need to tell you about)…a gorgeous resort about 2 minutes walking distance from Seine Bight. I walked into town on my first morning and found some really great stuff. After taking a bunch of pictures my first stop was Lola’s Art (you can see all the signs in my previous post). I’d seen her work all over town, even hanging in my room at Robert’s Grove, and I wanted to buy a little something and to meet the lady herself. She is a few small unpaved blocks off the main road. There are plenty of colorful though faded signs. You’ll find her gallery.

Win Amazing Prizes for An Amazing Cause: SAGA Humane Society’s Halloween Silent Auction
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… This year is SAGA’s TENTH Annual Halloween party for dogs, kids and adults (and even some turtles last year). It is far and away our biggest fundraiser of the year. We have costume contests (for kids & dogs!), food, raffles, a DJ, games, candy, cookies. This year’s party is at BC’s Beach Bar on Sunday October 27th from 10am to 4pm. It really starts getting good around 2pm but arrive early for a seat!

Chaa Creek Welcomes News of Medical Tourism in Belize
The Lodge at Chaa Creek said it is closely watching the newly-formed Belize Medical Tourism Association, which has recently been announced in the International Medical Travel Journal. Chaa Creek Marketing Director Larry Waight said that the announcement of the service may offer benefits for both tourists and Belizeans. “This could be great news and possibly change the face of health care in Belize,” Mr Waight said. “It’s also the next logical addition to the range of services we currently offer our visitors,” he said. According to an article in the International Medical Travel Journal News of 21 October 2013, “The new Belize Medical Tourism Association seeks to promote medical tourism to Belize while at the same time eventually ending the practice of Belizeans going abroad for medical care. “The association has members from the medical and tourism sector. It sees medical tourism as an opportunity for medical practitioners and wants more members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association to join. Foreigners have been accessing medical services in Belize for years but in an ad hoc manner. Now, Belize will be marketed internationally as a destination for medical tourism. Patients will be offered packages that include medical services, hotel accommodation and tours,” the IMT Journal reports.

Request for Proposals – Publisher: CAribbean Export Outlook
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is developing the inaugural publication of the Caribbean Export Outlook. This publication will focus on providing valuable information to readers on the status of trade and exports in the CARIFORUM member states. Readers will be able to subscribe to the publication on an annual basis and it will include content that speaks to the state of affairs of trade and exports in the region, projected sectors and markets for the region to capitalize on, cross cutting issues affecting exporters and investment opportunities in the region. In addition, the experiences of exporting firms and relevant regional and international contacts for firms will also be included. A full outline of the main areas of the publication is available in Appendix 1.

“Casino Royale” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After four nights in our new home (albeit in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and not the First and Second Floors that we will eventually move to) I am gradually becoming accustomed to our new surroundings. I now don’t have to think twice about where the coffee is, where my mug is, etc. I also have decided where my favourite location is to take the coffee and iPad to first thing in the morning. The small flight of steps at the front of the house that lead to the apartment. Its not the most comfortable seating position but the breeze is great. That’s where I went yesterday morning when I got up shortly after 04.00 hours. A quick read of The Times on-line (I didn’t want to dwell too long on Arsenal’s loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League) and then straight in to producing yesterday’ edition of the blog. It took me slightly longer than usual to pull the edition together. Covering more typical blogger subject matter (food being yesterday’s choice) required a greater level of thought on my part. I am sure though that with a few editions under my belt it will flow a lot more easily.

International Sources

Belize Barrier Reef home to over 100 different kinds of Coral and some 500 Species of Fish
It is a known to many that Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world. But, it is not known to many that the reef is inhabited by more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish. The top attraction in Belize is its alluring underwater. The wetland invites hundreds of bird species that include dozens of migrants who come in their way north or south. The best months for bird watching are the drier months (February to May). It is the period when the lagoon dries up and the bird congregate around the remaining puddles. Bird watchers can sight some 570 species with the help of their binoculars. Well, these birds and animals are elusive, but keenness to see could result to spot spider monkeys and howler monkeys, peccaries, coatimundis, gibnuts, American and Morelot's crocodiles, green iguanas and countless species of birds.

World's first venomous crustacean found in Australia
Scientists have identified the world's first venomous crustacean - and in what may come as little surprise to some, it lives in Australia. The predatory crustaceans, known as blind remipedes, liquify their prey with a highly toxic venom before sucking their newly-prepared meal from the dead critter's exoskeleton. But don't try calling them 'poisonous crabs', one of the scientists who made the discovery told the Telegraph. So can they kill a human? "We were wondering about that," said Dr Jenner. "In the literature there's nothing on it, so I was trying to convince [von Reumont] to allow himself to be bitten." But on Thursday night Dr Jenner was approached by a man who claimed to have been bitten by the creature in the past. "He said near the village where he lived in Belize these occur near the entry of caves where people swim." The man claimed he was bitten in the leg. The pain, he said, started as a pinch before growing up his leg into his lower back, where it remained for weeks. Based on the venomous chemical cocktail of proteins and neurotoxin detailed by the scientists, and the man's description of his large bite wound being like 'digested tissue', Dr Jenner believes he may have identified a genuine case of a blind remipede bite.

If Beer Ads Were Forced to Be Honest - Beer Commercial Parody
Breweries would go out of business in a hurry if this got out...

October 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Cancer Society promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The month of October is being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month and there are various activities planned countrywide. On Ambergris Caye the local San Pedro Cancer Society held activities on Saturday October 19th. The organization is reporting that 66 breast exams were conducted in a joint activity with the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II. In addition, a local food and pastry sale raised $575. In raising awareness about the deadly disease and as a show of support for people who are battling cancer or in remission, the group also invited members of the public to dye their hair pink or shave their head.

Burton Caliz fined for the death of Leroy Pilgrim
Nine years after the death of 24-year old Leroy Pilgrim, Police Constable Burton Caliz, 30, has been fined for the charge of manslaughter by negligence. Pilgrim was fatally shot in the back of the head in February 2004 as a result of a struggle with Caliz. Caliz remained on interjection, when he was initially charged for manslaughter. The charge was upgraded to murder in 2007, and Caliz was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison. That sentence was overturned during an appeal trial in 2008.

Ambergris Today

El Secreto Resort Staff Trained in First Aid
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross is very pleased to announce that El Secreto Resort had 25 of their staff trained for First Aid on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Jermaine Santos from Belize City facilitated the training at the resort. El Secreto Resort is located 11 miles north and understands the importance of having trained staff onsite. Not that anyone wants to have an emergency situation, but it is a part of life and unfortunately things do happen. With this many trained staff on hand El Secreto will be better prepared for any situation. Thanks goes out to El Secreto for having 25 staff trained and hosting the Belize Red Cross overnight, Banana Beach for hosting our first aid instructor the first night, Tropic Air Cargo for getting the first Aid equipment here, Coastal Xpress for getting us as far as Blue Reef and El Secreto boat for picking us up and getting us the rest of the way to the resort.

Amandala Does It Again – Public Backlash on Most Recent Article on Rape/Women
The Amandala Newspaper is once again receiving public backlash from a most recent article published on their October 20, 2013, issue entitled “Bake it Again” by Colin BH that even the Special Envoy for Women and Children has sent out a statement condemning the very disturbing article. Below is the statement signed by Kim Simplis Barrow, Chairperson of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in Belize: October 22, 2013 - I wish to express very grave concern about an article published in the Amandala newspaper of October 20, 2013 entitled “Bake it Again” by Colin BH. The article expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No.2) Bill. Although the entire article leaves much to be desired, the section quoted below is among the most appalling of the opinions expressed: "the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence."

Misc Belizean Sources

Trades 4 Life 2014 Schedule
Trades 4 Life, located in Belmopan, has their 2014 schedule out, with some classes starting in the middle of January. They've added a new class called Welding and Machining. "2014 is bringing new and exciting things to our Belize school of training. T4L is now a registered school in the country of Belize, which will provide further credibility for those receiving instruction at our facility. At Trades 4 Life, we believe providing Trade, Life, and Leadership skills develops young men into highly employable tradesmen capable of offering leadership in work, business, and family. The upcoming season will offer a new course not provided in 2012-2013 - Welding and Machining. We are excited to welcome Mr. Tom Theunissen, a veteran instructor from South Africa who will be teaching this curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to learn these practical skills in a hands-on environment."

UB Reproductive Health Fair
The University of Belize Nursing students had their 4th annual reproductive health fair today. Stay healthy! "Fourth Year Nursing students at the University of Belize today held the fourth annual Reproductive Health Fair of the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work at the University’s Central Campus in Belmopan. Speaking to students, faculty, and staff, Guest Speaker, Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin emphasized that, 'health is about our minds and bodies. It is physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. It is our most important asset! We really should do everything we can to promote and preserve it.' Activities at the event included presentations by students and different health tests such as blood pressure, pap smear, breast exam, and HIV."

Rotaract Macal River Clean up
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had their Macal River Clean Up campaign. This was just one part of the project, which also includes putting in garbage bins and signs to let people know that garbage looks better in the bins than in the rivers and parks. Thanks, Rotaract! "Check out the Full album here: The Launch of our CleanUp Campaign took place Saturday, October 12th. Where Members gathered to clean up Macal River Bank. This is marked the start of the campaign. Upcoming pieces of the project are: Setting up of garbage bins around and Placing of signs with Poster Ideas gathered at our P

BCS Cancer Walk
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society has released details about the Cancer Walk which will go from Esperanza to Cayo, and will start at 5:00am on Saturday the 26th. A bus will leave Benque at 4:15am. In related news the BCS will be discussing cancer at Sacred Heart Junior College tonight, and will be providing information on the disease.

Mexico Daylight Saving Time Ends on October 27th
For those visiting across the MX border - Mexico Daylight Saving Time Ends on October 27th 1. In Mexico, clocks go backward one hour on Sunday, October 27th. 2. Mexico and Belize will have again the same local time. Belmopan, Belize, 23 October 2013.- The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, October 27th, Mexico ends Daylight Saving Time, in order to begin Winter Time. This means that Mexico’s local time will be the same as Belize’s local time. For those traveling within Mexico on the evening of Saturday, October 26th, the Embassy suggests that their time be changed backward one hour before going to sleep. If you are in transit through Mexico, please verify your flight and bus local time.

USA Travel warning to Mexico still effective
The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Mexico. General information on the overall security situation is provided immediately below. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated November 20, 2012 to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel. General Conditions:

COROZAL PARENTS PROTEST in-front of Ministry of Education
In Red is the new District Officer in charge of Min of Education, Mr. Lopez. He finally decided to come out of his office after the parents waited in the scorching sun for over an hour! Lopez claims that the Ministry of Education is not responsible for anything being taught to the schools but rather the Head of each school. He went further to state that no schools will be forced to teach anything that is contrary to their belief, YET, The Gender Policy page 23 States that all publicly financed educational institutions, Even Religious Schools MUST teach what is in the Policy!! Is the District Officer not aware of what the Amended Policy reads. This is a public service provided by the CD!

October has been observed as Beast Cancer Awareness month in memory of those who have lost the battle to cancer. The Belize Cancer Society Corozal Branch is leading its annual walk for Breast Cancer Awareness. Join the many Corozalenos (women, children, and men) in this walk and to support care and cure of those fellow brothers and sisters affected. The organizers are asking a One Dollar donation per person to participate in the walk. Limited number of cancer awareness T-Shirts are available for $20.00. You can also sponsor the balloon Lift-Off which will be done at the end of the walk at the Central Park in commemoration of those who have lost the battle of this disease. Money raised will be used to support breast cancer detection and treatment. Your participation and donation will help in obtaining an MRI to determine if a mass is malignant or benign or a biopsy of breast tissue to see if cancer cells are present in patients that cannot afford one. Time will be at 5:30 starting from Ranchito in-front of the Ministry of Works this Saturday Oct. 26, 2013. Route: Ranchito (ministry of Works) - Philip Goldson Highway - 7th Avenue - Right on 1st Street - Left on 5th Avenue - Destination Central Park for balloon lift off. Thank you for supporting this wonderful cause!

Channel 7

Saldivar Seeks Churches Out For Peace on PAC
The UDP led version of the Public Accounts Committee seemed to have been going so well until 2 weeks ago, when the social partners roundly condemned the meetings, calling it “significantly flawed…(having) no credibility” and a “charade.” As they say, that broke up the dolly house, and today lead member for the Government side John Saldivar had to go fence mending. He and two UDP members of the committee, Patrick Faber and Mark King met with representatives of the council of churches. It happened at the Wesley Church conference room which is right next to Channel 7’s studio. So we waited for them to come out around 12:30 – at the end of a two-hour meeting. Saldivar was cagey about the way ahead:

Saldivar Non-Specific On Police Investigation
As police minister, Saldivar also discussed, in very general terms, the investigation into irregularities at the Immigration Department. Quite remarkably, in the most high profile white collar crime investigation in memory, no public official - not the Police Commissioner, not the Immigration Minister, and not the Immigration Director - has yet to give a coherent outline of what the investigation is looking into. Saldivar added to that with another hazy, non-specific overview: Jules Vasquez "Is there a police investigation into the affairs of the Immigration Department? And, what is the sphere, the thrust of that investigation?" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "While I cannot give you the details of where the investigation is at this time, I can confirm that the police department is investigating various aspects of the immigration scandal."

FIU Director Doesn't Want To Talk
And while that offers us little new information, the Minister of National Security was at least prepared to entertain questions from the media about the passport scandal and police investigation into it, while the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit wasn’t. More than 2 weeks ago, Marilyn Williams told the media that her office had already begun a financial investigation into the passport scandal. Today, Williams attended the appeal hearing of convicted money launderers Melonie and Michael Coye, and when she exited the court room, we tried to get an update on that investigation – but it didn’t yield much. Reporter "The investigation into the passport scandal, can you give us an update?" Marilyn Williams - Director, FIU "Oh, absolutely not, you all know that I do not discuss investigations." Reporter "Could you brief us if it's still on-going?” Marilyn Williams "I have no comment on that, sorry."

British Woman Knocked Down and Killed
A 68 year old British woman was knocked down and killed last night within Belize city limits. It happened on the northern highway near mile 2 and a half, on a particularly dangerous stretch of road that has seen more than six fatalities in the past four years. At about 7:00 last night, Patricia Johnson – who lived at a guest house in the Bella Vista housing community was crossing the highway to get back to Bella Vista. She had just gone shopping for a few items and was walking her dog. But, just before as she got to the Bella Vista entrance, a motorbike crashed into her, flinging the senior citizen violently unto the highway. She sustained serious injury, and died a few hours later at the KHMH. 31 year old Jason Grant was driving the motorbike which has been impounded. Police expect to charge him for manslaughter and related charges. Johnson, who is a writer, visited Belize in 2007 and fell in love with the country. She had been living here ever since. She was a very regular presence on the road, where she could often be seen walking on errands. She has no known relatives in the UK, and her friends say they intend to cremate her in Belize, as was her wish.

GOB On Oil Vs. Indigenous Rights
Last night, we told you about the Supreme Court Case where SATIIM and the Indigenous Mayan Communities of the south are trying to block US Capital Energy from continuing oil exploration inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The case has been brewing since July, when SATIIM announced that the Government of Belize granted US Capital permission to build a road to the drill sight, which sits a few acres inside the park. Today, Government attorney, Denys Barrow, was allowed to respond to the submissions made by Eamon Courtney, attorney for the Mayans. After a lengthy presentation before Justice Michelle Arana, Barrow spoke to the media outside the courtroom. He told us that the Mayans are basing their arguments on the premise of customary land rights, but these rights weren’t clearly defined in the case, and they haven’t proven that they’ve been violated:

Convicted Coye's Go To Appeal
In the last segment, we showed you the interview from FIU Director Marilyn Williams about her office’s investigation into the passport scandal. That opportunity, as we told you, came up after the hearing in appeal case for Melonie and Michael Coye. They were convicted last year of money laundering after standing trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, and since then, their attorney, Arthur Saldivar, has been working to get them an appeal. That hearing came up today before the Justices of Appeal, but it couldn’t progress because Saldivar wasn’t ready to argue his client’s case. It’s not the first adjournment to suit an unprepared Saldivar and after the hearing we asked him about it. Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Melonie & Michael Coye "The matter has been traversed to the next session. The appeal will be heard on February 24, due to the schedule that I have in the Supreme Court, and the fact that I got the transcript somewhat late, it was not prudent seek to push on with a matter as complicated as the one we are dealing with that limited time of preparation. So, I begged the courts indulgence, and I am happy that they were able to accede to my request, and we're right now in a position where we can actually have this matter be dealt with comprehensively in the next session."

Purse Snatcher Nabbed With Stolen Cell
Police say they’ve caught a minor who’s a major purse snatcher, preying on females in the Princess Margaret and University Drive area. A 17 year old student led police to him. She had been robbed of her purse 8 days ago at around noon, and on Monday afternoon while walking on Princess Margaret Drive she saw him circling the area and promptly called precinct four police. They responded immediately and arrested a 17 year old for along with 18 year old Chevon Castellanos. The 17 year old was found with the female student’s Blackberry Phone, along with a weed whacker and a Samsung Galaxy phone which had been reported stolen. The 17 year old was Arrested and charged for Robbery and Handling Stolen Goods, while the 18 year old was charged for handling. Police say they have uniformed, mobile and plainclothes officers patrolling the areas where students travel.

GSU Says Arenal Weed Abounds
For the past 2 nights, we’ve been telling you about the marijuana busts made by the Gang Suppression Unit. Well there is more tonight. This morning, at around 9:38, GSU officers searched an abandoned overgrown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent. The officers found a black plastic bag which was tied on a berries tree near the only small house sitting on the lot. Inside that bag, they found 4 smaller bags containing 461 ounces – or just over a pound – of marijuana. They also another black plastic bag, which contained 6 smaller bags with 655 grams – or almost 20 ounces of marijuana. No one was in the area, so it was deposited as found property. According to the GSU, the abandoned lot is adjacent to a suspected drug dealer’s house, who operates in the area.

CARICOM Makes Gang Intervention
Last night on the news you heard the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque speak candidly about the unflattering perception many Caribbean Citizens have of CARICOM. He says the CARICOM Secretariat has to be felt to be making a difference in the lives of its citizens. And, quite as a coincidence, one of the secretariat’s most ambitious, socially impactful programmes happened to be in Belize at the same time. It’s called “Youth, Gangs and Violence Partnering for Social Development and Crime Prevention.” The programme started in 2011 and is being staged in five countries including Belize. It attempts to steer youths away from gang involvement. The CARICOM strategists are on their fourth mission to Belize and today they launched a three day workshop focused on strategies for preventing crime and violence in schools and community, targeting teachers, community workers, students and police. Beverly Reynolds from CARICOM told us they want to build capacity: Beverly Reynolds - Programme Manager, Sustainable Dev., CARICOM "The idea is to build the capacity of these persons, to deal with the challenges that they are facing, both in schools and in communities, as it relates to crime and violence. It focuses on preventing crime. It focuses on social development. So, we address social issues in the attempt to prevent crime."

The Waste Management Transformation Still Evolving
As recently as two years ago, Belize City residents had to be coping with an intermittent stench wafting out of the dump-site at mile two on the western highway. But, in just two months Solid Waste Management in Belize has gone through a quiet revolution. Since August, the garbage generated by Belize City and San Ignacio residents has been trucked up to the Mile 27 sanitary landfill. In the months of august and September, it amounted to almost four thousand metric tons of waste, that’s about two hundred, 40 foot trailers. It’s been remarkably smooth going so far, and today the Solid Waste Management Authority held a National Solid Waste Management Policy, Strategy & Plan - Stakeholder Workshop to come up with a long term plan. Gilroy Lewis told us more:

Road Safety Re-loaded
The Road Safety project from the Ministry of Economic Development today signed a contract with Anthony Thurton and Associates Ltd. for the Design and Certification Consultancy for The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project. The idea is to provide independent inspection and certification of the road safety infrastructure works and to design a new roundabout at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways. Other agencies will also be involved as the CEO explained: Yvonne S. Hyde - CEO, Ministry of Economic Development "It will include the involvement of the Ministry of Health from the point of view of the ambulances which are going to be provided, and education, from the point of view of education at various levels in schools. So, it is a very important project for the Government of Belize. It is the first one, I could say, of its kind that the Caribbean Development Bank is funding." The contract will span an 18-month period.

