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3/11/2014 to 3/20/2014
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March 20, 2014


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

NAC/CCM Island Committee brings HIV awareness to Boca del Rio
On 15 March 2014 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) /Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee along with PASMO carried out a community outreach event. The goal of the event was to engage the people of the Boca Del Rio area in education, counseling and HIV testing all free of cost. Volunteers from various areas of the health sector as well as members of the community came together to provide information and condoms also free of charge for the public at large. “It is so important for individuals to know their [HIV] status; individuals need to be aware of these services and need to take advantage of them, the public needs to take charge of their health, that is where we come in_ to provide that facilitation all in a safe and confidential environment,” said Dr.Yenisey Cruz, Committee Member in regards to Saturday’s community outreach. The event was successful reaching and providing information for a diverse group of people including thirty (30) people that were tested. “Not our most successful in terms of amount of tests, however that is thirty (30) more individuals that are educated and know their status and we hope they encourage their friends, that by its self is a massive success,” stated Dennis Craft, Chairperson of the NAC/CCM Island Committee.

Tigersharks leads the National Elite Basketball League
Tigersharks caught 25 2-pointers (50), 23 free throws shots and five 3-pointers (15) accounting for the 88 points while the visiting team caught 28 2-pointers (56), 16 free throws and two 3-pointers (6) garners their 78 points. Gary Francisco was the player of the game, obtaining 22 points for the visiting team. Results from other games played in round six are as follows: Friday, March 14 Cayo Western Ballaz 83VsToledo Diplomats 54 Belize City (Smart) No Limit 73VsBelmopan Bandits 56 Saturday, March 15 Corozal Heats 80 Vs Orange Walk Running Rebels 79

Ambergris Today

National AIDS Commission Community Outreach Event
On Saturday, March 15, 2014, the National AIDS Commission (NAC) /Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee along with PASMO carried out a community outreach event. The goal of the event was to engage the people of the Boca Del Rio area in education, counseling and HIV testing all free of cost. Volunteers from various areas of the health sector as well as members of the community came together to provide information and condoms also free of charge for the public at large. “It is so important for individuals to know their [HIV] status; individuals need to be aware of these services and need to take advantage of them, the public needs to take charge of their health, that is where we come in_ to provide that facilitation all in a safe and confidential environment,” said Dr. Yenisey Cruz, Committee Member in regards to Saturday’s community outreach.

Flashbacks: Making San Pedro The Number One Island in The World
This gentleman is standing on the street between Fido’s and Manelly’s Building and as you look beyond there is the Lion’s Den and Island Plaza. To the right is Chico Gomez’s Coral Beach Hotel. Even farther down is Pete Salazar’s home and the office of Pete’s Enterprises, and Malak’s Hardware Store and Traveler’s to the left. Of course, that is not what you see today because this Flashback takes us back in the 1980’s with sandy streets and patches of grass with paths cut through empty lots at the corners. Surprisingly we do not see a full clothesline or a dog lying on the cool sand. The young man is Jim Titheridge carrying in his arms a young Moses Arzu, half brother of Joseph Eligio, our past Deputy Mayor. Everybody falls in love with San Pedro and Ambergris Caye and all of this leads to our being The Number One island in the World.

Crime is Everybody’s Business
Tourism is everybody’s business. Education is everybody’s business. And so are many other issues everybody’s business. Equally important, crime is everybody’s business. Our teenagers and party people are not safe in their regular night outings because guns are being pulled out at public places while they are innocently trying for some safe island fun. Anybody out late at night is not safe because thought they are not looking for trouble, trouble comes looking for them. Even we at home run the risk as bullets are being fired in our sleeping neighborhoods and finding their mark on our home walls. The recently held March and Rally ‘Footprints For Peace’ held after the senseless murder of a young man, son, husband and father, Jefffery Eiley, proves that crime is everybody’s business. Close to 1,000 island participants including children, high school teens, locals and retired expats all shouted for the same cause - “Let’s get back our peace on the Island.” This is one way in which they all can be part of the solution - by making noise. Speaker after speaker echoed the idea that as long as guns keep on making noise, they too will continue shouting for justice and for peace.

Misc Belizean Sources

Born to be Wild in Belize
Where you born to the Wild? Parrots were. Did you know, capturing or keeping any Belizean bird is illegal without a license from the Forest Department. Did you know while parrots live 40-90 years yet most caged parrots die within five years and suffer horrible abuse. Did you know illegal logging and the pet trade have reduced Belize's parrot numbers to critical levels. Tourist come to see wildlife. No wildlife equals no tourists equals no revenue. Belize Bird rescue will rehabilitate captive parrots and return them to the wild where they belong.

Ms. Nubia Guity passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Guity family on the passing of Ms. Nubia Guity. May her soul rest in peace, she was a true cancer fighter! Funeral Services For Ms. Nubia Guity were yesterday At Iglesia Shalom 10 am.

THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLE On Tuesday, March 18, Kingsley Smith of Belize City reported that on March 7 at about 7:30p.m., he left his work vehicle a 2009 Gold colored Nissan Navarra, L/P BZ C-34872 parked at the corner ...

Ballaz vs Diplomats
The Western Ballaz hosted and defeated the Toledo Diplomats last Friday, and Adma Chuc was there to capture the game in pictures. They play in Belmopan against the Bandits tomorrow night. They have a bus going, and it's only one dollar. Yes, $1.00. It leaves from SHC at 6:15. Contact the Western Ballaz to save a seat. There are more pictures here: Gallery 2 Pictures from their grand entrance(Thanks, DJ Caesar!) here: Grand Entrance

YWCA Anniversary
The YWCA is celebrating their 58th anniversary, and the 1st anniversary of their NRCED, by having an expo in Belmopan today. They are always looking for new members, and you can join there if you'd like. "Join us tomorrow in Belmopan as we celebrate YWCA National Resource Center for Enterprise Development (NRCED) 1st Anniversary with an EXPO! Come for some delicious food & pastries, manicures & pedicures, or even get your hair done."

Grant funding available for Belizean entreprenuers
PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Belizeans are being invited to submit project proposals for grant funding from the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center. The Proof of Concept Competitive Grant Scheme is being promoted across the region and successful project proposals stand to receive up to US$50,000 in “free money” to be used for implementation. Chief Executive Officer […]

Education Minister Patrick Faber visits schools in Corozal
DEVON YOUNG Reporting: The Honorable the Minister of Education Mr. Patrick Faber is on a tour of schools in the Corozal district this week. Minister Faber and his entourage stopped in at the Santa Clara/San Roman Roman Catholic School just before ten o’clock this morning. He was greeted with a round of applause by the […]

Elderly woman found dead in her house
KIMBERLY LOCKE Reporting: The body of an elderly woman was found this morning inside her Santa Elena home. Reports say that neighbors became concerned after the did not see the woman, identified as Norma Lopez for about three days and then notices a foul odor coming from the direction of her house. More information on […]

Placencia police recover another piece of stolen jewelry
PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Police in Placencia village, Stann Creek district continue to make progress in the investigation of a jewelry store robbery which happened in the month of February. On Tuesday afternoon, police officers, acting on information they received, went to an area in Seine Bight village where the found another piece of jewelry […]

Belikin La Ruta Maya from the sky
Oooh this is a fun view of the La Ruta Maya Challenge courtesy of our friends at Belikin/Bowen & Bowen!! Check out footage of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge like you've never seen before -- from an aerial drone flying above the race. Produced by Ben Popik & Joanna Popik of Island Films Quadcopter Pilots: Colte Barnhill, Ben Popik

Donovan the Jabiru geting fixed up at the doctor!
While our UFL student group visited CBS and TBZ with intern Dr. Fidu, it was recheck time for our VIP patient, Donovan the Jabiru at BWRC today. We are happy to share that the bone formation around the fracture site is very promising and we will be able to remove the bone pin tomorrow. Unfortunately, despite a very short 2 week immobilization for bone healing in this big baby, the muscle contraction in the distal wing and scar formation from the site where his bone had punctured the skin give us little hope that he will be able to fly free again. As you might know, we do not give up easy and will continue with intensive physical therapy tomorrow with his fracture healed.

Fund for Sairsha Alvarez
Today, the Rotary Club of Belize Sunrise made a contribution to the fund for Sairsha Alvarez. Her parents were very grateful for the contribution. Little Sairsha is a student at Stepping Stones Pre School. May she get better quickly and get back to school, her friends at school really miss her. They were joined by her teachers Ms Beverly Pook and Ms Celia Will.

Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management
communities buffering the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP) for seeking redress from the Court via an injunction to stop oil exploration by US Capital Energy Ltd. in the STNP. It is clear that while SATIIM and the communities have acted in good faith and continue to await the Court’s judgment; US Capital Energy Ltd. has acted contrary to its very public announcement of not commencing “actual drilling unless the court allows it to.” The transfer of drilling equipment to the drill site is a clear indication of the company’s plans to commence drilling in the near term within the STNP, a protected area. SATIIM and the communities have sought the Court’s intervention to protect environmental services, legally recognized land rights and traditional land use. It is in the best interest of the local communities and the country that the Court’s judgment is heard prior to any further actions by US Capital Energy. The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage continues to advocate for no oil exploration within Belize’s protected areas and in the offshore, and will continue to support its members and partners who share the same goal.

1. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, (the “Contracting Authority”) of the one part, and The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), (the “Organization”) of the other part, (Individually a “Party” and collectively the “Parties”), have agreed to execute the National Project, Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development institute (SIRDI). The Overall Objective of the project is to promote and to support sustainable livelihoods, particularly in the rural communities of the “sugar belt”, thus contributing to the reduction of poverty in Belize. The Specific Objective is to increase the capability of SIRDI to address the technological, production and quality requirements of producers, manufacturers and associations, by promoting and supporting Research and Development in sugar cane production.

International Day of Forests
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees. This year, the Forest Department in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is partnering with Academia and the Private Sector to commemorate the International Day of Forests. The first activity is a Forest Management and Monitoring Stakeholder Forum which will be held on March 20th and 21st in partnership with the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize. The objectives of the forum are to: Strengthen the capacity of governmental, non-governmental, community and private sector stakeholders in Belize for sustainable forest management and long-term monitoring through information sharing; Provide stakeholder input to the proposed national forest monitoring network for improved forest management using permanent sample plots and Determine priority capacity-building needs, best practices and/or changes to current management systems for improved forest management in Belize.

Belizean Beans Panades
Making Belizean Beans Panades is very simple. You can use refried beans from a can or make your own. In this video I use redi-made masa from the store and I use the masa I made from Harina de Maiz.

Xunantunich Welcome Center Grand Opening
The grand opening for the new welcome center at Xunantunich was yesterday, and the Benque Marimba Academy was there to play for all the attendees, which included NICH president Diane Haylock and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia. "Good Morning Belize and the World, our morning is once again filled with happiness and glee, early mañanitas and we are now at the beautiful and magnificent Xunantunich for the grand opening of the new welcome center with special performance by the Benque Marimba Academy."

Cayo Police Receive Generator
The U.S. Embassy donated a generator to the San Ignacio Police. No more black outs for them. Thanks, U.S. Embassy, for all you do to help the police force here. "The US Embassy, through the efforts of Barry Cuthbertson and the Board of the PCC, has donated a 55kw generator to San Ignacio Police!"

Forest Management and Monitoring Forum
Friday is World Forestry Day. The Forest Management and Monitoring Stakeholder Forum starts tomorrow, Thursday the 20th, and goes through Friday. It'll be held at the Jaguar auditorium. "Forum Agenda- Day 1"

Light The Night For Kids
The Special Envoy for Women and Children put on the Light the Night for Kids fundraiser last Friday in honor of Children's Month. Happy Women and Children's Month! "Just a few snapshots from last night until later when the full album is posted." VIDEO

The Mexican Authorities herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships in the fields of (1) Public Administration and Policy and (2) International Relations for the academic period 2014 to 2018 at the El Colegio de Mexico. The application deadline has been established at May 2, 2014.

Mark your Calendars - April 5th and 6th - The Belize Dance Company is having a Dance Concert
DAY 1: "BNDC & FRIENDS" Dance Concert featuring performances from Orquidea Negra Dance Company Latino Mix Dance Company Nu Generation Dance Company DAY 2: "BNDC Jrs. & FRIENDS" Dance Concert featuring performances from Holy Redeemer Dance Program (Belize City)Pancotto Gov't School Dance Program (Sandhill Village)Ebenezer School Youth Group (Belize City)St. Therese RC School (Burrell Boom) BNDC Dance "Centre" BNDC "The COMPANY" Tickets will be available soon!

Belizean Artist, Blak Berry, releases his new single "No Man Is An Island"

Belizean Artist, TR SHINE releases his new song "Soca Dan Dada"
Song: Soca Dan Dada Artist: TR SHINE Produced By: Kendoyll Simpson

Belizean Artist, Nello Player, releases brand new song "HOPE"
Organic Belizean Reggae Dancehall infused with the Paradna melodies and drumming of Dangriga, Belize, Nello Player drops 'Hope' on the MaCafee Riddim. Sabal Studios for Marley Chatuye Productions.

International paper money exhibit
The Corozal House of Culture in collaboration with Dr. Jorge Sajia is pleased to present a one day international paper money exhibit. Join us on this cultural experience and take a tour round the world with over 50 monetary notes on display. The exhibit will be on Friday March 28, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The whale sharks are here!!
We only take small groups but still have a few places available between now and the end of June!!! It could be you!!!

Video: The Cayes of Belize
Sailing the Cayes (pronounced keys) of Belize, March 2014 aboard sailing vessels Hope and Toucan.

Video: Belize Pirates
Follow the rip-roaring adventures of our two pirate crews aboard the HMS Hope and HMS Toucan sailing vessels along the barrier reef of Belize.

Video: Documentaire Belize, la splendeur des Mayas
44 min. Le Belize , est une monarchie constitutionnelle unitaire ayant un régime parlementaire à tendance ministérielle, dont le territoire est situé en Amérique centrale, au sud du Mexique et à l'est du Guatemala. Elle a pour capitale Belmopan, pour langue officielle l'anglais et pour monnaie le dollar du Belize. Sa devise est « Sub umbra floreo » (Je fleuris à l'ombre) et son drapeau est constitué de trois bandes horizontales respectivement rouge, bleue et rouge, avec au centre les armoiries du Belize. Son hymne est Land of the Free (Pays de la liberté). Le Belize se nommait autrefois le Honduras britannique. La dénomination actuelle provient du nom de l'ancienne capitale et du fleuve du même nom. Le Belize est le seul pays anglophone d'Amérique centrale. L'anglais est la langue officielle, mais l'espagnol demeure la langue la plus utilisée au Belize. Peuplé de 334 297 habitants au 1er janvier 2013, le Belize est un pays en développement, avec un indice de développement humain élevé. Le Belize est une démocratie parlementaire et membre du Commonwealth. Le chef d'État est actuellement la reine Élisabeth II, représentée dans le pays par un gouverneur général, qui doit avoir la nationalité du pays documentaire documentaire francais documentaire histoire documentaire arte documentaire paranormal documentaire scientifique arte documentaire reportage documentaire mafia documentaire choc film documentaires scientifiques film complet dieudonné documentaire espace film entier enquete exclusive film complet vf france 5 documentaire documentaire univers national geographic documentaire japon tellement vrai national geographic documentaire

Video: 10 min. Mexico-Belize diving 6-27.2.2014 (cenotes, C-58, eagle rays)
A collection from our diving trip to Mexico&Belize in Feb 2014. highlights: 0:00 Cenote Chac-Mool 0:38 very sharp clip from Chac-Mool 1:43 halocline 2:18 air pocket 2:52 very blurry halocline scene 3:32 Cozumel coral 4:07 a small ray 4:47 C-58 wreck with some eagle rays 6:05 kinda large school of fish ;) 6:56 very nice footage of an eagle ray 7:51 a green eal in Belize 8:55 a turtle having some coral for dinner 9:57 some drumfish

Video: Scuba dive near Rendezvous Caye, Belize

Video: Belize 2014
Some videos taken with my gopro on/near Caye Caulker, Belize. March 2014

Video: Scuba Diving Cozumel, Roatan & Belize

Video: Villa Boscardi Bed and Breakfast

Channel 7

8-Year-Old Knocked Down On Way To School
The family of 8 year-old Kyeisha Joseph is worried sick at the hospital tonight after the standard two student was knocked down in front of her school in Ladyville this morning. Little Kyeisha was getting off the bus when she was run over. Today, we went to Ladyville to get some answers. Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 8 year-old Kyeisha Joseph, a resident of Double Head Cabbage, got out of the bus early this morning, tried to cross the road to get into the Ladyville RC School compound, and she got hit by a vehicle heading to Belize City. The standard 2 student was excited about going on a school trip to the Baron Bliss Grave today, but instead she ended up in the hospital because a driver sped past the bus at the wrong time. ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Sometime after 7:30, I believe, this morning, we did have a traffic accident reported in the area of the RC School. Initially, what we have is that a child may have exited a bus, came across the road, and was hit by a vehicle."

A First: DPP Takes Stand In Cahueque Trial
Today, at the Supreme Court trial of 21 year-old Aracely Cahueque, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal herself, took the witness stand to try to assist the prosecution with evidence. DPP Vidal testified that when police was initially investigating the case, accused and now acquitted killer Brandon Budna gave 2 separate written statements which were going to be used as evidence. The first was a written confession, which taken together with those of the other 2 men, provided police with a detailed narrative of how 18 year-old Raylene Dyer was killed. Those statements, as has widely been reported, were thrown out because the accused were able to convince Justice Denis Hanonmansingh that the police brutalized them into giving it.

Manual Labourer Accuses CISCO Construction Of Cheating Him
In September of last year, 7News told you about the demolition of the old Civic Center, to make way for a new sporting facility. The news was that it was being dismantled by hand so that jobless men from the neighbourhood could get some work. That's a great social dimension, but there are risks when mauling down a hulking structure like the Civic. And those dangers were underscored when one of the employees, Egbert Jones, got seriously hurt when part of one of the walls fell on him. He suffered extensive injuries, and was bedridden for months. Jones is now out of the hospital, but he claims that his injuries have permanently disabled him from being able to work and provide for himself. Moreover, he claims that Francis Woods, the Director of Cisco Construction, took advantage of him and tricked him into signing a settlement document in which he only got a fraction of what he deserves for his injuries. He spoke with us this evening, and started from the beginning on how the wall fell on him. Here's what he told us:

Deon Bruce Back At Court, Now With New Attorney
Today, was supposed to be Deon Bruce’s Habeas Corpus Hearing before Justice Courtney Abel. As we’ve told you, he is fighting his extradition to the US, where he is wanted for charges of murder and attempted murder. Chief Magistrate Smith has ruled that he should be extradited, but his attorney at that time was Godfrey Smith. He had 15 days to file the Habeas Corpus documents, which was done, but he has had a change of attorney since then. He is now being represented by Audrey Matura-Shepherd, and that court has given an adjournment so that Bruce’s new attorney can get up to speed with the case. Bruce goes back to court on June 5, where it is expected that he will get a full hearing. As we have told you, he is wanted in the US for allegedly shooting at Aaron Carter and Bryan Rodgers in Chicago on July 28, 2010.

