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

November 20, 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

National Garifuna Awareness Day observed in San Pedro
This year marks the 181st anniversary of the official arrival of the Garifuna to the coast of south Belize. Thus, November is marked as the month to honor and celebrate the country’s vibrant Garifuna Culture. On Monday, November 18th, schools at all levels throughout Belize held activities to observe National Garifuna Awareness Day. In San Pedro Town, schools and other organizations held separate events encouraging students and local residents to dress in typical Garifuna outfits. At the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), a Garifuna exposition was held as part of the school’s activities. Featuring music, dance, food, clothing and history presented by the students of the upper division, the expo was colorful and entertaining. Several students were also dressed in traditional Garifuna attire, while different aspects of the Garifuna culture were on display at several booths. From food and their methods of preparation, to musical instruments; the entire atmosphere was filled a fun cultural experience.

Misc Belizean Sources

By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez I am a West African With a proud heritage of Islam That was brought by Mansa Musa to the Caribbean My history did not start in 1491-1493 But dates all the way back to dynasties But let’s start with the 13th century I’m saying this publicly To the NGC, who has been labelling we as a minority When in fact we are a majority Joined together by the Caribbean Sea For years it was thought That African and Amerindian was my ancestry by the NGC Until uncles Van Sertima and Theodore Aranda set me free And taught me my real ancestry Of the Gwanini people from Mali Who were conquerors of the sea? Who came to the Caribbean in the 13th Century? Long before Chris-teef-us Com-bus-us Got lost in the Caribbean Sea

with QueenAl FirstLady at Belmopan City, Belize. (16 photos)

Though commonly referred to as "Garifuna", the people are properly called "Garinagu" and the culture and language are "Garifuna". The Garinagu are recent arrivals to Belize, settling the southern coast of Belize in the early 19th century. The epic story of the Garinagu begins in the early 1600's on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. The Landing by Benjamin Nicholas In 1635, two Spanish ships carrying Nigerian slaves floundered and sank off the coast of St. Vincent. The slaves that survived and swam ashore found shelter in the existing Carib Indian settlements. Over the next century and a half, the two peoples intermixed, intermarried and eventually fused into a single culture, the Black Caribs or Garinagu. By 1773, the Black Carib was the dominant population of St. Vincent. But, European politics began to exert its influence throughout the Caribbean. A series of wars between the French and British on St. Vincent culminated in a final battle on June 10th, 1796, where the French and their Carib allies where forced to surrender and leave the island. Thus would start a journey by the exiled Caribs in search of a home.

2-3 fresh fish (about 2 pounds) 2 ounces salt beef, cut in small pieces and trim excess fat 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 large coconut, grated 1 small carrot, diced 1 green plantain or 2 green bananas 1 bell pepper, chopped Lime juice or vinegar (to clean fish) Boil salt beef in 2 cups water until tender. Clean fish, wash with lime juice or vinegar. Cut each fish in serving pieces and season with salt and pepper. Grate coconut. Add 2 cups water and squeeze to get thick milk. Set aside. Prepare vegetables. Cover and set aside. Put milk in sauce pan. Stir constantly until milk reaches boiling point. Add salt meat, onion, plantain or bananas. Cook until tender. Add carrots and fish. Simmer until fish is tender. Taste for seasoning. ENJOY!!

Rotaract Toy Drive
Rotaract is having their 5th annual Toy Drive over the next month. The big night is Saturday, December 21st, at Hode's. They'll be putting drop-off boxes around, so if you want one, or can donate in any way, let them know. Thanks, Rotaract! "This Christmas season help us bring smiles to deserving children of San Ignacio/Santa Elena and surrounding communities!"

Sweet Belize Official Video
Happy Garifuna Settlement Day! David Smith released the official music video for Sweet Belize yesterday to celebrate the holiday. Not only is It a beautiful song, but the video complements it perfectly, and starts off with some Garifuna drumming. Keep up the great work, David Smith! "SWEET BELIZE MUSIC VIDEO BY David Smith Ft. Verlie Lamb, Dale Kevan Guzmand & BAY drummers. Directed by David Smith Produced by Roots and Honor Records Executive Producer: David Daniel Smith Filmed by Trey Cabb Edited by Trey Cabb & David Smith Music by Mervin Budram - MD Lights by Desmond & Shalwa Leslie SPECIAL THANKS to George Price Centre for Peace and Development, Belmopan Active Youth, Carolyn Williams, Roots and Honor Records, Technological Advancement Services, Belmopan public."

Cornerstone Jewelry Making
Feelgood news of the day. The Cornerstone Foundation has a new volunteer, and she came up with some great ideas for lunchtime activities: jewelry making. Thanks, Cornerstone, for making the community a better and brighter place. In related news, Cornerstone's new base of operations is coming along nicely, and will be finished in January. They are having their 80's Splash Down fundraiser on December 7th at JJ's. "Thanks to new volunteer, Jackie, the kids are making bracelets, rings, and necklaces with beads! Great lunchtime activity and amazingly beautiful creations!"


O/W East Area Rep. And Town Council Join Hands To Assist Flooded Victims
Last week we aired the story of flooding in the Louisiana Area. With the constant torrential rains, several families living in the area were preoccupied that the flooded waters would enter their homes since their yard was already saturated. As we spoke to a few residents they raised several concerns and pleaded for assistance. Tonight we are happy to report that Orange Walk East Area Representative, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, joined forces with the Orange Walk Town Council to assess the situation and find a remedial solution to the problem of flooding in the affected areas. Here’s what they told us today. DR. TULIO MENDEZ – Area representative, OW East “I could see that areas of Orange Walk East have been affected, specially the street, not only here the ones that are close to the riverside but also Juventus, Cuello Street, Father Larry Street that are over to the next side and we are just making an assessment to see which ones we are going to be dealing with first, but of course even dreamed this bad weather I would say within there was time that it looked like the un was going to come up and you could see that there are some areas that they had already been putting some of the white material to try to improve the street, but of course we had more rain and you could see that all the street are all muddy for the vehicles to pass through but this area here very close to the river the flooding has really affected many of the areas as you could see this street here we had to elevated a little bit more to make it more accessible to the children that are going to school and to the parents that are being affected.”

Another Hike In The Price Of Butance Gas
The price per a hundred pound cylinder of butane changed again on Saturday. The good news is that consumers now have a choice as to which butane they want to use: the expensive one or the cheap one. The new controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited from Pemex in Mexico will be sold here in Orange Walk for $122.00 instead of $119.00. In Corozal the price stands at $121.00. While the LPG imported from Mexico saw an increase of $3.00, the 100 pound cylinder of butane imported from within Central America by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza Limited, now sells for $117.00 in Orange Walk and $116.00 in Corozal as it saw a reduction of $2.00. The prices established for LPG are based on the mixtures of 60:40 propane/butane and 90:10 propane butane respectively. The difference on the prices is attributed to the scarce supply of butane during the winter months which has an effect on the Belizean Market.

Full Gospel Church Holds Dental Clinic
The International Health Outreach volunteer dentists are back in Belize and this time around, they are screening and treating children and adults in San Jose Village. CTV3 News’ Maria Novelo was at the Full Gospel Church where the dental clinics are being held and filed this report. Maria Novelo- - Reporting More than a hundred villagers from the community of San Jose took advantage of the visiting teams dental clinics that opened today. A total of 4 Dentists, 2 General Hygienists and other volunteers make up the International health Outreach team that is visiting from the US and providing free dental care to those in need. ERIC SEREMSKI – General Dentist “Primarily we came down here to teach other dentist from the United States, how to treat children in a better way without having to take their teeth out, without using drill, we use a mini sand blaster and we use ozone which kills bacteria that caused cavities so it is easier than using drills and shots, so that is why we came down her to try to teach these dentists how to use that.”

Man Detained Pending Charge For Indecent Exposure
Man from the village of Concepcion in the Corozal District is tonight detained pending charges of exposure in public and out of all places at the Catholic Church. A 64 year old female Mexican National, residing in Corozal Town, reported to police that at about 8:00am on Saturday, she was at the Corozal Town Catholic Church compound situated on 1st Street South, when a male person unknown to her approached her and uttered the following words in Spanish “I do not want any kind of help what I want is to rape you”. The individual, described as being of clear complexion, then brought down his pants, held his private part and told the woman that he was “ready”. The woman ran into the church and locked the door. Even though he tried, the individual was unable to open the door. Police have detained 40 year old Eduardo Grant, Belizean laborer of Concepcion Village, pending investigations.

BSCFA Gets Tough With BSI
Will there be a meeting between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited in Belize City tomorrow? Our best guess is there won’t. In a response letter sent to BSI today and made public to the media, the BSCFA states that the only way the meeting will take place in Belize City tomorrow is providing that the agenda for the meeting deals solely with the conclusion of the negotiation of the new commercial agreement including the payment for Bagasse. Now, viewers might recall that in their letter sent to the BSCFA on Friday, BSI categorically stated that when it comes to the Bagasse issue, all that will be discussed is the basis on how the dispute between the parties on the matter of the claimed payment for Bagasse can be dealt with. With both parties playing hard ball, there is no telling when a compromise will be reached. In the meanwhile, what we can tell you is that the opening of the 2013/2014 crop season, tentative for November 25th is in jeopardy and the stability of the Sugar Industry is at stake. As previously mentioned, the BSCFA is asking BSI to pay cane farmers $10.00 per every ton of Bagasse used by BELGOGEN to produce electricity which is sold to the national grid. BSI, on the other hand, maintains that cane farmers have made no investment in BELGOGEN hence there should be no revenue sharing. We understand that up to news time BSI has not responded to the BSCFA if included in tomorrow’s agenda will be the payment for Bagasse.


BTL Park Will Be Done By the Christmas
Exactly three weeks ago Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley updated the media that the renovation of BTL Park would be completed in 41 days and that the newly refurbished park would be officially opened on December 7th. Well the rains have been almost constant since then so we took the opportunity to ask Bradley if this has affected the scheduled re-launch of the park. DARRELL BRADLEY “In relation to BTL Park, we have noticed that there has been a setback. The date that we have set, 7th December to launch the park has been forecasted, all things being even, including the weather. The three weeks have really held us back. One of the things that we are looking at is that the contractors are really working well, they worked on the weekends; they worked this weekend, I did an inspection out there and so we are going to make a final decision as it relates to the launch but even if there is to be a delay, I don’t expect that it will be more than a week or so and we are expecting that the park will be opened before the Christmas holidays.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Tour company in SP looking for catamaran (E2) captains
New tour company in San Pedro is searching CAPTAINS with E2-license (CATAMARAN LICENSE), please apply to or call 6217245


A Beautiful Morning for The Garifuna Landing, Music and Dancing in Punta Gorda, Belize
Today is a holiday in Belize – Garifuna Settlement Day to commemorate the landing of the Garifuna people in Belize. This morning we woke up EARLY to join the dawn re-enactment and parade to the Catholic church in Punta Gorda. It was pretty special. But since I am off in just 20 minutes, I’ll keep it short for now and fill in the details. Here are some pictures.

Aji Tapa Bar and Restaurant opening party
Aji is ambient any time, the pathways and tropical jungle feel are great for daytime dining, at night the trees are all lit up and it looks beautiful. I love how even though there is room for lots of people, it feels so private, like you have entered a secret garden with a great DJ. The surroundings are not the only thing that is amazing, Chef Hugo, Victoria, Susan and their staff always make us feel welcome, full and content. Aji Restaurant is open daily 8:00am – 10:00pm and it is worth dropping by in the afternoon, Aji offers great food and drink specials with their a daily tapas happy hour from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Follow link the full Aji menu including breakfast, lunch, dinner and Tapas. Info for fist time visitors – Aji Tapa Bar and Restaurant is located 2.5 miles north of the Boca del Rio Bridge and bike-able for the more adventurous. If you are driving a cart to Aji it will cost you $10 BZE to cross the bridge and $2 by bike, there is no guarantee what the roads will be like. If you are taking the Coastal Xpress water taxi, the dock to get off at is Grand Caribe and walk a minute down the beach. Any way you choose get there, Aji is well worth the trip.

Feeling like an “Englishman in New York” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Not a great deal to ‘report’ on about yesterday. Goes without saying (so why am I saying you are probably thinking) that I got up (early – think it was around 04.45 hours. Must get batteries for that clock and fix it on the wall!), made the mug of black coffee, unplugged the iPad, grabbed the chair (how do I manage so many things at virtually the same time?) and ‘hit’ the veranda. Spent some time looking at the lists (and I mean LISTS given the number of times we have attempted to place orders with Walmart) of stuff we are going to ship from Miami for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to make certain that we hadn’t overlooked (a kind way of saying forgotten) anything. And we had! What about the folding chairs for when we want to fish from the sea wall at the end of the garden? Oh, and the wrench and ratchet set so that I can easily remove (and replace) the cargo box on the golf cart. And the projecting alarm clock (don’t need it to wake me up but it would be good to know when I wake up if it is tomorrow or yesterday, if you understand what I mean. No? Well have a few mugs of black coffee and you might!).

The Big Cats of Belize
Of the five native species of big cats prowling the Belizean jungle, it is the elusive and magnificent jaguar that everyone touring Belize wants to see. It is only a very lucky few who have actually seen any of these beautiful feline predators in the wild. Jaguar – - – Felis onca coati One of the largest of the Central American carnivores, it was once fairly common in coastal mangroves, lowland savannas, and wet and dry shrub lands and forest up to about 3000 ft. elevation. But because its conspicuous tracks, the high value of its pelt, its reputation as a stock killer, and its vulnerability to hound pursuit and still hunting, this cat is now rare except in parts of large unhunted reserves.

Settlement Day '87
Garinagu Settlement Day 1987 in Dangriga, Stann Creek, Belize. A segment on Belize All Over, Great Belize Productions.

Garifuna Settlement Day 2013, Seine Bight
The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. I was particularly impressed with the guys that pulled the boats the whole way- about 1 mile.

International Sources

Shyne Shows Off His New Wife
Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne is now a married man. The Belizean rapper became an orthodox Jew after his released from prison in 2009. He was deported to Belize and later immigrated to Israel. Shyne posted these photos on his Instagram of his wife.

New World Oil & Gas Says Continuing To Work On 75% Share Subscription
New World Oil & Gas PLC Wednesday said it is continuing to work with Niel Petroleum SA to finalise its proposed subscription for over 75% of New World's shares. The oil and gas exploration and development company, with operations on Belize and Denmark, said it will make a further announcement when all matters have been resolved and it expects to be able to do so later this month. New World Oil and Gas has repeatedly announced delays to the investment, approved by New World shareholders on September 12. Niel Petroleum is buying 2.19 billion shares in New World for USD25 million, while also providing a USD25 million debt facility.

The Moroccan-EU plan for sustainable fishing exposed
Watch how the fishing vessel, the Moroccan fishing vessel, Adrar, flying the Belize flag, sucks up literally tonnes of fish, then sprays them all overboard back into the sea, without using them, steeped in their own blood and guts. These photographs were taken, as you can see in the document scanned below, at 24º South, meaning inside Western Sahara waters. In these photographs it is estimated that sixty tonnes of Saharawi fish were literally wasted by Morocco. Why did the Moroccan's do this?

Jaguars Obsessed with Calvin Klein Fragrance
Calvin Klein Obsession for Men doesn’t just attract also works on jaguars (actual jaguars). Rather than paying an army of field assistants to observe the elusive cats, wiildlife biologists often deploy cameras in jungles from Guatemala to Nicaragua to capture images when these solitary, nocturnal cats pass by. But how do they lure the big cats in front of the camera? After testing many different fragrances, one researcher now swears by Obsession, which, according to The Guardian, contains synthetic "animal notes" similar to those secreted by cats. Every bottle of Obsession is made with a chemical called civetone, which is derived from the scent glands of the cat-like civet, Miguel Ordenana, a biologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, told Scientific American. “What we think is that civetone resembles some sort of territorial marking to the jaguar, and so it responds by rubbing its own scent on it.”

You’ll Never Guess How Biologists Lure Jaguars To Camera Traps
Field biologists are increasingly turning to camera traps to collect data. The set-up is really simple: when an animal passes in front of a camera, an infrared sensor becomes activated, and the camera silently snaps a photo. Sometimes – especially for camera traps designed to detect nocturnal species – an infrared flash, invisible to most mammals and birds, is used. The photographs generated from camera traps can then provide researchers with far more data than they would be able to collect themselves with more traditional field observations. Often, this allows them to generate photographic evidence of a species’ natural behaviors without the confounding effects of direct human observation. It allows them to collect data continuously, throughout the day and night. And a camera trap can help researchers collect evidence of rare species or rare behaviors, as was demonstrated last week when a camera trap captured a golden eagle preying upon a sika deer. Or they could help researchers come face-to-face with an animal that might otherwise be dangerous or harmful. An array of camera traps is also more cost efficient than paying an army of field assistants to observe animal behavio or to conduct a census.

You Can Have Either Climate Justice or a Climate Treaty
In the wake of the devastation to the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, a long-standing claim for “climate justice” has re-emerged with new force. Countries vulnerable to more devastation, as temperatures rise, want rich countries that have benefited from industry that produces greenhouse gas emissions to pay them reparations. Advocates argue that climate change negotiations, currently being held in Warsaw, should aim for a climate treaty that forces the climate wrongdoers to pay the climate victims. This would mean countries like Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Kenya getting money from countries like the United States so that they don’t alone bear the cost of a global carbon dioxide overload that they did little to cause. It sounds great—but such an approach would doom the prospects of a climate treaty, and the argument for it doesn’t add up. Climate justice trades on a powerful moral intuition, embodied long ago in Aristotle’s principle of corrective justice: A person who wrongfully harms another person owes compensation to the victim. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today are mostly the result of fossil fuel consumption that goes back more than a century, most of which took place in the United States and Europe. These countries are thus disproportionately responsible for the harm being visited on poor countries. But there is less to this argument than meets the eye.

The Effect of Cannabis on Pregnant Women & Newborn
It’s almost too taboo to discuss: pregnant women smoking marijuana. It’s a dirty little secret for women, particularly during the harrowing first trimester, who turn to cannabis for relief from nausea and stress. If you were to inquire about pot and pregnancy on the Web, Baby Center offers a strongly worded warning from Gerald Briggs, pharmacist clinical specialist. Briggs says that pot affects the baby’s growth and development and—gasp!—may even cause childhood leukemia. But there are no facts or studies attributed to back up the claims. More than 50 pages of comments were posted to the site about Briggs’ statements. Some proclaimed the virtues of smoking marijuana while pregnant, offering proof of healthy children and stories of functioning during pregnancy thanks to cannabis. Other comments viciously showed disdain for pregnant patients, resorting to name-calling. Pregnant women in Jamaica use marijuana regularly to relieve nausea, as well as to relieve stress and depression, often in the form of a tea or tonic.

Go Wall Diving in Belize on the Sun Dancer II Liveaboard
Associate Publisher David Benz traveled to Belize to dive Lighthouse Reef and Turneffe Atoll aboard the luxury live-aboard Sun Dancer II during an owner's trip/wine appreciation week. And he made the most of it! See his trip in a stunning photo gallery. DIVING IN BELIZE ABOARD SUN DANCER II Three of the four only true atolls in the hemisphere, Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glover's Reef lie just over the horizon from Belize's mainland, beyond the barrier reef. These living rings of mangroves and reefs aren't volcanic like Pacific atolls; they're the result of thousands of years of coral building upon coral. Because of this buildup, Belize is a wall diver's paradise. Sheer walls like Painted Wall, Half Moon Caye Wall and Quebrada are adorned with huge crimson gorgonians and giant orange elephant ear sponges. Moray eels, spiny lobsters and tiny arrow crabs hide in every crack, crevice, cave and tunnels of these beautiful coral formations. The five-and-a-half diving days aboard the Sun Dancer II are spent along sheer walls interrupted by sand channels, where you'll encounter cruising pelagics — eagle rays, Caribbean reef sharks and more. At Half Moon Caye, you can go ashore to see one of the world's largest red-footed booby colonies.

KUBULI Belize/ Garifuna Drummers Commercial 2013
Kubuli Belize_ This November, Enjoy Belize's Unique Garifuna Culture & Music and Celebrate with Kubuli ! Kubuli is the NEW Up and Coming Beer in Belize! Directed by Richard Holder. Filmed & Edited by Richard Holder & Kenneth Grant. Kubuli Lager is Distributed in Belize exclusively by RC Imports Ltd.

November 19, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

One injured in shootout between Coast Guard and civilians
San Pedro Police are reporting that there was a shooting incident between members of the Belize Coast Guard and civilians. The incident occurred on Saturday, November 16th, on northern Ambergris Caye and resulted in one person shot. According to San Pedro Police, Belize Coast Guard Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that a team of Coast Guard officials went on a boat operation just South of Mexico’s Border sometime around 7:30 AM. Upon reaching the old Fisheries Department base on the north-eastern side of the island, they saw six males one of whom was a distinguished by his dread locks) who, upon seeing them, opened fire at the Coast Guard vessel. The Coast Guard team, returned fire injuring a male person. That person was identified as 24-year-old Frank Edwards, a Belizean fisherman of San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Also captured were two males, 20-year-old Leonard Williams, a Belizean fisherman, and 22-year-old Guillermo Salazar, a Belizean fisherman, both of San Mateo area of San Pedro Town.

Over 13% of Belize’s population living with diabetes
Rice and beans, stewed chicken, potato salad and a couple slices of fried plantain is the traditional dish that most Belizeans enjoy. This is a dish completely packed with carbohydrates that, when broken down in the body, turns into sugar. It is considered one of the many unbalanced meals of Belizean society, something that was given highlighted during International World Diabetes Awareness Day on November 14th. To mark the occasion, the San Pedro Diabetes Association teamed up with local San Pedro Town medical doctor Giovanni Solorzano and a few medical students to conduct a public awareness day on the island. Free screenings for diabetes and hypertension were done at three locations – San Mateo, Escalante/DFC area and outside of the San Carlos Medical Clinic in the downtown area. “The purpose of the screenings was to identify people living with diabetes, give them a plan, teach them how to eat properly and refer them to a medical doctor.”

Follow Up Workshop on Utilization of IBIS
An expert from Canada was in Belize over the past week conducting a three-day workshop with personnel from the National Forensic Science Service who operate the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) donated to Belize by the Canadian Government. Mr. Zencovich, who has been coaching IBIS operators for over 13 years, said he is very impressed with the progress made thus far by personnel at the National Forensic Science Service in applying the training they receive to operate the system. He noted that they have succeeded in creating a healthy database and establishing precise protocols in order to fully integrate the system into their daily tasks and overall function. He said he is very pleased with the extraordinary effort being put in by the entire management and staff to make the system and the program work for Belize.

The Police Drama Club raises awareness through skits
The Police Drama Club is a group comprised of several police officers that together raise awareness on various social issues affecting our communities. The club was started in 2011, and began actively performing in 2012. On Friday November 16th, The Police Drama Club traveled to San Pedro Town to perform two skits for San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School and San Pedro High School. The first of the two skits focused on domestic violence while the second focused on peer pressure. Both skits portrayed cases that are relative to our communities such as domestic violence among spouses and how youth can become involved in delinquent behavior as a result of peer pressure. The skits incorporated the portrayal of the various cases along with the proper legal procedures that could be taken in such instances. Sergeant Stephanie Grinage of the Belmopan Police Unit also recited original poems at the end of each performance.

Ambergris Today

Belize to Prepare a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2014-2017
The Government of Belize is pleased to announce that in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, through financial and technical assistance, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has commenced preparation of a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017. The strategy will be one of a series of medium-term strategies that will need to be prepared and implemented towards realizing the vision put forward in Horizon 2030. This vision reads: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquility, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way.”

Belizean Culture at its Best at School Presentations
Schools on the island take pride in putting on some great cultural presentations for their students and for the community to enjoy. Students are asked to participate on such activities, make poster presentations, dress in cultural attire and even prepare samples of food. On Friday, November 15, 2013, Holy Cross Anglican School held its annual cultural day where displays of various ethnic groups found in our beautiful Belize were exhibited. Students were dressed as Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, East Indians and Mennonites. Music, traditions and food were on display for all to enjoy!

Pic of the Week: Garifuna Settlement Day National Holiday in Belize
A young Garifuna Jankunu dancer prepares his costume before his dance performance on the beach at Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District, Belize. He is part of the Garifuna group that performs at the Lebeha Drumming School in the village. (Click here for Lebeha Drumming School article, pictures and video) Belize observes Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19 in honor of the rich culture, heritage and history of the Garifuna people of the country. Festivities take place around the country under the theme "Let us progress in unity with God's goodness and the protection of our ancestors". In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro Town Council, in collaboration with the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council, Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the San Pedro Cultural Committee have prepared the following two events:

Misc Belizean Sources

I actually wrote some of this letter back in September this year, but nobody would print it for whatever reason. Now, I see on TV ch7, the BDF acknowledging this secret operation against the people of Belize, in which they claim to have destroyed 30 million dollars worth of weed with the help of the US military. What is up with the US? Last year in the US the voters approved legalization for all uses, including medical, recreational and industrial uses at state levels. Many who opposed the legalization made great predictions of doom and gloom if the people voted for legalization. Well guess what, a little over a year has gone by and the sky did not fall. To the contrary, it is creating an uplifting of the spirits, of millions of people and their families who have lived for decades under these unjust laws with the constant fear of being caught, and is creating a financial tsunami, for the people and the government. While 20+ states in the US have currently legalized cannabis in one form or another, the federal government after having great pressure applied by the voters, is now paying attention to the people and allowing state law to prevail. The people have spoken so loud to the government through the initiative process and current science, that the elected officials in most states and the federal government are now drafting laws to legalize cannabis on their own. Throughout the world today governments have lost all credibility involving the war against cannabis. The dominos are falling at a far greater rate than anyone could have anticipated just one year ago. It is a failed policy and subject to doom soon.

The San Pedro Town Counil in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, the San Pedro Garifuna Council and the San Pedro Cultural Committee put together a line up of entertainment to celebrate the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day. At the event, we witnessed various remarks from Mr. Elroy Castillo, Deputy Mayor Mr. Guillermo Paz, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Mrs. Julia Martinez and Mr. Francis Arana. The event followed with cultural presentations by a few local dance groups.

Members of the Garifuna Council of San Pedro visited the San Pedro Town Council and gave an outstanding performance.

Starting 11am at the Central Park

A Feast for Forests
A Feast for Forests, a fundraiser for the International Forestry Student Association, will be next Tuesday, November 26th, at the Kerasi Lounge in Belmopan. P42 Designz did a great job on the fliers. "We are proud, and extremely excited, to to announce that IFSA -UB is the newest member of this burgeoning community. We are thrilled to be able to invite you to our first official fundraiser which will help send a number of students abroad, and will help us develop the first IFSA Forest Corps., a functioning natural disaster response unit, and student research vessel. So please, come out and support us, help strengthen the education of today's youth."

Tabby Johnson Coming to Cayo
Tabby Johnson, the Canadian Jazz, Blues, and Gospel singer, will be performing at the Soul Project on December 14th. She is performing to help the Winsom Foundation raise funds to provide scholarships for students from Cristo Rey.

Cayo Family Day
The Cayo Youth Movement is having a family day today to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. The festivities will take place at Falcon Field, starting at 9:00am. There will be games, food, drinks, a raffle, a basketball marathon, and live music too. Have a great Garifuna Settlement Day!

Through Caity's Eyes Exhibition
The George Price Centre is launching a new art exhibit today, starting at 6:00pm. It's entitled 'Through Caity's Eyes,' and it sketches and drwaing from young Belizean, Caitlyn Tillett.

Belize Hosts UNCAF Football
The UNCAF U-16 matches are this week, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, and Belize plays every night at 7:00pm. Nicaragua tonight, then El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica on Friday night. If you can't make it to the games, you can see them on most TV stations. Go, Jaguars! In related news, they have some cool t-shirts for sale. "Don't forget to come out and support our Baby Jaguars as they participate in the UNCAF U-16 Tournament. Venue: FFB Project Stadium in Belmopan."

Consejo roads, dump a mess
Residents of Consejo area are pleading to the relevant authorities to mitigate their current road and dump site conditions. Many Villagers and residents today have been unable to drive to town on small vehicles. The garbage dump site is a serious health problem and concern. Some residents made their way to town today by chartering a boat at approx. $150.00 R/T.

Corozal history
This Friday, November 22, Mr. Jesus Ken will speak on Corozal history growing with the political movement. We are kindly requesting your presence. Lecture will commence at 7:00 P.M. at the Corozal House of Culture. The Corozal House of Culture values the importance of oral historical retrieval and is pleased to present the final lecture in the ‘Perspectives of our Past’ Historical Lecture Series. The lecture series is a vital link into Corozal’s distant and not so distant past. Corozal's rich history will be exposed through the words of our elders.

Channel 7

Mayor Says Councilor Elrington Must Learn to “Comport Herself”
On Friday we told you about Thursday evening's ugly spat between Mayor Darrell Bradley, City Administrator Candice Burke and Councilor Alifah Elrington-Hyde. According to our reports it ended when the mayor called for city constables to eject Elrington-Hyde from the building. Today the mayor confirmed that what should have been a simple problem got very heated when councilor Elrington-Hyde started yelling at the city administrator. And what was it all about? As we reported, it started with a ticket that the City's traffic Department put on the pickup truck used by the city's Special Constables. On Thursday afternoon, the pickup was parked in front of the Commercial Center when the traffic manager ordered his warden to give it a ticket. From there it became an issue between the City Administrator and Councilor with responsibility for traffic Alifah Elrington-Hyde. Elrington-Hyde went to see the City Administrator in person, and that's when things got turned up! The City Admin's office is right next to the mayor's, who happened to be babysitting his infant child that day - the baby's nap ended when the shouting started. The mayor told us he heard a ruckus starting and went to see what it was about:...

Coast Guard Caught In Rocky Point Shootout
Rocky Point on Northern Ambergris Caye is a known drug hotspot. The remote area is close to Mexico and many lives have come to a violent end there over the years. This weekend, that reputation for violence was re-confirmed when the Coast Guard came under fire and shot a man there. Around 7:30 on Saturday morning, the Coast Guard was on an operation around 7:30a.m. when they came upon a camp near Rocky Point. 7News spoke to Commander Elton Bennette, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, and he told us that when the Coast Guard approached the old fisheries base, they saw about 5 men, one of whom fired at them. The Coast Guard returned fire, hitting 24-year-old Frank Edwards to the buttocks with the bullet exiting the left hip. Edwards along with 20-year-old Leonardo Williams and 22-year-old Guillermo Salazar, all fishermen from San Pedro, were detained. The gunman and a fifth persons escaped. Still, the men will be charged for 270 grams of marijuana found in the area.

City Man Shot, Same Time, Same Place 10 Months Later
On Friday night, Belize City resident Paul Alvarez was shot for the second time this year, at almost the same time and same place and same night that he got shot 10 months ago. He was shot at 7:35 pm in January of 2013 on Lovely Lane - that was a Friday night. Well, again, last Friday night November 15, he was on Lovely lane when he was shot at about 7:40 pm. He survived again, but we understand his condition is considered quite serious as he was hit to the jaw and throat. Police have not issued a report, but his family told us that shortly before the shooting, the 21 year old was talking to his mother who warned him that she saw some suspicious characters in the area. He crossed the street to stand at the corner of Lovely Lane and Victoria Street when a gunman rode up and shot him once to the face. He was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was on life support up until yesterday. He is now critical but stable but doctors are saying that he may never speak again because of the damage to his vocal chords.

Cane Farmers Tell BSI They Will Meet, But only On One Condition
When we left you on Friday, it was with the news that BSI had capitulated and agreed to table the discussion of bagasse for a special meeting tomorrow. The BSI letter said, they are willing to discuss, in non-prejudicial talks, quote, "how the dispute between the parties on the matter of…payment for bagasse can be dealt with," end quote. Well, the cane farmers sent their response to that invitation this evening, and it is not encouraging. The letter says, quote, "we are prepared to meet with your at the time, date and venue proposed…provided that the agenda for the meeting deals solely with the conclusion of the negotiation of a new commercial agreement including the payment for bagasse. Now, the BSI meeting as proposed is not to discuss a new commercial agreement; and the bagasse subject is only being added as a non-binding sidebar. So where do things go next? Well, in their letter today, the Cane farmers tell BSI "Kindly confirm your agreement to our response." Up to newstime, no response was forthcoming, which likely means no meeting will be held as planned tomorrow. That means - with a week to go before the harvest is scheduled to be opened, the standoff over bagasse continues and this vital industry remains imperiled.

Mayor Says Council fixing 17 Streets After Rains
The rains have been unusually heavy for the last three weeks - and it has left streets and roads all over the country in a state of ruin. And even in Belize City - where 93 streets have been cement-paved, dozens of the older roads have been run to ruin by the rains. The city has 520 streets - to fix all of them would have cost about 90 million dollars - and so even though we're coming up on 100 new streets for 18 million dollars, that's only about 20% of the entire picture. And so tonight, those that were cement paved remain in good condition, while the older streets are a disaster. The mayor told us about City Council's plan to remedy the situation as soon as possible:... Mayor Darrell Bradley "We are going to put hard core material on 17 streets that we had already identified and we did that as a result of these heavy rains. In the south side our people are out during the course of this week to do the kind of remedial work in terms of patching of streets and trying to get it at least bearable."

City Councilor Samuels Has Big Plans For Politics
And while the mayor is holding things down in the city, he and two of his councilors have bigger things in mind. Mayor Bradley, and councilors Phillip Willoughby and Dean Samuels are interested in running as candidates in the next general elections. As has been well publicized, Bradley wants to run in Caribbean Shores, while last week Willoughby put his name in to run in the Albert division while Dean Samuels did the same in Belize rural Central. The cases of Bradley and Willoughby are a little complicated since they want to challenge sitting UDP representatives, but Samuels is challenging a caretaker, Michael Hutchinson. Today Samuels, who lives in Rural central told us why he is interested in vying for that office:... Dean Samuels, Councilor "I've sent in my application last week. Now, I am publicly declaring my intention and one good thing I can say for myself basically is that I come with a little name recognition, I have been proven when it comes to hard work. I have been supported overwhelmingly by the Belize City residents, so I bank of that personally - that work that I bring forward. I personally believe that as a politician if we know what is our job description and that is service to people and people just want a better way of life and I think Belize Rural Central has been neglected. It hasn't been shown the kind of love that is needed and people in this area deserve better and I think personally with my work ethics I definitely can be a difference and make a change."

UDP Has Willoughby and Bradley In Holding Pattern
The Rural Central convention will be held sometime before March of 2014. That's the timeframe the UDP has set for all 14 conventions where they have caretakers. No timeline has been announced for the other 17 areas, where they have standard bearers who are currently area representatives sitting in the National Assembly. And that puts Councilor Phillip Willoughby and Mayor Darrell Bradley at a disadvantage. Willoughby wants to challenge the UDP Albert Representative Herman Longsworth while Bradley wants to challenge Santino Castillo. But right now they are in a holding pattern - because rumours are that the party may hold off on those conventions until closer to the general election. That until 2017, while the next municipal election is in 2015. So will the mayor have to offer himself for municipal office again - while he's waiting. He said he wouldn't do it, but we asked him today if he might have to. Here's what he said:... Mayor Darrell Bradley "Whatever decision that I make will be in the best interest of residents of Belize City and will be in the best interest of the United Democratic Party and will be in the best interest of what I think I can offer to members of the public. It's a difficult situation at this present moment because I'm not aware what all of these dates are. I know that what was told to me in terms of my priorities right now, my chief priority is being an effective mayor. I am looking at completing my term. I had made certain indications to members of the public as it relates to wanting to finish this term on a high note wanting to deliver in terms of the hundred streets."

The Details Of A Departure
Last week Thursday, 7News told you about the press conference which the Board of Trustees of the University of Belize held to clear the air around the sudden departure of the President, Dr. Cary Frazer. He is expected to stay on until the end of this current school year, which ends May 2014, but during that time, the Board will be going through a rigorous process to find a suitable replacement for him. It sounds like a situation where relations between the board and Dr. Frazer could get strained, given that he has already complained to the Prime Minister in a letter that they've micromanaged the university, which he believes restricted his leadership. That question came up at the press conference where the chairman of the board addressed it directly. Here's how he responded: Lynette Canto, Reporter LOVE FM "The President as you said is still effective, his position is still in effect and we are wondering how as the board of the university - how that relationship will be maintained, if he has already effective his resignation and we know that it seems his heart as already left. How will you continue to work with him in the interim and what will this mean for the university?"

Belize Recovering From Floods
At the beginning of the weekend, the seemingly unending rains which caused flooding all over the country started to lift, but there were some aspects of the flooding which we didn't manage to deal with. One area which we didn't touch on is the damage done to the Bullet Tree Road where one of the culverts of Paslow falls area was washed away. The Village Council started repairs as soon as the rains held up. In Santa Elena, the flash flood tore off a part of a part of the fencing for the football field, something the residents told us was very unusual, and indicated the strength of the waters which passed through. v Also, we reported that Cristo Rey Bridge was washed away; that was an error, and it was only the approaches to the bridge were washed away. As we showed you, the Ministry of Works got into gear to fix those approaches as soon as was possible. The Belize Red Cross is also reporting that 200 families in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley are in desperate need of help from the public. Red Cross is asking if donations can be made of money, canned food, toiletries, and clean clothes for men, women, boys and girls ages 2 to 14 year's old.

Regional U-16 Tourney Begins In Belmopan
Tonight the UNCAF under - 16 football tournament has started in Belmopan at the FFB stadium. Right now, Belize is playing Nicaragua in the third match of the night and our national team is in the first half and the score is one to nil for Belize on a penalty kick. In games so far today, Guatemala Beat Salvador 2 to nil and Costa Rica beat Honduras, two to one in the second game. Today, before the games commenced, Daniel Ortiz visited Belmopan for a preview: The Belize game will be shown right after the news tonight - on a 40 minute tape delay. On Wednesday, we will air the game live at 7:00 and to accommodate that, the news will start at 6:00 pm. That's right, not 6:30 as usual, but at 6:00 - so make sure ot tune in early. Tomorrow, since it is a holiday, we'll show all three games live from the FFB stadium in Belmopan starting at two. The liver coverage is made possible through a joint effort of CCV Cable, Channel 7, KREM Radio and TV, Plus TV Channel 5, and LOVE TV.

A Debate On Oil
The Belize Coalition to save Our Natural Heritage held its first national secondary school debate this morning. The debate which was held at the Bliss Center focused on oil in Belize; it's impact, benefits and risks. The Belize Rural High School we went up against Belize High School and 7 news was there. Julie Waight, Education Outreach Officer "This morning the Belize Coalition to Save of Natural Heritage is hosting its first national secondary oil debate competition, This morning we are doing the central region, we have two schools debating; Belize Rural High School versus the Belize High School." "The Belize Coalition wanted to start the discussion on oil and so this is a good way to start through the high schools, having them do extensive research in terms of oil in Belize. We are hoping that after this more schools will be more inclined into doing research and more debating and also to take it up to a higher level next year hopefully at the tertiary level." "It is a critical issue, we hear it on the news every other week, so its a good way for people to actually start learning more about the whole discussion about oil in Belize."

Village Wants In As NCL Bus Provider
We've heard a lot of criticism about the project Norwegian Cruise Line has planned for Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District. But you won't hear any of that from the Independence Village Council. Matter of fact, they're trying to figure out how best to position themselves to capitalize on the cruise line commerce. Village council member Emilio Zabaneh told us that the council is planning on forming a co-operative to become a transport services contractor for Norwegian. He says they have already convened a meeting of transportation stakeholders in the area and the next step if to form the co-op. He says after that they will seek out financing and put out a tender to Norwegian in about 18 months. Norwegian is requiring the conversion school buses that can travel on rough roads, and not the premier type buses.

Scenes From A Settlement
Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement Day - a public and bank holiday and the richest cultural celebration on the calendar. To set the mood, we close tonight with some clips from the Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York as they performed on Friday night at the Bliss Center. Enjoy and Remember to join us tomorrow for live under 16 UNCAFD football starting at 2:00 in the afternoon, and on Wednesday night join us for an early start of the news at 6:00 pm. Until then, have a great and culturally rich settlement day.

Channel 5

Paul Alvarez shot for a second time in less than a year
A Belize City man is tonight recovering after being shot in the face. Paul Alvarez Jr., aka “Paulie”, became the latest shooting victim on Friday night after he was injured [...]

Anti-drug operation on La Isla Bonita; Coast Guard officers shoot a civilian
A man is at the K.H.M.H. recovering from a gunshot wound he received during a Coast Guard operation on Northern Ambergris Caye. Acting on information received, on Saturday the Coast [...]

Allegation of unnecessary force by Coast Guard a hoax
There is a serious allegation arising from the Coast Guard operation on Ambergris Caye over the weekend. As officers transported the injured Frank Edwards to the San Pedro Polyclinic, they [...]

BSCFA and B.S.I. planned meeting…will it happen?
Late Friday evening, a letter was sent out by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited in reference to the ongoing negotiation with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on a new [...]

The art of drum making and its significance to the Garifuna people
Garifuna Settlement Day will be celebrated on Tuesday and residents across the country have begun their annual pilgrimage to the Culture Capital, where they will indulge in plenty of food [...]

The first National Secondary School Oil Debate Competition in Belize
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is hosting the first National Secondary School Oil Debate Competition in Belize. Nine schools from across the country are going up against [...]

2 men sentenced for gun and ammunition offences; 18 year old incarecerated
Eighteen-year-old Shane Godoy, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was sentenced to five years for each count today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, after she found [...]

20 year old John Faber sentenced to 5 years for ammo offences
Twenty-year-old John Faber, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was also sentenced to five years for each count today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she [...]

Workshop held to improve the use of IBIS
The introduction of the Integrated Ballistics Identification System, IBIS, in October 2012 provided the National Forensic Science Service a new means of solving gun-related crimes at a crucial time when [...]

UNCAF U-16 competition gets underway in Belmopan
The Central American Under-sixteen Football Tournament gets underway tonight in Belmopan with an impressive line-up of inaugural matches, including the much anticipated Belize/Nicaragua face-off.  That opening game will be aired [...]

Sorrel Stout back on the shelves
Beer drinkers are in for a special treat, as the Belize Brewing Company is once again putting to market a unique stout for the season. The product is spiced with [...]

Weekend sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 8 in the Belikin Cup was a bit iffy because of the rains but at best 2 of [...]


Schools Debate: To Drill or Not to Drill for Oil
The first ever debate on offshore oil drilling kicked off today at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts with the semi-finals between the Belize High School of Belize City and the Belize Rural High School of Double Head Cabbage Village. The event was the brainchild of the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, which has been vocal in its stance against offshore oil drilling. At the end of 40 minutes of arguments for and against, Belize High School, which argued against, edged out its rural competitor, which argued for offshore oil drilling. While some say that the arguments were on point, both Jordanny Williams of Belize High School and James Pollard of Belize Rural High School believe that public opinion had some bearing on the today’s results. JORDANNY WILLIAMS “It is much easier to say that we should not nationalize because most of the statistics point towards going away from that because if you take it on it will be another problem you have to deal with and it’s very informative if you look it up; it’s discussed more than you believe. I thought it was a small topic but when you research it, it’s very broad and it has many different aspects towards it. So, yea it’s not that difficult but it’s very helpful.”

Armed Heist Leaves Police Seeking Two Suspects
Corozal Police are looking for two persons believed to be involved in an armed heist over the weekend. According to Corozal Police, on Saturday they received word of a robbery in progress at Chong Sang Supermarket located on College Road. Upon arrival forty year old Chinese business man Jian Chang, informed police that about 1:25 in the afternoon two male persons entered the store. Chang described one of the men as being of Hispanic descent and the other of dark complexion and both were wearing caps. He adds that both men wielded firearms which they pointed at his worker twenty-four year old Yan Chao Wu who was behind the counter at the time.

BTL Park will Launch with A Huge Bang, Says Mayor
Exactly three weeks ago Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley updated the media that the renovation of BTL Park would be completed in 41 days and that the newly refurbished park would be officially opened on December 7th. Well the rains have been almost constant since then so we took the opportunity to ask Bradley if this has affected the scheduled re-launch of the park. DARRELL BRADLEY “In relation to BTL Park, we have noticed that there has been a setback. The date that we have set, 7th December to launch the park has been forecasted, all things being even, including the weather. The three weeks have really held us back. One of the things that we are looking at is that the contractors are really working well, they worked on the weekends; they worked this weekend, I did an inspection out there and so we are going to make a final decision as it relates to the launch but even if there is to be a delay, I don’t expect that it will be more than a week or so and we are expecting that the park will be opened before the Christmas holidays.

Love FM’s Annual Southern Tour Ends Tomorrow
The Southern Tour is approaching its peak tonight and Tuesday from Garifuna communities in the south. Before leaving Belize City, Coordinator of the Tour, Armin Arana, told Love News that to help keep the colorful Garifuna culture alive, those at the helm of its success plan to take its popularity to another level. ARMIN ARANA “There is something about this culture; the vibrancy of it, to the extent that there is this day to highlight this culture. I don’t think there is a day for any other culture in Belize per se that there is a public and bank holiday; compared to that of other cultures, we say that there must be something about this culture for them to put aside a special day that we can highlight this. I know most Garinagu look forward to celebrate and be proud of who they are on this day. One of the things though is that it’s more highlighted around November 19 and they would like to change that. I do believe that the National Garifuna Council would like to change that that their different activities are held more throughout the year than just on the 19. It’s not only on a date; it is who we are and we should be proud of whom we are not only on the 19th but all year round.”

Faber Guilty of Firearm Charges
23-year-old, John Faber charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was found guilty of both offences and was sentenced to five years for each count today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Faber’s sentences are to run concurrently. The incident occurred on July 16, 2011 on Faber’s Road when two police officers testified that they were trailing a gold color Ford Ranger pick-up truck driven by Faber because they had received certain information. They said that when the Ford Ranger came to a stop, a man and a woman got out then Faber alighted from the vehicle.

Man Gets Bullet to the Face Behind Courthouse
20-year-old, Albert Robinson, a construction worker of Berry Street was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Robinson was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser did not take a plea from him because the offences are indictable and neither could she offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until December 30. The charges are in connection with a shooting incident which occurred on Friday, November 15, on Victoria Street in Belize City. In the incident 21-year-old, Paul Alvarez Jr, a car washer who worked in the parking lot behind the Magistrate Court Building, was shot in his face. Alvarez is reported to be in a critical condition at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Robinson was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

Coast Guard Explains Shooting Incident and Allegations of Assault
A shootout between the Belize National Coast Guard and five civilians resulted in one man being shot. The incident happened in the Rocky Point Area in Ambergris Caye on Saturday morning at about 7:30am when the Coast Guard was on patrol. Love News has confirmed that that three of the five men are currently detained by Police while the other two are believed to have escaped across the border. Vice Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Lieutenant Commander Elton Bennett, told Love News what transpired and that the presence of the coast guard in that area may have prevented a drug trade. LT. CMMDR. ELTON BENNETT “The Coast Guard was conducting special operations in the area of North Ambergris Caye; this is about one mile south of the Belize/Mexican Border where the patrol was conducting foot patrol and we spotted 5 men in an area near the old Fisheries Station. We approached the area and one of the five men fired shots at the patrol. The patrol returned fire and secure the area and whilst we were returning one of the men got shot. We were able to detain three of the five individuals. The one individual who got shot was taken to San Pedro Polyclinic. We found a small amount of marijuana and some information that we determined to be useful for follow up Operations.”

Reports of Demonic Possession in Northern Belize
Stories of demonic spirits possessing children are mostly things in movies but for the past week we have been receiving reports that students at two high schools in Orange Walk showed signs of being possessed. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTS “Reports to LOVE NEWS are that up to six young females who attend two prominent high schools, one in Orange Walk Town and one in rural Orange Walk have been showing signs that some supernatural spirit had taken over their body. We have been investigating the reports and no one from either educational institution would comment on the matter, to deny it or confirm the reports. Our sources have told us however that last week a charismatic priest visited three high schools in the Orange Walk as part of a tour that been organized by the catholic bishops’ commission. It was during the priest’s visit that these young girls showed signs that something supernatural had over taken their body. We have received different accounts from different individuals.


Public Accounts Committee Needs Changes for Future Excellent Governments: Hon. Julius Espat
The Public Accounts Committee – an agency that has been lying dormant for decades, but, have in the recent months, been dominating headlines. The Chairman of that committee, the Hon. Julius Espat, set fire to a countrywide dialogue that eventually led to the re-activation of the PAC. The Chair...

UB’s Board of Trustees Meets Urgently Pending the President’s Resignation
Tonight, the leadership of the University of Belize hangs in the balance. In a letter, dated November 6th, President Dr. Cary Fraser wrote to the Prime Minister expressing his intent to leave his post next year. The letter reads in part “Dear Prime Minister Barrow, I have made the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Primary school celebrates Children’s week
Children’s week started off by praising The Lord! Then the teachers entertained the kids. Last but not least there was Garifuna drumming.

Belize celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day!
Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941. It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing. Caye Caulker also has an influential Garifuna community who celebrate the festivities with merrymaking and drumming. We wish our Garifuna brothers and sisters a happy Garifuna Settlement Day.

The Belize Red Cross is appealing for donations
The Belize Red Cross is a making a special appeal to aide families affected by the recent floods in communities in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley. Some 200 families in these areas are in great need and we ask for monetary donations, canned food, and toiletries. We are also asking for help with clean clothes for men, women, and boys and girls ages 2 to 14 years old. We ask that ONLY properly laundered clothes be delivered to us. The Belize Red Cross does not have laundry facilities. Local rivers, their tributaries and lagoons spilled their banks during two weeks of continuous rains caused by tropical depressions that affected Belize. Villagers in some areas have endured up to four feet of water in their neighborhoods. The Belize Red Cross has begun assessing the needs of communities most affected in these areas.


“A House is Not a Home” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
No editions of the blog published over the last few days. Been a bit tardy I suppose. Not lazy, just tardy. Obviously I got up , had the ‘must have’ mug (it can’t be a cup, it just has to be a mug) of black coffee and spent my ‘quality’ (well I consider it to be quality time) on the veranda (first floor, western side) with my iPad which provides me with access to the rest of the world. You can travel wherever you want without getting out of your seat! So whatI have been doing to occupy so much of my time that I couldn’t spare some time to publish an edition or two I hear you thinking (really stupid expression that isn’t it. How can you hear someone thinking?). Well, I had intended to spend some time clearing some of the debris from the around the house ((the guys had cleared a lot of rubbish (garbage for non UK readers) before Daniel Camal, the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize, ‘handed’ the house over to us)) but we are still coming across bits of PVC piping, off-cuts of tiles, empty plastic bottles, polystyrene food containers, bits of wood, etc. But the rain put a stop to that. Every time I felt the urge to start the clean-up the rain came down. And down. And down (is it really necessary to point out that the rain comes down? I’ve never heard of it going up!).