Developing Dental Awareness Among Youths
"Brush and Floss Everyday and Keep Cavities Away," that’s the theme for dental health week which is being observed from October 20th to the 26th. Today the Dental Department held a Fair at the Central Health Region compound in Belize City – where the senior Dental Officer said that awareness of dental issues is rising among children – and he speculated on the role that the Tooth Fairy may be playing in that, yes, the Tooth Fairy: Dr. Rafael Samos - Dental Surgeon "What we used to see is that people used to come to the dentist just for a normal extraction. But little by little, the way we are doing it, we're pushing a lot more for education. And, with that in mind, we have seen an increase of people asking for - instead of just extractions - they are actually coming in and asking for options. This is what we're creating also. By educating the kids, they go home and take that message to their school, their classrooms, or their homes. Nowadays, you will hear a kid say, 'I want a filling, sealant, or fluoride treatment. They know all the options that are available. This is a way of exposing them to that, at the same time, making it a fun way of capturing their attention. This year, I would say that it is the tooth fairy that we're having. I hope that you will take a good glimpse of hear. There is a Belizean tooth fairy, so that you can look at it. We're trying to create that emphasis. So, don't ask the Belizean tooth fairy for your money, because they won't hand you the cash. But if you look at the impact of knowing what to do when it comes to a dental problem. The exposure will save you a lot more money, than just the little cash under your pillow."

PM Says Public Service Should Be More Focused On Professionalization
Much has been made of what the Prime Minister told Belizean Americans in Los Angeles about the Ministry of Natural Resources which he called “a hotbed of corruption.” Well, in that same informal address at a town meeting in Los Angeles, he also had some choice words for the public service. He says he would wish they would be more focussed on professionalization – instead of just fixated salary increases. Here are those remarks from an amateur recording of the event on Sunday: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It strikes me that the unions don't do enough by way of themselves, trying to equip their membership better for the roles that teachers and public servants - and public servants in particular - have to play. And I just want to enter an appeal because everything I say here gets sent back to Belize, as you know. I do want to enter an appeal for the unions to do more than just advocate for salary increases. That's fine; that's a huge part of their remit, but it can't be the only thing they do."

Merchant Pleads Guilty
49 year-old Businessman Bhishan Kumar Issrani, the owner of Miami Fashions on Albert Street, inappropriately touched a customer who visited his store. That’s what he pleaded guilty to yesterday in the Magistrate’s Court. According to an 18 year-old student, she went to buy a pair of shoes in the store on Monday. When she was inquiring about the price, Issrani approached her and hugged her, pressing his body up against her for an extended period of time, which made her feel uncomfortable. She reported the incident to police who charged Issrani with common assault. He was arraigned yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, where he pleaded guilty to the charge. She sentenced him to pay a fine of $200, plus an additional $150 as compensation to the complainant. He paid the fines, and exited court a free man.

Music Men and Former Mayor Honoured
Today, music men and a municipal leader were honoured by the Governor General in an investiture ceremony. Frank Lizama was honoured for his contribution to art, education and politics while the GG’s son and celebrated musician Colville Young Jr. was appointed for his contribution to education and music. Sam Hamilton received the insignia for Member of the British Empire for his contribution to music.

Channel 5

Details on the visa hustle involving Chinese nationals; a government minister is in the hot seat
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner has been stealing the spotlight on corruption in the Immigration Department. But tonight there is compelling evidence of deep-rooted corruption in respect of the [...]

Insider speaks of the thousands of dollars paid, the process and how it all started
The individual claims that over two hundred visas were ‘assisted’ by Minister Edmund Castro for two thousand dollars each. If you do the math, that’s four hundred thousand dollars to [...]

2 Cuban nationals and their Mexican handlers are nabbed for human trafficking
While the lucrative visa hustle you have just heard about, involves Chinese nationals, there are other nationals who also use Belize as a springboard to the United States. On Tuesday [...]

Is the FIU following the trail of monies in the passport scandal?
There is much more to come in the alleged Castro visa hustle, but the Elvin Penner debacle is still simmering. It hasn’t boiled over yet because there is absolutely no [...]

Still no word from Eric Chang’s return; Mayor says it is unacceptable
Still on the issue of the passport scandal, Belize City Councilor Eric Chang’s arrival is eagerly anticipated. Chang has been M.I.A. since September third, and last week, he was stripped [...]

Day two of arguments in SATIIM versus US Capital Energy and Government case
On Wednesday SATIIM, Mayan communities, US Capital Energy and the Government met in court to argue for a ruling on rights – Mayan rights to communal lands versus the government’s [...]

Attorney Saldivar speaks appeal hearing for Coye’s Family in money laundering case
In late July of 2012, two members of the Coye Family along with two of their employees were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. Melanie [...]

Man charged for fatal traffic accident
A traffic accident which occurred thirteen days ago at the junction of the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road has claimed the life of a Ladyville resident. As a result, thirty-nine year old [...]

20 year old mother of 2 imprisoned for being a prohibited immigrant
A Guatemalan woman who has been living in Belize for over six years and is the common-law-wife of a Cayo resident has been given her ticket to leave the country. [...]

More drugs taken off the street by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting two drug seizures today. The first took place this morning in an abandoned overgrown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent in Belize City where a [...]

Activist Patrick Menzies is detained briefly in Belmopan
Since October fifteen, Activist, Patrick Menzies, launched a campaign to gather support across the country asking parents not to send their children to school to send a clear message to [...]

Menzies lambasts church leaders who engage in politricks
While he was on camera, Menzies also lambasted certain leaders of the religious community saying that they are engaged in politricks. He says that’s the reason why he and several [...]

Menzies says his agenda is God’s agenda
Approximately ninety percent of those gathered are naturalized Belizeans so we asked Menzies if he was taking advantage of those persons or was he pushing his own agenda. Menzies says [...]


Activities for Cancer Awareness Planned For The Weekend
Belize Cancer Society, Daedra Haylock, the participation of the community is crucial in order for the Society to keep on carrying activities in relation to cancer awareness. DAEDRA HAYLOCK “We have two big events coming up this weekend that we would like to encourage persons to support. We have the Cancer Vigil on Friday night at 6 o clock. So, we would like you to come out and support the Cancer Vigil; we also have the Pan Yard concert; it’s a concert with a purpose; it is $25 a ticket. The concert will be at the House of Culture. We have our steel bands that are going to be entertaining and we are asking you to come out and have a good time and an enjoyable time and support the Belize Cancer Society. All the funds from the Pan Yard concert and from all the sales of the scarfs and T-Shirts and tank tops, we still have some of those; all of it goes back in the work that we do in the Belize Cancer Society. We would also like you to attend the vigil, bring the family, bring your candles; come out and light a candle in memory of somebody that you know or just come and support the cause on a whole as we continue to educate people about breast cancer and cancer on a whole. “

GSU At It Again…More Drugs Found
Tonight, the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is in the news again with two separate drug finds in Belize City. Earlier today the members of the GSU did a search in an abandoned over grown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent that houses a small green wooden structure. On that same property, the unit found a black plastic bag hanging on a tree limb and inside that bag, four other bags were found containing cannabis. In a further search in the same vicinity, six more bags were found with a total weight of 655 grams. According to reports by the GSU, this property is located near the residence of a suspected drug dealer. Since no one was found in the area the almost two and a half pounds of marijuana was labeled and deposited as found property. Meanwhile, members once again went out this afternoon around 2:30 to the Kraal Road area known as the gang drug base and made a find of 120 grams of cannabis hidden inside black plastic bags between a zinc fence and some bushes. According to the GSU, what is of note is that the quality of the marijuana that is being found in Belize City is the same type as the one supplied by drug traffickers of the Arenal area in western Belize.

Prison Inmate Freed of Drug Charges But Remains Incarcerated for Manslaughter
Twenty-five year old Juan Perez, a prison inmate serving 14 years for manslaughter, was freed of a charge of drug trafficking for 790 grams of cannabis today. Perez was charged on January 7, after a prison officer searched the contents of keg that was in a wheel barrow used for taking food from the kitchen of the prison to various sections of the prison. Inside the keg was a black plastic bag that contained two other bags. One bag contained 429 grams and the other had 361 grams. The black bag was on top of some bread. At the close of the case for the prosecution, Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the charge because the prosecution had not established a prima facie case. He explained that the prosecution did not provide the court with any evidence as to who put the items in the wheel barrow and there was no evidence that Perez had knowledge of what was in the wheel barrow.

A Look At the Significant Waste Management Problems in Belize
A workshop on Solid Waste Management was held today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. It was attended by a wide cross-section of stakeholders including NGO’s, representatives from various municipalities, representatives from the waste sector and Government officials. Gilroy Lewis, Director of the Solid Waste Management Project, highlighted the main objectives. GILROY LEWIS “Firstly, I must mention that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Solid Waste Management Authority have seen the need for a National Solid Waste policy, strategy and a plan. This workshop is the first of a series of stakeholder consultation workshops that would provide information to develop the National Solid Waste policy, strategy and plan. The long and short of it is that here, we are trying to identify the issues, the challenges and the opportunities as it relates to current waste management practices in Belize; the entire country not just the western corridor and then this would then feed into the strategy by the formulation of objectives, targets and things of that nature. So we are looking essentially for a road map for the next 20 years as it relates to waste management in the country of Belize.” Mike Betts, who is the Managing Director of a UK-based firm “Integrated Skills Limited”, is the moderator of the workshop and explains his role in the project:

Trade Opportunities on the Horizon Between Belize and Argentina
Belize has signed a cooperation agreement with Argentina. On Tuesday Belize’s foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and his Argentinean counterpart Hector Timerman signed the agreement that covers several fields and opens trade opportunities. Talks included political issues, trade, education, cultural exchange and cooperation in health care and agriculture. According to media reports Elrington met with experts on technical formation, juvenile orchestras and it was agreed to send Argentine staff to help Belize teachers and help with teaching techniques. In health care a cooperation mission will be sent to Belize in the first quarter of next year. At the ministry of Industry, experts in promoting small and medium sized businesses and regional development exchanged ideas with Elrington who received a catalogue of the Argentine government different forms of support for industry. As it relates to tourism it was agreed to include Belize in a coming tour of nations to visit by a ministerial delegation in December, and similarly the Ministry of Agriculture will send a mission of experts to help young Belizeans in farm activities.

Electrician/Farmer Not Guilty of Firearm Charges
Twenty-three year old Michael Dawson, an electrician/farmer of Sandhill, was found guilty of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license at the conclusion of his trial today. Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced him to five years for each count with the stipulation that the sentences are to run concurrently. Dawson was busted with the firearm and ammunition around 9:45 p.m. on September 2, 2012. Three police officers testified that they were on mobile patrol on Mayflower Street when they saw Dawson standing at the corner of Mayflower and Ebony Street acting suspicious. They said that when they approached Dawson and searched him they found a nine millimetre pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition stuck in the waist of his pants. Dawson denied that he committed the offences. He said that the police officers planted the gun on him. He called one witness, a female relative of his. But her testimony did not in any way help his case.

Coye Family Appeals Money Laundering Conviction; Attorney Seeks Bail For Michael Coye Due To Health Reasons
This morning Melanie Coye and Michael Coye appeared in the Appeal Court room where their case to appeal a money laundering conviction and sentence was to begin. However, the case had been traverse until the next session and the appeal will be heard in February 24th of next year. Furthermore, both Melanie and Michael Coye are under detention and their attorney, Arthur Saldivar, has until Monday to submit an application of bail for Michael Coye, whose health, Saldivar says, is deteriorating. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “Sufficed to say that now, all the documents are there before the Lords for them to look at. Mr. Coye’s health is of paramount consideration where this application is concerned. It has deteriorated significantly. I know that there is a perception in the public and that perception behooves for me to say, it is my belief, it is undeserved but here it is that a sentence was passed down; it was not a death sentence and should not constructively become a death sentence but somewhere there are certain persons in the government realm who have little or no mercy and little or no compassion for a man in Mr. Coye’s situation but have all the ability to turn a blind eye to what persons like Elvin Penner and what persons like him are doing.

Belizeans Honored at Belize House in Belmopan
The appointments were announced in June as part of the Queen’s birthday honors and today three Belizeans were awarded. At a special ceremony at Belize House in Belmopan, Frank Alexander Lizama and Colville Ludwig Young Jr. were both appointed Order of the British Empire; Lizama for his contribution to art, education and politics and Young for his contribution to education and music. Receiving the insignia for Member of the British Empire was Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton for his contribution to music.

Police News
Police are investigating a burglary in San Pedro. 64-year-old Timothy Joe Younkin reported that he and his wife left their room at a resort on the island and went to the United States on September 2. He said they ensured that their windows and doors were properly secured. On their return this past weekend they discovered that their lock box containing two thousand US dollars and 500 Belize dollars which was inside the guest bedroom was missing. They also found that a number of items were missing including electronic items and assorted jewellery all to a total value of 16 thousand 480 dollars.

Belize City School Children March For Cancer Awareness
Almost the entire student body of Central Christian Primary School today marched against cancer and its effects on human life. And their message was striking to those whose lifestyles are not congruent. MATTHEW GABOUREL “So you have to stop smoke and make the Chiney man stop selling cigarette. “ ANNIE PEREZ “People can find out if they have cancer by testing. Just exercise, stop smoking cigarettes and take care of your body and eat the correct food.” The first-time exercise was one that organizer, Laurel Willoughby hopes will catch on with time. LAUREL WILLOUGHBY “As we realize that sickness is for everyone. Even our children are affected by cancer. It is just an awareness walk we are doing today. “ MARION ALI “For people who are skeptics, who will tell you, ‘what’s behind a walk; a walk doesn’t cure cancer; how do you respond?”


Students Learn More About Dental Health
“Brush and Floss every day and keep cavities away” is the theme under which Dental health week is being celebrated this year. The Northern Regional Hospital Dental Department in collaboration with HECOPAB have streamlined a number of activities to commemorate the seven days event. Aiming at bringing awareness to the community most importantly students, the dental department hosted a tag day today. Anny Quan, Dental Assistant, NRH “We began dental health week basically started today, tag day, we are visiting San Francisco R.C. School along with Louisiana giving them a little short presentation about good oral health and putting tags on them. It’s basically just awareness; we need to let the kids know about what is good oral hygiene, what they are supposed to do. Our mouth plays a very important role and anything we consume or do or don’t do later on affects the inside of your body, so it is just an awareness for the kids to know about keep on brushing your teeth, you must floss regularly and if all starts by the little stuff that we think are not important that really goes out a lone way.”

Scotia Bank Corozal Gives Back ToO The Community
Feeding programs have become an integral part of many schools across Belize. And at Libertad RC School it is no different. This much needed program has come to fruition thanks to the strides being made by the faculty and staff of that institution. In the month of September, Estevan Pasos was assigned as principal for Libertad RC School and since then he has been working diligently with its teachers and parents. One of the major concerns that was first to be resolved on his agenda is a feeding program to assist as many needy students as possible.

Amandala Article Written By Colin BH Comes Under Fire
Today, Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow issued a statement expressing her concern on a recent article published in last week’s edition of the Amandala Newspaper, which was written by Colin BH under the heading ‘Bake it again’. The article, which expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No. 2) bill states “The rape of a male on male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2) the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3) it is a natural act; (4) the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence.” Very strong words indeed. According to Simplis Barrow, while the story leaves much to be desired, she found this particular segment of the article to be appalling and stated that it is an "affront to all women and girls and completely trivializes the trauma that survivors of sexual violence are forced to endure." She called on all women and the public in general to condemn "this very disturbing article.”

The Importance Of Practising Good Oral Hygiene
Tooth and Gum disease in Belize is considered a silent epidemic. And while a week in October is set aside as Dental Health week, this year’s Dental Health campaigns is focusing on prevention. That is because a little less than ten percent of Belizeans visit the dentist regularly. The other ninety percent, visit a dental clinic when there is a problem – a toothache or gum disease. Bad breath or Halitosis is definitely one of the main factors of uncertainty in a person; to add to that, having a disease in your mouth due to poor dental health is unbearable. The facts are clear, if you place little attention to your dental hygiene then the results are damning to the extent of having your tooth removed. Therefore, taking care of your teeth is extremely important for you to be able to carry your daily routines. Reporter Irvin Aragon takes a look at the importance of oral hygiene. Irvin Aragon - Reporting One of the most important parts of the body is the mouth and that is because that is where food enters the body to be converted into energy. This process involves the evident use of our teeth and consequently, should receive the proper care.

Parents Concerned About National School Shut-down
Yesterday we reported on the strides being made by President of BelizeCan Patrick Menzies to secure as many signatures from Parents and church leaders in a form of protest against the Government. This action is part of the National School Boycott campaign which comes at the heels of the hotly debated National Revised Gender Policy. Flanked by church leaders, Menzies and his team collected signatures from parents in Orange Walk and Corozal promising to NOT send their children to school in the hopes that Government pay heed to their request. Menzies seeks to halt the process by allowing more consultation sessions with the community. With a hand full of signatures in tow, Menzies submitted the petition forms to the District Education Office here in Orange Walk. A quick check with District Education Manager Carla Alvarez revealed that the petition was to be submitted today to Belmopan. It is uncertain how many signatures were collected but Alvarez says that she was not in the position to comment on the matter or on what happens thereafter.

Where Is Freddy Hernan Villada?
Orange Walk Police are still actively seeking the whereabouts of a man who fled the scene of a fatal hit and run traffic accident that occurred on September 20th, on the Palmar Road which claimed the life of 25 year old Belizean artist Erron Golanche. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 34 year old Freddy Hernan Villada of a Santa Familia Street Address here in Orange Walk. Since the accident, Police have made contact with Villada’s family here in Orange Walk but their assistance has been close to none since it is believed that Villada has absconded across the border.

One Man Charged For September 13th Fatal Traffic Accident
Yesterday police arrested and charged 36 year old Hector David Bobadilla, a Belizean machine operator of San Antonio Village, Orange Walk Town, with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and failure to report an accident. The charges are as a result of a traffic accident that occurred on September 13th on the Yo Creek Road which claimed the life of Salvadoran National Ignacio Moralez who was riding his bicycle enroute to his home in the Village of Yo Creek when he was hit by a bus belonging to the Albion Bus Company. Moralez, who was not known to have family in country, claimed Yo Creek as his home for more than thirty years.

National School Shut-down Causes Chaos In Corozal
This morning tensions ran high at Paraiso Government School in the Corozal District as a group of parents gathered in front of the school in solidarity of the National School Shut-down organized by BelizeCan Patriots who want government to freeze the National Gender Policy 2013 until further consultation. But the situation got out of hand when a few parents tried to take their children out of class and police was called in. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story. Victor Castillo – Reporting Classes at Paraiso Government School were expected to run as per normal today and they did, at least until around 9:00 in the morning. As the buzzer rang and students prepared for their first lesson, a group of parents concerned about the National Gender Policy 2013, gathered outside the school’s compound to learn more about the national school shutdown organized by BelizeCan Patriots.


Gary Seawell ordered to be extradited
Tuesday was a busy day at the courts in Belize City. We begin with the extradition case involving Gary Seawell. Attorney for the accused drug trafficker Gary Gordon Seawell, Arthur Saldivar, thought he had a winning hand when he attacked the credibility of the bundle of documents sent by...

Fired BWS workers sue company for wrongful termination
Six former employees of Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) – Don Gillett, Mark Menzies, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy – are suing the utility company for wrongful termination. They had been dismissed, though the company officially claims that their positions were made redundant, after having...

Opposition against the Gender Policy continues to mount
Opposition on the proposed Gender Policy 2013 has picked up steam once again. The original hue and cry for GOB to revise the document dwindled down, following Government’s commitment to suspend the implementation of the policy, until further review. But residents in the north have set out to remind...

Man succumbs to injuries sustained in late September
Last month, we reported on a confrontation that left one man paralyzed; tonight, Police say that that man 40 year old George Morgan passed away as a result of injuries sustained. On 22nd September, Police were called to a bus stop in Silk Grass Village where saw George Morgan...

CARICOM secretariat engages media on strategy
The Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, is undergoing a rebranding process, part of which includes a four-year strategic plan addressing the vision, priorities for action, implementation and evaluation. Secretary General of CARICOM, Dominica’s Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has been visiting the 15 member states to talk up the effort, and...

Belizean Student Wins Bronze Medal in International Taipei Art Competition
On Tuesday several students were recognized for their efforts in the 44th annual World Schoolchildren’s Art Exhibit which took place at the Nan-Hai Gallery of the National Arts Education Center in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan). Belize’s ambassador to Taiwan, His Excellency David Wu, told us more about the...

Is Lake Independence Representative Complaining about Project?
PLUS News has obtained a copy of an email correspondence between Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Lake Independence area representative Mark King. King, a former City Councilor himself, is complaining that he has been ignored by City Hall over his proposal to create a community park, beautifying and...

SATIIM challenges GOB over oil drilling in national park
On Tuesday, Justice Michelle Arana began the trial in the Supreme Court between the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Government as well as U.S. Capital Energy. In this trial, SATIIM and the alcaldes of some of the Maya communities in the Toledo District are challenging...