Man Claims Forestry Legitimized Theft Of His Rosewood
The rosewood amnesty finished in April – and since then the precious hardwood has come under strict CITES regulations – virtually eliminating rosewood as an export product. But the ghost of the Amnesty past continues to haunt the Forestry Department – because there's plenty Rosewood that's being classified as pre-amnesty still out there. One man who knows well about that is American Charles Sellers. He has a concession to log in the Maya Mountain north forest reserve, and he also has a quantity of Rosewood – which he says qualifies as pre-amnesty product. He had hundreds of flitches it on his concessions block, but claims the villagers in Trio systematically stole it. He filed a police report, but while the investigation was ongoing a company called Edison B International Trading bought the rosewood from the villagers. Sellers says its his rosewood, but Forestry Department personnel showed up, and said he has no proof that is his. Yesterday, they ok'd the Mack Truck loading up with the rosewood, which Sellers says is the sanctioning of theft of his property.

Police Department Making Baby Steps In Forensics
It may not yet be visible on the ground, but the police department has made strides in the area of ballistics testing. They've obtained the latest testing technology called IBIS and retained a forensic ballistics consultant. A visiting expert says they are on the right track, and he's here to provide fine tuning. Pete Gagliardi played to a full house today at the Biltmore when he provided a one day workshop on the "13 Critical Tasks Workshop" of ballistics testing. He told us its about taking guns and shooters off the streets: Pete Gagliardi - Author, "The 13 Critical Tasks" "Much of the gun crime today is repetitive and retaliatory. It's usually committed by young people between the ages of 16 and 26. They shot their guns yesterday; they shoot them today, and they'll shoot them tomorrow. The faster we can identify them, arrest them, and take them off the street, we actually prevent more crimes from occurring in the future. There is critical evidence generated from inside a gun, and outside a gun that can help investigators identify and apprehend criminals more quickly before they have the opportunity to hurt and kill again. So, what I'll be talking about all day are best practices to fully utilize this information, process it in a way that is efficient and effective, and that takes shooters off the street to protect the public. It takes competent people, very sound process, and innovative technology, all in balance like a 3 legged stool. If one leg's too short, or one leg's too tall, the stool falls over. The most important thing is the willingness to innovate. Belize has that willingness, to identify the things that they need to do better, and the things that they need to do more of."

Government Looking To Become Distributor Of LPG In Bze
Over a year ago, Liquid Petroleum Gas or "butane" standards were put into law requiring specific butane and propane mixes. Under the law, the maximum approved propane content in Commercial mixtures is 70% propane. But, still, 90% LPG mixes continue to be sold on the market – with the sanction of the Bureau of Standards – which is contravening its own laws. The problem is that government regulations just can't bring the Central American importers to heel – we mean BWEL, Tomza, Southern Gas and Z-gas. Those suppliers say that they can't source LPG from their Central American parent companies with the mix which is approved for residential purposes: that is 60% propane and 40% butane. Well now, after more than a year of frustration, it seems the government is going around them and is trying to set up an LPG regime similar to the one for fuel, where government will import LPG products and then sell it to the Central American companies – since they can't find the right mix on their own.

From Hospital to Jail
On Monday we told you about 21 year-old shooting victim Darrington Louriano Jr. He was caught outside the KHMH with a gun and marijuana, and tonight, he is prison after being taken to court yesterday. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and drug trafficking. Though he pleaded not guilty, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded until April 23. According to police, they caught him Wednesday on Princess Margaret Drive, as he was leaving the KHMH with a knapsack and a suitcase, which they believe that he was going to San Pedro with. He had been released from the hospital, after being treated for a gunshot wound he received last week on San Pedro. The officers searched the bag and found a 9mm Ruger pistol and a magazine with 8 live rounds along with 196 grams of weed.

Doing It Right The First Time
Since 2005, the Police Department has been trying to encourage positive behaviour in young people by giving them incentives for doing the right things. Today, the first winner of this season was introduced to the media today. She is Zipporah Taylor, a 4th Form Business Student at Edward P. Yorke High School, and to note the announcement, it was made at her school this morning. 7News attended, and spoke with Taylor about being chosen. Taylor was chosen as by Police Precinct #4 after being nominated by one of her teachers at E. P. Yorke. She will take part in the 8th Annual National Ceremony to be held later this year, where she may be chosen as one of 10 national winners who are doing the right thing.

Capturing The Essence of Infinite India
Most who reach the age of 70, aren't thinking about going on any long and arduous trips. But Rajah Biswanath decided to set out on a difficult journey, a photographic quest to capture the essence of India. It's one of the biggest and most populous countries on earth, a place of almost infinite, multiple realities – but he was undaunted. Now, he's set up a show documenting part one of his journey – and we got a preview of it at the Image Factory today.

129 TB Cases in Bze Last Year
Tuberculosis, it's a bacteria which continues to infect some 9 million people every year, but in Belize there were only 129 new cases recorded last year. It's a deadly disease if left untreated, and though the numbers in the country are low, the Health experts aren't slacking up on their surveillance. In order to join the rest of the world in celebrating World Tuberculosis Day 2014, the Ministry of Health organized a TB Workshop to keep the medical practitioners updated on the disease. Today, the organizers spoke with us about the initiative: Dr. Francis Morey - National TB Coordinator, Ministry of Health "One of our main activities for this year is basically resensitization of our healthcare workers in regards to TB diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and evaluation of all TB that has been positively diagnosed within the year. It also entails reminding our healthcare practitioners that we do have TB in our country, that it is present, that we need to screen all individuals who presents certain symptoms of fever, a chronic cough for more than 2 week, weight loss, night sweats, chills and chest pain, which are some of the symptoms that most TB patients present themselves with on a daily basis to our polyclinics. Hence, this resensitization should serve as a reminder that we should not decrease our surveillance efforts in regards to diagnosing TB in our country."

Siarsha Still Struggling
Siarsha Alavrez, the 3 year old with the rare skin disorder is improving. She's talking a bit, and her skin is clearing up but there are other complications. Her father tells us that she'll need plastic surgery for her eyes because he bottom eyelash is growing inside her eye, which is causing massive irritation. He is trying to arrange to do this delicate surgery abroad.

US Fused In Pictures
The BDF and the US Military teamed up for a training operation called Fused Response between March 5th and 14th. IT was staged in locations across Belize, but the local media was not invited. But US Military media did have a front row seat. They have published picture son a military website which show mostly US troops engaging in a series of simulations and training exercises.

Channel 5

Rosewood plunder on the rise in Toledo despite existing moratorium
The wholesale pillaging of rosewood in southern Belize continues unchecked despite a moratorium which came into effect in February 2012. And we can report tonight that since the start of [...]

Two new opposition Senators to be appointed by the PUP
The People’s United Party will be holding a press briefing on Thursday to announce the appointment of two new senators. From what we can gather unofficially, Attorney at law, Anthony [...]

Criminal investigation into Penner passport scandal in limbo
The status of a criminal investigation at the Immigration Department remains somewhat in limbo following an order of Mandamus against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. The ruling was time sensitive [...]

Pacheco and Wade lawyer up in ongoing immigration investigation
As Hulse confirmed, all three passport officers who were on suspension since September have been reinstated by the Services Commission. That is…despite specific recommendations by Director of Immigration Maria Marin [...]

Sensational trial of Aracely Cahueque continues in Belmopan; who killed Raylene Dyer?
Today the trial of Aracely Cahueque continued in the court of Justice Denis Hanomansingh. It is a sensational case, perhaps the most disturbing in quite a few years, and there [...]

Godwin Hulse comments on Esquivel resignations
Last week Thursday, former two-time U.D.P. Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and his wife Cathy Esquivel officially resigned from all government positions held. They did so in protest, in the wake [...]

Police officers attend IBIS workshop for firearms crimes
The government of Canada gifted Belize with an Integrated Ballistics Identification System back in October 2012. Known as IBIS, the system is a modern tool being used to investigate and [...]

Four illegal immigrants busted, employed without proper documents
The Immigration Department made a bust this morning at a construction site which is managed by a Belizean-Honduran national, fifty-one year old Jesus Contreras. He was found to be employing [...]

Coalition supports SATIIM’s call for injunction against U.S. Capital
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage says its supports SATIIM’s efforts to stop any oil drilling activities by US Capital Energy Limited in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. [...]

BEWU says Boycott Bowen & Bowen on Friday
There is the threat of a countrywide boycott of all Bowen & Bowen products this Friday, spearheaded by the Belize Energy Workers Union in solidarity with former employees of the [...]

E.P. Yorke student awarded Du Di Rait Ting Honor
Sixteen year old Zipporah Taylor, a fourth form student at Edward P. Yorke High School is the most recent winner of the Do Di Rait Ting Award.  During a brief [...]

India through the lens of Rajah Biswanath
Payanam, in the Dravidian language of Tamil, means journey.  It is also the name of a photo exhibit that will be launched at the Image Factory on Friday.  The collection [...]

Rosita May, Woman of Culture
As part of Women’s Month activities, the National Institute of Culture and History announced today that it is naming Rosita May (Mai) of Corozal Town as its Woman of Culture. [...]


The Impact Of Fair Trade In Belize
Belize is certified under Fair Trade and as such there is much activity happening on a yearly basis. Besides the recent request for more sugar from Belize, Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chair of the Committee of Management at the BSCFA, came back from a three week trip to Ireland last Friday. That trip was conducted under Fair Trade and included presentations held over a fifteen day period. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Estuve haciendo presentaciones en varias partes a niños de escuela , políticos a negociantes en relación al impacto de Fair Trade en Belice y al mismo tiempo también aprovechando si se puede emplear el mercado de nuestra azúcar bajo el mercado justo y fue bastante aceptable bajo la presentación que di en los diferentes puestos y realmente lograron conocer que es Belice y cómo impacta y como nos beneficia la industria azucarera en Belice y como esta nuestra situación con el comercio justo y las experiencias que hemos logrado hasta ahora así es de que para mí fue una presentación positiva de parte de Belice y de la Asociación para así podamos ampliar nuestro mercado en relación a la azúcar que producimos.”

Boycott Planed By NTUCB And BWU Against Bowen And Bowen
A radical boycott of the Bowen and Bowen Group of companies is currently being planned for Friday of this week. This is a movement being spearheaded by the Belize Workers Union and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize based on the wake of 13 employees who complained about new contracts to the media and were subsequently terminated of their posts. A release from the BWU Head Office in Orange Walk Town states that both the NTUCB and BWU views with significant disquiet and concern the recent release of thirteen employees under the pre text that these persons employment status have become redundant. It is the view of both unions that the circumstances in which these employees were driven to take action (employment status alteration), feeling compelled to come out publicly with their plight, is indeed a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations. The release is calling on Bowen and Bowen to take in consideration the reinstatement of the employees.

Florida Teacher Faces Ten years Imprisonment
A Florida teacher is facing ten years behind bars after he was arrested in Miami on Friday after investigators say he booked a plane trip to Belize to have sex with two underage girls. A press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says, 48 year old David Wendel Thompson who has reportedly travelled to Belize nine times since 2011, was refused entry in Belize and then returned to Miami where he was then arrested. Thompson is being charged for enticing minors by holding sexually explicit conversations with a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old in Belize in February.

San Pedranos Missing for Weeks, Police Investigate
Families of two island residents of San Pedro Town keep searching for their loved ones who reported to have gone fishing a few weeks ago and have not been seen or heard from since. Both 31 year old Dean Nassad Joseph, unemployed of San Mateo Area and 49 year old Vincent Crawford, also known as ‘Chuku’, a laborer of north San Pedro Town, left home on Saturday March 1st and have disappeared without trace. Joseph’s wife, Tessa Ochaeta, told police that her husband left home with Crawford saying they were going to work as security guards at a house in the Robles Point area of Northern Ambergris Caye. The report stated that Crawford left home to go fishing. On the same day both were seen walking on the beach with a group of other men. Police also found out from a security officer that Joseph told him that he was going to camp at a base in the Bacalar Chico area. The police say that the duo is believed to have left in a vessel which took them to the northern portion of the island. Both men have not been heard from since.

Bowen & Bowen Overlooks Boycott and Continue To Serve Its Customers
Yesterday we told you about the fiery press release which promoted a movement to boycott the purchasing of Bowen and Bowen products this coming Friday. The release was sent out by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Workers Union in Orange Walk Town. And as we predicted, the news did not sit too well with the Management at Bowen, but it’s not as if they are pulling their hair out. Today when we spoke to Public Relations Officer and in-house Counsel for the Bowen and Bowen Group of Companies, Christelle Wilson, she told us that despite the apparent ‘threat’, business will continue as per normal as their customer demands would have to be met.


New Trial Date Set for Deon Bruce
The last time we told you about Deon Bruce was in January of this year when Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that Bruce be extradited to the United States of America where he is wanted for the crimes of murder and attempted murder. Bruce’s attorney at the time, Godrey Smith, had 15 days to apply for an appeal which he did and this afternoon, what was expected to be a habeas corpus hearing, was case management. That is because, Smith withdrew himself as Bruce’s attorney and now the weight of keeping Bruce in Belize now lies on the shoulders of Attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. In the court of room of Supreme Court Judge, Courtney Abel, dates were set on how the case is to move forward. According to Matura-Shepherd the new trial date is now the June 5. AUDREY MATURA SHEPPARD I agree it is always urgent but you don’t want to prejudice the applicant; in this case, if he is getting new counsel, there is need for us to have sufficient time to get full instructions to see what transpired before and to see what can change and cannot change.

Coalition Supports SATIIM in Injunction Application
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage has come out in support the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. As we reported yesterday SATIIM has filed an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy. (VO) The Coalition says while SATIIM and the communities have acted in good faith and continue to await the Court’s judgment; US Capital Energy Ltd. has acted contrary to its very public announcement of not commencing “actual drilling unless the court allows it to.” The transfer of drilling equipment to the drill site is a clear indication of the company’s plans to commence drilling in the near term within the Sarstoon Temash National Park, a protected area. The Coalition goes on to say SATIIM and the communities have sought the Court’s intervention to protect environmental services, legally recognized land rights and traditional land use. It is in the best interest of the local communities and the country that the Court’s judgment is heard prior to any further actions by US Capital Energy. The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage continues to advocate for no oil exploration within Belize’s protected areas and in the offshore, and will continue to support its members and partners who share the same goal.

Unions Unite on Boycott of Bowen Products
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products for this Friday. This they say is in support of the 13 employees that were fired from Bowen and Bowen Limited last month. The Union says that the circumstances leading to the employees feeling compelled to step out publicly with their plight is a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations. The Belize Communications Workers Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, APSSM, have also sent out strong releases against the company for firing the employees and they too are in support of the boycott on Friday. However, Bowen and Bowen Limited seem to be unmoved by the Unions’ statements and we understand that the company will keep operating as it does daily.


More Rosewood on the Move in Toledo
This Friday will be celebrated as National Day of the Forest around the world when nations celebrate and bring awareness to issues relating to the world’s forests; but, in Belize, the issue of how prepared we are to protect our valuable rosewood stock is still an issue . Over...

PUP Unsatisfied With Progress of Investigation on Mr. Penner
When will Police talk to Elvin Penner? The ex-Minister of State continues on as Cayo Northeast area representative despite being under scrutiny for the scandal that took him out of office last September. The People’s United Party obtained a writ of mandamus directing Commissioner of Police Allen...

Mexican Newspaper says Mr. Penner was a “Fugitive from Justice”
Meanwhile, Elvin Penner has made the front page of Mexican newspaper, Diario Quintanaroo. In its Monday March 17th, edition, an article titled, ‘ Delata facebook a hampon”, rehashed the Citizen Kim passport scandal in Belize and says that Penner is a ‘fugitive from Justice’ and is in Mexico. The...

Bowen Responds to Union’s Boycott on Company Products
Yesterday the APSSM, the BCWU and the Umbrella Union of NTUCB sent out a press release asking for their member’s support at boycotting the bottling giants Bowen and Bowen. This morning the BEWU ( the Belize Energy Workers Union) joined their efforts as they announced their support to their... Read More »

American Alleged Pedophile is Married to a Belizean Woman
Earlier this week, we told you about the American pedophile David Wendel Thompson who set up dates via facebook to have sex with two Belizean minors, aged 13 and 15. 48 year old Thompson was busted by American authorities when police searched his luggage in Miami and found laptops...

Police Community Program Honours Winner
Soon-to-be graduate of Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City, Zipporah Taylor, will represent Police Precinct 4 at the National Ceremony for the Community Policing Department’s ‘Do Di Rait Ting’ award program. Started eight years ago, the programs honors outstanding youths who have either turned their lives around...

PUP Holds Budget Consultation
The Budget Debate is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday and the People’s United Party is getting ready with a series of consultations with key sectors of society. They met today with civil society, churches and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and yesterday with the trade unions...

The Bumpy Road to Bomba
Bomba is a village in the Belize District and is off the Phillip Goldson Highway and is about 3 to 4 miles from Maskall Village. Bomba residents have been complaining about the condition of the Bomba road. Residents say that the road is next to impassable when it rains...

Photographer Exhibits a Life’s Journey
The Image Factory’s first exhibit for 2014 features a lifetime’s worth of pictures from a photographer who captures experiences of people large and small from his native Indian subcontinent. Sri Lanka born and Belize resident Theagarajah Biswanath gives us a preview of his exhibit, Payanam, Life’s Journey. Mr. Theagarajah...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Letter to the Editor: Etiquette in the anchorage
We are on a sailboat in the anchorage, returning here three years in a row because we love Caye Caulker. We like the friendly people, the restaurants, the shops, and especially the island’s motto…Go Slow! Everyone seems to adhere to that motto except for one group: the dive boats and others who roar through the anchorage at top speed. Every day, all day long, we are rocked by speeding boats that seem to be trying to get close to the anchored boats as they pass by, sometimes causing items to fall off our shelves and requiring us to grab hold of something to keep from falling.. Often they will look back after they pass to see how much their wake has caused our boats to hobby horse. Yesterday, we watched one of these boats careen through the anchorage,not in a direct route, but rather moving as close to each anchored boat as possible, apparently finding sport in making us bounce around. Today, another one did the same. barely missing a neighboring boat.

Dates for Lobster Fest 2014 Set
The dates for the 2014 Caye Caulker Lobster Fest have been confirmed. They are June 27, 28, & 29th. Start booking your hotels, folks!


My Search For The Country’s Best Fried Chicken: Finding a New Favorite at Lily’s Treasure Chest in San Pedro
Lily’s Treasure Chest is one of the oldest restaurants on Ambergris Caye – a waitress there estimated 30, maybe 35 years old. I’m going to need to get the full scoop on that… Set right on the water across from Amigos Del Mar dive shop and water taxi mega-dock, the location couldn’t be more convenient and the view is…just the perfect San Pedro view. I grabbed a seat outside and the waiter came over immediately. I ordered my Diet Coke and the fried chicken. No reason to look at the menu. Leg please. (Just to let you know – I am slightly suspicious of those who pick white meat/breast just like I am slightly suspicious of people with a Tweetie Bird or Mickey Mouse tattoo. I can’t help it.) The lovely waiter was honest with me. The fried chicken will take about 20 minutes…and they just had a few orders placed so it could take a bit longer. MMMMmmm…magical words to my ears. The chicken was going to be fried from scratch. I settled in watching divers gear up on the dock, workers run to catch the water taxi and others enjoying their lunch. I also delighted in a bit of free Wi-Fi.