30 ways to save money on a Belize vacation
Money saving tips are always handy, especially when you’re on vacation. And since travel to Belize isn’t cheap, I’m sure you’ll appreciate my list of 30 ways you can save money on a Belize vacation. However, if you’re too frugal, it might dampen your experience; so browse through the recommendations below and decide which are best for you. Before Belize 1. Research and plan your vacay well Planning your vacation right can save you a ton of money. This involves researching for the best tips and ideas. For example, a good itinerary will allow you to enjoy the best of Belize and also minimize time and money wastage. 2. Browse the internet for deals After doing your research on where you want to stay and the things you want to do, browse for the best deals offered by the different suppliers. Look far in advance so that you can possibly take advantage of promotions. 3. Follow hotels and tour operators on social media As a marketing tactic to grow a wide fan base, many hotels and tour operators offer discounts that are only for social media users.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pistachio Cranberry Cookies
A'lookin out t'winder I see a beeyootiful coverin o'snoe un t'rees, an' so at turns my thoughts ta Christmus. I luv ta bake cookies an' will share a festif' cookie recipe today. I usual make quite a varietee fer Christmus an' I like ta fill plates wit cookies an' gif' 'um away ta fambly an' friens. If'n y'all want less sweetness n' thishere cookie y'all a'ken omit t'white chocolate chips an' doubull t'amount o'pistachios.

Lessons from the experiences of our Garifuna ancestors
This piece offers a compelling story of the journey of the Garinagu people. In my opinion It also reflects a common history of the Creoles and Garinagu of Belize. The realities are that parents, brothers, sisters and cousins were likely on different ships, all enslaved in Africa and taken across the Atlantic Ocean in an arduous voyage, however a shipwreck sets a different path for the Garinagus. Jeremy offers an uncensored view of the realities of slavery and oppression in the Caribbean. The annual Garifuna Settlement Day celebration, which was founded in 1942 by visionary Garifuna leader Thomas Vincent Ramos, is the foremost event to remind Garinagu about their genesis, exodus, and survival against historical odds that were meant to exterminate their existence and identity as a people. The celebration also occurs in the Garifuna diaspora and on different dates at Garifuna communities in Honduras (April 12), Guatemala (Nov. 26) and Nicaragua. This year’s celebration theme is: – “Awanse wamá lidan aban lau lareini bungiu luma habayarahan áhari. (Let us progress in unity with God’s goodness and the protection of our ancestors.”

Nine Layer Salad
Just in time for Thanksgiving, here's an exciting salad. I used the items I like, but you can absolutely use what you love.

Amazing Fun in Roatan: Gumba Limba Park
There are lots of activities in Roatan. At over 35 miles in length and a population of about 150,000, it’s a good sized island plus, they get some serious cruise ship activity. And cruise shippers like to get off the ships and…do things. There are dune buggies, zip lines, animals to see, shopping to do, dolphin shows and plenty of snorkeling and diving along the reef. We decided to head to an area between West End and West Bay about a 10 minute taxi drive ($6USD) up a very steep road called Gumba Limba Park. Monkeys? Zip lines? 5 minutes to a gorgeous beach? Yes please. And on Friday? No cruise ships in port. We had the place literally to ourselves. All the guides, all the zip lines, ALL THE MONKEYS!

International Sources

Venezuela's PetroCaribe energy programme may be in trouble
Following Guatemala’s announcement in early November that it was pulling out of Venezuela's PetroCaribe alliance, the Hugo Chavez-era oil-for-regional-influence program could be on its last legs, the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) reports.

Retirees Skip Settling Down to Travel World Instead
Anyone can do the same. Spend two months in Paris, six weeks in Portugal, then try Latin America. Start with the beaches of Belize, move south to the mountains of Ecuador. "Beyond the adventure, the true beauty of this way of life is the flexibility," Stevens says. "A roving retirement like this can be as fast- or slow-paced as you like. Having discovered an enchanting Italian hilltop town, you can linger. If a place appeals, stay longer…if not, move on." Lynne and Tim Martin have lived in nine countries—including France three times—since 2011, when they sold their comfortable California house, put a few small treasures in storage, and kissed their daughters and grandchildren goodbye.

November 18, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Doctor Love: Rumors
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. Dear Doctor Love, This very good friend of mine has a problem with his wife. They had been married for five years and the marriage was […]

Saga Humane Society say Thanks
Dear Editor, Saga Humane Society would like to give our sincere Thanks to all of our supporters in the San Pedro Town community for helping to make our 10th Annual Halloween Party a fantastic success. Thank you to our gracious hostess Charlene Woods and the amazing staff at BC’s Beach Bar for their hospitality. The beach was alive with the dynamic sounds of Valentino, aroma of delicious food and the sounds of giggling children. It was a great day, despite the downpour and hurricane winds that blew the tents down. Eventually the rain stopped, the sun came out and everyone had a howling good time. Our honored judges this year were Tamara Sniffin, Jan Brown, and Allen Soto. They had a hard time deciding on the winners of the various Costume Contests. After much discussion the winners were announced. There was a tie for Cutest! 1st Cutest – Yankee as Pupcake – Tula; 1st Cutest – Bella as a Witch – David and Benjamin, 2nd Cutest – Pumpkin Princess – Elsa, Scariest – Voshi as Zombie Dog – Siomarie, Best Team – Monsterish Dogs – Monster High.

Wolfe’s Woofers: The Complete Physical Exam
At the clinic I had to endure all kinds of humiliation while the doctor poked at me and prodded me. Finally, he said, “All right, the only thing left is the physical exam.” “What psychiatric test? Why do I need a psychiatric test?” “Mr. Wolfe, you are recovering from a very serious illness. That is […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Fishing Report, Week of November 9 – 16th, 2013
Wow. Montana showed up in a big way, as Montana people do. Anderson and Platt brought 38 of their angling buddies – actually not all of them from Montana, but it felt like it, which is a good thing. We all were so happy to see our repeat friends and excited to know new friends. Kevin and Kelly – the brothers from Colorado, are always so much fun. Jon and Brad are some of the best trip leaders in the business. Thank you boys! Tammy and Eric we hope to see you back soon. Thank you to Ed and also Tammy for letting us celebrate your birthdays with you this week. And most importantly, thank you to all of our guests this week. You all deserve the “Best Sport” award. You had some real live tropical weather this week and you kept smiling and laughing. All the time reporting how thankful you were to be in such a great place. Well, we were darn lucky to have such a great group of friends. Thank you and come back soon!

The Belize Volleyball Association General Congress 2013 Notice
The Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) announces, invites and gives notice to its members of its 2013 General Congress to be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 30th, 2013, at the Caracol Room, Radisson Fort George Hotel. In addition to the reports of activities of the past two years and opportunities for the future, elections will be held for the members of the Board of Administration. As per constitution, “Any person desirous of seeking elected office at the General Congress must be an affiliated member; must be a Belizean; and, must submit their name in writing [nominated by at least three (3) other affiliated members] to the Secretary General seventy-two (72) hours prior to the holding of such General Congress.” “In the event there are no nominations received by the Secretary General the floor shall be opened for nominations from those members present at the General Congress.” The Secretary General, Mrs. Sherylee Young-Thurton, can be reached at Santiago Castillo Ltd., San Cas Plaza, Belize City.

Maya First Donates Computers
Feelgood news of the day. The Maya First Organization donated computers to the primary schools in San Antonio. "Maya First Organization donates #DELL computers to both schools of the village of San Antonio Village, Cayo Dist, Belize."

Juried Photographic Exhibition Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the Juried Photographic Exhibition! It must've been difficult for the judges to decide, although the Chiquibul Sunrise from Roni Martinez is very impressive. Color 1st Place: Chiquibul Sunrise by Ronaldi Martinez Color 2nd Place: Girls on a bicycle by Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut Color 3rd Place: The eyes of color by Jenny Guerra Ruiz Black/White 1st Place: A time to reflect by Fernando Cruz Black/White 2nd Place: Hummingbird at Sunset by Sandrina Svetlana DePaz Black/White 3rd Place: El Chichlero by Elvis Avila

The Garifuna Legacy
The SISE House of Culture is having Joshua Arana play tomorrow, Monday, November 18th, to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. The festivities start at 9:30am. "Join us in the celebration of the living culture and Garifuna Legacy in Belize.. Live drum's by one of our greatest drummers in Belize, Joshua Arana... Live the momentum with us at SISE HOC"

Rotary 'Educate Our Youth' Fundraiser
Pictures of Rotary's 'Educate Our Youth' fundraiser that was catered by SHJC's Food and Beverage students, Shabla Event Planning and Catering, and CET. "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio had their 'Educate Our Youth' fundraiser at CET. It was a lot of fun, and the Sacred Heart Junior College Food and Beverage students did a great job. They raised money to send 25 students to school. Thanks, Rotary Club of San Ignacio!"


Things Between BSCFA And BSI Get Nasty
Yesterday we told you about the BSCFA’s rejection to meet with officials of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited in Belize City on November 19th to resume renegotiations on the new agreement if the payment per ton of Bagasse to cane famers does not form part of the discussion. Since BSI stated that the issue can be dealt with at unspecified date, the BSCFA continues with its threat not to commence the 2013/2014 crops on November 25th. And tonight the back and forth continues with BSI responding not too keen on the threats made by the BSCFA’s top brass on delaying the start of the new crop season. What we can tell you is that the situation is getting nasty because BSI made public a letter sent to Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Leonardo Cano.

So Does Corozal
In the Corozal District residents living in Potzal Area, Chula Vista, and other flood prone areas have been experiencing localize flooding. But while they remain at home, the same cannot be said for two families who had to evacuate their home and are presently housed at the San Andres Community Center. “We have some flood prone areas in Corozal Town and everybody knows, Potzal Areas is one of the flood areas apart from the Chula Vista, we haven’t had any flood treats from Chula Vista area as yet but the other area Potzal we have two families that have already reported, they have been flooded into their homes, at this point I have already made arrangements to relocate them to one of our shelters and that is the San Andres community shelter and they will be relocated to that area until the water recedes.”

O/W Records Localize Flooding
Several families in the Lousiana Area here in Orange Walk have fallen victim to flooding due to the incessant rains. Water is threatening to enter their homes as their yard is already saturated. This makes it difficult for the affected families to lead normal lives as children are falling ill and missing out on classes. Our newsteam was dispatched to the area and here’s what we found out. The torrential rains have been relentless over the past few weeks and for several families in the Louisiana Area this spells problems as the flooded waters are threatening to enter their homes. We spoke to a few residents who are pleading for assistance. Aaron Miller - Resident “We got a problem with the street, if we had this street we wouldn’t have had this amount of flood, because when I was working with Mr. Burns he gave me a little access with the material, so we were filling up here and so if you notice all the water just cut all the way into my land and we are filling up but so much truck has come here with Mr. Burns gave me a little hand and thank to him we get a little opportunity now if the government would only help us on the street then we got access out but right now we have no access, we got this neighbor back here and that one there, the people who sell and so and then the kids cannot go to school and if it get higher it will be a problem. Back ya da four families and Mr. Popper here, and this next gentleman back here we get flood out and then over the next street flood out too, like the people over there they flood out too, it is a problem and I will have to evacuate if it continues but where we will go, rent expensive we cannot afford that, we have one job and the kids go to school and we cannot afford that, that is the only problem we have right now.”

Sartenja Road Remains Impassable
As we speak more than half a mile of the road between Chunox and Sarteneja is under water. Last night we reported three feet but due to the constant rains the water has risen making it more difficult for residents of Sarteneja to make it in and out of the village. In order to reach the village residents, including children have to walk more than a mile in murky waters thus putting their health at risk. Yesterday, Secretary of the Sarteneja Village Council Darnell Cruz pleaded for assistance. When we spoke to NEMO Coordinator for Corozal Willard Levy he told us that engineers would travel to the area to access the situation and while the assessment is carried out personnel of the Belize Defense Force would be deployed to the area to assist villagers in moving from one to the other. We understand that early this morning a BDF truck was sent to the location but the vehicle was unable to make it across the flooded waters.

Man Shot In Sarteneja Corozal
While Ramirez, Habet and Tzul wait to be prosecuted in the Mexican Courts, here in Belize one from the Village of Sarteneja has been charged for dangerous harm and deadly means of harm. Forty two year old Romaldo Catzim was arrested and charged after he shot 29 year old Belizean Fisherman of Sarteneja Village Darwin Ortega. Reports are that yesterday at about 1:00am Catzim and one Darwin Ortega became engaged in a fist fight. Fifty year old Indalicio Ortega, Darwin’s father arrived at the scene and separated the fight. As he pushed his son away he heard Catzim mention that he will go and get his shotgun to shoot both of them.

Names Of Belizeans Charged For Drug Trafficking In Mexico Released
Last night we told you about the three Belizeans and Mexican National that were detained by Mexican Authorities in Subteniente Lopez, located near the Belize Mexico Border, for drug trafficking. Since investigations were fresh the three Belizeans were only identified as El Michel, El Ardelfo and Orlando while the Mexican was identified only as Freddy. Tonight we have the complete name of all individuals. They are Michael Ashton Ramirez, Orlando Habet and Ruperto Adolphus Tzul of Belizean Nationality and Mexican National Freddy Andrés Lagos Vargas. As mentioned last night the four men were detained on Wednesday after the vehicle they were traveling in, bearing license plate C-45188, was in intercepted on Cuauhtémoc Street in Subteniente Lopez.

U.S Embassy Denies Listening In On Phone Conversations
Whistleblower Alverine Burgess surprised the nation when she made it on the Dickie Bradley Show aired on Channel Five on Monday and went into details on the visa facilitated procedure which according to her saw Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro collecting thousands of dollars. Burgess also revealed that when she when she was interrogated by the US Embassy, an employee played back conversations that she'd had with Castro and another person on the sale of visa. It’s a story that has raised many eyebrows and one that questioned the credibility of Burgess. It also brought to light that there may be a possibility that the US is engage in electronic surveillance or wire tapping activities in Belize. Well, today Belize City media spoke with a spokesperson at the US Embassy who said that while they are deeply concerned about allegations about VISA or Passport fraud, they categorically denied recording anyone in connection to this matter. “We are of course very concern about the allegations of visa or passport fraud really anywhere in the world but because it concerns us when something like this is happening so we are following this matter very closely, what I can say is that person you mention as the informant came into the embassy for a visa interview at her own, I am not at liberty to talk about what was discussed during that interview because U.S law does not allows us to do that but I can say that her statements has been inaccurate and that I can assure you that the U.S embassy has no recorded anyone included any government officials in connection with this matter with what is going on here, that is not correct.”

Caye Caulker Chronicles

This was a disorganized disrespectful rabble of a meeting, the first of what we all hope will be regular meetings from this Village Council, and was attended by approximately 50 people and as the meeting went on, many more people outside. There was a certain faction that were inebriated, and impolite. Mr Miller opened the meeting only a few mins after 7pm, which was a great start. He told us what he thought the accomplishments were over the short time period since middle of July and brought us up to date on the sorry state of the finances. When questioned directly later in the meeting he did tell us that there is almost $500,000.00 in tax arrears, and that although 90% of the foreign population was up to date with taxes, only 28% of the local population was. He said that in order for this village council to succeed, taxes needed to be paid and reminded us all that paying taxes was an obligation, not a choice. Some member of the community commented that nobody in Belize pays taxes, at which point another member pointed out that that person did not have a say in the meeting if he chose not to pay tax.


Lisa’s life changing first trip to Ambergris Caye
Today’s post was sent in by Lisa Still who made her first trip to Belize this past summer. While here, she felt like she had found her new home. She felt at peace a feeling she had have never experienced before and something she wanted to share with you. I know her words will ring true for many of you as far as first visits past or future and the island capturing your hearts. Hi, my name is Lisa. I came to Ambergris Caye in Aug of this year, for the first time. The trip was life changing! Like many of you, I have dreamed of living on the ocean, in a small town, where the way of life is laid back like in the 1960's and 1970's. Where you go to town to shop and you know your grocery store owner personally. You know the owner of the vegetable stand and you stop and talk about whats going on in your lives and the community. A place where going to town is not just to take care of your business, you know you will run into old friends or possibly make a new one. I started my quest in 2006, looking for my country and city. I also started praying about my dream to move. I looked at different places to see what they had to offer, countries with tropical weather and blue Caribbean waters. I went on many message boards and asked lots of questions. Every waking hour that I wasn’t working, I was on the internet searching. I had even briefly looked at Belize.

Why Expats Are Living in Belize
Once the decision to move down to a gorgeous tropical destination to live out your retirement years has been made, the real work can begin. And of course, this work begins with one major question, where should I move? Consider living in Belize. With a plethora of unbelievable choices out there, what is it about the little country of Belize that has so many expats packing their bags and heading down to its sandy shores? Positioned between Mexico, Guatemala and the clear blue Caribbean Sea, living in Belize will provide you with things that you could only dream of back in the States, and above all, it will offer you the chance to truly slow down. Tropical beauty As is the case with most Central American countries, many expats are lured down to Belize simply due to its stunning natural beauty, and because of this unspoiled beauty, Belize has been dubbed by some as “mother nature’s best kept secret.”

International Sources

Old X-ray equipment donated to a wildlife clinic in Belize
The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic was until recently in desperate need of an X-ray machine. Diagnosing animals can be difficult at the best of times due to their inability to provide veterinarians with insight into how they feel and what their symptoms are, but without the ability to examine an animal’s internal anatomy it becomes nearly impossible. We were able to donate our old equipment to the Belize clinic, and we hope the wildlife of Belize will now be better off. X-ray machines are used to show the insides of an animal in terms of relative density. X-rays are electromagnetic radiation like visible light, but unlike visible light they have enough energy to pass through most materials found in an animal’s body. They are still absorbed to some degree however, and the more dense the material they are hitting the more they will be absorbed by it.

The Caribbean’s Fastest and Slowest-Growing Populations
We continue our series on the World Bank’s Caribbean data by looking at another statistic: population growth. We’ve already looked at the Caribbean’s richest countries by GDP per capita, by population density, by life expectancy and by age of population. So what are the Caribbean’s fastest-growing populations? According to the World Bank, the fastest-growing population in the region is one of the tiniest: the Turks and Caicos Islands, which has seen an average annual growth of 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2012. Second was the Cayman Islands, which saw an average annual growth rate of 2.7 percent from 2000 to 2012.

EU joins US in Effort to Strengthen Shark Finning Ban Atlantic Tuna Body
The Shark Trust and Shark Advocates International are heralding news that the EU will join an effort spearheaded by the US and Brazil to strengthen the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea). Officials from dozens of countries will discuss this and other high seas fishing measures at the annual ICCAT meeting next week in Cape Town, South Africa. “We are pleased and excited that the European Union has embraced the best practice for preventing the wasteful practice of shark finning, and is now placing its considerable influence behind the growing effort to make fins-attached the rule around the globe,” said Ali Hood, Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust. Shark fins are used in a celebratory Asian soup. High demand for fins is a key driver in many shark fisheries and provides the incentive for finning. ICCAT was the first international fisheries body to ban shark finning (in 2004), but implementation is based on a complicated fin-to-body weight ratio that is difficult to enforce and hinders the collection of accurate information on shark catches. Scientists recommend that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached, as this is the most reliable method for ensuring that finning did not occur while also facilitating species-specific data collection. The US, Brazil, and the EU have offered a proposal for next week’s meeting that would require that shark fins remain naturally attached to shark bodies until after they are landed on shore. The US and Brazil – along with Belize – proposed the beneficial change at the last four ICCAT meetings. In past years, Japan and China have led the effort to defeat the measure.

Artisan chocolates pair with sparklers, whites, and reds
When pairing a beverage with chocolate treats, many brew a French press of coffee rather than uncork a bottle. But if the folks at Taza Chocolate have their way, we might be trading in our favorite mugs for glasses of sparklers, whites, or reds. Taza, whose artisan chocolates are made in a stone-ground style, offers a two-hour evening tasting with wines supplied by the North End's Taranta Restaurant. Joshua Mamaclay, Taza store and tour manager, explains to the 14 attendees how the company, founded in 2006, has a direct trade relationship with each of its producers, who farm organically in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Belize and supply the cacao beans. The $50 tasting includes six wines and six confections.

After Biden’s trade talks with Caricom: US and Caribbean forge stronger relationship
The United States and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) are forging a stronger relationship, the US Trade Representative (USTR) office said in a statement issued after the first US-Caricom meeting since May when US Vice President Joe Biden signed into existence a US-Caricom Council on Trade and Investment. Together with then Caricom Chairman, Haitian President Michel Martelly, Biden signed a revised Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which gave life to the council, the mandate of which is to deal with what the USTR described in its statement as “important trade and investment issues”. The USTR said: “Bilateral trade, intellectual property, e-commerce, (and) regulatory cooperation (were) discussed at the first meeting under the US-Caricom TIFA.” The leading categories of Caricom exports to the US in 2012 were mineral fuel, chemicals, and iron and steel, the largest producer of which, in the Caribbean, is T&T. Caricom is comprised of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Barely half of Commonwealth heads attended summit
Of the 50 countries that attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 15 to 17 November 2013, on the theme Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development, just 27 were represented by their heads of state or government. The leaders of India and Canada boycotted the summit over alleged human rights abuse of Tamils by the Sri Lankan government. The territorial disputes between Belize and Guatemala, and Guyana and Venezuela were addressed by the heads of government. In relation to Belize, heads expressed disappointment that the simultaneous referendums scheduled for 6 October 2013 were not held, due to Guatemala’s decision to postpone. Heads emphasised the importance of preserving the 2008 Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala, which commits both parties to holding simultaneous referendums on submitting Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice. Heads urged both parties to agree on a new date for the simultaneous referendums to take place within the shortest possible time.

Best Places In Belize To Chill Out
Lying along the southern coast of the Caribbean Sea in Central America, Belize has many places where one can relax with a fruity alcohol-spiked beverage and chill out under the blazing tropical sun. Despite this countries’ small size though, it can be hard to pick a beach resort that meets ones needs. Where should you go in Belize for your winter getaway? That depends a great deal on who you are, and the activities that you enjoy.

November 17, 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

Belize to Prepare a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2014- 2017
The Government of Belize is pleased to announce that in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, through financial and technical assistance, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has commenced preparation of a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017. The strategy will be one of a series of medium-term strategies that will need to be prepared and implemented towards realizing the vision put forward in Horizon 2030. This vision reads: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquility, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way.” Achieving this vision requires effective planning which involves developing good medium-term strategic plans, linking these plans to successive operational multi-year budgets and putting in place an appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework. This first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will therefore complement efforts already under way to improve Government’s budgeting process through the adoption of programme budgeting. Programme budgeting is expected to result in much improved management of public resources.

Renovations completed at the Boca del Rio Park
The renovation of the Boca del Rio Park is now complete thanks to the generous donation of Don Listwin of Canary Cove. Supervised by Gil Nunez, the park renovation involved the construction of four gazebo style palapas, each with its own picnic table, a new and complete playground set, the painting of the basketball court, installation of basketball nets and the planting of several flowers and shrubs. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, this is part of a bigger plan from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) to provide better recreational spaces for residents. “We believe that people need a place where they can go as a family, a place that the children can play safely. That is what we have created here at the Boca del Rio Park, a place for the whole family to have fun and enjoy the beach,” said Guerrero.

What’s New? Wahoo’s Lounge has new owners!
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce Cindy and Mike Gonkowicz. Cindy and Mike are the new owners of Wahoo’s Lounge, Home of the World Famous Chicken Drop. Originally from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, the couple has only recently moved to Ambergris Caye to get started on their new business venture. Cindy and Mike look forward to becoming a part of the community, especially supporting the Saga Humane Society and enjoying the weather in paradise. They assure all patrons that Wahoo’s will remain the same place you know and love. So if you’re out in town, stop in to have a cold one and say hi!

San Pedro’s Oldest Resident celebrates 99th birthday
Many residents may not be aware, but over the weekend, the San Pedro’s Oldest Resident celebrated her 99th birthday. Cecelia Guerrero Lara, the oldest born islander celebrated her birthday on Sunday November 9th. The mother of five children was given a surprise visit by members of the San Pedro Cultural Committee, who spent some time over the weekend with the longest living islander. A happy Cecelia Lara expressed her gratitude to the committee for remembering and spending time with her on her birthday. Even though she has sight problems, she can still move around with minimal assistance. “Thank God for living this long,” she commented. Cecelia explained that her parents and their family were amongst the early settlers of the island.

Misc Belizean Sources

'Belize: Through My Eyes' Launch
The Benque House of Culture had their new exhibit launch last night, and they got some great pictures from the event. The launch kicked off the Benque Festival of Culture, which is happening now, and continues through Monday. This weekend, there will be performances from the Benque Marimba Academy, Pablo Collado, and Panerrifix, just to name a few. "Belize: through my eyes a juried photographic exhibition was launched today for the 5th International Cultural Festival. It was unveiled by the NICH President Ms.Diane Haylock. We all thank the 16 Artist from all over Belize for sharing their personal images. We will share their names soon.. Some of this images will be showcased in Argentina at the Belize 2014" More picture albums: 1 - 2

Cayo Coaches Clear CONCACAF Course
Congratulatoins to the Cayo coaches that have obtained their CONCACAF 'D' License certification! Johnny Medina, one of the SI United's Coaches, was one of the recipients. Great job! "Congratulations to one of San Ignacio United's coach in obtaining his CONCACAF Coaching License."

Sarteneja residents cry for help
After incessant rains yesterday, the road turns to a river. The BDF truck provided for emergency can no longer drive in the rising flooded waters! Residents of the Village in the Corozal District continue to face serious difficulties in traversing the Sarteneja Road. More than half a mile of the road between Chunox Village and Sarteneja Village has been inundated by water overflowing from a lagoon that is adjacent to that section of the road. This new obstacle has been affecting everyone and up to last week Saturday, the Sarteneja Bus Line Company had stopped picking up residents who would usually board the bus at the village. But now the villagers, including children have to walk more than a mile in the murky waters to meet the bus which is waiting for them at the other end. According to bus driver, Joel Diaz, the company made the decision to have the villagers walk after the flood damaged three of their buses.

Video of the road recorded on Thursday
Yesterday, things went from bad to really bad! Our people should never have to be going through something like this. Mitigation should have been done a long time ago. Sarteneja Road now a river.

The Belize Times

Coming For Castro – Whistleblower: U.S. has Castro on tape!!!
“Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do when they come for you”… goes a popular song used in American movies before the cops make a sensational arrest of a criminal. For UDP representative Edmund Castro, the lyrics to this song must be ringing in his ears after it was alleged on Monday that special agents of the United States in Belize have a secret audio recording of him engaged in one of his many dealings. The revelation was made by whistleblower Alverine Burgess, who has made serious allegations against Castro, a UDP Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport. Mrs. Burgess, who has known Castro for many years, has alleged that the UDP Minister personally benefitted from the processing of visas for Chinese nationals through his Belmopan office. She said the price for each visa was $2,000. While appearing on Channel 5’s Dickie Bradley Special on Monday of this week, Mrs. Burgess dropped a bombshell revealing that after going public with the allegations, she was called in by the United States Embassy located in the City of Belmopan and was interrogated by agents for over three hours. During the many hours of interrogation, the agents, according to Burgess, showed her a computer which contained an audio file of a conversation she had with Castro and another individual. The conversation is said to be related to the allegations and is part of the U.S. Embassy’s own investigations into the scandal. The agents were thorough with their questioning about the visa and passport scandal. They took down notes and reviewed the information given, at times asking Mrs. Burgess to repeat and clarify her accounts in order to tie pieces together. At one point, said the brave whistleblower, the agents showed her files of dozens of photos and asked her to verify whether any of them had been facilitated with visas or passports.

UB in Crisis!
The Barrow Administration has found a way to drag down Belize’s national university, the University of Belize, into chaos and a crisis of leadership. The University’s President Guyanese national Dr. Cary Fraser, has submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, informing that he will not return to the University after the current academic year ends in December. In the letter, dated November 6, 2013, Dr. Fraser signals his total discontent and frustration with the Barrow Administration’s poor support for the University. He accuses the Ministry of Education of treating the national university as a “low priority”, when he had hoped that his appointment would have paved the way for needed systematic changes. Dr. Fraser points that the recent negotiations over the University’s upcoming 2013-2014 budget have not given him any assurances that the Government is prepared to treat the institution with greater interest.

UDP Hotbed of Corruption! – Government steals land from US national, then rewards culprits
As the massive fire of corruption continues to gut the Ministry of Immigration and Godwin Hulse’s integrity, an equally devastating fire is now raging at the Ministry of Natural Resources. If, as Dean Barrow predicted, visa hustling would bring down his government, the next story is set to nosedive our country right down to the very bottom of the corruption index charts. Frederick Dow, a US national, was the proud owner of 1.3 acres of prime beachfront property on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. In 1995 he, along with his siblings, received the property as a gift from their late father. The approximate value of the property is Two Million Belize Dollars. In what can only be described as an elaborately orchestrated heist, in October of 2011, the Ministry of Natural Resources did the unthinkable. They issued a second title over Mr. Dow’s property to a UDP crony, on the recommendation of the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia.

PUP Leader proposes solution to BSI/BSCFA Impasse – Delay in Crop Season could cripple industry
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca has proposed a solution to the ongoing impasse between the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) over whether cane farmers should or should not collect payments for the waste material known as bagasse which is produced by the sugar cane delivered to the mill. Hon. Fonseca has said that the parties must agree to an equitable formula which would see BSI recover the substantial investment it has made into establishing the cogeneration plant, but also that cane farmers should be awarded payments on a graduated scale for their stake in the industry. The Opposition Leader urged both BSI and the BSCFA to come to the table to discuss the matter. Otherwise, he warned, “the repercussions of any delay or interruption to the start of the crop season could be devastating to an already challenged industry”.

Constitutional Confusion
By G. Michael Reid Last Friday’s Senate hearing was quite telling in more ways than one. First it exposed the type of dictatorial system under which we live and secondly it exposed the hypocrisy of the once saintly Godwin Hulse. It also exposed a serious flaw in our Constitution and leaves us wondering if this Constitution is really only considered the supreme law of the land when it becomes convenient to those in power. The main focus of Friday’s meeting was a motion presented by Lisa Shoman, a Senator for the Opposition who issued a call for a Senate Inquiry into the lingering scandal at the Immigration Department. After some debate, the matter was put to a vote and that is where the situation got most interesting. As expected, the six senators for the government side all voted no. This I believe is solid proof that we are living in a dictatorship. Had this been a real democracy, members would be allowed to vote their minds. Anyone of sound mind (which is a requirement for either House), would certainly recognize the need for an objective, impartial or at least bipartisan investigation into this very substantial matter. It seems that no one in either House is ever allowed to go against the whim of the Prime Minister. The biggest surprise of all is Godwin Hulse. For years, Godwin Hulse, who has served in the Senate since 2003, was considered a champion of the people. During the last administration, Hulse was on the radio on a daily basis, condemning anything that remotely resembled corruption. He was a founding member and integral part of the Association of Concerned Belizeans (ACB) which helped to bring down the previous government and install the present government. Even during the first UDP term of office, Godwin was on the air criticizing anything that seemed out of place.

“Continuing to proudly empower our children in their Garifuna language” Theme – GSD 2013 Language is the art of communicating. This year there is something explosive about the thirty-sixth celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. The Garifuna culture in Belize is a vibrant and colorful one and will be on full display all around the country with special attention in villages and towns in southern Belize, like Hopkins, Seine Bight, Barranco, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. The holiday is one thing. But the fact is that the UDP have acted like “one day Christians” to us as Garifuna people. Imagine, that the culture capital of Belize is said to be Dangriga. Yet, Dean Barrow over looked and snubbed all the talent and competence of us Garinagu The UDP chose a cultural ambassador that is not a Garifuna. The insult to us Garinagu is that he chose his son who is a convicted criminal. What happened to Adrian the Doc Martinez? What happened to Pen Cayetano? What happened to Roy Cayetano? The BELIZE TIMES could go on with a long list.

Gwen Liz girls & boys lead basketball competition
The Gwen Liz girls blew out the Ladyville Technical High School girls: 34 – 27 in the high school basketball competition last Tuesday. Gwen Liz’s Ann Ma Chang top-scored with 14 points, and KeKee Requeña scored 10 points. Ladyville Tech’s Dejeanne Noralez scored 24 points. The Wesley College girls posted their first win – a 31-9 blowout of the Pallotti High School girls last Tuesday. Wesley’s Breanne Meighan scored 13 points and Shanice Neal added 9 pts. The ACC boys bombed the Excelsior High School boys: 76 – 40 last Wednesday. Douglas Valley top-scored with 19 points.

San Pedro wins male volleyball champs San Pedro wins male volleyball champs
The San Pedro High School boys are the 2013 volleyball male championship after they defeated the Mopan Technical volleyball team for the title. The Mopan Tech boys were no easy contest. They took the game to 4 sets. MVP Gabriel Eduardo Nunez, Damien Pollard, Alex Roache and Alfrie Black led the island team with attacks, spiking home points on plays set by Joshua Marin and Giomar Marin. San Pedro won the 1st set 25-15. The Mopan boys recovered to win the 2nd set: 26-24, powered by Denver Chan, Justin Alas, Luis Chan and Christian Lopez who hammered kills at the net on plays set by Denny Can and Justin Aguirre. San Pedro won the next two sets: 25-19 and 25-20. SCA principal Mrs. Tillett presented medals to the champs, 2nd and 3rd place winners; but the team trophies will be presented at a later date. The Most Valuable Player award went to San Pedro’s Gabriel

SCA wins 2013 volleyball champs
The St. Catherine’s Academy volleyball team won their 6th consecutive high school volleyball championship and 20th title when the national tournament was hosted by their school at the St. John’s College gym over the weekend. SCA girls crushed the Ecumenical girls in 3 sets in the championship final on Saturday afternoon. SCA’s star hitters: Sherika Burton, Leandra Betson and Gianna Brown led the attacks, spiking on plays set by Xiomara Quan and Karine Bernard, with Nayala Tun serving to win the 1st set: 25-10. Ecumenical’s Avery Sanchez, Tyler Williams and Trinity Caliz counterattacked, while Yorleni Robinson, Trycelin Choc and libero Leann Gongora received and kept the ball in play. Mya Musa, Alexis Burns and Hanna Diskin came off the SCA bench to help win the 2nd set: 25-20, and Juel Lewis, Karen Quan and Zakiyah Young reinforced the SCA offensive in the 3rd set to win: 25-4.

The man of the hour seems to be Senator/Minister Godwin Hulse. But when I say this you know that I mean it in an ironic way. Yes, he is the notorious man of the hour, the man of the hour of infamy that transpired in the Senate last week Wednesday. Of course everyone knows by now that this was when Senator Lisa Shoman presented the motion to the Senate for there to be appointed a Special Select Committee to investigate all the goings on surrounding the immigration/passport/visa scandals Eight of us elected representatives of the Opposition, accompanied by Secretary General Myrtle Palacio attended the Senate Meeting in a show of solidarity towards Lisa and towards our other two Senators Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo, as well as the social partners – the Churches, the Trade Unions and the Business Sector. It was a good experience, observing a meeting in the National Assembly, as opposed to being in a meeting in the National Assembly.

By Francis W. Fonseca On Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 the Senate met in Belmopan. The highlight of the meeting was the tabling of a Motion by Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman seeking approval for the appointment, pursuant to Standing Order 69, of a Special Select Committee of the Senate “to investigate and inquire into all policies, processes, procedures and the issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality and to investigate any and all wrongdoing, mismanagement or corruption in the issuance of Belizean nationality certificates, passports and visas”. The Special Select Committee was to be comprised of 5 Senators being one from the Government, one from the opposition, and the three senators appointed by the social partners. The Motion was presented and debated and then voted upon. The three opposition Senators and the three social partner Senators all spoke in strong support of the Motion and voted in favor of it. All six Government senators towed the UDP line and voted against the Motion, including the Leader of Government Business Senator Godwin Hulse, himself once a champion of transparency and accountability.

Party Leader’s Message on 2013 Garifuna Settlement Day
The contributions of the Garifuna people to the building of this nation Belize are many. One very distinguishing mark on Belize has been in the area of education from the remote villages of yester-year to present day local education institutions. The journey has been an arduous one. History has distinguished them as among all Belizeans, the Garifuna people have been the ones whose immediate ancestors confronted their own death through the genocidal efforts of the British against them in St. Vincent during the late 18th century. Such extreme trauma has generated a deep faith in God among the present day people. There is also a trust in the goodwill of Ancestors. Garifuna spiritualism whose distinguishing feature is the faith in the Ancestral Spirits is a belief system that is based on lineal kinship and hinges on cultural practices of re-affirming obligatory social ties. These are the underlying topics covered in the theme of this year’s celebrations, which reads as follows: “Awanse wamá lidan aban lau lareini bungiu luma habayarahan áhari. Let us progress in unity with God’s goodness and the protection of our ancestor”.


Roatan’s West End Part 2: Toppled Turtles, An Out of Place Night Club and My Favorite Restaurants
So where was I with my last post about Roatan’s West End… I showed you around our beautiful hotel, The Beach House, had a delicious breakfast at Earth Mama’s, posted some pictures around town and of the coolest rope swing ever off a old sail boat in the bay and then I stopped at a truly intriguing sign above a man of indeterminate age snoozing… $1US? Little higitees? This I can’t resist. Hickatees (the real way to spell it) are Central American river turtles that have been hunted almost to extinction for food. I WOULD be so happy to see so many. I tapped him on the shoulder…wakie wakie. He led me into his backyard and I saw this.

The Perfect Proposal on Caye Caulker, Belize
For the majority of you who follow me on Twitter, then you will know that I got engaged recently whilst exploring the island of Caye Caulker in Belize. I've been with my fiancée for over eight years now and I couldn't be happier. He's been the person I have done the majority of my travelling with and is the one who alway pushes me to try new and crazy things when on our travel adventures. He's my world and the main reason I love to travel. So when he popped the question whilst we lay in the hammocks watching the pink and purple sunset over Caye Caulker, I immediately said yes. I thought I would share some of the stunning pictures of that sunset with you all.

International Sources

INTERACTIVE: A timid traveler's trip to Belize
This is my first time. I have never done it before and I have to confess I am nervous and a little scared. I am told it gets easier after the first time, I sure hope so. So here it is, I confess, I am 56 years old and a virgin traveler. I have never been outside the confines of the continental 48 states. The idea of crossing the border and stepping outside the U.S. and my comfort zone has been a huge challenge. I have bounced around the continental U.S. for work and sometimes vacations, but never crossing the big borders. Turns out that once you get your passports, all it takes is a click of a mouse and you are set to go. My wife found the best flight and a nice little place on the beach in the heart of San Pedro town, which is on Ambergris Cay about 35 miles from Belize City.

For virgin traveler, ease into Belize
The water taxi revved its outboard motors, spitting the scent of gasoline into the tropical air, and then took off, headed from Belize City to San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, 35 miles away. Onboard, airplane-weary tourists, commuting locals, boxes destined for island businesses — and my wife and I with our luggage — crowded on wooden benches for the hour-plus trip. Once the boat took off, we quickly lost sight of the onboard chaos and instead became absorbed in the tranquil view. To call the waters of the Caribbean turquoise is to sell them short. There is an underpinning of deep ultramarine, topped by intricate cerulean waves shimmering across the surface. When the sun casts a certain light, the water seems lit from below and downright otherworldly. That’s what I’d come for: to dive into a whole other world. It took me decades to get a passport, and not because of some State Department mistake. When I landed last winter in Belize, I was a 56-year-old virgin traveler. I had never been outside the continental United States — or my own travel comfort zone. It’s not that I fear planes or other modes of travel. I simply prefer to vacation in places I have been before, where I know what to expect ­— places I consider emotionally safe. And I bet I’m not alone.

Fishin' Magician: Dave Graybill
I just me with my travel partners at Journey Travel and Tours and we have the dates for the next trip to Belize. This will be my fourth trip to Ambergris Caye, and the reason I keep going back is that I have a blast every time I go. Last year my wife, Eileen, and I took eight people along and everyone enjoyed the experience. We will be staying at the Belizean Shores Resort again, as everyone loved the place. The same folks at Go Fish Belize will be providing the guide services, as they continue to a great job. The trip is structured a little differently than last year, adding another free day for people to enjoy the area on their own. Once more I have planned the trip for the ideal time for the best fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit. We will be leaving on the 22nd of May and returning on the 31st. If you have ever considered visiting Belize and try the fishing and other activities it offers, this would be a great way to do it. If you want to learn more about the trip, contact Sandy at Journey Travel Tours toll free at 877-335-1153.

Monty Halls underwater mysteries: It was the scariest and most exhilarating experience
Explorer and marine biologist Monty Halls dives into a fascinating documentary series about the depths of the sea. Rolling around on fishing boats in force nine gales, photographing a dangerous and rare crocodile in Belize, and surviving temperatures of 52°C in a Californian desert are just some of his impressive tales of derring–do. Now he's back for more, fronting one of his most extreme documentary shows to date. The former Royal Marines officer and trained marine biologist, who is best known for BBC2's Monty Halls' Great Escape, sets of in search of the real story behind some of the greatest underwater mysteries for a new Channel 5 series. The four–parter, simply named Monty Halls..., and beginning this week with Monty Halls And The Kaiser's Gold, will see him pushing himself to the limit on deep–sea dives – many taking him to the edge of survivable depth.

College students serve in Central America
Two dozen Catholic students from Oregon State and Portland State universities went on a two-week mission trip this year to the Central American country of Belize. Stationed in the town of San Ignacio with 15,000 residents, the Oregon group offered two Bible school programs to more than 120 kids, led a day retreat for 40 high school students and helped with the organization of a four-night retreat for adults who had not been active in the church for years. The students woke at 7 a.m., attended prayer and meditation, ate breakfast and cleaned the rooms before heading out to daily mission tasks, which included house visits. They prayed a rosary before lunch and the afternoon mission, then had Mass before dinner. They said night prayer before bed. "I was afraid of doing something out of my comfort zone," says Megan Angstrom, explaining that the trip turned out to be one of the most important phases of her life. Among her most meaningful moments was helping a sad girl pray for her sick sister.

Why I refused to submit to questioning by the Belizean authorities
by: John McAfee , November 16, 2013. Now that a civil suit has been initiated against me for the death of my neighbour Mr. Faull in Belize, I feel that it is important to explain the single factor that makes me look suspicious — that is: why did I refuse to submit to questioning by the Belizean authorities. The following video shows the GSU (Gang Suppression Unit) of Belize which was dispatched to my jungle compound on the 1st of May 2012 – 6 months prior to the death of my neighbour Mr. Faull. They were dispatched to my residence because I refused to pay a bribe. They killed my dog (view picture), destroyed my property and kept me kneeling for 14 hours with my hands handcuffed behind my back – a common torture technique used throughout Central America. After the assault on my compound on the 1st of May I went public with information about corruption in Belize to the International Press, including allegations that the Belizean government was selling passports to the Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. No one at that time believed me. However, as the following news report from Belize will show, this was really happening been happening and is still happening today.

Our favorite destinations for snorkeling (so far)
Ever since we were tiny we have loved water and somewhere in our early twenties we both began to try snorkeling. That minor change in our water sport interests has entailed a fortune in travel expenses and “resort wear”necessities and massive grumbling around about it by Brunette’s husband, but we have snorkeled on regardless! We have a previous post which (surprisingly) has good advice for anyone considering just starting to explore snorkeling. You may want to check it out. If you are considering trying snorkeling, already enjoy it occasionally or are an experienced snorkeler we think you will be tempted to visit our favorite snorkel spots if you have not yet done so. For an extremely unreasonable fee we will accompany you and be virtually useless to you but happy to share your enthusiasm if you spot a good fish or ride a shark across a reef! Our favorite spots to date are: Ambergris Caye, Belize, Honduras Belize has hundreds of islands (cayes) and Ambergris is the largest and the Belize Barrier Reef runs the length of it. We stayed at Xanadu Island Resort and really enjoyed their eco-friendly luxury and the pleasant walk along the beach to get dinner in town each evening. One thing to keep in mind for this destination is that you cannot snorkel very successfully from shore – on Ambergris Caye, not only the Xanadu property. This is because the reef is a ways out and also because they are mindful of not destroying the area by making beaches and destroying the natural seafront beach grasses. You need to go out on boat trips which are a lot of fun but add to your trip costs. We had a very fresh bit of fish ceviche on one of our trips as you can see below!

Garifuna Flavor: Belize’s Battle of the Drums
Although Nick Cannon may have convinced some people that competitive drumming is a uniquely American institution, we’d like to show that you’ve been seriously misinformed. Take for example tomorrow’s Battle of the Drums, an international competition of Garifuna drum groups in Punta Gorda, Belize. The competition features eight groups from around the Garifuna diaspora, playing five different varieties of Garifuna music. Held annually since 2006, the event is a part of the celebrations happening around Belize in honor of Garifuna Settlement Day next Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Garifuna people are descended from Caribs, Arawaks, and West Africans. This unique blend of cultures begins on the island of Saint Vincent. There, the story goes, two ships full of Ibibio people (from modern-day Nigeria) who had been sold into slavery were shipwrecked in 1675. They soon assimilated into the local Carib and Arawak communities, but as the English and French each fought to colonize the island, the Garifuna were exiled to Roatán, off the coast of Honduras. From there, they eventually immigrated to mainland Central America, settling in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and of course, Belize. For more details, check out our article on the interesting history of the Garifuna people.

November 16, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Four contestants vie for the title of Miss Lions 2013-2014
The Miss San Pedro Lions Pageant will be held on Saturday, November 23rd at 8pm at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Four lovely contestants are vying for not only the title of Miss Lions 2013-2014, but the title of Miss Lions Zone 59. Competing for the crown and the chance to be the face of the San Pedro Lions Club are Catlin Benguche, Erica Bodden, Arlethe Lima, and Julissa Trejo. The lovely contestants are in their final stages of their preparations and they all promise to do their best as they vie for the title currently held by Alexis Del Valle. The San Pedro Sun has the pleasure to introduce the four contestants to our readers. The pageant organizers are promising a bigger and better pageant this year. The winner of the Miss San Pedro Lion’s Pageant will also become the Miss Lions Zone 59 and will be crowned at the Lions Annual Convention next year. The San Pedro Sun wishes all the contestants the best of luck!

ReefCI receives Global recognition at the World Responsible Tourism Awards.
Highly commended for Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences goes to Marine conservation organization ReefCI at the 2013 10th Annual World Responsible Tourism Awards. The winners and highly commended were announced at the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in the UK to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. The WTM exhibition, held at Excel, London on 4-7 November 2013 is the leading global event for the travel industry. This is a huge acknowledgement for Belize and Toledo, we have shown the world that Belize is not just an incredible destination but we also take responsible tourism very seriously. The awards panel of judges pre-announced: ‘We are focusing on organizations that are both committed to wildlife protection and to providing their guest with memorable experiences tourists will talk about and share with friends and family when back home.

Harrison “Bin” Jacobs walks away from a 2010 murder charge
25-year-old Harrison “Bin” Jacobs, a San Pedro Town resident, walked free of a murder charge on November 4, 2013 after a main witness was not located. Jacobs had been on remand for the murder of 20 year old Francis Alexander Figuerroa Cardenas, which occurred on November 28, 2010. Sometime around 5:40AM on the date of the incident, Cardenas was allegedly beaten and tortured in an isolated area in the San Juan neighborhood. He managed to escape and as he was running for his life, his attackers caught up with him on Seaweed Street just outside his area of residence. He was shot in the head and left to die. Neighbors heard the single gunshot blast, and seconds later, they noticed Cardenas in a seated position on the edge of a concrete fence, bleeding from the head. A white cart was seen leaving the area. Police on Ambergris Caye detained Jacobs, citing that on the day of the incident Jacobs had an altercation with the victim which escalated into a fight. According to police, Jacobs was accused of beating Cardenas, who ran away but was later caught and fatally shot to the head. During the investigation, police found a golf cart belonging to Jacobs with blood stains.

Ambergris Today

Canary Coves Sponsors Park Beautification
Canary Coves does it again! Our Island has gained a great benefactor who has us at heart and is always giving back to the community wholeheartedly. Mr. Don Listwin, owner of Canary Cove, sponsored the beautification of the Boca Del Rio Park under the supervision of Mr. Gil Nuñez. The beautification consisted of the construction of four new palapas with picnic tables, a complete playground set with swings, slides and rock climbing area. The basketball court received a new paint job and several plants were planted around the area for further beautification. Owners of Canary Cove, a private residence located five miles of North Ambergris Caye, have been visiting La Isla Bonita for years, bought their home on North Ambergris Caye and are giving back generously to the community they now call home. Giving is norm to them. They have assisted the police department as well as the tour guide association and their biggest donation has been the construction of the picnic area at the San Pedro RC School as well as a new school building that houses three brand new classrooms.

Belize to Observe World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Road Safety Project, in its approach to promote Road Safety, seeks to encourage everyone in Belize to recognize the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. This day was adopted by the United Nations in October 2005 and held on the third Sunday of November each year (Sunday, November 17, 2013) – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families and many others also affected, as well as reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster. Why is this day important? Because… * It draws attention to the devastation caused and calls for government action; * This day creates a link between road victims throughout the world; * Lack of information about this catastrophe provokes social indifference; * The number of people killed and injured on the road represents the largest human-made disaster; * Modern societies tolerate enormous numbers of victims of wholly preventable technical risks; * We remember lost lives and evoke the names of real people, who deserved to be alive today, to have fulfilled their dreams.

Boxing Champion Danny Garcia Vacationing in San Pedro, Belize
Undefeated American professional boxer, Danny Oscar García, the reigning WBC, WBA (Super), and Ring Magazine light welterweight Champion is vacation in San Pedro, Belize. Danny along with girlfriend Erica Mendez arrived in our beautiful island on board Belize’s #1 Airline, Tropic Air on Thursday, November 14, 2013. He was greeted by staff of Tropic Air and fans. He was happy to greet them and take a picture with everyone. “We had to fly, drive, get on a boat to get our private island” – posted Danny on his tweeter page. Danny is staying at one of San Pedro’s top resorts, Coco Beach. Welcome to La Isla Bonita, Danny and Erica, hope you enjoy your stay!