Crystal Beverage Products Sponsors Secondary School Sports
On this past Friday, the National Secondary Schools Sporting Association (NSSSA) shoulder to shoulder with Bowen and Bowen Limited, shook hands on a one-year, $20,000 deal to sponsor and promote the Association’s annual regional and national tournaments in several disciplines. In return for exclusive rights to sponsorship and branding...

United Nations Challenges Belizeans for International Essay Competition
College and university students get your pen and paper ready, here is an opportunity you might not want to miss. In collaboration with ELS (Educational Services Inc. UNAI (United Nations Academic Impact), is hosting an international essay competition on the theme of “Many Languages, One World.” The essay is...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

CCVC to hold public meeting on November 14th
The Caye Caulker Village Council invites all members of the community to a Public Meeting to be held on Thursday 14th November at 7:00pm at the Community Center. Please make an effort to attend, we will be discussing our first quarter and addressing concerns from the general public.

CCVC goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Caye Caulker Village Council went pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The draped the office in pink trimmings and decorated a tree in pink in honor of those suffering or who have suffered from this devastating disease.

Village Council plans Halloween event
The Caye Caulker Village Council is planning a Halloween event for Saturday, October 26th. Details are on the poster below. Turkey dinner will also be available for the 26th by orders $15.00 each. Please call the Village Council to place your order.

Dentists from Belize Mission Project to visit Caye Caulker
The Dentists from Belize Mission Project will be in Caye Caulker on Oct. 31st 2013 at Caye Caulker Condos. Anyone wishing to see the dentists please make an appointment. For appointments please call 226-0072 between the hours of 8am-5pm. THANKS!


Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) workshop
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) held its first workshop today, 22nd October, 2013, on the Internationalization of Agricultural SMEs in Belize. The workshop was geared at addressing the challenges faced by small and medium sized agricultural enterprises coupled with developing viable strategies to achieve these defined objectives in the long term.

“Food, Glorious Food” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I am still finding it slightly strange when waking up at our new home. Finding that I veer off in the wrong direction until I remember that we are no longer in the condo we rented during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Can’t remember immediately which kitchen cupboard we have stored the coffee and mugs in. Remembering takes a little longer when you have more choices. We have more cupboards and drawers in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment we are using until our two floors are completed. There is a greater choice of where to go sit with my first mug of coffee of the day and my iPad when I get up in the morning. No chairs at the moment but a lot more places where it would be great to have one!

Baked Again by: Aria Lightfoot
On October 20, 2013, Colin BH wrote an article in the Amandala newspaper called “Bake it Again”. Colin gave a whimsical and romanticized view of rape, even going as far as calling the act “natural” when it was against a female vs a male; more “heinous” when it was a male; and simultaneously victim-blamed and downplayed the effects of rape on women and children. Unbelievably, Colin writes for a newspaper that thrives on black power, but actually celebrated centuries of raped slaves because it produced a “beautiful race” of Belizeans in his baked opinions. Colin’s baked opinions became a significant symbol and a wake up call alerting Belizeans as why stronger child protection and gender laws are urgently needed. Colin was expressing what he believed to be an appropriate response to the amendments to the Criminal Code that seeks to strengthen laws of Belize to protect children. The unfortunate reality is that Colin represented the views of quite a few men and women in Belize. One may even argue that he was merely stating what is a culturally accepted practice in Belize’s society.

Swimming with the Sharks Off Ambergris Caye – Shark Ray Alley
Hi everyone. My name is Hayley, and I’m a fellow animal lover, rescuer, and crazy cat lady like Rebecca; however, I have her beat with five cats and a pitbull. I’ll start this blog by saying that I feel so natural in the water and love it so much that I must have been a mermaid in a former life. When I arrived in Belize for the first time in December 2012, my top choice in excursions was Shark Ray Alley. I dove at Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman several years ago, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, so I knew I had to have that wonderful experience again. Upon arriving at Shark Ray Alley, there is crystal clear water as far as the eye can see. It’s absolutely beautiful. You can also see the sharks immediately approaching the boat from the distance. They are drawn by the motors because they know they are going to be fed. I was ready to jump right in. I’d been waiting years to swim with the sharks.

Halloween in Belize: The Ultimate Costume Party Is San Pedro
My friend Krista from Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar went to the late night Halloween party at the Holiday Hotel. And took these awesome pictures. And sent me comments. So here is her blog. My first guest blogger! Let’s call her GingerScoop (she’s a red head after all).Here is my favorite picture that she took. Please stop into Crazy Canuck’s, buy a drink, and a panini and fill her with praise. I need a helper!

International Sources

Las Terrazas Beach Real Wedding in Belize, Trendy Bride
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Well, the pictures of this destination wedding at the Las Terrazas Resort in Belize speaks volumes. It was simply stunning.You expect picturesque scenery when you think of a wedding on the beach of Belize but you are totally blown away as you watch Meredith and Nicholas take their vows, walk on the beach and dance for the first time as man and wife. The water, the pier, the palm trees and let’s now forget the sand combine to make it a perfect setting. But of course it is not not just nature’s beauty that make this wedding so special. It is also the details of the wedding decor, the flowers as well as the attire of the entire bridal party that takes this over the top. If you closed your eyes, you could envision that you were in a magnificent cathedral watching these nuptials instead of on a beach. They did a great job of blending sophistication and casual. Meredith and Nicholas showed that you can be elegant yet still be relaxed.

Beautiful Belize, from the Central American jungle to the barrier reef of the Caribbean Sea
WITH one foot planted in the Central American jungles and the other dipped in the Caribbean Sea, Belize combines the best of both worlds. You've heard that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest in the world. But have you heard that this reef is home to more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish? This alluring underwater world is undoubtedly the top attraction in Belize. Snorkelers swim through translucent seas, gazing at a kaleidoscope of coral, fish and turtles; divers go deeper, investigating underwater caves and walls and the world-renowned Blue Hole. The turquoise waters are inviting even for those who choose to remain above the surface. Kayakers glide from one sandy, palm-dotted islet to another; windsurfers and sailors skim across the surf by the power of the breeze; sunbathers lounge on the dock, lulled into relaxation by the gentle lapping; and foodies feast on delectable fresh fish, spiny-tailed lobster and other creatures of the sea.

World heritage: Belize Barrier Reef
Tourists watch from a boat at the reef "Barrier Reef" around San Pedro Island in Belize, on Oct. 22, 2013. The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world's second longest after Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Among the big diversity of species it has, there are Caribbean reef sharks, blacknose sharks (Carcharhinus acronotus) as well as fish of different colors that blend into the reef.(Xinhua/David de la Paz)

Archeologist to Theorize on What Destroyed Mayan Civilization
l America some thousand years ago, perhaps in the face of a quickly changing environment, its survivors retreated with their most precious artifacts into caves. Jaime J. Awe, a noted archeologist in Belize, will discuss what the ancient treasure troves have revealed to researchers about a remarkable civilization, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at SUNY Cortland. Awe, who directs the Institute of Archaeology for the National Institute of Culture and History at Galen University in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, will lecture on "Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for Understanding Ancient Maya Response to Environmental Change" at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. His lecture is free and open to the public. Belize, a small Central American country with a scattered population roughly the size of Buffalo, N.Y., is a relatively untapped archeologist's goldmine. The rain forests have swallowed most artifacts of a once-thriving civilization, but the remnants of their wondrous cultural gatherings can be found in the shards of ceramic ware left behind.

Latin America - Mobile Communications Statistics (tables only)
This report provides 168 statistical tables relating to the mobile markets of 26 Latin American countries, and is extracted from the full annual market reports. Latin Americas mobile penetration is well ahead of the world average Mobile penetration Consumers in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are turning increasingly towards mobile solutions and away from the traditional telephone. In terms of usage, the region is well ahead of the world average, having reached an estimated 115% mobile penetration at end-2012 against a global rate of around 96%. However, over 80% of LACs mobile subscribers are on prepaid plans.

My Life: New and Improved as a Travel Writer
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years! Not long ago my Monday through Friday consisted of getting up, getting dressed, going to work, coming home, sleeping…then getting up, getting dressed, going to work…you get the idea. I spent anywhere from 40 to 60 hours each week sitting in an office at a computer working on accountings and tax returns. I swam through ancient caves, harvested cacao and rode horseback through the jungles in southern Belize. I stood under a volcano-fed hot waterfall in Guatemala and danced to the rhythm of Garifuna drumming in Livingston.

October 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Sagebrush continues to work with San Pedro community
As part of their vision to “Know Christ and Make Christ Known”, the Sagebrush Community Church hosted a family football camp on Saturday, October 12th. A team from the main campus church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, along with soccer pros David Baca and Kristen Gracyzk hosted the football camp north of the bridge. Each child was given a soccer ball and pump to use at the camp. At the end of the camp, they were able to take home their new toys. Sagebrush also provided a healthy lunch of chicken burritos to the children and parents who took part in the camp. According to Meredith Nohvaiy Melton, Missions Director of Sagebrush Community Church, their aim is to build relationships in the community and set an example of love, grace, and mercy through their service.

Foreva Fancy’s High Street Fashion Show
Foreva Fancy’s second Annual Exclusive Fashion Show was a night for High Street Fashion. 18 gorgeous models took to the runway at Kama Lounge on Saturday, October 19th, showcasing the latest in Fall/Winter fashion. Eager fashionistas made their way to Kama Lounge for a great show that commenced shortly after 8PM. With the pumping music of DJ DZL the show was ready to go. Hosting the show was the ever fashionable media personality, Indira Craig. After formalities and introductions, the show which was decided into five segments got underway starting with Oxblood Obsession. Oxblood is the new trend in color for this fall/winter; it is a deep maroon, more closely resembling a rich red wine. From Burberry Prorusm to Jason We, Oxblood was a hit on the international winter fashion runways. This dark color was presented on stage in an equally dramatic manner,opening with the introduction of “The Witches of East End”.Beautiful models sashayed down the runway in a fusion of ensembles that ranged from elegant and casual, all showing the Oxblood Obsession trend.

San Pedro Lions Club turns 38 years
The San Pedro Town Lions Club held a special ceremony and dinner/dance to celebrate their 38th anniversary on Saturday October 19th. The event had the participation of Lion members from the District B-8 Mexico as well as other local dignitaries. “But we cannot allow the legacy of our chartered members to die. We must keep moving forward as a club and as Lion members. It is rewarding and interesting to be a part of a team that volunteers, lead projects, meet as a group and also have fun – we do all this and more as a Lion member. I want to remind you that we are not here for self-gain, or to receive recognitions. We are here to improve our community and other communities around the world,” concluded Kumul.

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye: Chicken Drop (#5)
Thursday nights belong to Wahoo’s Lounge and their World Famous Chicken Drop – for sure! Doug and Noele are great hosts/owners – energetic and super friendly, and have continued with the grand old Chicken Drop tradition. The Chicken Drop is quite famous after international film productions have catapulted it across the screens of millions over the years.And how does it play out you may ask? Well, you pay for a ticket which corresponds to a number on a huge board on the ground surrounded by a net. The price ranges from $1 to $10 depending on the game. A (well-fed) chicken is brought out and after a hilarious ritual of a gentle shake and … (you have to be there to see it, we can’t give EVERYTHING away) the chicken is placed onto the board inside the fenced area. After a while, well – everything you put in at some point must come out.

Ambergris Today

Filmmakers Highlight Saga Humane Society’s Hard Work in San Pedro
A film crew from Utah was following members of Saga as they worked around town and promoted the importance of spaying and neutering island pets. They were here just in time as the group hosted a Snip-a-thon throughout the island. This has been a two-year project in the making and producers, along with directors of Saga, are happy that it finally becoming a reality.

Education in Belize: Stressing the Positive (From Challenges to Solutions)
In many of my articles I focus on suggesting urgent changes that should/could be made to Belize’s Education system. I also encourage Education policymakers and educators to stop living in the past, and start adapting teaching methods that are more in line with 21st Century ways of working, learning, and living. However, I realize that being human we tend to be very sensitive, and my repeated promptings, i.e. “we should or should not” and “let us or let us not”, may eventually end up annoying the very people who the promptings are meant to inspire and/or stir to action. Therefore, this week’s article focuses on highlighting positive actions that are/can be taken by many parents and educators in Belize who work everyday with young people.

Misc Belizean Sources

Volunteer dermatologists at the Lion's Den Oct. 29
There will be volunteer dermatologists at the Lion's Den Tuesday Oct. 29 and Wednesday Oct 30 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For any questions contact Dr. Wil Lala 226-2716

The Garifuna nation and the fight for reparatory justice
I participated in the first regional reparations conference, held in St Vincent and the Grenadines, from September 15th - 17th and I had the opportunity to address the gathering as the only representative of the descendants of our ancestors whose lands were “stolen” by the British, committed genocide and forcibly exiled them from St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1797. I was delighted to listen to the presentation by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Reparation Committee, which was based on the genocide and exile of our ancestors. In his opening ceremony address, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the descendants of the Callinago, the Garifuna, the Amerindians, and the Africans have an especial obligation to fight for reparatory justice. “After all, their forbears were directly affected and, most importantly, together, they constitute the majority population across our Caribbean.” In 2011, the Garifuna Coalition published a press release supporting Prime Minister Gonsalves’ call for reparation for the genocide against the our ancestors by the British. My participation in the regional reparations conference brought me full circle in my long career advocating for the well being of the Garifuna people.

Roots Wraps & Smoothies
There is a new entrant to the culinary landscape in San Ignacio town. The proprietors of Roots Wraps & Smoothies today informed that they will be launching their new venture, a healthy Belizean fast food service. The launch is scheduled for Saturday, November 2nd from 9 am to 5 pm. Located at number 38 West Street, Roots Wraps & Smoothies is advertising itself as “a healthy lunch bar in downtown San Ignacio serving raw, vegan and vegetarian food for the whole family.”

Divaz Bocawina Adventure
The Divaz Next Door and the winners of their online competition had a great trip to Bocawina to do some zip lining and waterfall rappelling. "We had a wonderful adventure sponsored by Bocawina Adventures & Eco Tours Ltd and PLUSTV BELIZE. Thanks as well to John & Emo Rentals (674-1970) & TASBelize for the flyer."

Benque's Noche de Cuenta Cuentos
The Benque House of Culture and CACHE are having another Noche de Cuenta Cuentos on Friday, November 1st, starting at 7:00pm. Once again David Ruiz, along with others like Pedro Can, will be telling some thrilling tales. In related news, the Finados alter display is that same day, and it will be an homage to Mr. Elias Awe. It will start at 9:00am and go until 5:00pm. "Noche de Cuenta Cuentos, Story telling in Benque by our very own story tellers featuring Mr. David Ruiz, Pedro Can among many others.. Join us in an unforgettable thrill of real life experience at your Benque HOC Lawn"

Car Smash and Cut at SHC Fair
The Sacred Heart College fair and business expo is this weekend. Here are some pictures of the vehicle, along with some power tools, that you can cut, drill, paint, and smash up. On Friday, the SHC parade will start at 9:00am. The talent show is in the evening at 6:00pm. The fair and business expo starts at 9:00am on Saturday. Go out and have a fun day with the family, while enjoying some good food and games...and drill a hole in a car. "The Isuzu Trooper that you can cut up and smash at the Sacred Heart Fair this Saturday, October 26th."

in-front of Ministry of Education - In Red is the new District Officer in charge of Min of Education, Mr. Lopez. He finally decided to come out of his office after the parents waited in the scorching sun for over an hour! Lopez claims that the Ministry of Education is not responsible for anything being taught to the schools but rather the Head of each school. He went further to state that no schools will be forced to teach anything that is contrary to their belief, YET, The Gender Policy page 23 States that all publicly financed educational institutions, Even Religious Schools MUST teach what is in the Policy!! Is the District Officer not aware of what the Amended Policy reads. This is a public service provided by the CD!

Special Envoy speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, has taken aim at the substance of an article publishes in the October 20 edition of the Amandala newspaper. In a statement issued this morning, Mrs. Barrow expressed “very grave concern” about the article which appeared under the heading “Bake it Again” with the byline Colin BH. According to the Special Envoy “the statements made in this article advance a culture of rape and sexual violence against women and girls. It seeks to blame the victim while providing excuses for the perpetrator. The fact is that rape is not about sex, but about power and control. Rape is rape; it is NEVER excusable and it certainly NEVER is the victim’s fault!”

WIN-Belize speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize has also issued a statement condemning the Amandala article on the issue of rape which appeared in the Sunday, October 20 edition of the newspaper. WIN-Belize in its statement condemned the article saying that “the tasteless and nonsensical comments … were written without consideration for the emotional harm such comments would cause victims and families.” The organization also called for the newspaper and the writer of the article “to apologize to the women and children of Belize.”

Channel 7

City Owes Waste Control Half-a-Mil, They May Strike
Tonight the Belize City Council owes could be facing a strike by its waste collector, Belize Waste Control - and it could mean garbage piling up at your front door! 7news has confirmed that City Hall owes Belize Waste Control more than half a million dollars in arrears for municipal garbage collection. That's 14 weeks that the City hasn't paid and Mayor Darrell Bradley said that Waste Control will just have to wait, because right now the council just plain doesn't have the money to pay. Bradley explains that this is what happens every year, and it evens out in late December into March, when taxes are paid into City Hall and that cash flow is used to even out the Waste Control arrears. But Waste Control says that this year's arrears are extreme - and are made even worse by the fact that a few of the weeks of arrears date back to 2012. Whatever the case, City Hall says it can't pay and won't pay until December, while Waste Control says it's already had to send home 5 workers and could be getting ready to strike as early as Friday. That could be saber rattling or it could be for real, but the mayor says that the council has already paid Waste Control half a million dollars towards a court judgment, and it just doesn't have any more money to give Waste Control until December.

Chief Magistrate: G. Sewell Must Be Extradited
This morning, the Chief Magistrate ruled that the United States Government has established a case against Gary Sewell, and that he should be extradited. As we've reported, according to US authorities, Gary and his brothers, Mark and Dwayne, allegedly imported cocaine into the US through Mexico, and sold marijuana in Texas from December 1994 to August 1997. They are also allegedly responsible for 1 million dollars in drug proceeds sent to Houston, Texas; Lakeland, Florida, and Belize. Gary Seawell has been fighting that extradition since 2010, and as we told you, his attorney, Arthur Saldivar, made submissions on the last adjournment of this case that the depositions or affidavits before the court, had no oaths on them. He further claimed that these documents held no legal ground for the court to consider because they weren't properly authenticated, and that they were equivalent to hearsay. Today, after considering his arguments for 4 weeks, the Chief Magistrate ruled against Saldivar's submissions, and more than that, she went a step further by ruling that having perused the evidence, Gary Seawell should be extradited.

SATIIM Versus US Capital Underway in Supreme Court
In July, we told you about the decision which SATIIM and the Mayan Communities of the south made to take US Capital Energy to court to block the company from conducting oil exploration inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Well, today before Justice Michelle Arana, that big court case started in for which members of the Mayan Community came down to listen to in person. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents SATIIM and the communities made a 3-hour presentation to the court today, and afterwards, we asked him to outline his client's case. Eamon Courtenay "Our clients are the villagers and the leaders of the villages who are seeking in this case to have the court consider whether or not the activities that are purportedly authorized by the administrator of the Sarstoon Temash National Park can lawfully be done. In essence the villages on the outside of the Sarstoon Temash National Park just on the outside are saying that - that is their traditional lands that they have customary land titles to those lands and that it is unlawful for the government to give US Capital the right to go in and do drilling on their lands and especially to give permission to do that drilling without consultation and without their free prior and informed consent. Those are essentially the arguments that we put to the court and Mr. Barrow is going to reply tomorrow morning."

GSU Makes Another Major Weed Bust
Last night we told you how the GSU busted a hundred pounds of marijuana in a sting operation, well tonight, the unit is reporting the seizure of 22 pounds of weed in Belize City. It was found yesterday afternoon in a swamp in the Dyke area located off Faber's Road Extension. The unit found an old refrigerator in the swamp, and inside they found a large garbage bag stuffed with 10 small black bags with a combined weight of 1.6 kilograms. About a hundred yards away, the officers came upon a large blue chlorine bucket and inside that they found 65 small black plastic bags weighing a total of 7.4 kilograms. Also inside the same bucket was 1 parcel of compressed high grade weed weighing 1 kilo. All the drugs combined weighed a total of 10 kilos, or 22 pounds. No one was found in the immediate area, but the GSU says it is close to a reputed drug trafficker's residence.