Belize Celebrates Reef Week!
What country has the second largest reef in the World? The largest in the Western Hemisphere? The World’s largest atolls? Surprise, surprise, it’s that tiny Caribbean/Central American jewel, Belize. And what country has the huge responsibility to ensure the long-term survival of said reef? Got it. And what a responsibility it is. The 186-mile reef system is increasingly under attack by overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change Hence “Reef Week”, an awareness-raising, fun, aquatic celebration (and warning) of all things Reef, which is one entertaining manifestation of this massive responsibility of all Belizeans, was held March 9 to 19. Imagine some truly nasty space aliens coming down to destroy one of the worlds most diverse and wonderful habitats? Well, we have met the enemy, and they are we…

CCIC Grant Funding Opportunity

Video: Making Small Business Happen

Songs I heard in Cuba
I visited Cuba at the beginning of this year and aside from disconnecting from social media, I was reminded of how amazing the Caribbean is. But I’m not only talking about the beaches, I’m talking about the music. Cuba reminded me a lot of Belize: its very relaxing, everyone’s super friendly, nature is everywhere and dancing is a big part of life. But I think that their music culture might surpass the one in Belize. I say this because one day as I was biking to a popular beach near Trinidad, I stopped at the sight of an open-air thatch cabana filled with children dancing salsa – super early in the morning. That surely doesn’t happen in Belize, I remember starting to dance until I was in my teens, when I had discovered that that was the best way to get close to girls.

International Sources

Denver’s link to Mayan culture
It took a combination of archaeology, technology and simple grunt work to reconstruct the history of one of Central America’s most powerful civilizations. The current “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science offers a complex historical story. The ancient Maya civilization that flourished more than 1,000 years ago spanned thousands of miles included dozens of powerful city states and included a population of more than 7 million. The culture made remarkable advances in art, architecture and science. From massive temples to accurate astronomical readings, the Maya matched the output of the Western world’s greatest ancient civilizations. For modern historians, recovering that story has hardly been straightforward. Thanks to environment, conquest and time, it’s taken innovation and persistence to uncover the true legacy of the Maya civilization. “We really focused on how we know what we know about the Maya,” said Michele Koons, curator of DMNS exhibit. “There’s a lot about discovery through archaeology, through interpreting the writing system. It’s different from something you’d see in an art museum.”

March 19, 2014


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The San Pedro Sun

Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye honored by OUTSIDE Travel Awards 2014
OUTSIDE, America’s leading active lifestyle brand, has selected Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye as an honoree of their annual Travel Awards, which celebrate the top destinations, companies, products, and travel providers—in the U.S. and around the world—that inspire people to participate in an active lifestyle. Pelican Beach’s beach was honored as The Best Beach in the World. The entire list of honorees appear in OUTSIDE’s April issue (on newsstands March 18), and online at This year, OUTSIDE tapped its global network of correspondents, who traveled across America, to Belize, Switzerland, Italy, and beyond, identifying the best new adventures, stunning lakes, gorgeous new lodges and hotels, family vacations, secret getaways, high-tech airports, and foodie hotspots. The result is more than 50 spectacular trips, plus the best travel apps, tour guides, gear, tips for traveling green, and advice for traveling solo. “Whether you’re looking to go big for an expedition, splurge on a luxurious paradise, or plan an epic family trip, OUTSIDE has unearthed fifty travel gems that will inspire you to renew that passport,” said OUTSIDE Editor Chris Keyes.

Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young on Monday, March 17, 2014 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Yasser Mohamed Ahmed Shaban of Egypt, H.E. Alessandro Busacca of Italy, H.E. Hans-Christian Kint of Belgium, and H.E. Eva Hager of Austria all expressed their pleasure and gratitude to be representing their countries in Belize. Each ambassador expressed in their speech to the Governor General their country’s interest in strengthening relations with Belize. The Governor General graciously and warmly received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize

Two multi-million dollar projects inaugurated on Ambergris Caye
Two multi-million dollar projects were inaugurated on Ambergris Caye on Friday March 14th as part of the Sustainable Tourism Project (STP) under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The first inauguration ceremony took place for the Bacalar Chico Ecological and Education Center at San Juan Archeological Site in the Baclar Chico Marine Reserve. The second event was for the inauguration of the $5.6 million San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal in the docking/embarcadero area of San Pedro Town.

Victim of shooting incident charged by Belize City Police Officers
On Monday, March 17th at around 8:40AM, Belize City Quick Response Team (QRT) along with Special Branch Personnel (Precinct 3) conducted a search on 21-year-old Darrington Lauriano. According to police, Lauriano was standing next to a pickup truck at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) parking lot. He was seen carrying a brown and black knapsack and a large black and grey suitcase; believe to be en route to San Pedro Town. Upon searching Lauriano, police discovered a 9mm Ruger Pistol and a magazine containing eight live rounds. Also found was 196 grams of suspected marijuana. Lauriano was detained and is pending charges for “Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License” and “Drug Trafficking”.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Boasts New Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal
Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Belize Tourism Board, Mr. Einer Gomez delivered the opening remarks for the grandiose occasion followed by the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero. It was in his speech that Mayor Guerrero proudly announced the name of the newly renovated football field which will now be known as the “Hon. Louis ‘Cuz’ Sylvestre Sports Field”. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation delivered the keynote speech and Mrs. Anneke Jessen delivered some remarks on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank. Mrs. Celi McCorkle gave the closing thoughts “the way it was”; it was a special speech as she reminisced on how the island was before the Sunset Board Walk, how the football field was used, how the “embarcadero” looked like and what its purpose was. Delivering the vote of thanks was Mrs. Tracy Taegar-Panton, CEO Minitry of Tourism. The unveiling of the plaque and ribbon cutting of the Sunset Board Walk Project and Rehabilitation of the Old Football Field was carried out by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Christy Mastry – Project Director of the STP and CEO Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Tracy Taegar-Panton. Invited guests included Hon. Herman Longsworth – Minister of Sports, Ambassador of The Republic of China (Taiwan) Mr. David Wu, Capitan de Puerto de Chetumal – Mr. Alvaro Flores Parra and Chairman of Caye Caulker Mr. Wayne Miller and councilors to name a few.

25 Years Ago: A Salute to Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre
Just at about the same time in the mid 1960’s, Cuz had the vision of the need of 24-hour electricity for the island as the fishing industry grew, and the tourism industry began to feather. Soon Cuz had his government provide a large generator which provided 24-hour electricity to the delight and well-being of all Sanpedranos. This was to be followed shortly by Cuz’s efforts to bring a full-fledged telephone system to San Pedro. But Cuz did not like to rest for too long. It seemed that action was his middle name. Such was his love for San Pedro. In 1971 something tremendous happened. Cuz persuaded the government of George Price to acquire all of the village of San Pedro which was at the time property of Mr. Jim Blake. The land was acquired and every Sanpedrano who occupied land had the privilege of purchasing that same property for a minimal price. He made Sanpedranos owners of their village. This land distribution worked so beautifully that Cuz followed up with the acquisition of the land from the cemetery all the way to Boca del Rio for more distribution of land which was to become San Juan and Boca Del Rio Subdivisions.

Enjoy A Family Style Dinner at El Fogon Restaurant
El Fogon Restaurant in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, is very well know for serving up rich local food that is packed with flavors typical of homemade Belizean food. The best part is the authentic smoky flavor of the fire hearth that is infused in most of the dishes they prepare. Cooking on an outside fire hearth (fogon) is what makes the restaurant stand out amongst the rest on the island. It’s one of the best places to enjoy local food unique to Belize and also the island of Ambergris Caye. Lunch consists of a diverse selection of dishes that represent the diversity of the Belizean culture. Just recently the restaurant underwent some renovation that included the expansion of the restaurant’s dining area, a new bar and a café. Now El Fogon offers breakfast specials that complement the addition of its café that offers really great coffee, flavored tea (iced or hot), cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and fruit shakes to your heart’s delight. It is a great addition to the restaurant for coffee lovers and those looking for some great fresh smoothies to start off their day. How does hash fish with refried beans and fry jacks sound to you in the morning? Yes! You can get that plus other delectable breakfast specials along with your morning java.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Education Excellence Society
I. INTRODUCTION Belize has made great strides in increasing access to primary and secondary education, and in subsidizing the cost of same to families. Many millions have been spent on increasing options for vocational training for those who are not inclined to traditional academic courses. However, there is growing perception that not sufficient is being […]

Gary Seawell back in court for extradition case
AARON HUMES Reporting: Accused drug trafficker Gary Gordon Seawell had his day in court today. He is accused of masterminding a large-scale cocaine moving operation between Belize and the U.S. state of Ohio from 1994 to 1997. But American authorities waited more than nine years to begin the process of extraditing him. They won the […]

Article says Belize is 1 of 10 happiest countries of the world
PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Belize is one of the 10 happiest countries in the world. That is according to the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, listed as one of the largest financial media companies in the United States. In an online article published today the company’s website uses the role people’s environment plays on their overall […]

Gardening as a way of life in San Marcos village
JUAN CAAL Reporting: Meet Jenny Chuc. She is a resident of San Marcos village in the Toledo district and an avid gardener. Her hard work and dedication to her hobby are what caught our attention and so we decided to have a talk with her. She approaches what she does with an air of excitement […]

The importance of early childhood education
ORANGE WALK BUREAU Reporting: The activities for Child Stimulation Month continue around the country. The month of activities is designed to highlight the importance of early childhood education. Preschools have been in operation for many years in Belize, but many don’t fully understand the purpose of this facility in a child’s education. Many see it […]

Commentary: The Garifuna people are building nationhood beyond borders
From the time the British Crown forcefully removed the Garifuna people from their native homeland “Yurumei”, now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines, in 1796, life has not been the same for them in all the countries where they live. Today in St Vincent, the few that are left have lost most of their culture due to the decrees passed and enforced by the British, which prohibited them from practicing their culture. They were removed from their fertile land and then forced to live in about 150 acres of non- fertile land. About 2,500 acres of their fertile land was given to the British officers and their elite families for winning the wars against them. Nothing significant has been done by the past governments of St Vincent to improve our people’s living conditions or to help them retrieve their cultural values.

All People Matter
The University of Belize joins with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) this March and proclaim that “All People Matter”. The NASW was formed in 1955 in the United States and is perhaps the single largest organization of professional social workers in the world. The month of March has been declared as the month of the social worker and this year’s theme is “All People Matter”. The University of Belize through the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work recognizes the contribution of social workers in Belize and shares in the proclamation laid out by the NASW, further inviting all social workers to reflect in their practice and in the progressive strides of the profession in Belize.

World Tuberculosis Day 2014
In an effort to promote awareness, the Ministry of Health will once again join the international community to partner in the campaign for World Tuberculosis Day 2014 on Monday, March 24th. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by a bacterium that affects the lungs and is characterized by coughing, sneezing and spitting. The Ministry of Health continues to control the prevalence of TB in Belize. In 2013, Belize recorded 129 new cases of Tuberculosis, of these 5 were extra-pulmonary TB (not occurring in the lungs), 26 were co–infections with TB/HIV. The greater number of individuals affected were those between the ages of 20-59, following the same trend as seen in previous years. There were 17 deaths from TB for 2013. The number of facilities with laboratory to screen patients for TB in Belize has been extended to regions across the country.

2 black lab mix, 2 chocolate lab mix, 3 males and 1 female. 3 months old, have 3 sets vaccinations, dewormed, will be spayed and neutered in April by Belmopan Humane Society. Adoption fee $50. Potential owners must have safe, secure fenced area. Other dogs on the property should be spayed or neutered as well. If not we can assist. Please help us find homes for these pups, or in a pinch a temporary foster home from March 25 onward. Call Lilly Morison at 602-7947

How Belikin Beer Is Made
Belikin has a cool animated video out that shows the stages of beer making. They really did a great job explaining the process, and the shape of it all really fits. Well done, Belikin, well done. "Take an animated trip on how the beer of Belize, Belikin, is made. Belikin is the only beer sold in Belize that uses 100% Barley Malt and no fillers thereby producing a higher quality of beer. Belikin, the beer of Belize."

Easter Fair Coming Soon
This year's Easter Fair will be at Galvez stadium on April 19th and 20th. Everyone is invited to take part in the festivities, and there will be plenty of food and fun for everyone. If you're interested in setting up a booth, call 669-0462 for more information.

Cayo Variety Show
Sacred Heart College, Eden High School, and CET are teaming up to bring a variety show and dinner to the SHC auditorium this Saturday night. Come out and see some talent as the students sing, dance, read poetry, and perform some entertaining skits. Call 622-6861 for more information.

Challenge Gobie Bike Ride
Feelgood news of the day. The Challenge Gobie bike ride fundraiser was a huge success. They rode from PG to Belmopan, and had a fun time doing it. They are raising money for a children's intensive care unit. The dog suit was a great touch. "Good morning! We are still recovering after yesterday's bike ride. Just wanted to say a quick thanks to EVERYONE that supported in any way. Very proud of all the riders, service team and the organisers at the Finale at Caribbean Tires. Will send out special thank you's to everyone soon and we'll post pictures tomorrow. Congratulations to ALL the riders!"

SI United vs Verdes
The San Ignacio United take on the Verdes tonight at the Broaster Stadium. Who's the best of the west? Find out tomorrow at 7:30pm. "San Ignacio United host Verdes FC this wednesday at the Broaster Stadium. El Clásico kicks off at 7:30pm, this one is for bragging rights to see who is the best of the west. See you there!! "

Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Road Show
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), is pleased to announce that Belize will be hosting the Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Road Show on Friday March 28th, 2014 at the Corozal Community College, Corozal Town commencing at 9:00 a.m. The ICT Road Show is a joint initiative of the MESTPU and CTU and is a part of a regional effort to foster innovative use of ICT in Caribbean countries for national and regional development. It is specifically designed to raise awareness within the public and private sectors, civil society and academia of the innovative approaches required for the effective application of ICT in government, business and social development geared at enhancing Belize’s global competitiveness. Under the theme, “Harnessing the Power of Innovation – the Engine for ICT enabled Caribbean Development”, the ICT Road show will feature sessions dedicated to practical uses of ICT in education, business, and government and will address issues of such as internet security and broadband development.

Corozal Police Report
Mar 18 – Corozal Police Report – Attempted highway robbery with shot guns and two students robbed at knife point on 1st Avenue. ATTEMPTED ROBBERY: Raul Patt, Belizean reported that on March 17th, 2014 at about 3:00 p.m., he was riding his motor cycle on the Buena Vista Road, heading to the direction of Caledonia Village to pick up some money owed to him. Upon reaching half way, he saw 3 male persons standing on the road with what appeared to be shot guns and masks over their faces. As a result, he sped off making good his escape but after doing so, he heard two loud bangs which sounded like gun shots. He never stopped and continued his way through another road, which took him out at Libertad Village. Thereafter he made his way to the Corozal Police Station where he lodged his report. Extensive searched were conducted in the area by the Corozal Police but no one has been located. Investigation continues.

Video: Gabby and huge Nurse shark in Belize

Video: Hummingbird Guest Lodge & Hostel - Good Living Camp - Belize
Hummingbird Guest Lodge & Hostel is located on a pristine creek in Belmopan, just 16 km from the famous Blue Hole National Park. It's perfect for swimming and offers guests free Wi-Fi. The property offers rooms and dorms with a shared kitchen and shared bathroom facilities and showers. The house features a kitchen and a private bathroom. Hummingbird Guest Lodge & Hostel offers a variety of on-site activities, including swimming in the creek, nature hikes and tours of the organic garden. Other facilities include free parking, luggage storage and a laundry. Philip Goldson International Airport is 61 km away. The property offers free parking.

Video: Xanadu Island Resort Belize

Video: The Placencia Resort Belize

Video: Night Zipline, Mayflower Bocawina Nat. Park, Belize, Central America
I take a night time zipline through the Mayflower Bocawina National Forest in Belize. The run I take is 2,300 feet (700 mtr) long, the longest in Belize.

Video: GoPro: Belize Vacation
My buddy Brian and I travel to some of the coolest places and see the most amazing things. This video is from our trip to Belize. Hand fishing, cave tubing, sailing, jungle hikes, caye caulker, belize. Its beautiful, go there!

Video: Belize Vacation Caye Caulker
Part 2 of our Belize Vacation. Boat trip to Caye Caulker with the Durans and friends for some family time.

Video: MASSIVE Bonefish School: Thousands of Fish
This is a huge bonefish school in a deeper pocket of water in Belize. During low tide, some of the bones head off the flats and congregate in massive schools such as this one. The fish in this school varied in sizes, but primarily ranged from 1-3 pounds.

Video: Zipline in Belize

Channel 7

Aracely's Trial Begins In Earnest
21 year-old Aracely Cahueque, who is believed to have been the mastermind behind the October 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, will have to stand a full trial before Justice Denis Hanomansingh where a jury will decide her fate. As we told you yesterday, there was a trial within her trial in which her attorney was challenging a piece of evidence that the crown counsels from the DPP's Office was trying to get admitted against her. Though Justice Hanomansingh has ruled in her favour that this piece of evidence cannot be presented to the jury, Crown Counsels Cecil Ramirez and Kayshia Grant are determined that the jury should be the one to ultimately decide her innocence or guilt. They are attempting to do that by depending on Brandon Budna, who was tried and acquitted of the murder of Raylene Dyer last week. After some initial difficulty, the prosecution was able to track down Budna who took the stand in front of the jury and gave evidence. He must return to court tomorrow to finish up with his testimony, which is being relied on heavily to secure Cahueque's conviction.

American Paedophile Contacted Belizean Minors
American Social Studies Teacher and Pedophile David Wendel Thompson remains in Federal custody in Miami after authorities say he set up dates with two Belizean minors, aged 13 and 15 via Facebook. He was arrested on Friday in that city after he was denied entry to Belize. Interestingly, the 48 year old Thompson who travelled to Belize nine times since 2011 has a Belizean flag draped on his house in Seffno, Florida. News reports form the US cite transcripts of chat messages on Facebook where he tells one the 13 year old girl, "I will make sure u always have money.... and I want to always be special to u so let me b your first." He told the other girl, aged 15 "I just want to be ur first that's my present so I can b special to u."

The Riff Between The Esquivels & The UDP's Grows
A letter is being sent from Prime Minister Dean Barrow to former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel. That is what we are told this evening by Sir Manuel, but he says it is on its way from Belmopan, and he hasn't received it yet. What will the letter say? Will it be an attempt at reconciliation between Barrow and his former Party Leader? Well, at this point we don't know, but it is a response to Sir Manuel's letter, which he sent last week announcing his resignation as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister. But, the vibe we are getting out of Cabinet this evening is that it will be respectful, but it may not be conciliatory. We are told Cabinet discussed the subject today at its regular Tuesday meeting and the concensus sentiment was that nothing special would be done to try and patch things up.