Misc Belizean Sources

Lucky Boy’s Story
Hi, my name is Lucky Boy. And I really am a lucky boy. My story doesnt start out so great, though. Eleven years ago I was born in captivity in a Mexican zoo, and then sent to a resort in Southern Belize. In mid-July 2012, Facebook throughout Belize was all a-buzz about 2 jaguars discovered in an abandoned resort in Southern Belize. Things had gone OK for years, but then something went not-so-okay, and the owners had to leave. He left me and my companion spotted jaguar in the hands of caretakers, who left us. We had no food and hardly any water. My spotted jaguar best friend died. I nearly died…but word got out and the Belize Forest Department and The Belize Zoo came to rescue me.

Celebrate the Solstice with Us & Explore Our Maya Culture!
Date: December 21, 2013 Activities begin at 10:00 am. Organized by Juntuulico’on at Maya Centre Village. Herbal Medicine Workshop - Led by Aurora Garcia Saqui, Maya Healer. Traditional Mayan Cooking Demonstration & Launch of New Cookbook! Buffet Lunch: Delicious Maya cuisine. Winter Solstice Ceremony - Led by Maya Priest & accompanied by Maya flute and drumming. Through the ceremony, we give recognition of the past, welcome the new year, and renew our commitment of good relations to each other and our environment. The fee for participation is US$75.00 person for a full day & US$55.00 for half-day (including lunch). Children 10 & younger US$20.00. Buffet lunch included. Belize residents get 50% off. The fee is payable at Nu'uk Che'il's office at Maya Centre between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Deadline for payments is Wednesday, Dec. 18th. Limited to 50 participants (same day registration based on available space). For more information, please call: 665-1313

The Claim for Payment for Bagasse
by Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) BSI believes that it is in the interests of the parties and stakeholders that communications on this issue be conducted between the parties rather than by back and forth through the media. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) has however taken to the airwaves to seek to paint BSI as unfair or that its own cause is morally right and therefore BSI makes this statement to briefly bring certain points to the attention of the public. As BSI has stated to the BSCFA in a recent letter – the Company buys sugar cane from the farmers and the farmers sell the cane to BSI. The cane purchased and delivered to the sugar mill includes: sugar, water, fiber (bagasse), mud, etc. The cane becomes BSI’s property, responsibility and risk. This is confirmed by the long standing historical position that BSI alone (i) undertook and financed the cost of the storage and disposal of bagasse, (ii) was responsible for and had to manage the environmental challenges of the storage and disposal of bagasse, (iii) faced and dealt with the risk of claims and liability for the storage and disposal of bagasse both in respect of possible statutory liability and regulation and private claims. For the 30 years prior to 2010 BSI dealt with the bagasse and its disposal at substantial cost, amounting to approximately BZ$20 million without any contribution from the BSCFA. As requested, BSI has submitted details of this expenditure to the BSCFA.

With cooperation Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations could be less burdensome
By Wellington C. Ramos In the United States of America there are several Garifuna organizations and individuals who sponsor events to celebrate the Garifuna 19th November celebrations to commemorate the arrival of our people to the country of Belize. Plus, the Garifuna people from St Vincent, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua have a different day to celebrate their day. In Belize, the National Garifuna Council is the organization that is vested with the power to conduct all activities on behalf of the Garifuna people in the entire country. Due to this control and power that they have, other organizations and individuals have not come forward to conduct any 19th November Celebrations activities. The only other national Garifuna celebrations activity that I know of that is not under the control of the National Garifuna Council is the Battle of The Drums Contest that is held in Punta Gorda Town annually, which was founded and spearheaded by Darius Avila, a Garifuna activist. This event has been successful over the years since its inception.

VIDEO: Crooked Tree Village Flood- 2013
The Village of Crooked Tree and the wildlife sanctuary has been in a state of flooding for weeks now; today November 14, 2013 and the lagoon is still rising. Covering more than 32,000 acres, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary lies in a flat pine-savannah landscape less than an hour's drive north of Belize City's international airport. This is the rainy season and the seasonal floods, but this year it seems to be earlier than usual. It's been more than 3 weeks of rain and there is no end in sight. The water is still rising.

VIDEO: Sarteneja Road Flooding Belize

Paul Nabor Concert Weekend
Paul Nabor will be playing 2 shows in Cayo this weekend. Tonight, he'll play at the Soul Project, starting at 8:00pm. Saturday evening, he'll play at the Cayo Welcome Center, starting at 4:00pm. Both concerts are free, thanks to Running W. Don't miss one of the best Belizean musicians as he plays this weekend. In related news, tomorrow at the Soul Project, they'll have a limited edition Paul Nabor DVD for sale for only $12, and you can have it signed by Mr. Nabor himself.

Bishop Martin Donates to Cancer Society
Feelgood news of the day. The students at Bishop O.P. Martin primary school raised funds for the Belize Cancer Society. "A very special donation presented to our branch by the Std. V children of Bishop Martin Primary School. It was heartwarming to hear the children's presentation on cancer and to accept their very kind and thoughtful donation."

Tropic Air Starts New Cayo Flights
Tropic Air starts their new flights to and from Cayo, using the newly paved Maya Flats airstrip, today. There are 4 inbound and 4 outbound flights every day, and while 3 are to Belize City, there is one that goes to and from Placencia. "Located in western Belize, San Ignacio serves as the capital of Cayo District. It got its start from mahogany and chicle production in the Colonial era, but has gradually evolved into the center of commerce and tourism for western Belize. Visit the area to see its many Maya sites (including Cahal Pech, Caracol, and Xunantunich), caves such as ATM, and other sites such as the Mountain Pine Ridge, Tapir Mountain Reserve and the Macal River. Cayo is also home to many award winning resorts and nature programs (like the Green Iguana Project)."

Corozal: Our roads have completely fallen apart
Lino's bus stuck. Students left to walk in mud! And this was my truck on Wednesday ,where is public works

Channel 7

US Embassy Denies Wiretapping Hon. Castro
Last night, 7News showed you the comments from National Security Minister John Saldivar when we asked him about the possibility that the United States Government wiretapped conversations between Belize Rural North Area Rep. Edmund Castro and the immigration agent turned whistle-blower Alvorine Burgess. She claims that she went to the US Embassy where a staffer played her recordings of conversations she'd had with Castro and another person. Castro has denied the allegations, and he has taken out a lawsuit against Burgess and Channel 5. He says he doesn't believe anything that Burgess says. But the Burgess claims have to be taken seriously - in light of the Eric Snowden allegations which say that the US security apparatus has set up a vast web of international electronic surveillance. If her allegation is true - that the US is eavesdropping on public officials and private citizens in Belize -it is an invasion of privacy - and a very startling, very unlawful one.

Brodies Cashiers Charged For Stealing From The Company
On Wednesday, 7News told you about the Brodies cashiers who were accused of misappropriating almost $20,000 from their workplace. Well tonight, we have confirmed that police charged 33 year-old Kimberly Goff, and 34 year-old Alma Gabourel Choc with theft. As we told you, the financial controller reported to police he discovered bogus receipts for items to a total value of $19,073, which the company didn't collect, receipts which were issued between October 21 and November 10, 2013. Police investigated, and charged Choc and Goff with theft yesterday. They believe that Choc is responsible for $12,185 of the company's money; while Goff is being connected to the rest. They were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where they pleaded not guilty, and were granted bail, which they were able to meet.

American Fugitive Had Bogus Belize Passport
Daniel Rae Morris is an American fugitive who has a Belizean passport - and 7news has learned that it may have been fraudulently obtained. The news tonight is though that his passport number is legitimate, and it could be yours! That's because corrupt officers at immigration appear to have simply inserted Morris's bio-data into an existing passport record to scam the system. The passport number is P180550 and the document itself is genuine in every way, except for the data page that you see here. All the information for Morris is accurate but it's in someone else's passport! Apparently the Immigration Department was on the lookout for it back in March when Morris was intercepted at the northern border with Mexico. He was reportedly attempting to re-enter Belize from Mexico. We asked Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse about it via text message and he told us that he can't shed any light on it other than that they are looking into it.

Mayor Bradley & Councilor Elrington Hyde In A Shouting Match?
7News has received credible report saying that there was almost a rumble in City Hall yesterday as Mayor Darrell Bradley and Councilor Alifah Elrington Hyde had a shouting match. It got so bad that the mayor called security to have his own councilor ejected from the building! Elrington Hyde left on her own, but not before giving him a piece of her mind. Now, it sounds really incredible, we'll agree, but we have heard this report from multiple credible sources. Still, when we texted both Mayor Bradley and Councilor Elrington Hyde, they did not answer. What was it about? Well reports vary - some say it started with a ticket given by Elrington Hyde's traffic department to the city's constabulary department. But when we called the City Administrator Candice Burke - who we are told was also in the mix - she said she would not comment on it and that they quote, "have disagreements daily at the council - that it just a part of the job."

Belizean Caught With Cocaine In Chetumal
Tonight there are two stories coming out of Chetumal involving Belizeans. The first is about three Belizeans caught in Subtiniente Lopez and accused of trafficking almost a kilo of cocaine. Michael Ashton Ramirez, Orlando Habet and Ruperto Tzul were caught along with Mexican Andres Freddy Vargas yesterday afternoon. Mexican police say they had 900 grammes, about two pounds of cocaine in a vehicle with Corozal license plates. In other news from that area, Por Esto Yucatan is reporting that some heavy equipment stolen from the Belize Customs Yard ended up outside Calderitas Mexico. A man named Enrique Santana Sergio Magaña told Mexican police he was hired to find the heavy duty road equipment and he located it at a farm 400 meters from Calderitas. But the Mexican police said they could not act because it was on private property. Belize customs told us there is no truth to the report - nothing has been stolen from their compound. A customs official did tell us that there is a commercial dispute between a Belizean company and a Mexican partner - but everything that has been exported has been done so legally.

ASR Will Negotiate With BSCFA On Bagasse
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association can claim a small victory tonight: BSI has agreed to discuss bagasse when both sides meet on the 19th November. That's the gist of a long letter sent today from BSI's Chief Financial Officer Belezario Carballo to the chairman of the BSCFA Leonardo Cano. The letter says quote, "cooperative rather than adversarial relations are in the interests of BSI, the farmers and the industry," end quote. And so, now, the agenda has been modified for Tuesday's meeting: both sides will discuss quote, "how the dispute between the parties on the matter of…payment for bagasse can be dealt with," end quote. And while that's the olive branch extended by BSI, will the Cane farmers accept? Up to this evening, they had no official response. Last week, the farmers threatened that if they don't have an agreement on bagasse, they won't start the crop on November 25th.

LPG Now Comes In Low & High Grade
The price regime for LPG, Liquid Petroleum Gas is changing again, and consumers will now have a choice: you can either buy cheaper, less efficient propane rich LPG, or buy the more expensive, more efficient, butane rich version. A release from the Bureau of Standards notifies that Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas, which import their LPG from Mexico will sell for 121 dollars per hundred pound cylinder in Belize City with varying prices in other districts. That's the more expensive gas, which has 60% propane to 40% butane. The higher butane content makes the gas more efficient, basically makes it hotter.

US Donates 2 Million Dollars In Equipment to Security Forces
Tonight there are 7 brand new heavy duty military vehicles parked on the BDF Price Barracks which the US Government officially handed over today. Today, 7News attended the handing over ceremony, and we found out that not even bad weather dampened the gifting: Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning, standing in the rain, Coast Guard and the BDF Commanders smiled for the cameras along with their Security Minister, as they received the keys to brand new vehicles and equipment, an early Christmas present from the United States Southern Command. They took possession of 2 million dollars-worth of equipment which included 7 J8 Military Vehicles, and one Boston Whaler Outrage Justice Boat. The donation is part of US SouthCom's Counter-Drug Program to help the Belize to deal with transnational narcotics and illicit trafficking. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "Our security forces continue to grow into a force which is capable of ensuring that the citizen and people of Belize live in a safe secured and tranquil environment at peace with itself and its neighbors."

Coast Guard Gets Another Boston Whaler
As noted in our story, the Coast Guard also got its 7th vessel from the US Government, and even though it's only slight increase, the Commandant told us today that they appreciate it nonetheless. According to Admiral John Borland, it's part of a 15 year plan laid out to help them to be better equipped to protect Belize's waters: Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "This is a part of a 15 year strategy for the Coast Guard to develop its fleet. As you would recall in the past we operated the Colombian fleet and they are a dying fleet now and so it's being replaced by these state of the art Boston Whaler vessels and some safe boats. This is the 7th boat we have received to date as part of that plan and of course this boat gives us the capability that the old Colombians couldn't give us which is better sea keeping qualities, better platforms to operate, better surveillance capability, better communication capability, used for mounting our weapons and keeping our crew out of elements during foul weather as we are experiencing today."

Belize And US Teamed Up To Get rid of $30 Mill Marijuana Plantations
It almost went unreported that over the past 5 months, the BDF and the US Military Liaison Office have collaborated to destroy over 30 million dollars' worth of marijuana plantations around the country. The operation was conducted in 3 separate raids, and it was only possible with the US Military's helicopter assistance, which mobilized the BDF unit to remote areas - which would be otherwise inaccessible. Today, we spoke to the Commander of the BDF, and he outlined how the raids took place, and why they chose to withhold the reports from the public, which would have been major positive press for the Force: Brigadier General David Jones - Commander, Belize Defence Force "The operation was actually a BDF operation; We had two BDF operations, one took place in April and another recently in September. There were a total of over 90 soldiers which included the six seals from the coast guard that took part in the operation but those are BDF type of operation in (joint task force bravo) that is located in Honduras. We negotiated with the US military liaison office here in Belize for their assistance to do the anti-drug operation here. In the April operation, they sent a Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters to do that operation."

Coast Guard SEALS Are Among The Best
And on the September 25 to September 28 Raid, the newly minted Coast Guard SEALS, which were US trained, accompanied the BDF and the USMLO where they successfully destroyed 22 marijuana fields, in which almost 38,000 plants were growing. Today, we asked their Commandant how they fared when placed among highly trained soldiers, and he told us that the report he received says each Coast Guard SEAL officer was as good as any of their counterparts from the BDF and US Military: Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "The newly minted seals, as you call them are trained to operate in air, land and sea so being a part of the joint forces that operation "incisive gallop" which was a BDF operation in the Chiquibul forest wasn't anything out of the norm that they would do. They were under the command of the BDF during that operation. They formed a huge component of the eradication that took place with all the marijuana plantations you heard and of course the destruction of all the agrarian encroachment that were located within the adjacency zone. The feedback that I got from the BDF officer commanding the operation was that the seals performed tremendously didn't miss a step. It was as if they've been infantry soldiers all their lives so they've integrated very well in to whatever job that has been handed down to them so far."

Will Belize Own A Helicopter Fleet?
So, the lesson that the Government of Belize has learnt is that in order for them to conduct operations as widespread as these, they have no choice but to acquire their own helicopters. Today, the Ministry of National Security announced that officials are engaging in talks about how to fund Belize's own helicopter fleet: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "This is certainly a must have asset for Belize, if we are to continue to get concrete results. My government has been brief on the cost implications of owning and sustaining this asset but we believe that the benefits will out way the costs so I would like to publicly mention that this government is committed to any serious cost share arrangement that our partners are prepare to undertake in the acquisition of helicopters for Belize."

Belize's New European Ambassador Takes His Post
On Monday, Belize's new Ambassador to Europe Dylan Vernon will take up his post in Brussels. After a one month familiarization with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vernon left the country today for Belgium. Vernon is a well-respected researcher and development strategist who recently completed post graduate studies at University College London. Since Joy Grant left Belgium to take up a ministerial post in Belize, there has been no ambassador to Europe.

"Shyne" Got Married?
We haven't heard from Shyne or Moses Michael Leviy in a while, but tonight the Electronic Urban Report website HAS POSTED that Belize'S Cultural Ambassador has gotten married. It says that on Wednesday he posted instagram pictures of himself with his new wife at the Dead Sea in Israel under the caption "Me and the Mrs at the Dead Sea." The report says he has since confirmed the news to, but has not revealed the identity of his bride.

Garifuna Culture Day At Gwen Liz.
Tuesday is Garifuna Settlement Day, Belize's richest cultural observance. And today some schools across the city held cultural appreciation sessions despite the weather. Our team visited one such school - who welcomed us with some drumming, singing and dancing. A SIMILAR ACTIVITY WAS HELD at Wesley Lower School where drummers got just the reaction they wanted when they asked the kids to get involved…

Modeling For Charity
It is called Retro Flash Back - a charity fashion show featuring 45 models both children and adults. They will be bringing back styles from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. That's an era most of us can relate to and the organizer of the show stopped by to explain the concept. The show starts at 6pm on Sunday at the Princess Hotel and Casino.

Jury: Steeno Stabbed His Common-law's Lover To Death
Tonight 49 year-old Vincent Tillett, better known as "Steeno", is behind bars awaiting sentence after he convicted today of manslaughter for stabbing 22 year-old Darwin Phillips to death. The incident happened at Tillett's residence at 170 Antelope Street Extension on February 13, 2011, where Tillett's common-law wife, Denise Stuart was involved in a relationship with Phillips. Tillett came home and found Phillips there, and became enraged, and the situation became tragic when he pulled a knife and stabbed Phillips in the chest, penetrating his heart. Well, the prosecution called Stuart to the stand, and had to treat her as a hostile witness when she refused to testify and provide evidence against Tillett. Another important crown witness also recanted his statement to police, and this forced the prosecutor to admit their testimony as evidence.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against John McAfee
Last week we told you about the new documentary on John McAfee. In it you saw murder victim's Gregroy Faull's father, disconsolate because the murder investigation was going nowhere. Well now Faull's daughter is suing McAfee. The Reuters news agency reports that the family is bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against Mcaffe who has said he will testify willingly about the murder of his American neighbor. McAfee denies involvement in the death of Faull, an Orlando contractor and restaurant owner. But he told Reuters in a telephone interview he would not fight a subpoena for deposition in the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed Friday by Faull's estate in U.S. District Court in Orlando, accuses McAfee of shooting Faull in the head or having him shot. The lawsuit also names two of McAfee's former girlfriends, Samantha Vanegas and Amy Herbert, describing them as McAfee's possible agents in the killing. The estate is seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of $75,000 on behalf of Faull's 26-year-old daughter.

Channel 5

Is the U.S. Government listening in on private phone conversations in Belize?
Visa informant Alverine Burgess has provided first-hand testimony of her financial dealings with Minister of State Edmund Castro. She has stated repeatedly that she paid Castro for each visa he [...]

Foreign Affairs C.E.O. and Opposition Leader say they would not be surprised
As we said, it is not surprising that Chargé d’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne would vehemently deny any recording which would suggest clandestine and unsanctioned intelligence-gathering activity. Currently, the U.S. is under [...]

U.B. President Carey Fraser confirms 2014 departure
In Thursday’s newscast we showed you the press conference hosted by the University of Belize’s Board of Trustees, ostensibly to clarify the resignation, removal, or none of the above – [...]

UB Board of Trustees charts the way forward
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Harrison Pilgrim did not wish to comment on the report that the Government of Belize owes U.B. two point five million dollars, and that [...]

U.S. Government gifts the B.D.F. and Coast Guard vehicles and equipment
Today, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard received a significant donation from the United States Government. The operational capabilities of both branches of Belize’s armed forces have [...]

B.D.F. wants a chopper to assist with drug operation efforts
While the vehicles and vessels will no doubt be welcome additions to the fleets of the armed forces, the B.D.F. wants a helicopter. According to B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier General David [...]

Leader of Opposition says allegations by whistleblower is serious
The overwhelming revelation of the visa hustle and the passport scandal over the past month and a half has landed a big black eye on the current U.D.P. Administration. Ministers [...]

Fonseca says G.O.B. should inquire on eavesdropping
As to the alleged involvement of the US Government in eavesdropping, Fonseca says that the Government of Belize should want to gather information on what is happening.   Francis Fonseca, [...]

2 Brodie Company Ltd employees arraigned for theft of $20,000
This evening, thirty-three-year-old Kimberly Goff and thirty-four-year old Alma Gabourel Choc were charged with the theft of more than nineteen thousand dollars from James Brodie and Company Ltd., a Belize [...]

Belize City man sentenced to 12 years for attempted murder
This morning, in the Supreme Court chamber of Justice Troadio “John” Gonzalez, twenty-one-year-old Diondray McKoy, who appeared unrepresented, was slapped with a twelve year sentence after being found guilty of [...]

Vincent “Steeno” Tillett, Guilty of Manslaughter
Eighteen days ago, a trial by judge without jury in the murder case of forty-nine-year-old Vincent “Steeno” Tillett concluded before Justice Adolph Lucas, who paused to decide the fate of [...]

Panama, the harpy eagle, turns 10
On November first, Belize mourned the loss of April, the oldest tapir in captivity. Today, however, it celebrated the birthday of Panama, a captive-bred harpy eagle imported from its namesake [...]


After Eight Months Potable Water Reaching Sarteneja Residents
Since the month of March, the two thousand residents of the Village of Sarteneja in Corozal have been without potable water. That makes it 8 months that the pipes across the village have been dry and residents have had to depend on manmade wells to obtain water, to drink, bathe, wash and carry out other daily routines. The problem arose when the reverse osmosis system began experiencing filter problems. Since the village had no funds to fix the system, the Social Investment Fund had to step in. But in order to get water back into the pipes SIF had to purchase an entire new system which recently arrived into the country. According to Secretary of the Sarteneja Village Council, Darnell Cruz the new system should be completely installed in the next few days. Darnell Cruz- Secretary Sarteneja Village Council “Estamos agradeciéndole a SIF que ellos están poniendo de su parte no ha mostrado que realmente quiere trabajar para el beneficio de la aldea, nos prometieron un nuevo RO Plant, Reverse Osmosis Plant, y hoy en día es un hecho esa planta ya está aquí en el wáter station, lo que está atrasando un poquito es lo de el contractor, él tiene que acabar con las líneas de tubería y ciertas modificaciones que necesitan para esta nueva planta creo que va hacer una de la mejores plantas de aquí de la región de Corozal Southeast no.”

Mexican Business Owners Plea For Reopening Of Old Bridge
In the month of June 2013 Mexican business entrepreneurs from Subteniente Lopez, a Mexican community bordering the Belize/Mexico Border, staged a protest at the mouth of the new International Bridge Chactemal, connecting Belize and Mexico. Due to the protest, a number of Belizeans traveling in an out of Mexico were left stranded at the border for hours. Viewers might recall that more than one hundred angry villagers and small business owners carried out the protest in efforts of attracting the attention of their Government to lobby with the Belizean Government and reopen the old bridge. They claimed that since the opening of the new bridge the small town’s economy went down and many local merchants were even forced to close their businesses. This is because tourists, including Belizeans, no longer have the need to pass through the community better known as Santa Elena to access Chetumal.

Progresso Resident Shot By Cop
A resident of Progresso Village is tonight recuperating from a gunshot wound at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was shot by a police officer on duty. Yesterday, at around 5:36pm, P.C Oscar Arzu, Officer In Charge of the Progresso Police Substation, was called out to the home of Roberto Pasos, a cane farmer of Progresso. Upon arrival, Officer Arzu was informed that 26 year old Dalio Sedacy, 24 year old Jesse Sedacy and Jose Maria Portillo, who were apparently under the influence of alcohol, approached Pasos at his residence and accused him of trying to run then over with his pickup. After the accusation was made, Dalio Sedacy reportedly punched Pasos on the left side of the cheek.

Three Belizeans Detained In Mexico For Drug Trafficking
Tonight three Belizeans are guests at the central prison in Chetumal Quintana Roo after they were busted with two kilos of cocaine. According to Mexican Newspaper El Diario De Quintana Roo, the three Belizeans only known as El Michel, El Ardelfo and Orlando and a Mexican identified only as Freddy were intercepted by the marines in the small community of Subeniente Lopez. Reports indicate that with the assistance of an anonymous caller, members of the Marine intercepted the suspected drug traffickers as they drove through Cuauhtémoc Street in Subteniente Lopez. It is not yet known where the drugs were destined to since investigations continue. All suspects were handed over to the Federal Public Ministry at the headquarters of the Attorney General of the Republic in Chetumal. Tonight three Belizeans are guests at the central prison in Chetumal Quintana Roo after they were busted with two kilos of cocaine. According to Mexican Newspaper El Diario De Quintana...

Diabetes, Are You At Risk?
Today, November 14th, is being observed as World Diabetes Day. The day aims at increasing awareness of the effects of diabetes and its complications among the people. For example, opponents of the disease want you to know that for every Belizean diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes another person goes undiagnosed. Reporter Maria Novelo sat down with Vascular Surgeon and Andrologist Vlademir Sarrion who shed some light on things you need to know on this World Diabetes Day. In Belize, statistics in 2012 show that 45 thousand Belizeans are living with diabetes, it raises many concerns because the numbers are rapidly growing. Diabetes knows no race, age, color or creed. It has been dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’ because it can, and does, destroy the major organs in your body; and if left untreated, it will take your life. Dr. Vladimir Sarrion – Vascular Surgeon “Mucho pacientes creen que solamente se elevan la azúcar en la sangre con la diabetes mellitus y no es así van acompañado con otros desordenes el desorden metabolismo de los lípidos en la proteína. La más conocida son la diabetes tipo uno y tipo dos, la diferencia esencial es que el paciente diabético tipo uno es aquel que nace con la diabetes y que necesariamente para poder sobrevivir y seguir viviendo necesita la utilización de la insulina. El paciente diabético tipo dos es aquel que debuta después de la adultez, después de la mayoría de edad y no necesariamente necesita insulina para su tratamiento hay una gran confusión con esto dos tipos de diabetes, el paciente diabético cuando le incorporan en su tratamiento la insulina creen que son diabéticos tipo uno y no es así o sea el paciente diabético en un momento el tipo dos en un momento de su tratamiento puede llevar insulina no quiere decir que cambia de diabético tipo uno simplemente es asi el diabético tipo uno es el que necesariamente necesita insulina para seguir su funcionamiento normal y el diabético tipo dos no.”

Engineers To Access Road Condition
As mentioned in the story, District Manager for Ministry of Works Emil Cano was expected to visit the area today to access the situation and see how soon work can commence in the area to alleviate the flooding. What we can tell you is that Cano did inspect the road today, but the news coming out of the Ministry of Works is not good. Screen_Shot_2013-11-14_at_8.32.25_PMWillard Levy – DEMO Coordinator “I got in touch with Mr. Cano of the ministry of works today and he gave me an update of the conditions of the Sarteneja road and the problem is that it was worse than what was originally thought and Mr. Cano ran through the flooded area and he mentioned that it was about half mile of flooded road that we have.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “What will NEMO do to assist these people that need to get in and out of the village presently until something can be done by ministry of works to alleviate the situation?” Willard Levy – DEMO Coordinator “The only thing we can think of is to find a way how to transport these people back and forth, one way of doing is probably getting the BDF to get involve and give some assistance by transporting these people across but I need to get this confirmation from headquarters and see if that would be possible and if we can do that then I believe we can assist the people in the time being until some solution is found.”


Constant Rains Hinder Assistance for Sarteneja Residents
Continuous rain over the northern part of the country continues to hamper assistance to users of the Sarteneja Road. On Wednesday we reported that due to heavy rainfall more than a quarter of the Sarteneja Road near Saint Viator Highschool was under more than two feet of water. This had obstructed vehicles from traversing the area, stranding residents of Sarteneja and nearby communities. NEMO sent the BDF to assist those who need to cross the flooded road but we understand the water level is too high for their trucks to cross so heavier machinery is being sent to the area. Heavy rain from this morning over northern Belize have just complicated things as water continues to rise. When we spoke with NEMO Corozal Coordinator Willard Levy on Wednesday he told us that they were recently informed of the situation of the road despite the road was flooded for over two weeks. Plans were in place for machinery from the Ministry of Works to go to the area and attend the situation but continuous rain has hindered the work.

Forensic Department Personnel Gets Training on Ballistics
An expert from Canada was in Belize over the past week conducting a three-day workshop with personnel from the National Forensic Science Service who operate the Integrated Ballistic Identification System, IBIS donated to Belize by the Canadian Government. Senior instructor from Forensic Technology, Petar Zenovich, was here as part of the company’s commitment to ensure proper maintenance and effective utilization of the system. Zencovich, who has been coaching IBIS operators for over 13 years, expressed his that personnel at the National Forensic Science Service were making tremendous progress by applying the training they received to operate the system. Zencovich noted that the personnel have succeeded in creating a healthy database and establishing precise protocols in order to fully integrate the system into their daily tasks and overall function. Personnel at the National Forensic Science Service who operate the system and took part in the three-day workshop include, Orlando Vera, the Supervisor at the Firearms Unit; Renie Moh, the Exhibit Manager and Assistant Analyst; Mark Wallace, the Forensic Analyst; and Ebony Lyall, also a Forensic Analyst all from the firearm unit. Director of the National Forensic Science Service, David Henderson, showed appreciation to Zencovich and congratulated the local analysts for their outstanding effort, initiative and dedication. The IBIS is the most advance system with full capability to collect, store, compare, analyze and prepare conclusive reports on ballistic evidence to assist law enforcement authorities in investigation, prosecution and conviction of persons involved in firearm related crimes. It was donated to Belize one year ago by the Government of Canada.

Woman Faces Drug Trafficking Charges Following GSU Operation
Thirty-five year old Natalie Fuller, a resident of Regent Street West, was charged with two counts of drug trafficking when she appeared in court today. Fuller pled not guilty to the charges. She was offered a bail of ten thousand dollars and her case was adjourned until January 16, 2014. The incident occurred around 11:30 yesterday morning. The police, members of the GSU, reported that when they searched Fuller’s house they found a black plastic bag containing 262 grams of cannabis in her bedroom. The police also reported that when they searched the yard they found 23 black plastic bags containing 2.9 kilograms of cannabis that were in a Tommy Hilfiger brand bag near to some mangrove. Fuller was represented by attorney Bryan Neal.

Thieves Hit Customs Compound in Northern Belize
Unconfirmed reports are that heavy machinery was stolen from the customs lot at the northern border. Information to Love News is that three tractors and two back hoes that were stationed at the northern border were stolen and were eventually located near Calderitas, Qunitana Roo. We have been unable to confirm who the owner of the machinery is but are told it is a Belizean who had the intention of selling the heavy equipment over at the Mexican side. We understand that the machinery which includes two caterpillar tractors, one Kelly tractor and two caterpillar backhoes were parked in the customs lot and when these were noticed missing the owner decided to search for them on the Mexican side. With the help of Mexican Police the heavy machinery was found on Wednesday in a farm near Calderitas. Because the machinery was in private property Mexican police could not proceed but spoke with the caretaker of the farm who explained that the owner of the farm was not there. Mexican police advised the Belizean to make a report to both Mexican and the Belizean authorities so he can recover his property. We contacted the Custom Officer in charge at the northern border but he was unavailable.

Man Charged With Murder But Convicted of Manslaughter
49-year-old, Vincent Tillett, charged with the murder of Darwin Phillips, was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter today by Justice Adolph Lucas. It was a trial without jury. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until November 26. Phillips was fatally stabbed in his chest on February 13, 2011 while he was at a house on Antelope Street Extension that was occupied by Tillett and his common-law wife, Denise Stuart. The two main witnesses for the prosecution, Angela Hyde and Oran Young, were both deemed as hostile witnesses when they testified and gave testimonies that were contrary to the statements they gave to the police. But their statements were admitted as evidence. Tillett testified and denied that he committed the offence. He said that at the time of the incident he was in Sandhill. Tillett was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar while Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant represented the prosecution.

Arrested Belizeans Identified
Love News has been able to ascertain the names of three Belizeans that were caught with cocaine near the Belize Mexico border. According to Mexican news outlet, the Belizeans that have been detained are Michael Asthon Ramírez, Adelfo Ruperto Dzul and Orlando Habet. Accompanying the three Belizeans was Mexican National, Freddy Andrés Lagos Vargas. As we reported yesterday, the group of men was riding around in a vehicle with Corozal license plates in the neighboring town of Subteniente Lopez. Marines from the Mexican army, who had received an anonymous tip, intercepted the vehicle on Cuauhtemoc Street where their search led to the discovery of nine hundred grams of cocaine in the vehicle. The four men remain detained in Chetumal awaiting directives from the DPP office in Quintana Roo.

Students, Faculty and Friends of SJC Junior College Donates to Cancer Society
On Friday, November 8, 2013 the students of SJCJC along with faculty and family came together and organized a marathon to raise funds to aid those in our society who are suffering from the damaging effects of cancer. Today they headed over to the Belize Cancer Society’s headquarters to hand over a cheque of over two thousand dollars. Kathleen Azueta is one of the event’s organizers. KATHLEEN AZUETA “As part of raising awareness on cancer and also as part of instilling in our students the whole idea of leading a healthy lifestyle, we decided to hold a cancer awareness fundraiser marathon and the marathon was held last week Friday commencing at 5:30am. We had about 165 participants comprising of students, faculty members, parents and other interested individuals and in signing up, each participant donated ten dollars; so, we managed to raise $2,120.00 and that is what we are going to present to the Belize Cancer Society this morning. We decided to do that because this organization has displayed great commitment in raising awareness on cancer here in our country.”

Supermarket Cashiers Arraigned for Theft
Two former cashiers of James Brodies Store, located at mile four on Phillip Goldson Highway, were charged with theft in two separate cases when they appeared in court today. They are 34-year-old, Alma Gabourel and 33-year-old, Kimberly Goff. Gabourel, a resident of West Canal Street, was charged with the theft of twelve thousand one hundred and eighty five dollars. Goff, who resides on Gibnut Street, was charged with the theft of six thousand eight hundred and eighty eight dollars. They both pled not guilty to the charge. Gabourel was offered a bail of ten thousand dollars and her case was adjourned until January 20, 2014. Goff was offered a bail of five thousand dollars. Her case was adjourned until December 31. According to the allegation, Gabourel stole the money between October 21 and November 10, while Goff stole the money between October 28 and November 10. Both women were represented by attorney Bryan Neal.


Minister of National Security Concerned about Foreign Snooping on Belize
The Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar is tasked with protecting Belize’s internal secrets from foreign snooping. But with the recent revelations about high-level monitoring of public officials in many countries, some wonder if Belize isn’t also being monitored. Confirmation appeared to come with the news from whistle-blower...

UB’s Board of Trustees Meets Urgently Pending the President’s Resignation
According to the Chair, on November 1st, Dr. Fraser announced at a the commencement of a Board Meeting that he was considering an appointment that would take him away from the University and that if he decided to accept the offer, he would be leaving the institution by mid-2014....

Pen Cayetano Mounts Dominant Exhibition at the Venezuelan Institute of Culture
Garifuna culture in Belize has fostered and inspired many talented painters, musicians, and craftsmen. Among those most influential is Belizean artist and musician Pen Cayetano. Artist Cayetano began painting in the late 1970's at a studio in Dangriga. He remained in Dangriga until 1990 when he moved to Germany....

Public Accounts Committee Needs Changes for Future Excellent Governments: Hon. Julius Espat
Although the Public Accounts Committee has been lying dormant for decades, has in the recent months, been dominating headlines. The Chairman of that committee, the Hon. Julius Espat, set fire to a countrywide dialogue that eventually led to re-activate it. The Chair had a list of proposed changes to...

Independence Village Should Taste Benefit of Norwegian Cruise Line Project, says its Chairman
With the Norwegian Cruise Line Project in the pipeline, communities in the south have been putting in place mechanisms to benefit from what is anticipated to be a successful tourism venture. One such community is the village of Independence. The Village Council, in conjunction with the N.C.L. Steering Committee...

Fugitive and Alleged Potential Thug Falls Prey to Interpol and Mexican Authorities
A joint effort conducted last weekend, between the Guatemalan and Mexican authorities have led to detain a suspect wanted for the disappearance of his wife. It is said that the fugitive made his way to Mexico not too long ago, using a falsified Belizean passport. Roberto Barrera de León,...


As we go to press tonight, the nation of Belize continues to experience torrential rains as a result of a northeasterly airflow over the warm Caribbean waters – making for another wet month at the tail-end of the 2013 hurricane season. Forecaster Michael Gentle told Amandala tonight that rains are expected to continue into Friday night. Gentle said that the daily weather readings have been showing that for the past two weeks, there has been incessant rainfall on most days. However, he said, they expect the intensity of the rains to taper off a bit during the next 24 to 36 hours, with a return to normalcy on Saturday and Sunday. Last month (October) was wetter than usual and the flooding being experienced across the country now has resulted from an accumulation of continuous rains. The outcome was tragic for Cayo last night.

Acquitted of murder but convicted in August of illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien Well-known Belize City street figure, Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers, was deported last week by US Federal authorities after serving time in Utah for gun and ammunition possession, as well as illegal entry into the USA. Flowers had been acquitted of a murder charge in relation to the death of Cisco Cross, 45, who Flowers claimed to have killed in self-defense. A report carried by Salt Lake Tribune said Big Tom, 36, was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to Belize last week. “He was turned over to Belize authorities for questioning related to gang activities in that Central American country,” ICE said.

Cane farmers say if their demands are not met, they will not deliver cane to BSI come new crop year later this month. The membership of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA)—numbering 5,339 active farmers at last report—are threatening to strike when the new crop year opens later this month. The farmers are at loggerheads with the management of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) over their demand for a financial stake in revenues earned from the production of electrical power from bagasse – the wastes from sugar cane now being used to produce power, not just for the company but also for the national grid. Any strike by cane farmers would not only affect sugar production and exports – for which Belize must maintain production to protect its international niche – but could also affect power supply and prices charged to consumers, since the BELCOGEN (BSI) prices are substantially lower than the cost of power from non-renewable sources, such as Mexico.

Reports are that he had been receiving documents and cash through Belize. Roberto Eduardo Barreda de León, 37, the son of a prominent ex-judge in Guatemala and the prime suspect in the high-profile mystery murder of Cristina Siekavizza, a Guatemalan mother and wife who disappeared more than two years ago, will be facing trial in Guatemala for her murder. Why is this story relevant to Belize? Multiple media reports coming out of Guatemala indicate that Barreda, who had assumed a false identity with a fake passport, had received his documents and financial support via Belize. In fact, one news report goes further to say that Barreda had actually been traveling back and forth between Mexico and Belize – even while Interpol had him on their most wanted list. Barreda had reportedly changed his identity to Carlos Roberto Barreido Villareal and had papers claiming he was a Mexican citizen.

A proposition by the Barrow administration to set up a new law to govern private sector pensions has created alarm in certain factions—and those concerns apparently won’t be allayed until a formal draft of the bill becomes public. Amandala was informed by Alma Gomez, Supervisor of Insurance, that the Solicitor General is still working on the document, but after the drafting process is complete—to ensure that the bill, formulated by a Canadian consultant, aligns with domestic legislation—the bill will go to Cabinet before it is made available to the public. Gomez told Amandala that there were consultations held with the private sector—including the insurance companies—in December and March, but further consultations are due to be held after the bill is ready for circulation. “We need to look at what will happen in years to come – the senior years,” she said.

Maurice Tomlinson, attorney at AIDS Free World, and a Jamaican homosexual married to a Canadian pastor, has asked the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to strike down a clause in Belize’s Immigration Act which he alleges makes it an offense for homosexuals to visit Belize. Tomlinson is jointly challenging the Immigration Act of Trinidad and Tobago, on the same basis – that the law bars him, as a homosexual, from visiting the country. As a citizen of the Caribbean Community, Tomlinson claims rights of free movement in member states, such as Belize. Tomlinson makes this claim on the basis of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas – the legally-binding instrument which is the foundation for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Tomlinson’s attorney, international human rights attorney, Anthony Gifford, QC, a British baron, told the Caribbean Court of Justice on Tuesday morning, that in his reading of the Belize and Trinidad statutes, the laws require his client to seek a special permit from local authorities to visit their country.

A small delegation made up of one female (F) and three male (M) Masters athletes left the Jewel in the middle of last week to compete in the 18th annual Central American Masters Track and Field Championship held in Managua, Nicaragua, from November 7 – 9. According to Daland Jones, a member of the Belize delegation, the meet involved some 450 Masters athletes from the seven Central American countries, which were each allowed no more than two participants in each Track or Field event. The small Belize delegation only participated in the Field events, and returned on Sunday with a remarkable take of 5 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze medals, after having competed in 13 individual events. Most outstanding was veteran athlete (over 60 years old) and former President of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Fred Evans, who captured an amazing 3 Gold and 1 Silver medals.

Yesterday, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) released the final eighteen (18) player list for the UNCAF U-16 Championship 2013 which will be hosted in Belize at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan next week, with games daily from Monday to Friday, November 18 – 22. Six of the seven Central American countries are participating in the tournament (Panama withdrew), namely Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. On October 24, the FFB released a list of 26 players who were reportedly in camp to prepare for the upcoming tournament. That list has been reduced to the final 18 who will represent the Jewel in next week’s UNCAF U-16 Championship. Technical Staff: Head Coach – Renan Couoh; Assistant Coach – Alex Norales; Goalkeeper Coach – Kent Gabourel; Physical Trainer – Dennis Serano; Physiotherapist – Bertha Gonzalez; Doctor – Alain Gonzalez; Equipment Manager – Herbert Trapp.

Veteran Belizean distance runner Anthony Flores, 53, a.k.a. “Ladies,” says he placed third in his age category at last year’s Placencia Half-Marathon, behind a first place American and a second place Nigerian. It’s an annual international event in connection with the tourist industry down south in Placencia, and “Ladies” says athletes are treated “special” with the best accommodation, food and refreshment, making this race very appealing to participants. But Anthony “Ladies” Flores is a serious runner, not just going for a holiday. He says he recently won his third annual BDF half-marathon in a row, a race he has dominated ever since the passing of his nemesis, the late William Bailey of Ladyville. Flores says he runs because he enjoys it and also because it keeps him healthy. “I have no problem with sugar or pressure,” he maintains, and advises others to take up running for fun and fitness.

On October 29 of this year, the Belize Boxing Federation (BBF) took a team of 2 boxers to represent Belize in the Central American Boxing Championships, which was held in Nicaragua from October 30 until November 3. Representing Belize were Maxwell Williams and Sherman Galvez, who both qualified to enter the tournament due to their experience. They both subsequently won Bronze in their categories, which were the 64 kilos and 69 kilos. According to the President of the Belize Boxing Federation, Moses Sulph, the competition that Williams and Galvez had gone up against was “very elite competition,” because he pointed out that all the other countries had to go through a process of elimination, due to the fact that there is a wide pool of fighters in the same weight class, so they have to go through a whole elimination process in order to be qualified. He acknowledged that, nevertheless, both the Belizean boxers did very well. He informed us that they both made it to the semifinals; however, Sherman Galvez lost his second fight in which he was going up for either a gold or silver medal.

Another sporting event in conjunction with the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration in Dangriga will be the 6th annual Rock Bottom 3-on-3 Basketball Marathon at the Why-Not-Island this Saturday, November 16. The time has been changed from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All teams must be at the Why-Not-Island by 3:30 p.m. Registration per team is $25.00. First place receives $125.00 U.S. along with Jordan slippers; second place will each receive Nike slippers; and the MVP of the Marathon will receive a pair of Jordan tennis shoes and a basketball. SCFA 1st Division Week 10 games The Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) 1st Division Football Tournament for the Old Master and Paul’s Guest House Cup will have its Week 10 games this weekend at the Carl Ramos Stadium.

As we Belizeans look around our country and examine our infrastructure, we see that our streets, bridges, roads, schools, parks, stadiums, auditoriums and so on are not in good shape. As a people, our morale is low. We are frustrated, puzzled, undisciplined, and argumentative. Law and order have been breaking down. We are afraid to go out at night. Overall, the quality of our life is unacceptable. There are individuals and enclaves which are exceptions to these general rules. Perhaps the most notable such enclaves are the Mennonite ones. The Mennonites, however, live according to their own way of life, which they brought with them to Belize more than five decades ago. The Mennonites are a numerical minority, and there is no chance that the majority Belizean population will adopt the Mennonite lifestyle. Belize is considered a Christian nation. There are many faiths which are active, all of them promising salvation in the hereafter if people believe in and practice their principles. It is assumed, we suppose, that life will be better on earth itself if people believe and behave, but the Christian faiths emphasize eternal salvation more than earthly well-being.

“On the next day, the 9th, sports were held in the Contingents’ honor at Newtown Barracks … the sports on the 9th only served to remind the men that their real status in their own society had in no way changed. The sports field at the Barracks was overlooked by the capital’s various social clubs – the preserve of the white-Creole elite – and, on that day, afternoon tea was served on the various verandahs to white store owners, Creole mahogany contractors and the dignitaries of the Colonial Administration.” - RACE RIOT, CLASS WARFARE, AND COUP D’ETAT: THE EX-SERVICEMEN’S RIOT OF JULY 1919, Peter David Ashdown The Southside of Belize City first went against the PUP in the Belize City Council election of December of 1974, when the UDP won 6 CitCo seats to the PUP’s 3. In the December 1977 CitCo election, the UDP won all 9 seats in a landslide victory. Then, in the general elections of 1979, the UDP won 2 of the then 3 Southside seats in the House of Representatives, with their Philip Goldson winning Albert and their Curl Thompson winning Mesopotamia. (The PUP’s Harry Courtenay retained the Collet seat.) The number of Southside seats was expanded to 6 for the 1984 general election, and the UDP won all 6, winning 9 out of 10 seats in the old capital overall.

Eight men, 7 of them from Corozal and one from Cayo, were all charged with customs and criminal offences and were arraigned today in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court after a Police Quick Response team discovered them in possession of what are believed to be chemicals used in the manufacture of the highly addictive and deadly drug called methamphetamine, more commonly known as “crystal meth.” San Ignacio police said that around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, they were on patrol in the Bullet Tree area when they spotted a 40-foot container attached to a towhead truck that was parked on the side of the Calla Creek Road, just past the Bullet Tree Police Substation. They subsequently searched the large blue container, which was loaded with only ten 50-gallon blue barrels. Those barrels, however, contained suspicious chemicals, which are supposedly chemical precursors. The barrels were un-declared, un-documented and likely smuggled across from Guatemala.

I must confess I have made it a personal choice not to be glued to my TV set every evening for the weekly dose of news from the various media houses … Honestly the negativity after a long day’s work is just too much, so I find time to just browse the transcripts as time allows or needs be. The reason I no longer wish to be sucked into the tubes or plasma, in these modern times, is because too often it seems Belize has gone mad … Mad to the point that we have to deal with men having sex with men fighting the rest of us, to being sued by some gay activist at the CCJ, to men gunning down and killing men on the streets, to men facilitating shipment of precursor drugs through Belize, to fugitive men obtaining Belizean passports to escape the law, to police brutalizing citizens and men raping women or abusing children … okay maybe I should re-phrase: it’s like our men have gone mad! Recently the scandal that does not go away is the one involving our nationality. Our identity to the rest of the world and the pride of being a Belizean with a Belizean passport has been diminished. Penner has refused to resign; Castro denies he was bribed for visa recommendations; evidence is getting closer and closer to another elected minister. And Hulse, with all his big chats, has been emasculated by politics. The evidence is there and the police are not allowed to go in and find it. Shame on us!

In September, 2013, Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat, tried to amend the membership of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives to increase the number of the PUP members to three. This could possibly give his party a greater influence on this important group and strengthen the oversight of the House over the expenditure of public funds. Transparency would certainly be enhanced. The Prime Minister moved quickly to secure control of this key committee by his party. He appointed a fourth colleague to the PAC. Not only the People’s United Party but the whole country at large once again had to confront the reality that transparency and accountability are not high on the list of this Prime Minister’s priorities. This conviction was re-enforced last week. By a vote of 7-6 the Senate rejected a motion put forward by Civil Society representatives on the Senate and the People’s United Party to launch an investigation into the various scandals emanating from the Ministry of Immigration. Included in the allegations of criminal acts and misconduct is the charge that Cayo North East Representative, a key UDP member, Elvin Penner, had signed some immigration documents – an official act outside of his scope of responsibility.

Things egregious Many Belizeans disagreed with independence, some believing the time was wrong, others fearing a Guatemalan invasion, while some “Britishers” adamantly refusing to accept it, preferring to die under colonial rule, servile and subservient. Belize is now 14 years young and proud of our record so far in governing ourselves. One wonders for some of the decisions made are, to be kind, mindboggling and incomprehensible. What’s going on? Constitutional Guarantees 1981 … Regardless of the race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, every person in Belize shall be entitled to the following human rights and fundamental freedoms: (a) Life, liberty, security of the person and protection of the law. (b) Freedom, convenience of expression, of assembly and association. (c) Respect for his private and family life, protection for the privacy of his home and recognition of his human dignity, and

The Ministry of Health has issued a public notification which states that the Ministry would like to advise the general public not to purchase or use Vitalikor, which is sold as a sexual enhancement product on websites, pharmacies and supplements stores. According to the press release, the advice is based on recommendations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which detected the presence of Tadalafil and Vardenafil, which are both active ingredients in the prescription drugs Cialis and Levitra, but for some reason, are not mentioned as ingredients in Vitalikor. The consumption of the Vitalikor supplement in combination with prescriptive drugs which contain nitrates may lower blood pressure levels to dangerous levels because the undeclared ingredients are likely to interact with other nitrates that are found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin which is used in treating men with diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.

The continuous rains over the past days have been making bad situations worse in various parts of the country. The rising flood waters are inundating certain sections of the north, such as the Sarteneja area, where the road is covered with water for miles, with depths of up to over 3 feet in parts, making traveling on the road very difficult. The owner of a bus line in Sarteneja announced today on KREM Radio that tomorrow, Friday, is the last day he is allowing his buses to traverse the impassable Sarteneja Road, due to its terrible condition and the damage being caused to his vehicles by the high flood waters on the road. He claimed that parts of the road are so bad that he fears that his vehicle will become bogged down. He said that his vehicles will not be travelling until there are improvements to the road. This lack of public transportation will create additional difficulties for travelers to and from the village, who must travel from the village to work and to school. NEMO of Orange Walk announced that the Ministry of Works has been informed about the terrible situation, and the Ministry has indicated that an assessment of the situation will be carried out, and repairs to the road will be done as soon as the weather improves.