Fired Water Workers Take BWSL to Court
In February, 7News told you about the 7 employees who the Belize Water Services Limited sent home in a purge after emails and letters were circulated around about sex scandals happening within the company. Well, as we told you, 6 of these employees, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo, Journett McKoy, and Mark Menzies, filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court claiming damages for wrongful termination, because the company's administration allegedly fired them without proof. Today, after more than 5 and a half months, that lawsuit began today before Justice Courtney Ashton Abel, and 7News was there. After a short in-chambers session with the attorneys from both sides, Justice Abel announced in open court that he will adjourn the matter until tomorrow to give both sides to make a meaningful attempt at settlement talks. Outside of court, 7News spoke to the attorney of one of the aggrieved employees, and he briefly outlined the employees' case: Kareem Musa, attorney "We sued for wrongful termination and what that entails is a suite that covers damages, it covers loss of salary. For instance, my client had 12 more years until retired. He would have been 62. He has been employed with BWSL for the past 33 years, believe it or not. He has quite a remarkable track record with the company. He was terminated after serving that company well for so many years and there are actually performance appraisals that went in his favor each and every year."

Re-Branding CARICOM
At 40 years old, the entire concept of CARICOM feels a little middle aged, flabby in the middle, dull around the edges, and not sure if it is coming or going. But instead of going through a mid life crisis, the regional organization is re-strategizing and re-branding. The CARICOM Secretariat has embarked on a reform process called "Turning Around CARICOM: Proposals to Restructure the Secretariat." The development of a strategic plan for 2014 - 218 is the centerpiece of this effort, and it means that the secretariat is going to every member country in the region, all 15 of them to solicit ideas from a broad cross section of society. They're making stop number 11 in Belize where today they spoke to the media. Secretary General Irwin Larocque explained that CAIRCOM can no longer be seen as an abstract political entity; the citizens of CARICOM have to feel it and believe in it:.. Secretary General Irwin Larocque "It has to be one that sees the community as being more relevant, as being more responsive, in a timely to the needs to the people on the street. I think the people are not feeling us sufficiently. Why are we doing things of we are not talking about it, if we are not making the persons be aware and feel then it is almost as we are not doing it. Part of our re-branding has to be not only to be relevant but to be seen to be relevant, to be felt."

Amandala Columnist Draws Heavy Fire From Within and Without
In last Friday's Amandala satirical columnist and humorist "Colin bh" wrote at length about the proposed amendments to section 46 of the criminal code. Speaking about rape, Hyde wrote, quote, "the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence." Those remarks have drawn an avalanche of criticism from a number of agencies and from within his own newspaper. The Women's Issues Network, the National Committee for Families and Children, the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Women's Commission all issued releases today condemning the article. The Women's Issues Network release says, quote, "the comments portray the image of women as objects of shame, or as sexual objects. Women are still seen as something that exists primarily for men's gratification... to say that rape of a female by a male is not as heinous as the rape of a male by a male is beyond comprehension for rape is forced penetration and the trauma associated with such an experience is the same for both male and female." END QUOTE.

Did PM Diss His Deputy?
And while Adele dissed Colin, in Los Angeles many are saying the Prime Minister dissed his deputy, GASPAR VEGA. Amateur Video of the PM's town meeting with Belizean Americans on Sunday shows him speaking about corruption at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Here are those remarks:..

WomenÂ’s Political Caucus Reloads
The Women's political caucus has been around, off and on, since 1991 - but decades have passed, and even in the era of the Women's Department and the Women's Commission, there is still only one elected female in the House of Representatives. And so, the women's political caucus has come back on the scene. They-re-launched with an event at the Radisson today where we found out that the mission is the same, but the approach is different:... Dorla Bowman, President - Belize Women's Political Caucus "What do we need to do to change the mindset of the people of Belize so that they can be more understanding and supportive of women? One of the key things within this action plan that we want to explore and implement is changing the mindset of people and that means looking at the root cause of why women don't support, why men don't support women for political office and what is keeping women back from getting into political office. We are going to take it from the primary school level right up."

Belizean Youth Artists Excel In Taiwan
Young Belizean artists have been recognized for their talent in Taiwan's 44th World Schoolchildren Art Exhibit. Children aged six to fifteen from 53 countries were invited to submit their art pieces. Thirty thousand did that, and one Holy Redeemer Student got a bronze medal while 5 others were recognized with select national awards. Today they were honoured with Certificates and medals at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. We found out more:.. H.E. David Wu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize "Last April they sent 12 works of art to Taiwan to participate in the World Children Art Exhibition. Again, this year a very talented Belizean school children won 1 bronze award and 5 selected works. We think this is wonderful because we hope that there are many talented Belizean school children that can have this kind of art work to participate in the international art exhibition." Tasia Sutherland "My particular painting is about 3 girls who got into the principal's office for doing something bad. It's about a lot of children that always gets into trouble and they like to wear short clothes."

National Secondary School Sports Gets Major Boost From Bowen Sponsorship
This afternoon the executive of the National Secondary School Sports Association held a press conference to celebrate the signing of an agreement for sponsorship between the association and the Bowen and Bowen Company for their regional and national secondary school tournaments. The terms of the agreement were revealed and the president of the association spoke about its benefits. Deon Sutherland "We signed an agreement with Bowen and Bowen - a sponsorship agreement to sponsor our national and regional tournaments that are held for 5 disciplines throughout the school year. National Secondary School Association has 4 regions in north, south, central and west and so therefore all these regions, the host school as well the regional executive will be able to benefit from this agreement." "The agreement basically is lends to our beverages; all our drinks are fully sponsored by Bowen and Bowen in terms of what we give to the students and in terms of what we sell for fans. It's a big plus for us. If you look at the dollar value it totally amounts close to $20,000 for the year."

Man Accused Of Touching Teenager Arraigned
53 year-old Merdardo Cocom is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for indecent assault. According to a 15 year-old female, last week Friday, Cocom caressed her chest. As a result, he was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and he was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he was granted bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He must return to court on December 2.

Alleged American Killer Found in Belize
An American accused of murderer was hiding out in Belize. Everett James Morris, who has been charged with murder, has been caught and sent back to the US to stand trial. US media reports say that Morris was found in San Ignacio, and he was arrested after a combined effort from Belize Police officers, US Marshalls, and Interpol. He agreed to turn himself into the American Embassy, and he was flown to Houston last week. Morris is accused of beating 51 year-old Jorge Olivarez to death in the US. Olivarez's body was found on September 10 in San Juan, Texas.

Charley Black Explains Flopped Concert
Dancehall superstar, Charley Black is no stranger to Belize. He has been in and out of the country for the past 4 years performing and has even done several video shoots for his music videos here in Belize. But while he has a strong fan base in Belize, on Saturday night, his concert was a complete flop. Today he is blaming that turnout on his promoters who he claims were not promoting him at all. Today in an interview with Monica Bodden, he explained his disappointment in Saturday night's show, and how he plans on making it up to his fans. Charley Black will be performing at Thirsty Thursday's Bar on Friday night and then on Saturday he heads to Dangriga Town - where he will be performing alongside Sweet Pain Band.

Channel 5

The list of thousands who were approved nationality
On September nineteenth, Elvin Penner was relieved of his appointment as minister of state after credible information landed at the Ministry that he had signed off on a nationality certificate [...]

D.P.P. says she hasn’t seen the police investigation into passport scandal
The passport scandal has dominated the media for weeks, night after night, and tonight there is still more to report. Elvin Penner is back in the country, and is awaiting [...]

Chief Magistrate rules for Gary Seawell to be extradited
Gary Seawell was in Magistrate’s Court today to hear a decision on a request for extradition to the U.S. Gary is the brother of Mark Seawell, and both men have [...]

SATIIM versus U.S. Capital…day one in court
SATIIM, the Mayan communities in the Sarstoon-Temash buffer zone, U.S. Capital Energy and the Government of Belize had their day in court today – or at least the first day, [...]

Should millions of dollars be spent on teachers and public officers or Cayo Northeast?
And tonight’s question is: If the government has millions of dollars in its coffers, should it be spent on: Teachers and public officers or Cayo Northeast? Send your comments and [...]

Activist, Patrick Menzies, attempts a shutdown of schools
Patrick Menzies is a community activist who has aligned himself with the Hispanic evangelical churches in Belize. And using that platform, he has now launched a move for a national [...]

N.T.U.C.B. fiery release at government on Occupational Health and Safety Bill
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize says the government is nonchalant where the safety of employees is concerned. That is the basis for a fiery release sent out over [...]

53 year old man charged for indecent assault of 15 year old
A fifty-three year old man is in trouble after a fifteen year old minor claimed that he rubbed his right hand down her breast last week Friday. When Medardo Cocom [...]

Indian businessman pleads guilty to assaulting female customer
An Indian businessman of Miami Fashion Store in downtown Albert Street also appeared in court. Bhishan Kumar Issrani is accused of hugging a female student inappropriately when she went to [...]

GSU anti-drug operation in city yields 20lbs of weed
In its latest anti-drug operation in the City, the Gang Suppression Unit retrieved over twenty pounds of marijuana. The bust took place on Monday afternoon in the Dyke Area of [...]

Belize Women’s Political Caucus launches a 2-year action plan
Women in public office have been a rarity in Belize’s political landscape when compared to the number of men who have offered themselves for candidacy in municipal and general elections [...]

NSSSA now has Bowen & Bowen as its exclusive sponsor
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association, the governing body for high school athletics in Belize, has joined forces with Crystal Bottling Company after several unsuccessful attempts at forging a productive [...]

Article in Amandala newspaper stirring outrage
There is an uproar tonight among various organizations, including the National Women’s Commission and the Special Envoy for Women and Children, following the publication of an article entitled “Bake It [...]

Belizean students excel in international art competition; one student makes it in the top 3
A ten year old student from Holy Redeemer made to the top three in an international art competition. Tasia Sutherland competed among students from around the globe and her piece [...]

Sacred Heart College invites you to its annual school fair and business expo
This weekend, the Sacred Heart College will be hosting its annual school fair and business expo on its grounds in San Ignacio. The event will feature businesses from throughout the [...]

A regional re-branding campaign by CARICOM
CARICOM has been a fixture within the Caribbean since its establishment in 1973 through the Treaty of Chaguaramas signed by four countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.  While CARICOM is [...]

Jane Usher basketball court and surrounding area gets illuminated
If you take a walk down Jane Usher Boulevard, you will see a difference in the neighborhood.  That’s because the area of the basketball court which is heavily populated has [...]

A sneak peek at From Yes to I Do Season 3
At eight-thirty tonight, season three of the tremendously popular reality show, From Yes to I Do, premieres. In this season, five couples are competing to win an unbelievable wedding which [...]


Choc Wants To Know Which Maya Community Leaders Norwegian Consulted With; Injunction Hearing Against US Capital Energy Starts
Last two weeks Love News shared the details of a press release issued out by Norwegian Cruise Lines in which it says it has the support of 12 Mayan Communities down south in regards to the Harvest Caye Project. In the release, NCL says that in a public meeting, leaders of the 12 Mayan Communities publicly demonstrated their support for the project. But today, spokesperson for the southern Mayan Communities, Greg Choc said that he doesn’t know of any Mayan Leader who attending the said meeting. GREG CHOC “I have been trying to figure out which villages NCL claimed to have consulted or which community leadership NCL has claimed to have consulted; I have found none so far. I really don’t know and that is one of the reasons why, I think it was last week, that I asked that NCL disclose who those community leaders are so that I think a greater discussion can occur among the communities on the proposal of NCL. If there is evidence that the communities, members of each of those 12 communities were to endorse NCL’s proposal, meaning that there was the free primary consent by the communities, affixed their signatures without coercion to a document, then I would be worried but I have seen no evidence to that other than what I have seen in NCL’s press release that they have consulted 12 leaders. The leaders, as I have said before, their mandates come from the communities and a leader can endorse but traditionally, the community will have to endorse. So, while the leader may endorse in principle, for me, the greater mandate has to come from the communities.”

Tension at Government School In Northern Belize
There was tension this morning at Paraiso Government School as a parent was detained by police. Information to LOVE NEWS is that President of Belize CAN Patrick Menzies was at the school to make presentation on the proposed amendment of the rape act. LOVE NEWS understands that Menzies also encouraged parents to don’t send their children to school as a form of protest against the government. A parent who was present for Menzies presentation decided to take her child back home and this is when things got heated. We understand that the principal told the parent that she cannot take her child home because the child was now under the care of the school. The mother refused to comply and it was then that the principal called the police department to intervene. We got in contact with the Corozal district education officer Jamal Lopez who told us the Ministry is still investigating the situation that transpired. Until around 11:30 this morning we understand the mother was being detained by police at the school compound. Just before news time our sources tell us that a crowd of teachers had gathered in front of the school gate and the police department had sent extra policemen to the school. We will have more on this situation in our subsequent news report.

Police In Southern Belize Investigates Road Traffic Accident
Two persons were injured this afternoon in a car accident near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Two persons sustained head and body injuries as a result of a road traffic accident that happened today. Independence Police told Love News that the incident occurred shortly after 12pm near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. Remedial investigations revealed that 26-year-old, Mohammed Fieso and 26-year-old, Josh Paromal Kumar were traveling from Punta Gorda Town towards Independence Village in a green Toyota Forerunner SUV. Upon reaching the mentioned location, the driver of the vehicle who police say they cannot ascertain at this time, lost control of the vehicle and ran off the left side of the road and into a ditch. As a result, Fieso received a deep cut wound to the right side of his head, face and upper arm while the other individual complained of pain to the chest. They were both transported to the Independence Polyclinic and subsequently to the Southern Regional Hospital for further treatment. The vehicle received damage to its front left portion. Police continue their investigation into this latest accident. Reporting for Love News, I am Harry Arzu in Dangriga.”

Deputy PM Agrees with the ‘Hot Bed of Corruption’ Statement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is on a visit to Los Angeles where aside from seeking medical attention for his back, he is also meeting with Belizean Americans. Some of the comments the Prime Minister made at one of the gatherings has caught the attention of many, when he admitted that the Lands Department is quote “a hotbed of corruption”. Today Love News sat down with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega to get his views on the Prime Minister’s comments. GASPAR VEGA “I am the first to agree with the Prime Minister, truthfully. The Prime Minister had spoken of a direct situation and the reason he knows about it is because of me mentioning it to him and the level of frustration we are going through in our ministry. Openly, I have said it over and over again, we have achieved a lot in this ministry but I always say there is more that can be done to be able to get to the level that would be acceptable by all citizens.”

Successful Weekend for GSU
In the early part of 2010, the present administration introduced the Gang Suppression Unit in an effort to combat the rising crime rate particularly in the city at that time. Since then, while the GSU has been labeled as being a rogue unit by certain sectors of society, there is no doubt that they have been crucial in the removal of illegal drugs, weapons and firearms off Belize’s streets. This past weekend, the GSU reported that they had confiscated just under one hundred pounds of marijuana during a sting operation in western Belize. In that operation, two men were detained and those two were arraigned today in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court while one of the men remains at large.

Utility Company Goes To Court After Firing Workers
On May 2, we told you about the lawsuit that was filed against the Belize Water Services Limited. That lawsuit was filed by six former employees of the company who are claiming that they were wrongfully terminated. In their termination letter, each of the workers was told that their post had been made redundant in a restricting exercise BWSL was undergoing. However, the disgruntled former employees told Love in May, that BWSL did not comply to the redundancy and restricting provisions in the governing contracts with the employees. Furthermore, the employees believe that BWSL is using the excuse of redundancy to fire them when the real reason, they say, was that the former employees were involved in the dissemination of a scandalous letter. Kareem Musa, Attorney for Mark Menzies-one of claimants, addressed the media outside the court room this morning.

Magistrate Leaves Attorney ‘Stupefied’ Following Court’s Ruling
Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith handed down a decision this morning that orders the extradition of Gary Seawell to the United States of America. Seawell who is wanted in the US for drug charges and money laundering was captured back in 2010 after a warrant for his arrest was issued in 2007. When he was captured in Esperanza Village, Cayo, Seawell was found in possession of high-power weapons. Since his detention, Seawell has been waiting for the decision of the court. Seawell’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar told the media that the ruling of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith left him in shock. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “Surprise is not the word; the word is shocked; the word is dumbfounded, stupefied, mollified.” LOCAL REPORTER “Can you elaborate as to why you are feeling those particular feelings that you are feeling over this ruling?”


Police Do Not Suspect Foul Play In Death Of French National
Yesterday the badly decomposed body of 73 year old Michellin Nayard, a French retiree living in the village of Ranchito Corozal, was discovered by three of her neighbors. Nayard, who relocated to Belize several years ago, lived alone in this rented house. It was around 11:00 yesterday morning that neighbors became concerned after not seeing her for days, since October 8th to be exact. The fact that a bad stench was coming out of Nayard’s home also raised a red flag. CTV3 News understands that neighbors entered Nayard’s home through the front door which was opened. Her body was found lying on the floor of her bedroom and we understand that the house was ransacked. Yesterday when reporter Victor Castillo visited the scene, the suspicion was that Nayard could have been murdered since a suspicious blue van was seen leaving her yard on the afternoon of October 8th, the last time she was seen alive.


Deon Yorke murdered in the streets of Belize City
Belize City’s latest murder took place late on Friday evening. According to police 28 year old Deon Yorke of Pickstock Street was walking on New Road minutes before midnight, when at the corner with Hyde’s Lane he was approached by a single armed man who shot him twice in...

Two men shot in Belize City on Sunday night
Two men are fortunate to be alive after they were shot at on Sunday night. The shooting also took place shortly before 11:30 in the old capital, on Central American Boulevard. Initial investigation revealed that an eighteen year old and a 26 year old were riding on the boulevard,...

PUP meet the signatory target to trigger recall in Cayo Northeast Constituency
Word coming out of the PUP camp is that the party has acquired or is very close to acquiring the number of signatures required to trigger the recall mechanism in the Cayo Northeast. While, current area rep, Elvin Penner has yet to decide whether he will voluntarily step down...

Autopsy reveals Michael Reynolds died from Third Degree Burns
Last week, we reported on the death of 33 year old Michael Reynolds, whose charred remains were found in his home, in a corridor leading to his bedroom. His body was burned beyond recognition and so a cause of death could not be certified at the time. On Monday,...

Couple die in traffic accident
A couple lost their lives in a traffic accident as they made their way home from a relative’s home going. The accident occurred on Saturday night on the Placencia Road. With more on this tragic incident, here is our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu. Mr. Harry...

Hospital Administrator accused of fraud
We have been following the economic scandal unfolding at the Southern Regional Hospital. The Auditor General was commissioned by the Ministry of Health to conduct an audit at the medical facility after suspicion of irregular activities were reported. The last we told you is that some 189 cheques were...

Stevedores claim they are not properly represented by their union
The Stevedores continue to sing injustice on the part of the representatives of their Union. It is publicly known, that the Stevedores, in late August, pleaded for the resignation of President Antonio Gonzalez and the General Secretary James McFoy of the Christian Workers Union. Dion Pitters and Raymond Rivers...

National Association of Village Councils holds AGM
This past Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan, representatives of 191 village councils and 3 community councils met for the annual general meeting of the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO). The meeting comes after village council elections...

Zamorano University Recruiting Agricultural Students in Belize
Do you, or someone you know aspire a career in the agriculture sector, and is seeking financial aid to pursue an accredited degree in this field? Well we’d encourage you to tune in to this following feature. Currently, representatives from the reputable Zamorano University are...

Prime Minister Barrow Responds to Los Angeles Residents
In the past few days, the PM has met with Belizeans living in Los Angeles, Californa. At one gathering, the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow entertained an open conference with attendees. One person questioned the PM on the type of land issue we have come to know...

Important Health and Satefy Bill…Taking too Long to Hit the Table?
The NTUCB in a press release expressed their sheer rage at the GOB their “…refusal; to bring the Occupational Health and Safety Bill (OSH Bill), to the House of Representatives for its due course of readings and public debates.” According to the press release, “Over the past ten years,...

Harvest for Kids Hits the Record for more Reaching Out
The organization known as Belize Camping Experience has made waves with its innovative approach to getting at-risk youth involved in making a difference in their lives, both physically and spiritually. On the 12th of this month, at Banana Bank in Cayo, they demonstrated that approach...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Norwegian Cruise Line Is Hiring
The recruitment process for jobs on board NCL is slated to start in a few days!


Belize and US authorities have confirmed to Amandala that a Texan who was wanted for a homicide in Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, but who had been staying in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, has been flown back to the USA to face charges there. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez confirmed to Amandala that the American, who has been identified as Everett James Morris, 45, turned himself in to the US Embassy in Belize after he heard that he was being sought by law enforcement authorities. San Ignacio police facilitated the process, Martinez said. A spokesperson of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office told our newspaper today that Morris was expected to arrive in Hidalgo today to face charges for the homicide of Jorge Rodriguez Olivarez, 51, who was reportedly beaten to death with a blunt object.