Precinct 2 Retrieves A Gun
Today police from the Precinct two Quick Response team moved swiftly to apprehend two suspicious men on Cemetery Road. At 3:30 police responded to reports of and searched the Mortars alley area, where a man wearing was seen brandishing a firearm. Police ordered him to put the weapon down where and he immediately threw the firearm intro a fenced yard situated at the corner of Mortars Alley and Cemetery Road. Corporal Jorge Lemus explains:.. Corporal Jorge Lemus - Admin Section, Police Precinct 2 "At 3:27pm the police communication center received information of 2 suspicious male persons being spotted on Cemetery Road. As a result the precinct 2 QRT members responded to the area and whilst conducting patrols in the area they sighted a dark complexion male person brandishing a weapon in his hands. This male person was wearing a blue pants and green shirt and immediately upon seeing the police he threw the said weapon in a fence yard at the corner Mortar's Alley and Cemetery Road. Police then detained this male person where they took him to said yard and retrieve the weapon. The weapon is a 9mm pistol of a high powered industrial Argentina brand. It contained a magazine with 3 live 9mm rounds. This person was subsequently detained and brought to the Raccoon Street police station."

Rashida Sedacy Taken To Court
24 Year-old Rashida Sedacy, who is accused of stealing from her former place of employment, Traveller's liquors, is out on bail tonight, after she was taken back to Magistrate's Court. Last night, 7News told you that we've received reports that she is facing 130 counts of theft. Well tonight, the police press office has confirmed that she is charged with 124 counts, and the amount she is accused of stealing is $83,669 between January and August 2013. She was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where she pleaded not guilty to all charges, and she was granted bail of $15,000, which she was able to meet. She will return to court on May 19, her next court date.

Gary Seawell Fights On In Supreme Court
Five months ago, The Chief Magistrate said that Gary Sewell had a case to answer and that he should be extradited. But today his attorney Arthur Saldivar was back in the Supreme Court fighting the case - challenging the validity of the depositions from the US. He says the Chief Magistrate did not look at the whole picture. He renewed his argument that the documents supplied by the U.S. government were insufficient. And if the documents were not admissible, then they did not count and there was no case to answer. He explained outside court: Arthur Saldivar, Attorney "What was argued before the Chief Magistrate essentially is the same at what is being argued here that sections 14 and 15 of the extradition act of the UK 1870, speaks only to depositions or statements on oath and where depositions can be properly so-called it can only be done so where there is on the face of the record in the document itself the wording that shows that the maker understand their obligation to tell the truth and appreciates that they would be liable to the penalty of perjury if they should tell a lie. Where that is not there then the document cannot be called a deposition or a statement on oath. In this particular case we are not seeking bail, we are seeking habeas corpus - we are seeking his freedom because we are saying that the detention is unlawful."

Our next story gets a little complicated. There are three elements to it - each progressively worse: a broken windshield, a burnt down house, and a man with a stab wound to the chest. But it all starts with the broken windshield. On Friday night at 6:00, the owner of Kim's 2 - a Chinese store on Iguana Street found the windshield on his vehicle broken. It turned out that a boy from the neighborhood was flying a kite; it got stuck on a lamp-post, he tried to stone it down with a stick, the stick crashed into the windshield and broke it. The nine year old was taken to the police station - and released shortly after. But the boy's detention got his relatives upset. That led to a confrontation with Anthony Leslie - who works for the owner of Kim's store.

The Unions Support Terminated Bowen Employees
"Boycott Bowen" - that's what the NTUCB wants you to do because of the 13 employees who were fired two weeks ago. Today the NTUCB released a fiery, but not quite timely press release urging the public to, quote, "join us in demonstrating our discontent with the firings, by boycotting purchase of ALL Bowen products on Friday, March 21, 2014." As we told you, the former Bowen employees balked at signing a new contract which had terms and conditions that they didn't like, and they staged a sick-out. Bowen and Bowen said that they self-terminated when they abandoned their posts for 2 days straight. Well, the Belize Communications Workers' Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize released statements today backing the former employees and calling for their reinstatement, saying, quote, "the circumstances around which these employees were driven to take action (employment status alteration), feeling compelled to come out publicly with their plight, is indeed a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations." End quote. Additionally, the Belize Communication workers urges the employees of Bowen & Bowen to form a union amongst themselves.

SATIIM Goes To Court To Stop US Capital
SATIIM has applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from commencing drilling operations. SATIIM says it would have expected US Capital to await the outcome of a pending case in the Supreme Court, but a statement today says the company has engaged in pre-drilling activities. In light of what it calls"increased pre-drilling activities by US Capital Energy," SATIIM applied to the Supreme Court last week for an injunction.

Biscayne Gov't School Burgled... Again
Tonight, the management and staff of Biscayne Government School, is trying to figure out how they will be able to replace 7,000 dollars in electronic equipment which was stolen from them. The school was locked up tight last night, but when the teachers reported for work this morning, they found that one of the classrooms had been broken into, and 4 of their laptop computers were stolen along with other important pieces of equipment. 7News spoke with one of the teachers about what they found this morning: Eugene Contreras, teacher - Biscayne Government School "While the bus was passing, I saw the door and I immediately I said oh they broke into my classroom and that was really bad feeling because I know I had lots of stuff in there and right away I thought computers missing. First of all I saw the stereo set was missing, the projector that we used almost was missing. When I checked around I found out that 4 of our laptops are missing; 3 Dell laptops and one Lenovo. One of them recently has important information that we worked on Friday. Definitely some of the teachers are going to be impacted as well as the children because we make use of the projector first of all for a lot of our lessons and then for expressive arts we have a dance group that is working very hard for festival of arts for this year and they stole the stereo, so that group will definitely be impacted."

Civil Aviation investigators still haven't confirmed what made a single engine Lancair 320 crash at the Punta Gorda Airstrip last week Friday - injuring a female and leaving the male captain unharmed. So far Civil Aviation has only confirmed that the plane made a hard touchdown and bounced when it landed, which caused it to veer into a Met Department weather tower quite a distance away from the runway. That tower clipped the plane's wing and sent it careening across the airfield. So far the accident investigation team does not have a probable cause at this point and say they don't know what caused the hard touchdown.

Progresso Women's Group Vs. Luke Espat
The most compelling convention of the PUP convention season has been the one in Cayo Central where Dan Silva and Luke Espat are vying for the seat. Intense campaigning has been going on for months now - all coming down to a May showdown. Today it got slightly ugly when functionaries of the Espat camp circulated a newspaper foreclosure notice for a properties in Cayo owned by company affiliated with Dan Silva. We're not sure how that evens things out in a race where the other candidate, Luke Espat is presently appealing a judgement against him for 29 million dollars. But Espat also has other, smaller worries. A few weeks ago two members of the El Progresso women's group from Cayo Central came to us saying that Espat, in trying to help out their group had in fact hijacked it:..

Light The Night For Kids
On Friday night we showed you a brief snippet of the "Light The Night for Kids" - a mesmerizing march across the city in support of the Inspiration Center. The walk with glow sticks and glow bracelets like these ones, and glow in the dark shirts was a fundraiser where 500 registrants paid a 35 dollar registration for adults or 20 dollars for children. The street lights in the downtown area were actually turned off by BEL to make the glow show. Jim Scott explained the idea behind the novel fundraiser: Jim Scott, Organizer - "Light The Night" "But it was kind of a mix of the way we use to jump up in the days before carnival and so forth but we really had a true family focus and we just threw in a little creative twist with the glow in the dark t-shirts, the glow sticks and some of the other light up paraphernalia that we had out there and of course the paradigm was having an event like that at night."

Channel 5

Visually impaired man testifies in the murder trial of Aracely Cahueque
Today, the full trial of twenty-one year old Aracely Caheque continued in the court of Justice Denis Hanomansingh, following a ruling on legal arguments presented. The media is not allowed [...]

Staggering 117 counts of theft against former cashier at Travellers
A former cashier with Traveller’s Liquors Limited was arraigned today for a staggering one hundred and seventeen counts of theft. Twenty-four year old Los Lagos Resident, Rashida Kira Sedacy, who [...]

Biscayne school is robbed of laptops
Travellers Liquors is not the only organization that has experienced theft. An overnight break-in at Biscayne Government School, which resulted in the theft of a number of laptops and audiovisual [...]

SATIIM takes U.S. Capital to court to stop pre-drilling activities in national park
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, is heading back to court, despite a pending decision on an ongoing suit against the Government of Belize.  Last Wednesday, SATIIM filed [...]

Do you think that the resignations of the Esquivels will hurt the U.D.P.?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think that the resignations of the Esquivels will hurt the U.D.P.? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Cabinet discuss resignation of the Esquivels
As we reported last night, the U.D.P. is rocking from the resignation from the two time former prime minister and party leader of the United Democratic Party, Manuel Esquivel. His [...]

50 sacks of contraband sugar; 3 Guatemalans charged for immigration offenses
A trio of Guatemalan nationals has been charged for immigration offenses after being nabbed by authorities in Toledo attempting to contraband fifty sacks of sugar.  Over the weekend, the men [...]

Students in Bermudian Landing without potable water for 3 long weeks
In Bermudian Landing, a community in the Belize River Valley, the only government managed primary school, was about to close today because of a three-week old water crisis. The Belize [...]

Gary Seawell’s extradition case is heard before the Chief Magistrate
Accused drug trafficker, Gary Gordon Seawell, finally had his day in court today after his case saw a number of adjournments. He is accused of masterminding a large-scale cocaine moving [...]

Darrington Lauriano Jr. arraigned in court
Darrington Lauriano Junior was busted at the parking lot of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital on Monday morning by alert police who found marijuana and a firearm in a suitcase [...]

Andrew Augustine survived shot to the neck by gang member
On February twenty-third, twenty-one year old Andrew Augustine was leaving his aunt’s house en route to his home on Balan Street, also in the Lake Independence area. But when he [...]

Belize City youth claims police assisted his attacker
On February twenty-fifth, twenty-three year old Stephan Anderson was charged for the Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm, and Dangerous Harm against Augustine. But are the Police responsible, [...]

Malcom X’s daughter on tour in Belize
Since 2002, Ambassador at Large for Belize, Ambassador Shabazz, has been promoting Belize. It’s been two years since her last visit to the jewel, but her work continues in the [...]

Unions call for a boycott of Bowen products
The Belize Communications Workers’ Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize have joined to issue a fiery release aimed at local [...]

Former Guatemalan President to plead guilty to money laundering in New York
Former President of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo has agreed to plead guilty to money laundering charges in a New York court. Portillo, president from 2000 to 2004, transferred two point five [...]

Japan Day celebrated in Belize
Japan is located several continents away from Belize, but this Saturday, that Asian country brought its culture to the Jewel. An all-day event was held at the Princess Hotel, where [...]


Couple Robbed In Corozal
A young couple was robbed of their belongings on Saturday night in Corozal Town. Seventeen year old Marieana Gilharry and twenty year old Adolfo Medina were walking on Second Street North Corozal Town around 8:30 in the night, when two men of dark complexion approached them. The men were on bicycles, had on warm caps and were dressed in black shirt and pants. One of the men produced a knife and told the couple to hand over their belongings while the second pulled Gilharry’s gold chain from around her neck. Gilharry then handed over three gold rings, a bracelet, a red watch, and her brown purse that contained a ten dollar bill and her cellular phone. The total value of all items stolen stands at $547.00. The men also relieved Medina of his cellular phone.

Corozal Police Discover Traffic Accident On Philip Goldson Highway

Free Clinic Provided To Residents Of The North
For over five years Bethel University from Minnesota USA and the Iglesias Bautista Manuel in the Village of Xaibe have partnered on bringing Medical Brigade Teams which are comprised of medical students to visit the different areas so as to render their medical expertise to villagers, free of cost. Today reporter Victor Castillo caught up with the medical team at the Xaibe Community Centre as they offered their services to patients. Denny- Team leader “We are in Xaibe doing a medical clinic. Like I said these students are medical students. A lot of them will be going into nursing; some of them will be going into pre-med or medical schools to further their studies and become doctors of all sorts including surgeons. This is a great experience for them and I hope for the community too. The students are testing blood pressure, sugar and temperature and they are also getting a medical history." The team reports that the most common illness among those they have seen is Type 2 Diabetes and common flu. With the assistance of Doctor Oscar Rodas, patients are provided with necessary medications.

Big Play foundation Donates Books To Sandy Hunter Library
We have heard politicians use them and we’ve seen them very often on social media but no matter how cliché they are, there is much truth to quotes like “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”, “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”, or “reading is dreaming with eyes open”. And on Saturday, children proved this all to be true as they were part of a very short ceremony in which the library received a donation of much need books. Dalila Ical– Reporting A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies; the man who never reads lives only once”, goes a quote and from the look on the faces of these eager young ones, there must be much truth to this. It was quite a sight to behold at the Sandy Hunter Library’s front lawn as they dug into a pile of new books donated by Belizeans living in the USA. Representative of the Play Big Foundation in Orange Walk Fernando Sanchez says the donation came about from prior communication with the library officials who expressed a need to expand the resources at the library.

Retrial Of Felix Brothers Commences At Corozal Supreme Court
Today the Corozal Magistrate Court was converted to the Supreme Court as the platform was set for the fifth hearing on the case of the Felix Brothers. Viewers may recall that on April 10th 2006, Mitchum Heredia was ambushed and killed near a car outside his T Street home in Belize City. He had just arrived home when two men held him up and shot him multiple times to the head and body killing him on the spot. A year later, brothers Maurice and Emory Felix, were jointly found guilty of Heredia’s murder by 12-member Jury. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. Upon appeal, on June 20th, 2008, a retrial was ordered. The retrial was granted after the judge of the Court of Appeal ruled that the men never got a fair trial when no identification parade was held in the case against them. Apparently, the trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas, told the jury that holding an identification parade would have been a waste of time because the prosecution’s main witness had named the Felix brothers as the shooter that day.

The Importance Of Early Childhood Education
Early childhood is a crucial stage of life in terms of a child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Growth of mental and physical abilities progress at an astounding rate and a very high proportion of learning take place from birth to age 5. It is a time when children particularly need high quality personal care and learning experiences. In this light and in lieu of Child Stimulation Month being observed in learning institutions across Belize, Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar take a deeper look into the benefits of early childhood education. Maria Novelo – Reporting “We all know that from birth to 7 years that is the critical time for a child and that is where all the learning, if what they didn’t learn then don’t expect them to reach 10 years and they didn’t get it, it is going to be difficult for them to enter primary school.”

Fairtrade To Increase Sugar Cane Quota, Says BACFA Chairman
The 2013/2014 crop season got off to a late start due to the halt of negotiations between the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over revenue sharing of Bagasse. But that impasse now forms part of the past and the crop season is on the right track. So much so, that tonight word is that Belize will be exporting more sugar starting this crop season. According to Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Comittee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, Fair Trade has increased its quota from fifty thousand tonnes. The BSCFA received the letter for the new demand in the month of February. Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chair “Nos mandaron una carta de que lo van a auge mentar a 60,000 por Tate & Lyle a la Union Europea y también vinieron unas personas de los Estados Unidos de que se comprometieron de que van a comprar 5,000 toneladas pero eso es bajo USA Fair-Trade así es de ahí propuesta para 65,000 toneladas este ano que se van a vender bajo el comercio justo.”

SATIM Files An Injunction Against US Capital Energy
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has applied for an injunction at the Supreme Court for what they say is the increased pre-drilling activities by US Capital Energy. SATIIM has provided images they say prove their claim. The Court documents were filed on March 12th, 2013. SATIIM today issued a press release under the heading “US Capital Energy and Government of Belize Taunt Supreme Court”. According to the release since Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana reserved judgment on the case between both parties on October 23rd, US Capital has not suspended its pre-drilling activities. SATIIM states quote, “US Capital Energy, most likely with the blessing of the Government of Belize, has been working around the clock engaging in pre-drilling activities, which are part-and-parcel of exploratory drilling operations. These activities, from our view, continue to violate the National Parks System Act and the Rights of the Indigenous Communities,” end quote.

Police Continue To Investigate Broad Day Light Robbery
Yesterday we reported on the brazen daylight robbery at Joshwell’s Fashion located on Queen Victoria Avenue which netted thieves over $2,000 worth in electronics, cash and merchandise. While investigations continue, tonight police are in the process of obtaining a technician who will review a surveillance tape that captured inside SP Store. It is believed that the men who robbed Joshwell’s Fashion were inside the store prior to the assault carried out upon Blanca Lopez, proprietor of the clothing store. Second in Command of the Orange Walk Police Department, Inspector Selvin Tillett, says they want to look at the footage closely so that they can be certain who the perpetrators are before making an arrest.

Santa Familia Project Halted For Two Weeks
Yesterday we told about the ‘hold’ on the works on Santa Familia Street, which falls under the Belize Municipal Development Project being carried out by the Social investment Fund. Up to Wednesday of last week the project was running smoothly, but things changed when residents began expressing discontent on the way the drains were being built. Several calls were made to the Orange Walk Town Council, who after investigations, found out that the layout of the drains being built will pose flooding problems in the long run. Based on the complaints lodged, Mayor Kevin Bernard requested that the construction of the drains be ceased in order for an analysis to be made. Tonight, we can report, that after a meeting with representatives of the council, SIF and the contractor, in this case Demar’s Stone Company, it was decided to that all operational works in the area will be halted for two weeks.

Repercusions On The Resignation Of Director Of Tourism
Following the abrupt resignation of Laura Frampton Esquivel, Director of Tourism at the BTB last week Wednesday, Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy have also resigned from all their held government posts and appointments. Reports indicate that this move is in protest of their eldest daughter being pushed out of the BTB. According to 7News, respected past UDP leader Manuel Esquivel resigned as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister in a letter sent to him last Thursday March 13th. While he did not comment on reasons for his resignations, it is of note that he confirmed to stepping down as government appointed director on the BTL and BSI boards. On the same date Esquivel submitted his resignation to the PM, his wife reportedly did the same and resigned as Chairman of the National Aids Commission. She has held this post since 2002 and told our colleagues at 7News that she was resigning for personal reasons.


Union Calls for Boycott of Bowen Products
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has called for the boycott of products from Bowen and Bowen Limited on Friday. The Unions say they view with disquiet and concern the recent release of nineteen employees from the company under the pretext that their employment status has become redundant. According to the Union the circumstances leading to the employees feeling compelled to step out publicly with their plight is a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations. The Union has called for the reinstatement of the workers. To drive its point home, the union is calling on its membership and the public at large to join in the boycott. The NTUCB also expresses solidarity with the Pharmacists Association of Belize. Last week the Pharmacists Association of Belize registered its discontent with the appointment of the director of drug directorate. The Association questioned the way the person was hired as well as the lack of qualification to fill the post. The NTUCB says it cannot stand idly by and allow such an important area in our health services to be ruined by faulty and questionable employment procedures resulting in the employment of unqualified individuals. It calls for an immediate resolution to the matter.