Linsford “Supa G” Martinez, Adrian “The Doc” Martinez, Constable Bert Martinez and their family of Georgetown are mourning the death of their eldest brother, Patrick Anthony “Patos” Martinez, a former teacher, policeman ,and soldier of the Belize Defence Force. Patos, the father of 6 children, died on Monday at his home in Georgetown, after suffering a long bout of illness. Patos was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, where his body awaits a post-mortem. Constable Martinez told Amandala that Patos was at the Southern Regional Hospital, but had improved and was discharged and went home, only to die on Monday. Patos was a musician in his own right who composed songs. Those of us who were fortunate to spend time with him while he was serving in the Belize Defence Force, will always remember him as a mild-tempered and quiet soldier, who was friendly and easy to get along with.

A joint military training exercise that was being conducted between a Belize Defence Force team and foreign military counterparts was disrupted at about 11:30 a.m. today after the gusts that were generated by their helicopter allegedly blew the pickup truck of a nearby work crew into the Haulover Creek. This morning, a team of BDF soldiers and members of foreign armed forces was reportedly in a 100-foot long Chinook helicopter doing routine training on top of a 3-storey abandoned building situated in an area off the Airport Road near the Haulover Creek when the incident reportedly occurred. Residents who live in the vicinity told us that the BDF had previously informed them that they would be conducting training exercises in the area, which they occasionally did, but this was the first time that the training was done using a helicopter. One of the witnesses said that the helicopter stirred what he described as “hurricane force winds” as it landed on top of the building, which is when the strength of the air currents not only sent tree branches toppling on top of nearby vehicles and blew items from a neighbor’s yard into the nearby river, but it also pushed a pickup truck into the murky waters as well.

A Mexican, Juan Alberto Hernandez Zuniga, one of two men who were acquitted of gun possession charges at the Corozal Magistrate’s Court yesterday, has been returned to his country after he pleaded guilty to being a prohibited immigrant. Zuniga was ordered by the Corozal Magistrate’s Court today not to return to Belize for the next 6 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,000, to be paid forthwith, or serve 5 months in prison. Zuniga paid the fine immediately and he was taken to the northern border by officers of the Immigration Department. Police said that on Sunday, May 11, Zuniga and another man were arrested and charged with firearm and ammunition possession without a gun license after police pursued a vehicle out of which a 9mm pistol and three magazines loaded with 13, 14, and 15 live 9mm rounds were thrown.

— by Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d) Dear Editor, The residents of Ladyville/Lords Bank should seriously consider becoming Belize’s next town! According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (2010 census), Ladyville has 5,458 residents whilst Lords Bank has 3,140. Combined, the greater Ladyville area has a population of 8,598. Should the residents decide to become a town it would make Ladyville/Lords Bank Belize’s sixth largest town. Larger than Punta Gorda (5,205) and Benque Viejo (5,824) and almost as large as Dangriga (9,096) and Corozal (9,901). I do not think that it is unfair to say that the residents of Ladyville/Lord Bank have been under-served in terms of government services. The area has no hospital, no fire service and inadequate police presence. Other critical government services such as lands, treasury, vehicle/drivers licensing, vital statistics, etc. are also not available and residents have to go to Belize City in order to access those services.

— by Wendy Auxillou Dear Editor, Wow! Vega/Castro/Pennergate are the gifts that keeps on giving! Before Vega/Castro/Pennergate, we had Godfrey/Fonseca/Musagate. It should be clear by now, 32 years after “independence”, that the Belize Constitution is the supreme manifesto for white collar crime. It is beyond time that this illegitimate constitution – written by politicians, for the enrichment of politicians, be trashed. Why is it illegitimate? The Belize Constitution came into force during some of the worst rioting our country has ever seen. The people were not consulted, and no national referendum to approve or reject the constitution was held. In fact, it could safely be said that a large portion of civil society was against it coming into force, the result which was the aforementioned rioting and civil unrest. Independence Day, 1981, saw our new nation on “lock down” and under martial law due to a State of Emergency. On a day when the population should be celebrating, military officers with large guns and with orders to shoot to kill anyone walking on the streets after sundown, patrolled the streets of Belize. It is into this distressing scenario that our nation and constitution were “born.” And that is how an oppressive, kleptocratic constitution, which served our colonial masters so well was passed down to the local apprentices as inheritance on Independence Day.

— by Paul Rodriguez Editor Sir: Every country has the right to devise and formulate its own constitution. And, yes, Mr. Coombs, the heart and soul of Belize is expressed in the Preamble to our constitution. The Belizean people decided it is our standard of morality, not the Government. The standard of morality is changing and has changed in America and England, the most powerful and influential members of the United Nations; and they are seeking to impose them on small nations, like Belize. If it suits your agenda and you believe that might makes right, you have a right to do so. (Signed) Paul Rodriguez

Chinese nationals Fenglan Wu, 35, and Chenbo Xu, 38, were charged for failing to declare the US$10,000 they arrived with into the country on Monday, November 11. On Tuesday, represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, they were arraigned on that charge, with Wu pleading not guilty and Xu accepting responsibility. They were offered bail and Arnold asked the court to expedite the trial since the couple are visitors to the country. The Chief Magistrate granted his request and their trial was set for this Friday, November 15. This morning, however, the couple appeared in court, and since Xu had already pleaded guilty to the charge, he was fined $20,000 to be paid forthwith, which he was able to do.

This morning, Fenglan Wu, 35, a Chinese housewife, and her husband, Chenbo Xu, 38, a Chinese real estate agent, were jointly charged with failing to declare $20,000 in Belizean currency when they arrived into the country via the Philip Goldson International Airport. The couple arrived here yesterday at 10:30 and after the cash was found, they were taken to the Queen Street Police Station, where they were charged. Their lawyer, attorney Ellis Arnold, argued that the couple didn’t have a charge to answer to since between the two of them they were operating within the scope of the law by having $10,000 each. He also argued that they didn’t have to fill out a declaration form listing the cash, since it didn’t have to be declared in the first place.

Jose Mario Portillo, of Progresso, Corozal, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg at the Orange Walk Hospital after he was shot by police during the execution of an arrest in Progresso village at about 5:40 yesterday evening. He was rushed to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment. His condition has been declared as stable. Constable Arzu (whose first name was not provided), the officer in charge of Progresso Police Station, reported that yesterday evening he responded to reports of an altercation at Javier Jones Store. He said that Vanessa Jones, a resident of the village, called the police because three persons, known to her as Dalio Sedacy, Jesse Sedacy and Jose Maria Portillo, who were under the influence of alcohol, had approached Roberto Pasos, 57, a cane farmer of Progresso who was at Javier Jones’ welding place, located at the same address of the store, and told him that they wanted to run their pickup over him.

An autopsy conducted on the body of a Guatemalan, Edgar Salazar, 28, of Fabers Road Extension, Belize City, who was stabbed to death after an altercation between his friends and another group of men that began near La Catracha Bar on Coney Drive, certified the cause of his death to be exsanguinations due to external bleeding from a renal vein injury as a result of a stab wound. The autopsy was conducted by Doctor Mario Estradabran, police coroner, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on Monday. Police say that at about 1:10 Sunday morning, Edgar Salazar was socializing with some men near the La Catracha bar when a fight broke out on the street in front of the bar between Salazar’s group and another group of men. Salazar and his friends reportedly ran to escape their attackers, but some of the men chased the group and caught him some distance away. One of the attackers, who was armed with a broken bottle, stabbed Salazar in the right lower back. He was rushed to the KHMH, where he was declared dead about fifteen minutes after his arrival.

On Friday, November 8, Kevin Jex, 38, was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. But this afternoon, he was returned to court where those charges were withdrawn and replaced with a single charge of murder. Jex is accused of hitting Desmond Miller, 49, behind his head with a large piece of wood, causing a large cut wound in his head. Miller was in front of the Belize City Council, where he was employed as a security guard. Miller was receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died from his serious injury on Sunday.

Dwayne Davis, 32, who was charged with the June 18, 2012, murder of Dr. Ivan Garcia, had his case committed to the January session of the Supreme Court when he appeared in court. Davis is accused of killing the doctor and leaving his half nude body on the bedroom floor inside the doctor’s house. Dr. Garcia was found with a bruised eye and a cut to his head, and his throat showed signs of manual strangulation. Davis was arraigned for the murder on June 20, 2012, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was represented by attorney Bryan Neal. His preliminary inquiry was held before the Chief Magistrate, and he was again represented by Neal.

Charles Peebles, 44, of San Pedro Town, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a charge of keeping an unlicensed firearm. Peebles, of Swan Street, was taken to the San Pedro Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday, where he was arraigned on the charge and remanded until December 14, when he is to return to court. Police said that about 11:45 on Thursday night, they were on mobile patrol in the San Pedrito area, where they intervened and broke up a fight between two men, one of whom was identified as Charles Peebles. Police reported that Charles Peebles had an object in a black plastic bag in his right hand, and they took it away from him.

The November 2013 - January 2014 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
Click HERE to download the PDF

This Issue's Stories:

  • Belize’s ‘Green Coal’: The Multi-Purpose Cohune Nut: The cohune palm tree, Attalea cohune, familiar to Belizeans, produces a nut about 6 inches in diameter in huge heavy clusters, weighing about 100 pounds. One tree can have several of these clusters. The nuts have been used by the Mayas, and in more modern times, by other Belizeans for fuel and oil. The kernels are 65 to 70 percent oil, but they amount to about 6% of total weight. The nuts are unusually hard and difficult to crack and their collection and transportation can also be difficult; so commercial oil recovery has been relatively undeveloped. Peter Singfield, who lives in Xaibe, Corozal District, developed an oil extraction system using a conventional oil expressor. First the nuts need be heat treated to loosen the meat from the shell or they are impossible to extract. Properly heated, the nut falls from the shell when the shell is “properly” split. Peter used to set them out in the hot sun on a black tarpaulin for four days or so, where the mid-day sun on a black surface reached temperatures 145° - 150°F. Others boil them for 30 minutes, while some people make fire pits and after the coals are sufficiently hot, put in the nuts and cover them with soil to process the next day.
  • Letter: Biologically Appropriate Technology or GMO: Biologically appropriate technology is designed to do no harm to the environment – the air, water and soil. It is working with nature, not against it. It is learning from and respecting nature. Having been an environmental journalist turned anti-nuclear/prorenewable energy activist, I am seeing similar patterns in the debate over GMO corn as existed in the nuclear debate. The parallels lie in how the public was sold on nuclear power back when there was concern that nuclear power might not be “ biologically appropriate technology.” Touted as being “safe, clean, and too cheap to meter” by the industries that financially benefited, nuclear energy turned out to be an expensive environmental nightmare, costing trillions, and many lives. Safely dealing with nuclear waste is still an unsolved problem; Fukushima is an ongoing out-of-control environmental disaster contaminating water daily with ionizing radiation that flows to the open sea. When there is controversy regarding a technology, it would seem best to stay on the side of caution. So, we ask ourselves, is genetically modified seed (ie: GMO corn, etc.) biologically appropriate technology? Those who gain the dollars from having mass control over the world’s food production view it as appropriate. Those who understand the Creator’s command to “respect all that I have created” do all they can to stop GMO corn from tainting the perfect food given to us by the Creator. Genetically modified corn is designed to cross pollinate and then take over a species of plants, not unlike an invasive.
  • Positive Changes In The Citrus Industry: The Belize Citrus Industry was started in 1913 and this year marks its 100th anniversary. Congratulations! The industry has grown to be of major economic importance in Belize. There are now about 45,000 acres of citrus groves and the industry represents 4% of GDP, accounts for 22% of major export earnings, and directly benefits 10,000 people and indirectly 50,000 people. The Belize Citrus Industry is facing many of the same challenges as other agricultural sectors including increased costs of fuel and fertilizers, global changes in trade with price fluctuations, natural disasters and climate change, and pests and diseases. The industry has survived many of these challenges. Today it faces an additional one: the devastating Citrus Greening Disease, also known as Huanglonbing (HLB). This disease is spread by an insect vector—the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri). The disease is also spread from infected propagation materials in citrus nurseries. Greening was confirmed to be present in Belize in 2009. Since then it has spread to many groves, mainly in the Stann Creek District, and groves are declining, many trees have died and some groves have been totally removed. This past year witnessed a decline in fruit production up to 50% countrywide and Greening was a major factor.
  • The Soil & Agriculture: Agriculture as we know it has been with us for over eight thousand years. Science first became evident with the ancient Mayas, Peruvians, Persians, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians some two to three thousand years ago. These ancient peoples knew how to grow healthy crops with high yields and feed some 50,000 to 300,000 persons in cities with very good sanitation and running water. However, after the year 1,100 AD all this knowledge was lost to humanity because their civilizations collapsed. It was not until the middle to late 1800’s that Von Liebig and Julius Hansel both of Germany brought science back into agriculture with their works on soils. Then between the period 1930 to late 1950’s two Americans, Professor Emeritus Dr. William Albrecht and Dr. Carey Reams leapfrogged the knowledge of soil science. In the late 1920’s, early 1930’s, Dr. Albrecht and his colleagues made the very important discovery in soil science, the role of the clay fraction of soil in cation exchange capacity (CEC) you see on soil tests. His published work is collected in 8 volumes by the late Charles Walters of Acres USA. It still stands as the greatest work in agriculture, yet Dr. Albrecht’s name doesn’t even get a mention in modern soil science textbooks. The Belizean farmer must understand that his farm MUST have five essentials for good soil. All five are absolutely necessary. Nature is precise. First, the soil must contain energy. It takes energy to break-down limestone. A fertilizer’s job is to provide energy, but it is important not to use fertilizers that harm or kill the soil.
  • “Feed the Soil” Theme of 2013 Organic Fair: The old method of slash and burn for farming is being replaced with slash and mulch by the farmers in Toledo and Stann Creek who have seen the dramatic increase in corn crop yields in side-by-side field experiments. The results of the experiment reported at the 5th annual Organic Fair held in Punta Gorda on October 25 and 26 also included increases in organic matter, water retention and carbon content of the soil based on soil analysis before and after the experiment. The theme, Feed the Soil, was emphasized by every speaker at the event including Mr. Burton Caliz whose organic farm was toured by the attendees. In addition to mulching, the soil in southern Belize is being enriched by reforestation (223 acres), cover crops, and “alley” cropping (growing crops in between rows of trees e.g., Inga Edulis, Madre Cacao, and Leucaena, which are pruned regularly to allow exposure to sun). Mucuna beans are advocated as the primary cover crop, which can add as much as 30 tons per hectare of organic matter to the soil. Crop rotation, composting, and integrated pest control using organic ingredients and methods were also described.
  • BEYOND THE BACKYARD A Grain of Truth: We have become used to the labels fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, nut free; now gluten free seems to be the latest trend. On the one hand we realize that the food industry is a business; so selling the idea that you need or suffer from something is inevitable. On the other hand we must consider the fact that incorrect labeling or secret ingredients for some people can become a matter of life and death. At a recent cocktail party two people said they were allergic to shrimp, one to oysters, two to nuts, one is lactose intolerant, one to the polymers of surgical gloves and four out of the ten were on gluten free diets. One may have celiac disease and the others were advised to try avoiding gluten the sticky protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, malt and rye. They reported that they felt so much better in many ways, regained a waistline, thought more clearly and eliminated joint pain. Other gluten related conditions such as gluten ataxia can affect the brain and create neurological problems. A gluten free diet has been found to be useful in the treatment of autistic children. Even products such as shampoo and body wash can contain wheat germ, barley or rye and since the skin is the largest organ of the body it could be adversely affected. Surprisingly cigarettes may also contain gluten either from plant contamination or from the wheat processing of the papers.
  • Agro-Processing Project Review: Agro-Processing, one of the four core projects of the Technical Mission of The Republic of China (ROC) (Taiwan), begun in 1999, held its annual meeting on September 6, 2013 at the pavilion of the National Ag and Trade Show (NATS) grounds in Belmopan. The project, which is funded by the International Cooperation and Development Fund of the ROC (Taiwan ICDF), is headed by Mr. Carson Huang, who recounted project activities including (1) making almost 800,000 dried fruit snack packs (from over 400 tons of rejected export fruits: pineapple, banana, and papaya) that supported the school lunch program in Belize 2006 to 2010, (2) organizing and training over 21 groups (over 600 women) that have been formed throughout the country over the last 7 years, (3) developing training for vocational schools, called TVETs, (food science lectures and practice courses) for over 420 students in 5 districts: Cayo, Orange Walk, Corozal, Toledo and Stann Creek, and (4) initiating and technically supporting products, some of which were on display at the meeting: potato flour, crystallized ginger, pineapple yogurt jam, dehydrated mango, and the very successful soy sauce which is produced by the women’s groups in Orange Walk and Corozal. The coconut and mango popsicles served for a snack to the attendees were really appreciated on the hot day. In addition, sweet potato rolls, made by one of the groups, complemented the traditional Belizean lunch.
  • Soil Structure, Strength and Consistency: The major objective in preparing the soil for the cultivation of any crop is having good soil preparation as the medium for plant growth. We can have good soil and make it poor as well as poor soil and make it good. Aside from the fertility which is a measure of the chemical nutrients, we need to create favourable physical conditions for the plants. These conditions are consistency, soil strength and soil structure. These three characteristics of good soils allow the presence and movement of air and water in the soil as well as provide sites for storage/release of nutrients for the plants. Good soil structure creates a good environment for the holding of water and air in the soil. Ploughing, harrowing and other forms of tillage are merely the mechanical means for the creation of these favourable soil conditions. We refer to the chemical or mineral makeup of the soil as the consistency or soil texture, that is, the amount of sand, silt and clay that are the inorganic constituents. Soil texture is the commonly associated term for the ‘feel’ and includes soil properties such as friability, plasticity, stickiness and resistance to compression and shear.
  • Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer’s Rice Trials: Rice production is expanding in greater Spanish Lookout and Cayo District, with almost 4,000 acres currently under cultivation by the Mennonites. Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer ran trials comparing rice qualities, costs and yields between crops grown with their liquid product versus those receiving traditional dry fertilizers. 6.6 acres received dry and 8.9 acres received Thiessen Liquid. As shown in the chart below the rice receiving Thiessen Liquid did better in 3 ways: 1. There were more pounds per bushel. (Corn is measured in 56lb bushels; soy in 60 lb bushels; and rice bushels are measured by volume not pound.) The rice which received the dry gave 36.3 lbs/bushel, whereas the rice which received the liquid gave 38.1 lbs/bushel. The increase in weight indicates a heavier, higher quality grain. 2. The moisture content of the dry was 24.8%, whereas the moisture content of the liquid was only 21.3%: another win for Liquid. 3. The fertilizer cost was also a winner for Liquid, with dry at $310.41/ac and Liquid at $289.15/ac. Dry pound yield per acre was 3,325 for the dry fertilizer and 3,251 for the liquid fertilizer. Nevertheless, Liquid’s heavier grain yielding the heavier bushels, with less moisture and lower fertilizer cost was still the winner. Belize Ag’s Issue 24 (due Feb 2014) will have a more detailed report on the rice industry in Western Belize.
  • BEL-CAR UPDATES Lower Prices but Record 1.3M Cwt. Corn Harvest for Greater Spanish Lookout/Banana Bank Farms: CORN: Cayo’s corn harvest for 2013 broke all previous records, with approximately 1.3 M Cwt. (1.3 million 100 lb sacks) harvested from combined acreages of Spanish Lookout’s Mennonite farmers and Banana Bank. Shortly after farmers harvested the final acreages from the approximately 30,000 acres, rains pelted the area flooding bridges and closing roads. The corn this year had been a little later than normal by about 1-2 weeks, due to later planting than usual (weather related). Some expressed surprise and relief that the quality had not been more affected, due to unusual weather, for example, rains coming prior to harvesting at the end of September. The yields per acre are slowly climbing up in Spanish Lookout; the exact tallies of acres and lbs/acre were not ready at press time and will be in issue 24 of The Belize Ag Report. Bel-Car estimates the average yield per acre at about 4,000 lbs/acre. Some better hybrids will be over that. Yields used to average 3,500 lbs/ac.
  • : BEANS: Red Kidney (RK) beans will be planted toward the end of November with Black Eyes more toward December, as it is more critical that the Black Eyes do not get rain during the last weeks. There may be a slight increase in planting RK’s and less Black Eyes, because the Black Eyes had a slower selling season. However, Bel-Car believes that a continuation of the current planting ratios would be good, as sales go in waves and what was slower one year may be in more demand the next. Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section, page 15.
  • International Promotion of Agricultural SME’s: Small and medium enterprises (SME’s) are to receive government assistance in the export of their products in accordance with the policy passed in 2013. The workshop on the international promotion of agricultural SME’s, held at the George Price Center on October 22 and 23, brought together the stakeholders to report on and discuss the opportunities, successes, and challenges of agricultural exportation. For an inside venue there was an enormous amount of planting those two days: seeds of marketing and business ideas that could germinate and benefit Belizean micro, small and medium ag enterprises. Small enterprises are defined internationally as those having 10 – 49 employees, US$1oo,000 – 3$M in assets and US$100,000 - $3M in sales. Medium enterprises have 50 – 250 employees, US$3M - $15M in assets and US$3M - $15M in sales. Although 95% of all enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean are SME’s, most of the farmers in Belize are classified as micro with less than 10 employees and are not linked to the export market.
  • Bird Watch – From My Perch: Migratory birds are arriving daily from the North. You can use e-Bird (Bird Log) to enter the birds you see. This information is uploaded to the Cornell University Ornithology Lab. The data becomes available to birders all around the globe. With more and more people using this global database, scientists are learning more about migratory patterns and about the abundance or decline of individual species. There is a “world” version as well as a “Central America” version, BirdLog CA. You don’t need both; if you are a world traveler, choose the world version; otherwise, the Central America version is fine. If you are curious about when the warblers arrive, there is a terrific companion app called BirdsEye CA. There you can browse birds, look up a particular specie and learn quite a bit about it. You can also select the pin icon for a look at all the recent sightings and their locations. There is a link to “notable sightings” on the home page where you will find unusual or rare species. You will be able to see when and where they were seen. Once you have signed in to BirdsEye CA with the same user name you use for Bird Log CA, you will be able to also see your own lists and even find out how you stand among the top 100 Birders of Belize. iBird Pro is a superior application for studying birds, listening to their songs, looking at photos, range maps and getting good descriptions.
  • The Development of Corn: Scientists have been tinkering with the DNA of plants since the dawn of agriculture. The wild ancestor of corn for example is a grass called teosinte. Teosinte doesn’t look much like corn, especially when you compare its kernels to those of corn, but at the genetic or DNA level, the two are surprisingly alike. They have the same number of chromosomes and a remarkably similar arrangement of genes. In fact, teosinte can cross-breed with modern corn varieties to form corn-teosinte hybrids that can go on to reproduce naturally. At the dawn of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, ancient farmers in what is now Mexico took the first steps in domesticating corn when they simply chose which kernels (seeds) to plant. These farmers noticed that not all plants were the same; some plants grew larger than others, or some tasted better or were easier to grind. The farmers saved seeds from the plants they liked and planted them for the next season’s harvest. This process is known as selective breeding or artificial selection. Corn cobs became larger over time, with more rows of seeds, eventually taking on the form of modern corn. By selectively breeding plants, our predecessors transformed a scraggly and inedible grass called teosinte to the large, plump, colorful and nutrient rich corn plant.
  • Profitable ‘Green’ Intensive Commercial Farming is the Future: Wish to silence environmental critics lambasting the foul of commercial farming and still remain profitable? Looking to contribute to increasing global demand for food while protecting land, water and biodiversity? Environmental gains alongside intensive productive and profitable agriculture is not only possible but the future method of farming if we are to double global food production by 2050 while protecting land, water resources, soils and biodiversity for future generations of farmers. Known as Sustainable Intensive Agriculture, this farm of the 21st century has been implemented and documented for productivity and profitability in Europe and parts of Asia for several decades. Field margins are the strips of land between the field boundary and the crop, field corners and buffer zones. Research has shown that careful management of uncropped field margins not only contributes to water protection and increased biodiversity, but can also raise the crop profit margin.
  • Competency Based Education Training (CBET) at Central farm.: Competency based education and training (CBET) is being emphasized in the agricultural sector of Belize. CBET provides learners with the skills needed to perform well in their given industry. Learners need to know what is expected of them, employers need to know what skills their employees have, and instructors need to plan their courses and lessons so as to include these skills. Facilitators from Canada, Pat Bidart (Bow Valley College, Calgary, AB) and Angela Wilm (Lakeland College, Vermilion, AB) spent two weeks working with teachers and instructors at Central Farm, University of Belize. The facilitators provided sessions on active learning strategies to assist instructors in moving at times from a lecture format to an interactive applied format in teaching. The facilitators were very pleased with the passion and energy of the 27 trainers who completed the course.
  • Homemade Health Coconut Oil: If I could choose only one thing to keep in my medicine chest, it would be virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. This one substance is a superfood, providing health benefits in addition to supplying important nutrients, including some also found in breast milk. It is also a medicine; it fights bacteria and viruses and fungus. It can be used all over the body, inside and out. It can be used to treat insect bites, rashes, burns and wounds. Used internally, it boosts metabolism and shifts energy levels into high gear. Unlike caffeine, the effects are gradual but not addictive. What makes coconut oil so special? The difference is in the fat molecules that make up the oil. All fats and oils are composed of fat molecules known as fatty acids. Most of us are familiar with one way of classifying fatty acids, based on saturation: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Another way to classify fatty acids is based on the size of the molecule, the length of the carbon chain within the fatty acid. There are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and longchain fatty acids (LCFAs). Most of the fats in our diet are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). Corn oil, olive oil, canola oil, lard, soybean oil, and chicken fat are composed entirely of LCFAs.
  • PANELA - EVAPORATED CANE JUICE (That Healthy Molasses Fudge): India leads the world in panela production and it is known there as gur. In Colombia it’s called panela, as in most of Latin America with exceptions of Brazil where it is called rapadura, chancaca in the Andes, papelón in Venezuala and piloncillo* in Mexico. Colombia is 2nd in world production and first in consumption with a whopping average of 31.2 kg/year per capita. Making panela is Colombia’s 2nd leading rural vocation (after coffee cultivation). Panela’s precursor, fresh cane juice, is making its mark in trendy North American ‘raw cane juice bars’, and we expect savvy Belizean establishments to be serving it as well. Sugar cane is believed to have originated in New Guinea where it has been cultivated since 6000 BC. This member of the grass family produces about 70% of the world’s sugar. It likes the humid tropics but tolerates some sub-tropical areas. Sugar cane produces more calories per acre than any other crop. Panela is a value-added sugar cane product. Sugar cane, Sacharum officinarum, was and is designated as a medicinal plant. When you see ‘officinalis’ (or any of its declined forms) used as the species name in the Linneal binomial system of plant taxonomy, that indicates that it’s one of over 60 plants designated this way as medicinal.
  • Mamey Sapote: This is the last apple in the ‘Apples of Belize’ series. Although none of the apples in the series (custard apple, star apple, mamey apple, sugar apple, wax apple or bell fruit, velvet apple) are botanically classified as apples, they are all widely recognized as, and called apples. (As they do not look like apples, or grow on trees, pineapples are not part of the ‘apple’ series). The Mamey sapote (Pouteriasapota), is a member of the Sapotaceae family. Mamey is also spelled Mammee, Mammey, Mammy or called Mamey Apple and is also known as Zapote Colorado in Spanish. The Mamey sapote is a fruit-bearing tree which is native to Mexico and Central America. The long fascinating history of Mamey sapote dates back at least to the early Aztec and Mayan days. Fruits were recorded as growing in Panama in 1514. It has been documented that Mamey sapote fruits helped to keep Hernan Cortez and his army alive on their famous seven hundred mile expedition from Mexico City to Honduras in 1519 that caused the fall of the Aztec empire. Mamey sapote is the national fruit tree of Cuba and has grown in popularity in Central America, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, southern Florida and Australia.
  • Guidelines for Farming Watch the Moon Phase: Belize farmers are captivated by gardening by the phases of the moon. Since prehistoric times farmers have discovered that various plants do best when planted and harvested at certain phases of the moon. Before planting or harvesting follow the rules of thumb: 1. Crops that produce their yield above ground should be planted during the waxing moon (new to full). The first week is especially good for crops that have their seeds on the outside, and the second week (between the first quarter and the full moon) is the best time to plant crops that produce seeds on the inside. 2. During the waning moon (full to new moon) is the time to plant root crops. No planting is to be done on the day of the new or full moon. 3. Fruits harvested during the full moon phase tend to weigh more and get a higher price in the market.
  • The Pesticides Control Board of Belize celebrates its 25th anniversary: The Pesticides Control Act (PCA) for the regulation of pesticides in Belize came into effect in December 1988, bringing into existence the Pesticides Control Board (PCB), a statutory body mandated with the implementation of the provisions of the PCA. The PCB Secretariat is excited to announce its plans to mark this important 25 year milestone at an event scheduled to be held in November 2013. The event will have the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, and other stakeholders. There will be a panel presentation and discussion titled “Sustainable Agriculture and Pesticides: Regulation and Responsibility” and an expo featuring technological innovations in pest management and outreach programs that support sustainable agriculture.
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR


Fodors Rates Chaa Creek Among World’s Top 10 Solo Destinations
Fodors, the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information, has picked The Lodge at Chaa Creek as one of the world’s top 10 destinations for the solo traveller in a November 13 2013 feature, according to Chaa Creek marketing administrator Roberto Harrison. “It’s of course a great honor to be chosen among the top ten solo destinations in the world from someone as respected and authoritative as Fodors,” Mr Harrison said, “And while Chaa Creek caters to travellers ranging from families, couples, groups and really everyone, it was great to be singled out as a perfect destination for singles as well,” he said. The feature travel article, “10 Best Solo Escapes this Winter”, listed destinations from Kauai, Hawaii, Valle d’Aosta, Italy, New Zealand to Belize. In describing Belize, the article singles out Chaa Creek:

Dive into Adventure: Cave Tubing in Belize
You float along the cool water, gently pushed by the current as your headlamp illuminates the beautiful limestone caves that are sacred to the Maya people. This is definitely the coolest way to see all that Belize has to offer wrapped up in one adventure: ancient Mayan culture, a beautiful natural landscape, a lazy river and, of course, our fascinating caves. All while lounging in an inner tube! You start out with an informative hike through the rainforest, passing incredible animals and native plants as you follow your guide deep into the jungle. Soon you’ll reach a stunning lagoon surrounded by steep limestone walls, and then the fun really begins!

“Living in a Box” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
I can’t really remember too much about Wednesday. I know I went out on the veranda around 05.00 hours with my mug of coffee (black, the coffee not the mug, that is) and my iPad. I also know that it rained (well I’m pretty certain it did anyway because it feels like it has rained every single day during the last two weeks). I also know that Rose and I took a drive to ‘Town so that she could get her Belize Drivers License which is -for those of you who might be interested – a really simple process. You fill in the application form and take it , along with a photocopy of the driver’s license from your country of origin, to the San Pedro Town Council’s Transport Department (located on the ground floor now), have your photo taken (for your new license), pay a fee of BZ$ 60 (BZ $ 180 for a three year license – you can only get one of these after you have had a one year license first) and you get your licence. Simple!

Roatan’s West End: Eating, Tormenting Turtles and the World’s Best Rope Swing
Yesterday was our first full day on the island of Roatan. My friend Krista and I are staying at The Beach House in the West End. It is under relatively new management and being renovated. Our suite is beautiful. And the view is ridiculous. We are right over the water and right next to the most popular bar in the West End. Sundowners. The water felt fantastic and gets deep quite quickly. I like that. By the end of the dock, it must be about 10 feet. The West End is settled along a sandy cove, a small bay that is protected by coral. You can swim out to the coral for snorkelling but just before you get there is the coolest rope swing. There is a wooden sailing boat that we noticed is a bit tilted. On the back is a high platform and from the mast hangs a long rope. A swing.

International Sources

Coppola In Belize (And Other Adventures)
In these three non-fiction stories, critically acclaimed National Geographic writer, Simon Worrall, takes the reader on an exciting journey to one of the world's last wild places: Belize. The first story, Hike Across The Vaca Plateau, describes a 20-mile trek through a remote part of the Cayo district, accompanied by a Mayan guide and a mule. On the way, Worrall brings to life the amazing wildlife of the region: jaguars and wild pigs, poisonous snakes and tarantulas. Journey Down The Macal River, the second story, is a hybrid: part travelogue, part investigative report. sent to Belize by the Guardian, Worrall travels down the Macal River, cutting between his adventures in the jungle and the murky story behind the construction of the ill-fated Chalillo Dam and its disastrous effects on the area's fauna and flora, above all the Scarlet Macaw. The result is a searing indictment of an ecological catastrophe. The title story takes the reader behind the scenes of Hollywood icon, Francis Ford Coppola's life in Belize, in which the great director talks about the best way to cook pasta, his disaffection with Hollywood, and how he has managed to stay married to the same woman all his life..... 72 pages

November 15, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Danny García, light welterweight champion, vacations on Ambergris Caye
Undefeated professional boxer Danny García is in Belize and vacationing on Ambergris Caye. The current reigning WBC, Super WBA, and Ring Magazine, light welterweight champion flew in via Tropic Air from the Phillip SW Goldson International Airport shortly after 1:30PM. After being greeted by the staff at the Tropic Air, García was taken to a prime resort on Ambergris Caye. The San Pedro Sun’s Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana spoke to Oscar García, who said that he was excited to be in Belize. “I have never been to Belize,” said García. “I am here on vacation with my girlfriend, experiencing the world.” According to García, he and girlfriend Erica Mendez are looking forward to have best possible time. “We want to get to know Belize. We want to go diving and snorkeling and have a good Belizean time.”

Residents express concern over broken BWS sewer pipe
San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero, confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that he was made aware of the situation and that BWS was immediately contacted. According to the Mayor, he also brought up the issue with Keith Hardwick of BWS, following a meeting in Belize City on Tuesday November 12th. In a statement from BWS, the company said that they were made aware of the situation on November 10th and immediately dispatched personnel to the area. “Our investigations revealed that this was caused by the collapse of a man hole which caused blockage of the pipeline resulting in some seepage on the street in the Escalante Area. The blockage and overflow was immediately cleared and the area disinfected and the crew has diligently continued works to ensure the repair of the damaged sewer man hole,” said the statement. “San Pedro residents should note that this isolated problem poses no danger to the potable water supply to the citizenry of the Island. It is unfortunate that faults do occur from time to time; however, the sewerage system is designed with overflow bypasses to prevent or minimize such overflows,” added the statement. BWS who took the opportunity apologize to its San Pedro Town costumers. Mayor Guerrero said that the matter was reported to the Public Health Inspector and also added that as soon BWS completes repair on its faulty sewer line, works will commence to replace the damaged cobble stone with concrete slabs.

NEMO Issues Public Advisory #2 – Flooding in Cayo
NEMO hereby advises the public of the following flooding conditions in the Cayo District and also warns the residents along the Mopan and Macal Rivers to take the necessary action and move to safety, evacuate all areas that floods along the rivers and do not to attempt to cross areas that are flooding. Flood Warning is in effect for San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Both approaches to Cristo Rey Bridge have been washed away. About 20 families in the Santa Elena area behind Three Flags up to the cemetery experienced a flash flood early this morning. NEMO Cayo has responded to assess the impact on people and the area. The Baking Pot ferry is closed to traffic, the Low-lying Bridge between San Ignacio/Santa Elena and the Iguana Creek Bridge remains closed.

Save the date: Lighted Boat Parade is set for December 7th
This year the San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 7th. This traditional event heralds the holiday season and leads us into the holiday spirit with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children’s laughter, Christmas carols and a spectacular night time boat parade spanning from Wayo’s Beach Bar to the north and the Caribbean Villas to the south – with amazing viewing spots everywhere in between. This year promises to be as well attended and enjoyable as each preceding year has been. We look forward to many regulars participating and invite new entrants to join the fun. There are prizes in a number of categories for decorated boats, including most original and most religious and the Mayor’s choice with the coveted trophy cup. The block party in Central Park will feature our favorite charity fundraising booths as well booths with local artists, and food booths offering seasonal food and drinks from renowned local restaurants. Booth rental applications will be available starting November 18th at the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA)office.

MOHO Chocolate Boutique – for all your chocolatey treats!
You know the feeling – Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, whatever special occasion is right around the corner – and you have not gotten your presents sorted out. Now what? Well, here to solve your dilemma is MOHO Chocolate. With a variety of tempting treats and products, you can find all sorts of goodies for the chocolate lover on your shopping list. Established in January of 2012, MOHO Chocolate Factory produces high-quality organic chocolate from bean to bar. The cacao used is sourced from the rainforests of Belize, specifically Toledo, and comes from the farms of local entrepreneurs in the Moho region. From the cacao pod to the seeds and nibs until it is mixed with sugar and cacao butter, MOHO chocolate is crafted by hand to give you the most authentic chocolate bar. Or truffles. Or, cocoa powder. Or…you get the drift. MOHO chocolate boutique in San Pedro has a variety of the many incarnations of the cacao, the plain dark chocolate bars, delicious truffles in a variety of flavors (ginger, chili, lime & chili, coconut…), hot chocolate mix, cocoa powder for baking and seasoning, roasted cacao seeds, nibs, t-shirts for the true chocoholic, scrubs, lip balm, and even a body wash with the delightful scent of chocolate infused right into the wash!

Garifuna Drummers (15 photos)
In the days leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day, the Garinagu on the island are participating in various activities. One group is going around performing drumming/dancing sessions, and we had them come by our office to give us and our neighbors quite the cultural treat!

Ambergris Today

Stinky Situation at Escalante Subdivision
Residents of Escalante Subdivision were complaining that there seemed to be a sewer leak in the area and with all the heavy rains over the weekend the streets flooded and seemed to be contaminated with fecal matter and the stench was unbearable to many in the area. This problem persisted into the week and residents made their complaints on the morning show and to media houses. “Evidently there was/has been a sewage leak, starting in the Escalante Area and bubbling up onto the street adjacent to the Sugar Caye entrance for days. It may have been finally stopped yesterday. Unbelievably, I was not informed by anyone and learned through the rumor mill. This river of e-coli discharged into the lagoon within yards of the wells used to supply the Island’s drinking water. Fortunately, bacteria cannot survive our treatment process unless something goes wrong, and nothing went wrong,’” stated the Manager of Consolidated Waters Belize, Dee Dillon, in a letter sent to the media.

Belize Takes Action to End Violence against Children
Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard and underreported, said UNICEF’s representative Ivan Yerovi, announcing the launch of a program in child protection aimed at changing social norms and engaging government and civil society to end violence against children. This was reasserted by the EU Ambassador Paola Amadei who stated that "I am happy also to see that this project will work to improve the response capabilities and sensitivity of public health and security officials to issues of child abuse. Improving the capacity of health and human service workers; the police; and educators, to detect, report, and halt physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children will be critical. We can work to treat the symptoms of this crisis as we also work to create long term and permanent change at a values level." The program was launched at Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Conference Room at on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The program urges all citizens, lawmakers and governments to take necessary actions to end violence against children. The program will build the capacity, engage and mobilize caregivers, adolescents, government and civil society organizations to develop, implement and monitor rights based program using a community model to prevent violence against children and to provide safe and protective environments.

Misc Belizean Sources

Health Fair in San Pedro November 22-23

A portion of the Mountain Pine Ridge road was affected by overnight flash flooding.
The Belize Weather Bureau says the moist and unstable conditions will remain with us for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Community working tog
The roughly eight hours of rain overnight in Cayo caused major damage in several areas. One area where a culvert was washed away is the Paslow Falls area in Bullet Tree Falls village. But instead of waiting for outside help, villagers in conjunction with their Village Council came together this morning, hired a backhoe and restored the washed away culvert.

A chunk of the peremiter wall at the Santa Elena football Stadium was torn away by flood waters.
The wind blew it down that entire fence bound to go down soon

Belize: Through My Eyes
The Benque House of Culture and CACHE are kicking off the Benque Festival of Culture tonight with the launch of their newest exhibit, entitled "Belize: Through My Eyes." It's a juried photo exhibition, and it all starts at 7:00pm. Benque will be having festivities Saturday, Sunday, and Monday too. "Just one day more for the grand launch of the Juried Photographic Exhibition. Belize : Through my eyes... a collaboration of Belizean Artist and their work through their lenses..."

Panama's 10th Birthday Celebration
The Belize Zoo is celebrating Panama's 10th birthday today, starting at 10:30am. As part of the festivities they'll have an unveiling ceremony for an exquisite feather art display, with special guests Peter Hughes, Belize’s British High Commissioner, and Ornithologist Jonathan Urbina. Happy Birthday, Panama! "Another year has almost gone by and on November 15th The Belize Zoo’s Ambassador Harpy Eagle, Panama, will be celebrating his 10th birthday. This will be a grand event with the launch of our new Harpy Eagle poster and the unveiling of original artwork by British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, and artist, Jonathan Urbina, to commemorate Panama the Harpy Eagle's birthday. Harpies are the largest eagles in the Americas and when their double crested crown is fluffed up they look regal and majestic. Unfortunately, this species is Near Threatened through out its territory and Critically Endangered in Belize due to deforestation and persecution. Hence the reason Panama is very important in educating people about these apex predators!"

Washed out approaches to the Cristo Rey bridge restored
Personnel from the Ministry of Public Works have carried out the restoration of the washedout approaches to the Cristo Rey bridge, Cayo district. The approaches were washed away during an early Thursday morning flash flood. The Cristo Rey bridge is now reopen to the motoring public

Channel 7

Crooked Tree Island Isolated
Floodwaters are rising all across Belize tonight, in the West, North and Central parts of the country. 7News has deployed teams to these areas and we start in Crooked Tree Village where that community is now an isolated island depending on boats to ferry in relief supplies and ferry out many of the over one thousand residents who work and go to school in the city: Jules Vasquez reporting The Crooked Tree Lagoon is like a vast lake, coming up on two meters above the usual height - and the water keeps going up. The causeway is buried in the depths and is now just a way station - a transfer point between buses and boats. Jules Vasquez "Explain to me what people are facing on a day to day basis?" Darrell Tillett, Village Council Chairman "People are facing a real difficult time especially the students and the commuters who go to and from the village to Belize City."

National Security Minister Says US Wiretaps Would Be “Regrettable”
And coming up we'll tell you about that frightening flash flood story from Cayo, but first we turn to some politics. As we've reported, immigration agent turned whistleblower Alverine Burgess has alleged that when she went to the US Embassy, a staffer there played back conversations that she'd had with Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro. Castro told us he doesn't believe Burgess. But what does the National Security Minister think? He's the highest ranking public official dealing with the US on security matters, and he said it would be "regrettable" if it were true:.. Jules Vasquez "As a National Security Minister, are you aware of the US engage in any electronic surveillance, electronic intercept or wired tapping activities in Belize?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "Absolutely not and if it is occurring we would be saddened to know that that has occurred, but no, we are not aware of such occurring." Jules Vasquez "Will you be speaking with your counterpart or whoever is your contact, the Liaison at the Embassy to ask them pointedly if they are conducting electronic surveillance of officials and private citizens in Belize?"

Saldivar Says GOB Won’t Budge On PAC Majority
Today, we also asked Saldivar to comment on the Public Accounts Committee. He has proposed a more inclusive group, which would include the social partners. He got the council of churches and the Evangelical Association to support it - and then he took it to the Chamber and the NTUCB. They welcomed the proposals and even congratulated Saldivar for it, but weren't quite satisfied. They wanted to shift the balance of power, and vest the majority in the opposition and social partners, and put government in the minority. Saldivar told us today that the issue of majority rule in parliamentary matters is non-negotiable:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "They have accepted all of the proposals except the one concerning the actual composition of the PAC where had proposed 5 additional members; 2 from government, 1 from opposition and 2 from Social partners, maintaining government's majority on the committee and I believe that the union and the chamber are not in agreement with government maintaining its majority." "That's a position from which we will not resile. The Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association are both in agreement without original proposal and so I will take it back to Cabinet on Tuesday and we will discuss it further and come up with a final way forward."

Flash Flood Strikes The West
Last night a flash flood hit the San Ignacio/Santa Elena and surrounding areas. IT washed out the bridge at Cristo Rey and wreaked all kinds of havoc in other areas. Work was done to repair the bridge today. The major concern, though, is 20 families who were surprised by the flash flood in Santa Elena. Most of them woke up to water inside their house, but for 2 families in the Hill View Area, experienced the most dangerous elements of the flooding. According to the Thompson and Requena families, the flash flood with over 6 feet of water slammed into their houses. Fortunately, they woke when the waters started to rise, and they got their families out. That's the good news, and that's all they were able to save: their lives. The flood did major damage to their homes destroying all of their belongings, and they spoke to us about how a mere few minutes of water did so much damage: Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning, Calbert Thompson stood in his Kitchen looking at what used to be his bedroom.

Flood Coursed Through Galen Campus
Galen University, a few miles outside of Santa Elena, had to close down their campus today because the flood dumped mud all over their campus grounds, and inside most of their buildings. Today, the Director in the Officer of Student Affairs at the University explained what the faculty and staff encountered when they opened up this morning: Monica Chun, Director of Student Affairs, Galen University "This morning when we came in it was a complete disaster. Starting with the just the flooring it was covered in mud, the entire thing and then the books, especially the ones closer to the floor are completely damaged and we have to get rid of them because we can't really salvaged those anymore. Then our doors which are glass doors are actually broken from the pressure of the water from last night." "Apart from the library we have; indoors, the restrooms that were just messed up with the mud and the other classrooms here in campus. Our faculty office was covered in mud and basically the entire lower flat of the campus."

UB New Chmn To Departing Pres: Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out!
TWO DAYS AGO, we told about the Letter from Dr. Cary Fraser that he is resigning from his post as the President of the University of UB. He hasn't made public given any reason why he's leaving 2 years into his 5-year contract, and it comes as surprise to many at the National University. But, he's moving on, that's what the Board announced today, when they held a press conference to announce that they are already looking for a suitable replacement - which is a sure indication of what we've reported, that the board is not displeased with his decision to leave early. Today, the Chairman announced that they had to take steps given what information they had: Harrison Pilgrim, Chair, Board of Trustees, UB "The President announced at the commencement of a board meeting that he was considering an appointment that would take his away from the university and that if he decided to accept that offer he would be leaving the University of Belize by mid-2014."

Tomlinson Explains Why He’s Challenging Belize’s Immig Law
Last night, 7News showed you an excerpt of the interview which Jamaican Gay Rights Activist Maurice Tomlinson granted to our colleague, Kalilah Enriquez of Ceen News. He addressed the issue of the accusation that his ex-wife Deputy Sol Gen was somehow trying to craft laws in Belize in favour of the local pro-gay movement in Belize. In that interview, Tomlinson also spoke about why he felt the need to challenge Belize's Immigration Act. Even though he has been to the country twice before finding out that the law exists, he says that it is a matter of principle that it must be repealed. According to Tomlinson, the law marginalizes homosexuals, classing them with prostitutes and other commercial sex workers, and puts a blanket ban on them from the country:

Faber Dismisses Report That Deputy PM Got Assistance For Daughter
You could call it the scandal season. Any allegation, no matter how outrageous, once it is about elected officials seems to have a whiff of credibility. And one such claim picked up traction on Facebook this morning where it is alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Gasper Vega used his influence to get financial assistance for his daughter who is attending Muffles College in Orange Walk. This type of assistance is regularly given to hundreds of needy students, but the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister is definitely not a needy student. If true, it's the kind of thing that makes you shake your head. But for Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, he was shaking his head because he said it is a concoction - a 100% bogus production devised by a mischief maker. He explained this and offered proof at a press briefing with the media today at his Belize City Office. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "This letter that is circulated I am pleased to report to the media that it is a fraud. Firstly; the letterhead that the letter is on does not match our letterhead at all. The font is completely different. The reference number that is on the letter on Facebook when I ask my people to pull the file in Belmopan it does not correspond to anything like that. The letter that has that reference number on our files speaks to a travel bursary that was given to a student in Orange Walk and nothing about a grant to Muffles College."

Tonight's profile is about Barbara Norales. The Dangriga resident is a well known promoter and what you might call a bon vivant, someone who enjoys a sociable lifestyle. But, that smile she always wears on her face wasn't always there. She grew up having to help fend for her family, and tonight she tells the profile how she was determined t make it through school:

UB Warns of Diabetes Dangers To Youth
Today was celebrated as World Diabetes Day, and in noting its importance the University of Belize held a Diabetes Conference for the student body. It is an effort to sensitize them about the dangers of one of the top ten killers around the world. Today, we stopped in, and spoke to the organizers about why young people should learn that the disease does not discriminate against age: Isabelle Bennett, Coordinator, UB Diabetes Conference "The University is the training institution for the health personnel's of this country and so the university is focusing even more on how to trained the students in order for them to be assertive in order for them to be trailblazers and this is just one of the opportunities that we create now for the second time where they have to be able to so presentation on a very professional level. They have to be able to share current information about diabetes and our main goal for the conference last year and this year is to provide information and research being done on diabetes as well as nutrition, medication and exercise." Cornelio Marfield, Chair - Belmopan Diabetes Association "We are sitting generation; we sit in the morning behind the TV, sit in front of the plate of food, we sit on the bus, we sit travelling to work, we sit at church, we sit at school, we sit behind the electronic devices and we are not getting much outdoor activity. I would definitely encourage our young people to get more involved in the community. Get more involve in things like gardening, sporting and get the body more active because this is one of the way we can alleviate and prevent the increase of diabetes in our country."

Channel 5

UB Board of Trustees holds press conference; is president resigning?
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize held a press conference at the facility’s gymnasium this afternoon. The purpose of the conference was to provide information on the [...]

But does president intend to leave in June 2014?
According to Pilgrim, the board took Fraser’s consideration of an appointment away from UB as a casual indication of thought.   Reporter “You mentioned the statement that the president made [...]

Carey Fraser’s letter to the Prime Minister leaked to the media
As we mentioned at the top of the newscast, UB President Carey Fraser wrote Prime Minister Barrow informing him that he is considering resigning as head of that institution in [...]

Patrick Faber dispels rumours of grant provided to Gappy’s daughter
The social media has been abuzz over the past few days with allegations that the Ministry of Education has offered financial assistance to the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar [...]

Faber says it is attempt by the P.U.P. to try to scandal his ministry
Grants that are provided to all thirty-one area representatives to assist the students of their respective constituencies with the cost of education are distributed at the discretion of the individual [...]

Galen University under water…books and infrastructure destroyed by flooding
The National Emergency Management Organization has been issuing constant releases on the flooding caused by incessant rains. In the past weeks, most areas of the country have been inundated. This [...]