On top of the grief they’re going through as they mourn the death of their mother, Dolores Roches, 68, the Roches family of the Lakeland area of Dangriga is now grappling with two more deaths which occurred after their mother was buried on Saturday at the Dangriga Cemetery. Mark Roches, 48, and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Domingo, 34, who both travelled from Seine Bight, where they lived, to bury his mother in Dangriga, are both dead. They were travelling back to Seine Bight in the pan of a pickup truck with three other people, when the truck became involved in a traffic accident. They were thrown out of the back of the truck, and suffered massive head and body injuries that caused them to die almost immediately. Three other people were in the cab of the pickup, including the driver, but they did not suffer any serious injury.

Recently, there has been great public uproar about the irregularities within the Immigration Department that have been exposed throughout the years, the last being the embarrassing immigration passport scandal involving ex-Minister of State, Hon. Elvin Penner, which erupted over the past month. Hon. Penner was fired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow after the corruption charge was brought to his attention, and after rallying to Penner’s corner in the weeks immediately after the scandal exploded into the public’s consciousness, PM Barrow had to ask the embattled Cayo North East area representative last week to resign from the UDP or the House of Representatives. Well, the Immigration Department appears to have company in its corrupt ways – it has been confirmed, by no less a personage than PM Barrow himself, that the Lands Department may be just as corrupt – a belief that has been held by many Belizean citizens because of the unbelievable problems they’ve had in dealing with the department over the years.

At around 12:00 a.m. this past Saturday, October 19, 2013, two shots were heard in the vicinity of Hydes Lane, at its junction with New Road, which happens to be just one block away from the Queen Street Police Station. Moments later, 28-year old Deon Yorke, better known as “Diddy”, of #13 Pickstock Street, Belize City, was seen lying on the ground, in the middle of the intersection, apparently dead. Shortly after, police arrived at the scene and saw Yorke suffering from two gunshot wounds, which had been inflicted by an unknown assailant. Police immediately took the victim to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where, unfortunately, he died while receiving treatment for his injuries. Frantic and distressing screams and shrieks echoed into the night as Yorke’s neighbors and relatives learned of his death.

The land rights dispute between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo continues unresolved, and tomorrow Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana is scheduled to commence hearing at 11:00 a.m. in the case lodged by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and four Maya communities adjacent to the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. The case was lodged against the Government of Belize in a challenge to a decision to grant US Capital Energy permission to drill in the area, which the claimants deem to be ancestral lands, without consulting them. The Supreme Court of Belize and the Court of Appeal have both declared that Maya customary land rights exist in Southern Belize; however, there is now a dispute over how those rights are to be enforced. In July, SATIIM, supported by the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), filed a court claim, challenging the lawfulness of the Barrow administration’s decision to permit drilling inside the protected area—a move which they said violates Maya customary land rights as well as laws governing activities that can be carried out in a national park.

Reports to Amandala suggest that the beleaguered Cayo Northeast area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner, has returned to the country after he purportedly went to Guatemala to receive medical attention for “blinding headaches and hypertension.” However, Penner told the media that he believes that the time is not right to make any public statements as yet. Last week Tuesday, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow “invited” Penner to resign from his post as area representative, and to also resign from the United Democratic Party – a request that has been categorically denied by Penner, who said in a telephone interview last week that he will meet with “his people” this week before making a decision. Penner said that he hopes to complete his consultations in two weeks, after which he expects to meet with Prime Minister Barrow to deliver his decision in person. Barrow left the country last Wednesday for fundraisers in Los Angeles, and is not expected back in the country until this Friday, October 25.

Official game details are not yet in, but our reliable sources indicate that there were 3 shutouts, all low scores, in all 3 Saturday night games in Week 4 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014 this past weekend. And the standings now show Belize Defence Force (BDF) FC at the top of the standings with an impeccable 3-0 record. Meanwhile, pre-season favorite and defending champion Police United FC find themselves still winless after 3 outings. (See standings at bottom.) Due to the uneven number of teams in the competition, causing one team to “rest” each weekend, the standings have to be viewed with this fact in mind. Three teams have already played 4 games, while the other four teams, including Police, BDF, Verdes and San Ignacio United, have played only 3, and thus each have a game “in hand” that could change the standings picture significantly. But, neither Police, Verdes or San Ignacio can catch BDF with a victory, and BDF still has a game in hand, so they are presently in a very good position. But the season is still young, and no team is yet “out of it.”

Yesterday, the Belize Cycling Association (BCA) issued a press release stating that cyclist Byron Pope had done well enough at the Caribbean Cycling Championship in Curacao over the past weekend to qualify for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico. Two female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley, and five male cyclists – Byron Pope, Edgar “Nissan” Arana, Joel Borland, David Henderson, Jr., and Robert Liam Stewart represented Belize at the Caribbean Championship in the ITT (Individual Time Trial) and the Road Race. The BCA’s release was jubilant, declaring “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” It continued: “…There were eight (8) slots available for countries to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Games… Our Byron Pope was able to finish in 10th place overall in the road race and get the eighth and final qualifying slot.” (66 cyclists finished the male road race.)

The Alburn Rivero 20/20 Cricket Competition, originally scheduled to open in Double Head Cabbage on October 12, finally kicked off this past Saturday, October 19, in Burrell Boom Village. Nevertheless, on October 12, the promised 2012 season trophies, sponsored by SMART, were handed over to champions Excellence of Double Head Cabbage and sub-champs Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores; but the 20/20 games had to be postponed due to the pitch being too wet in Double Head. In any event, Excellence, whose captain Kene Broaster will reportedly not be returning from Los Angeles until January of next year, had elected not to participate in the 20/20, so the tournament was moved this past weekend to Burrell Boom instead. Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA) Development Officer Conway Young reported on the games played this past Saturday, October 19, in the opening round of the Alburn Rivero 20/20, which follows a double-elimination format (teams drop out after losing two games).

In Belize’s culture and value system, it is apparent that we now rate people according to the amount of money they have and according to their pay scale. Simply put, the more money you have and earn, the more prestige you have. The contradiction is that ours is a society which is always boasting about how much we believe in God and how Christian we are. The fact of the matter is that the Christ of the New Testament was very much a man of austerity, committed his only public act of violence against the bankers of his time, and specifically declared that it was very difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. In our lifetime, Belize has changed a great deal. In the old days our people valued courage, dignity, ability, integrity, class, style and other qualities more than we rated money. Why this was so, and why this has changed, we can’t really say. For sure the influence of the United States, which began increasing by leaps and bounds after Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and self-government in 1964, has contributed to Belize’s modern materialism, hedonism, and love of money. We live just 600 miles from the largest economy and the most dominant culture in the world, and we have become Americanized.

It’s difficult for a Creole to talk about people and things Garifuna. The history between the two groups of black people is so delicate. Myself, in the beginning I had thought I could discuss matters freely in these pages, because I had come out of the Roman Catholic educational stream here, most Garifuna in Belize being Roman Catholics, and because the UBAD organization I led had emphasized the African ancestral commonalities between the two groups, or tribes. At the time of Dr. Ted Aranda’s removal or resignation as UDP Leader in late 1982, and his subsequent political moves in 1983, however, there was an extraordinary atmosphere, and my sense was that I could not say what I thought about this situation. (Dr. Aranda had become the first Garifuna leader of a major political party in late 1979.) As a relatively educated nationalist, I am much aware of how dangerous tribalism and ethnicity have been in the post-colonial Third World. A terrible civil war was raging in Nigeria when I was going to school at Dartmouth, and I remember that there were two Dartmouth students from Nigeria who did not speak to each other as a result of that war. One was Saleh Jibril, and I believe he was Muslim, and a non-Ibo, which is to say, he was either Hausa, Fulani or Yoruba, or some mixture thereof. The other Nigerian was a bearded, post-graduate engineering student by the name of Joseph Mhoude, who was definitely an Ibo.

October has been declared Cancer Awareness Month, and all are encouraged to wear pink to show solidarity with those who are battling cancer, and to remember those who have died due to the disease. However, according to herbalist Harry Guy, 65, those suffering with HIV/AIDS and various types of cancer can have hope. Guy, a San Ignacio resident, says he has formulas and remedies that put full-blown AIDS and cancers into remission and enable those struggling with these diseases to live normal, healthy lives after his treatments. And these (cancer and AIDS) are just two of the ailments that he says he can address and alleviate. In an interview today with Amandala, Guy said that he has been a herbalist since 1992, and that since that time he has assisted hundreds of people suffering with cancer and HIV/AIDS, among many other diseases, with tremendous success. For those who have accessed his remedies promptly after early detection of HIV or cancer, treatments are no longer than 3 months. In the case of HIV, after 6 weeks a blood test is carried out to assess the effect of the treatment and after 12 weeks a final blood test is conducted. He said that terminal cancers are hard to cure, and treatment periods usually extend to two years, but there are many with terminal cancer, he said, whom he has assisted to live healthy lives. He said, however, that patients are urged to seek treatment before cancer reaches the terminal stage.

Careful observations and analysis of development strategies that have been implemented by successive PUP and UDP administrations for southern Belize reveal a distinct underlying colonially-rooted bias that has persistently excluded Belizean Maya, Garifuna and black Creole residents from becoming integral players and substantial beneficiaries of the resources in their area. Such deeply rooted bias is revealed through the dynamics of race and ethnicity, political and economic interests of the oligarchy, narrow city-centric view of national development and the behavior of investors in relation to state actors and the people. Consequently, despite the fact that southern Belize and particularly the Stann Creek District has the highest concentration of major industries (e.g. citrus, banana, aquaculture, tourism) compared to all other districts, overall investments have shown an exclusion of a significant percentage of the native local population. For example, unlike the sugar industry in the north where small farmers participate and benefit, the banana industry has long ago obliterated small farmer participation. The industry is controlled by eight growers who own a combined 7,000 acres of farms that thrive on incentives and cheap labor imported from across the border.

A peaceful protest was held in front of the District Education Center in Punta Gorda Town this morning. Amandala understands that the protest was conducted in order to raise public awareness about a particular situation involving a teacher from Julian Cho Technical High School in that district, who has been prevented from obtaining an extension on his teaching license. Apparently, the teacher, who is also head of the Science Department, Mr. Abdullah Adebara, a Nigerian-born, who has taught at the school for 10 years, is unable to renew his passport, therefore he has not been given an opportunity to renew his work permit.

Post-mortem indicates that he was killed by flames. A post-mortem conducted on the charred remains of Michael Reynolds, 33, of Sister Benedict Street, of the Antelope Street Extension area, certified the cause of his death as “asphyxia by mechanical aspiration due to third degree burns by dry heat.” The autopsy was conducted by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, police coroner, on Friday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Police reports are that at about 2:26 a.m. on Friday, the charred remains of Reynolds were recovered from the floor of his house, a plywood structure measuring 20 feet by 14 feet and elevated approximately 3 feet off the ground, which was completely destroyed by fire.

A man is dead one week after a vehicle crashed into him at the junction of the Fresh Pond and the Boom Hattieville Roads, while he was travelling on a motorcycle, at about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. Fabian Martinez, a Ladyville resident, died at about 12.35 a.m. Monday, October 21, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he had been fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit. Police reports are that Martinez was travelling on a motorcycle from Ladyville to Fresh Pond when, upon reaching the Fresh Pond junction with the Boom Hattieville Road, an SUV hit him, causing him to receive massive head and body injuries. The driver of the SUV told police that he crashed into the motorcycle because the driver turned right without indicating.

Mexico’s National Security Commission reported on Friday that they had rescued 44 people who were kidnapped from a bus terminal in Reynosa Mexico, at the US border—among them a Belizean national whose name has yet to be released. Amandala contacted the Mexican Embassy in Belize, Belize Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more details, but none of them was able to provide us any. In a press release, Mexican authorities report that the persons, who were tricked into thinking they were being taken to a safe house, were being held hostage inside a home at Reynosa, Tamaulipas, while their captors tried to negotiate money from their relatives for their release. However, police on patrol in the area were alerted to the situation by a woman who began screaming for help.

— by Phillip de la Fuente Dear Editor, I dreamt my beautiful Belize had some leaders who were not at all interested in the development or progress of its people. I dreamt we had a leader who was afraid to protect or demarcate our border, another leader who was allowing our rosewood to be cut down, another leader doing the exporting of the rosewood, and leaders giving away our oil, and islands, and lands, and culture, and heritage. One leader, quien no esta manchando su mano, but allowing these things to happen. The supervisory committee, who oversees them all, the ethics and integrity committee, sees nothing wrong with anything. Remember, the aims and objectives of the party and government (sections 8,11,12,13) clearly state what they should be doing.

— by Colin B. Hyde (Colin bh) Dear Editor, I have been forwarded two correspondences (one from a male and one from a female) which declare that they found one of my articles last week, “Bake It Again” (to be specific), to be distasteful. I am of course concerned. I do not write with intent to offend anyone and I am especially unhappy when I hear of any female aggrieved by my opinions, or anything I did, for that matter. In respect of the article, Bake It Again, I would love to respond, but I really don’t know – to what? Was my entire article distasteful? Was half of it distasteful? Was it a line or two? Until such time that I am apprised of exactly what the problem is, allow me to say this: I have my failures in this world, but I like to think that the women who know or have met me consider me to be extremely respectful, and very caring.

This morning, 19-year-old Stacey Jones, an unemployed resident of #10 Victoria Street in Belize City, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court after she allegedly injured another female in an early morning stabbing incident on October 11, 2013, on North Front Street in Belize City. Jones, who was unrepresented, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where she was read three charges. Jones was charged with one count of attempted murder, one count of grievous harm, and one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Acteshia Nunez.

Two men are alive after they were fired upon and hit while riding two separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard towards the Deep Water Port at about 11:35 Sunday night in front of Kings Store. Elroy Perdomo, 18, of Kraal Road, was shot in his buttocks and his ankle, while Steven Lambey, 26, of Reggae Street, was shot in the right side of the abdomen and the left calf. They were both taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were treated for the injuries, and Perdomo was later released after being placed on observation. The other man, Steven Lambey, has been admitted to ward, where he is recovering, in a serious but stable condition.

Three men from Corozal have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of robbery, possession of stolen goods, aggravated assault, possession of prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license. Corozal Police charged that Keith Bennett, 23, of Vivas Layout, Corozal; Yasmin Monima, 18, of Port Saul area, Corozal Town; and a minor, 16, also of Vivas Layout, were the three robbers who went into a Chinese store in Cristo Rey, Corozal, at about 2:30 Thursday afternoon, pistol-whipped the head of the storeowner, then stole over $2,000 in cash and goods, before escaping. Police, who responded quickly to reports of the crime, said that they captured Keith Bennett, who was armed with a pistol, in the area. Bennett then led them to an area in a cane field in the Patchakan area, where he handed over a sawed-off shotgun, which was identified as one of the guns used during the robbery. The other men were also captured on the Patchakan Road.

One pleaded guilty and was fined over $9,000, while the other three saw their charges withdrawn. A total of 431 undersized lobsters, otherwise known as “crayfish”, were confiscated by Fisheries Department officials at a fishing camp, south of Caye Chapel, which led to the arrest and detention of 4 well-known fishermen. They are 50-year-old Luigi Marin, of #15 3rd Street in the Kings Park area of Belize City; Gerald Foreman, 24, of #3 Pinks Alley in Belize City; Hubert Palacio, 30, of a Perez Road Address in Ladyville; and Mark A. Sewell, 43, a fisherman/watchman of #182 Vista Del Mar Area, also in Ladyville. The men are all lobster trap fishermen from the area south of Caye Chapel, said Fisheries Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa. According to Gamboa, there have been a number of encounters with persons in that area, but finally, they have been able to make an arrest and carry out the subsequent confiscation of undersized lobsters. He told Amandala that they received a tip from a member of the public on Tuesday, after which they launched a joint operation with the Gang Suppression Unit and headed out to South Caye Chapel at around 9:00 or 10:00 Tuesday night. Upon reaching one of the fishing camps on the island, Gamboa said, “We searched the premises and were able to find two iceboxes; one was partially filled, and the other just had a couple lobsters. After the officers’ procedure of weighing each individual [lobster], we ended up with four hundred and thirty-one undersized lobsters.”

Occasionally, law enforcement officers have been caught on the wrong side of the law. One such case occurred late last month, and today the accused officer was made to face charges at the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City. 28-year-old police constable Ronald Sutherland was slapped with three criminal charges after allegedly abusing his common-law wife. Tanisha Ortiz, of a Police Street address in Belize City, made a report to the police on September 26, 2013, in which she stated that Sutherland, who is her common-law husband, assaulted her with a machete, causing a wound, and also threatened her life after the two got into an altercation at her Police Street home.

A Belizean woman has been arrested and charged with theft by Chetumal police after she allegedly was caught stealing liquor and clothes at the Plaza de America Shopping Mall, and the Melody Clothing Store in Chetumal on Thursday. The woman, identified as Shirley Ardeth Arnold (also known as Shirley Lambey), 34, an unemployed Belizean, has been detained at a Chetumal Police Station, and is waiting to be taken to court on the charges. According to Friday’s edition of the Diario de Chetumal, an online Mexican newspaper, Arnold was arrested by the State Preventive Police in Chetumal after she was caught stealing inside a convenience store located at Plaza de America, after allegedly committing the same offense at Melody, on the same day.

Waller had initially pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, where his mother and stepfather were also charged This afternoon, Albert Waller, 34, a resident of #188 Neal Pen Road, changed his initial not guilty plea to guilty after the court prosecutor informed the court that his guilty plea to the lesser charge of drug possession would not be accepted. On July 4, 2013, members of the Gang Suppression Unit went to the home of Waller with a search warrant to search his house and yard for drugs. Present at the time of the search were Waller, his mother, Cherry Mae Flowers, 55, and her husband, Cecil Flowers, 60. When police searched under the house, they found a black plastic bag which contained suspected cannabis. Another small amount was found on Cecil Flowers, for which he was charged with drug possession.

The judge also recommended that he be reinstated as a police officer. The long-awaited sentencing of a former police constable, Burton Caliz, 30, was finally delivered, and amounted to a fine in lieu of further jail time, and a recommendation for his reinstatement in the Belize Police Department. The sentencing took place in the Supreme Court in Belize City in front of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez. Caliz had been charged for the manslaughter of San Pedro resident, Leroy Pilgrim. He, Caliz, was found guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of Pilgrim, and after waiting to hear his fate for over two weeks, he left the court smiling, since he was fined $3,000 instead of being given a custodial sentence, which would have meant no more than 5 years behind bars. The fine was ordered to be paid by January of 2014.


“Above the Clouds” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I slept like a baby (or maybe I didn’t? Well I didn’t wake up crying. Or needing to be changed. Or a feed. So why do people use this expression to describe a good sleep?) on our first night in our new home. OK, so we are currently living in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment whilst the First and Second Floors get finished (still waiting for three toilets to arrive (one for the apartment and the other two for Rose’s and my bathroom), the remaining door locks to be fitted, the closets to be finished (the larger bedroom in the apartment, the bedroom on the First Floor (Rose’s handicraft room) and mine) and the general snagging and tidy up of our lot. But we don’t care too much because we are in. I wasn’t up as early this morning (told you I slept like a baby) but I was out on the front step (chose a different location to yesterday) with my mug of coffee and the iPad just before 05.00 hours. I mention the step because until we get patio chairs (must get around to placing the Miami shipment order today!) steps are likely to be what I sit on when I venture outside. It’s a hard life!

Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Rises From the Devastating Fire with Miraculous Speed
Less than 2 months later, the turn around is nothing short of miraculous. Ramon’s Village brought in construction companies and a small village of almost 150 workers to rebuild at lightening speeds. I took a look around yesterday and, after a month away from San Pedro, I really could not believe the progress. Take a look. A HUGE push to open for “the season”. First pictures from the beach side where Pineapples Restaurant has been re-opened (in a MUCH smaller way since the kitchen totally burned to the ground) for over a month.