Trial Resumes for Raylene’s Murder
The trial of Aracely Cahueque continued today in the Belmopan Court before Justice Denis Hanomasingh. Cahueque is on trial for child stealing and is believed to have been the mastermind behind the 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer. Today, the jury returned to the court room following the culmination of a trial within a trial regarding Cahueque’s caution statement. Taking the stand, in a surprising turn of events was Brandon Budna. Budna was one of the three men acquitted last week for Dyer’s murder. He took the stand before the jury and testified and is expected to resume his testimony in court on Wednesday. A conviction in the case of the Crown Counsels, Cecil Ramirez and Kayshia Grant rests heavily on Budna’s testimony. Cahueque’s attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley addressed the media following day-one of the trial. RICHARD BRADLEY “Well what has been happening is that someday last week, a jury was, in fact selected in the trial of Aracely Cahueque following shortly after the murder trial of three persons accused of actually killing Raylene Dyer in Roaring Creek on the eighth day of October 2010.

Biscayne School Suffers Fourth Burglary For School Year
Biscayne Government School is located on mile 26 on the Phillip Goldson Highway and when night falls, the school becomes the focus of thieves as it was last night. The burglars broke into the Standard Six class room of teacher Eugene Contreras. The thieves made their way into the class room through the front door. EUGENE CONTRERAS “I saw the door and immediately I said, they broke into my classroom. It was a really bad feeling because I know I have a lot of stuff in there and right away, I thought, computer’s missing. Definitely, a crow bar was used to break one of the bars from the door and then they pried open the rest of the door. Then they went into the store room inside the classroom that had most of the IT devices; most of our stuff is in there and they broke a hole in that door; probably a small person went through that hole to be able to get inside.” HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “Stolen were several pieces of IT equipment all to a total value of more seven thousand dollars.” EUGENE CONTRERAS “First of all, I saw that the stereo set was missing; the projector that we use almost every day; when I checked around I found that four of our laptops were missing; three Dell and one Lenova – one of them have very recently important information that we worked on last Friday. Each Dell laptop is like twelve hundred dollars, the Lenova is like fourteen hundred dollars, the stereo that we just bought is three hundred and fifty dollars and the projector is about five hundred and fifty dollars. The two copiers, the three desktops and the television are still there. “

Investigation Into Crooked Tree Accident Still Ongoing
Forty six days ago, two separate investigations were launched by both the Belize Police Department and the Belize Port Authority after two boats collided on the Crooked Tree Lagoon causing one young man’s death and injuries to several students and commuters. To date, the investigations remain open as Robert Garcia of the Belize Port Authority told Love News Centre that the investigation is on the heels of being wrapped up and that a comprehensive report should be produced within an approximate two weeks. Meanwhile, we tried contacting the Officer in Charge of that area but to no avail. While these investigations are ongoing, the Belize Coast Guard did say that measures were put in place internally ensuring more supervision, standard requirements on board are adhered to, among others. The incident occurred on the lagoon waters in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District on January 31, when a confiscated skiff in the Coast Guard’s possession collided with another vessel that was transporting villagers to the mainland. According to Elton Bennett, the Vice Commandant mentioned, the preliminary investigation did hint to some mechanical failure but that would have to be verified and confirmed by the final report, which, once again, is expected to be released within the next two weeks. In the incident, 20-year-old, Benjamin Gentle lost his life.

SATIIM Seeks Injunction Against GOB and US Capital Energy
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM has filed for an injunction against Government of Belize and US Capital Energy. According to SATIIM despite assurances from the oil company that they would not drill in the area until Justice Michelle Arana delivers her judgement, activities have resumed. SATIIM says after the arguments ended before Justice Arana last October, one would expect that a law abiding and socially responsible company would suspend its activities out of respect for the Belizean justice system until a judgment was delivered. The organization says US Capital has been working around the clock engaging in pre drilling activities which are part and parcel of exploratory operations. As a result of this SATIIM says it filed court papers last week seeking an injunction.

GG Welcomes New Ambassadors to Belize
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young on Monday at the Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency Yasser Mohamed Ahmed Shaban of Egypt, His Excellency Alessandro Busacca of Italy, His Excellency Hans-Christian Kint of Belgium, and Her Excellency Eva Hager of Austria all expressed their pleasure and gratitude to be representing their countries in Belize. Each ambassador expressed in their speech to the Governor General their country’s interest in strengthening relations with Belize. Governor General received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.


Top Associations Make Public Outcry to Boycott Bowen and Bowen Products
The Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Belize Communications workers Union and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize say they are calling on all their members and the wider public to boycott all Bowen and Bowen products on Friday, March 21, 2014. This is to further display...

Alleged Kidnapper Aracely Cajeque Case Gets Deeper in Court
Ms. Aracely Cahueque is still before the courts answering to her possible involvement in the gruesome murder of a young mother and the kidnapping of that mother’s 3 month old baby. So far, the judge has thrown out the affidavit from the police inspector since he had written it...

Another Belize City Youth Gets Shot
Francine Pitts, the mother of little Eyannie Nuñez who was shot and killed in 2010, has had to face another traumatic experience as another son has been shot. She told our colleagues at Krem news that all day on Sunday, she felt a sense of foreboding. When she received a...

Accused of Robbery and Stabbing Assault is out on Bail
19-year-old Damian Leslie is out on bail and is due back in Court on May 6th. Leslie is accused of robbing a female of her bike and stabbing another in one day. This morning, he was unrepresented before Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stewart where he was charged with one count of...

Ms. Rashida Kira Sedacy Meets Bail in Court
Yesterday, we told you about the former cashier at Travellers’ Liquors Limited, Rashida Sedacy, who had over 100 counts of theft charged against her. There were so many counts, that her case could not be processed by the end of the day yesterday and so she had to go...

Accused Drug Trafficker Mr. Gary Seawell Faces Another Trial for Extradition
Accused drug trafficker Gary Gordon Seawell had his day in court today. He is accused of masterminding a large-scale cocaine moving operation between Belize and the U.S. state of Ohio from 1994 to 1997. But American authorities waited more than nine years to begin the process of extraditing him....

Former Prime Minister and his Spouse Resign from Their Posts
Ex Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy Esquivel, have both resigned their posts in what is believed to be a protest of their daughter being squeezed out of the Belize Tourism Board as director. The two-term former UDP prime minister has resigned from several boards that he...

Belize City Family in Urgent Need After Their House Got Burnt Down
A Belize City man needs help picking up the pieces after his house burned down on Friday night. Iguana Street Extension resident Anthony Leslie told us today that he learned his house was on fire after going to police to report being beaten up by relatives of a young boy accused...


Longtime United Democratic Party (UDP) official and now political aspirant, Delroy Cuthkelvin, has voiced his anger at the way the UDP Stann Creek West convention to select a standard-bearer was conducted. Cuthkelvin has publicly blamed UDP chairman Alberto August and former minister Melvin “Flippin” Hulse, for colluding to illegally manipulate the voters’ list to ensure that he, Cuthkelvin, did not stand a chance in the convention. Cuthkelvin made a decision to boycott the convention hours before it was supposed to be held due to what he classified as a “fraudulent” voters list that he could not stomach. In a press release dated Saturday, March 15, Cuthkelvin’s committee stated that at an emergency meeting which took place the day before, on Friday, March 14, Alberto August insisted on using a “block-out” voters list of just under 900 electors which, according to the committee, was fraudulently compiled in collusion with him, August, and Hulse.

Sir Manuel Esquivel, KCMG, PC—the ex-Prime Minister who led the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) to its first general elections victory in 1984 and the current finance advisor to Prime Minister Dean Barrow—has confirmed to Amandala that he has resigned from all his government appointments, and his wife, Mrs. Kathy Esquivel, has separately confirmed that she, too, has resigned from her prominent appointment as head of the National AIDS Commission—this on the heels of the abrupt departure of their daughter, Laura Esquivel-Frampton, from her position as head of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), following a letter by 7 BTB managers to Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Jr., expressing a “vote of no confidence” in Esquivel-Frampton’s leadership. On Thursday, March 13, the day after the BTB announced Esquivel-Frampton’s resignation, her mother resigned from the National AIDS Commission in Belize with immediate effect.

Vincent Crawford, 32, and Dean Joseph, 35, of the San Mateo area of San Pedro, have been reported missing since they left home on Saturday, March 1. Tessa Ochaeta, Dean Joseph’s common-law wife, reported that Joseph left home that Saturday with a man known to her as “Chuku.” They were going to work as security guards at a construction site in the Robles Point area of northern San Pedro. Since then, however, the men have not been seen or heard from. Police report that two security guards in the northern Ambergris Caye area saw Crawford and Joseph and five other men at about 10:30 that Saturday morning, March 1. The men were walking along the beach in a northerly direction. The guards reported that Joseph and Crawford said that they were going to camp at a base in the Bacalar Chico area in northern San Pedro, and the men then left. The guards say that that was the last time they saw them.

A disturbing premonition a mother had all day Friday, March 14, that something bad was going to happen, proved true when her son was shot four times later that night. Dezhaun Humes, 19, was reportedly returning from buying food for his girlfriend when an unknown assailant/s fired several shots in his direction near his home on Jane Usher Boulevard. Humes – who is a student at Wesley College Evening Division – was shot in his mid and lower body and yesterday, his mother, Francine Pitts, told us that for some bizarre reason, ill feelings had been brewing inside her prior to the incident until she received a frantic call from her son’s girlfriend around 11:00 p.m. on Friday night. Pitts said, “My son was returning from buying food for his girlfriend, and upon his arrival back home, he encountered the person who shot him between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. I got the call at 11:00 p.m., but to be honest, I felt a pain in my stomach for the entire day, and I can’t tell what that pain was about, but I also had a constant feeling that something would go wrong.”

52 years ago a nuclear war almost broke out just north of us. In Belize, we would have looked up into the sky and thought that God had decided to end the world. But in October of 1962, it would have been mortal men, in the form of Americans and Russians, who had so decided. The people of Crimea have just voted to secede from the Ukraine, where the people recently overthrew a democratically-elected president and set up a new government. Ukraine’s democratically-elected president had been pro-Russian, whereas Ukraine’s new government is pro-European Union (EU). The EU nations are military allies of the United States in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty. U.S. President Barack Obama, under pressure from Arizona’s Republican Senator, John McCain, who was the Republican Party’s candidate in the 2008 presidential election and recently accused Obama of having the U.S. look “soft” in the Ukraine/Crimea matter, has loudly declared that America will not accept the secession vote in Crimea.

Before his assassination in 1961, Rafael Trujillo, the absolute dictator of the Dominican Republic, had been in a quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church. At one point in his historical novel, The Feast of the Goat, Mario Vargas Llosa, a Nobel Literature Prize Laureate from Peru, has one of Trujillo’s top aides quietly point out to him thusly, with respect to the Church: “They have not been beaten in two thousand years.” The Roman Catholic Bishop in Belize, the Very Rev. Dorick Wright, has gone on the offensive recently against militant women’s movements and non-governmental organizations which are pushing birth control, abortion, condom use, and radical gender policies. My sources feel that the Bishop, who is a diabetic and experiencing serious vision problems, is being “wound up” by a couple aggressive and prominent members of the Catholic laity. But the Bishop has been coming on strong for some while, which is to say that his press releases the last few weeks are not out of character. We have to believe the Bishop knows fully and exactly well what he is doing.

The Office of the Ombudsman was established 14 years ago, in 1999, as an independent entity to investigate complaints made by any person against the Government of Belize, including ministries, public authorities, town councils, the Police Department and any company owned by the Government. Lionel Arzu became the third to assume that post on January 1, 2013, and he notes, in his first annual report, that of the 211 complaints received over the course of 2013, public authorities have not responded in nearly 7 in 10 of the cases. Arzu said that, “Of the 211 cases, the largest number of complaints was against the Police Department and consisted primarily of allegations of the use of excessive force and police brutality. These make up almost 1/3 of all of the complaints received by our office.” Likewise, his queries have also not been addressed by the Police Department.

The largest international organization devoted solely to ocean conservation – Oceana – is working in Belize to protect the Barrier Reef from the potentially damaging effects of offshore oil drilling, and as part of that effort, Oceana in Belize has dedicated this week to highlighting one of our greatest natural wonders, The Belize Barrier Reef. Although the 186-mile reef system is a spectacular sight and home to many rare species of aquatic creatures, it is increasingly threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change, and since 2009, Oceana in Belize has been helping to protect and preserve the second largest coral reef system in the world which stretches from the northeast tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to Amatique Bay, Guatemala. Today, Amandala spoke to Oceana in Belize’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona, and she explained that the 2nd Annual Reef Week is a chance for all Belizeans to acknowledge the value of our reef, while supporting efforts to protect and preserve its existence.

The battered state of most of the sugar road networks in the Corozal and Orange Walk districts – which contributed to the delayed start of the 2013/2014 sugar cane season – were the subject of much discussion recently, and at the Government of Belize (GOB)’s annual budget presentation last Friday, March 7, the Minister of Works, Hon. Rene Montero, announced that those roads – which once stood in deplorable, even impassable conditions mainly due to excessive rains – are now receiving much-needed attention by way of contracts which were signed by GOB to conduct remedial works on those vital passageways. In response to a question raised by Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. John Briceño, Montero replied that over 100 sugar roads have been repaired in the northern districts. Government had allocated funds totaling $2.7 million for sugar road works in late 2013, and Montero said, “In the Corozal division, there are 9 branches [of cane farmers associations]. $1,150,000 was allocated [for that division]. $8,998,256 has been spent and $243,850 is remaining. Funds to be allocated are $7,894.00.”

A recent World Bank report has classified Belize among a handful of Latin American and Caribbean countries which account for more than 30% of the world’s homicides. The World Bank’s Citizen Security Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet, has revealed in a recent report by the World Bank – published on March 5 – that even though the Latin American and Caribbean states only possess 9% of the world’s population, almost one of every three murders globally are committed there. In fact, the United Nations (UN) has qualified crime and violence in these areas as an “epidemic” and considers the region to be the most insecure in the world. According to the World Bank’s report, 30% of the world’s homicides occur in these two regions, and the report adds that of the 50 cities around the world that have the highest homicide rates, 42 of those cities are in Latin America, including the top 16.

A 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) – a US-based national public health institute – revealed that Belizean authorities need to find ways to better respond to emergencies, and today the Police Department was one of the first to react by hosting a disaster preparedness workshop for members of the Eastern Police Division Communication Center, 911 operators and other members of the division. It took place at the Queen Street Police Station conference room, and Mr. Eaton Williams, the Police Department’s acting communications manager and coordinator of the event, gave us an overview of what the workshop entailed. He said, “It was a joint workshop where Mr. Wayne Usher from CEMO did a presentation for us along with representatives of the Belize Red Cross, the Meteorological Office as well as a psychiatric nurse from the Ministry of Health who all came in and spoke about disaster preparedness and management especially as it relates to the work that the 911 dispatchers do.”

Victor Cassanova 18, of Altamira, Corozal, a student of the Corozal Community College, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was knocked down at about 8:00 Thursday night while walking with his bicycle through the Rainbow Town Park in the Altamira area, Corozal Town. He was slammed from behind by a vehicle which did not stop; the impact hurled him into the air and he landed on the pavement. As a result, Cassanova suffered injuries to his head and right knee, and complained of pain in the left side of his body. He was taken to the Corozal Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

Woman found decomposing in house in Dangriga
Geraldine Lewis, a resident of Dangriga, was found dead and in an advanced stage of decomposition in her house on Sunday. A forced entry in the house was made, because she had bolted the doors from inside. The body was taken to the Dangriga Town cemetery, where it was buried immediately. Information to Amandala is that Lewis, who had recently returned home after living and working in the United States for decades, had not been seen or heard from for about a week. She normally would be heard singing from her house, and every Sunday she would go to church. On Thursday, an odor began to disturb people, but it was not distinct. On Sunday, however, the neighbors became alarmed because the smell had begun aggravating them. Houseflies were seen outside Lewis’ window, and buzzards were seen in the area.

Vehicle collision in San Ignacio
Four vehicles collided on Buena Vista Road in San Ignacio, but no one was hurt. One of the vehicles lurched into a nearby drain. The incident occurred about 2:30 this afternoon. According to reports, a pickup truck was travelling on Buena Vista Road when the driver lost control and slammed into a vehicle that was parked on the roadside; that vehicle slammed into another vehicle that slammed into another vehicle, and the fourth vehicle was sent into the nearby drain. Police have launched an investigation. The driver of the pickup truck reported that the brakes of his vehicle failed.

One of the headlines in the March 14th edition of the Amandala – “BISHOP WRIGHT FLOGS BFLA, UNIBAM, NAC AND THE RED CROSS” (even the Red Cross?) – left me saddened and a bit bewildered, the way I usually feel when encountering ignorance and superstition. As he exhorts the reader to “be vigilant” against the manifold threats loose in the land, threatening Belize’s moral foundations and family values, the good Bishop neglects to mention what is the greatest threat of them all to the well being of Belizeans – A CORRUPT POLITICAL SYSTEM! Instead, he weighs in with quirky observations – distractions, really – such as viewing AIDS workers with suspicion, as though they had some kind of hidden agenda; vaccinations for children are maybe better off left alone, he says. Planned Parenthood also cannot escape the Bishop’s moral certitude as he equates making condoms available for the asking (goes a long way in preventing AIDS, for one) with proselytizing for promiscuous sex. Oh, I almost forgot, homosexuals come in for their usual thrashing too: is it true there’s one behind every tree?

The mind reels! Unbelievable! Yet another sad example of “let them eat cake!” The corruption in Belize knows no restraints at all, and if this were Eastern Europe, say, in the forties and early fifties, people would be swinging from lampposts….How craven! Like a sick joke.

Veteran Belizean boxer, Henry “Boxer” Gill, who returned home to live a couple years ago, and is passionate about getting the sport of boxing off the ground for our at risk youth, said he wants his friends to know that he is fully recovered from a recent ordeal, caused by some issues with prescription medications that he needs that were in short supply. Boxer dropped by the sports desk last Thursday to say that everything is okay now, and he wants his fans and friends to know that he is back in action, “bobbing and weaving.”

From ‘baller to balladeer, football great Gene Guild visits
Last Thursday night, Eugene “Japanese Bomber” Guild, on a short visit from New York, stopped by the sports desk on his way to a guest appearance on Tony Wright’s Thursday night show on KREM Radio, Belize Musicians Past and Present. Gene was accompanied by his older brother Emerson, still resident in Belize, who was also a member of the famous Berger 404 champion team of the mid-1970’s. Another footballer turned musician, Emerson is known in the Jewel for his “Singers and Players of Instruments” promotions. We did an in depth interview with Gene on a previous visit back in October of 2012, where he explained that, after he had retired from playing competitive football in New York due to an injury in 1984, he eventually stumbled into a new career in music, singing to be specific.