P.U.P. Leader speaks on the fate of Cordel Hyde
Cordel Hyde, he is the former Lake Independence Area Rep under the P.U.P. Administration. Since then, Hyde has left the party and has been seen as a traitor to the [...]

Will Luke Espat be able to contest to become Cayo Central standard bearer?
But for Luke Espat…his chances seem even slimmer than his political comrade. Several of Espat’s businesses have gone into receivership, including the Port of Belize Limited and Renaissance Towers. But [...]

VIP supports Senate-led Inquiry into passport and visa hustle
Vision Inspired by the People, in light of a recent news article published by the foreign press in which Guatemalan fugitive Roberto Barreda, accused of killing his wife before absconding [...]

19 year old woman found guilty of burglary
Today nineteen year old Kristen Dominguez was found guilty of burglary after Magistrate Clive Lino heard testimony from the victim, Dinora Guzman and also from Dominguez’s witness. According to Guzman, [...]

Dwayne Davis to stand trial for murder
Thirty-two-year-old Dwayne Albert Davis will stand trial for the murder of Doctor Ivan Enriquez Gomez Garcia, a Guatemalan national who was killed inside his home on June 2012.   Gomez was [...]

A newly remodeled and reintroduced Courts Belize
It has been in the jewel for the past twenty years providing top of the line products and services to approximately ten percent of the Belizean population. And after almost [...]

Healthy Living looks at a very common stomach infection
If you suffer from ongoing stomach discomfort then the following story may interest you. Tonight, we finds out about a very common stomach infection that may be causing most of [...]


BSCFA Says BSI Benefiting From Bagasse For Years Now
Sticking to the Bagasse issue, in a release sent to all media houses on November 11th, BSI spoke about the topic for the first time, since renegotiations of the new agreement came to halt, after farmers announced that they wanted a ten percent payment for every ton of the by-product used to produce energy by BELGOGEN. In the release, BSI made it known that for 30 years prior to 2010 BSI dealt with the Bagasse and its disposal at a substantial cost, amounting to approximately BZ$20 million without any contribution from the BSCFA. To add to this, BSI planned, designed, financed (through equity and loans), the co-generation plant BELCOGEN at a capital investment of BZ$130 Million dollars, again without any investment from BSCFA.

No Breakthrough On BSI/BSCFA Disagreement
Tonight there is more to report on the ongoing disagreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. For weeks we have been reporting that there is unease in the Sugar Industry since BSI has refused to meet with the BSCFA to discuss revenue sharing as it pertains to bagasse, a by-product of the sugar cane. While the miller is saying no to negations, the BSCFA says there is an agreement with B.S.I. on revenue sharing. Based on that clause farmers are asking for ten dollars per ton of bagasse used to produce energy and sold to the national grid. The issue has seen a halt on the renegotiations of the new agreement between the miller and the producer. In a release issued a few days ago BSI invited BSCFA to meet in Belize City to continue discussing the new agreement and touch the bagasse issue at a later date. The BSCFA responded by stating they would need to meet with all branch Chairmen to discuss whether or not they will entertain the invite.

Sarteneja Residents Plea For Assistance
The heavy down pour of rains last week has left the road leading to Sarteneja Village submerged under water. As a result, several buses and taxis refuse to go all the way to the village leaving residents, who travel on the road on a daily basis, to walk barefoot through the murky waters. Our news team travelled through rapidly depleting road conditions which revealed the horrible tale of the local residents. Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar bring you the following report. Maria Novelo- Reporting Sarteneja Resident “The one who want to go to Orange Walk has to get into the water and pass to the next side to go to Orange Walk and no assistance has given to this area, nothing. I would like to tell them to speed up the work and to give us some attention because we need this road here every day and because I have to travel to go to my farm and every day I hae to come in and get out again.”


Dr. Cary Fraser Tenders Resignation
For the past few days rumors have been circulating about the resignation of University of Belize’s president Dr. Cary Fraser who was appointed in August 2011 and was contracted to serve for a period of five years. This afternoon the University of Belize’s Board of Trustees called a press conference to update the general public and the media on the letter sent by Dr. Carey to the Prime Minister of Belize on his intention to step down as President at the end of the academic year. The Press Conference started with a Statement by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Harrison Pilgrim. HARRISON PILGRIM “On November 1 of this year, that is 13 days ago, the President announced at the commencement of a Board meeting that he was considering an appointment that will take him away from the University and that if he decided to accept that offer he will be leaving the University of Belize by mid-2014. On November 6, the President wrote to the Prime Minister of Belize and advised him that, quote “I have made THE decision and I will leave the University of Belize at the end of the current academic year”; that letter was copied to the Leader of the Opposition and to the Minister of Education and the President; he mailed a copy of the correspondence to the Chairman of the Board on November 9.

Sarteneja Residents Appeal for Help
Residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District are still facing difficulties in traversing the Sarteneja Road. More than half a mile of the road between Chunox Village and Sarteneja Village has been inundated by water overflowing from a lagoon that is adjacent to that section of the road. This new obstacle has been affecting everyone and up to last week Saturday, the Sarteneja Bus Line Company has stopped picking up residents who would usually board the bus at the village. But now the villagers have to walk more than a mile in the murky waters to meet the bus which is waiting for them at the other end. According to bus driver, Joel Diaz, the company made the decision to have the villagers walk after the flood damaged three of their buses. JOEL DIAZ “We have two buses that come and pick people up at the side of the water. One comes at 5 o’clock in the morning and one leaves from here at 7. We have the other bus coming from Sarteneja and drop the people off on the next side of the water. In the afternoon they have one at 4 o clock in the evening and the next one is 8 o‘clock at night.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How difficult is it for you and the company?” JOEL DIAZ “Well actually it is really difficult because for example last week four of our differentials broke because of water going inside the differential. Even for us, we left our homes so we can stay at Chunox so that we could move the people to their working area.”

GSU Executes Search in Old Capital
Today at about 11:30am, members of the Gang Suppression Unit executed a Search Warrant at the residence of 35-year-old Natalie Lismarie Fuller 35 years, of Regent Street West in Belize City. The house is about two feet off the ground and has one bedroom. Present at the time were Natalie along with four other family members. A search of the bedroom in the house, resulted in the discovery of a cream suitcase that contained 2 black plastic bags with a total of 262 grams of cannabis. A search of the yard was also conducted leading to the discovery of a yellow with blue, red and white in color Tommy Hilfiger brand bag in some mangrove next to the house. Inside the bag were 23 black plastic bags; all containing cannabis with a total weight of 2.9 kilograms. Natalie Fuller claimed responsibility for the drugs found. As a result she was charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled drug with Intent to Supply to another.

Relief Supplies For Crooked Tree Residents
The arrival of supplies from the National Emergency Management Organization today in Crooked Tree Village marked the first sign of assistance to enter that community from the state-sponsored organization. While villagers have been complaining for a couple days now that they were in need of particularly food supplies, NEMO’s representative in Crooked Tree, Calbert Budd, says that almost all of the village’s roughly one thousand residents have been affected in one way or another. Darrell Tillett “People are facing real difficult times and especially the students and the people who have to go to and from the village to Belize City. Right now we are trying to focus on the people in the low lying area so we are doing an assessment right now. Most people are asking for food stuff. Anybody out there who would want to contribute we would really appreciate it.” According to Calbert Budd, the District Emergency Management Organization’s representative in Crooked Tree, there was a delay in the provision of supplies because of a communication breakdown at the ground level.

Vendors Complete Training in Business Components
The Belize City Council in partnership with the Small Business Development Center and CARILED today held the closing ceremony for the training component of the BTL Park Renovation Project. All forty-two applicants for small businesses to be located in BTL Park were required, as part of the application process, to participate in the training which lasted five days. The training focused on several business oriented skills and knowledge including business management, marketing and customer service. As part of the training, participants had to legally register their business, develop a business plan and go through a practicum in which they had to develop and market a product and sell the product from designated areas in Belize City. All participants received a certificate of completion.

Sugar Industry: Back to the Negotiating Table
We have reported on the issue of the ongoing controversy over payment for bagasse that cane farmers through the BSCFA have been requesting. Yesterday the PUP Northern caucus issued a release in which it expressed its full support for the cane farmers in their negotiations. The PUP calls on BSI to honor the revenue sharing agreement for bagasse as a by-product. In fact, the PUP Northern Caucus says that contrary to BSI’s claim, cane farmers have invested millions of dollars in the COGENERATION industry by way of producing more than three hundred thousand tons of raw materials at a cost more than five million dollars. And as such the PUP categorically rejects BSI’s claim that the cane farmers have no investment in Belcogen’s Cogeneration Industry. The PUP Northern Caucus ends its release by calling on the Minister of Agriculture and the Government of Belize to ensure that negotiations resume and farmers be justly rewarded for their contributions to the sugar industry. Today Love news spoke with Jose Novelo from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Novelo has been the Ministry’s representative and has been speaking with both sides.

Mexican Marines Detain Belizeans on Drug Charges
Three Belizeans along with a Mexican national were caught with cocaine near the Belize Mexico border. According to sources in Mexico, the three Belizeans in the company of a Mexican were riding around in a vehicle in the neighboring town of Subteniente Lopez. Marines from the Mexican army, who had received an anonymous tip, intercepted the vehicle on Cuauhtemoc Street where their search led to the discovery of four pounds four ounce of cocaine in the vehicle. The Belizean men only identified themselves as Michael, Ardelfo and Orlando, while the Mexican man identified himself as Freddy. Up to news time we were unable to confirm the true identity of the men. The four men remain detained in Chetumal awaiting directives from the DPP office in Q.Roo.

Another Murder Acquittal in Belize’s Court
In a trial without jury, Kevin Bodden, charged with the murder of Kirk Belisle, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas when he upheld a “no case” submission made by Bodden’s attorney, Kareem Musa. But although Bodden was freed of the murder charge he was not free because he has an attempted murder charge for which trial is still pending and for which he needs bail. Belisle was shot and killed on April 10, 2011, on Lacroix Boulevard. When the police arrived at the scene they saw him lying face up on the pavement. His car was in the middle of the road. Musa submitted that there was no positive identification by any of the witnesses for the Crown. He said that according to the testimony of the main witness, David Rivas, he did not see clearly who the shooter was because the shooter fired from afar with his face down. Musa also submitted that there were inconsistencies between the two statements by Rivas that were admitted into evidence. Rivas in the first statement said that he knew a person who he referred to as “Modas” for a short time and in his second statement he said he knew Modas for a long time. Musa also submitted that there was no dock identification and that there was no identification parade. Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant represented the prosecution.


Is UB’s President on the Edge of Resigning?
Dr. Carey Frazer was installed as President of the University of Belize in August of 2011. He was hired on a 5 year contract, through what was perhaps the first transparent selection process for president at the institution. But after just two years, could his residency be coming to...

Has the President of the University of Belize Applied to Resign?
The President of the University of Belize, Dr. Carey Frazer, has released a statement regarding rumors that he intends to resign from the institution. When we spoke with Dr. Frazer on Tuesday, he informed us that he had been approached about leaving, but that he would only make a...

Police Precinct 1 of Belize City Earns Important Recognition
The Belize City Council today recognized the efforts of traffic officers of the Belize Police Department attached to Precinct One, Eastern Division. Typically the Council’s own Traffic Department and Police are separate entities but they often work together and that reduces each department’s workload. With more here is Councilor...

Eight Alleged Smugglers of Illegal Substances get Arraigned under Serious Restrictions
Earlier this week, we showed you the major bust of 7 containers containing suspected drug precursors. The containers were being transported on the Bullet Tree Road in a blue truck, accompanied by a red pickup. Police are still awaiting the lab results for all seven containers and so today’s...

Ambassador of Israel presents his Nation’s Interests for Belize and the World
The long-standing dispute between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Arab people has dominated world headlines for a very long time. Israel was established in 1948 after being ruled by the British, with a trio of separate enclaves developed for the Palestinians. But both sides have been at...

Teacher-Students of UB Launch the Practical Blast on Special Education Children
On Wednesday morning, student-teachers of the University of Belize, came out of the class room and into the community as part of a biannual community outreach program. Student’s got down and creative, introducing fresh ideas based on factual research to help motivate children, especially at the primary school level...

Will the Caribbean Court of Justice Bend to the Homosexual Agenda?
This past Tuesday, a five-member panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice met to consider the application of Jamaican gay rights activist and attorney Mr. Maurice Tomlinson for special leave to file under the Court’s original jurisdiction against Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Both countries, Mr. Tomlinson contends, are...

The Guardian

Castro with the People
Despite all the allegations being tossed about against Hon. Edmund 'Clear the Land' Castro, the undaunted area representative keeps on doing what he does best, representing his constituency. On Wednesday, November 13th, we found the two time area representative in the Sandhill community Center tending to the needs of his people. Speaking to Hon. Castro he explained that he holds officer hours at his Ministry of Works office every Monday where a lands officer has been attached to him in order for him to assist his constituents with land matters. Then every first Wednesday of every month he holds office to see his constituents in Bermudian Landing in the mornings and in Burrell Boom in the afternoon. Every second Wednesday of every month he holds office hours in Sand Hill and on the Third Wednesdays he holds office in Maskall in the morning and in Crooked Tree in the afternoon. And the people he attends to are those like Deidra Dawson a young mother of 4 children ages 14, 7, 6, and 11 months. She was at the community center in Sandhill confirming that she will be added on to the list of persons who benefit from the BOOST program. According to Hon. Castro, like Dawson, an additional 170 persons more will be added to the existing Boost program in the Belize Rural North constituency. These persons will see the first disbursement on December 17th of this year. Hon. Castro says that it is through government programs like these he has been able to extend to the people of Rural North and he says he will continue to do so.

Police find chemical precursors in Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo
On Monday of this week, a towhead truck was discovered by Police parked on the Calla Creek Road, just outside the Bullet Tree Falls Police Sub Station, with barrels containing mysterious substances. On further inspection and after opening securely locked doors on the truck, the team of police officers found ten 50 gallon barrels. The blue barrels each contained an unknown chemical substance, which Police recorded to have had a strong aroma. On further investigation, Police proceeded to Ricardo Garcia, who was in charge of the truck, and who informed them that he was willing to pay the Police Officers to leave the case aside. Police also found Emil Williams, from Calcutta Village and Patrick Smith, from Ranchito Village, sleeping inside the cab of the truck. Meanwhile; Emil Williams claimed that the towhead truck was his property and that he was only doing freight service for Ricardo Garcia. All persons were shown the contents within the barrels and told that they will be detained as further testing will be conducted on the found substance.

Belize Hosts the Most Coveted Prize on Earth
Thanks to a promotional agreement between Coca Cola and FIFA, millions of people who would have never been able to get within a hundred miles of the FIFA World Cup Trophy now have the opportunity to get up close and almost personal with the most coveted prize in sports. Belizeans had that opportunity when the FIFA World Cup Trophy arrived in Belize on Thursday, November 7th. The trophy arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport shortly after 9 a.m. to a welcome usually reserved for Heads of State and royalty. Special guests and members of the press were allowed unto the tarmac of the PGIA as the spectacularly dressed Coca Cola jet touched down. The fourteen and a half inches tall, thirteen and a half pound eighteen-karat gold symbol of triumph has as large a security team as any visitor in the country’s history (including Queen Elizabeth II), and it was amidst heavy guard that a press conference was held in the VIP Arrival Lounge of the airport. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth, thanked the tour organizers on behalf of the Government and people of Belize. Longsworth said, “I’d like to express on behalf of the Government and the people of Belize how very privileged we are. Thank you very much to Coca Cola and to FIFA for having put us on the list of countries that this gem for sports is going to visit."He added, “Sports is, in my opinion, the primary vehicle through which we can move our society out of where it is. Football, being the main- most popular sport in Belize, I believe will play an integral part and maybe the primary role in moving that forward.”

By Any Means Necessary
It would appear that Channel 5 has taken on the position that they will try to destabilize the government by any means necessary. On Monday night they continued to push the envelope when they put Alvarene Burgess on the Dickie Bradley show, this time for an hour long session of very much the same thing that she has been saying. The only difference in this case was that she agreed to show her face. Burgess by her own admission has stated that she is some sort of agent for passports and visas, but by some grace she has decided to come clean. By our information she has been at it for years but it seems that she has now gotten enough and is coming clean for the sake of the country. By her accounts, she visited Hon. Edmund Castro, who according to her original story she got 200 recommendations from Hon. Castro. Then she made her appearance on Dickie Bradley's talk show where her numbers changed, she claimed she visited Hon. Castro at least 25 times, each time getting 6 or 7 recommendations. It would seem that she keeps on changing her numbers, and by Hon. Castro's reckoning it is almost impossible for her to have visited him that many times at his Belmopan office since he is not in office that often in the first place.

The Governments of Belize and the Republic of Kazakhstan Establish Diplomatic Relations
adorial level. The signing took place in Washington, D.C. Thursday, November 7, 2013. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America. Signing on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan was His Excellency, Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States of America. H.E. Ambassador Mendez was accompanied by Ms. Ardelle Sabido, Deputy Chief of Mission/Minister Counsellor; Ms. Kendall Belisle, First Secretary; and Ms. Lauren Quiros, Second Secretary/Consul, members of the staff at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. The establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, is consistent with the Government of Belize's foreign policy objective of expanding its diplomatic reach and forging ties with non-traditional partners and emerging nations. Both Ambassadors reiterated their commitment to strengthening the ties between their two nations by identifying potential areas of cooperation

International Awakening on Gender Issues
Recently, there have been movements in many countries around the world indicating that more and more people are beginning to understand gender issues at a deeper level. In many cases this awakening is catalyzed by a particularly heinous act that forces people to question the underlying cultural and traditional practices and beliefs that serve as a source for gender inequity and gender violence. Gang rapes where the victim is brutally attacked and then tossed aside like garbage, especially where the perpetrators receive little if any official sanction, have recently sparked widespread protests in India, South Africa and Kenya. The protests go beyond the facts of the individual cases to the seeming impunity for perpetrators, regardless that every country in the world has laws in place to protect women against rape. The protests sparked by the latest case in Kenya were directed against the police authorities for their handling of the gang rape of a 16 year old girl, who was raped by three men and then thrown into a latrine and left for dead. The attack left her wheelchair bound from a broken back and with horrendous internal injuries, but the police thought that an appropriate punishment for her attackers was to chop the grass around the police compound. This illustrates that the need for changing attitudes is greater than the need for changes to the laws.

Vega’s Cup Championship this Sunday, November 17th
The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament will come to an end on Sunday, November 17th, 2013, at the Trial Farm Football Field. The first game of the afternoon will commence at 1:30pm for third and fourth place match between Barrio Boys and San Jose FC. Then at 3:30pm it will be the main game of the afternoon for the Championship between Old School and Jaguars United. The Award Ceremony will take place immediately after the championship game. The newly crowned Champion will receive $3,000.00 plus a team trophy and the individual players’ trophies. The sub-champion will receive $2,000.00 plus team a trophy and the individual players’ trophies. The 3rd place team will receive a $1,000.00 plus a team trophy and individual awards. While the 4th place will receive $500.00 and a team trophy.

Toledo East to Endorse Eden Martinez
Peter Eden Martinez continues to lobby on behalf of the people of Toledo East. As Minister of Human Development in the previous administration he brought tremendous social relief to the people of Toledo by championing the United Democratic Party’s pro-poor policies. Martinez worked with the Ministry of Education to see record secondary school enrollment for students from Toledo East. He rolled out the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (Operation BOOST) which provided financial incentives for families to stress the importance of participation in school and other developmental activities. Now out of Government, Martinez continues to represent the people of Toledo East. While the elected Area Representative, Mike Espat, seem to be only concerned about the construction of a bridge, Martinez continues to present the concerns of his constituents to those in authority. A lifelong social worker, Eden continues to review the effectiveness of programs such as BOOST and the Food Subsidy to advise on how it can better benefit the people of Toledo East. It is because he continues to champion the issues they care about that Village Chairmen from Bella Vista, Monkey River, Bladden, San Pablo, Trio, Forest Home and Elridgeville have already endorsed him for the upcoming UDP Convention Season.

A Central American Education Policy Proposal reviewed in Belmopan
A Central American Education Policy PEC Proposal for the year 2013 to 2021 was reviewed at the University of Belize (UB) Gymnasium on Tuesday of this week in Belmopan. The morning session saw the participation of the main stakeholders from the Belize Ministry of Education as well as the proponents of a Central American effort to unite the region towards higher educational standards. The thrust for PEC is being headed by Maria Eugenia Paniagua, Secretary General of the Central American Education and Culture Coordination area within the Central America Integration System (SICA), who told the Guardian that funding for the Project was largely coming from the European Union. Maria Paniagua believes that Belize’s Education Authorities have a firm grip on what is to be done within the education sector. The proposal for PEC follows a recommendation from the Council of Ministers of Education of Countries belonging to SICA, in keeping with Resolution Number One of the 16th Meeting of Ministers of Education held in San Salvador, El Salvador on December 1st and 2nd of 2011. PEC itself is a set of guidelines chartering a common course in education matters as identified by regional priorities.

UB Signs Academic Cooperation areement with Mexican Universities
A delegation from three universities in Chihuahua, Mexico was in Belize to foster trade and education cooperation with Belize. The delegation includes administrators as well as teachers and students in the field of international trade from Tecnologica de la Tarahumara, TecMilenio and UTCam. While in Belize the delegation will host trade shows, participate in seminars with students from the University of Belize and draft cooperation agreements between institutions. The two day visit took place on Tuesday, November 12th, and Wednesday, November 13th. On Tuesday, the Mexican students acted as trade ambassadors at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City as they showcased products from Camargo, Chihuahua. Those products include chipotle peppers, pepper sauce, body cream, nutrition bars, walnuts and silver jewelry. They presented those products to local merchants as well as business students from the University of Belize in Belize City. It was a very cordial atmosphere inside the Institute as students from Mexico and Belize shared jokes, handshakes and stories. They exchanged e-mail addresses and took numerous pictures. Chihuahua is located north of Mexico and borders the United States of New Mexico and Texas; therefore, there was no language issue because the Mexican students speak English well.

Ministry of Health discourages the use of Vitalikor drug
The Ministry of Health would like to advise the general public not to purchase or use VITALIKOR which is sold as a sexual enhancement product on websites, pharmacies and supplements stores. The advice is based on recommendations by the Food and Drug Administration which detected the presence of Tadalafil and Vardenafil. Both are active ingredients in Cialis and Levitra which are prescribed drugs, but are not mentioned as ingredients in Vitalikor. These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs as nitroglycerin used in treating men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. The consumption of the Vitalikor supplement in combination with prescriptive drugs containing nitrates may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Eastern Zone Wins Police Minister’s Award for October 2013
On Wednesday, November 13th, Minister of National Security with responsibility for Police, Hon. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes during the month of October, 2013. The Eastern Zone, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that region. Assistant Commissioner Segura received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2. The Minister of National Security presented the awards at the start of his monthly meeting with zone, formation and branch commanders from around the country, conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The meeting was chaired by Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.

Belize Defends Policy against Commercialization of Homosexuality
Acting Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke is being assisted by Crown Counsels Herbert Panton and Iliana Swift in the defense of Belize’s stance against the commercialization of homosexuality in Belize by foreigners. Maurice Arnold Tomlinson, attorney and gay rights advocate from Jamaica, is challenging the immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago because he believes they violate his right to free movement within the Caribbean Community as enshrined in the Treaty of Chaguramas. Section 5 of the Immigration Act of Belize list as prohibited immigrants: “(e) any prostitute or homosexual or person who may be living on or receiving or may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behavior.” Tomlinson was invited by the United Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) to conduct an advocacy and human rights training session in Belize City from January 14-16, 2013 but claims he was legally barred from entering Belize by the Immigration Act since he is a gay man and he does not want to break the law. However, in an affidavit, Tomlinson has admitted that he has visited Belize on at least two occasions. His most recent visit was between July 17 and 21, 2012. Tomlinson claims he was not aware of the Immigration Act at that time and says he was not denied entry into Belize. However, his challenge stands.

Belize marine conservation organization ReefCI, receives Global recognition at the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards.
Highly commended for Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences goes to Marine conservation organization ReefCI at the 2013 10th annual World responsible tourism awards. The winners and highly commended were announced at the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in the UK to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. The WTM exhibition, held at Excel, London on 4-7 November 2013 is the leading global event for the travel industry. This is a huge acknowledgement for Belize and Toledo; we have shown the world that Belize is not just an incredible destination but we also take responsible tourism very seriously. The awards panel of judges pre-announced: ‘We are focusing on organizations that are both committed to wildlife protection and to providing their guest with memorable experiences tourists will talk about and share with friends and family when back home.

Who Elected the Social Partners?
Lately it seems like there was an election that only the “social partners” know about. Every single time this Government reaches out to include them in decision making bodies (which they have never been a part of) they want the administration to surrender its decision making power as well. The Public Accounts Committee is the latest unit for which Government should relinquish majority control. Not even the Churches support the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Chamber of Commerce on such a position. After the social partners expressed their dissatisfaction with the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. John Saldivar held meetings with every interested body to discuss the role and future of the Committee. He also informed them that Government would grant their request to be part of the committee and all reports from the Committee to the House would include a minority opinion, if there is one. On Thursday, November 7th, the NTUCB and the Chamber issued a joint press release to “congratulate the Government of Belize on its efforts to restructure the composition of the PAC”. However, they would like the Committee to be comprised of four members from Government, two from the Opposition and three social partners. The opposition should also maintain chairmanship of the Committee.

Capitalizing on Solar Energy
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities along with the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust is holding a week long training course entitled “Solar System Design and Installation.” The training is being held from November 11th to 16th in Belize City by the Caribbean Photovoltaic Installation Training Agency. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Colin Young, explained that 20 participants from across the country, 4 of whom are young women, will be partaking in the training exercise. He added that the course comes after consultations were held with the private sector, and during these consultations, concerns expressed indicated that there was a need for trained personnel to install solar electricity systems. At the end of the training sessions says Dr. Young, the participants would be able to work on designing and installing small solar panel systems to provide customers with solar energy to run household appliances or for water heating systems. According to Young, the ministry is targeting persons who are not connected to the national electricity grid as well as small users of electricity.

Traffic Department Honours Police Precinct One
On Wednesday, November 13th, Belize City Councilor Alifa Elrington Hyde presented Certificates of Appreciation to Superintendent Alden Dawson and three officers of Belize City’s Precinct One Police Station. PC-209 Jermaine Hyde, PC-1097 Santos Chub and PC-1430 Herman Alcoser are attached to the Traffic Branch of Precinct One Police Station. Elrington is the Councilor responsible for the Belize City Traffic Department. She says, “The officers of Precinct One have been very helpful to the [Traffic] Department. They often assist with manning check points and enforcing the traffic regulations.” Elrington says the officers are also issuing traffic tickets and that has resulted in an increase in revenue. Dawson says the partnership with the Traffic Department has provided a relief for the Police Department. Previously, the police officers issued court warrants for traffic offenses. They then had to full out a lot of paper work and go to court to enforce penalties.

Sweet Dreams
The wail of desperation from Channel Fox is getting louder with this visa non-issue and the spurious accusations against Hon. Castro. Fox and friends have now put the lady on a TV show and there is a new twist in her tale. This time she’s claiming that the US Embassy summoned her for an interview relating to her allegation that Chinese visitors paid thousands to Castro for visas to Belize. She further claimed that the interrogation lasted three hours and left her in tears. I have a few comments concerning Miss Lady before I proceed to my main topic. First, if she is telling the truth, she is certainly guilty of being an accomplice to whatever scam she is accusing Mr. Castro of committing. On the other hand, if she is lying for money, then that makes her, well, a liar and a thief. Secondly, in all her appearances this mini version of Edward Snowden can never present a shred of evidence to support her story. Skeptics who listened to her yarn on Monday night may well believe that she may have gone to the Embassy to apply for a US visa and was thoroughly interrogated as to her intentions in the States. Most likely she was curtly refused, and her tears were as a result of the $360 or so that she lost with the application.

Felicia Chen committed to stand trial for Triple Murder
On Friday November 8th, Felicia Chen had her murder case committed to the Supreme Court at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. After reviewing the evidence against Chen, the Chief Magistrate committed Chen’s murder case to the April 7th, 2014 session of the Supreme Court. Chen, who is represented by Attorney Antoinette Moore, arrived on the Prison bus without special police escort, as had been in the past. Attorney at the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office, Alford Humes, presented evidence in the form of a bundle which contained statements from Chen’s surviving daughter, police officers, Dr. Mario Estradabran and other persons who were involved in the case. Also handed over were documentary exhibits such as birth and death certificates of the dead children, post mortem reports of the three children, pictures and a copy of a protection order.

Marvin Cruz Reyes, guilty of attempted murder
On Monday, November 12th, Marvin Cruz Reyes, 28, was sentenced to 15 years at the Hattieville Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright, 30. Reyes’ case has been delayed several times due to Wright’s condition which had affected him from coming to court to testify on numerous occasions. On August 26, 2007, Wright was shot multiple times and even though he survived, life has never been the same for him. He is now confined to a bed and a wheel chair, unable to care for himself. Monday was a retrial for Reyes because he first had a trial in July of 2009 which ended in a hung jury. Wright, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, had to be brought to court by a BERT Ambulance because that is the only means of transportation by which he can travel.

Kevin Anthony Jex charged with the attempted Murder
On Friday, November 8th, Kevin Anthony Jex was remanded to the Hattieville prison after he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. According to reports, on November 5, 2013, Desmond Miller, 49, a security guard for the City council, was standing in front of the council when he was approached by Jex who then hit him to the back of his head with a piece of wood, causing a large cut to Miller’s head. Miller was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in a critical condition. Miller died on Sunday at around 5:30p.m. As a result Jex is expected to be taken back to Magistate’s Court where the charges will be upgraded to murder

Change is Never Easy
We are generally comfortable with what we know, and the older we get the more resistant to change we become. The trick is to balance the innovation of youth with the wisdom of age, and this becomes increasingly difficult as technological advances compress the time frame for change. This is especially noticeable in the area of cultural values and expectations, where what served society well during the age of horse drawn carriages is no longer relevant in the digital era. In the area of gender dynamics it is possible that a majority of men and a significant number of women are still riding an old fashioned stage coach oblivious to the jet propelled spacecraft that race past them. Sometimes an extreme example helps us to understand why some traditional views on gender are no longer relevant and need revision. Saudi Arabia may be the richest country on earth, using the latest oil technology to pump out the black gold that underpins its wealth, but in politics, social organisation and gender relations, it is still riding camels from one desert oasis to the next. A daily affront and inconvenience that Saudi women face is the ban on female drivers that renders them totally dependent on their male relatives.

Pleads guilty to stealing over $15,000 worth of jewelry
On Monday, November 11th, Desiree Mejia, 51, a domestic of #182 East Collet Canal, was sentenced to two year in prison after pleading guilty to stealing over $15,000 worth of jewelry, watches and a Black Berry cell phone, the properties of Lisa Johnson, a trauma surgeon of the city. Johnson had reported to police that between July 10, 2013 and September 15, 2013, a peach colored Sachel brand purse containing an assortment of jewelry, name brand wrist watches, and a Black Berry cell phone went missing from her house, the items estimated to be valued at $15,520. Police launched an investigation into the matter, which led them to detain Mejia who was a domestic worker for Johnson. Mejia allegedly confessed to police that she stole the items and on November 8, 2013, police were able to recover one gold ring with a sapphire stone from JL’s Pawn Shop. The following day, November 9, police then recovered some of the stolen jewelry and the cell phone from one of Mejia’s daughters, Keosha Trapp.

American Pastor and his wife charged for not declaring over US $20,000
On Monday, November 11th, American couple, a Pastor and his wife, found themselves in custody after they failed to declare over $21,000 US dollars when entering the jurisdiction. The American nationals, Pastor Gary West, 68, and his wife, retired nurse aid Evelyn Patnaude West, 67, both pleaded guilty to failing to declare a large sum of money when they arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport last week Friday, November 8. According to the report, the couple arrived in Belize from the United States on Friday, and at 12:05 p.m., while at the Customs Desk, they were asked if they had anything to declare, to which they replied no. The customs officer decided to search the luggage of Patnaude – West where he found a whopping US $21,000, which had not been declared. A search of West person, led to the discovery of US $7,000 inside his left pants pocket and US $300 inside his wallet, which had not been declared either.

Michael Joseph Silva reappears in San Ignacio
On Thursday, November 7th, Michael Joseph Silva was arraigned without much fanfare in at the San Ignacio Magistrate Court where he was formally charged with murder in relation to the killing of Maritza Santos which occurred on September 23, 2011. After appearing before a Magistrate, Silva was adjourned to January 23, 2014. Silva had been out of the country for two years following the killing of Santos. Police had received information at about 7:10 on that date of September 23, 2011 at a concrete residence in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio and upon arrival saw the body of a female later identified to be that of Maritza Santos in one of the bedrooms apparently dead with a cut wound to the forehead. Also found in the house was a quart of herbicide. Michael Silva, a Belizean businessman was then taken to the Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City in an attempt to neutralize the effects of having ingested poison after which he continued his treatment in Guatemala to prevent further damages to his internal organs.

Belize City Primary Schools Football Championship next week
The weather continues to play havoc on the ongoing primary schools football competition across the country. In Belize City, the championship, rural finals and the District finals have all been postponed because of the weather. On Wednesday, November 6, in the Belize City boys’ semi-final game one, Ebenezer Methodist School defeated St. Joseph by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Godwin Neal. In game two, St. Martin De Porres blanked James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist by the score of 4-0. The goals for St. Martin De Porres were scored by Marquis Conorquie, Glenn Arzu (2) and Keauan Avilez. The championship games are scheduled for next week. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School will see action against Holy Redeemer School and in the boys’ championship it will be Ebenezer Methodist School against St. Martin De Porres.

Cycling Association training Road Race Officials
The Belize Cycling Association (BCA) would like to notify its members that they are continuing the training of Road Race Officials and Race Caravan Drivers in the Western and Northern Zones. The training for the Western Zone will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 9:00 a.m. at Hodes Place, in San Ignacio; and the Northern Zone will be held on Saturday, November 23rd, in Corozal Town (venue to be announced later). Persons interested in becoming a Road Race Official are welcomed. All Teams are notified that it is mandatory for their team to have at least two drivers to participate in the training, as the sessions on Race Caravan Drivers apply to them. The BCA is working to improve the sport of Cycling in Belize; we are undertaking these training to ensure our members are aware of the rules and regulations as it applies to road racing. Please note that the policy, to ensure that Race Caravan Drivers are certified to be a part of the Road Race Caravan, will be implemented at the road race event schedule for December 22nd.

International Olympic Committee has a new president
While Belizeans at home and abroad were celebrating the 215th Anniversary of the historic Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10, 2013, members of the Sporting Fraternity that belongs to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was electing a new president. Mr. Thomas Bach, a German, was elected as the 9th President of the International Olympic Committee at the 125th Congress of the International Olympic Committee held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bach became the President of the IOC following 2 rounds of voting in which he topped all the candidates for the Presidency. Bach was born in W?rzburg, Germany on 29 December 1953. After representing the athletes at the Olympic Congress in 1981 in Baden-Baden, he became a founding member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, continuing in this role until 1988. He was co-opted as an IOC member in 1991. Since then, he has chaired several commissions (Evaluation, Juridical, Sport and Law, Anti-Doping Disciplinary), been a member of the Marketing Commission and TV Rights and New Media Commission, and acted as chief negotiator for European TV rights. He was elected to the IOC Executive Board four times and served as IOC Vice-President for more than 10 years.

Belize to host UNCAF U-16 male tournament
The Football Federation of Belize informs football fans and the general public that it will be hosting the Central American U-16 Championship at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan from November 18-22, 2013. The championship will feature six Central American countries namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.

Cancer Walk held in San Ignacio
A four-mile cancer walk to bring attention to the issues related to cancer was recently held in San Ignacio Town. Residents from San Ignacio and surrounding areas woke up early to join their colleagues in the battle against cancer. The cancer walk was organized by the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society and began from the Joan Garbutt Softball Stadium in Esperanza Village and ended at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio. “The message is to the San Ignacio Community, to create awareness on cancer and on the fact that we now have a Society here in San Ignacio,” says Flora Usher, President of the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society. Support for the Cancer Walk came from the Windy Hills Resort, San Ignacio Hotel, Belize Electric Company Ltd., Santiago Castillo Ltd., Oasis of Blessings Church and Bowen and Bowen Ltd. Guerra's Bus Service was also on standby to generously provide transportation services; picking up and taking back walkers from Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. Support for the Cancer Walk also came from the San Ignacio Police Department whose members also took part in the walk.



What’s the Difference Between an Island and a Caye?
Remember yourself as a young child in primary school drawing a flat piece of brown land that protruded gradually in the center like a baseball mound with a coconut tree right in the middle. It was surrounded with blue water that had black squiggly lines scattered everywhere to signify soft waves. In the water you drew a triangle –as a semblance of a shark fin- and somewhere much closer to that brown piece of gradually-protruding-land, you drew a stick figure of a neck and a head breaking through the water with its arms sticking out. To top it off, you drew a conversation bubble over the stick figure screaming, “HELLLLP!” Okay, okay, so you may never have drawn the bubble, the stick figure, or the triangle. And you never knew it then, nor probably even know it now, but that piece of brown land was not actually an island. It was a . . . caye! It’s pronounced as “key,” and depending on which part of the world you’re in, it’s sometimes spelled “key,” as in the Florida Keys, or “cay,” such as the cays you find in the Bahamas. And well, let’s face it, Greenland is an island. Australia is an island, an island with an area of 7.6 million sq km (4.7 million sq miles), far from the idyllic paradise portrait you drew as children. But “size” is not so much what distinguishes between island and caye, but more so formation, makeup and elevation.

Anniversaries we’d rather forget
One year on, that venerable news agency Fox has run a feature on that venerable businessman/software magnate/drug developer and self-proclaimed wanted/ladies’ man John McAfee. Hard to believe a year has gone by since all the drama and trashing of the Belize brand was making news around the world after the murder of Gregory Faull, a poor victim whose tragedy and the personal loss to his family and friends was overshadowed by the outlandish yet very effective behaviour of Mr McAfee. If nothing else, Mr McAfee could teach courses on how to use the media and control the story to one’s advantage, which he did so with great skill, unfortunately to the detriment of Belize’s reputation and the tragedy of Mr Faull. We don’t wish to sound negative about Mr McAfee or in any way disparage the man. We just wish that he’d picked another country to retire to after making his fortune.

Tropic Air Now Flies From Belize to Roatan, Honduras
Roatan (and the other bay islands of Honduras) have quite a bit in common with Belize. They were heavily influenced by their British colonists and most people speak English or Kriol. They are surrounded by a gorgeous barrier reef and famous for snorkeling and diving. There is a small Garifuna popluation on the East End of Roatan (and all along the northern coast of Honduras). In fact, the first Garifuna settlers in Central America arrived in Punta Gorda, Roatan. Now we have something else that links both countries… literally. Yesterday afternoon, Belize’s Tropic Air sent up its first direct flight from Belize to Roatan. And what makes it even more cool? I was on it! I’ve actually been getting lots of questions over the last few years about how to make this journey…so close yet so far away. People wanting to “island hop” or dive afficiendados looking to visit both Belize and Roatan. Well…now you can do it. Easily. REALLY easily. For all the detailed information, check out Tropic AIr’s official press release at the end of this post. But let me do what I most like to do…show you some pictures.

International Sources

Rotary Club looking to send wheelchairs to Belize
Fort Saskatchewan’s Rotary Club is once again putting their mouth where the metal is. As an ongoing project, which already saw the Rotary Club make one trip earlier this year, the local group is fundraising for more wheelchairs to be sent to Belize. “Our project earlier this year was very successful and the club had some extra funds left over, and decided to put it towards another wheelchair project,” said Robert Thomas, chairperson of international projects with Rotary. The international effort partners with the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation towards a goal of $16,500 for a small container of 110 wheelchairs to be sent to Belize. “We saw the need in March when our team was in Belize,” noted Terry Stacey, public relations chairperson with the Rotary Club, and one of four local members who made the trip. “Diabetes is the main cause for many people to have lost limbs and they can’t afford the cost of a proper wheelchair. We met people that had not been out of bed in two years, four years — it was heartbreaking.

The Willy Wonka of Pot
A trip to Hempfest with pioneering cannabis breeder DJ Short. To get to Hempfest this year, you started in downtown Seattle on a humid, cloudless Saturday. You walked toward the waterfront until there were buskers on every street corner and the foot traffic thickened and you could smell sweat and weed smoke on clothes and skin. Police were everywhere, directing traffic. Men and women with their backs to the cops guarded portable coolers and hawked brownies in low voices. Up ahead, a man was shouting through a crappy amplifier. Something religious. Hellfire. You got closer. You began to pass little encampments on the side of the road, rawboned kids with face piercings and red sticky eyes and loose tan clothes that hung from their limbs like the jowls of senators. One held a jagged piece of cardboard with a note that read I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY BOWL AND NEED A NUGGET TO PLUG IT. The noise from the amp grew louder and more distorted, and as you approached, you saw him, the evangelist, planted in the middle of the sidewalk with a microphone. A man with a 6-foot wooden cross offered you a flyer. Someone had spray-painted READ BIBLE on a large rock. Someone else had crossed out BIBLE and written BOOKS.

Google BBS Terminal
What Google would have looked like in the 80.

Rapper Formerly Known as Shyne Gets Married
*Rapper Shyne, now an orthodox Jew known as Moses Michael Levi, is embarking on a new chapter in his life after tying the knot. Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ former protege broke the news to fans on Wednesday after sharing a series of Instagram pics of himself with his new wife in Israel. The above picture featured the caption, “Me and the Mrs. @ Dead Sea.” The Belize-born star, who moved to Jerusalem following his release from prison in 2009, has since confirmed the news to, although he has not revealed the identity of his bride or shared any other details about the nuptials. The artist served more than eight years in a New York prison for opening fire at a 1999 club party, where Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were among the guests.

Reformed rapper Shyne is embarking on a new chapter in his life after tying the knot. Sean 'Diddy' Combs' former protege broke the news to fans on Wednesday (13Nov13) after sharing a series of photos of himself with his new wife in Israel on his blog. One picture of the happy couple featured the caption, "Me and the Mrs. @ Dead Sea." The Belize-born star, who became an orthodox Jew and moved to Jerusalem following his release from prison in 2009, has since confirmed the news to, although he has not revealed the identity of his brunette bride or shared any other details about the nuptials. The Bad Boyz hitmaker, who is now known as Moses Michael Levi, served more than eight years in a New York prison for opening fire at a 1999 club party, where Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were among the guests.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Belize Resorts
Belize, the tiny Central American country wedged between Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is blessed with virgin beauty. Vast white-sand beaches host translucent azure waters bearing the largest barrier reef in the world, after Australia. Inland, dense rain forests and remote rivers shelter endangered species, many indigenous and unique to Belize, whilst concealing rich Mayan ruins. From the astonishing array of marine life to its dazzling display of jungle life, the Caribbean island is packed with allure. Renowned for ultra-luxury eco-lodges and retreats, Belize has been praised for its eco-tourism policy, having designated large swathes of the land as ‘protected.’ Indeed, eco-conservation remains at the heart of hoteliers, who see value in retaining the Belizean soul. And one of those hoteliers just happens to be Francis Ford Coppola. The award winning Hollywood director owns several eco-retreats, including the Blancaneaux Lodge and the Turtle Inn. Indeed, Coppola is the Godfather of hoteliers in Belize, with ambitious vision and determination to match. Decades ago he converted his private 70—acre refuges in the rainforest into enchanted fairytale retreats, which have since won several accolades.

Animated history of the English language
If you've got 10 minutes, you can learn the history of English — including some interesting background on where specific words and phrases came from. An intertaining and informative 10 minutes.

November 14, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Belize Forest Department continues to present on Wildlife Laws of Belize
The Belize Forest Department (BFD) held a presentation at Fido’s Courtyard conference hall on Tuesday November 5th. In attendance were the representatives of the Saga Humane Society, the American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary (ACES) and officers of the San Pedro Police Department. In an effort to continue to educate the public on wildlife conservation, Mrs. Rasheda Garcia (BFD-Protected Areas) along with Forest Officer Ms. Victoria Cawich presented on various important aspects of the Wildlife Laws of Belize that should be made priority when dealing with wildlife issues. Garcia highlighted to the officers present that they have the right to confiscate any wildlife being held without a permit and also encouraged the public to report any instances of wildlife being held illegally, as they are entitled to receive up to half of the amount fined to the culprit along with remaining anonymous. Persons found guilty of keeping unpermitted wildlife can be fined up to $500 or six months imprisonment upon first offence, if found a second time within a five year period , that offender can be fined an additional $1,000.

Congratulations SPHS Boys – 2013 National Volleyball Champions!
Having claimed victory over the male and female divisions of the Northern Regional Secondary Volleyball Tournament, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) volleyball teams travelled to Belize City to compete in The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) Volleyball Tournament. After a burning four sets against Mopan Technical High School, SPHS boys rose to the challenge and were crowned National Champions. The tournament was held at the Saint John’s College Gymnasium on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th. A total of eight teams competed in the tournament(four male and four female) all representing North, Central, West and South regions of Belize. Representing the North region for both males and females was SPHS, while the Central Region was represented by the girls of Saint Catherine’s Academy (SCA) and the boys of Saint John’s College (SJC). Representing the Western region were the Belmopan Comprehensive High School (BCHS) girls and the boys of Mopan Technical High School (MTHS). Finally, representing the South was the Stann Creek Ecumenical College (SCEC) girls and Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS) boys.

Tropic Air inaugurates service to Roatan, Honduras
Tropic Air has commenced non-stop service between Roatan (RTB) and Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE). Flights are initially 3 times weekly with a plan to increase as demand warrants. Passengers from Roatan are able to connect to and from the many multi-daily non-stop international flights that Belize City has to offer (Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta among others). The Roatan flights also connect to Tropic Air’s other international services to Cancun (Mexico), Flores (Guatemala) and San Pedro Sula in addition to its 11 domestic destinations within Belize. In addition to trade and commerce, this service also opens up many new opportunities for the tourism market, with hotels in both destinations already partnering up to offer double dip vacations, further diversifiying the tourism offering of both Belize and Roatan.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Scheduled for December 7
The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013. This traditional event heralds the holiday season and leads us into the holiday spirit with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children's laughter, Christmas carols and a spectacular night time boat parade spanning from Wayo's Beach Bar to the north and the Caribbean Villas to the south - with amazing viewing spots everywhere in between. This year promises to be as well attended and enjoyable as each preceding year has been. We look forward to many regulars participating and invite new entrants to join the fun. There are prizes in a number of categories for decorated boats including most original and most religious and the Mayor's choice with the coveted trophy cup.

Bandage International Assists with First Aid Training in San Pedro
A crew from Bandage International was on the island conducting a two-day first aid training course in collaboration with the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch. The course was carried out on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and Thursday, November 7, 2013 at El Divino Restaurant where a total of 28 persons from various local businesses including a few San Pedro Red Cross Volunteers were certified in First Aid. Bandage International also held training on behalf of the Belize Red Cross on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at La Loma Luz hospital in Santa Elena and Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Toledo Community College Punta Gorda. The course offered included bandaging, splinting, burns, CPR for adults, child, infant, choking, medical emergencies including heart attacks, stroke, asthma, seizures, water emergencies, and training on using AED's (Automated External Defibrillators).

San Pedro Lions Club Announces Queen Pageant
The San Pedro Lions Club will be holding a beauty pageant on Saturday, November 23, 2013, 8:00 pm at the Angel Nunez Auditorium in which four beautiful young ladies will be vying for the title of Lions Queen 2013-2014. The lovely contestants are Catlyn Benguche, Erica Bodden, Arlethe Lima, and Julissa Trejo. The young ladies will be doing an opening dance as well be modeling in sportswear, talent competition, evening wear and the question and answer session. There will be lots to eat and fun entertainment at the San Pedro Lions Queen Pageant this Saturday, November 23rd. Show your support and don’t miss out.

Misc Belizean Sources

Casa Picasso 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu
Because so many of you have asked us if you can try many of our menu items in tasting portions, Casa Picasso has created a special 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu for this Thursday, November 14th. Along with our full menu, you will have the option to dine on Chef Ben's special picks for this week and have the option to pair each course with a specifically chosen wine.

Flash flood in Western Belize
An overnight flash flood in Western Belize has caused some major damage. Reports are that water from the creek in Hillview area of Santa Elena knocked over a house. No report of human injuries but other houses are reported to have been flooded out. In Central Farm, the bridge was covered with water at one point around 3 am and when the water started to recede it was evident that major damage had been done. The bridge and the George Price Highway remains intact; but the shoulders of the highway from the bridge to the Galen University campus were washed away, leaving two and three foot deep craters. Huge amount of debris has been deposited in the area. We'll keep monitoring this situation.

Add!ction Grand Opening
Add!ction had their grand opening on Saturday. Mauricio Canelo, who does much of the handmade jewelry that they carry, was there too. If you need something nice and unique, Add!ction is for you. Their hours of operation are Monday to Thursday, from 9:00am until 6:30pm, and Friday and Saturday from 9:00am until 8:00pm.

Cooking with Flavors of Belize Episode 1
Chef Sean Kuylen demonstrated how to cook plantain tostones with avacado and shrimp on the first episode of Cooking with Flavors of Belize. The video is shot well, and Chef Kuylen makes it look easy, and delicious. Warning: You will be hungry after watching. "Belizean Cooking at its Best! The premiere of Cooking with Flavors of Belize featuring Chef Sean Kuylen. On the menu is Shrimp Tostones with Guacamole all the way from San Pedro's Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Hotel."

World Diabetes Day
The University of Belize is having their second annual Diabetes Conference, in recognition of World Diabetes Day, today at the Jaguar auditorium, starting at 8:30am. The theme is 'Diabetes: Protect Our Future.' "As part of the opening ceremony there will be the pinning of the newly elected executives members for the Belize Diabetes Association – Belmopan Branch (BDAB)... One of our goals, is to educate persons with diabetes and the general public on how to change and manage lifestyle practices so that their health would be improved. In addition to health presentations however, the conference is aimed at providing a holistic approach in serving the audience with valuable information."