Chaa Creek Welcomes New US Ambassador to Belize
Carlos Roberto Moreno has just been confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Belize by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what the owners of the of the Lodge at Chaa Creek call welcome news with positive benefits for Belize. “Ever since receiving news of President Obama’s nomination of Mr Moreno last July we have been following the news closely and waiting for confirmation,” Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said, “So it’s certainly good news to hear that his nomination has been confirmed. “He sounds ideal for the position,” Ms Fleming added. President Obama tapped Carlos Roberto Moreno, a former federal district judge who also served on California’s state Supreme Court, for the Belize ambassadorship last July. In the same announcement, Obama nominated Mark Childress as U.S. envoy to Tanzania, and had this to say about both men; “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Tek Batty Wedding stirs controversy in Belize
Several hundred fundamentalist Christians calling themselves Belize Overeaction are today preparing to protest a heterosexual marriage due to what they consider to be a subversive move to promote the gay agenda. According to one of Belize Overreaction’s leaders, Pastor Scott Squirm, reliable information has been received that homosexuals in Belize are about to use traditional marriage to legalize sodomy. “I was praying over the whole issue of marriage and asking the Lord to strike fear into the hearts of people who think marriage should be for anyone other than good Christian folk of opposite sexes” Squirm claims, “when Jesus Himself told me about a homosexual abomination that was about to go down in our God fearing Christian nation!” The abomination Squirm is referring to is the pending nuptials of Florita Tek and Leopold Batty, planned for this weekend in the nation’s capital of Belmopan. “NOT ON OUR WATCH!! NO SIR-REE!!!” declared Squirm, using FULL CAPS and no less than SIX exclamation points to emphasize exactly how serious this matter is to the moral fabric of Belize. “We are mobilizing all self appointed leaders, all unelected moral arbiters, and any Christian that fits in to our narrowly defined Body of Christ to join us in putting a stop to latest attempt to force the gay agenda on our heterosexual fundamentalist Christian nation!!!”

Touring Tikal, Guatemala with David Meerman Scott
Last year, I had the opportunity of touring Tikal with Marketing Guru David Meerman Scott , author of the bestselling book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”. I had invited David to Belize to deliver a talk on the Future of Internet Marketing to tourism stakeholders after reading his book in an SEO course that I attended in the US the previous year. But David didn’t only want to educate Belizean marketers about his books; he was also interested in knowing how our Marketing Department at Chaa Creek used his ideas to market Belize and our products so I recommended that he stay at our eco resort to satisfy his curiosity. (see: Even though Tikal is in Guatemala, it is one of the most popular tours that we sell so I convinced him that we should definitely explore this ancient Maya city together. David was excited! His excitement had to do with the fact that Guatemala would become his 72nd country to visit in the world.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Lawsy Linguine fer Acoupla
One-dish pasta recipes a'havin bee makin t'rounds un pinterest resantlee. Mos serve fer ta six…an' since thar air jes acoupla o'us fer mos meels…I deecided ta try a paret down vershun resantlee. My husban' is wunderin wen I will be servin it agin! Hoe much simpl'r a'ken it git…thun throwin everthang into one pot an' a'havin it un t'abull a shert wile lat'r?

Pumpkin coffee cake is a purrfeck recipe fer a partee
1 /2 cup butt'r 1 1/4 cup sugar 1 teespoon vanilla 4 aigs, 1 beete 2 cups flour 1 teespoon bakyun' sody 1 teespoon bakyun' powd'r 1 cup sour creem 16-ounce. a'ken pumpkin (1 3/4 cup) 1 teespoon pumpkin pie spice

On Vacation at El Secreto Resort
11 miles north of San Pedro Town on a spectacular and deserted stretch of beach with white sand and palms you will find El Secreto luxury beachfront resort. I wish I could say we were going on vacation, but it is volunteer work that brings us to this wonderful place. Over the next 2 days, El Secreto is having 25 staff trained in first aid and making Ambergris Caye a little bit safer. Jermaine, Shirley and I headed out on the 6:30 am water taxi to the last stop which is 8 miles north, after that Ken had arranged for the El Secreto boat to pick us up and bring us to the resort. When we arrived they had us settle into our room and then we got right to the business at hand training the group. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the course and as I watched I noticed people were asking questions and Jermain was making sure that everyone was doing their practice sessions correctly. Having attended many first aid classes, I can totally see why practice makes perfect and I do believe that it does take more than one course for some to get it right as there is so much to learn. I cannot wait till we start offering refresher courses so that everyone who has been trained can keep practicing and really be able to refine their skills.

Placencia’s Best Food Spots
Placencia isn’t only known for it’s nice beaches and great bars, it’s one of those places that pairs fine dining and hearty meals surprisingly well. One evening you can be having a luxurious dinner at an upscale restaurant and the next day you can be sitting under a shack on the beach and have the best breakfast you’ve ever had. You pretty much can equally enjoy each food experience and feel like a winner. Below are 5 of my favourite food spots in Placencia.

"Bake It Again" : Commentary In Belize's Leading Newspaper Condoning RAPE
On October 20, 2013 a commentary in one of Belize's leading newspapers, The Amandala (print edition only), was published under the heading "Bake It Again" by Colin BH. The statements made in this article condone the culture of rape and violence against women and girls in Belize and everywhere in the world. In my opinion, this is one of the worse editorial decisions I have ever seen in any of the major newspapers in Belize. Simply put, this is an endorsement of the rape and blaming of women and girls who are raped; rape is a violent crime and perpetrators everywhere should be punished.

International Sources

Start-Up Reinvents the Bicycle Wheel
It’s rare that a company comes along and reinvents the wheel, but it looks like that is about to happen. Superpedestrian, a start-up in Boston, announced on Monday that it has received $2.1 million in financing to help build a wheel that transforms some standard bicycles into hybrid e-bikes. The product, the Copenhagen Wheel, is a design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory. The original goal of the wheel was to entice more people to more bicycles in large cities in lieu of cars by giving them help from a motor. While the new wheel is still round, it has technology that makes it different from most normal bike wheels. The Copenhagen Wheel replaces the rear wheel of a bicycle. It includes a motor powered by a built-in battery and sensors. When someone pedals with the new wheel in place, the bike uses sensors and an app on a smartphone to measure the amount of effort the rider is putting into each pedal. It then offers an additional boost when necessary. One of the most interesting components of the new wheel is that the rider doesn’t need to tell the bike when help is necessary, the wheel just figures it out using the sensors and gives the bike a push. “Riding on a flat surface, or up a hill, will feel exactly the same,” Mr. Biderman said.

GOP asked ex-fugitive McAfee to testify on ObamaCare website
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce wanted to speak with John McAfee, the technology pioneer who last year fled a murder investigation in Belize, as part of their investigation into the flawed ObamaCare website, according to emails obtained by CNBC. Sean Hayes, who serves as counsel for the committee, apparently reached out to Francois Garcia, an attorney for McAfee last week. "Given the failures of, and Mr. McAfee's expertise, I was hoping he might be able to discuss his views with staff on the hill," Hayes wrote, according to the CNBC emails. "It would be an informal discussion: we would take notes but these would not be for attribution, it would mainly guide our oversight and review of the program."

Caribbean Export launches trade networks
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network (N-TIN) at the Radisson Hotel, Belize on October 11. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region-wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a N-TIN. The other countries include T&T, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname, and Jamaica. Over the past year the agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs.

Reefs, Rainforests & Really Big Fish: Belize in 12 Days
Ready to get up close and personal with a whale shark, the world’s largest fish? If you answered yes, this itinerary’s for you. Over the course of 12 days, you’ll explore Belize’s wild jungles (expect ancient ruins, expansive caves, and plenty of howler monkeys) before setting out for the pretty Placencia beach, the incredible Belize barrier reef, and an area known as Gladden Spit, where whale sharks appear each year from April to June. Plan to snorkel or scuba dive alongside these gentle giants for an experience you won’t soon forget. Day 1: Arrive at the Belize City airport. Visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary (a conservation project dedicated to preserving black howler monkey habitat) and the archaeological site of Altun Ha, a once-vital trade hub for the ancient Maya. Afterward, transfer to the Cayo District and Chaa Creek, a luxury resort and nature reserve in a pristine rainforest setting.

October 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Guest Editorial: This Neverending Immigration Scandal
I wrote the note below a few days ago because I needed to express what I was feeling as a Belizean about the latest manifestation of corruption in the immigration department. This business of selling our identity for a metaphorical thirty pieces of silver must come to an end once and for all. It has gone on for far too long in multiple ways through multiple governments and has hurt the country immeasurably. Yesterday morning, I listened as the Prime Minister disavowed former Minister Penner (whom he had previously fired after learning about Citizen Kim) and expressed his desire that Penner resign his position as a representative in the House, stating essentially that the UDP was done with Penner. It was a big step for the leader of a country in which political calculations almost always outweigh thoughts of what’s best for the nation in the minds of those who run her affairs. In that context, the PM is to be commended for walking away and risking further narrowing of an already narrow majority of House seats. But it isn’t enough. Penner hasn’t been punished nearly enough to either learn a lesson or to serve as a deterrent to others who would follow his example.

The Belize Police Department reports a decrease in major crime in 2013
The Belize Police Department has released the latest crime statistic, reporting a slight decrease in crime for 2013 as compared to 2012, and an increase in arrests for the year. In the months of January to September of 2012, a total of 2,070 crimes were reports as compared to 1,845 that have been reported from January to September 2013. The numbers show that major crimes have decreased by an estimated 11%, and has fallen is all districts except Stann Creek and Toledo. Those districts experienced a rise in major crime.

Ambergris Today

Erick Santizo Attends International Course for Physical Education Teachers
San Pedro High School’s Biology Teacher/Volleyball Coach, 22 year-old, Erick Santizo attended a four day International Course for Physical Education Teachers in Tortola, British Virgin Islands from Friday, October 4, 2013 to Wednesday, October 9, 2013. The International Course for Physical Education Teachers was held under the auspices of The North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Confederation through the Regional Development Center in Dominican Republic. There were 21 teachers who finished the course, hailing from Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Curazao, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & Grenadines and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Saga Halloween Spooktacular
Saga Howl-o-Ween Spooktacular bring out the entire family and pets for a fun filled day at BC's Bar on Sunday, October 27, 2013. There will be lots to eat and drink! Great Raffles and Live Music! Pet Costume Competition at 2:30pm Prizes for Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Best Couple (Pet and Owner) and Most Original! Don't Miss Out!

Pic of the Week: Monster Lobsters in Belize
They do exist! We have posted pictures of these giant lobsters on our Flashback posts and thought that they were a thing of the past due to overfishing. But Jody Leslie hit the jackpot when he went fishing last week and came back home with these two Monster Lobsters, as he called them. You don't need more than one to fill up your plate or belly!

Foreva Fancy Holds Second Annual Fashion Show
Foreva Fancy High Street Fashion Boutique in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, held its second annual exclusive fashion show on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at Kama Lounge where 18 local models showcased the latest in high street fashion for 2013. Belize City television personality Indira Craig was host to the fashion show at the ultra posh Kama Lounge. Those in attendance were treated with a spectacular runway show that showcased the newly stocked clothes of the island boutique. The final segment of the show highlighted the theme of the rave after party which followed the runway presentations. It was an evening of high fashion, entertainment and beautiful models.

The Hot Ducunu With a Hot Jingle!
"Dorian’s Angels" are always on the lookout for the latest buzz in town! This week we bring to you the ever-popular “Hot Ducunu”! That’s right this delicious Belizean treat is hitting the streets, and the tables, of La Isla Bonita with a bang! Most street vendors have a horn or bell announcing their way down the streets of town so that one can rush to buy their delicious treats, but this particular island character has quite an interesting jingle that gets stuck in your head. Mark Anthony Fitzgibbon, most commonly known as “Soft and Tender”, sings his jingle down the street with much enthusiasm and delight. From the smallest child to the oldest adult, everyone knows the jingle “Hot Du Cu Nu – Hot Tamalitos”! For those of you who don’t know what a Ducunu is, let me explain! This is a tamalito made of corn and is rich in flavor. Ingredients include fresh onion, coconut milk (or evaporated milk), butter or vegetable oil and salt. The corn is husked and the greener leaves are used to wrap the tamal. All the ingredients are blended together and placed on the green leaves and placed upright on a pot and but to boil. The dish is usually eaten as is or accompanied with delicious stew chicken.

5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Blogging about Belize
I started blogging on January 3rd 2010 as part of my New Year’s resolutions. I had decided that I wanted to improve my writing and was searching for a place to share my thoughts. For the first two years I wrote on a account and later graduated to host my own blog at Today I’ll share a few lessons I’ve learned since I started blogging with the hope that more people in the Belize tourism industry write about Belize and work together to generate a bigger buzz that will benefit everyone. 1. You don’t need to be an excellent writer to get started Don’t let anyone tell you that your writing isn’t good enough for you to blog. However, I’m not saying that you will write as if you’re sending text messages with pals who can finish your sentences. I remember after a year of blogging i went back to my first posts and had a good laugh at all the mistakes I made; writing constantly improved my writing significantly.

Misc Belizean Sources

10th Annual Saga HS Halloween Party
Are you ready for a barking good time? Join Saga Humane Society this Sunday for the BEST party of the year. Sunday Oct. 27 11am-4pm at BC's on the beach. There will be games, raffles, silent auction, food and laughter.

In many of my articles I focus on suggesting urgent changes that should/could be made to Belize’s Education system. I also encourage Education policymakers and educators to stop living in the past, and start adapting teaching methods that are more in line with 21st Century ways of working, learning, and living. However, I realize that being human we tend to be very sensitive, and my repeated promptings, i.e. “we should or should not” and “let us or let us not”, may eventually end up annoying the very people who the promptings are meant to inspire and/or stir to action. Therefore, this week’s article focuses on highlighting positive actions that are/can be taken by many parents and educators in Belize who work everyday with young people. Stressing the positive to our Youth, through our actions, is most effective, and provides them with memorable consequences and lessons that can help them grow and mature. Parents and educators who make concerted efforts everyday to provide positive examples, at home and at school, for young people to follow are Belize’s greatest heroes.

Lower cost insurance for low-income Belizeans
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 lowincome 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.

Several STOP signs were placed in the San Pablo Area and the D.F.C. Area and Hurricane Awareness signs were placed downtown.

Metal Haven Bash Tickets
Metal Haven concert tickets go on sale this week. Ascenthium, No Te Creo, Emendo, Lisergia, and As Moonlight Falls will be rocking Benque on November 2nd. "Tickets go on sale this week! they will be sold at Corozal, Orange Walk , Belize city, Belmopan and Cayo! Updates on the locations will come this week! Here's an idea of how the tickets will look! Remember its $25 before $30 at the door"

Wildlife Medicine in Cayo
Medicine and Conservation in the Tropics sounds like a great course, and New Mexico State University is offering it to their students, who'll get 3 hours of credit for the class. Students will learn Wildlife Medicine at the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, and have trips to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, the Belize Zoo, and Xunantuich. "There's a Wildlife Medicine in Belize class over spring break! Check out this flyer here and if you're interested contact Dr. Tim Ross at"

Cayo Highlighted in Brickell Magazine
Cayo and the San Ignacio Resort Hotel really steal the article that just came out in Brickell magazine. The article, Breathtakingly Belize, starts on page 130. Oddly, they didn't post many pictures of Cayo, instead going for the overused sea shots, but they do have the SIRH and Cahal Pech. "Adventure reigns in this part of the country and I learned a lot on this leg of the trip about The Great Outdoors. The most amusing being that male iguanas have 2 penises; the most useful that bags of water on a table will keep the flies away; and the saddest that the average lifespan of butterflies is less than a month...but at least they’re drunk on nectar the whole time! A brief jaunt to Chaa Creek, an award-winning eco-luxury lodge with its own on-site organic farm and open-air spa, yielded encounters with tree monkeys, tail- thrashing black iguanas and elusive jaguars, among many other critters. Bring water and a spray mister if you visit: There’s no A/C on site. My favorite part of the experience in this part of Belize was by far the people. They are a sweet, peaceful bunch. A walk through the neighborhood features quaint little shops, small businesses operating out of homes and lots of roadside farmer’s markets."

Be her Breath Video Release
Melonie Gillett released the video for 'Be Her Breath' in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a touching video, shot around Belize, and it features cancer survivors, and their familes. They have some good signs, including, 'Live, Love, Laugh,' and 'Cancer Sucks.' Kim Simplis-Barrow has positive messages throughout the video. In related news, there will be a cancer walk this Saturday starting at Esperanza, and ending at the Cayo Welcome Center.

Cristo Rey Family Fun Day
Cristo Rey had their Family Day Sunday. Looks like they had some good food and fun games.

International Archaeology Day Exhibit
The Institute of Archaeology celebrated International Archaeology Day by having an exhibit at their main office in Belmopan. They got many great pictures of the event and the primary school students that were able to attend it. Dr. Jaime Awe, Antonio Beardall, and the rest were there celebrating the event and imparting their knowledge of archaeology. Daniel Meza, of New Life Presbyterian School in Orange Walk, won the poster competition. Thanks, IA!

SHC Auditorium Gets Basketball Court
The Sacred Heart College auditorium now has a basketball court painted on it. Thanks, BECOL. You can see the auditorium this weekend at the SHC Fair and Business Expo, which will be Friday and Saturday. "More walls have been added to the Sacred Heart College auditorium. And a basketball court has been added."

Snorkeling at Ambergris Caye
In addition to being close to Belize City – an hour and a half boat ride away or ten-minute Tropic Air flight – Ambergris Caye and San Pedro are ideally situated for snorkeling – an activity you can’t miss while in Belize. The island offers quick access to the Barrier Reef and is in close proximity to some of the better known snorkeling spots in . You’ll have two choices: either a snorkel in town — for days when you want to stay close to shore — or sign up for a half- or full day snorkel tour by boat. All of the snorkeling areas worth experiencing require a boat ride and a licensed tour guide – but the marine life and coral you’ll see is well worth it. Here are the best snorkel spots in and near town:

NOVA scienceNOW : 32 - Profile : Arlie Petters
How does a poor kid from Belize become one of the world's premier researchers in the esoteric field of gravitational lensing? Hard work and persistence help, as NOVA scienceNOW reports in this profile of Arlie Petters, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Duke University.

Channel 7

Penner Returns From Guate, Stull Giving No Indication of Resign, Remain or Face Recall
Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner returned to Belize from Guatemala yesterday morning at 10:00. Accompanied by his parents, he came right through the western border - didn't check in at the Immigration Desk - and proceeded to his home on 10th Street in San Ignacio. Today, Penner went to Spanish Lookout and when he returned home to find waiting media he refused comment and said that he had to meet with the Prime Minister - who's not returning until Friday. That suggests that he is still seeking some cover from his party - and even though the party has abandoned him - apparently, he's not quite ready to blow the whistle on other public officials who may have their own Immigration racket going.

PUP Gets Sufficient Signatures To Trigger Recall
But, the recall is moving forward, or at least we think it is. 14 days after the Leader of the Opposition's Resign or be Recalled ultimatum expired, and 16 days after the party started its signature drive, the Party today announced that it has collected the required number of signatures to trigger a recall. Deputy Leader For The West Julius Espat explained via phone this evening:.. Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP "We have 1,758 petition signed that are vetted by us. The 30% based on the last list that we have, that would give us the 30%." Jules Vasquez "As we saw with Oceana referendum attempt, they had a super abundance of signatures. However, a fair number of the signatures were not approved." Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP "We vetted them on the ground. We have an operational office there; we do it with photographs and everything. Then every now and then we sent it up to the Party headquarters. The Party headquarters have another team there made up of mostly attorneys that are going through that portion of the list."

Second City Murder In Two Weeks
And if Penner-Gate wasn't still such hot news, the headline tonight would be another Belize City murder. We say another because after a three month break from killing, October has reported two murders in two weeks. The most recent happened on Friday night, just before midnight at the corner of Hyde's Lane and New Road, a stone's throw away from the Queen Street Police Precinct, where a gunman rode up and shot 28 year old Deon Yorke twice. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH where 45 minutes later, he succumbed to his injuries. This weekend, the media spoke with his family, and they opened up to us about how devastating his loss has been for them. Here's how that conversation went: Lafaye Lewis, Girlfriend of Deceased "There were two gunshots but my mind wasn't on him because I don't know him as somebody that goes over that side of town. I was sitting down with my friends and I ask them if they heard the gunshots and told me yes. A young lady ran and yelled Lafaye, its "Didi" and by the time I ran to see who it was the police was already taking him to the hospital."

Man Died From Smoke Inhalation As He Slept In Burning Home
When we left you on Friday - there was speculation that 33 year old Michael Reynolds had been killed inside his home on Sister Mary Benedict Street in Belize City house and burnt up. But, investigators say that's not what happened. A review of all the evidence suggests that he came home from a night on the town, possibly inebriated, got home, plugged in electricity he was using from his neighbor and fell asleep in his chair. The wires weren't well connected, started to spark and caused the fire. Contrary to reports, there were no signs of violence on the body and A post mortem examination certified the cause of death as Asphyxia due to Third Degree Burns by Dry Heat. Police also say that the door to his house was locked. All of those factors have caused them to conclude that there was no foul play, and it was an accidental death.