Young Mexican rider
Twenty-year-old Mexican national Ignacio Prado, riding for the Benny’s Megabytes cycling team, rode away from his nearest competitor, Smart cycling team’s Herman “Hijo” Requena, around Mile 4, and made the final circuit around the NAPA and Smart roundabouts to cross the finish line in front of Smart all alone, to claim 1st place in the 33rd running of the Belmopan Cycling Classic, sponsored this year by SMART. Hopes were high for the only Belizean rider in contention as the lead duo neared the City to complete the 100-mile ride; but the Mexican “just walked away” around Mile 4, and there was nothing Hijo could do to stop him. Reportedly, Prado was recently a winner in one of the legs on a tour race in Mexico City. After the race, we asked the young champion if he will be returning to make a try at the Holy Saturday Cross Country. “Si me invitan,” (If they invite me), he replied. Benny’s Megabytes team manager Perry Gibson was all smiles when we posed the question to him, and also did not discount the possibility that he might also be bringing another foreigner along for the Cross Country. The Belmopan Classic champion is considered a marked man in the Country, being the last major race before the historic Holy Saturday race; and so far, only 3 Belmopan Classic winners have gone on to claim the garland in the Cross Country.

Leith Bermudez, 18, an employee of Cisco Construction, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on charges of attempted murder and dangerous harm against Tarique “Hell Boy” Gillett, 17. Frazer told Bermudez, “because of the sections under which you have been charged, it means that I cannot offer you bail until three months have passed. But your family can apply to the Supreme Court for bail.” After explaining the process, she remanded Bermudez into custody until his next adjourned court date on May 5.

A businesswoman of Orange Walk Town was robbed in her store, and the two thieves escaped with her gold chain. The incident occurred at about 9:00 this morning at the Palma’s Grocery Store, located on San Andres Street. She told police that two men entered the store and bought cigarettes. One man then returned and ordered some other items, and when the woman reached over the counter to hand these to him, he suddenly grabbed her thick gold chain, pulled hard until it broke, and ran through the door with it. The woman saw the two thieves riding away on bicycles, and screamed for help.

The Court of Appeal has squashed the murder conviction and sentence of Viola Pook, 56, and ordered a new trial. Pook was serving a lifetime sentence after a jury found her guilty of the murder of her common-law husband in July 2011. The decision of the Appeal justices centered on a remark that Pook made when she was initially questioned by police on December 31, 2008, the day police found her common-law husband, Orlando Vasquez, suffering burns to most of his body inside their Rancho Dolores home. Pook, according to the testimony of Corporal Zuniga at her trial, told him that “da me catch him fire.” Zuniga, however, had failed to caution Pook about her right not to say anything incriminating before consulting a lawyer and used the statement against her, which was the only evidence that linked her to the assault of the burn victim, Vasquez, who succumbed to his injuries two days later.

3 shot in North Creek Road attack
Three persons from the North Creek area escaped a vicious gunfire attack by two gunmen that almost took their lives while they were looking at a basketball game at a court on North Creek Road at about 8:30 last night, Sunday. Justin Orellano, 24, of North Creek Road, was shot twice in his lower back, while Kenyon Moss, a laborer of North Creek, was shot in the right thigh. An 18-year-old girl of Dolphin Street, a 4th form student of Gwen Liz High School, was shot in the right knee. They were all rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they were admitted, treated and later released. Wilfred Peters, Jr., 49, who lives right next to the basketball court, said that many people were on the basketball court looking at the game, including some children from the area. Suddenly, gunshots erupted, and everyone scrambled for cover.

Simon “Pancho” Paulino dies in his sleep
Former Deputy Mayor and present councilor of Punta Gorda, Simon Martin “Pancho “Paulino, 59, of Far West Street, Punta Gorda, was found dead on his bed at about 7:30 yesterday morning, and no foul play is suspected. Paulino’s girlfriend told police that she went to his house at about 8:00 Saturday night and did not get a response when she called for him. She looked through the window into his bedroom and saw him lying on his back on the bed, and she believed that he was asleep, and so she went home, she said. At 7:30 yesterday morning, Sunday, she again visited his residence and saw him in the same position. She immediately contacted a family member, who went to the house to see what was happening, and found him dead on his bed.


Security Hired for This Weekend’s “Deal With the Devil” Wing Eating Competition at Lazy Croc’s BBQ: The Rules
This morning I was innocently strolling to Crossfit when I passed this flyer and stopped in my tracks… While asleep the devil visited Mr. Tropicante in a dream and whispered the SECRET recipe for the world’s hottest pepper sauce. Now, Mr. Tropicante is offering To beat the deal with the devil, to any one mortal. Should any human be able to consume 6 Chicken Wings, in 6 Minutes, on the 6th night of the week they will win $1,000.00 BZD. Contest rules apply. Details at Lazy Croc BBQ. I posted the flyer on MY facebook page and have received multiple emails, a few phone calls and lots of excitement. What EXACTLY are the rules for this contest? SO…being the crack reporter that I am, I called Christiano from Lazy Croc’s to get the deets. And I’m not sure who is more giddy about this. Me or him. HERE are the details that I was given: The Deal With the Devil Wing Eating contest starts this Saturday, March 22nd at 6pm. The restaurant’s hours will be extended from 6pm to MIDNIGHT Saturdays and you can enter during that time period. Travellers is helping sponsor the event and the bar is open. A plate of the 6 wings will cost $6bzd or $10bzd. The price is still being determined when Christiano meets with one of the devil’s minions later this week. 90% of the meat must be cleaned from the bones. Christiano or other Lazy Croc management will be the judge. These wings will be DANGEROUSLY hot and a legal waiver must be signed by all participants. During the six minutes, you can not consume any beverages or ice cubes. Three San Pedro policemen will be on site monitoring the contest and the devilish crowd to maintain order. You can not be under the influence or intoxicated during the signing of the waiver or during the contest. Once you win the contest and the money, you can never EVER enter again. If you eat the wings, you get $1000BZD! ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS!

Making Small Business Happen
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is working along with the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), a unit of BELTRAIDE, to create economic opportunities, promote social progress, and strengthen communities and civil society. The program has three main objectives: • Develop employability and entrepreneurial skills among youths by completing a 12-week training program on small business development as well as through work readiness and life skills methodologies • Create opportunities for self-employment through modest seed funding in the form of matching grants for entrepreneurship initiatives • Increase youth employability through hiring events and other services to match trained youth with employers in sector such as business outsourcing processes and tourism and hospitality

"I fell in love with San Pedro," sings Madonna in her '80s hit "La Isla Bonita" – probably the first claim to fame of the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, that pretty island on Belize's north coast that's the song's namesake and the country's busiest tourist destination. While Ambergris is no longer off the beaten path – Madonna might be surprised at the number of golf carts whizzing up and down the roads of the island – it's still a fun and relatively low-key destination that's popular with expats and short-term visitors alike. Here are five highlights to add to your must-do list. While you can take a ferry from Belize City (and its international airport) to Ambergris Caye, you'll be missing out if you don't experience the country's internal air travel at least once. Upon landing at the international airport from Houston, we picked up our bags, then turned around and checked in again for our flight on Tropic Air. Along with our boarding passes, we were handed an in-flight magazine and a snack – not just any old nuts, but organic, Belize-grown peanuts.

Howler Monkeys, Alligators and more in Belize
One of the ports of calls on our Western Caribbean Cruise was Belize. We decided to take the Altun Ha Ruins and River Cruise Shore Excursion. It was a day filled with Howler monkeys, Alligators, and so much more! The Altun Ha ruins are amazing. We were there in the middle of a torrential downpour and it was still really cool. We ended up getting drenched but it was warm so it felt refreshing or so I told myself.

International Sources

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change
Fascinating look at border changes!

Health services administrator deploys to Belize to facilitate medical treatment
A field grade officer from Air Forces Southern has deployed to Belize in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. Lt. Col. James Smith, a 16-year Air Force veteran, from Junction, Texas, is in Belize serving as the liaison officer between the Department of Defense and the Belizean Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Planning for this exercise, which began in August, has been an all-encompassing mission for the colonel and his planning team. “As with any exercise, even the best planning requires on-the-spot adjustments and decisions once execution begins,” Smith said. “In my position, I have been given the latitude and scope of responsibility to make tough decisions that have wide effects.”

AFSOUTH NCO leads contracting team for New Horizons Belize
A technical sergeant from Air Forces Southern has deployed to Belize in support of the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. Tech. Sgt. Ryan Schnepf, an Indianapolis, Ind., native who has been in the Air Force for 12 years, is here leading a three-person contracting/finance team. His role in the exercise is to provide contracting logistical support to New Horizons task personnel and to establish contractual agreements with local businesses to purchase supplies, services and materials. Schnepf, who has previously deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Oman, El Salvador, Canada, and Qatar, is deployed to Belize for the second year in a row. “The best thing about this deployment is building relationships between the U.S. and Belize,” Schnepf said.

Bishop wants pro-condom, pro-choice groups out of schools
A prominent bishop in the central American nation of Belize has urged Catholic schools there to ban groups that oppose church teaching on sexual ethics. Bishop Dorick Wright of Belize City and Belmopan named a Red Cross programme “Together We Can” and the National Aids Commission, which condone condom use; the gay rights United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). He said these groups “foster programmes that ultimately undermine our Catholic values”. He said these organisations’ activities and positions “are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church” the twice-weekly paper Amandala reported. The letter, dated 3 March, warned against Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) – the Belize arm of pro-choice group Planned Parenthood – which it said proposed an “agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition is seeking to radically change Belize’s Christian character.”

Caribbean’s Biggest Water Provider Reports Drop in 2013 Profit
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO), the largest publicly traded water provider in the Caribbean, reported a 7.7 percent drop in profit last year as retail sales declined at its Cayman Islands base. Net income for 2013 was $8.6 million compared with $9.3 million a year earlier as earnings and profit-sharing from its British Virgin Islands affiliate OC-BVI also fell, the Georgetown-based company said in a statement. Total revenue slipped 2.5 percent to $63.8 million while services income climbed 80 percent to $843,000 as management fees increased. Consolidated Water also operates water production and distribution facilities in the Bahamas and Belize and expanded beyond the Caribbean with a seawater reverse-osmosis facility on Indonesia’s Bali island and a water-purifying desalination pilot plant in Rosarito in northern Baja California, Mexico.

March 18, 2014


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The San Pedro Sun

Football and Family – the Deon McCaulay story
The McCaulay family lived on Mayflower Street, in an area of Belize City that is considered the center of a gang-ridden area. Exposure to drugs, guns and gang violence is nothing unusual for a normal youngster in the southern part of the old capital. “I played football at the Berger’s Field on Vernon Street along with Raptures Football team,” recalls Deon. “Instead of gangs, drug and violence, I chose playing football. I could have been on the street, but instead I concentrated on playing, spending many hours kicking ball.” When asked what kept him away from the norm in his challenging neighborhood, Deon credits family and discipline. “It is not easy, but you have to have the right people around you to help you overcome those challenges. You have to be a leader and know what you want in life. My grandmother, Mrs. Evonie, was a very strict woman and if she knew that I was doing something wrong, she would discipline me. I also had a very strict uncle as well.” Like any other Belizean child, McCaulay said he took “chances” and ran away to play football when growing up, opting to “deal with the consequences” when he returned home.

Saca Chispas to be renamed Honorable Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre Sporting Arena
The Saca Chispas football field in San Pedro Town will be renamed as the Honorable Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre Sporting Arena. The announcement was made by the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero during the official inauguration of the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk Project. Guerrero said that the decision to rename the field was as a result of the inauguration coinciding with the date of Sylvestre’s burial on Friday March 14th.

Ambergris Today

New Facilities Inaugurated at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
As part of the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) that invested US$15Mil around the country of Belize to strengthen the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy, new facilities were inaugurated at the Bacaler Chico Nationl Park and Marine Reserve that is located 20 miles north of San Pedro Town. Designated on August 1996, The Bacalar Chico National Park covers 12, 640 acres and the adjacent marine reserve covers 15, 529 acres. It is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Pic of the Week: Thousands of Tropical Islands Line Belize's Coast
There are literally thousands of small islands that line the coast of Belize. Many fringe the Great Barrier Reef; most have names, but there are those that still lie undiscovered with no name to call their own. Some are private, some are still up for sale and others are government property. But the one thing that they all have in common is that they have this unique charm that makes them so special, so Belizean. This tiny little island featured this week is one of the many that you will encounter as you travel from Belize City to Ambergris Caye by water taxi. It's big enough to house a small house, a pier to dock onto and a tall tree to hang the hammock. The rest is just white sandy beach, whatever space is left. We could not catch its name!

ABC Pre-School to hold Annual Spectacular Presentation
ABC Pre-School will once again be hosting its annual spectacular presentation. Join them on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium! Show starts at 7:00 p.m. bring out the family to this wonderful even and witness seing, Hananah Montana, Caullio, Batman, Superman and much more. Prices: Regular Seating Adults $10 and Children $5 Reserved Seating Adults $15 and Children $10

Misc Belizean Sources

Government of Belize Press Office PRESS RELEASE

Blancaneaux Teaches Organic Farming
Blancaneaux Lodge is teaching students from San Antonio and Cristo Rey the importance of organic farming as part of their community outreach programs. Thanks, Blancaneaux! "Teaching our upcoming generations the importance of ORGANIC farming. Not only feasible but also healthier. Part of our community outreach efforts at the San Antonio and Cristo Rey Schools."

Sad And Beautiful World
The Garifuna Collective and Danny Michel have a new video out for their song entitled 'Sad and Beautiful World.' Cayo is shown in the video, as is the Xunantunich ferry. Sam Harris, leader of the World Culture Band, which plays often around Cayo, is a featured musician on the song and in the video. It's a great song, with a powerful message. In related news, the Garifuna Collective is getting ready for another Summer tour with Danny Michel. They're going to show their Grammy award winning, Belizean music to the world. "Be sure and select 1080 HD for best quality! - Filmed in Belize 'Sad And Beautiful World' By Danny Michel with 'The Garifuna Collective' from Belize. From the album 'Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me'"

Staggering men arrested in Placencia village
Two men who were found staggering on the road on the outskirts of Placencia village are cooling their heels in the cell block at the police station tonight. 33 year old Rigoberto Villanueva and 42 year old Felix Palacio were picked up by Placencia Police tonight, primarily for their own safety […]

Placencia man arrested for possession of controlled drug
A man has been arrested and charged by Placencia police after he was found with marijuana. At 8:30 pm today, police stopped and searched Andre Noralez and found him to be carrying a transparent plastic bag with what police described as “green leafy substance believed to be cannabis.” Noralez hs been […]

Placencia police make cocaine arrest
Police in Placencia village, Stann Creek district have arrested an American woman on cocaine possession charges. 45 year old Sandra Garty has been arrested and charged for the crime of possession of .1 gram of crack cocaine. Garty’s arrest was part of “Operation Stay Alert” carried out by the Placencia Police […]

Businesswoman assaulted and robbed in Orange Walk
An Orange Walk businesswoman was the victim of a mid-afternoon robbery. Blanca Lopez, the proprietor of Joshwell’s Fashion, Blanca Lopez, was held up and assaulted by two men this afternoon. Reports from Orange Walk say that a couple who drove up to the business establishment, found Lopez dragging herself on the […]

Local activists donate to schools
Co-promoters of the “Blazin’ Reggae Vibes” Concert held on March 9 Dion “Ras” Pitter, the noted stevedore and trade union activist, and KREM Radio DJ Anthony Grant, today gave donations to two local schools made with the proceeds of the recent event. Ebenezer Methodist Primary School’s feeding program received a sack of […]

Caribbean Red Cross Societies exchange on HIV
The annual meeting of the Regional Exchange for the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Program (CHAP) is being hosted in Belize. The CHAP meeting seeks to bring together four Caribbean countries – Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas – with their Belizean counterparts to discuss their experiences, challenges and best practices of promoting education and […]

Toledo West football tournament gets underway
Football teams from rural Toledo district are taking part in a tournament being sponsored by the Honorable the Area Representative for Toledo West, Mr. Oscar Requena. The tournament started on Sunday with games being played in San Antonio village. Organizers say that the tournament will last for 4 months. The winning team […]

A close encounter with birds...
The Crooked Tree Junior Bird Club had the opportunity to interact with researcher, Dr. Bill Hilton and his team, who have been visiting Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary in Crooked Tree Village for the last five years to study Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Site Manager, Derick Hendy has dedicated a lot of time to teaching the students about birds and seeking opportunities to enhance their birding experience and appreciation for nature conservation. As a result, for the past four years, Mr. Hendy has arranged for the students to make a short visit to a banding site within Dr. Hilton's study area to learn about the Ruby-throated hummingbird project. On March 13th, 2014 students listened keenly about the importance of Crooked Tree as a habitat for birds and saw firsthand the mist nests that capture birds, data collection station where the birds are assessed, weighed and released. As well, students got the opportunity to see all types of birds up close, hear what information scientists collect when studying birds and to ask any questions.

OAS anti-corruption mission to Belize
By Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr. JP On 13th March, it was reported that the Organisation of American States (OAS) Anti-Corruption Mission intends to conduct a site visit to Belize. Needless to say, upon reading this, I was immediately hit with a myriad of thoughts. For those who are not aware, let it be known that their visit should prove “instructive”, at the very least. If the OAS is genuine in its effort concerning this matter, they had better re-double their efforts because a truly in-depth assessment of the legal/institutional framework of my nation, coupled with an impartial analysis of both recent and current matters, should reveal that Belize (unfortunately) will prove a classic case-study in institutionalised corruption. Although, they need not delve much further than the recent case involving the actions of former Minister Elvin Penner, buttressed by his Cabinet colleagues’ blatant attempts to shield him from scrutiny, I certainly hope they do! Thankfully, the aforementioned matter resulted in the chief justice issuing a writ of mandamus, which effectively directed the Compol to do his job and investigate former minister Penner. Needless to say, there is no doubt the prevailing powers that be are not too pleased with the decision.

The Cassava Minister
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez They mocked him the “Cassava Minister” and targeted his projects Before Chiste many of Belize’s produce could not hit international markets Realizing this he brought in BAHA To regularize the health status of any and all products For local consumption and international export This was one of Chiste’s signature projects This is one of his legacies that you hear nothing about Chiste determined to help his nation Went to Taiwan Knowing that one of Belize’s premier exports was shrimp and lobster However the practice of lobster catching for eons in country Made this an unsustainable industry He brought in experts to create a marine culture For crayfish production in this nation This would increase Belize’s stock And not necessarily pressure the wide stock

On Thursday, March 13, 2014, Mayor Daniel and Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, were invited to the Open House Event that was held at Mahogany Bay Village. The event "Summit by the Sea" hosted a large group of potential home investors who are considering making Belize their home. The guests were given a tour of the chic, yet rustic and comfortable cottages that have been completed as part of phase one of the Mahogany Bay Village Project. The "village" consists of a coffee and rum shop called "The Rum & Bean" to enjoy their stay. With its cozy interior there's no doubt they'll want to make Belize their home. Mahogany Bay Village is located near the Victoria House and beside Consolidated Waters. You will definitely not miss their Grand entry way!

On Friday, March 14, 2014, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez assisted the state funeral for Hon. Louis "Coz" Sylvestre. Mr. Sylvestre was a well known person in both Caye Caulker and San Pedro, two places that he cared for and worked hard for while he was in office. In honor of his past work, the recently inaugurated Sunset Boardwalk was renamed to Hon. Louis "Coz" Sylvestre Sports Facility. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez and the San Pedro Town Council would like to express its most sincere condolences to the Sylvestre family. May his soul rest in peace.