Expat life in Belize; Our first storm.
When my husband and I moved to the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, we got a boat. One day, a storm was approaching and we were very naive, and took our boat out. This is an excerpt from the first chapter of my memoir, "Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island." One final image from the photography debacle of last weekend - an example of the technical nature of cave diving. This image shows Chip Petersen, owner of Belize Diving Services and the pioneer of opening up Giant Cave again, in the front - Marty O'Farrell, Belize's finest underwater videographer behind. Two Nitrox tanks lie under their left arm, and another Nitrox tank under the right. Nitrox is a mixture rich in Oxygen reducing Nitrogen uptake, allowing divers more time underwater without long decompression stops. Each tank has a regulator and pressure gauge attached, so, in fact, these explorers carry three independent breathing sources - redundancy is key to survival. A pure O2 tank waits at 20 feet for each of us on the way out - pure O2 is dangerous at depths greater than 20', but necessary to cut decompression times in half. All this is coordinated with the help of the two computers on their wrists ... one is a backup. On the helmets are 3 lights, in the hands another (Marty has 2). They also carry an assortment of tools on their body - line cutters, spools of line, markers to keep track of where we are going, writing slates, hoses, clips and bungy cords - to keep everything neat.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi back up and running
Nov 13 - On Monday the Thunderbolt Water Taxi resumed regular services from Corozal to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and return. Fares include: Children 5-8 $25.00 on way, Children 8 and up, Adults $50.00 on way or $45.00 R/T. Ferry leaves daily from the Corozal municipal dock at 7:00 a.m. and returns from San Pedro at 3:00 p.m. The ferry was completely remodeled and is now covered so getting wet is now a thing of the past!!

Corozal Drum Circle Nov. 19th
The Corozal House of Culture is dedicated in preserving and promoting Belize’s rich, diverse culture. On November 19th sounds of Garifuna drums will fill the air in Corozal Town. A drum circle will take place in front of the House of Culture beginning at 5 p.m. The circle will consist of 30 Garifuna drums supplied and orchestrated by drum maker/performer Mr. Mark Welch. Mistress of Ceremony, Ms. Audrey Martinez will engage the audience with storytelling, song, and the Garifuna language. This event is imperative in reaching out to the Corozal community, showcasing the Garifuna culture and love of music. Join in the circle with drums provided or to bring your own and be a part of the Garifuna rhythm. Mr. Welch will also be conducting a drum making workshop at 1 p.m. The cost is $100 to make your own drum. Interested persons may contact the House of Culture. Deadline for registration is November 15th.

Toledo teachers going the extra mile to help their students
A handful of teachers at the St. Peter Claver RC School in Punta Gorda town are going the extra mile to help their students who are facing challenges in reading and mathematics. Realizing that there was a problem, a couple of the teachers decided to give up a part of their weekends to come together to create teaching aids and other props for the classroom to help their students. The extra effort, which the teachers call “Make it … Take it”, see the teachers pooling their resources and ideas to create charts, reading cards, graphic organizers and other teaching aids. Lillette Palacio is one of the teachers who is going the extra mile; but on the second Saturday of the effort, she expressed frustration with the lack of support from some of her colleagues to take advantage of this unique opportunity to help their students.

Channel 7

The Bullet Tree Eight Charged For Precursors
Today the eight men caught in Bullet Tree with a container-ful of what appears to be chemical precursors went to San Ignacio court. As we’ve reported, they were caught in Bullett Tree early on Monday morning when police saw an eighteen-wheeler with a 40 foot container and a pickup – both with Corozal plates parked next to the village police station. A look inside the container turned up ten – 50 gallon drums. So far, two of the drums have been tested: one for hydrochloric acid and the other for ammonium hydroxide. So, tonight, we can confirm that Richardo Garcia, Alfonso Antonio Ovando, Emil Williams, Victor Constanza, Oscar Castillo, Alexis Arana, Patrick Smith, and David Hernandez have all been charged with customs offenses for the Ammonium Hydroxide. Garcia, Ovando and Willims have been additionally charged offenses in relation to the drum of hydrochloric acid, which has recently been added to the list of controlled drugs.

Was Hon. Castro "Snowden-ed" By USA?
UDP Representative for Belize Rural North Edmund Castro remains under attack from Alvorine Burgess – who says that between 2012 and 2013 she paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to facilitate Belizean visas for Chinese nationals. On Monday, she gave an extended interview on the Dickie Bradley Show on Channel 5. The most eyebrow raising disclosure coming out of the show was that she went to the US Embassy where she was taken into a room and an Embassy staffer played back for her conversations she’d had with Edmund Castro and another person. Burgess says that startled her so deeply that she felt pressured to immediately sign a four-page affidavit presented to her by the US Official. In that affidavit she is believed to have attested to certain dealings with Castro in the acquisition of visas. That is very heavy stuff – and not for the allegations against Castro, we’ve heard those before - but because, if Burgess really did hear such a recording, it would mean that the US Government is listening to and recording the conversations of public officials and private persons in Belize. Before Eric Snowden appeared that might have seemed far-fetched, but the former National Security Agency employee turned international whistleblower has uncovered a vast international web of US surveillance including monitoring the cell phones of European leaders. The allegation made by news outlets in Germany is that the spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel was carried out by the NSA and CIA working in the US Embassy in the heart of Berlin. So, in the current climate it’s not implausible that the same kind of thing could have happened in Belize. But today Edmund Castro seemed unfazed. We heard on WAVE Radio that he would be at his Sandhill political Clinic today so we went there and waited a few hours for him to grant us an interview. He obliged and told us that he doesn’t believed anything Alvorine Burgess says:

The Stole Big Bucks From Brodies
Over the years, Brodies, the biggest Supermarket chain in Belize – has been targeted by thieves of all kinds: armed robbers, burglars who went through the roof, and, of course, shoplifters. But this time it’s an inside job using false receipts! The Financial Controller for Brodies told police that he found records showing that bogus receipts have been used at the store. It happened between October 21st and November 11, 2013 when an estimated twenty thousand dollars was misappropriated. Two female cashiers have been detained; we can’t release their names tonight because they haven’t been charged. But they will be charged for theft and forgery as early as tomorrow. Police have also gone to the ladies’ homes and recovered assorted sheets, curtains and other miscellaneous items all bought new, supposedly with the proceeds of the embezzlement.

From Jamaica: Tomlinson Says He Had No Influence On Deputy Sol Gen Daly
Yesterday, we told you about the challenge launched by Jamaican lawyer and gay right’s Activist, Maurice Tomlinson in the Caribbean Court of Justice. He says that Belize Immigration Act currently violates his right to free movement within CARICOM. The CCJ is currently deliberating, and they will announce its decision at a later date, on whether or not they will hear his case. That decision is pending, but certain quarters here in Belize have attempted to connect him to the amendment to the rape bill, which the church has come out strongly against. The link they are trying to establish to the bill is via his ex-wife, and former Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Daly. He gave an extended interview to our colleague, Kalilah Enriquez, of Ceen News in Jamaica this afternoon, and he addressed that accusation head-on. He said that it is pure mischief making to suggest that she was trying to embed pro-gay legislation in Belize on his behalf:

UB President Says He's Gonna Talk to PM
President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary Fraser has written to the Prime Minister to say he is resigning and plans to leave at the end of the year. Today, Fraser sent out a mail, which doesn’t say much other than disclosing the terms of his contract. He refers to, quote, “recent rumours and reports in certain sections of the media,” and discloses that he has a 5 year contract which commenced in August of 2011. He lists the termination clauses in his contract – which are pretty standard and then goes on to say, obliquely, quote, “I have written to the Prime Minister to clarify certain issues with him and will seek a meeting with him upon his return.” He didn’t mention the Chair of the board of trustees who has announced that he is having a press conference tomorrow.

15 Years For Leaving Man Paralysed
28 year-old Marvin Cruz Reyes is spending his third night in prison after he was convicted of attempted murder before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Viewers may remember that in June of 2009, the jury of 9 could not come to a verdict that Reyes was indeed the gunman who shot 30 year-old Kareem Wright in the neck, leaving him paralyzed. Well, Wright made a second trip to the court with the aid of a BERT ambulance, which took him inside on a bed so that he could testify against Reyes once again. He told the court that on August 26, 2007, his girlfriend and he were walking on Ebony Street when Reyes ambushed them and opened fire on him. One of the bullets struck him in the neck. After the prosecution closed its case, Justice Gonzalez afforded Reyes his opportunity to make a defence, but he chose not to say anything.

Fined 20K For Failing To Declare 20K
On Monday, we told you about the American Missionary Couple who tried to get into the country without declaring $46,000 dollars. Well tonight, you meet Chinese Nationals 35 year-old Fenglan Wu, and 38 year-old Chenbo Xu, who tried to get into the country without declaring that they had $20,000 in cash on them. The married couple arrived at the PGIA on Monday with $10,000 US; they filled out the declaration form, but did not put on the form that they had the money on them. When they were searched by Customs, the officers discovered the cash and handed them over to the police who charged them with failure to declare funds over $10,000 Bze. They were arraigned yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, where their attorney Ellis Arnold submitted to the court that they weren’t breaking any laws because they were perfectly within their rights not to declare since they each claimed $5,000 US each. The FIU attorney responded stating that they chose to charge them jointly since they were a couple and because the money was found in one lump sum. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the FIU and upheld the charges against both accused.

PUP With Cane Farmers, Against BSI
The northern caucus of the People’s United Party announced today that it supports the Cane farmers on the issue of bagasse, and they urge the Government to intervene and ensure that the stalemate is resolved amicably. Last night, we showed you the position of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association after BSI refused to entertain their request to be paid for bagasse. As we’ve told you, bagasse is the by-product of sugar cane, which BSI then uses to generate and sell electricity – so the farmers say they shouldn’t get it for free. BSI has countered by citing the cane farmers should not enjoy anything from that arrangement since it is BSI who has made all the investments and legwork to make the arrangement possible. Well the Northern Caucus of the PUP says that BSI’s reasoning is wrong. The premise of that declaration, according to the Opposition is that, the cane farmers have invested more than 5 million dollars to make it possible by producing 300,000 tons of raw materials, which ends up at as bagasse, which BSI utilizes to generate renewable energy.

The PSE Fix?
Every year, we dejectedly report on the results of the PSE Exams. While from year to year, there are improvements, and every year there are brilliant kids who exceed all imaginable expectations, the fact is that the majority of the students who take the PSE, fail the exam. And while the students end up with the failing grade, what really failed is the system. One young entrepreneur, who thinks that she has a silver bullet solution – a fix all – is Tiffany Simpson. She’s designed a software which trains children on how best to take the exam. It’s simple enough, a question and answer format, but what’s interesting is the craft she’s put into it. What’s even more interesting is how well it works. Now, she has prepared it in an app form which can go on a mobile devices running ios or android, and she explained how it works to us today: Tiffany Simpson - President, Belizean Artwork Publishing "The game has hundreds of pass PSE and CXC type questions. These are 2 separate programs, by the way. The questions are randomized, and the sessions also includes a session revision feature. So, they can go back, and see where they made errors, and which areas they need to work on.

Guat Fugitive Facilitated in Belize?
Tonight, there’s an interesting report coming out of the Guatemalan media about the high profile disappearance and possible murder of 33-year-old Cristina Siekavizza on July 6, 2011, in Guatemala City. The preliminary findings of an investigation conducted by Guatemalan Police reveal that her husband Roberto Barreda was able to remain on the run in Mexico for over two years with the help of family and friends who fed him money through Belize. Barreda disappeared with the couple’s two children, now 9 and 6 years old after a domestic dispute with his wife – who hasn’t been seen since. Barreda was finally detained in Merida last Friday, November 8th, as he was leaving the children’s school. On November 1st, Guatemalan authorities requested his extradition. According to reports, some 25 thousand people were using social media to track down Barreda. It is believed that a year ago Barreda made multiple trips to Belize to meet his Guatemalan attorney who would then hand over money from Barreda’s family.

"Basura" Still Befouling Isla Bonita?
A month ago, 7News updated you about the island of garbage which washed up on the beaches of San Pedro on Caye Caulker. Well, it’s been a total of 2 months since that incident happened, and it is still causing the residents of San Pedro major headaches. Recent reports reaching our newsroom is that the situation has been improving, where the majority of the homeowners and resort owners work hard to clean their own beaches, and those nearby, but in areas where shoreline is unclaimed or vacant, those piles of garbage just sit there, causing an eyesore to those living on the island. We understand that there are community efforts working to try to deal with the problem, but there are large portions of beach where they have to work on, and as a result, it has been slow-moving. It continues to be a concern for those who depend heavily on tourism, since San Pedro earns a significant portion of the countries revenue in the industry. The fear is that when the high season comes around, there will still be sections of the shoreline which will not be cleaned in time, and it will negatively affect the island’s earnings.

Crime Down Again, Eastern Division Shines
We reported on two Belzie City murders yesterday, but major crime for 2012 continues to be very much down compared to 2012. Up to the end of October in 2012, we had already recorded 119 murders at the end of October, but for that same period this year there were 88 murders. Robbery is also down sharply from 413 for this period last year to 236 for the same period this year. Theft though has increase to 845 cases from 777 up to the end of October last year. Today Police minister,. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes to an area that’s usually the crime hotspot, The Eastern Zone, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. Eastern saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that area. Assistant Commissioner Segura received a Cheque of $1,000 dolalrs for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2.

Top Ticketing Precinct
And while precinct two got that praise today it was precinct 1. How often do you show gratitude to your neighbourhood police man or woman for the tough, long hours they put in on the job, and they sacrifices they make? Well, the Belize City Council set the example today when they presented officers of the Police Precinct 1 with appreciation certificates for their exemplary job, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that drivers in Belize City are obeying traffic laws. 7News attended that presentation, and we spoke to the City Councilor with responsibility for traffic, about the significance: Councillor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - City Councilor with Responsibility for Traffic "This morning, the City Council handed out Certificates of Appreciation to the police officers at Precinct 1, Superintendent Dawson, and I believe it's 3 or 4 of his officers, who always assist us at the Belize City Council, when we need assistance the traffic regulations or any stops that we need to do, or anything of that nature. They have done very well. They continue to assist us in court. They give out tickets. They've improved significantly on their ticket writing, and their testimony in court. So, we decided to just say, 'Thank you' to Precinct 1, and hopefully, the other precincts will follow suit."

Medals For Masters
And while precinct two got that praise today it was precinct 1. How often do you show gratitude to your neighbourhood police man or woman for the tough, long hours they put in on the job, and they sacrifices they make? Well, the Belize City Council set the example today when they presented officers of the Police Precinct 1 with appreciation certificates for their exemplary job, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that drivers in Belize City are obeying traffic laws. 7News attended that presentation, and we spoke to the City Councilor with responsibility for traffic, about the significance: Councillor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - City Councilor with Responsibility for Traffic "This morning, the City Council handed out Certificates of Appreciation to the police officers at Precinct 1, Superintendent Dawson, and I believe it's 3 or 4 of his officers, who always assist us at the Belize City Council, when we need assistance the traffic regulations or any stops that we need to do, or anything of that nature. They have done very well. They continue to assist us in court. They give out tickets. They've improved significantly on their ticket writing, and their testimony in court. So, we decided to just say, 'Thank you' to Precinct 1, and hopefully, the other precincts will follow suit."

Channel 5

Guatemalan fugitive and his children caught in Mexico with Belizean passports
Tonight, there is absolutely no good news for Belize where immigration is concerned. In fact, there is much more to add to government’s woes. There are breaking reports that a [...]

More visa approvals surface
The whistleblower, Alverine Burgess, has given graphic information on the visa hustle involving the minister of state, Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro. She spoke of the process and told the [...]

8 men arraigned for containers carrying a precursor to crystal meth
The eight men who were detained in connection with ten plastic drums found in a container in Bullet Tree have all been formally arraigned. The men had been in custody [...]

Is UB President out? Analysis conducted on his 2-year performance
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Guyanese President of the University of Belize, Doctor Carey Fraser, was contemplating resignation from that post. Nobody we spoke to on the campus would confirm [...]

2 cashiers from Brodies are suspected of forgery and theft
A pair of cashiers employed at James Brodie and Company Ltd. on the Phillip Goldson Highway remains in police custody tonight pending charges of theft and forgery.  On Tuesday, the [...]

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers get tough on B.S.I.
We have been reporting that there is unease in the sugar industry because the Belize Sugar Industries has closed the door on discussions with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association [...]

Whistleblower goes into details on visa facilitated procedure involving Minister Castro
Embattled Minister of State Edmund ‘Clear the Land’ Castro has been dodging the media since allegations of visa corruption surfaced against him. But he has found time to hire Prime [...]

Chinese couple is fined $20,000 for undeclared cash
The Chinese couple who failed to declare twenty thousand dollars in cash was back in court today, a day earlier than their scheduled hearing. The couple had on them the [...]

Marvin Cruz Reyes sentenced to 15 years for Attempted Murder
Tonight, Marvin Cruz Reyes is serving his second night of a fifteen year sentence at the Hattieville Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright.   [...]

Flooding in the West: Arizona Area in Teakettle affected by constant rains
On Tuesday we headed to Crooked Tree where we found parts of the village under at least four feet of water. The rains are not letting up and further downpour [...]

Sarteneja commuters forced to tread through 3 feet of flood waters
While the west of the country floods from the heavy rains, there are reports that the far north is completely inundated. Reports from the village of Sarteneja tell us that [...]

Crime stats: major crimes up in August and September, but down in October
Crime statistics for the months of August, September and October have been released by the Belize Police Department, reflecting a decline in the number of homicides over the past three [...]

Former Chief Executive Director of SIF says there should be no room for irregularities
The Dangriga Marketplace is still incomplete. The project came to a halt when allegations surfaced that the contractor, Kenard Smart, was being extorted by employees of the Social Investment Fund [...]

Reef CI received international award for promoting responsible tourism
A local marine conservation organization has been awarded internationally for its role in promoting responsible tourism.  ReefCI, founded by Polly Alford in 2003, operates in the Toledo District and is [...]


PUP Northern Caucus In Solidarity With Cane Farmers
Tonight there is still no word if the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will accept the Belize Sugar Industries Limited offer to meet in Belize City and resume renegotiations on the new agreement which came to a halt some weeks ago after BSI refused to discuss the possibility of payment to cane farmers for the use of Bagasse used to generate energy by BELGOGEN. While BSI is saying resume renegotiations on the new agreement and discuss the Bagasse issue at a later date, the BSCFA is saying “We need to discuss with our branch Chairmen before making a decision.” With that, the opening of the 2013/2014 crop season scheduled for November 25th is at risk. It is a sticky situation which if not resolved can affect the entire Sugar Industry and the Belizean economy on a whole. With that in mind, today the Northern Caucus of the People's United Party weighed in on the issue.

Road To Sarteneja Impassable, Villagers Can Only Access The Village On Foot
Today CTV3 News received several complaints from commuters travel to and from the Village of Sarteneja. Pictures show that a portion of the road is impassable as it is covered by flooded waters. According to residents of Sarteneja buses from Orange Walk to the village have been dropping commuters, including students, off at a point where the road is impassable due to rising flood waters. We can tell you that road is in terrible condition since our Reporter Maria Novelo and Jesus Melgar got a firsthand look at the situation as they traveled to the village today to cover the story. They; however, were unable to access the village since our vehicle was unable to make it across the deep flooded waters. We will have their experience in tomorrow’s newscast. And sticking to the topic, today we contacted District Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in Corozal, Willard Levy, who told us that in his five years of heading NEMO, it is the first time that the road gets to such a state. To make matters worse he was not informed about the seriousness of the situation.

Suspected Killer Caught In Mexico With Belizean Passport
Reports coming out of Guatemalan tonight indicate that a Guatemalan national, suspected of killing his wife, Cristina Siekavizza, used a fake name to fraudulently obtain a Belize passport. The man, identified as Roberto Barreda de Leon reportedly arrived in Mexico in January 2012 using the fraudulent Belize passport issued in the name of forty year old Carlos Roberto Barriero Villareal. His two children reportedly also had false passports, although Mexican and Guatemalan media reports did not specify if these false passports are from Belize. Roberto Barreda de Leon was arrested in Mexico as he went to pick up his children from school on November 7th after being on the run for two years. Police used unmarked vehicles and carried out the arrest discreetly so as not to cause alarm. He was then processed and shipped to Guatemala where he faces charges for the murder of his wife, violence against women and obstruction of justice.

Major Crimes On The Decline, Carnal Knowledge Continues On The Rise
There have been 88 murders so far for the year 2013. This is according to the latest Major Crime Statistics released by the Belize Police Department which shows that there has been reduction in major crimes this year compared to 2012. In 2012 there were a total of 119 murders; so far for 2013 88 have been recorded. Here in Orange Walk 11 murders were committed in 2012. To date there has been 2 murders. In Corozal there were 11 murders last year and four this year. Rapes, robberies, burglaries and thefts have also seen a reduction here in the north as well as across the country according to the statistics. When it comes to Carnal Knowledge; however, there has been an increase across the board. A total of 43 cases were recorded in 2012 and for the year 2013, 64 cases have been reported. In Corozal, the reports went from one in 2012 to 11 in 2013. Orange Walk recorded four cases of Carnal Knowledge in 2012 and so far 8 cases have been reported to authorities. As is procedure today Minister of National Security with responsibility for Police, Hon. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes during the month of October, 2013. The Eastern Zone, headed by Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that region. Assistant Commissioner Segura received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2.


Did International Fugitive Have Links in Belize?
Mexican and Guatemalan authorities are investigating a major case of an international fugitive with links in Belize. According to Guatemala’s Office of Public Prosecution, Roberto Eduardo Barreda de Leon was captured in Merida Mexico on Nov. 8th. Barreda was sought for the past two years for the disappearance of his wife Guatemalan Cristina Siekavizza and the couple’s two young children. It is believed that Barreda de Leon, along with his two children, fled to Mexico entering the country with false documents. There he established himself and pretended to be an entrepreneur and also changed his name and the name of his children. Preliminary investigations indicate that for the past two years Roberto Barreda de Leon received financial support, through monetary transfers, from his relatives and friends living in Belize. According to investigators documents show that he also travelled frequently to Belize where met with his father. Barreda’s capture comes at the heels of a massive investigation which included private detectives in Guatemala, mass demonstrations organized by his wife’s family and ongoing investigations by the Guatemalan police force. Barreda de Leon is thought to be the one behind his wife’s disappearance and possible murder which occurred on July 7, 2011 in Guatemala.

Belizean Deported From US For Third Time
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Belizean Kenneth Flowers was recently acquitted of murder in a Salt Lake City shooting and has been deported to Belize by federal immigration officials. 36-year-old Kenneth Flowers was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Belize last week. An ICE press release states that he was turned over to Belizean authorities for questioning in relation to gang activities. The Salt Lake Tribune Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served. That conviction came after police had found a gun and ammunition on Flowers when they responded to a shooting in December 2010 in which American 45-year-old Cisco Cross was killed. Flowers was acquitted in September 2012 of the murder of Cross, after he contended he shot him in self-defense. Flowers had been smoking crack when Cross came to his door. Flowers argued with Cross, and told police he fired three times when he saw him reach for a weapon. A BB gun was found unused in Cross’ waistband. Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Flowers had been removed from the United States twice previously.

Faber Says PM Would Be Irresponsible to Give Teachers A Raise at This Point
When Prime Minister Dean Barrow visited the voters of Cayo North East, he stated that Government has millions of millions in its coffers to invest in the constituency. That did not sit well with the Belize National Teachers Union after they had been requesting a raise from the Government. Well according to the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, while negotiations are still ongoing, he says that BNTU’s request for a raise is not possible at this time. HON. PATRICK FABER “The negotiations, as you recall was taken off the plates of the negotiating team and in fact the meetings have been held directly with the Prime Minister’s office. I think the Prime Minister has been very clear as it relates to his statement on monies that are available at this time that the kind of salary adjustment which is a recurring expense, every year you would have to find these millions, that’s a different thing from having additional millions from PetroCaribe to do the kind of initiatives. If the union was saying, can you give us ten million so that we can invest in giving loans to teachers, that’s a different story form saying let’s increase the salary bill of this country for years to come and we will have to pay increments and all of this.

Government Will Look At Breaking Down Financial Barriers for Students
On November 4, the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports and the CXC National Committee of Belize sent out a press release congratulating all students who sat the 2013 CXC examinations, particularly those that displayed remarkable performance in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, CSEC, examinations and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations, CAPE. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber said he is satisfied with Belize’s performance but acknowledges the cost which often at times is a barrier in taking the exams. HON. PATRICK FABER “I think Belize continues to do well in terms of those students who take the exams. We are very proud of course of our top performers in the CSEC exams and the CAPE exams but of course we are concerned about the number of students who are at that level who actually could qualify to take the exams and are not taking them. Of course, primary among our concerns here are the costs that are involved and the government is looking seriously at being able to pay for CXCs for students as something that people could look forward to.

Induction Lights Installed in Coney Drive Area
The Belize City Council hosted an inauguration ceremony late this afternoon commissioning 20 new energy efficient streetlights provisioned by Amko Solara of Taiwan. These lights have been installed in the vicinity of Princess Margaret Drive and Coney Drive in Belize City. Victoria Yuan, Representative of Amko Solara spoke about the benefits of utilizing smart lights in the city. AMKO SOLARA “So let me tell you why or industrial lighting is smart. We installed a smart meter chip inside each lamp which allows each lamp to be controlled from a remote location. So, the implication of that is that instead of being passive about our energy consumption we can now be proactive. We’re putting you in the driver’s seat and managing energy management. So how does that work? Each chip is inside each lamp and then with the web interface one engineer could control and manage street lights from any remote location that you have internet access. So an engineer can program the on and off schedule, dimming schedule and so forth according to traffic patterns.


San Pedro Land Fraud Scandal Grows Hotter
In September, 2011, the San Pedro Sun broke the story of a land scandal within the San Pedro Town Council. The matter surrounded a beachfront property situated in the Mata Grande area. Allegations were that the property was illegally acquired by a Miss Candy Bradley who was then a...

Whistleblower fears for her life
Chatter on the alleged visa hustle ring, supposedly involving Ministers of Government, seemed to have been settling in the past few days, as numerous officials came out denying having knowledge of or participating in the scheme. But merely denying these allegations will not suffice, particularly, in the circumstance of...

Cane farmers press for renegotiation of basic agreement with Belize Sugar Industries
On Monday we told you of the resolve of cane farmers in the North to press for a renegotiation of the basic agreement with Belize Sugar Industries to include bagasse as a by-product of the sugar stalk since it is now being used as bio-fuel. BSI continues to insist...

Is UB’s President on the verge of resigning?
Dr. Carey Frazer was installed as President of the University of Belize in August of 2011. He was hired on a 5 year contract, through what was perhaps the first transparent selection process for president at the institution. But after just two years, could his residency be coming to...

UB holds Biannual Community Outreach
Every year for the past 4 years, UB has held its biannual community outreach in which students, enrolled in the department of education, coordinate and prepare workshops and symposiums for teachers and students at the primary school level. Dr. Thomasine Baker, Assistant Professor at the Department of Education and...

BELTRAIDE holds closing ceremony for the Inclusive Linkage Project
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises in Central America and Dominican Republic (CENPROMYPE) under the execution of the Ministry of Economic Development in Guatemala (MINEO) held...

FFB says it has Embarked into Youth Development
On the heels of the success of Belize’s youths at recent international tournaments, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is committing to a youth movement that it hopes will carry us to the 2022 World Cup and beyond. President Ruperto Vicente told us more at Friday’s launch of the...

University of Belize hosts Central American Integration System meeting
The Central American Education Policy is a set of guidelines employed to provide the Central American region with a general framework of actions in the education sector. The policy is in compliance with identified regional priorities and seeks to join, into one future proposal, the international commitments of the...

Delegations from Mexican Universities visit Belize
In an effort to foster trade and education cooperation, a 22 member delegation from the Mexican university Universidad Tecnica de Camargo (UTCam), based in Camargo, Chihuahua, is visiting Belize this week. An agreement will be signed by that university’s rector, Professor Fidel Gonzalez and University of...

Faith Nazarene School receives 32 tablets from Rotary Club of Athabasca, Canada
On Monday, the Faith Nazarene School was the recipient of 32 tablets from the Rotary Club of Athabasca in Canada. It’s part of an ongoing partnership between the Rotary Club and the school. In the past few years, the organization has contributed to the school’s infrastructural and technological development....

BFF holds meeting in Independence Village
The Belize Federation of Fishers held one of its first of three regional meetings this weekend, in Independence Village. And despite the pouring rain, members from Punta Gorda, Punta Negra, Monkey River, Independence, Riversdale, Hopkins, and Stann Creek convened for the...

Mysterious picture leaves worker baffled
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words,. But one picture taken by a tortilla factory worker has become somewhat of a mystery. The photographer is adamant about the authenticity of a spooky image that made it onto a picture he took of...

Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Every year, November 14th is celebrated as “World Diabetes Day” globally. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The Belize Diabetes Association is a chapter of the IDF. They have been hosting numerous events to sensitize the Belizean public...


The Guava Limb Cafe in San Ignacio: A Chaa Creek Production
A few months ago I stayed at The Lodge at Chaa Creek for two really amazing nights. From canoeing to the crazy night hike, from divine food to a massage (or two) to remember, I really had THE BEST TIME. The huge, attentive staff is the best in Belize. Chaa Creek is an incredible labor of love built and perfected by the two owners over the last 30+ years. From a farm in the middle of nowhere to a luxury lodge that even Prince Harry (I will NEVER get over that I stood two feet away from him last year, NEVER) can enjoy…it is incredibly impressive. My visit was in August and before I headed over to the lodge I got a bit of sneak preview of the new cafe that Chaa Creek was about to open in San Ignacio town. (The lodge is about a 20 minute ride away.) My friend showed me around and it was beautiful but not quite ready.

Belizean Powder (Poda Buns) 1/4 Recipe in Toaster Oven
Another in our Dorm Room Meals. Instead of making 4 cups of buns this recipe only calls for 1 cup. It yields 6 buns. Just enough for one person or for a small family.

Central American Nearshore Summit 2013
Nicaragua inaugurated the first annual Central American Nearshore Summit (CANS) November 7, 2013 with the participation of over 160 businessmen mainly from the U.S. and the Central American region. The event was centered at promoting the entire region as an outsourcing destination due to its various competitive advantages; among them its competitive cost structure, strategic location and cultural affinity with the U.S. Among the participants are 45 prestigious outsourcing companies; among them United Health Care, UBS, Darwin Zone, Accenture, Allied Global, Atento, Sitel, and Teleperformance. The highlight of the event was the first session of business meetings held between service providers and buyers of the region. These previously scheduled meetings represent a unique opportunity for foreign and regional companies as they allow the establishment of key contacts and alliances within the outsourcing industry.

“(Just Like) Starting Over” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I feel like I am really getting back in to my routine now. Waking up before 05.00 hours regularly. Don’t have to think where my mug is. Know where the coffee is kept. Even know where the plates and dishes ( the few we have at the moment) have to go when I do the washing up ((“doing the dishes for non-UK readers (I think)). So when I got up yesterday morning at 04.45 hours it didn’t take me too long to grab the mug, put in a spoonful of coffee (I’m an instant man – no taste I suppose), take a chair (we still only have two that are easily moveable) and the iPad to the veranda and assume the seating position. It’s dark when I normally get out there and there’s not a lot that can be seen. But the sounds are there. The rustling of the leaves on the trees when there’s a breeze. The sound of the rain falling (and we’ve had a lot of that recently) and the sound of the lagoon as the mullet (well I think they are mullet) jump out of and re-enter the water. Or is it a crocodile?

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Consider Living Or Retiring In Belize
Belize is definitely not the cheapest place to live in – a tropical paradise with so many advantages does not come as cheap as other retirement areas such as certain Latin American or Asian countries. In fact living on a North American or European lifestyle here will cost as much or more. But in general resident expats in here say they live more comfortably than back home. Retirement cheques, stocks and investment income, just appear to go further in Belize. Services that are significantly more economical in this country include medical care, cable TV, household help, insurance, farm produce, seafood, property taxes, and yes, wine, song and so on. Thia tropical paradise produces and exports high quality rum made from locally produced molasses and cane sugar. In fact sugar is so cheap it is one of the rare local products smuggled out of the country into the neighboring republics. The other side of the coin is that gasoline, electricity, telephone, mobile phone and Internet access are more expensive. But you can always setup your own satellite dish and enjoy Internet access at near U.S. prices.

International Sources

John McAfee says he will testify about murder in Belize
Computer software pioneer John McAfee has said he will testify willingly about the murder of his American neighbour in Belize last year, as he seeks to defend himself from a wrongful death lawsuit that blames him for the killing. McAfee, 68, was named by police in Belize as a person of interest in the Nov. 11, 2012, shooting of Gregory Faull, but he fled the small Central American country before he could be questioned. McAfee denies involvement in the death of Faull, an Orlando contractor and restaurant owner. But he told Reuters in a telephone interview he would not fight a subpoena for deposition in the lawsuit. "Of course not, because the deposition will be here in America. I've told the police in Belize that I will sit for questioning in any neutral country in the world ... I just will not go to Belize," McAfee said.

Anti-arbitration injunctions
The case of British Caribbean Bank Limited v. Attorney General of Belize arose out of a decision to nationalise the telecommunications industry in Belize. In 2009 the Government took over Belize Telemedia Limited (“Telemedia”) and in 2011 it passed legislation to acquire the loan and mortgage owed by Telemedia to a Turks and Caicos company – British Caribbean Bank Limited (“BCB”). In response, BCB challenged the acquisition legislation in the Belizean courts, arguing that it violated the Constitution. BCB also started foreign arbitration proceedings, relying on an investment treaty between the governments of Belize and the United Kingdom. The treaty provided for the use of foreign arbitration to settle disputes between the Government of Belize and English companies. The government obtained from a Belize judge an injunction to stop the arbitration on the basis that it was unfair for BCB to pursue both arbitration and Belizean court proceedings.

In the Caribbean, sea-level limbo could affect tourist hot spots
Harbour Island, a narrow, four-mile-long Bahamas isle 200 miles east of Miami, is among the most idyllic spots in the western hemisphere. But some of its residents might be among the most unaware when it comes to the prospect of sea-level rise and its possible threats to the local economy. One resort hotel operator in Dunmore, Harbour Island’s lone town, dismisses it altogether. “I was just down at our beachside bar,” she told WLRN-Miami Herald News. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” She wasn’t the only Harbourite who voiced that level of skepticism. But recent studies warn that 50 years from now or soon after, if sea-level rise projections of about three feet or more in this century are correct, almost three-fourths of Harbour Island’s beach resources could be sunk. At least seven of its major tourism properties would be lost as a result. Climate change experts say Harbour and its 2,000 inhabitants are in the crosshairs of sea-level rise in the Caribbean. (The Bahamas lie in the Atlantic Ocean, but the country is a member of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.)

Health of oceans 'declining fast'
The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than had previously been thought, a report says. A review from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), warns that the oceans are facing multiple threats. They are being heated by climate change, turned slowly less alkaline by absorbing CO2, and suffering from overfishing and pollution. The report warns that dead zones formed by fertiliser run-off are a problem. It says conditions are ripe for the sort of mass extinction event that has afflicted the oceans in the past. It says: “We have been taking the ocean for granted. It has been shielding us from the worst effects of accelerating climate change by absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

Parrot Confidential
Parrots and the bittersweet world they share with humans. Meet Lou. Abandoned in a foreclosed home, Lou is one of thousands of parrots in need of rescue. From the wilds of Costa Rica to suburban America, a loveable, quirky cast of parrots will reveal their unforgettable tales and the bittersweet world they share with humans. Their outrageous intelligence and uncanny ability to communicate in any language has made parrots one of the world’s most popular pets. But unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated. Hardwired for the wild, their high decible squawks and complex behavior are designed for the wild. Add a lifespan of up to 70+ years with their intense need to bond, and a life in captivity doesn’t always have a happy ending. With shelters and sanctuaries struggling to meet the demand, too many birds like Lou have no place to go.

Why I Hate School But Love Education: Spoken Word
The Latest Spoken Word Video from Suli Breaks.

When Wikipedia Won't Cut It: 25 Online Sources for Reliable, Researched Facts
Although Wikipedia is a great place to find information, it's subject to incomplete citations, biased views, and inaccuracies. And when you absolutely have to have undisputable facts, that's just not good enough.

Top 10 Clever Google Search Tricks
Google is a more powerful tool than most people realize. You can get much more refined searches with Google's built-in tools, advanced operators, and third-party extensions. You can also use it for some pretty cool stuff if you know the right tricks.

Learning how to think, knowing how to Think
The most profound thought from a recent Inc. Magazine interview with Paul Graham was his response to a question about bad habits shared by YC founders: They don’t realize how independent they can be. When you’re a child, your parents...

November 13, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

One year after Gregory Faull’s death police remain clueless
One year after US expatriate Gregory Faull was killed inside his Ambergris Caye home, the Belize Police Department remains without answers, and still seeks one man for questioning – cyber security anti-virus founder John McAfee. 52-year-old Faull was shot and killed inside his home north of San Pedro Town and was found dead on Sunday November 11th. His murder and investigation attracted media attention from all over the world. According to Belize police, McAfee “is still a person of interest” even after not much has changed in one year following the murder. The anti-virus pioneer became the main suspect since it is alleged that Faull may have poisoned McAfee’s four dogs a few days earlier. Faull had complained to the San Pedro Town Council that McAfee’s dogs were “vicious” and that it had become a problem to walk on the public beach in front of McAfee’s home without the dogs attacking him. Days before Faull was murdered, four of the dogs were discovered fighting for their lives after an apparent poisoning. They were shot by McAfee, who then had the carcasses buried.

Bandage International trains Belizeans in First Aid
Bandage International, a non profit organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is a group of emergency medical professionals including paramedics, nurses and doctors, who are devoted to implementing and improving primary emergency medical care in developing countries. Since its inception in 2005, Bandage has been to Belize twenty times, training medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, and pre-hospital responders including: paramedics, laypersons, disaster response personnel such as the Red Cross and other NGOs. This year the team of four, led by president of Bandage International Darryl Chickness,along with a film crew, had four training destinations on their itinerary while in Belize. These places included San Ignacio Town, La Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, Punta Gorda Town, and Ambergris Caye. This years training program encompassed CPR methods for adults, children and infants, medical emergency response in the events of water emergencies, heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, seizures, and other primary care techniques including: bandaging, splinting, tending to burns and learning to use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Madisco returns to San Pedro with 2nd Annual Food Show
Madisco, a member of the Roe Group of Companies, was once again on Ambergris Caye on Thursday November 7th, 2013 at The Banyan Bay Villas to put on its 2nd annual food show. Business representatives in the hospitality and culinary fields were invited to the show as Madisco brought out its best in food and fine wines for the sampling of all present. Prominent brands featured in the show included Caribbean Coolers (rum drinks), Kimberly Clark (personal products), Reinland Steaks and Premium Meats, Hy-Top. Quality Food Products, De Cecca Pastas and food products, Milport and Colonial brand cigarettes, plus a wide selection of fine wines from The Beverage Division at Karl H Menzies and more.

Ambergris Today

Ministry of Health Says Dengue Cases in San Pedro Under Control
In July of this year, the Belize Ministry of Health issued a dengue alert in the country. Come August, Dr. Jerry Lanza, Medical Director of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic confirmed that there was an outbreak of Dengue in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. It was then that the Ministry of Health embarked on a countrywide Dengue Prevention Campaign which included San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. A team of personnel from the Vector Control Unit was dispatched to San Pedro Town on Tuesday, August 20, to investigate and assess suspected cases of dengue that were reported in areas such as DFC, Boca del Rio and San Pablo. On Thursday, November 7, 2013, Ambergris Today met with Council Kenrick Brackett, Mr. Francis Westby, Dengue Technical Advisor from Belmopan and Mr. Egner Lalin, District Supervisor of the Vector Control Unit to find out the current status of dengue cases on the island.

Flashbacks: Five-A-Side a Dead Sport in Ambergris Caye
It used to be the No. 1 sport for sports aficionados. It used to attract hundreds of young children and teenagers to become athletes, and hundreds more young and old, men and women as fanatics of the event. Five-A-Side used to fill up Central Park for hot soccer action every Friday and Saturday nights. Then a court was fabricated at The San Pedro Plaza (Old Football Field) and later on at the San Pedro Primary School Five-A-Side court. You could hear the shouts of the fans two blocks away and the live narration of the sports caster five blocks away. Undoubtedly this was a sport liked by everyone and promoted by such town leaders as Nicolas Varela, Omar Guerrero, Patty Arceo, Felipe Paz, and Gaby Arana among others. And then it suddenly went dead. Nobody else has been promoting it. Just look at the excitement of young boys, Maya Eagles, in this Flashback to know that it is a sport worthy of reviving. Look at Santiago “Sanito” Vasquez, Marvin Duarte, Ismael “Smiley” Nuñez, Miguel Alamilla, Jason Nuñez, Francis “Chino” Eiley, Hardy Chan, Eddy Halliday Jr., Julius “Tach” Nuñez and Joseles “Joker” Gonzalez. The proud winning coach is Eddy Halliday Sr. Maya Eagles is only a fading proud reminder of the good old days of Hot Five-A-Side action in San Pedro.

In Memory of Micheline Nayard
A message from Lilly, Iain and Joana: "My beloved French mother 'Micheline Nayard' who was 74 years of age came to Belize in 2006 to live with us when she was diagnosed with cancer. We did all we could for this previously very independent lady; modifying our lives to adapt to this terrible illness. With the help of holistic medicines provided by Mr. Peter Singfield, commonly known as the 'snake man' from Corozal, and later a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) performed by Dr. Byron Simons in Orange Walk in 2007, her cancer was successfully in remission. Since that time she has lived peacefully and happily in Belize, Corozal - a country that she loved - among her local neighbors who she appreciated and befriended. This came to a head when a third stroke occurred on the 15th October in Ranchito. We so deeply miss her joie-de-vivre, strength and her belief in the good."

Misc Belizean Sources

2013 San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday December 7th this year. This traditional event heralds the holiday season and leads us into the holiday spirit with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children's laughter, Christmas carols and a spectacular night time boat parade spanning from Wayo's beach bar to the north and the Caribbean Villas to the south - with amazing viewing spots everywhere in between. This year promises to be as well attended and enjoyable as each preceding year has been. We look forward to many regulars participating and invite new entrants to join the fun.

Tree Fellers
Tree Fellers (2004, 24 mins) tells the story of the 900 Belizean lumberjacks who in 1942 left the tropical rainforests of British Honduras to help Britain fight fascism by felling trees in Scotland. Sam ( 93), Eric (87) and Amos (86) were among those who stayed on after the war to make new lives in a country where, for better or worse, the colour of their skin marked them out. Rare archive footage, long cherished memories and a last reunion are intertwined in this lyrical and moving documentary testament.

Do Everything or Nothing at All at Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina
I got a firsthand experience of the “Yes I Can” attitude/service/hospitality at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing my stay was in the city for three entire days and two splendid evenings really was. For me, traveling to Belize City is just for the day, passing through or a quick overnight to get business done. But the Radisson gave me a new perspective on how comfortable and pleasurable a trip to the city can be. I strongly believe that it is the Radisson’s “Yes I Can” mentality that makes it stand out amongst all other hotels in the city. It seems that nothing is impossible for the management and staff of the Radisson, because this mindset makes them go above and beyond to provide the best service possible for their guests. From the moment you check into the hotel, to the employee you bump into on the way to your room, to the service you receive at their restaurants and bars, there is not one staff member without a smile on his/her face making sure you are taken care of.

Audubon Ecotourism in Belize
The Belize Audubon Society, which helps manage 4 national parks in Cayo, will be working with the MIF and the Audubon Society to create a sustainable program that utilizes bird-watching to create jobs and simultaneously protect the local biodiversity and natural resources. Great news for Belize. "The project incorporates four key components: Improving the structure and capacity of bird-based tourism business, developing accredited bird guide curricula, training national guides, developing site-level business plans and developing bird trails; Driving more bird-focused tourism to the sites by developing marketing content for Audubon magazine and other birding media channels, designing birding trip packages with international and local tour operators, organizing market events for each country, and integrating bird-watching content into national governments and tourism websites in each country; Raising awareness about the value of the local natural environment and promoting local citizen science bird research programs; Developing a 'scalable' bird-based community tourism model that can be applied to other locations/countries."

Rastas in Cayo Documentary
Aaron Gatlin, one of the NMSU film students, has released his documentary, and while it's called 'Rastas in Belize,' it focuses on 3 Rastas in Cayo. The recently departed Ras Far I is in it, and he describes the Ital diet, and takes the documentary from Burns avenue to the Saturday market. Carlton and Barbara, from Back to My Roots, are featured in the documentary too, and Carlton explains how they put love, heart, and soul into their business model. Ras A, the bushman, finishes the documentary by explaining life and farming in the bush. Another great documentary. Well done, Aaron!

Benque Festival Of Culture
The Benque Festival of Culture starts this Friday with the Photography Exhibit at the Benque House of Culture, and goes through Monday. It'll continue next weekend too. There will be performances from the Benque Marimba Academy, Pablo Collado, and Orquidea Negra, just to name a few. "CACHE Benque in conjunction with Benque House of Culture (NICH) hereby present the 5th International Festival of Culture in Benque Viejo del Carmen starting on the 15th of November! Be a part of it and dont miss out on the events! All are FREE...!!!! This is the agenda for this weekend. Stay tuned for the following week!"

Special Education Symposium
The George Price Centre is having a Special Education Symposium tomorrow morning. "The George Price Centre for Peace and Development is a non-profit organization established in honour of George Price and his lifelong devotion to the peaceful development of Belize and its people."

History of Bush Medicine in Belize
To preserve Mayan historical medicinal plant knowledge from an elder midwife and bush doctor/ shaman before their time runs out! We hope to raise funds to record our progress in our different projects in Belize with special emphasis on producing a simple documentary to record Maya medicinal and spiritual healing practices in this area. A lot of work has been done on prior trips. Our ethnobotanist will continue her apprenticeship with the local Shaman. The midwife she is working with is in her mid 90s and she has extensive knowledge to share. The shaman are very protective of their knowledge. While many have studied before us, we feel that our unique organization has gained some trust that other outsiders are not given. We will be going to Belize in December with a larger crew for this project, the continuation of other projects and the beginning of new projects. There will be a follow up trip in February with a smaller crew.

Villagers of Sarteneja, Corozal wade through treacherous waters as buses can no longer get to or from the village! This is a very sad situation!

Channel 7

Possible Precursor Smugglers Charged For Customs Offences
Tonight, the eight men who were caught with a 40 foot container truck loaded with ten - 50 gallon drums of suspicious chemicals are facing customs charges - while police are expected to lay their own charges tomorrow. The eight men, 7 from Corozal and one from Cayo who were involved in the operation have been charged for recklessly acquiring possession and control of un-customed goods. The barrels were un-declared, un-documented and likely smuggled across from Guatemala, As we reported, San Ignacio Police found the container truck, along with a pickup - both bearing Corozal plates - at 12:30 on Monday morning in Bullett Tree Village. It was parked adjacent to the village police station - so close that it might be safe to conclude that police were being retained to keep it safe - as more drums were ferried across from the nearby, unregulated Guatemala border point in a cattle truck.

Cane Farmers Say Things Could Get “Nasty”
For weeks, we've been following the commercial dispute between BSI and the Cane Farmers Association. The farmers want to get paid for bagasse - which is a by-product of sugar production that is now being used as bio fuel to generate electricity in a BSI subsidiary, BELCOGEN. In a statement yesterday, BSI told the farmers "no", not gonna happen, the cane bought from the farmers, plus they are the ones who invested in BELCOGEN. Sounds like the end of conversation, but this week, the farmers are making the rounds urging BSI to enter into talks before things get, in the farmers' words, "nasty." They told the media what that means today based on the mandate the Association has gotten from farmers in Orange Walk and Corozal: Alfredo Ortega, Vice President - Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association "The mandate is that we won't start crop is we don't sign any agreement with BSI and in the agreement it has to include bagasse in it. We are asking and calling on BSI to come and let us dialogue because it is not only the cane farmers that will lose, it will be the industry as whole. We are calling on them to come and let us negotiate. I Think the answer that they have given is no, they will not be sharing with us, I think that is a real slap to the face of the farmers."

Big Tom Was “Gone Til’ November….”
Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers - once upon a time not too long ago, just the mention of his name in Belize City could inspire fear and dread. Indeed, he was known as a ruthless gang-affiliated killer - and even though he was never convicted of murder, his reputation preceded him. And then in April of 2010, we got news - confirmed by his own family in Belize - that he had been killed in Salt Lake City, Utah. Turns out he had been shot in the face and hand, but survived. We found that out in December of 2010, when news reports burst out of Salt Lake City again that he had killed a man in a high-rise apartment. Newspaper reports out of Salt Lake said that he could face life in prison for one count of of first-degree felony murder. But, he refused a plea deal, pleaded not guilty, and was acquitted by a jury in state court, which is when he came under federal indictment. In Federal court, he beat the charge again, but was sentenced to time for the gun which he turned over to police after the Salt Lake killing. Now after serving almost three years in prison, he's back in Belize. He was deported last week Thursday, and today we met him at the CYDP office where he told us why he was "gone 'til November":...

Jamaican Gay Activist Takes Belize, Trinidad to CCJ
Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are all waiting on the decision on the Caribbean Court of Justice after the judges heard an application by Maurice Tomlinson, the attorney and Gay Rights activist who is suing the first 2 countries in an attempt to get the court to change their immigration laws. As we've been telling you, Belize's Immigration Act classes prohibited immigrants attempting to come into the country as quote, "any prostitute or homosexual who may have been living off or receiving proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behaviour." Tomlinson, who is open about his homosexuality and his marriage to a Canadian man, says that this law and the Trinidad's immigration law violates his rights to free movement among the CARICOM countries. As we told you, because both Belize and Trinidad have not denied him access, Jamaica has abstained from the proceedings, and they've refused to grant him access to the CCJ via the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

UB President Cary Fraser Will Resign, Board May Push For Earlier Departure
President of the University of Belize Dr. Cary Fraser has written to the Prime Minister informing of his decision to resign. The latter, dated November sixth says that he intends to leave at the end of the Academic year - bringing to an end his less than two-year stint as University President. And while Fraser would like to leave at the end of the Academic Year, 7news has heard the suggestion from multiple, highly placed sources that he may be asked to go before then. And that's because the University's Board of Trustees is reportedly dissatisfied with Dr. Fraser's performance. 7news has learned of an extended assessment done by the Board in which they concluded that he had failed to implement programmes as mandated by the Board. Fraser, who is from Guyana took over as president of the National University in August of 2011.