Division In CWU: Stevedores Soldiering On With October AGM, NTUCB Backs Them Up
In August, it made headlines when CWU President Antonio Pancho Gonzalez, under extreme pressure from the stevedores, agreed to an annual general meeting on October 26, 2013. He said that audited financials would be presented and that he would not run for office again. Fast forward two months - and we are on the doorstep of October 26th - and, guess, what, moves are afoot to delay the meeting! On Friday a meeting of the representatives of 15 department and firms where CWU has members, 13 voted to put off the AGM until next year February. That's because the financials still aren't ready, the union is nearly broke and it can't afford an AGM. Well, the stevedores aren't having it, and neither is the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB sent out a release this weekend saying, quote, "reliable reports have reached us, that the CWU is abandoning their proposal to convene the Congress...A word of caution to the bargaining units of the CWU - be forewarned, that since the existing "executives" has not lived up to its legal obligations, under Chapter 304 0f the laws of Belize, you run the risk of being decertified should you proceed with endorsing this evolving CWU proposal."

Man Shot In City
26 year-old Steven Lambey, a resident of Reggae Street, continues to receive treatment at the KHMH after he was shot last night. At around 11:25 Lambey and 18 year Elroy Perdomo were riding on Central American Boulevard, and when they arrived in front Kings Store, someone fired gunshots at them. Perdomo was struck in the left ankle and leg, while Lambey suffered injuries to the right side of his abdomen, and his right calf. Both men were taken to the KHMH, where Perdomo was treated and released. Lambey was admitted in a stable condition. Police have since detained 1 man for questioning.

GSU Sting Operation Nets 100lbs of Weed, Disrupts Arenal Connection
We've known the GSU to make effective raids and seizures, but it seems they've deepened their bag of tricks, and are tonight reporting just under a hundred pounds of weed netted in a sting operation. The GSU set up an undercover agent to set up then purchase 100 pounds of weed. It was set up on Saturday October 19th and went into motion between on and Sunday October 20th where 30 year old Anibal Gabino GARCIA, from Arenal, and 28 year old Sergio Isaias VEGA, from Benque Viejo were to supply 100 pounds of cannabis to a purported buyer on Sunday October 20, 2013. On Sunday the GSU took their position on the Spanish Lookout road into the Buena Vista road where the pair, along with another man Gustavo RUIZ jr, were seen in a red taxi. The car pulled into a picado off the Buena Vista road where all three got out the car and picked up two large parcels wrapped in black garbage bags from inside the bushes.

Norwegian Cruise Offers Job Training
10 days ago, 7News told you about the announcement which Norwegian Cruise Line made that they have the support of 15 Mayan Villages in the south. And trying to generate some goodwill momentum, the company is announcing that they will begin their employment recruiting next week. A flier sent out from company, and forwarded to us by the Belize Tourism Board, says that the recruiting company called Mampa Employment Agency, will be in charge of the recruiting process. Representatives from Mampa will be in Independence Village on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and in Punta Gorda Town for the rest of the week. Those 7 straight days of interviewing will be done for the pre-screening process. On November 4, the Mampa team will remain in Punta Gorda to do a follow-up interview with those chosen from Punta Gorda. On November 5 and 6, the team goes back to Independence Village to do follow up interviews with those persons chosen from that village.

Killer Cop Caliz Fined, Not Confined
Tonight, Police Officer Burton Caliz Jr., who was convicted of manslaughter for the February 2004 shooting death of 23 year-old Leroy Pilgrim, is spending his third night a free man after his mitigation hearing, which ended with a fine instead of a prison sentence. As we told you, Caliz was initially charged with murder, but it was reduced to manslaughter, for which he was convicted in January 2007. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he appealed and won after serving only 1 year and 2 months. He was convicted of manslaughter but he appealed his conviction and won after serving 1 and a half years of his 10-year sentence. He stood trial a second time before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in September of this year, and he was once again found guilty, but this time of manslaughter by negligence.

B. Pope Gives Bze Cycling Hope
They were in Curacao over the weekend representing Belize at the 2013 Caribbean Cycling Championship Games. And today the 7 Belizean Cyclists returned home after quite successful tour. Belize had to compete in this event in order to qualify in the Central American and Caribbean Games next year. They were 8 slots available for countries to participate in the games next year and one of those slots went to Belize’s very own Byron Pope who finished 10th place in the overall road race -out of a hundred riders. Today 7news was at the airport to welcome home these athletes.

No AC, No Surgeries At Southern Regional
It's said that corruption is a tax on the poor, and nowhere is that more evident than tonight at the Southern Regional Hospital where the operating theater has been closed since Friday. Why? Because the air conditioner stopped working. Checks were made by the Ministry of Health's maintenance unit today and they reported that four new air conditioners are needed. Purchase has been approved and they should be installed by the end of the week. Presently, nearly the entire hospital is without air conditioning. As we have reported, almost four hundred thousand dollars was fleeced from that hospital's Maternal and Child Health Bank Account between January 2010 to September 2013. The hospital administrator Nasley Sommerville has been suspended and is the subject of a criminal investigation.

NTUCB Vex-Vex!
That's one of the many issues generating public outrage right now, and tonight, the National Trade Union congress of Belize has introduced another. It is called the occupational health and safety bill, one designed to protect workers, and the NTUCB says government has been dragging its feet in passing the bill for too lug. In a quite breathless press release, headlined "Vexatious, Vexatious, Absolutely Vexatious" the NTUCB says its patience has grown thin and the bill must be passed post-haste. The release ends saying, quote, "the NTUCB declares that as of today we rally the troops and we prepare to right the wrongs (multiple...mind you...) in our beloved land."

Channel 5

P.M. says there is a hotbed of corruption at the Lands Department
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Los Angeles for fund-raising activities and meetings with Belizeans living in that area. While he is out, his deputy, Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar [...]

Elvin Penner is back in Cayo Northeast, but still not talking to the media
Former Minister of State and the man on the immigration hot seat Elvin Penner is back in Belize. He returned from Guatemala on Sunday, after receiving medical attention for hypertension [...]

U.D.P. Cayo Northeast Committee also wants Penner to resign
While Elvin Penner has not made up his mind if he is resigning, the People’s United Party says it now has enough signatures to start the process of a recall [...]

N.T.U.C.B. sends a strong message to government
According to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, government coffers are overflowing and there are millions upon millions of dollars to hand out. That’s what the U.D.P. leader told constituents of [...]

Father of four is murdered following an altercation at a Belize City bar
Shots rang out in City on Friday night in the area of Hyde’s Lane and New Road. A twenty-eight year old father of four within close proximity of his house [...]

Another American fugitive nabbed in Belize
Last Friday, we reported on American fugitive, forty-seven year old Kenneth Hibbs, who was caught by San Ignacio Police on Burns Avenue. Hibbs was wanted by U.S. Marshalls for parole [...]

GSU sting operation yields 100 pounds of weed
A sting operation over the weekend conducted by the GSU has yielded a whopping one hundred pounds of cannabis. The unit arrested Anibal Garcia of Arenal Village, Cayo District along [...]

Julian Cho Technical High shuts down; there is no science teacher
In the south, a demonstration was held this morning by parents and students of the Julian Cho Technical High School and tonight, the school has closed its doors. It stems [...]

CWU administration has failed to honor legal obligations
The Christian Workers Union was suspended from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in mid-August and tonight it is facing expulsion from the umbrella organization if it decides to [...]

Stevedores say DFC has not paid dues to CWU for years
The reason for the postponement of the congress is due to the current financial situation of the union.  The forthcoming process, according to Pitter, should exclude the membership of the [...]

Each of 9 entities under CWU to present candidates for union executive
The congress, says Pitter, is predicated on an understanding that each of the nine entities would present individual candidates to participate in the election.   Dion Pitter, Member, Christian Workers [...]

N.T.U.C.B. threatens to expel CWU from the Congress
The stevedores want the executive removed, and so does the N.T.U.C.B.  That entity has sent a stern and final warning to the C.W.U. That warning is clear – if the [...]

Belizean Cyclist Byron Pope qualifies for upcoming Central America and Caribbean Games
Byron Pope, a seasoned rider on the local cycling front, has qualified to participate in the upcoming 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, following a recent competition in Curacao where [...]

Carlos Beltran sentenced to 8 months for handling stolen goods
A Belize City youth, who has been on remand since August for burglary, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment today. Carlos Beltran appeared in court this morning and changed his [...]

Female bar own charged for the common assault of a businesswoman
A female bar owner who allegedly attacked a businesswoman was today before the court to answer to two criminal charges.  Twenty-four year old Delgy Vasquez from Ladyville was read charges [...]

Weekend sports with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Belmopan Bandits needed a win Saturday night when they hosted a struggling, but always dangerous Police United inside [...]


RTA Leaves Cyclist Injured
A traffic mishap has left a man injured. On Saturday evening police responded to the scene between miles seven and eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Police saw a motorcycle on the right hand side of the road and a man suffering from several injuries. 25-year-old Diego Roland Requena of Mitchelle Estate Ladyville told police he was driving his car from Belize City to Ladyville when upon reaching a curve between miles seven and eight when he saw a single headlight resembling a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction. There was a collision which left 32-year-old Daniel Lanza with several injuries. Requena was served with a notice of intended prosecution while Lanza was transported to the KHMH where he was admitted in a stable condition.

Association of Village Councils Elects New President; Outgoing President Not Thrilled
The National Association for Village Councils, NAVCO, held its 13th Annual General meeting on Saturday. The purpose of the meeting was to elect a new president, and to strategize on the direction that the new board will be taking during its term of office which runs from 2013-2016. Ruth Staine Dawson from the Belize District was elected as the new president. Outgoing president Orlando Dawson was unable to participate in the AGM as he is out of the country. He did, however, express concern about the fact that his report as outgoing President was not shared at the meeting: ORLANDO DAWSON “I am presently out of the country and usually the AGM happens every year but it hasn’t happened for two years because of some misunderstanding in NAVCO with some of these same board members. It actually happened Saturday the 19 and I was emailed by Mr. Eugene Palacio about wanting the President’s reports, so, I emailed that report to Mr. Eugene but it didn’t get through but I emailed it to Mr. Banner which it did get through but then on the Saturday morning I sent seven letters across with a person to the meeting and that person handed those letters to Mrs. Corono Villafranco to be given to each one of the District Presidents and one to Mr. Eugene Palacio; so, that report could have been read but I understand that she withheld those letters and did not give them until after the time was passed for those meetings. So, I certainly want to get across 10 points to these new board members, to this country and to the Government of Belize.

Villager Found With Illegal Drugs, Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition
24-year-old Antonio Martinez of Santa Clara Village has been hit with a number of charges. Police say on Friday they conducted a search at Martinez’ residence where they found a transparent bag containing two point 22 live rounds, one point 380 round, one seven point six two live round and five point five six live round. A search of the rooms resulted in a bag containing green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis, a homemade firearm adapted to shoot point 22 rounds. The drugs were weighed which amounted to 42 grams of cannabis. Martinez has been charged with one count of kept prohibited firearm, two counts of kept prohibited ammunition without a gun licence and one count of possession of controlled drugs.

Grocer Robbed In Western Village
A businessman from the Corozal District was held up and robbed and Police have charged three persons in connection with the incident. Businessman 39 year old Yan Fei Zhen who is a resident of Cristo Rey Village told Police last Thursday he was inside his store when a clear complexion man entered. The man reportedly went to the refrigerator and took out a stout, Zhen said the man looked as if he was getting ready to pay when he suddenly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him demanding money. He said the man hit him in the face twice. At that time two other men who had their mouth covered with rags entered the store. The men reportedly made off with two cell phones, one thousand eight hundred dollars in cash from the cash register, a black monitor for the video surveillance camera system, a monitor for the video surveillance camera system and a Boledo machine. The men then escaped on bicycles. Police investigation led to the retrival of a nine millimeter Luger brand live round of ammunition and the detention of 18-year-old Yasmir Monima and 23-year-old Keith Bennett. Bennett was reportedly in possession of one of the cellular phones. Police visited

Investigation Into Missing Money in Southern Belize Leads to Suspension of Administrator
The Administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, Nasley Sommerville, has been suspended after an ongoing audit revealed that fraudulent cheques were cashed from the Southern Regional Hospital Belize Bank Account. Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Health, Doctor Peter Allen told Love News today that so far, the auditing team has found three cheques totaling more than seven thousand dollars that were cashed. Allen says Sommerville was questioned and has since sought the services of an attorney. Dr. Allen shared that the office of the Auditor General will also be checking the bank accounts of the Dangriga Polyclinic.

Dental Health Sector Shows Increase in Patients
This week is being celebrated as Dental Health week under the theme, “Brush and Floss Every Day and Keep Cavities Away”. There are many activities planned which include the distribution of toothbrushes, a poetry competition and television quizzes. One of the highlights will be a Dental Health Fair on Wednesday, October 23rd at the Central Health Region compound in Belize City. The dental department has reported an increase of patients accessing the dental clinics from 29,337 in 2009 to 30,433 in 2012. The statistics also show that up to September of this year, a total of 22,482 patients have visited dental clinics countrywide.

US Seeks McAfee for Expert Advice
John Mcafee is in the news again. This time, however, it has nothing to do with murder or mayhem. According to CNBC, the House Committee responsible for Obamacare oversight had approached John Mcafee about sharing his expertise in an inquiry into what has gone wrong with the obamacare website “”. The US media reports that the committee was looking to Mcafee for advice on what problems could lead to the compromise of personal identifying information and what could be done to prevent data or identify theft. However, due to the fact that Congress was in the midst of intense negotiations to resolve the government shutdown the meeting with Mcafee never materialized.

Accident Victim Dies Seven Days Later
Last week Tuesday Love News told you about the accident that left 31 year-old Fabian Martinez gravely injured. Martinez fell into a coma following a traffic accident on Saturday October 12th on the Boom\Hattieville Road. Today, Martinez’s wife, Chandra Ake informed us that Martinez succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusnor Memorial Hospital. Martinez was riding a red motor-cycle traveling from the direction of Ladyville towards Hattieville when he was hit from behind by a grey ford escape vehicle driven at the time by 39 year-old Edison Dawson. Martinez was rushed to the KHMH where he immediately underwent a nine hour surgery before succumbing to his injuries two days ago.

Bar Altercation May Have Led to Murder
A Friday night outing for a father of four ended up lethal for him when a fight at a bar grew out of control and spilled into the streets leading to his house. Police say that shortly before midnight on Saturday they received information that 28 year old Dion Yorke of 13 Pickstock Street, Belize City was shot to the left chest and arm. Yorke had just left the bar on the south side of the Belize City Swing Bridge where the fight had occurred. That fight resulted in murder on the north side. SUPT. GAULBERTO GARCIA, OC, PRECINCT III “This incident started at the Bucket Bar across the Swing Bridge. Information is that the deceased was hanging out with one of his friends and they had an altercation with a man where this man allegedly threw beer on one of them. And then the deceased and his friends started an altercation with this person, they moved across the river, over the bridge into our area and that is what we believe led to the shooting. We have seen some footage from surrounding cameras and we believe that the person who was the shooter was on a bicycle.”

Farmers Continues Efforts to Benefit From Use of Bagasse
Late last week Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association representatives held a meeting with representatives of the American Sugar Refining Inc, ASR and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. The meeting is part of the continuing negotiations that the BSCFA is trying to conclude with BSI and what they are asking is that sugar cane farmers receive financial benefits from the sale of electricity generated from bagasse. Already, BSI had sent the BSCFA a letter indicating that they will not be negotiating any payments from the sale of electricity to BEL. Alfredo Ortega, Chairman of the committee of management says their next move is what led to last week’s meeting.


Man believed burned to death in house fire
Police and the National Fire Service are investigating the circumstances surrounding a house fire reported this morning around 2:26 a.m. According to police they visited #139 Antelope Street Extension and found a plywood structure measuring 20 by 14 feet and elevated two feet above ground on...

Investigators suspect break-in at Tourism Police Unit was inside job
PLUS News has confirmed that several special constables of the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) were questioned by their own Friday morning in relation to a robbery last week. Between 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 9, there was a break-in at the Tourism Police Unit...

Philip Henry’s one-man immigration protest
On Friday morning the press were called to the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City by activist Philip “Fawda” Henry. Public sentiment in the matter of the latest immigration scandal is none too kind to the Government and especially to Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister...

Policeman charged for attacking wife
Reports have it that on September 26, 2013, a police officer28-year-old Ronald Sutherland, was at home in Police Street, when he assaulted his common-law wife with a machete, wounding her. It is also reported that he cursed her and threatened her in the following manner: “I wah move from...

Prime Minister receives global criticism for comment made to website
The Prime Minister is getting some flak from US media and citizens, following a comment he made to popular celebrity news website TMZ. On Thursday night, the PM Barrow and his wife were exiting LA’s Madeo restaurant, when reporters asked him if he had any advice for the US...

Belize City road improvements continue
As part of its Master Plan, the Belize City Council is the process of carrying out an overhaul of the old Capital. Our colleagues at Krem Radio caught up with the Mayor, Darrell Bradley on Thursday, where he provided an update on first the renovation...

Southern Foreshore Crime Watch establishes Dangriga’s First Police Precinct
Southern Foreshore Crime Watch, Dangriga’s first organized neighborhood watch group, in cooperation with the Dangriga Police Formation, acquired and renovated a four-room suite of offices in the Dangriga Post Office to establish the town’s first Police Precinct. The inception of the precinct is one of...

Primary School Children celebrate International Archaeology Day
The grounds of the NICH Museum Building was animated Friday morning with primary school kids perusing the stalls set up for their eager eyes. This was done in celebration of the International Archaeology Day. We spoke with Archaeology Technician for the Institute of Archaeology and the...

Sugar Cane Farmers Association seek to finalize negotiations before next crop season
Proving the old saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) on Friday wrote the press to announce the results of a meeting on Thursday in Orange Walk Town between its representatives and officials from American Sugar Refining (ASR) and Belize...


Shipping to Belize – what it costs and how long it takes
After reading my #Travel Tuesday How I go magazine shopping in Belize post, Peter wrote and sent me a couple of pics of stacks of magazines and if I didn’t mind a few dog eared pages he would be more than happy to mail some. He was going check at the post office about shipping to Belize and see if their box priority mail deal would apply to international shipping. I wrote him back that I would appreciate it but it was totally his call, I was pretty sure magazines would be on the costly side to ship due to their weight. I told him maybe he could convince the post office that they going to a good home on a tropical island that has a severe magazine shortage This was Peter’s very funny rely. Hello, I was doing fine at the Post Office. I did like you said, I told her about those magazine challenged inhabitants of a far away land. Deprived and neglected, literary endeavors denied. She gave me a free mailer box and her best shipping price. Then as I casually mentioned about the warm tropical waters, the swaying palms, the friendly people, the lobster pupusas at Wariguma’s, the drinks at Wild Mango’s and anything from Elvi’s. I’m pretty sure I saw her thumb press down on the scale. Ooops. The magazines are on their way, you can also add that the post mistress had a tear in her eye before I mentioned the good stuff!

Opened in December 2012 for the end of the world as allegedly predicted by the Mayans (obviously the backers of this project weren’t believers), this modern gorgeous museum stands right in the midst of the Cancun’s jam packed hotel zone. And is jam packed with awesome Mayan art work, jewelry and sculpture. I mean seriously amazing stuff. Look at this jade mask made of conch, coral and jade. When I went to the special exhibit in Feb 2012 at the Museum of Belize to see the Jade Head of Altun Ha, I saw some similarly impressive items. Fantastic! But let me back up. I’m still a bit obsessed with these lacy pillars out front. It’s on a strip of surprisingly lush, jungly land that also holds one of two of Cancun’s Mayan sites. Sandwiched right between the road and a few hotels. This site is called San Miguelito after the owners of the coconut plantation/fishing village that Cancun was before the government moved in in the late 60s and helped turn Cancun into what it is today.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network (N-TIN) at the Radisson Hotel, Belize on Friday, October 11, 2013. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a National Trade Information Network (N-TIN). The other countries include Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname, and Jamaica. Over the past year the Agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs. According to David Gomez, Manager for Trade and Export Development at Caribbean Export, “the N-TINs are central to the delivery of enhanced trade information services and will contribute to the establishment of mechanisms at the regional level for similar services delivery.

“Goodbye” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
At long last the BIG day eventually arrived, we moved in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Fifty weeks after breaking ground Rose and I have eventually moved in to our new home. OK, so we have had to move in to the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and not in to our ‘living’ areas on the First and Second Floors (still waiting for the toilets for our bathrooms to be installed, cabinetry in the First Floor bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) to be finished, snagging (levelling light switches and power sockets, painting over scuff marks, cleaning up our lot, etc) to be done. But we are IN. We know that there is still stuff to be completed in the apartment we are living in too – for example the toilet for the en-suite for the smaller of the two bedrooms has to be installed- but it doesn’t matter too much because. Well, just because. Yesterday I was up around 04.30 hours and, although I knew we had quite a lot to do I just had to spend some time on the veranda. The veranda that I have grown so attached to over the last seventeen months. So it was me, my iPad and a mug of black coffee.