San Pedro Pre-School
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez visited the San Pedro Pre-School as part of their activities for Child Stimulation Month and handed out exercises and pencils. (10 photos)

MMAC: Race to Live
The YogaSlackers have released the 4th and final video from their win of the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. It chronicals the 3 days and nights of their journey through the Chiquibul and MPR. Lots of great scenery and adventure, and stories, like having to carry their bikes due to there being too much mud. Wonder if they'll be back for the next one. "Welcome to the final video in the Maya Adventure Challenge series. Follow the YogaSlackers as they prowl through untamed jungles for three days and three nights non-stop in the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. We'll be there every step of the way to bring you the planning, the execution, the failures, and the triumphs in a four-part video series."

ERI and Panthera Seminar Series
The Environmental Research Institute and Panthera have teamed up to bring experts in the field down to give seminars, and tomorrow, Dr. Dan Thornton from Washington State University will present on Mammals in Space. Not outer space, temperate and tropical space; species distribution. "ERI and Panthera is proud to announce it's first presentation in our Seminar Series.... hope you can join us for this exciting new, venture!!"

OAS Culture of Peace Art Project
The Benque House of Culture was the site for the Organization of American States Culture of Peace Art Project. Looks like the kids had a great time doing art and learning about culture. In related news, they had the cultural night Saturday night. "A Culture of Peace OAS Art Project 2014, engaging and empowering one and all in the promotion of the Arts &Culture."

4 The World Visits Calla Creek
Feelgood news of the day. 4 The World had a Spring Break volunteer group in Cayo last week, and they went to Calla Creek and La Gracia to work with students and teachers on everything from computer training to reading to nutrition. Thanks again, 4 The World, for helping out so much around Cayo. See you soon. "We did some great educational and fun programs for the kids at Calla Creek Village while educators did a special Professional Development Training for teachers. It was so much fun while learning new things for all. These programs are very useful for the teaching staff at the schools and the kids really enjoy our programs and the friendships created by our volunteers. Swimming, climbing trees, playing football, basketball games, flying kites, making friendship bracelets and reading books after school made this day so much fun!"

33rd Belmopan Cycling Classic
The Belmopan Cycling Classic was this weekend, and the Cycling Federation of Belize has 100's of pictures from the event. "Here are some shots of the activities that were going on while the racing was on the road. Thanks to SMART for a great job in keeping the crowd in anticipation of the arrival of the finish"

Beautiful moon
The moon over Belize last night and this morning. You can certainly appreciate the beauty of Belize by moonlight in some areas. Certainly romantic and breathtaking.

Belize Colonial Architecture - Belize Supreme Court
"Belize's first court house was designed by Gustav Von Ohlafen and built in 1818. The first sitting of the Supreme Court was held therein. An entirely wooden structure, it was destroyed by fire on 17 August 1918; then Governor-General William Hart-Bennett, who had come to render aid in extinguishing the fire, was hit by a flagpole and died of his injuries a few days later. A new reinforced concrete court house was built in 1926 in Belize City." Source - Wikipedia

Video: "Woman of the Year" Selected by U S Embassy

Video: Gospel Expo' Kicks off With Great Euphoria from Tonight Until Sunday

Video: Belize Wind Energy Part 1
Belize Wind Energy Ltd goal is to build multiple large scale wind farms in strategic locations in Belize and thereby guaranteeing the people of Belize price stabilization and supply security, supporting Belize in becoming energy independent and creating an economically viable industry by producing energy and exporting it to the entire Americas. Belize Wind Energy Ltd is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Belize economy over a very short period of time by financing and building large-scale wind farms. The initial feasibility study is ongoing and we project construction to commence in 2014. Clean, reliable and renewable wind energy will be available in Belize in 2014.

Video: Belize Wind Energy Part 2

Video: Belize Wind Energy Part 3

Video: Belize Wind Energy Part 4

Video: Famous Belizean Entertainer Dankiman on the Entertainment beat

Video: Vanilla Hills Lodge Hotel - San Ignacio - Belize
Vanilla Hills Lodge offers spacious bungalows located in the lush tropical jungle outside of San Ignacio. It is a short walk from the Mopan River and offers free Wi-Fi and parking. Each bungalow here features cozy wooden décor and comes equipped with a seating area, a kitchenette and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. They also have a private terrace overlooking the gardens. Vanilla Hills Lodge serves a wide variety of organic meals for breakfast and dinner, and guests can also prepare meals in their bungalows. There is a market within 6 km of the property. The Mayan ruins of Xunantunich can be reached in a 20-minute drive, while Philip SW Goldson Airport outside Belize City is 125 km away

Video: Dive video, Belize 3/3/2014
Carnaval 2014. Ambergris Caye. 2º dia de mergulhos gravados com uma GoPro Hero2.

Video: Maruba Resort & Jungle Spa Hotel - Maskall - Belize
In the middle of the jungle outside of Maskall Village in Belize, this property features an on-site helicopter for tours, free Wi-Fi and a spa. Maruba Resort and Jungle Spa also has banquet facilities. Each room at this property features elaborate and unique jungle-style décor, a flat-screen TV, purified water and a private bathroom with a shower, bathrobe and slippers. The property's restaurant serves "Nouveau Jungle Cuisine" for all meals, and there is a breakfast buffet until 12 pm. There is also an on-site bar. Activities like basketball, hiking, horseback riding and bird watching can be arranged by the property. There is a 24-hour heated mineral bath, and the Lamani Mayan ruins are only a 40-minute drive away. Caye Caulker island is a 1-hour boat ride from Maruba Resort and Jungle Spa, and Philip SW Goldson International Airport is 30 miles away.

Video: Barefoot Caribe Hotel - Caye Corker - Belize
Barefoot Caribe is located just 100 metres from The Split swimming spot, on the beautiful island of Caye Caulker. It offers a terrace, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen cable TV. Each room at the Barefoot Caribe includes functional décor, a fridge and a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms have garden views, while others have a balcony with sea views. The on-site restaurant, Sobre las Olas, serves international and Caribbean-style. Various local bars and restaurants can also be found within a 2-minute walk, including the famous Lazy Lizard bar at The Split. Barefoot Caribe's tour desk can provide information about activities around the island. Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminal is just 200 metres away and offers regular connections to Belize City and San Pedro Island.

Video: Belize Ocean Club Hotel - Maya Beach
Belize Ocean Club is located on the beachfront in Maya Beach, just a 40-minute drive from Placencia. It offers an outdoor pool, an international restaurant and stylish air-conditioned apartments with free Wi-Fi. Each Ocean Club apartment offers modern, functional décor and a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, toaster and fridge. Some apartments also have ocean views. Free parking is available at Belize Ocean Club. You can go ziplining within a 45-minute drive of the property, while Mayan ruins can be found within a 90-minute drive. Belize City is 200 km away.

Video: Cruise Vacation Belize Honduras & Cozumel
Montage Video of my 2013 cruise vacation shot on a Go Pro Hero 3 black edition and edited by Max Fuerst Films.

Video: Kiskadee Lodge Hotel - San Felipe - Belize
Offering a restaurant, garden and a terrace, Kiskadee Lodge is located amid the tropical forest in the Mayan Highlands. Free Wi-Fi access is available in public areas of this lodge. The rooms offer a private bathroom with a shower. Guests also enjoy garden views, a fan and a fully stocked fridge. Daily housekeeping is included in the room rate. The property offers Continental and American breakfast and local food at the on-site restaurant. The property offers free parking and activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving. This property is 5 minutes' drive from Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit Mayan sites. Punta Gorda Airport is a20-minute drive away from Kiskadee Lodge and regular daily flights arrive here from Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize City,

Video: Belize video showing you different areas to live in Belize if you are looking to move !!
by Rainforest Realty

Video: The adventure: shipwrecked in Belize
Does it count as getting shipwrecked if the boat only takes on damage but doesn't sink? Listen to my adventure from the ferry between Chetumal, Maxico and San Pedro Island, Belize and weigh in. Oh, and for those wondering? There were no bathrooms on the ferry. This video is part of my travel adventure story series where I recount some of my most memorable, exciting, and at times awkward travel experiences. Join me as I take a stroll down memory lane and re-visit Belize in today's episode. Special thanks to Kevin Verner for handling the camera work. Sorry about the wind noise in a few spots!

Video: Playful bottlenose dolphins - Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Our volunteers were excited to find this of playful pod of bottlenose dolphins while conducting research surveys near our Turneffe Atoll field station.

Video: Belize Carnival 2012 pt 1

Video: Belize Carnival 2012 pt 2

Video: Belize Carnival 2012 pt 3

Video: Belize Carnival 2012 pt 4

Video: Rotaract Week 2014 Celebrates

Video: Banana Beach Resort Hotel - San Pedro - Belize
Banana Beach Resort is in Tumbo Beach, just one mile from San Pedro Airport. It features free airport shuttle, massage service, a furnished terrace and 2 swimming pools. The rooms and suites offer modern décor, air conditioning, a desk, fridge, cable TV and balconies with views of the grounds. The bathrooms include hairdryer and shower. El Divino Caribbean Steakhouse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with imported steaks, seafood, snacks, salads, lobster and a variety of worldwide wines. The Martini Bar features snacks, burgers, martinis and tropical drinks for the guests. The Banana Beach Resort can arrange activities like snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, diving in the Blue Hole and tours to Ancient Mayan Ruins. Golf carts, bikes, jet skis and kayaks are available for rent. This complex is 1.5 miles from The Belize Chocolate Company and its Cacao Farm, and 2 miles from San Pedro Church. The San Pedro Belize Express dock is a 5 minute drive away.

Video: Vega Inn & Gardens Hotel - Caye Corker - Belize
Vega Inn & Gardens is located in Caye Coulker beach, next to the water taxi station and 1 km from Caye Caulker Airport. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas. The rooms offer wardrobe and the private bathrooms also come with a shower. At Vega Inn & Gardens you will find a garden and a terrace. The property offers free parking. Guests can find a variety of restaurants and bars within 100 metres. This property is 650 metres from Asunción Church.

Channel 7

Sir Manuel and Kathy Esquivel Resign From All Government Posts/Appointments
Sir Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy have resigned all government posts and appointments in protest of their eldest daughter Laura being pushed out as Director of the Belize Tourism Board. Sir Manuel confirmed to us that he resigned as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister in a letter sent to the Prime Minister last Thursday March 13th. He confirmed also that he is stepping down as government appointed Director on the Boards of BTL and BSI. Esquivel would not comment on the reasons for his blanket resignations, only to say, "There is a tide in the affairs of men." Thursday March 13th is also the day that Kathy Esquivel resigned as Chairman of the National AIDS Commission. She had been on the board since 2002 as opposition representative, and was named Chairperson in 2008. She told us that she is resigning for personal reasons.

Will Aracely Cahueque Face Trial?
On Friday's newscast, we told you about the 3 men who were acquitted of the murder of 18 year-old Raylene Dyer, who was beheaded and dumped into a river, reportedly in a plot to steal her baby. Since the acquittal of the men, the alleged mastermind, 21 year-old Aracelly Cahueque has been on trial in the Belmopan Supreme Court since last week. As we told you, her attorney, Dickey Bradley, is challenging the caution statement she allegedly gave to police which Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez will attempt to tie her to the murder of Dyer because she wanted her baby, Reyven Dyer, who was only 3 months old at the time. The crown intends to show that she contracted help to Dyer and get control of the baby. Bradley made his challenge today of that statement in a trial within a trial. It went to completion, but because the jury is not privy to this evidence we cannot reveal on what basis the defense is trying to get it thrown out.

Former Travellers Cashier Accused of Stealing 80K!
24 year-old Rashida Kira Sedacey, a former cashier for Travellers Limited, is in police custody tonight awaiting an arraignment hearing in the Magistrate's Court after she was accused of stealing over $80,000 from the liquor company. She was taken to court this evening, and she should have been arraigned, but the Office section of the Magistrate's Court just couldn't type up and prepare the over 100+ counts of theft that she is about to face. Our sources from the court says that she's facing 116 counts, but other sources have also told us that it it's actually 130 counts. Sedacey, a resident of Los Lagos, was terminated from the company in December after the management accused her of stealing money from them in an 8-month span from the beginning of January to August of last year.

Three Shot Including 17 Year Old Female
Three people were shot in Belize City last night - including a 17 year old female. It happened in the Queen Square area on North Creek around 8:30 last night where a gunman opened fire on a group. Monica Bodden found out that three were injured but the shots were so wild that two more persons could have been killed. Here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting The shooting happened on this basketball court on North Creek Street just after 7 last night. The victims -17 year old Hortense Lynch, 24 year old Justin Orellano and 18 year old Kenyon Moss were sitting on this parked car socializing when two gunmen opened fire in their neighbourhood. Lynch was caught in her right knee, while Orellano was shot twice to his lower back and Moss to his right thigh. The shooters were on bicycles and came from the direction of Central American Boulevard.

American Teachers Enticed Belizean Minors Via Facebook
News is emerging tonight out of Tampa Florida about a male American teacher who used Facebook to chat and plan sexual encounters with two underage girls in Belize. David Wendel Thompson who has reportedly travelled to Belize nine times since 2011 was arrested in Miami on Friday. A press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he flew to Belize, where he was refused entry and then returned to Miami where he was then arrested. Ge's in custody now for online enticement of minors, a federal offence for which he could face ten years to life in prison. The US Attorney's office says the 48 year old had sexually explicit conversations with a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old in Belize in February. In those conversations, he discussed flying to Belize to meet the minors and to engage in sexual activity with them. Reports say, a cyber crimes unit of Homeland Security received information about the chats around March 12.

Stepfather Impregnated 13 Year Old
There is another disturbing case of sexual abuse to report tonight, but this one is homegrown. A 13 year old girl from a village in the Toledo District went to police with her mother to report that on five different occasions, he step father had sex with her. A medical exam confirmed that the she is 20 weeks pregnant. The stepfather is expected to be charged.

Red Cross Responds To Catholic Church
Last week we told you about the Catholic Church's blacklisting of the Belize Family Life Association, the National Aids Commission, UNIBAM, and The Belize Red Cross. The communiqué from the bishop said that these organizations were no longer welcome in the over 200 Catholic Schools countrywide because they, quote, "foster programs that ultimately undermine our Catholic values." We heard from the National AIDS Commission and UNIBAM, but we didn't hear from the Red Cross, which is the only international agency in the group. The Church criticized their programme which is called Together We Can. Today the Director General of the Red Cross Lilly Bowman defended the programme known as "T-W-C":.. Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross "We have a mandate and we have committed to reach all the most vulnerable and most at risk people in our country. We alleviate suffering where it is found, don't discriminate, but we've been working to our TWC program in prevention which encourages and promotes behavior change, encourages and promotes right choices, we believe that knowledge gives you the power to make the right choices to have a better life."

Belize Red Cross And Regional Counterparts Discuss AIDS Awareness Strategies
The "TWC" programme is built on regional methodologies, the kind that were discussed today at the 2014 Annual Caribbean HIV AIDS Program Regional Exchange Meeting. The event is being hosted in Belize this year and it brings together forty Red Cross Delegates from Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize. There are here for an exchange of ideas and best practices. Director General Bowman told us more:.. Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross "These 5 countries have been involved in the Caribbean HIV and AIDS program which is funded by the American Red Cross for the last 3-4 years. Every year they have an exchange such as this, we go to another country and we all get together and we exchange experiences, exchange good practices, exchange the new tools that have been developed and just basically discuss challenges and ways to overcome these challenges so that we can synchronize and act as one. We are one movement and so we bring all our experiences together."

Another Suit Against the GSU
Belmopan businessman Miguel Menjivar will sue the state for the damages that the Gang Suppression Unit caused when the unit rained down bullets on his family home almost 3 years ago. Today, 6 months after Menjivar was acquitted of trying to kill 9 different officers of the GSU, he and his family have started the process of suing the Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General and Sergeant #360 Santiago Gongora an officer of the GSU. As we we've reported, in May of 2011, the GSU, while under the leadership of Superintendent Marco Vidal, conducted a pre-dawn raid at Menjivar's family home outside of Belmopan. In that operation, the officers unloaded over 100 bullets at his home, supposedly in response to Menjivar who fired first. Menjivar thought that it was armed bandits who were trying to rob him, and he was trying to protect his pregnant wife and 2 children. Well, after beating that criminal case in the Belmopan Supreme Court, Menjivar is going on the offensive, and today, he went to file the documents at the court. He spoke with the media about it: Miguel Menjivar

18 Year Old Accused of Shooting 17 Year Old
18 year old Leith Bermudez, a construction worker of Oleander Street, is at prison tonight, after he was accused of shooting a 17 year-old minor last week Wednesday. 17 year-old Tarique Gillett was shot to the right side of the chest around 3:00 in the afternoon on Holy Emmanuel Street when 2 men rode past on bicycles. They had an exchange of words, and that's when one of the men pulled out a firearm and shot him in the chest. Fortunately, he was rushed to the KHMH in time, where the doctors were able to successfully treat him. 3 days later, Leith Bermudez was arrested and charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded into custody until May 5.

Victim Armed Like A Vigilante
He was the victim in a San Pedro shooting last week but tonight 21-year-old Darrington Lauriano is the one in police custody. That's because police say they searched him this morning as he was leaving the KHMH. They found him in the hospital parking lot with a knapsack and a suitcase - which police sya he was going to San Pedro with. Police searched the bags and found a 9mm Ruger pistol and a magazine with 8 live rounds along with 196 grams of weed. He has been detained pending charges of "Kept Firearm and Ammunition Without a Gun License" and "Drug Trafficking."

Gobi Rides From PG to Belmopan
The Gobi foundation has pledged one million dollars to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. They are doing it all by fundraising, and every year for the past 6 years, a ride is held to focus the fundraising events. This year's ride was the most ambitious thus far: 150 miles from Punta Gorda to Belmopan - and it went all through the night. Here's more on this slightly bizarre event:.. Jules Vasquez reporting They set out from Punta Gorda at 6:00 pm on Thursday - as dusk fell, the riders were in good spirits, including the man in the dog suit. At the dump cutoff - the CEO in the Ministry of health waved them on and the convoy disappeared into the night. Trailing in the blur of lights, the man in the dog suit is still there. He's Alan Gobi the organizer of this year's ride: Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "The group decided this year to do the longest ever cycle ride that they have done all the way from Punta Gorda, so it started off from down in PG Town at the dollar sign entrance for PG and they rode through the night, beautiful moon - people were lining the streets of the Southern Highway as they came pass all the way through the Southern Highway and they came up the Hummingbird Highway right here at Caribbean Tyres at the junction with the Western Highway at Belmopan."