Mexican Acquitted of Guns + Firearm, but Still Stuck In Belize
In May of this year, 7News told you about 32 year-old Belizean George Valencia, and 25 year-old Mexican Juan Alliesto Hernandez Zuniga, who police say were allegedly caught in Corozal town with firearms and ammunition. Well, both men have been acquitted by the Magistrate's Court; the Belizean has been released from custody, but the Mexican remains detained by the authorities. As we told you, on May 12, police chased a black pickup truck in the Dominguez layour area. Valencia was the driver, and Zuniga and another man - believed to be Mexican were also passengers in the vehicle. According to the officers, they saw the men throwing objects away, and when they finally intercepted the vehicle, the other man escaped.

Health Ministry Concerned About Teen Pregnancies
Last week Wednesday we told you about a report which was released documenting the crisis of teenage pregnancies in the region. Indeed, in Belize the 2010 Population and Housing Census stated that 3 4.4% of females, age 18-24 give birth before the age of 18. Additionally, teenaged mothers in Belize are responsible for 20% of all live births between 2004 and 2008. It's a crisis and the CEO in the Ministry of Health concluded that something has to be done to provide young people with better education on sexual and reproductive health. He said plainly that the message of abstinence often does not work - and teenaged females need to know how to prevent pregnancies. Seems sensible enough, but in church managed schools it could be considered highly controversial, and we asked the CEO to defend his practical but possibly problematic position:.. Jules Vasquez "Pre-marital sex is a sin, so we cannot teach anything other than abstinence in the church-managed schools. We cannot teach safe sex for people who are not married." Dr. Peter Allen "I think it's an excellent point and certainly I agree that education and information must be aged appropriate, but in hospitals and clinics around the country we see the reality of the failure of our current system at the moment, so we must do something to address it."

Driver Accused Of Having Relations With Psych Ward Patient Is Back On Duty
We also asked Dr. Allen about the case of the driver at the Western Regional Hospital. He's the one who had an inappropriate relationship with a woman who was charged for murder, but being assessed for her fitness to stand trial in the psychiatric ward. Since then, the woman has been judged fit to stand trial and is no longer in the ward. But the driver, who is circumstantially accused of committing a very grave violation of a vulnerable woman is back at work. Dr. Allen commented on it: Dr. Peter Allen "After the suspension I also understand the driver is back on duty again. I understand that the driver has recruited legal representation and the investigation into exactly what happened is continuing not only with the driver but as you rightly suggest with the other staff who may or may not have facilitated this. I think it's worth noting that the driver denies the allegations against him." Dr. Allen said a pregnancy conducted on the female patient came back negative.

The Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims
Every year since 2005, the third Sunday in November has been set aside for the Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims. And there are too many of them in Belize, which has the highest traffic death rate per hundred thousand inhabitants in Latin American. And one of the keys to keeping accident victims alive is the timeliness and availability of emergency response. Last week, a visiting expert in the field was discussing it at a road safety workshop and we asked him what are some of the key considerations for emergency response; he said time is the most important:... Barry Johns, Expert - Emergency Medical Services "Internationally as far as road traffic accidents are concern the time level that they refer to is called the "platinum ten minutes," so its important to try to get to that scene within 10 minutes of the incident happening and the other time measure is called the "golden hour." It's important to get to hospital with 60 minutes so that definitive care can be carried on that patient." Jules Vasquez "As a first responder to a traumatic accident scene, what should a member of the public do?" Barry Johns, Expert - Emergency Medical Services "I welcome that because my own personal belief is that every member of the population should be trained in basic first aid. Where we have communities that can provide first responders they need to be appropriately trained so that they respond and provide that initial care of protecting the airway, controlling the bleeding and ensuring that no movement to that patient is made unless they are actually in danger. Therefore it is important that they are appropriately trained pending the arrival of the ambulance."

City Council Lights The Way On Coney Drive
This evening the Belize City Council held an opening ceremony for the launch of a pilot project. A Taiwanese company named Amko has donated 20 smart induction lights to the city. The lights have been put up around the Coney Drive vicinity - which has been a poorly lit area. Today Mayor Bradley told us about the benefits the new street lights offers and how it will be energy efficient. Mayor Darrell Bradley "What happen is that a Taiwanese company Amko is gifting the City of Belize 20 smart induction lights and these induction lights have been put up around the Coney Drive round-about area and at the start of Coney Drive. We had some complaints that the round-about while nice was dark and we had an invitation from the Government and people of Taiwan through one of their agencies for a company to come. They visited Belize last year, I had a meeting with them, and it's a very dynamic company. They are a leading company in induction energy. They are present in the region, they recently told me about a deployment that they did in the City of Acapulco, Mexico where they did 45,000 induction lights."

Police As Actors, Entertainers?
Yesterday at Excelsior High School, the student body was treated to a special show. Community Policing members acted out a few skits, which portrayed real life events, where a person must choose to do the right thing in the face of adversity. The idea behind it was to engage the young people on decisions which have lasting consequences, and which youths often disregard. One of the police officers explained how these consequences can make already challenging social conditions even worse: Organizer "We are doing this event as it relates to the 16 days of activism and we are doing it leading up to the 16 days of activism. We are doing dramas and domestic violence and peer pressure in high schools. What you sew you reap and if the students put in their studies in school they will definitely reap good grades and that's what we are trying to encourage. We want good statistics for Belize."

Universities From Northern Mexico Visit to Talk Trade And Transfers
One of Mexican universities arrived in Belize this morning to promote academic cooperation and trade with the northern state of Chihuaua. As they explained, they want to do transfers with the University of Belize and to offer products from their state - which borders the united states:... Two Mexican Universities were represented at today's event.

Channel 5

Whistleblower gives powerful and compelling one-on-one interview
On October twenty-third, in the midst of an investigation into massive corruption in the Immigration Department, a confidential informant came forward. She provided a firsthand account of meetings in which [...]

Alverine Burgess says U.S. produced recording of a conversation involving Minister Castro
Alverine Burgess’ ordeal at the U.S. Embassy lasted three hours, and she says that faced with intense interrogation and recorded evidence, she told them all she knew. That includes names [...]

Burgess says she is prepared to testify in Court
So what happens next? Well Minister of State Edmund Castro has sued Alverine Burgess, but she’s not fazed in the slightest. In fact, she says that she is prepared and [...]

CCJ hears an application by gay activist challenging immigration laws
The Caribbean Court of Justice today heard an application against the governments of Belize and Trinidad in which Maurice Tomlinson is challenging the immigration laws of both countries. The hearing [...]

Is UB President, Dr. Carey Fraser, being forced to resigned from the national university?
Tonight there are very credible reports that University of Belize President Carey Fraser is contemplating resignation from the institution. Dr. Fraser has been President for two years, and came to [...]

8 men charged for a container with substance to produce crystal meth
Tonight, eight men remain in lockdown in San Ignacio following the discovery of what are believed to be chemicals used in the manufacture of the drug methamphetamine. A Police Quick [...]

Another couple, this time Chinese nationals, failed to declare thousands of dollars
We reported on Monday that two missionaries were fined for failing to declare close to fifty thousand dollars. Tonight, another couple has been charged for the same offence and they [...]

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association threatens to stop cane deliveries to B.S.I.
Relations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry are tonight sour.  B.S.I., on Monday, said that it will not engage in revenue sharing discussions in [...]

BSCFA says improved price per ton of cane as a result of quality investment by farmers
According to BSCFA executive, they have received a record breaking seventy-four dollars and twenty cents per ton of cane delivered to B.S.I.  But the price of cane is not linked [...]

Flooding in Crooked Tree Village unbearable for residents
The rains have been incessant for weeks upon weeks. In the Belize River Valley, the Crooked Tree causeway is under water and residents, including students, have to be shuttled by [...]

The Coney Drive neighborhood gets a light facelift
Since its construction in the summer, the roundabout at the intersection of Coney and Princess Margaret drives has alleviated congestion during the morning and evening rush hours.  Students from the [...]

Central American Integration System officials meet to discuss education
Today officials of the Central American Integration System, SICA, met on the University of Belize campus in Belmopan to discuss education – or rather the future of education within a [...]

A surprise for the reality wedding couple in tonight’s From Yes to I Do
After numerous rounds of competition, Allen Mendez and Roselli Coc were selected as the reality wedding couple for this season of from Yes to I do. The happy couple now [...]


Belizean Recently Acquitted For Murder Deported To Belize
Thirty six year old Kenneth Lewellyn Flowers, a Belizean National recently acquitted of a Murder charge in Salt Lake Utah, was deported last week to Belize by Federal Immigration Officials. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served. That conviction the report stated, came after police had found a gun and ammunition on Flowers when they responded to a shooting in December 2010 where 45 Year old Cisco M. Cross was killed and contended in court that he shot him in self defense. The report says that Flowers had been smoking crack when Cross came to his door. An argument ensued between Flowers and Cross, and reported to police he fired his gun three times when he saw him reach for a weapon. A BB gun was found unused in the waistband of Cross. He was turned over to Belize authorities for questioning related to gang activities.

Mexican national Investigates By Immigration
Today two men were acquitted of the charges of two counts of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition at the Corozal Magistrates Court due to lack of evidence. Both 32 year old George Valencia, Belizean laborer of G-Street South Corozal Town and 25 year old Mexican National Juan Alliesto Hernandez Zuniga were escorted to court under heavy guard. CTV3 News understands that while Zuniga was acquitted of the charges he remains in police custody and will be handed over to Immigration Authorities for further investigations since it is believed he is in the county illegally. We understand that he has retained the services of Attorney Arthur Saldivar.

Another Business Robbed In Corozal
Corozal Police are investigating a burglary in that district that left a woman out of more than $1,000 worth in items. According to 44 year old Guadalupe Sosa, the owner of Bel Cuisine in Corozal Town, sometime between the hours of 2:00pm on the 9th of November 2013 and 7:05am on the 11th of November 2013, her two storage concrete building located on Alta Mira Road was broken into. The thief or thieves gained entry to the building by forcing open a glass door situated northeast of the building. Stolen from inside the building was one water pump valued at $1,800.00. All indications are that the criminals also broke into two of the company vehicles and stole a jack valued at $150.00. Total value of items stolen amounted to $1,950. Investigation continues.

Opposition Leader Speaks On Baggasse Issue
With only 18 days before the start of the new proposed 2013/2014 crop season, there is no saying whether BSI and the BSCFA will resume negotiations on the Bagasse issue specifically. While BSI has asked BSCFA to meet on November 19th to advance discussions on a new agreement and to discuss the technical support by SIRDI, they have also stated that the new agreement can be signed separate from the Bagasse issue. And that is where there seems to be no break through because the BSCFA is saying no way no how. With the opening of the 2013/2014 crop season in jeopardy, it is the hope of the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca that both parties can come to a mutual agreement for the betterment of the industry. “I think it is a very, very important matter and we certainly urge BSI to negotiate in good faith with the cane farmers, we support the position of the cane farmers at this time, we believe that there should be very serious discussion taking place about the sharing about whatever profits are been made from the sale of bagasse, it has been under discussion for a long, long time but nothing serious had been agreed on and so it is a very important issue and we in the People United Party we are engage in our own discussions with the cane farmers so that we can better understand their position and it is our objective to work along with them to pressure government, to pressure BSI to come to the table so that we can have a proper discussion and find some equitable formula for the sharing of any profits that are being recognize and realized as the result of bagasse is an important issue.”

BSCFA Sticks To Its Guns, No Negociation Of Baggasse, No Crop
Yesterday we told you about the stern response from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited on the claim for payment on the Bagasse issue. And while that release stated that for 30 years BSI has taken on the responsibility and the liability of getting rid of bagasse, compounded by the fact that BSI came up with the idea to use bagasse to generate electricity and materialized in what they claim is the biggest private sector investment in the country amounting to 130 Million dollars, the release cited that it was done without the assistance or contribution from the BSCFA. BSI said that it is not just or fair to the company for the cane farmers to expect a return on an investment for which they have contributed absolutely nothing. Well, today, another round of fireworks was launched in the air as Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, fired back stating that BSI is dancing around the issue. “Really and truly they are just going around the bush, they are not coming very clear with us we are not asking for electricity, we are asking for what the bagasse is providing, what the bio-fuel is providing to that electricity for Belcogen Plant to work and to convert that to electricity, we are asking for them to come and let us negotiate the portion of the bagasse not the electricity. With this letter that they have sent and that they have set a date and they have set the 19th of November to go to Belize with no direction only to Belize City, I don’t if they plan to take us to burying ground or to the Warf, I don’t where they plan to take us but this is truly a slap on the face of the cane farmers because we have been asking from them let us come and negotiate as partners of the industry come to the table and let them be clear with us what their financial are, they have had the decency to present to the Association their last two years financial report in regards to what they are getting from the sales of electricity to BEL, as a cane farmer and as a leader of the farmers I really feel that BSI is really drawing his foot and trying to corner us to a way that they feel that the point will come that we will say well ok we cannot fight this giant and we will come and leave things as they are no, no this time is not like that, I think that the Association is in a different position that it was ten, fifteen years ago, we have experts amongst us, we have technical people that are advising us, we will be getting advise from our lawyers very shortly to have legal opinion in a step forward.”


Policeman’s Vehicle Stolen
A policeman’s vehicle was reportedly stolen from in front of a bar on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police Corporal, Alison Guzman, reported to his peers that at around 11:30 on Saturday night he went to the Traveller’s Bar at mile two on the Philip Goldson Highway and parked his 1996 white Geo Prism car valued at seven thousand and upon coming out of the establishment at around three-30 on Sunday morning, he discovered that the vehicle was no longer where he had parked it. Police are investigating.

Woman Charged Following Outburst at Belize Family Court
Twenty-six year old Denise Wade, who bit a police constable in his chest yesterday at Belize Family Court, was charged with harm and five other offences when she appeared in court yesterday. The other charges were assaulting a police officer, disturbing court proceedings and two counts of using insulting words. Wade pled guilty to the charges. She remanded into custody at Belize Central Prison until November 22 when she will be brought back to court for sentencing. According to reports, Wade kept interrupting the court proceedings at Belize Family Court and when she was told about it by Magistrate Nathalia Carter, she insulted Magistrate Carter twice. She assaulted police constable Hilberto Ruiz and bit him in the right side of his chest when Ruiz restrained her and took out of the courtroom.

Chinese Couple Given Bail After Failure to Declare Monies
A Chinese couple who entered Belize yesterday via Phillip Goldson International Airport with ten thousand US dollars has been charged jointly with failing to first make a declaration to an authorized officer of the FIU or any other person or authority designated by the FIU. They are Chenbou Xu and his wife, Fenglan Wu. They pled not guilty to the charge when they were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They were released on bails of one thousand dollars each and their case was adjourned until Friday, November 15. The bail was offered on the condition that they surrender their passports. Before the charge was read to them their attorney, Ellis Arnold, submitted that they had not committed any offence because the law allows for a person to have ten thousand dollars without having to make a declaration and they had ten thousand U.S. dollars or its equivalent, twenty thousand US dollars between them. But Donelle Hawke, the head of Police Prosecution Branch, who represented the FIU, said in reply that the couple had made one declaration on the custom card and that shows that an offence was committed. Chief Magistrate Smith overruled Arnold’s submission and read the charge to them.

CCJ Reserves Ruling on Special Leave to Appeal Belize’s Immigration Act
The Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ has reserved ruling in an application heard today on behalf of Jamaican Gay Rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, for Special Leave to Appeal Belize’s Immigration Act. Tomlinson, who is a member of the Jamaican lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community and an HIV-activist, says that the current Immigration Laws of both Belize and Trinidad bar him from entering the two countries as an openly gay man. Tomlinson considers the ban on his entry into Belize to be a violation of his right to freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community. He feels that repealing Section five of the Belize Immigration Act will liberate other marginalized groups. Among the other classes of persons prohibited from entering Belize are the mentally challenged and the physically disabled. In the teleconference hearing in Jamaica, Tomlinson’s attorney argued that the CCJ relies on the Charter of Civil Society. But Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, who led the Government’s arguments, told reporters after the days’ session that because Tomlinson had visited Belize on two previous occasions, this is evidence that the current Immigration Laws do not ban him from entering the country on the status of his lifestyle.

Education Minister Says Corruption is Not Encouraged in the UDP
Investigations into the passport scandal that broke out a few weeks ago are still ongoing and former Minister of State Elvin Penner has been fired from both Government and of the United Democratic Party. Prime Minster Dean Barrow, has asked Penner to resign as the Area Representative of Cayo North East- but that hasn’t happened. Soon after, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Edmund, “Clear the land” Castro has been named as a minister who is allegedly involved in a visa hustling business. The Prime Minister in a press conference alluded that he has heard of this and requested that if it is indeed true that it be stopped before it causes the fall of the government. And ever since, a dark gloomy cloud of suspicion has been hovering over UDP ministers and so we asked Minister of Education, Youths and Sports, Patrick Faber, whether or not he knows anything about a visa hustling business. Here is how he responded.

Training Sessions Look At Dealing with Juvenile Justice
Representatives from the Belize Police Department and Belize Central Prison are taking part in the first of three training sessions aimed at sensitizing these officers on Juvenile Law and the International Standards of Juvenile Justice. Antoinette Moore is the training facilitator. ANTONETTE MOORE “The UNDP is assisting in the funding of this and the Community Rehabilitation Department, as well as the NCFC – they have come together and are doing three sets of training. The first is for prison officers and police, the second for higher level police officers and Police prosecutors and the last for Magistrates and lawyers from the Legal Aid Centre. The purpose for the training is to sensitize as well as give more information to these individuals about the domestic juvenile as well as the international standards of juvenile justice.” National Committee for Families and Children is one of the Organizations responsible for bringing this training to fruition. Love News spoke to NCFC’s Luwani Cayetano.

Is UB’s President Going to Resign?
Reports circulating today were that the President of the University of Belize, Doctor Carey Fraser is resigning from his post. First we attempted to confirm this information from Dr. Fraser himself but after strongly denying for an interview he told our reporter that a release will be sent out. Dr. Fraser however restricted himself from stating what the release would make mention of. And so we then attempted to obtain confirmation or denial from the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber who told us he doesn’t know. We then got comment from the Head of the Office of the Public Information at the University, Selwyn King who as Dr. Fraser told us a statement will be made on the matter. HON. PATRICK FABER “I am not certain about that; l I have no such information to say that he is going to resign. I believe that is a question you can ask him but I certainly don’t have any such information.” DR. SELWYN KING “The President will make a statement in due time when the time prevails; he has been engaged in meetings since yesterday and as you know he was engaged in meetings today. He will make a statement on that particular issue. In terms of official, I cannot confirm or deny but I have been contacted by the majority of the media who have heard or received such information and it’s best that the President, himself speak to that particular issue.”


Builders Hardware Throws in the Garifuna Celebration
Primary and High school students and customers at Builder’s Hardware were treated to exciting performances by a Garifuna Dance Group and the legendary paranda musician Mr. Paul Nabor. This is the month for the celebration of the Garinagu. Over the years the celebrations have grown from an event centered...

U-16 Young Belizean Football Players Boast Promising Performance Abroad
On Friday the Football Federation of Belize gave fans a sneak preview of the national U-16 team that will represent Belize as the Central American U-16 tournament in Belmopan from November 18 – 24. Many of them were part of the U-15 team that impressed in the inaugural CONCACAF...

Ms. Felicia Chen Faces Another Hot Court Trial
At any time beginning in next April’s session of the Central District of the Supreme Court, 22 year old Felicia Chen must answer to three counts of murder for the alleged drowning deaths of three of her children at Belizean Beach this past April 27. Chen appeared on Friday...

The Belize Police Launches a National Sensitization Campaign Tour
Though their business is quite serious, even the Police Department can take a joke every so often. Today they did a little poking fun at themselves and the wider society while imparting life lessons to the students of Excelsior High School. It is part of the community outreach done...

Another Alleged Rape of a Minor Hits Corozal
Police in Consejo Village, situated in Corozal are investigating a disturbing report made by a 13 year old girl. According to the minor, this past Sunday, shortly after 2:30, she was walking to her home through a picado road, someone held her from behind and pulled into the nearby...

Guatemalan Fatally Murdered by Stabbing in Belize City
There was a murder in Belize City early on Sunday morning. 28 year old Edgar Salazar, Guatemalan laborer of Faber’s Road extension, was stabbed in his right lower back during a fight outside of a bar on Coney Drive where Salazar and his group of friends were socializing. Salazar’s...

Police Catches Alleged Contraband Suspects in Bullet Tree
Law enforcement, lab technicians and Customs personnel were called out to the BDF camp site near San Ignacio today, where an investigation into the discovery of 10 large containers of suspected drug precursors was underway. The containers were stumbled upon by San Ignacio Police this morning, sometime between 12:30...

NTUCB and BCCI Support the Blue Proposal for a Reformed PAC
Last week, we shared with you the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize’s joint proposal for the Public Accounts Committee. Well, today, the People’s United Party have come out to support that proposal. You may recall that the committee had been...

A Giant Snake Surprises Workers of San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Last week’s relentless rain flooded the banks of the Macal River, which separates the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, leaving the San Ignacio Wooden Bridge completely submerged underwater. This significant repercussions on the daily flow traffic as the only alternative bridge apart from the wooden bridge...

Sugar Cane Farmers Demand Bagasse Money Shares
One man’s thrash, is another man’s treasure; this saying has been seen played out for several weeks now on local media as we have been closely following the developments of the bagasse dispute that BSCFA (Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association) has been fruitlessly trying to resolve with BSI (Belize...

NTUCB on the Wall of BWS Firings and Legal Battles
And while that is the state of affairs with the case, the ex-workers also vented their frustration with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) which has promised to investigate their terminations and has so far failed to. Don Gillett at the time of his firing was a...

BWS Former Employees Pressure Legal Battle against the Company
Four of the six former employees of Belize Water Services (BWS) who were fired earlier this year and are suing the company for wrongful termination called their first conference. Two colleagues were not present and neither were attorneys Mrs. Antoinette Moore and Mr. Kareem Musa due to unforeseen circumstances,...

Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Every year, November 14th is celebrated as “World Diabetes Day” globally. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The Belize Diabetes Association is a chapter of the IDF. They have been hosting numerous events to sensitize the Belizean public...


Belize and its sister Caribbean nation – Trinidad and Tobago, appear tomorrow before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), to face a challenge filed against both countries by Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist, Maurice Tomlinson – the man who alleges that Belize’s immigration laws violate his right to free movement within the Caribbean Community, as enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Ironically, though, Tomlinson, whose child was living in Belize, had visited the country at least twice without any prohibition – and this fact is one of the planks of the defense the Government of Belize has lodged to argue that Tomlinson should not be granted leave by the CCJ to bring the court action against the country. Tomlinson last year married Tom Decker, a Canadian man who serves as interim pastor of Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church in New York, USA. Tomlinson was previously married to Michele Daley, who recently ended her tenure as Acting Solicitor General of Belize.

As we go to press tonight, there is news that a demand from the cañeros of Orange Walk and Corozal for a portion of the revenues which the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) is earning from bagasse is being met with a resounding “no” from the company – a decision which will no doubt raise the ire of the cañeros, who have been lobbying for a financial stake in BSI for several years. Cañeros have been a part of the talks to bolster the returns from cane farming through co-generation for more than a decade. In fact, Amandala recalls that at a symposium held in Orange Walk in August 2001, cane farmers had expressed great interest in the new power generation option, especially in light of the gloomy prospects of falling returns from sugar exports on the world market. One of the proposals raised then was for the power generation to be done through an independent power provider (IPP) which would make shares available to cane farmers. However, it was BSI which set up the power generation company, BELCOGEN, and that company now forms a subsidiary of BSI, which was recently bought by American Sugar Refining.

Tonight, Marvin Cruz Reyes, 28, is at the Belize Central Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright, 30. This was a retrial for Reyes because the first trial in July of 2009 ended with a hung jury. Wright, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, had to be brought to court by a BERT ambulance because that is the only means of transportation by which he can travel. He was the first witness to be called in the trial, which started last Wednesday, and he testified that at 5:00 on the morning of August 26, 2007, he and his girlfriend were walking on Ebony Street. When they got to the corner of Ebony and Sarstoon Streets, he heard someone call out to him, and turned to see Reyes, who was the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, he said.

Miss Dangriga, Alisha Bermudez, 15, wins Miss Garifuna National In what spectators will remember as one of the most competitive cultural pageants in recent memory, Miss Dangriga, Alisha Bermudez, 15, captured the highly coveted title of Miss Garifuna at the Miss Garifuna Belize National Talent held at the Multi Sports Complex in Seine Bight Village on Saturday night, November 9. In all, there were seven hopefuls who participated in a spirited display of Garifuna language, dance and folklore: Miss Punta Gorda (Peini), Jackieva Alvarez, 18; Miss Hopkins, Pamela Zuniga, 19; Miss Belize City, Samantha Augustine, 19; Miss Belmopan, Denise Lopez, 17; Miss Georgetown, Sheraine Martinez, 17; and Miss Seine Bight, Darcell Valerio, 16, were the competitors in this year’s pageant.

This morning, American nationals Pastor Gary West, 68, and his wife, retired nurse aid Evelyn Patnaude-West, 67, both pleaded guilty to failing to declare a large sum of money when they arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport last Friday. According to the report, the couple arrived in Belize from the United States on Friday, and at 12:05 p.m., while at the Customs Desk, they were asked if they had anything to declare, to which they replied no. The customs officer decided to search the luggage of Patnaude-West and found US$21,000 which had not been declared. A search of West led to the discovery of US$7,000 inside the left pocket of his pants and US$300 in his wallet, which also had not been declared. The couple was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, who made a mitigation plea on their behalf. He expressed the couple’s complete remorse for entering the country without declaring the money, but the couple told the court that they honestly did not know that they had to declare the money.

On Saturday night at about 8:00 o’clock at the northern border, a Customs officer confiscated some beer from four men who were trying to cross the Corozal border with the undeclared goods. A senior officer who responded to a call for assistance was assaulted. Police say that four men – Ignacio Victorin, 30, a Belizean security officer; Nolberto Victorin, 34, a Belizean laborer; Amador Tzib, 40, a Belizean laborer; and Rutilio Cantun, 38, a Belizean laborer, all of Patchakan, Corozal District, were charged with aggravated assault. Police reports are that senior customs officer Fred Ford, attached to the Santa Elena Border, Corozal District, reported that about 8:20 p.m. on Saturday, he was on duty in his office when the checkpoint customs officer, Zakir Marin, who was working at the time, called him on his cell phone and told him that he had a “situation” at the checkpoint arrival section.

The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its Annual National Volleyball competition over the past weekend, with games played last Friday and Saturday at the St. John’s College Gymnasium in Belize City. A great show of talent was definitely displayed at the 2-day competition, as 8 teams took part in the national contest, which included 4 male and 4 female teams, representing the four different regions of the country. Fans, parents, supporters and fellow schoolmates of the participating teams packed the gymnasium to witness the competition as it got underway, and cheered energetically for their respective teams. In this year’s Volleyball Nationals, the Northern Region was represented by San Pedro High School in both the male and female categories. The Central Region was represented by St. Catherine Academy for the females, while the males were represented by St. John’s College. From the west, Belmopan Comprehensive High School represented the females, and Mopan Technical High School represented the boys. Stann Creek Ecumenical College represented the females from the southern region, while Georgetown Technical High School represented in the male category.

Veteran boxer Henry “Boxer” Gill is shaken up, scraped knees and elbows, and bruised along the right side of his body, upon which he fell after being knocked down by a police pickup while he was riding his bicycle around 6:30 this morning on his way to do his regular morning work-out at the Body 2000 gym. According to “Boxer,” he was riding on Mahogany Street when he saw the vehicle coming, and just managed to jump off his bicycle in time to avoid the full impact of the vehicle, which still ran over and badly damaged his mountain bike. “I only escaped serious injury because I’m in pretty good shape and still agile for my age,” claimed Gill, who showed us his bandaged knee and abrasions on his wrist and elbow. His left side is still in pain from the fall on the pavement.

The Mayor’s 9-Ball Tournament continued over the weekend, concluding the first round of the home-and-away series. The first game saw Rebels & Rejects winning by a score of 3-2 over Expendables. The wins for Rebels & Rejects came by Joshua Kuylen over Herbert Dzib, 5-1; Audibaldo Monima over Luis Campos by a stunning 5-0; ,and Ian Glory over Abner Patt by a score of 5-3. The two wins for Expendables came by Miguel Trejo, 5-4, over Lazaro Amaya; and Raul Montejo over Joel Andino, 5-2. The second match of the weekend saw Madis at home defeating Cerros Sands by a score of 4-1. The only win for Cerros Sands came by Jose Caballero over Erwin Mutul by a score of 5-3. The wins for Madis came by Elias Briceno over Guillermo Arana, 5-3; Mario Pena, 5-2, over Tom Gardiner; Rodolfo Alvarez, 5-3, over Alberto Olivera; and Carlos Witz over Luiz Itzab, 5-3. The results after these two rounds are as follows: Rebels & Rejects 44 pts; Expendables 36 pts; Madis 28 pts; and Cerros Sands 12 pts.

Behind the scenes and behind all the Independence Day pomp and ceremony, there was a transfer of power which was taking place during Belize’s decolonization process. The power being transferred was basically political and administrative, and it was being transferred from the British to some Belizean counterparts of theirs. Financial and economic power was NOT being transferred from the British to Belizeans, although what the transfer of political and administrative power did, was make it possible for some Belizeans to dream of financial and economic power in their own country. So then, one of the slogans for independence was, “With independence, more development.” Today, 32 years after independence, there is a financial and economic power structure in place here, but that structure is relatively shadowy and secretive. What is quite visible and often high profile in Belize, is the political and administrative power structure, which is all Belizean. The case with the financial and economic power structure is, to repeat, somewhat different.

Michael Finnegan’s story about “Plum Jaw,” also known to us football fans back then as “Harry J,” touched me. Plum Jaw’s story is a startling metaphor for the Belizean exodus. In 1969, he disappeared into America when he had reached the peak of his fame. Plum Jaw was playing a flank defence for arguably the best team in Belize City at the time – Red Stripe, and he had just starred in perhaps Red Stripe’s biggest game ever – an “international” against a visiting “Vera Cruz” team. You have to remember that in Belize back then, there was no television and only a government monopoly radio station. The newspapers in Belize basically ignored sports in those days. When it came to football, Belize’s most popular sport, everything was word-of-mouth. In the first game that visiting “Vera Cruz” team played on the MCC Grounds (it was not against Red Stripe), this blonde Mexican forward had electrified the crowd when he fired a shot from the edge of the eighteen which absolutely sounded like a thunderclap against the crosspiece of the Guinness (northern) goal.

John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Belize, has assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) – a regional organization tasked with improving regional utility regulation and fostering transparent and stable utility regulation through autonomous and independent regulators in member countries. At the close of the 11th OOCUR Annual Conference, held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, from Wednesday, November 6 to 8, 2013, outgoing chairman J. Paul Morgan said that elections had been held and a new executive was installed. Morgan said that the 5 executive members are Avery, John Williams of TCI Telecommunications Commission (Turks and Caicos), Maurice Chavez of the Office of Utilities Regulation (Jamaica), Kathleen Riviere-Smith of the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (Bahamas), and Dr. Anne Marie Mohammed of Regulated Industries Commission (Trinidad and Tobago) – the new deputy chair of OOCUR.

“Be warned, if you stop us from making a living…BTB, FSTV could be looking at the end of cruise tourism in Belize.” – Tom Greenwood Earlier last week, on Tuesday, there were reports that there was a bit of an uproar at the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) in Belize City when a taxi operator was detained by police after he acquired the use of a bullhorn to beckon incoming cruise tourists. The various service providers – taxi drivers in particular – who congregate outside the Fort Street Tourism Village during the cruise season, have been complaining that the new zoning system that was put in place by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is not working because the new rules are not providing fair opportunities for them to make a living. Well, Friday, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) summoned a press conference in order to address those very same issues, among others. They told the media – and those in attendance – that the entire system needs to be revamped, and warned the BTB and FSTV that they both need to come to the table to dialogue with those being affected by the new regulations, or else the two entities might aggravate a total shutdown of the cruise tourism industry in Belize.


Caye Coffee gets a new logo, I tried something new and a PSA from SPHLBPC
Not much was going on around town yesterday afternoon or so I thought. While sitting at Estel’s with Steven, Anthony, Amy and Rick, we heard the long slow sound sound of sirens and knew that a parade was coming. The guy at the next table overheard us talking and said it was the Veterans Day Parade, I excused myself to go take a look and found out that it was something else. As I walked around the corner I saw hoards of San Pedro High School kids parading by, they had just won a big Volleyball tournament and had good reason to celebrate. Fortunately they finished their parade right before it started raining again and had enough time to get somewhere dry. Our meeting group on the other hand was not as lucky we were all in process of leaving and everyone got wet.

Guest Post: Your Belize Wedding Checklist
I don’t do “sponsored posts”…though that is not what this actually is. A sponsorship would imply that some sort of palm greasing has taken place and…it hasn’t. I got a lovely email from a lovely woman named Abra who just happens to do a bit of writing for a resort in Hopkins, Belize. One I’ve never visited. She was very enthusiastic about writing a post and had a few suggestions. I have been interested in Destination Weddings in Belize for a while…spurred on by the fact that I get ALL kinds of questions from brides, potential brides, honeymooners and even grooms. Her suggestion of a wedding checklist was perfect. Here is what she sent me. And based on the website and pictures of Hopkins Bay Resort? I wouldn’t mind visiting Hopkins again…soon. Hopefully this is just the start of much more wedding stuff to come. Who knows? I could become a regular Martha Stewart (sans the prison time).

Miss Earth Belize On a Serious Mission
Brion Young, assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre said that while the Miss Earth International Pageant may appear to be an unusual way to raise environmental awareness, Miss Earth Belize’s departure for Miami on November 9 to participate in this year’s Manila Pageant can only contribute towards spreading the message of environmental sustainability. According to Belize’s Amandala newspaper, Amber Reneé Rivero is the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize after being crowned Miss Earth Belize on August 24, 2013, and on Saturday, November 9, she departed the country for the first leg of her journey. “When we first heard of the endeavour we thought it a novel idea that pageants were being used to raise environmental awareness. On reflection we thought it’s a great way to spread the message, and we will be following Ms Rivero’s trip with interest,” Mr Young said.

Central American Nearshore Summit 2013
Nicaragua inaugurated the first annual Central American Nearshore Summit (CANS) November 7, 2013 with the participation of over 160 businessmen mainly from the U.S. and the Central American region. The event was centered at promoting the entire region as an outsourcing destination due to its various competitive advantages; among them its competitive cost structure, strategic location and cultural affinity with the U.S. Among the participants are 45 prestigious outsourcing companies; among them United Health Care, UBS, Darwin Zone, Accenture, Allied Global, Atento, Sitel, and Teleperformance. The highlight of the event was the first session of business meetings held between service providers and buyers of the region. These previously scheduled meetings represent a unique opportunity for foreign and regional companies as they allow the establishment of key contacts and alliances within the outsourcing industry.

“Street Life” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Determined to get back in to my routine I was up and out on the veranda yesterday (first floor, lagoon side) with a mug of black coffee and the iPad before 05.00 hours. I spent a little (and I mean a little) time with The Times online reading what Arsenal should have done (they lost) the previous day against Manchester United. I really didn’t need reminding that we lost against them (again) so I turned my attention to writing yesterday’s edition The literary juices weren’t flowing though (it probably showed in what I finally published) so I decided I needed a change of scenery. Only one thing to do. Shower, shave, get dressed and head off to Estel’s for breakfast!

International Sources

John McAfee facing wrongful death suit in Orlando over Belize murder
Eccentric software guru John McAfee, wanted for questioning by Belize authorities about the murder of his American neighbor, is being sued in Orlando for wrongful death. McAfee is known for the anti-virus software bearing his name, but he made international headlines last year when he went on the run after Gregory Faull was killed. A housekeeper found Faull — who owned Tailgaters Smokehouse and was a fixture at University of Central Florida sporting events — face up in a pool of blood Nov. 11, 2012 at his home on Ambergris Caye, Belize police said. He was shot in the back of the head. McAfee, who has denied involvement in Faull's killing, evaded police in Belize for nearly a month before surfacing in Guatemala. He returned to the United States in December and has said he fears Belize authorities will kill him. On Friday, Faull's estate filed suit in Orlando federal court against McAfee and two Belize women, claiming that McAfee, "either directly or through his behest or by his agents," caused Faull's death. McAfee told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that he has not been served with the lawsuit, and until that happens, he cannot comment on the matter.

Man acquitted of Utah murder deported to Belize
A man recently acquitted of murder in a Salt Lake City shooting has been deported to Belize by federal immigration officials. Kenneth Lewellyn Flowers, 36, was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to his home country last week. He was turned over to Belize authorities for questioning related to gang activities in that Central American country, an ICE press release said. Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served.

International Inspiration: Study abroad leads student to create successful philanthropy project
When Woodrow Holder left for a week-long study abroad trip to Belize in Spring 2012, he expected his views to change. What he didn’t expect was how drastically that would happen. Since his return nearly two years ago, Holder has worked to raise funds for the area, and especially for the inspiring individuals he worked with during his time in Belize. The study abroad trip, associated with the course HSC 516D: Travel Course in Health Education, brought the Allen Park senior, as well as 20 undergraduate students and 30 physical therapy students, to the country. The trip, a medical mission visit of sorts, worked to teach students how to have a healthy lifestyle. “We did house visits, a mobile health clinic and educated people in schools about mobile health,” Holder said. He was particularly moved by the state of one schools they visited, the Succotz Roman Catholic Primary School.

Gay activists seek end to criminality
Homosexuality is a crime in 41 out of the 53 Commonwealth nations, including CHOGM host nation Sri Lanka. Ahead of the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka on Friday, a new report produced by the Kaleidoscope Trust details human rights abuses against gay and lesbian people. Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Sir Shridath Ramphal, writes in the report: "It is a reminder that for most of the countries of the Commonwealth, the desecration of our fellow citizens began in the law. "As with the abolition of slavery, the decriminalisation of homosexuality in our time must be an act of law." The report details first-hand examples of attempted murder, beatings and harassment. "I have lost two teeth, had my family property invaded and car damaged by two masked men," says Caleb Orozco, a gay man from Belize.

Caribbean’s Biggest Water Supplier’s Sales Drop on Island Rains
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO), the Caribbean’s largest publicly traded water supplier, reported a 30 percent drop in third-quarter profit as retail sales fell on its home island in the Caymans. Net income slid from $1.3 million in the year-earlier period as larger customers on the island, popular for its beach resorts, purchased lower volumes of water “likely due to greater rainfall,” the Georgetown, Cayman Islands-based company said in a statement. Consolidated Water has expanded this year beyond the Caribbean with a 100 million gallon per day water-purifying desalination pilot plant in Rosarito in northern Baja California, Mexico, that’s completed its first phase and a seawater reverse-osmosis facility on Indonesia’s Bali island. Consolidated Water operates water production and distribution facilities in the Caymans, Bahamas, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. The shares have doubled this year in New York trading compared with a 6.3 percent gain by the 20-member Bloomberg World Water Index.

Why The World's Top Retirement Haven May Not Be For Everyone
The Retire Overseas Index that my Live and Invest Overseas group published this year ranked Panama as the world's top retirement haven. I'm not alone in this idea. For the past half-dozen years at least, this country has been recognized by many as the best place on earth to think about living or retiring overseas. However, that is not to say that Panama is the world's best place for all things or for all people. In Belize, they speak English. It's the official language. Many in Panama City speak English, too, as a second language, but elsewhere in Panama, you're going to have to learn at least some Spanish or you're going to find life challenging.

As World “Gets Bigger,” Caribbean Diving Industry Takes Advantage
ORLANDO — Keith Sahm is the general manager at the Sunset House in Grand Cayman, and he’s seen the ups and downs of the Caribbean diving industry, which, like the rest of the region’s tourism sector, was hit hard by the downturn. But Sunset House, which counts about 95 percent of its guests as divers, had its best October on record last month. It seems the Caribbean diving industry is showing signs of improvement. So what’s helping to drive one of the strongest niches of the Caribbean market? For Sahm, a constrained global economic environment is encouraging more divers from markets like the United States and Canada to eschew far-off places like Micronesia or Malaysia in favour of a destination that’s significantly closer. “With the way the global economy is right now, it’s made the world much bigger again,” Sahm said.

T&T Planning Minister: PetroCaribe not likely to be sustainable
Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie on Monday said Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative, which supplied oil to some countries in the region at discounted prices, was unlikely to be sustainable. Speaking in his capacity as acting Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs at the launch of Caricom Energy Week on Monday at the Hyatt, he said: “The Venezuelan PetroCaribe Initiative provided a partial and temporary solution for this but this solution is unlikely to be sustainable. “The issue of subsidised prices has been raised but in today’s world, with every country having its own challenges and the global system in a state of uncertainty, that is not really feasible.” PetroCaribe is an alliance of mainly Caribbean and Central American countries with Venezuela to purchase crude oil at discounted and deferred prices. The payment system allows for purchase of oil on market value for five per cent to 50 per cent up front with a grace period of one to two years; the remainder can be paid through a 17-25 year financing agreement with one per cent interest if oil prices are above US$40 per barrel.

Deciding where to go for a Caribbean vacation
Belize has over 1,000 offshore cays (islands) and it is home to the largest cave system in Central America. It is home to the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere (and second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia), perfect for scuba divers. Eco and culture enthusiasts will also enjoy ancient Mayan ruins and attractions like the Crooked Tree Wildlife sanctuary.

Central America: Strategies against school failure
Central America is seeking new strategies to protect schools from the violence committed by gangs, which has contributed to the academic failure of about 3.6 million children each year. At the primary school level, 32.7% of Central American students drop out or repeat a grade. In high school, the figure rises to 69.2%, according to the report “Finishing School in Central America: The Pending Challenges” by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Of the eight countries analyzed in the report, Belize retains the highest percentage of students in primary school, with 86%, followed by the Dominican Republic (83.7%), Costa Rica (81.9%), Panama (81.2%), El Salvador (64.7%), Guatemala (52.5%) and Nicaragua and Honduras (44.3%). In Honduras, students endure harassment, extortion and attacks by gangs. About 7,315 young people under the age of 23 were murdered between March 1998 and March 2012 in Honduras, according to a study by the international organization Casa Alianza.

November 12, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

World Cup “inspiring” for Belizean football players and fanatics
The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour created quite a buzz in the country as Belizeans travelled from all over the country to get to spend a few seconds with the World Cup that arrived from El Salvador. The most coveted sports trophy was in Belize on Thursday November 7th, as a final leg of the tour of the Western Hemisphere before leaving to Egypt tomorrow. Hundreds of Belizeans took tours to take pictures, admire and come in close proximity with the FIFA World Cup Trophy. In an interview with the San Pedro Sun, FIFA Representative of the World Cup Tour Pikka Odriozola, said that idea of the tour came in 2002 with the idea to bring the FIFA World Cup closer to as much fans worldwide as possible. “Football is the most globally played sport and we wanted to share the passion and the spirit of the World Cup directly with the fans. They don’t get to travel all around where there is World Cup but we are bringing the experience to their home country. The World Cup is returning to Brazil. The last time it went to Brazil was in 1950 and the last time in South America was in 1978 in Argentina and so we wanted to include all of Latin America and also the entire Americas and the Caribbean. We are stopping in all the countries in the Concacaf region which is the football confederation to which Belize is a part of. It doesn’t matter if a country is a world champion of if a country qualifies for the World Cup – the main idea is to share this experience to all the fans,” said Odriozola, a Spanish national working with FIFA for over 10 years.

The play “Our World – 1 in 4” captivates SPHS audience
“There is no greater agony, than to bear an untold story inside me… he took my virginity… he was my hero… I was raped by my grandfather…” Those were some of the words that captivated the student audience at the San Pedro High School (SPHS) as the play “Our World – 1 in 4” written by retired US college professor and playwright Larry Heimgartner was presented. Trained actresses Sarah Mackenzie of Scotland and Katie Emma Hughes of England, along with four students of SPHS managed to bring across the stories of sexual abuse and rape to the attentive audience of students from the beginning to the end of the play. Heimgartner taught theater and film at the Los Angeles Harbor College, California USA for 40 years, and after retiring now dedicates his time to taking plays to different parts of the world. Since 1970, Heimgartner has written several plays on topics that continue to negatively impact the global society and for over 12 years he has brought some of those plays to San Pedro Town.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High School Male Volleyball Team are National Champs
If you heard the drumming and screaming cheers this afternoon from the San Pedro High School students as they paraded through the streets of Downtown San Pedro and wondered what all the excitement was all about, then you might also want to give the school a congratulatory cheer. The school is boasting that its male volleyball team came home victorious from the National Volleyball Championship Tournament over the weekend. Both male and female volleyball teams from San Pedro High School headed to Belize City where the tournament took place at the St. John’s Junior College Gymnasium. The male team came in first place after battling it out with St. John’s Junior College in the final match, while the female team placed fourth in the tournament.

Golf Cart Crashes into Barber Shop
Reports indicate that the driver was thrown off the golf cart and was seen holding his head and stomach as he got up; the passenger was seen fleeing the scene of the accident. Police arrived shortly at the scene to conduct their investigations; luckily there were no serious injuries reported.

Waterlogged Ambergris Caye Residents Find Ways to Get Around
This week’s Picture of the Week comes courtesy of Mata Grande Grocery located in 4.5 miles in North Ambergris Caye, Belize. Their Facebook page post says that the kayak anchored in front of the store is their newest delivery transportation “Cody and Collin used it to deliver 3 five-gallon water containers down the road a few hundred yards. They had a blast! Now that is customer service...right?” – says Mata Grande Grocery’s post on Facebook.

25 years ago: The Marvelous Barrier Reef of Belize
“Hey Dad, let’s go fishing? “No my son because when you come out of school at 3:30 p.m. it is already a bit late.” “But Dad, it is May and our summer vacations have commenced.” With this said, my dad became excited and was delighted to take me and my brother out to the reef. There were two or three ways to go fishing at the reef. This day we took our small ten-foot dory, El Bonito, and paddled out towards the reef only about a mile away. It was very calm, so my dad decided to go outside the reef. He did not look for the channel which was about three fourths of a mile south. We went right over the reef by threading our way between the corals that were deep enough. Once on the other side of the reef which we called the “outside” or “afuera” in Spanish, we went about 200 feet out and dropped anchor. Soon with our hand lines and using sardine as bait we were pulling in large grouper, snappers, tuna and once in a while a small nurse shark. Fishing was great and by midday we had our catch of some two dozen large fish that would suffice for an entire week’s meals. Then I would beg dad to take me out trawling by hand line.

Belize Marine Conservation Organization ReefCI, Receives Global Recognition
Belize marine conservation organization ReefCI, receives Global recognition at the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards - Highly commended for Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences goes to Marine conservation organization ReefCI at the 2013 10th annual World responsible tourism awards. The winners and highly commended were announced at the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in the UK to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. The WTM exhibition, held at Excel, London on 4-7 November 2013 is the leading global event for the travel industry. The awards panel of judges pre-announced: ‘We are focusing on organizations that are both committed to wildlife protection and to providing their guest with memorable experiences tourists will talk about and share with friends and family when back home. We are looking for organizations that have found the right balance between protecting wildlife and providing great experiences to holidaymakers. Their ideas and practices should be an inspiration to companies trying to achieve the same.’

Misc Belizean Sources

Fishing Report Week of November 2 - 9, 2013
It was old home week here at El Pescador. Kyle has been here several times and this time he brought his dad Patrick! Steve and Scott returned to fish with Captain Gilberto and I’m hoping for big things from their arsenal of spin gear. Thank you Tom for bringing you son Tom again, and thank you to Ed’s group: Paul and Randy, Ned and Mary, Loren and Shelly – we love seeing you here again! Walt and Ann were back for their third time here, and this time Walt slammed. We are all thrilled for him. It was Paul’s birthday and also Joan’s birthday. Our youngest “guide in training,” Gordy, celebrated his 18th birthday! Good sportsman awards to all of our anglers this week. Husband and wife team, Bill and Eddie share their passion for fly fishing. This time Bill got his tarpon, but Eddie you are due! The weather was a little tough, but they went out there and made it happen. And it was a pleasure to meet up with John and Diane who were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. They still look like kids. That’s what love will do! Matt and Sara are also celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary. Sara is loving the “no schedule” and Matt is ready to fish and catch! I don’t think John and Geoff ever stopped laughing as they spent the week fishing with Captain Sinoe. They also had a blast exploring the lagoon. I think they ripped it up back there… And I really enjoyed the absolutely pure passion for fly fishing that poured out of Conner. We had fun tying up some flies and he made some great creations. And thank you Rob for tying some beautiful tarpon flies at the vice. Big huge thank you to Mr. Ed, my partner in this job, for working with the guide team and our guests. I had a wonderful break and it’s great to be back with our El Pescador family.

FEIN TAU WEIYEMA (Garifuna Pumpkin Bread)
¼ cup oil, plus more for pan 2 cups flour, plus more for pan 1½ cups sugar ¼ cup milk 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. salt 2 (15-oz.) cans pumpkin purée, or 2 lb. puréed, roasted pumpkins or acorn squash Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan; set aside. Stir together oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin in a bowl; add flour, and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cut into squares or wedges to serve

Educate Our Youth Fundraiser
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio has posted some pictures from their Educate Our Youth fundraiser. Even though it was a little wet, a great time was had by all. "Thanks to all guests, donors and everybody who supported our club to make this event unforgetable. A special thank you to the students of the F&B class of the Sacred Heart Collage and CET."

Inclusive Linkage Closing Ceremony
Beltraide had a great closing ceremony of their Inclusive Linkage Project at the Cayo Welcome Center this morning. The Benque Marimba Academy was there, and they played some Christmas music. "BELTRAIDE, in collaboration with Center for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises in Central America and Dominican Republic (CENPROMYPE) under the execution of the Ministry of Economic Development in Guatemala (MINEO) had their closing ceremony of the Inclusive Linkage Project today at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio."

BWRC Visits Wildtracks
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic visited Wildtracks to help them with a troop relocation and do some surgery on an injured monkey. Thanks, BWRC! "Yesterday we went out to assist with the relocation of an entire troop of Howler monkeys, which despite our small army of Wildtracks and BWRC volunteers under guidance of FD officers, prooved to require further logistical arrangements for successful completion. Simultaneously we were asked to tend to a fresh laceration injury in one of Wildtracks young rehab candidates "Sy". Thanks to my friend Chad Burrow we can share with you a brief foto documentary of our field set up, many helping hands and the quick procedure. Be warned that there are a couple of slightly graphic images, but nothing like orthopedic surgery ;)"

Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act 2013
Belize has recently passed the Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act in a bid to improve the country's legal and regulatory framework. In accordance with the Act, every entity shall keep its accounting records at any of the following locations: At its registered office in Belize. At the office of its Registered Agent in Belize. At such other place within or outside Belize as may be determined by its directors or other competent persons. If the accounting records of an entity are kept outside Belize then such entity shall provide its Registered Agent in Belize with a written record of the physical address of the place(s) where the accounting records are kept and notify the Registered Agent of any change thereto within 14 days.