Belize PM Makes international Headlines by advising Americans to Change Their Form Of Government
First, let’s set the stage: The US just came through another bruising battle between the executive and legislative branches – i.e., President Obama and the jolly Republicans in Congress playing rough. Now, most Republicans hate the idea of universal health care (disclaimer – this writer is Australian. We have free universal health.) and, as we know, the president and Democrats are quite proud that he got what is called Obama Care passed. But at a cost. (We promise to stay away from politics here, it’s not our “thing”, but, as we said, we’re just setting the stage for Prime Minister Barrow’s recent promenade on the world stage) Anyway, the Democrats and Republicans just went through another bruiser that almost shut the entire government down and is understandably the talk of the world. The Statue of Liberty and some national parks were closed and there was all sorts if drama. So, amid this scene, the Belize Prime Minister and wife Kim are leaving the ultra-chic Madeo restaurant at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, where paparazzi buzz around like so many flies. One of those members of that noble profession recognised Mr and Mrs Barrow as foreign dignitaries (the US secret Service dudes hovering around are usually a good tip) and approached Belize’s leader with THE QUESTION. Did he have any advice for the US Government on how to avoid another shutdown? Fair enough, especially coming from the leader of a country that 3,000 respondents to a questionnaire said was number seven of the top ten most relaxed nations in the world. Mr Barrow’s response was “You have to switch to the parliamentary system.”

International Sources

Books from the Border City to make their way to Belize
The Border City Rotary Club is inviting anyone with extra books to donate them to the less fortunate as part of the Books for Belize program. Originally an initiative of the Vermilion Rotary Club, Lloydminster was invited to become a partner in the project this August. The project began after Robin Sherwood, a member of the Vermilion Club was vacationing in Belize a few years ago and was shocked to see how very few books the libraries and schools had. Realizing how many used books there are in Canada he bought a seed container to fill with books and ship to Belize. The container will hold about 500 cubic feet of books of all types, including children’s books, novels, and dictionaries. “We’re really excited,” said Border City Rotary Club president Doreen McCaw. “When I spoke with him (Sherwood) he said that when he visited the schools they were functioning without any power. The desks that the teachers had in the classrooms were old tables from the 1950s and he said it was quite heart-warming because he said the children were so happy to be going to school, but he’s really very excited about the potential of filling the libraries in the school and having lots of books for the kids to read.” The approximate deadline for dropping off books is Dec. 13 as the container is going to be filled and shipped by the end of that month.

Fugitive murder suspect found in Belize, to be arraigned Tuesday in Hidalgo County
A man charged with murder who authorities say had been on the run since September was arrested in Belize last week and arrived in Hidalgo County on Monday. Everett James Morris is accused of beating to death 51-year-old Jorge Olivarez, who had been staying at his residence in Pharr. Morris was expected to be arraigned Tuesday. Olivarez’s body was found Sept. 10 near the intersection of Military Highway and Cesar Chavez Road.

Caribbean Export Launches the National Trade Information Network
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network (N-TIN) at the Radisson Hotel, Belize on Friday, October 11, 2013. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a National Trade Information Network (N-TIN). The other countries include Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname, and Jamaica. Over the past year the Agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs. According to David Gomez, Manager for Trade and Export Development at Caribbean Export, “the N-TINs are central to the delivery of enhanced trade information services and will contribute to the establishment of mechanisms at the regional level for similar services delivery…the process involves both data collection and compilation and identification of services that respond to the trade information needs of CARIFORUM exporters and the wider private sector.”

Smart fishery management will help fisherman earn a living
Our oceans are in crisis. As a result of overfishing, pollution and the warming waters associated with climate change, about 85% of the world's fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed. Especially alarming, one billion people depend on them for their primary source of protein. This distressing reality should be tempered with a degree of optimism, however. We're learning how to better manage fisheries, a bedrock component of what makes oceans and marine systems healthy and sustainable. Commercial harvests that provide jobs and nutrition across the globe depend upon it. Common ingredients in these productive fisheries include science-based decision making, secure access for fishing communities and technologies that enable timely catch reporting. An integral part of this strategy is the allocation of a secure area, or a privilege, to harvest a share of a fishery's total catch to individual, or groups of, fishermen. Dedicating an allotment can take many forms, ranging from individual or community quota to access rights to a particular part of the coastline or a bay. Giving fishermen a direct stake in the long term health and abundance of fish populations is a recipe for success. That they are willing to be held more accountable for catch limits is a new, but unsurprising reality.

GOP asked tech founder, ex-fugitive McAfee to diagnose Obamacare
The House committee responsible for Obamacare oversight asked for expert guidance last week about the troubled launch of the federal site from John McAfee, the tech legend once suspected in the murder of his neighbor in Central America, CNBC has learned. That Republican-controlled committee wanted the McAfee Associates founder to "guide our oversight and review of" the implementation of the federal marketplace selling Obamacare insurance, according to an email obtained by The committee suggested that McAfee might discuss the technologically botched rollout with members of Congress. Last week, he was approached by a key congressional staffer, Sean Hayes, counsel with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, about sharing his expertise in an inquiry into what has gone wrong with

Flat Tourist Arrivals For Caribbean
Visitor arrivals to the Caribbean remain flat, despite 15.6 million tourists visiting the region between January and July this year, says chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Beverly Nicholson-Doty. "There was no incremental difference when compared to the same period last year, but actual levels still remain above pre-crisis levels," the CTO chairman told the media during a briefing on the final day of the State of the Industry Conference at the Madiana Palais des Congrès Convention Centre in Martinique last Friday. The findings, which were compiled by the CTO, show results from 18 destinations within the Caribbean. Seventeen of them recorded increases in tourist arrivals, with 10 growing faster than the world average of 5.2 per cent.

Ranking Caribbean Countries By Population Density
The World Bank’s recently-released World Development Report contains mounds of fascinating data about the world and, more importantly, the Caribbean. We’ll be doing a series of posts putting together the data, on everything from GDP per capita to life expectancy. This one focuses on population density, or, to put it another way, what are the Caribbean’s most crowded and least crowded countries? According to the data, it’s Suriname that is the most sparsely populated country in the Caribbean, with only 3 inhabitants per square kilometre, followed by its neighbour, Guyana, at just four per square kilometre. Belize is fourth, with just 14 per square kilometre, followed by the Turks and Caicos Islands and then the Bahamas.

House GOP asked murder suspect John McAfee for advice on Obamacare website
Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have asked ex-fugitive and murder suspect John McAfee to review the website, a report said on Monday. According to emails obtained by CNBC, House Republicans asked the founder of McAfee Associates to “guide our oversight and review” of the Affordable Care Act website. “This is the Committee of jurisdiction for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare),” House Committee on Energy and Commerce counsel Sean Hayes wrote to McAfee’s lawyer on Oct. 14. “For three years we have been monitoring the implementation of the law and have been trying to dig into what has happened with the Exchange rollout.” “Given the failures of, and Mr. McAfee’s expertise, I was hoping he might be able to discuss his views with staff on the hill,” the email continued. “It would be an informal discussion: we would take notes but these would not be for attribution, it would mainly guide our oversight and review of the program.”

October 21, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: How to handle?
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. To Dr. Love. I saw this girl at school about 4 weeks ago. She is a beautiful girl. I like her from the minute I saw […]

Misc Belizean Sources

GOB starring cast!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. I listened to tonight’s news cast which was pure undiluted rass A blast from the pass when 300 passports got lass They neva arrest nobody rass, the buck pass That was a prelude to this madarass Turn back unu mental compass Plane mid di land dah night, pure chinney mi di pass Tell mi was Clear di young gal land di bass? Some ministers are in the wrong career Some of them are queer, their positions they do not revere Instead of politics they should have been into theater Belize mi wah fare off better

BAS Weekend in Benque
The Belize Audubon Society spent the weekend in Benque, where a lecture on conservation was given, and an Urban Bird Watch was successfully completed. They found 38 different species of birds. "Benque is Lovely, Friendly, and is about Bird Watching. Thank you Benque Viejo citizens and the Benque House of Culture for your kind support and participation in our BAS Urban Bird Watch in your Beautiful Benque. Bird list coming up shortly. Update courtesy of SMART Belize" In related news, the middle week of November is when Benque is having their big festival.

Belize Qualifies for 2014 Games
The Belize National Cycling Team did well at the Caribbean Cycling Championships in Curacao today. Nissan Arana came in 9th place and Byron Pope came in 15th place. In the road race, Byron Pope came in 10th. Shalini Zabaneh came in 10th and Kerah Eiley came in 12th place in the women's division. Belize qualified to participate at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico in 2014. Congratulations! Link goes to the finish line video.

Harvest 4 Kids in Cayo
Feelgood news of the day. The Harvest 4 Kids Foundation did their maize harvest last week in Banana Bank. They had 15 combines come out and harvest their corn, and the video shows them all collaborating perfectly. H4K allows kids from Belize City to see more of the country, work for a common goal, and have fun camping. H4K is sustainable in that the proceeds from this year's harvest will go towards next year's students. A big thanks to H4K, and all the others that make this possible!

BWRC Examines Iguanas
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic paid a visit to the Green Iguana Conservation Project to give the iguanas their regularly scheduled check-ups. Dr. Isabelle, along with Dr. Maas and a few interns worked their magic, while Daniel Velazquez captured some great pictures. The BWRC celebrated their one year anniversary yesterday. Congratulations, BWRC, and thanks for all you do for the wildlife of Belize!

Special Stress Relief Yoga Class
En-Lighten Up's Kate Devine will have a special 2 hour yoga class tonight at the Soul Project which will be focusing on stress reflief. Kate offers yoga at the Soul Project 3 times a week. Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:00am, and Sundays at 5:00pm. Have a relaxing Sunday! "Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of complete relaxation, holistically addressing our physical, neurological, and subconscious needs. Yoga Nidra uniquely unwinds the nervous system which is the foundation of the body's well-being. This practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety and relieve autonomic symptoms of high anxiety or stress related responses such as headache, giddiness, insomnia, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, or abdominal pains."

A rainbow on a warm, sunny day is testimony that there a loving, caring God. Have a good afternoon/evening everyone.

Belize represented at “Silk Road” forum in South Korea
Belize will have representation at an international forum being held in Yeosu, South Korea this week. Belize City Councilor Dion Leslie has traveled to South Korean to attend the Silk Road Mayors Forum. Leslie is representing Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley at the event. The three day event opens on Tuesday and continues through Thursday in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. Organizers expect over 300 officials, including 70 mayors from 30 countries as well as representatives from the United Nationals and other international organizations. The Forum is being held under the theme: “Harmony of Global Civilization and New Silk Road.”


Compassion Takes another Prestigious Award
Tonight we highlight two students from Compassion Primary School in the Village of Yo Creek, Orange Walk for a job well done. Both 14 year old Jennifer Chi and 13 year old Alejandra Carrillo, accompanied by their Principal Manuel Rejon, traveled to Belmopan to receive an award after they were named 2nd and 3rd place winners for a poster competition organized by the Institute of Archeology. Manuel Rejon - Principal Compassion School “Well it’s something that I am happy about the result and it is something that brought excitement to me especially knowing that my students were able to capture third and second place and at the same time I think it is a learning experience for them as it gave them an opportunity to research about the Maya and come up with idea on how preserve this Mayan heritage that we have especially here for us living up north.”

BHOC Represents Orange Walk In Yucatec Expo
Tomorrow representatives of the Banquitas House of Culture will be making their way to the garden city Belmopan to proudly showcase our Yucatec Maya. They will do so during an exposition scheduled to take place at the Venezuelan Embassy where participants will portray the customs and traditions of our very own Yucatec Maya living in the Orange Walk District. Yvette Torres, Coordinator, BHOC "This is a Yucatec Mayan Expo and it is courtesy of the Venezuelan Embassy in collaboration with the Banquitas House of Culture it is an all-day event and it starts at ten and it ends at four." Irvin Aragon - Reporter "What are the things that are going to be presented during the exposition that will obviously portray the Yucatec Mayan?" Yvette Torres, Coordinator, BHOC “Ok, it is all about the Yucatec Maya; the food, the dances and also there is going to be a dialect of the group of Yo Creek which is names "El Latir del Corazon Maya. El Latir Del Corazon Maya, they will be doing songs in Maya and a dialogue for the presentations."

Despite Little Resources OWTC Continues To Upgrade Streets
As we speak, despite the inclement weather and low budget, a number of streets within Orange Walk Town are being upgraded by the Orange Walk Town Council. Despite the lack of resources, the Orange Walk Town Council continues to keep its mandate and is doing everything in its power to bring, if not all, most of the streets in Orange Walk to driving standards. Those works include but are not limited to, filling, scarifying, and even paving. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “What we are doing at this time, we addressing some or our main streets areas that we wanted to deal with, as you know after that heavy rain came down a lot of our streets were damaged, what we are working right now as you see behind me is this section her of the junction of Liberty Avenue and Palmar Boundary, this road was getting out of hand and I am pretty sure that residences of this area and those who traffic this street would benefit a lot from the upgrading that we are doing on this one. What we are doing her is simply bringing the street to a level of compaction that we could have it at least passable by the residence, we are not going to be paving it per say but we are hoping that we can get the funding so that we could later on pave it indeed. In addition to that I want to also mention that there has been several areas that we have been working on for example we have been doing the preparation on Mahogany Street and on Sapodilla Street, those two street will be prepared for pavement. We also thereafter we will go into the other areas like South Main Street, Santa Maria Street, we are going to be ensuring that, that areas in Nargusta Street is also address, those will pave later on but all of these things will be done on November, December so we want to make sure that the full paving of the street will be done by the end of December.”

PM Gives Advice To Us Government
The Prime Minister of Belize left country on Wednesday October 16th to Los Angeles California for two main reasons. One: to support his wife on a fundraising event that will be carried out in the US and two: to seek medical attention. But it seems that dinning in expensive restaurants also forms part of the P.M’s agenda. The American press captured Barrow and his wife Kim Simplis Barrow as they walked into one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles. As the P.M walked out of the restaurant, the press asked him what advice he would give to the leaders of the U.S who are currently experiencing a crisis. Here is a clip courtesy of TMZ. Of note is that the Honorable Dean Barrow advised the US to switch to the parliamentary system sort of implying that Belize’s government is standing on greener pastures than the U.S. However, right minded Belizeans may well at this time be asking, are we better off than the U.S?

Another Chinese business Robbed In Corozal
A broad day light robbery at a Chinese store located in the Village of Cristo Rey, Corozal, has left a Chinese businessman out of more than $2,000 worth in cash and items. The incident played out on Wednesday at around 2:30pm. According to the owner of the store, 39 year old Yan Fei Zhen, he was inside the establishment when a tall and slim male person of clear complexion, dressed in a white t-shirt and a black 3/4 jeans pants, walked into the store and took out a stout from the refrigerator. As the individual walked towards the counter, he pulled out a chrome hand gun and pointed it at Zhen’s head demanding ten thousand dollars in cash. The individual then hit Zhen twice on the left side of the face. At that point two other male persons, wearing rags over their mouths, entered the store. Both men proceeded to assist the first individual to enter the store in the robbery by pointing another firearm at Zhen.

Management of CCFZ Denies Allegation Of Mexican Food Vendors
In our newscast last night we told you about the several call’s we received yesterday from Mexican food vendors complaining that they were no longer allowed to enter the Corozal Commercial Free Zone as a result of several precautionary measures taken by the management of the free zone to avoid the spread of cholera which is currently affecting the Mexican State of Hidalgo, Mexico. What has some of the food vendors up in arms is that according to them, fair play is not being practiced since they know of some individuals who are buying their way into the free zone and allowed to sell food. As we mention last night we tried to get in contact with the Chairman of the free zone, David Ackerman to clarify the situation but all our efforts proved futile. Today we got in contact with Ackerman who refuted the allegations made the free zone.

Belizean Woman Caught Shoplifting At Popular Mall In Chetumal
A Belizean woman is tonight spending her second night in a Mexican jail after she was caught stealing at a mall in Chetumal Quintana Roo. Thirty four year old Shirley Adith Arnold was arrested by members of the State Preventive Police in Chetumal Quintana Roo, after she was caught shoplifting inside a convenience store located at the Plaza "Las Americas". The woman reportedly had committed the same offence at another store in Chetumal the same day. Reports are that yesterday security officers of Chedraui were checking the security cameras when they saw a person, later identified as Arnold take least four bottles of wine from one of the shelves and hid it inside her purse. When the woman tried to walk out of the establishment security officers requested that she open her purse. Inside the handbag officers found the four bottles of wine. With the assistance of Mexican police the woman was handed over to the ministerial authorities.

BSCFA, BSI And ASR Meet To Discuss Payment of Bagasse
There is one pressing issue that is currently affecting the Sugar Industry which is the backbone of the Belizean economy. That issue is the $10.00 per ton of Bagasse that cane farmers are requesting BSI pay to them for the use of the product which produces energy. As you might recall, a few days ago the negations on the New Commercial Agreement fell through when BSI wrote to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association informing them that they will not compensate cane farmers for the use of the Bagasse. Representatives of the BSCFA immediately requested an emergency meeting with representatives of Government, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Gaspar Vega to chart a way forward. Not much came out of that meeting; though. However, the BSCFA kept pushing forward and requested a meeting with the majority owners of BSI, American Sugar Refineries. That meeting took place yesterday and from all indications it was a fruitful one. Alfredo Ortega - Chairman BSCFA, COM “Bueno nuestro punto le planteamos al equipo de ASR de que nuestra base de negociación es en relación al bagazo y eso es lo que queremos negociar con la gente de BSI y queremos de que se haga justicia de que haiga un beneficio al favor del canero ahora que el bagazo es utilizado como combustible para generar energía así es de que con esa base dialogamos con ellos ayer y el equipo técnico nuestro dio su presentación y dieron su punto técnico así a lo que refiere a la conversión de bagazo a energía.”

Caye Caulker Chronicles

A woman from Caye Caulker has been released on a bail of $4,000 and ordered to return to court on November 27. Charlene Young, 22, of Back Street, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The incident occurred at about 4:00 last Thursday evening near the Palapa area in Caye Caulker. Police reported that they were on patrol on the Front Street near the Palapa area when they saw a young woman known to them as Charlene Young, who, when she saw them, became nervous. They stopped and conducted a search on her, and found three small transparent plastic bags containing cocaine hidden in Young’s brassiere. She was immediately arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The next day, Friday, Young was taken to San Pedro Town Magistrate’s Court and charged with drug trafficking. She was offered bail of $4,000, which she was able to meet.


Jet’s Bar, One of the 10 Best Airport Bars in the World, Re-Opens After Terrible Fire
Jet’s (according to the Facebook page Jet’s Bar) re-opened during the last days of September with a “new classier look”. You be the judge. Okay…if you don’t want to be the judge, I will! Bigger, good. Otherwise? Blech, bland, boring. Not even a sign? NOTHING? But I’m willing to wait…for a few months. Jet’s has only been open a few weeks now and all of that stuff will take a while to collect. I pray they are not trying to keep it empty to protect against future fires. If so, it’s a terrible shame! Jet wasn’t even there when I arrived. But then, as one of his relatives/bartenders told me, he tends to go home late in the afternoon. The guy’s been on his feet for 30+ years. 363 days a year. He deserves it.

Farewell Ras Fari
Known throughout Belize as an author, musician, a salesman out at Tourist Village, Ras Fari, 68, was the spiritual leader and elder for one of Belize’s Rastafarian communities. Originally hailing from Jamaica, Ras Fari was born Boyse Miller and was also known as Tuffist, according to Ras Ruben, who spoke with Monica Bodden at 7 News Belize. Since arriving in Belize in 1990 he has been actively promoting the ideals of Rastafarianism. According to Ras Ruben, “We just want to tell the people them all around – all the ras from near and far that we are going to hold a ceremonial service to lay his body to rest and for the transition on Sunday 20th of October at Rootsville, Belmopan.”

International Sources

Belize Medical Tourism Association formed
The new Belize Medical Tourism Association seeks to promote medical tourism to Belize and eventually end the practice of Belizeans going abroad for medical care. The association has members from the medical and tourism sector. It sees medical tourism as an opportunity for medical practitioners and wants more members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association to join. Foreigners have been accessing medical services in Belize for years but in an ad hoc manner. Now, Belize will be marketed internationally as a destination for medical tourism. Patients will be offered packages that include medical services, hotel accommodation and tours. Belize is a tiny country with only 318,000 residents. The former British colony is very close to the United States, and as a tourism driven economy gets 918,000 tourists a year, two thirds of them from the USA.

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