Channel 7

Possible Precursor Chemicals Caught In Cayo, Right Under The Nose Of Police
If you follow the news closely you'll remember words like pseudo-ephedrine, phenyl-acetic acid and even methyl-amine. These are all chemicals known as precursors for the production of meta-amphetamines or crystal meth, a highly addictive drug that's wreaking havoc in the United States. Many times in the past these precursors have been shipped from China into the Port of Belize and end up in the hands of customs. But tonight, Cayo police are reporting a discovery of what appears to be chemical precursors brought in not by sea, but by land, most likely through an illegal crossing with Guatemala near the western village of Bullett Tree. We had a look at the illicit cargo today in Cayo:.. Monica Bodden reporting The 40 foot container had only 10 barrels and san Ignacio police found it along with this pickup parked on the Bullett Tree Road at 12:30 this morning - both vehicles bearing Corozal license plates. Incredibly, both vehicles were parked just a short ways from the village police station. There is credible suspicion that the police were paid to keep an eye on what is at best illicit contraband, and at worse chemical precursors bound for the United States.

Man Killed In Vicious Bar Brawl
A brawl in front of a Bar in Belize City has left 1 man dead and his family grieving his loss. 28 year-old Guatemalan Edgar Salazar Velasquez was out socializing with his friends at La Catracha Bar on Coney Drive, and after a few drinks, he left early Sunday morning. While outside, a fight broke out between his friends and another group of men. He tried to run, but he was chased down and badly beaten; the fatal injury came from a stab wound inflicted, reportedly, with a broken bottle. He was rushed to the KHMH, but 15 minutes later, while undergoing treatment, he passed away. Today, 7News caught up with his wife who was at the morgue waiting for the post mortem, and she spoke to us off-camera about his death, which she calls senseless: Voice of Rosalina Aguilar, Wife of deceased "I don't have a clue why they did that. They say that he and his friends were in the club and they just entered and did that for no reason, just out of idleness. He was very hard working person who made sure to take care of his son and me. he didn't give trouble, he wasn't a thief - nothing like that, he was easy going."

Man Dies After Being Struck In Head Last Week
And in an update to the story of the critically injured security guard we told about last week, Desmond Villa died yesterday evening at around 5:30. As we told you, Villa was standing in front of City Hall on North Front Street on Last week Tuesday, when he saw a man he knew as "Pizza" approaching him. The man picked up a piece of wood and clubbed him in the back of his head, leaving a huge gash, and knocking him unconscious. He was taken to the KHMH, where he went into a coma and died. As we told you, police arrested and charged 38 year-old Kevin Jex and he was arraigned on Friday for attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. It is expected that at the earliest convenience, police will upgrade his charges to murder since Villa passed away.

“Teef and Kerr’ Back”?
He forged Housing Minister Michael Finnegan's name on a government housing grant - and now a government clerk is wanted by police. CEO in the Ministry of Housing Lawrence Sylvester has confirmed that an office assistant who was performing clerical duties forged the Honourable Finnegan's signature on applications for home improvement grants. He did it twice, on October twenty - third for one-thousand dollars, and on the 24th for 6,700 dollars. Sylvester says the ministry discovered the forgery and fraud through routine internal checks. But by then, the money had already been transferred into his account. With that, Housing was able to recover $4,460 from the bank and Sylvester says they are pursuing every administrative, criminal and civil procedure to recover the balance. The ministry has also recommended to the public services commission disciplinary action with a view to immediate dismissal. They have also reported the matter to Belmopan police. The young man, whose name has not been released has been working at the ministry since 2009.

PUP Supports Position of Social Partners On PAC
On Friday we told you about the social partners, the Chamber and the Labour groups lukewarm reaction to the UDP's re-loaded Public Accounts Committee Proposal. We haven't yet gotten a reaction from John Saldivar who framed the proposal, because he was out of the country. But the PUP - which has mostly stayed out of the UDP-lead discussion thus far - says it quote, "welcomes the latest proposal being offered by the BCCI and the NTUCB for a re- composition of the Public Accounts Committee." The PUP says it supports the social partners' proposal for a nine member PAC, with a quorum of five, and the proposal for a MINORITY OPINION to form a part of the reports of the PAC when sent back to the House of Representatives - the last two being, government proposals. Still today's PUP release says it calls "on the UDP Government to immediately join us in supporting this proposal."

Missionaries Busted With Cash For Christ?
68 year-old Gary West, and his wife 67 year-old Evelyn West, a retired couple on missionary work from Minnesota were taken to court today for failing to declare that they had fifty six thousand, six hundred dollars on them in cash when they tried to enter the country. According to the Customs Department, the couple arrived at the PGIA last week Friday, and they told the authorities that they were here to explore the possibility of opening a church in Belize. The problem is that when they approached the customs officers, and they were asked if they had anything to declare, they said that they didn't. Their bags were then searched and the officers found 21 thousand US dollars in Evelyn West's luggage. The officers also found $7 thousand, 3 hundred US dollars in Gary West's wallet and his pants pocket.

CEO Denies Prison Ruckus
Last night the Quick response team at the prison had to scramble into the Tango 8 building where a prison guard had been attacked. According to reports, the guard was struck by an unruly prisoner whom he was transferring to another area. Fortunately, he was not knocked unconscious and managed to call for back up on his radio. According to prison sources, the QRT mobilized and even had to fire warning shots to quell the ruckus. But, today Prison CEO Earl Jones told us that the event has been highly exaggerated, that nothing of the sort happened; he said the prison was removed for disorderly conduct and they returned him to Tango 8 after a stern talking to. Our reports say he was placed in solitary confinement. Tango 8 is the section that houses the almost 200 prisoners who are under remand.

Stole From Her Employer
51 year-old Desiree Mejia is at prison tonight after she was taken to court for stealing from her employer. Dr. Lisa Johnson reported that between July 10 and September 15, someone stole a purse from her house which contained an assortment of jewellery, a Blackberry cellular phone, and wristwatches to a total value of $15,520. Police investigated the theft, and one piece of the stolen jewellery was recovered at the JL's Pawn Shop on last week Friday. Police say that they traced it to Mejia, who admitted that she stole the purse. Investigators also recovered some of the stolen items from her daughter, 24 year-old KeIsha Trapp. Police charged Mejia with theft, and Trapp with handling stolen goods. They were both arraigned in Magistrate's Court this evening, and Mejia once again pleaded guilty and asked for leniency as mother providing for her children. She was sentenced to 2 years in prison, and her daughter was released on bail of $500 after she pleaded not guilty.

BSI/ASR Says We Made Investment; We Own Bagasse
Last week, 7News told you about the tense relations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI regarding the bagasse issue. As we've told you, the company has been using the bi-product to generate electricity which is sells to Belize Electricity Limited. The farmers say that they provide the cane which turns into the bagasse, therefore they are entitled to some compensation for it. We've only been able to provide you with the cane farmer's position, but tonight, we share the strong response from BSI. They say that for 30 years they've taken on the responsibility and the liability of getting rid of bagasse, with absolutely no assistance of the cane farmers. The company says that all through that time, they've bared the brunt of the financial cost to manage the environmental challenges of the bagasse storage and disposal, which represented a total value of 20 million dollars.

Terminated BWS Workers Want Water Company To Pay Up
4 weeks ago, 7News told you about the 6 former employees who were taking Belize Water Services Limited to court for wrongful termination. Viewers may remember that these 6 were sent home after scandalous letters circulated about employees who were supposedly engaged in inappropriate relationships within the company. The story didn't progress any further because Justice Courtney Abel left the matter in the hands of the attorneys from both sides to come up with an amicable out-of-court resolution to avoid a drawn-out trial. Well, those employees now believe that BWS is intentionally dragging the process out, and refusing to bring it to a closure because it would mean settling with them and paying compensation. Today, for the first time since the scandal broke, they held a press conference to give their version of the events.

Gender Gap Large In Belize
The World Economic Forum has just released its 2013 report on the Global Gender Gap. Overall, Belize is ranked 107 out of 136 countries in the study - which is down from a score of 87 in 2009. This year's ranking is also down four from last year. And while that's bad enough, the roughest part is when it comes to the political empowerment of women. On that, Belize ranks 133rd out of 136 countries, at the absolute bottom of the scale. Only Lebanon, Brunei and Qatar are lower. The report notes that Belize is the lowest performing country from the region on female Enrolment in primary education and the Women in parliament indicators. Still, it's not all bad, Belize was tied for first in the health and survival category AND 80TH for economic participation and opportunity.

The First Steps Of Solar Power
Earlier we told you about how BSI is using Bagasse as a renewable source to generate electricity. Well, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities is also stepping up their plan for renewable energy. Today, they facilitated a workshop at the ITVET Compound in Belize City to train technicians on installation, maintenance and the importance features of solar panels. It's part of the Ministry's plan to mainstream solar technology within the private sector, and we found out what the international expert has to offer the workshop attendees: William Hinds, Solar Energy Expert "For countries like Belize that experience heavy rains and even hurricanes the trainees need to know how to install these systems onto the roofs or on the ground to ensure that they can resist the elements and finally they will learn all the aspects relating to connecting these systems to your electricity grid if permitted by your local utility and doing this design and installation according to the national electric code as stipulated by the Government of Belize electricity company."

Nat’l HS Volleyball Champs
Last week, 7News told you about 2013 High School Volleyball National Championships. It was an intense 2 days of competition, and at the end, Saint Catherine's Academic and San Pedro High School emerged as the female and male Champions respectively. The coaches explained what it takes to become winners in their highly competitive sport:

Channel 5

Guatemalan man stabbed to death in the city
There has been relative peace in the City streets, but that was broken over the weekend when two stabbing victims succumbed to injuries.  We start with the most recent murder, [...]

Security guard dies after almost a week of being in a coma
In the other homicide…Kevin Anthony Jex was remanded on Friday for the attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon former security guard of Brown Sugar [...]

Forgery at the Ministry of Housing involving thousands of dollars
There is word tonight that police are looking for a staff member of the Ministry of Housing. The officer allegedly forged the signature of the Minister of Housing on vouchers [...]

First meeting on the immigration bills is postponed
At the last sitting of the House of Representatives on November first, the government tabled three amendment bills following public outcry in the immigration and visa scandal. The bills include [...]

Deputy P.U.P. Party Leader maintains no participating in PAC hearings
  When the government turned down the restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee, the Opposition walked out and the hearing continued by the committee made up only of Government ministers. [...]

U.S. Missionary couple fined for failing to declare over $50,000
An American couple, a Pastor and his wife, were detained by the police and taken to court for failing to declare some twenty-eight thousand U.S. dollars, that’s a little under [...]

Julius Espat says recall efforts one step closer to becoming a reality
When we caught up earlier today with the P.U.P. Deputy Leader, Julius Espat, he told us that the recall effort of U.D.P. Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner is one [...]

The United Nations’ Global Gender Gap Report 2013
A recently issued report by the United Nations shows that in respect of important indicators, Belize has regressed. The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 provides a comprehensive overview of current [...]

B.S.I. responds to BSCFA on bagasse
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is making its media rounds this week.  BSCFA, as you know, wants to get a slice of the pie in respect of millions of [...]

Fired employees of BWS demand settlement for unlawful dismissal
Since their dismissal from the Belize Water Services Ltd. in early February, a group of five former employees, including Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy, [...]

BWS Workers Union failed to support former employees during investigation
Furthermore, the terminated employees say they are aggrieved by the fact that the Belize Water Services Workers Union, to which they were all members serving in various capacities, failed to [...]

Former employees want individual compensation
The group is seeking individual compensation from BWS since it is unlikely that they will be reinstated if the court finds the company guilty of wrongful termination.  Their lawyer, Senior [...]

Missing Dangriga teen returns home
A Dangriga family is tonight breathing a sigh of relief that their loved one is alive. Seventeen-year-old Hansel Garcia had disappeared some three weeks ago, following a threat on his [...]

Whistle blower on visa hustle to appear on Dickie Bradley Show
Later tonight on the Dickie Bradley Show, Alverine Burgess will be making an appearance. You have heard her voice, but tonight Burgess will face Dickie Bradley one on one with [...]

Veterans Day celebrates the life of 3 Belizeans
Today is being celebrated as Veterans Day, in honor of those who served in the armed forces during the World Wars.  Major conflicts of the First World War were formally [...]

James Adderley and the weekend sporting activities
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   For a 2nd week in a row, the seasonal rains has played havoc with the sporting scene across the [...]


Will The 2013/2014 Crop Open On November 25th?
Will the 2013/2014 Crop season commence on November 25th as scheduled? Well, that’s a question we can’t answer because according to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, if the Belize Sugar Industries Limited does not set a date for renegotiations to resume on the Bagasse issue, cane farmers will not deliver cane to the factory. On Sunday the BSCFA hosted is Annual Division AGM at the CJC auditorium in Corozal Town where several topics were laid on the table for discussion including the resolution not to commence crop on the 25th of November. “Bueno hasta en estos momentos sigue parado no hemos conseguido nada de BSI todavía para que nos podamos juntar con ellos, lo que hemos hecho esta semana le mandamos una carta al chairman de sugar board para que asi pueda ver esa intervención de sugar board para que si se puede continuar esta negociación con BSI.”

Tensions Rise Between BSI And BSCFA As The Miller Says "We Own The Bagasse"
And while the BSCFA has been knocking on every legal door for a bigger audience on the Bagasse issue, today we have a breakthrough to report as the Belize Sugar Industries Limited responded to the matter through a press release. It’s a step closer to an actual interview with the executives, but it’s a response that won’t sit too well with the BSCFA. The release starts off by stating that BSCFA, through the airwaves, has painted BSI as unfair at the same time claiming that their cause is morally right. In efforts of bringing certain points to the attention of the public, the release states that the cane purchased and delivered to the sugar mill includes; water, sugar, fiber (bagasse), mud etc and that the cane becomes BSI’s property, responsibility and risk. This is confirmed by the long standing historical position that BSI alone (1) undertook and financed the cost of the storage and disposal of bagasse, (2) BSI was responsible for and had to manage the environmental challenges of the bagasse and (3) BSI faced and dealt with the risk of claims and liability for the storage and disposal of bagasse both in respect of possible statutory liability and regulation and private claims.

Five Minors Charged For San Fran Burglary
Five minors between the ages of 16 and 17 were charged this morning at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court for the burglary at San Francisco Roman Catholic School, or we should say for the first burglary that occurred at school. CTV3 News understands that three of the minors pled guilty to the charge of burglary while two pled guilty to the charge of handling stolen goods. They are being accused of the burglary of seven flat screen computer monitors and other items that were stolen from the schools computer lab between the 3rd and 4th of November. Since all of the accused are minors, the Magistrate ordered that the Human Development Officer do a report and make recommendations to the court before sentencing is passed. In the meanwhile the minors were released on bail and will return to court next month. While these five minors have been charged and most of the stolen items were recovered, no one has been arrested for the second burglary that took place at the school on the night of November 7th.

PUP In Full Support Of Senator Shoman
Last week we told about the special senate meeting that was held in Belmopan City to bring across three bills of national importance. Chief among them was the hot button issue in the Immigration Scandal which brought forward a motion from Senator Lisa Shoman on a Senate Inquiry for the appointment of a Special Selected Committee. But that motion was thrown out the room by the UDP senate. Here is that fiery exchange between Opposition parties. Karen Bodden, Opposition Senator “I no longer trust that what is being called an administrative investigation will do what a real investigation is supposed to do that is, reveal the truth and allow the law to take its course, and that is what Belizeans are asking for. We are fatigued by all this smoke and mirrors and we are asking for the respect that we deserve. We are asking for a thorough investigation. We are asking for the chips to lie where they fall. No area representative is above the law.”

Arrested And Charged For Stealing Liquor
Tonight two women from the Orange Walk District are waiting to be tried before the Corozal Magistrates Court after they were arrested and charged for the crime of theft. Over the weekend, on Saturday to be specific, 27 year old Irma Lopez, Belizean domestic of Guinea Grass Village Orange Walk District and 30 year old Lourdez Lopez Belizean domestic also of Guinea Grass were arrested and charged for the crime of theft after they were caught stealing from Ueta Club of Belize located at the Corozal Freezone. Reports coming from the Secretary of Ueta, 21 year old Melanie Chable, indicate that she was at the store when three women of Hispanic descent entered the store with their large handbags and walked to the liquor section.


Weekend Murder Claims Father of Young Girl
28 year-old Guatemalan labourer, Edgar Geobany Slazar Velasquez left home early on Saturday morning to go to work. But that would be the last time that his family would see him alive. That’s because sometime over the course of Saturday, he met up with friends and went socializing. The partying took them, according to police, to a bar on Coney Drive, where shortly after one on Sunday morning a fight broke out on the street in front of the establishment between Salazar’s group and another group of men. Salazar and his friends reportedly ran, but he group of attackers caught up with him and in the process, he suffered a stab wound, possibly from a broken bottle, to the right lower back which claimed his life fifteen minutes later. Genaro Sho, a relative, told Love News that Salazar’s co-worker called the family to check on him when her wait for him to show up at work resulted in bad news. GENARO SHO “She was waiting for him after nine because normally he would reach a few minutes to ten but then he had to ride to Sixth Street from Faber’s Road to get to his work. He migrated here about seven to eight years ago, around 2005; he was a hardworking man and that is what I know about him because he is like a brother to me; we live at the same place.”

Prisoners Protest Within Prison Walls
Reports are that there was a small protest at the Belize Central Prison at around ten-30 on Sunday night. Love News understands that prison officials were summoned to the Tango eight section of the facility to transfer an inmate to another section. According to Prison Chief Executive Officer, Earl Jones, Moses Guzman, who was due in court today on a charge of aggravated assault, became unruly and had to be taken to another area for his own safety when he angered a few other prisoners in the Tango eight section. But while he was being transferred from there, Jones says, Guzman became so disruptive that other prisoners thought that he was being abused and they started a ruckus, demanding that he be left alone. He was eventually taken away and the prisoners quieted down. Jones denies reports that there was any harm or injury inflicted during the incident.

BSI Says Cane Farmers Should Not Expect Returns When They Made No Investments
For the past few weeks we have been reporting on the standoff between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited as it pertains to the bagasse issue. As we have been reporting, BSCFA is requesting that BSI pays for the bagasse that is produced during the production of sugar. The BSCFA is not taking no for an answer and has pledged to take industrial action by the start of the new cane season which is November 25. Well, today BSI sent out a press release saying that the BSCFA has no investments to lay any claims on bagasse. BSI explains that the cane purchased by BSI and delivered to the sugar mill includes: sugar, water, fiber or bagasse, mud, etc. henceforth BSI says that the cane becomes its property, responsibility and risk. BSI says that for 30 years prior to 2010 BSI dealt with the bagasse and its disposal at substantial cost, amounting to approximately BZ$20 million without any contribution from the BSCFA. The release further states that it was BSI that conceived the idea of the building of a power generation plant as a means to dispose of the bagasse and accordingly, BSI created a subsidiary company, Belcogen, and designed, financed, built, commissioned, managed and operated the co-generation plant that would supply the sugar mill with all its steam and electricity requirements and supply electricity to Belize Electricity Limited. No contributions from the BSCFA were made or offered with respect to this significant investment and BSI says that it is not reasonable or just for the BSCFA to expect a return where it has made no investment. The release says that the disposal of the bagasse through the co-generation plant benefits the overall sugar processing operations and therefore all sugar cane farmers and discussions with the BSCFA to date on a new agreement have resulted in tentative agreement on substantial matters.

Report Is Out on Belize’s Gender Gaps in Economics, Politics, Education and Health
The Global Gender Gap Index Report for 2013 has been released. While Belize has performed well in areas such as Health Services, overall we rank 107 among 136 countries. In economic participation we made it to number 80, in educational attainment our score is 103 and the worst is political empowerment where we ranked third to last at 133, from 136 countries in the study. In 2006 The World Economic Forum introduced the Global Gender Gap Report with the objective of providing an outline of the magnitude and scope of gender based disparities around the world. The report looks at gender gaps on economic, political, education and health areas providing a ranking for effective comparison across regions of the worlds. We will have more detailed review of this report later in the week.

Former Employees of BWS Maintain Innocence Following Termination
Back in March of this year we told you about seven employees who were fired from the Belize Water Services Limited. And as we told you last month, six of the former employees have filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against BWS claiming that they were wrongfully terminated. The workers were told that their post had been redundant however they believe they were fired because they were accused of disseminating scandalous information within the company. This morning the fired workers, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Journet McKoy, Michael Novelo and Charlette Barnett updated the media on the situation. DON GILLETT “Our terminations were unfair and unlawful. The company is trying to cover the unfairness and unlawfulness of what they did by saying our terminations were done because of redundancy due to restructuring of BWS. The company did not follow the law or the collective bargaining agreement on redundancy; beside this, the company put out a memo admitting that the terminations were not because of redundancy but because of the investigations of scandalous letters that have been circulated in the company. The company’s CEO Alvan Haynes told the court, in his statement that he misrepresented the reason for the terminations in the memo to the other employees. The company has shown itself to be dishonest in its actions thus far. The judge has advised both parties for the third time to iron out a settlement; if no agreement is reached by the next court date then the case will be tried, in which instance we are ready and willing to see the process through to the end; we are in for the long haul and have nothing to hide.”


The story behind
I know Marty because he runs, the largest resource for information on Belize. The website is massive; it ranges from recommendations on things to do, where to go, photos, early history, economics, real estate and published research studies to name a few. I decided to interview Marty because I hope more people realise the great service he has done on pioneering tourism in Belize. Also, I’m sure many people believe that running a high-quality website is guaranteed passive income, and on the contrary, it’s a lot of hard work. Here’s his story, I hope it provides good insight.

Miss Earth Belize On a Serious Mission – Chaa Creek
Brion Young, assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre said that while the Miss Earth International Pageant may appear to be an unusual way to raise environmental awareness, Miss Earth Belize’s departure for Miami on November 9 to participate in this year’s Manila Pageant can only contribute towards spreading the message of environmental sustainability. According to Belize’s Amandala newspaper, Amber Reneé Rivero is the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize after being crowned Miss Earth Belize on August 24, 2013, and on Saturday, November 9, she departed the country for the first leg of her journey.

Remembrance Day In Belize
Remembrance day (also know as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) commemorates the sacrifices and calamities of all the commonwealth countries in World War I and World War II. On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, on the eleventh month, Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiegne, France. The fighting officially ended at 11:00 The armistice between the Allies and Germany – also known as the Armistice of Compiègne after the location it was signed – was an agreement that ended the fighting in the First World War. It went into effect at 11 am on 11 November 1918, and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender. The Germans were responding to the policies proposed by American president Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points of January 1918.

“Right Back Where We Started From” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Regular readers may (or may not) have wondered where I have been. Had I given up this blogging lark? With our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize had I decided that it was time to call it a day. No, far from it. I have still been getting up early. Still taking my mug of black coffee on the veranda ((more often than not on the first floor veranda on the lagoon side because it has provided cover from the frequent (seems more like constant though) rain that we have been experiencing)) along with the iPad. Think about writing an edition but then the thought of completing our orders from stores in the States for the stuff that we want to ship to Belize for our new home under the “QRP” has taken over. And I mean TAKEN OVER. I mentioned in a previous edition that, having chosen what we wanted, we had experienced difficulty in getting the online stores to accept payment by our credit and debit cards because we do not have a US address.

10 facts about the Lionfish in Belize!
1. The Lionfish has venomous spines. However, the Lionfish is not poisonous. And, there is a difference! Venom must be injected into the bloodstream to inflict harm but it is harmless if eaten or drunk. Poison has to be absorbed or ingested to cause harm. The venom of a Lionfish is found in the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins and it is not deadly to a healthy human being. However, if a fin pricks you, you will endure intense pain, swelling and in some cases blistering and if not treated properly, infection. 2. Of course, prevention is always better than cure! To avoid a sting, make sure you are properly trained to spear a Lionfish. It is also a good idea to take your PADI Peak performance buoyancy course prior to you Lionfish hunting dive. If you do get stung, the best way to treat the sting is by putting the inflicted area in very hot water, as hot as you can bear! And, take antihistamine and strong painkillers with anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen.

T' Frugal Mennonite: T' Frugal Kitchin: Chicke an' Yalla Rice
I neetet ta make a quik meal las nite wit t'ingredyints I had un han'. N' t'fridge I had a package o'chicke thighs an' n' t'cupboard a package o'Vigo yalla rice. Yep, time fer chicke an' yalla rice, one o'DD’s favert meels. CHICKEN AND Yalla RICE 1 pkg. chicke thighs 1 pkg. yalla rice 1/4 peece o'garlic clove 1 tablespoon lime juice 3 tablespoons olif' earl ret pepp'r flakes ta taste salt ta taste Poach t'chicke: Place chicke n' saltid wat'r an' brang ta a bawl. The cov'r pot wit lid, turn off heat an' leeve fer un hour. Remoov chicke frum pot an' alloe ta cool. Wen cool remoov skin an' tear chicke into pieces. Dispose o'skin an' bones. Reserve broth fer anoth'r recipe.

Destination Eating in Belize: Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro
Last year the Belize Tourism Board awarded the Maya Beach Bistro, Belize’s “Restaurant of the Year” for the second time. The 2012 awards were pretty much swept by businesses on the Placencia Peninsula and caused a good amount of controversy throughout Belize. Was it a fix? Well…you can be the judge of that. But after visiting the area twice in the last few months and eating as many dishes and desserts as I could at the Maya Beach Bistro, I am here to put one dispute to rest. Maya Beach Bistro IS the best restaurant in Belize. Creative contemporary Caribbean? I’m not exactly sure what category the food would fall into and honestly, I don’t really care. I just know that this food is so incredibly beautiful looking and tasting. It is served in a elegant but homey beach bistro and the hosts are fantastic. In my uneducated estimation, the owners, Ellen and John are doing everything right.

How wet is San Pedro Town?
Mayor Daniel put things in perspective the other morning when he facebooked something along the lines that we should not be complaining about all the rain we are getting and how wet it is here. Our brothers and sisters affected by the massive typhoon in the Philippines are the ones who are really suffering. While this true definitely puts things in perspective, after driving around taking pictures yesterday I could not help but think of San Mateo and how most of the people there are living in cold, wet conditions right now surrounded by contaminated water – ugh. Hopefully one day we can hep fix that area once and for all. I was hoping the blue skies this morning were a sign of shifting weather conditions sadly not so. It has still be raining off an on all day, and I am about to get wet on my way to town. Hoping it will hold off a bit so I can at least get to the main road to catch a cab if not be able to walk it all the way. These pictures show just how wet San Pedro town and back roads of San Pablo area are right now. For some of them it was raining hard enough to have my bingo waterproof camera bag on so the quality is not the best as I could not keep the viewing area dry no matter how much I wiped it off.

International Sources

Gaia Riverlodge is Now Run Entirely on Hydropower
GAÏA Riverlodge, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of Belize, has long been a top eco-conscious resort (it was formerly the Five Sisters Lodge) but thanks to a new hydropower energy system and a few other environmentally-friendly upgrades, the resort and its jungle cabanas have pretty much topped all other green resorts out there. Using the nearby Five Sisters waterfalls as their energy source, the GAÏA Riverlodge is now run entirely by hyrdopower energy, eliminating the need for electricity. But don't worry, the hotel does have a back-up system, an eco-friendly one too that's battery-powered. The GAÏA Riverlodge is also cultivating an on-site vegetable garden which will bring fresh, or "hyper-local" as they call it, produce to the lodge's restaurants. Awesome.

MayaBags: Where Fashion Meets Fair Trade Artistry
MayaBags is where high-end fashion meets fair trade artistry at the end of a dusty road off the air strip in Punta Gorda, Belize. Shoppers approaching the combination workshop and store might encounter a Maya woman in a pastel colored dress weaving on the front porch, working steadily on hand made details with an artist’s eye passed down from her ancestors for millennia, creating beautiful purses that have been sold in Barney’s department stores for seven years and recommended by style icon Rachel Zoe. Judy Bergsma, owner and founder of MayaBags, and a Texas native and New York resident, decided to turn her background in visual design into an effort to help lift Maya families in southern Belize out of poverty and to develop an income generating alternative to slash and burn farming, one purse at a time. Ms. Bergsma, spoke with us via email about finding inspiration in the rain forest, a typical day in the life of a modern Maya woman, and the bus schedule in Belize.

IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund, Audubon Unveil $2.6 Million Bird Ecotourism Partnership to Support Economic Development, Biodiversity Conservation
In a novel regional program that uses bird-watching to create sustainable jobs in communities while simultaneously protecting biodiversity and natural resources, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group and the National Audubon Society today announced a $2.6 million agreement to achieve a niche, high-value sustainable birding tourism program in the Americas. "We are very pleased to partner with the National Audubon Society on this program," said Carrie McKellogg, chief of the MIF's Access to Basic Services and Green Growth unit. "Audubon's powerful network and expertise in birding and conservation, the MIF's innovative approaches to capacity building of micro and small businesses, and our shared interest in the sustainable management of natural capital all combine to create to build what we believe will become a powerful model for conservation-minded community development." "It's win-win," said David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. "The MIF's deep expertise in ecotourism and our extensive network and reach will help us engage local communities to create much-needed jobs in bird-rich areas for birders -- who typically have a very light 'eco-footprint.' At the same time, the partnership will provide a sustainable way to conserve natural habitats for endangered migrating and non-migrating birds and other wildlife." Project locations in Belize, Guatemala, Paraguay and The Bahamas were selected by 'layering' globally significant Important Bird Areas for conservation over economic maps with priority being given to sites with basic tourism infrastructure and potential for growth. Audubon will build on partnerships with local organizations, including Belize Audubon Society, Asociación Vivamos Mejor and Wildlife Conservation Society in Guatemala, Guyra Paraguay and the Bahamas National Trust.

Tribute: Garifuna legend Sidney Mejia
By Wellington C. Ramos Sidney Phillip Mejia Jr. aka “Mej” was known for his brilliance as a storyteller, poet, writer, musician, Garifuna activist, organizer and humanist. He was born on 27th July 1956, in Belize City, Belize, along with his twin sister Sidonie Mejia, to Carrie Edna Castillo and Sidney Mejia Sr. He attended Sacred Heart Primary School and Austin High School, which later closed, and was subsequently transferred to the new Ecumenical High School, where he graduated in 1975. In the summer of 1977, Sidney immigrated to Los Angeles, California, to join his mother and siblings. That year he enrolled as an English major at Long Beach City College. Sidney later migrated to New York City, where he resided up until 1982. When he returned to Los Angeles, he formed a musical group “The Brotherhood” and started composing several songs that would later become international hits. His determination led him to form another musical group with the name “Chatuye”. This group changed the course of Sidney’s life with its music. They produced international hits such as, “Ahmuti’, “Leh Hesebei Bu”, “Gagard-Magarda”, “Gumanana” and several other songs. While managing his band he was still writing his poems and telling his stories.

Bahamas trails Caribbean in renewable energy index
Head of The Bahamas Renewable Energy Association has called on the government to “stop delaying” advances in renewable energy generation in this nation, in response to a new report indicating that The Bahamas ranks 26th out of 27 countries in the region for its “progress and prospects” in relation to renewable energy investment. The 2013 CREF-Castalia Renewable Energy Island index was revealed in October to hundreds of energy sector stakeholders from throughout the Caribbean and beyond at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, which was hosted this year in Aruba. The results show that The Bahamas has not only failed to gain ground with respect to its competitiveness as a jurisdiction for actual or planned RE generation, but it has in fact lost competitiveness simply by being overtaken by other Caribbean nations by dint of its inaction. In the 2012 CREF-Castalia Renewable Energy Island index, The Bahamas was ranked second to last out of 22 countries assessed. In the 2013 index, 27 countries are ranked, and The Bahamas again places second from the bottom.

English-Speakers Wanted…from Spain to Mexico
My profession has taken me all across the world, experiencing unique journeys…attending world famous events…and meeting fascinating people. And I got paid to do it. I have rung in the New Year at Hogmanay in Edinburgh, danced up a storm at Seville’s April Fair, and was awed by the beauty of Buddha’s birthday celebrations in South Korea. I have ridden camels through the Sahara desert, liberated baby sea turtles in Mexico and swam with sharks in Belize. Teaching English is a fun gig. Your days are never the same and you interact with interesting people of varying backgrounds. My students have come from all walks of life: a sous chef from Italy, Bedouin camel racers from Saudi Arabia, Japanese university students, Korean toddlers, Colombian engineers, and Mexican musicians.

November 11, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofer: Panic Attack
Panic Attack “Hey, Mr. Dennis.” The speaker was Mario, who used to work for me doing carpentry when I was having the house built. “Hey, Mario. It’s good to see you.” “It’s good to see you, too,” he said. “I hear you been sick. You look fine to me.” “Well, thank you,” I said. “I […]

Letter to the Editor: Saga Humane Society
Dear Editor, The Saga Humane Society would like to give our sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped in first of our October SNIP-a-thon clinics with Helping Paws Across Borders Oct.7-12. They were an international team of Veterinarians and Vet Tech’s who held Operation SNIP clinics at Saga Clinic, DFC and Caye Caulker. Helping Paws completed over 150 FREE spay/neuters and 200 vaccinations for our communities. The animals were sterilized, treated for internal and external parasites and vaccinated against disease. All items and services were donated to Saga HS and Helping Paws (USA NGO) by individuals to benefit San Pedro. San Pedro gains economically by having these visiting Veterinary teams. By sterilizing their pets, the community will become invested in the steps needed to control over population of domestic animals in San Pedro.

Island Personalities Shine in “Agenda Privada” Travel Program
Last Sunday night The San Pedro Sun was invited to El Secreto Resort to meet Mexican travel personality Charlie Rubio and preview his recent hour-long “Agenda Privada” episode featuring El Secreto and Ambergris Caye. We were in good company, with prominent San Pedro community members in attendance along with guests of honor Mayor Daniel Guerro and his wife. After a brief intro the very charismatic Rubio presented the travel program to the group and we were thoroughly entertained throughout the screening. Completely engaged in the charm of our Isla Bonita, Rubio immersed himself into all that is unique about our island home, and who did he go to for a personal tour of San Pedro? None other than our Mayor Danny, who was not only a gracious host but arguably stole the show at times!

Doctor Love: Retirement
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. Dear Doctor Love, I am in my sixties and my wife is in her fifties. We worked hard all of our lives and saved so that […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Congratulations Trey and Ariadna
Feelgood news of the day. A big congratulations to newlyweds Trey and Ariadna Roberson. If you stop by the Barn & Grill, you can wish them the best. Looks like the Bedran Hall is the perfect place for wedding receptions. "This was a beautiful wedding and Tomas Gongora did a great job djing and kept the crowd moving!"

Miss Earth Belize: Eco-Beauty
Amber Rivero will be representing Belize at the Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines. They've just started online voting for the Eco-Beauty and Photogenic contests. The video that Amber did is well done, and shows many great spots around the Cayo district, like Caracol, Barton Creek Cave, and Jaguar Paw. Watch the video to see how she was interested in ecology long before being selected as Miss Earth Belize, and to hear about her quest to stop mangrove deforestation. Good luck, Amber! "Vote for Miss Belize Amber Rivero for the Eco-Beauty Video Competition 2013. Voting Page:"

Inclusive Linkage Project
Beltraide has announced that the closing ceremony for the Inclusive Linkage Project will be at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow, November 11th, starting at 9:00am. The prject was done to spur economic development, reduce poverty, and promote environmental sustainability in the border zone between Belize and Guatemala. Beltraide worked with CENPROMYPE and MINEO on this great project. There will be presentations from the groups that collaborated, along with some unveiling of their product lines. "Please take a look at the upcoming closing ceremony of the Inclusive Linkage Project that will take place at the San Ignacio Welcome Center on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 9:00am."

Centennial Marathon
The Centennial Marathon will be next Sunday's first Festival of Culture event. Benque then celebrates with their Centennial Fun Day, which starts at 10:00am, and includes a scavenger hunt that has a $200 prize. A big thanks goes out to the Department of Youth Services for organizing the events. If you want to run, you should register by the 15th so you can qualify for one of the prizes. The deadline for registration, which is free, is the 15th. You can register online. "As a part of the 5th International Festival of Culture, the Department of Youth Services is organizing a Centennial Marathon just for you! Check out the details and Sign Up at the Benque House of Culture (NICH)"

Cayo Cancer Walk
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society had a very successful Cancer Walk, and they have the pictures to prove it. "On Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 our branch had its first Cancer Walk. It was beautifully attended and the support of the community and local businesses was incredible. We are extremely thankful to Windy Hills Resort, San Ignacio Hotel, Belize Electric Company Ltd., Santiago Castillo Ltd., Oasis of Blessings Church, Ms. Dolores Balona and Bowen and Bowen Ltd. for providing snacks and drinks to our walkers. To Guerra's Bus Service for generously picking up and taking back walkers starting from Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. To the San Ignacio Police Department for lending us their support and participating in the walk as well. To Sacred Hear Jr. College for dressing in "Pink" and supporting the Breast Cancer Pink Movement. And last but not least to the dynamic, hard-working committee of the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch - we did great but as we all know our work is just beginning!!"


Escaped Prisoner Still On The Lose
Tonight Corozal Police continue to hunt for 24 year old Florentino Ruiz Belizean laborer of Mamey Street, Corozal Town who escaped from the detention cell at the Corozal Police Station sometime before 7:00pm on Monday November 4th. Ruiz was awaiting charge for possession of controlled drugs when he and 48 year old Alex James, a Honduran National of Chetumal City, Mexico who was waiting charge for illegal entry into the county of Belize, escaped. James was captured by police on the same night while walking along the Philip Goldson Highway near the village of San Jose in the Orange Walk District. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ruiz is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Police Have No Leads In Murder Of Canadian National
The last time we reported on the October 29th murder of 57 year old Canadian National, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, we told you that one person had been detained for questioning. That person was released from police custody due to lack of evidence and to date there are no leads whatsoever that may direct police to Nichiporowich murderer. Today marks eleven days that Nichiporowich was stabbed to death by a ruthless killer while at her home located in the ocean-front community of Consejo Shores. As previously mentioned, the 57 year old was home alone when neighbors reported hearing loud cries for help coming from the residence. When residents reached the house the cries for help had ceased and no one was seen in the area.

Orange Walkenos Concerned About Public Drinking
Orange Walk authorities plan on stepping up their game to address quality-of-life issues, among the concerns is public drinking. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, the concern is one that has been waging for some time now and with the complaints rising, addressing the problem will mean enforcing the law. Bernard says there has been disconnect with the Council and the Liquor License Committee and called out the Chairman to follow up with enforcing the rules. “I’m hoping that this new board that will be selected this time around, be more fair and I understand that the minister of local government has agreed that there will be some changes to the board based on some recommendations that we have submitted. I am aware also and the complains have been coming to us as well, I have a Counselor who looks after those areas as well and he has been visiting some of these places and he has informed me that indeed he has seen where sometimes and even the police officers are seen drinking on the premises, in uniform and this is the responsibility of the chairman of the liquor licensing, he is paid a stipend by this council every three months to conduct his business, he must act fairly and he must ensure that these things are not occurring where businesses are selling, in fact I can go back to a letter to most of these Chinese establishments was given a letter, and if you visit 128 you must see that letter right on their counter which I wrote them as the Mayor stating that we are not allowing anyone to drink on the premise that especially if they don’t have the license to consume on the premises but it also boils down to every single member of the board where they see these things happen they must be informed, the police needs to play its part because we have a member of the police on the board and they are the legal authority and I am sure pretty much they are abreast of the liquor license it and they must also do their part in ensuring that the people are following orders and I want to call out the chairman of the board, as you know the actual chairman should have been John Pollard they made a change within themselves and give it back to Mr. Grajales and I want to call him out and to say that he needs to go around and visit these people and if these things are happening then he needs to take his decision as chairman and shot down these places if necessary.”

Wet Weekend For Belizeans
Today marks 161 days into the 2013 Hurricane Season and while the country has been spared from devastating tropical storms, the downpours have been causing much flooding in vulnerable low laying areas of the country. And tonight there are more than a few people across the country singing rain, rain go away! So, if you’re wondering what the weather will look like during the weekend, Meteorologist at the National Met Office, Ronald Gordon says that more rain and unstable conditions will continue to dominate the weather. Ronald Gordon– Meteorologist, National Met Service “We are expecting it to continue moist and unstable so we are expecting thunder storms and showers and period of rain to continue throughout the weekend.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “What are some of the contributing factors is there a system out there that we should worry about?” Ronald Gordon– Meteorologist, National Met Service “In terms of tropical activities no, the system that we have is a current draft which is providing moist surface area and at the air level of the above sphere we have an anti-cyclone which is helping to ventilate and lift causing thunder storm activities so we are looking at the possibility of about three to four inches of rainfall. Whenever we have this kind of rainfall we could expect local flooding and just as the recent rainfall and the soil moist it raise the chance of localize flooding up north and in various part of the country not only north. Looking at the long term forecast there will be a slight decrease starting let say on Monday, but Saturday and Sunday will quite moist and unstable. Always be on the alert, stay ready lookout for flooding look out for water level and if you see it rising take action and move out.”

Hall Dies Of Traumatic Shock Caused By Traffic Accident
On Tuesday evening 47 year old Elmer Hall, a resident of Vivas Layout Corozal lost his life after he was knocked down while riding his bicycle on the Philip Goldson Highway. Hall had just left his brothers home and was heading to Corozal Town when he was fatally knocked down by down by a 2006 four door Red Dodge Ram pick- up truck bearing Mexican License plate driven at the time by Jose Luis Kelly, Belizean general contractor of Paraiso Village in the Corozal District. A post mortem examination conducted on the body of Hall certified the cause of death to be traumatic shock, multiple injuries due to the road traffic accident. When police arrived at the deadly scene, between miles 5 and 6 of the Philip Goldson Highway, they observed Hall’s motionless body on the right hand side on the highway suffering from severe body injuries, a fractured left foot and cut wound to the upper right forehead. His bicycle was found under the pick-up truck. Today when we spoke to police about the case, we were informed that the matter is still under investigation.

Rescue Mission Launched To Save Endangered Howler Monkeys
Yesterday in our Newscast we reported on a full grown Howler Monkey that was spotted atop a coconut tree in the village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District. Villagers were concerned for its well being and pleaded to the pertinent officials to assist in rescuing and relocating the animal. Well, today we caught up with Paul Walker, Director of Wild tracks from Sarteneja, in the outskirts of Orange Walk. He was accompanied by members from the Ministry of Forestry, vet and volunteers who were looking out for six other Howler Monkeys that are believed to be in danger. Of note is that we will not release the exact area where the monkeys are located to avoid putting them in danger of being captured. Paul Walker, Director of Wild Tracks “Well these monkeys have been isolated on a small patch of trees when land was cleared, forest was cleared for cane, they have been left in a small place, patch of trees without no food and there is nowhere for them to go so they reported to the forest department to be removed into another area where they can establish their territories so we come with the forest department and the vet to catch them and to remove them to another area we weren’t successful today so hopefully next week we can lose them to another patch of forest.”

Burglars Target San Francisco School For The Second Time In Less Than A Week
Heartless thieves broke into the San Francisco RC School again during a rainy Thursday night. This time, many classrooms were vandalized and classes had to be disrupted. Our news team arrived on scene as police were searching for clues. Here’s what we found out. Screen_shot_2013-11-08_at_6.42.05_PMMaria Novelo – Reporting Administrators at the San Francisco RC say they're disappointed after their school was broken into, not once, but twice, in one week. During the first burglary, which occurred over the weekend, thieves raided the schools computer room where they stole 7 monitors and keyboards. Some of those items were recovered by police yesterday, but when teachers arrived this morning, they realized most of their classrooms were ransacked. Percival Gideon, Teacher of the Upper Division said they were distraught at the discovery.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Israel Moran excels in Scuba Diving
At the age of 19 Israel Moral became the youngest Dive Instructor in Belize’s history. And even though Scuba Diving is an underwater sport, he has been aiming for the moon ever since. Israel’s love of diving began back in his teenage days when he was a youngster wandering about Caye Caulker wondering what the future held for him. Sensing his search for direction, the good folks at Frenchie’s Diving (Abel & Frenchy Novelo) offered to teach him to Scuba Dive free of charge. Within days he was certified as an Open Water Scuba Diver. Little did he and they know that this little step would play a monumental role in the trajectory his life would take. Israel threw all his energies into Scuba Diving, becoming an Advanced Scuba Diver, a Rescue Diver, a Dive Master and then a Dive Instructor — all before the age of 19. At DEMA show this year– DEMA is Scuba Diving’s biggest international trade show and the most important red carpet Scuba Diving event — held in Orlando, Florida on the 7th of November, Israel was awarded as an SSI Platinum Pro5000 Diver.


Forest of Belize
Many countries interested in the conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage sites of the world accede to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage that was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. In 1996 the Reserve System was designated a World Heritage Site because of its vulnerability and the fact that it contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biodiversity. A combination of natural factors—climate, the Belize Barrier Reef, over 450 offshore Cayes (islands), excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, and snorkeling, numerous rivers for rafting, and kayaking, various jungle and wildlife reserves of fauna and flora, for hiking, bird watching, and helicopter touring, as well as many Maya ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry.

Fuego Lighting Culinary Life in San Ignacio Belize
Fuego (Spanish for fire) is among one of the newest eateries in San Ignacio Town. San Ignacio is located on the western side of Belize and has just recently gone through a renovation phase with the building of the Cayo Welcome Center. The sights and smells of the mainland differs so much from our island home. A new look has been achieved to the business center of San Ignacio. Landscaping allows for beautiful sights all around. Serving lunch and dinner, Fuego, offers outdoor seating which is the perfect perch for people watching. With its black and red hues, Fuego lights up at night! Inside, hanging on the walls, are amazing photographs captured by Monica Gallardo, a Belmopan based photographer. These pictures evoke the feeling of fire that the restaurant so aptly captures.

My Two Favorite Gift & Souvenir Shops in Placencia
I am not good at exploring gift shops on any vacation even when travelling around Belize. I think I am allergic to cheesy shot glasses, crappy neon mesh “You’d Better Belize It” half shirts (though they do make EXCELLENT Halloween costumes)… and junky refrigerator magnets with molded plastique toucans on them. Seriously…are you kidding me? So…when I walk past a craft/gift store that has a sign like this? They are speaking directly to me. I must go in.

My 20 Minute Tour of Dangriga & Garifuna Settlement Day
Just a few days ago, I hopped on a bus from Placencia, Belize to travel to San Ignacio. As I’ve mentioned before, the bus in Belize isn’t always the quickest way to travel but it sure is cheap and it sure is interesting. You can certainly fly…but I had time and here’s how I did it. The distance really isn’t that great… My coach. And the festive decorations in this vintage vehicle. My favorite Rudolph from that 1960s TV movie…Burl Ives…the Abominable Snowman…the Island of Misfit Toys…

Belize gets a special visitor
You would have thought a head of state, famous actor or at least a rock star had landed in Belize for all the fanfare and excitement at the Philip Goldson International airport. But the brilliantly coloured private airplane was creating all the furore not over any person inside, but over what they were carrying – the FIFA World Cup Trophy was visiting Belize. Yes, courtesy of FIFA and Coca Cola, the FIFA World Cup Trophy has come to Belize, and people have travelled far and wide to see it or have their photographs taken next to it. Probably the most revered sports trophy in the world, (OK, you Canadians and American from places like Boston and Chicago would argue strongly for hockey’s Stanley Cup, but that has more to do with passion than numbers) the FIFA Cup took pride of place at the Radisson Fort George Hotel where it was accorded the respect and start treatment of any visiting dignitary.

Education in Belize: Strengthening the Balance, Part II (Leaders)
Last year November, I wrote an article to remind students and teachers alike of the importance of always maintaining and Strengthening the Balance between each other in the classroom and while at school. Teachers and students will work productively and smoothly when they treat Education in the classroom as a two-way, not one-way, process. In other words, despite what many people (especially parents who had limited schooling) may have believed in the past, or may still do, students are not sponges who merely go to school to soak up knowledge from a teacher in the classroom; neither are they clay for teachers to mold. Instead of absorbing an Education, like a sponge, a student learns under a teacher’s guidance and instruction when the student participates in the two-way process, and makes the effort to contribute his/her portion of a 50/50 endeavor.

International Sources

Homosexuality illegal in 41 out of 53 Commonwealth countries – report
Homosexuality is illegal in 41 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, a report released on Monday reveals. Despite this, the forthcoming Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) in Sri Lanka has elected not to discuss the issue of anti-gay discrimination. Commissioned by the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation and compiled by LGBT activists throughout the Commonwealth, the report calls for Commonwealth countries to repeal anti-gay legislation, with an immediate moratorium on enforcement. “If you look at the world as a whole, around about 40% of nations have state-sponsored homophobia,” said Kaleidoscope’s spokesman, Douglas Pretsell. “Half of those – about 54% – are in the Commonwealth. If you look at the rest of the world not inside the Commonwealth, it’s only 24.5% – so the Commonwealth has a big problem. “These are laws that make it illegal to be gay.”

Commonwealth citizens speak out on same-sex discrimination
A report released by Kaleidoscope Trust has collated the experiences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from across the Commonwealth. It is a report, Kaleidoscope says, that shows how the Commonwealth, which claims to have human rights and democracy at its core, "continues to let down millions of its own people". According to Purna Sen, chair of the Kaleidoscope Trust and former head of human rights at the Commonwealth, the issue of LGBT rights is the unaddressed "elephant in the room" at the heads of government meeting, taking place this week in Colombo.

Reggae Puts Down Local Roots
In neighboring countries like Belize, where reggae is still popular, dancehall is equally favored. This is why the popularity of reggae in Indonesia surprises Morrissey and friends. “It’s quite a shock because I’m coming from a country where dancehall is number one, and here, there is no dancehall, a few people who know dancehall artists don’t even like them,” he said. When they visited a live show in Ancol a couple of weeks ago, Morrissey, Roberts and Kennedy were amused to see the concert pause for the prayer break. “That has never happened to me anywhere before in my life,” Morrissey said.

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