The Last Big Test Before The Cross Country
And while the fundraisers were on the road on Thursday and Friday, on Sunday the pro's took over for the 33rd riding of the Belmopan Cycling Classic - sponsored this year by SMART. It was the final major test before the biggest race on the calendar, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. With only 6 weeks before that race, the competition was stiff, but in yesterday's race, 2 riders stood out. Mexican, Ignacio Prado and Belizean Herman "Hijo" Requena dominated, running out in front for some 60 + miles, where the chase group were only able to catch them in the second half of the race. At the last 10 miles both riders made a final attack, and found themselves alone, once again in the lead, and from there, they battled for first place. 7News was at the finish line, and we spoke to the second place winner, about being defeated by Prado who is younger and has less experience than him and all the other Belizean riders:

Japan Celebrates Sushi
culture's culinary arts. World class sushi chefs were brought in alongside Japanese community members from Belize. We sampled their selections:.. Hiromoto Oyama, First Secretary Embassy of Japan in Jamaica "We need to have a bit of understanding among each other, because if your people and my people misunderstand each other, it's going to be difficult to work together, so it's very important that we understand your culture and you understand our culture and we have friends among our people." "Human like us, we are what we eat, so it's very important that we show Belizean people what we eat and we like Belizean people to appreciate our foods and Japanese people here they appreciate Belizean food - it's very good that we appreciate your food and you appreciate our food so that we can understand each other better." Yosuke Masuda, Japanese Volunteer - Curry Koichi Fukuoka "This is Japanese curry, it's different from Indian curry and its more mild and thick. The ingredients are onion, carrots, potatoes and chicken."

Ras Pitta, Promoter Turned Philantrophist
Deon Ras Pitta and Anthony Toni G Grant are promoters of Blazing Reggae Sundays at the Bird's Isle. But the event isn't just about good vibes and conscious reggae - it's also about doing good. They're making donations to worthy causes form the proceeds of each concert. We found out more at Ebenezer Primary School today:.. Their next event will be held on Easter Monday.

Melvin For UDP Again
And, finally tonight, we close with news of a UDP political convention that caused a lot some fall out in the UDP. Yesterday in Stann Creek West ?2134 ballots were cast and Melvin Hulse emerged victorious with 1223?votes while Alexander Romero had 882. The interesting part is that Delroy Cuthkelvin who boycotted the convention at the last minute got only 19 votes. He said the party had unfairly taken his voters off the approved list. He couldn't be reached for comment today.

Channel 5

Mass resignation by the Esquivel Family from senior government posts
The Esquivel family – Sir Manuel, his wife Kathy and their eldest daughter, Laura; prominent names in the hierarchy of the United Democratic Party – has resigned from key appointments [...]

Delroy Cuthkelvin boycotts Stann Creek West convention
There is much more discontent in the U.D.P. ranks to report tonight. He might not be at the level of former Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel, but Delroy Cuthkelvin is certainly [...]

5 men rescued at sea after drifting for eleven hours
A search and rescue operation ended successfully for a group of men who were lost at sea for almost eleven hours. Included in the group was Southern Regional Commander, Robert [...]

Darrington Lauriano Jr. busted with gun and weed
Police made a huge bust this morning at the parking lot of the national referral hospital. Darrington Lauriano who has a Belize City as well as a San Pedro address [...]

Former Traveller’s cashier facing 116 charges of theft
A cashier previously employed at Travellers Limited will be arraigned in the Magistrate Court on Tuesday for a whopping one hundred and sixteen charges of Theft. Twenty-four year old Rashida [...]

Gunmen open fire at a crowd at a basketball game
Three persons were injured following a friendly basketball game in the North Creek area off the Central American Boulevard on Sunday night in what is believed to be gang related [...]

De’Zhaun Humes shot 5 times in Belize City
It did not make it on today’s police blotter, but on Friday night, another Belize City youth was injured in a shooting in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. Nineteen year [...]

Victor Garnett shot twice in San Pedro
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about Darrington Lauriano Junior, a Belize City resident who was caught red-handed by police with gun and ammunition as well as a little [...]

Trial of Aracely Cahueque continues in the Belmopan Magistrate Court
Aracely Cahueque is currently charged with three counts of abetment to murder in the grisly 2010 killing of young Raylene Dyer. Authorities believe that Cahueque enlisted the aid of three [...]

Mike Menjivar files suit against GSU
In May 2011 Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar and his family were the subjects of a search which went terribly wrong. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit pumped dozens of bullets [...]

Florida teacher arrested for enticing Belizean minors
A forty-eight year old teacher from Pasco County, Florida is in lockdown in Miami tonight after he attempted to travel to Belize to have sex with two underage girls. David [...]

Red Cross issues release on comments made by Roman Catholic Bishop
A letter sent out by Bishop Dorrick Wright of the Roman Catholic Church on March third, is causing a major fallout because of the Church’s conservative position. In the letter [...]

Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting
For the first time, Belize is hosting the Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting. The program is an initiative funded by the American Red Cross to address the [...]

McCauley’s rise to stardom featured on
Super striker Deon McCauley, now signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks in the North American Soccer League, is basking in the limelight of his crowning achievement, besting household names, including Lionel [...]

James Adderley has the weekend sporting activities
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   The spotlight of NEBL basketball shone on Belize City’s Smart No Limit Friday night as they faced the Belmopan [...]


Fashion Store Robbed In Broad Day Light
A brazen daylight robbery in central Orange Walk becomes a near death experience for one woman. The incident occurred mid-afternoon today and Orange Walk police responded quickly to apprehend the perpetrators. Reporter Dalila Ical has the details. Dalila Ical – Reporting It was about twenty minutes after three in the afternoon that a woman and her husband were driving up in the area when they came across Blanca Lopez who was dragging herself on the ground in an attempt to get out of her store, Joshwell’s Fashion. She had been robbed and was seeking help. Eyewitness “Cuando mire le dije a mis esposo ve a la señora parece que está orando y entonces creo que ello leo mis labios y pues vino y dice no me asaltaron y entonces el rapidito cruzo la calle y estaciono y ya fue que entonces pues la venimos a ayudar y la soltó mi esposo de sus manos porque la amararon sus manos con cable y tenía una camiseta azul que la estaban ahorcando también y pues los pies los tenia amarado con un cincho y ya él le quito eso y ya se pudo parar ya arratito llego la policía.”

Upgrading Of Santa Familia Street Halted Due To Drainage Problem
Last week we reported on a release issued by the Roman Catholic Bishop, Reverent Dorick Wright addressed to principals, local managers and administrators of catholic affiliations across the country. The release, though controversial, says ‘organizations whose activities and positions are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and which endanger the souls of the People of God, cannot be welcomed under any circumstances in our schools”, end of quote. These organizations that the Bishop referred to are the National Aids Commission, the Belize Family Life Association, Red Cross and UNIBAM because according to the release, these organizations are working together to ultimately undermine Catholic values and push an agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition, in order to radically change Belize’s Christian character.

Red Cross Responds To Release Of Catholic Dioces
If you live in Orange Walk, specifically in the area of Santa Familia Street, then we are sure that you noticed the infrastructural work that was being carried out in the area. We say was because works have been halted. The paving of the street is being carried out by the Social Investment Fund under the Belize Municipal Development Project. Up to Wednesday of last week, the project was running smoothly, but things changed when residents began expressing discontent on the way the drains were being built. Several calls were made to the Orange Walk Town Council who after investigations found out that the layout of the drains being built, will pose flooding problems in the long run. Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC “What is happening right now is the remaining of those works. It started off with the drainage project. I want to make it perfectly clear that the contractor that was given this remaining section is Demar’s Stone Company and we all know who Demar’s Stone Company is but that is not the issue, we don’t have a problem with that, he gave a bid and he won. The problem I have is that we began receiving complaints from residents complaining regarding the way the drains are being built. The drains are being built in the shape of a V.

Waitress Found Dead, Police Believes She Overdose
A 26 year old Honduran waitress of Palacio Dulce Bar located in the village of Ranchito, Corozal District, was discovered dead in her room yesterday. Police investigations have revealed trails of a case of overdose of an illicit substance. Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they observed the motionless body of Delma Cristelia Sosa Murillo. Initial investigation reveals that Murillo was drinking heavily at the bar yesterday and about 3:00pm she began feeling bad and went into a room to rest. About 2 to 3 hours later, the owner of the bar, 33 year old Clara Luz Sagastume went to check on Murillo but the room door was locked from inside. Despite the fact that Sagastume knocked on the door several times she received no response.


Trial Within A Trial for Aracely Cahueque, Accused of Child Stealing
Last Friday, we brought to you an interview with a disheartened Indira Cayetano, whose sister was murdered in western Belize in October 2010. Disheartened, because just last week, the court freed the three men who were accused of killing her sister, Raylene Dyer. But closure cannot be had just yet by Dyer’s family because there is still a case pending in the Belmopan court because in addition to having her sister murdered, Cayetano and her family were faced with horror when they learnt that Dyer’s then three month old baby was kidnapped. The police had recovered the baby a short while later in Corozal Town with Aracely Cahueque. Cahueque, who is being tried for child stealing sat in the Belmopan court today while her attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley challenged the caution statement that she reportedly gave to investigators. It is a crucial challenge since it is this very statement that Senior Crown Counsel, Cecil Ramirez will attempt to use to link Cahueque to Dyer’s murder as part of his efforts to prove that she obtained help in getting Dyer killed with the motive of taking control of the young baby. Today’s trial consisted of almost five hours of arguments and at the end of the day, Justice Denis Hanomasingh tentatively stated that he would be rendering his decision tomorrow on whether the caution statement would be admitted as evidence or not. Following the hearing today, the media met up with Bradley, Cahueque’s attorney to get a feel of how the case is progressing.

Three Shot on Basketball on North Creek
Three persons sustained gunshot wounds last night after a pair of men, bearing firearms, released a barrage of bullets at an unexpected crowd. The shooting happened on a basketball court on North Creek Street. Police say that two men came riding on North Creek from the direction of Central American Boulevard, on separate bicycles, and started shooting at the crowd. It was mayhem as the crowd scattered and every one dashed for cover. However, 24 year old Justin Orellano, 18 year old Kenyon Moss and his 17 year old sister were hit by the bullets. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has more details. HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “At about 8:30 last night, the basketball court on North Creek Street was filled with neighbors socializing and playing basketball. But the crowd scattered when two unsuspecting men on separate bicycles rode pass by-releasing a barrage of bullets at the crowd.” EYEWITNESS “I only started hearing gunshots and when I looked, I saw people running and crying and they came and dropped in front of me and I picked them up and the neighbor took them to the hospital. I heard a lot of shots; I know it was more than six. I was frightened too that I don’t even know how much but it was a lot of shots.”

Esquivel’s Resignation: Personal or Political?
Confirmed reports reaching Love News Centre is that the Director of the National Aids Commission, Kathy Esquivel tendered her resignation last Thursday. Esquivel is the mother of Laura Esquivel Framptom, the former Director of the Belize Tourism Board who was forced to resign last week. This is after a number of directors wrote to Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia citing a vote of no confidence in Esquivel Framptom. The directors raised concern of her leadership style which they say was responsible for the lack of morale throughout the organization. At the time the directors said they were conscious of the potential political ramifications that their grievance may pose however they were fully prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with Heredia. It is not clear whether there is a connection between the two resignations; both cited personal reasons as the cause. Speculation is rampant on the social media that the mother may be protesting her daughter being ousted from the Belize Tourism Board. But, that is just what it is, speculation. We went to seek confirmation from Mrs. Esquivel herself but we were told that she had absolutely nothing to say on the matter.

Argument Settles With Gunshot to the Chest
The police’s investigation of a shooting incident which occurred. on March 12, has resulted in the arrest of 18 year old Lieth Bermudez, a construction worker of Oleander Street in Belize City. Bermudez was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. She explained to him that she will not take a plea because the offences are indictable and the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until May 5. The complainant, 17 year old Tarique Gillett, reported to the police that he was standing at the corner of Holy Emmanuel Street and a street without name when he was approached by 2 persons, one of fair complexion and the other of dark complexion. He said there was an exchange of words between them then the one of dark complexion pulled out a firearm and fired a single shot which struck him in the right side of his chest. Gillett was admitted to ward at KHMH where his condition is reported to be critical but stable.

Aspiring Standard Bearer Says Convention Had Irregularities
Former Government Minister Melvin Hulse is back as standard bearer for the United Democratic Party in the Stann Creek West constituency. A contested convention took place yesterday where Hulse received 1,223 votes. Alexander Romero received 882 votes and Delroy Cuthkelvin received 19 votes, ten votes were spoilt. As we reported on Saturday Cuthkelvin cited irregularities with the voters list which he felt favored Hulse as the reason he would boycott the convention which he did. Cuthkelvin has indicated that he would be speaking with the press. When we checked with him today he said he would be meeting with his committee to discuss the issue before taking the next step.

US Teacher Charged for Enticing Minors
Belize Immigration officials have confirmed that a Social Studies teacher from Dade City, Florida was denied entry into Belize on Friday, March 14 after receiving Intel from their US counterparts that the 48-year-old, David Wendell Thompson has been making contact with young girls through chat rooms and Facebook and engaging in sexually explicit conversations. Reports are that when Thompson landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport, he was denied entry, placed under police guard at the airport and was sent back to the US on a flight out of Belize about ninety minutes after he landed. According to a foreign news article, Thompson had booked this recent trip to Belize to have sex with two under-aged girls. Thompson, who is now under arrest in Miami, Florida has been a teacher since 1994 and upon his return to Miami, he was charged with enticing minors and made his first court appearance this morning. Meanwhile his employment status is under review and he has been ordered to stay away from the school. If he is convicted, he could face up to ten years to life in prison.


Fear not to Follow Christ, for God Empowers Sufficiently
Our verse for this week is taken from Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Two Youths and a Female Minor Get Shot in Belize City
Three persons, including a female minor, were shot in Belize City. According to police reports, on Sunday March 16th at around 8:30 p.m. 24-year-old Justin Orellano, 18-year-old Kenyon Moss, and a female minor of Belize City, were sitting on a car which was parked on the Basketball Court on North...

Alleged Kidnapper Ms.Cajueque on the Verge of Her Trials In Court
Ms. Aracely Cajueque is the accused mastermind of the kidnapping of a three month old baby and the murder of the child’s mother. The three men she allegedly put to do the gruesome job have already walked free of murder charges and now Cahueque is facing her own charges. The...

Alleged Sexual Predator on Belizean Minors Captured in Miami
David Wendel Thompson, a 48 year old social studies teacher at Centennial Middle School in the state of Florida is today in Police Custody in the United States. US Investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are claiming that in February, Thompson had sexually explicit conversations with two Belizean children on...

Mr. Lieth Leeton Bermudez Charged for Attempted Murder
One of two men believed to have been involved in a broad daylight shooting in the city last week Wednesday was in court today. 18-year-old Lieth Leeton Bermudez, aka “Hell Buoy”, was charged for the attempted murder of 17-year-old Tarique Gillett. Bermudez, who was unrepresented, appeared before the Senior...

Mr. Melvin Hulse Wins UDP Convention for Stann Creek West
The United Democratic Party held its Stann Creek West Convention on Sunday March 16th despite one of its contenders boycotting the convention. Delroy Cuthkelvin boycott the event following an emergency meeting on Friday, March 14, 2014, in which UDP Chairman Alberto August insisted on using a voter block-out list...

Belize Trade Delegation to Restructure Economic Framework With Mexico
On March 3rd, 2014, two weeks ago, the Belize Trade Delegation visited Mexico and met with a high level team from the Secretaria de Economía in Mexico City. The primary objective of the meeting was to establish a general framework and a schedule for negotiations of a Partial Scope Agreement...

Ms. Rashida Kira Sedacy to be Charged with 116 Counts of Theft
One hundred and sixteen counts of theft; that’s how many charges will be read to former Travellers Ltd., Cashier, 24-year-old Rashida Kira Sedacy. Relatives of Sedacy were at court this evening up until 4:15 when they were told that the arraignment cannot be done until tomorrow morning since the...


2014 Belize City Tattoo Exposition Gets Me Seriously Thinking…
Yesterday, I attended Day 2 of the weekend long expo in Belize City. My friend Margie and I ignored the high winds and the small craft warning and jumped aboard the hour and 15 minute water taxi ride to Belize City. Good clean fun. The tatoo-ing though was going on behind closed doors. Thankfully in air conditioning. And then we ran into Carlos. We checked out all the tattoos and artists. And a bit of body piercing. The only place I like it is on a stuffed animals. But that’s just me.

Paddy says to Mick, “If you can guess how many doughnuts are in my bag, you can have them both” Ah Ireland… Yes, it’s that time of year again to honour one of history’s greatest saints. I mean, here’s a well-to-do Roman who was enslaved in Ireland, escaped, and returned under his own free will to bring his religion to the savage and barbaric (but everyone agrees, pretty interesting) people he came to love. And they returned his love ten-fold as history (and the phone book) shows. For those who don’t know, Ireland (or Éire, then as now) was one of the first civilisations where woman had pretty much equal rights and were renowned warlords, excuse me, war ladies, and leaders.

CARIBBEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION (CSF) Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE)
Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) SPISE STUDENT APPLICATION – DEADLINE APPROACHING Please be reminded that the deadline for submission of student applications to the 2014 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) is only TWO weeks away (March 31, 2014). The goal of SPISE is to help groom the next generation of Caribbean science, engineering and business leaders who will help to diversify the economies of the Region. SPISE is a rigorous 4-week residential program for gifted Caribbean high school students interested in pursuing careers in disciplines related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and is modeled after the well-known MITES program at MIT. SPISE offers university-level classes in calculus, physics, biochemistry, and hands-on classes in robotics, electronics and programming along with entrepreneurship, Mandarin and seminars on Caribbean unity. SPISE has served 26 stellar students in its first two years. Please view 2012 SPISE Video.

Brownie Tartlett
This is s fun recipe of brownies baked in a tart pan. Perfect for potlucks. Each tart is just right for one serving. This is Video #300. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Lost crack cocaine?
If anyone has lost a small bag containing multiple pieces of crack cocaine ... there is good news. Your stash has been found. The bag and its contents is safely in the custody of the police in Placencia village. The owner of the crack cocaine can go to the station to claim their property. Police say the plastic bag with cocaine was found during a search in an area south of Placencia village. It is currently labeled a found property and in safe keeping at the Placencia police station.

Flat Broke in San Ignacio, Belize: Free and Cheap Things to Do
So you’ve found yourself in the quaint Belizian border town of San Ignacio. Maybe you’re contemplating shelling out the money for the ATM caves (which we fully recommend). Or maybe you’ve just gone on your cave tour and have decided to hang around the area for a bit longer while the water dries out of your shoes. Either way, you’re probably on a strict budget considering the cave tour runs at about $85+. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. There’s a lot more to discover in the area that won’t break the bank. Check out our list of cheap & free things to in San Ignacio Belize. 1) Cahal Pech Ruins – $5 / Free if the guard on duty is snoozing

Learning to dive with ReefCI
From what I’ve been told by other guests I have been very fortunate learning to dive with Reef CI in Belize. For someone who was neither that keen on the sea nor on swimming, I had taken a gamble travelling all the way from the UK without so much as a taster dive back home. But my experience leads me to suspect the course must rank amongst the best you could find as a non-diver. Add to this the fact that you actually contribute to conservation of the world’s second largest great barrier reef and it’s a win-win situation. There are many things that made it an amazing experience. I guess top of everyone’s list would be the location. I have never stayed on a ‘desert island’ before and was lucky that my arrival was set against a backdrop of perfect Caribbean weather. Next, for a beginner, comes the instructors and both have been fantastic; Simon from the UK and Tracy from the USA. I agree their ‘office’ is in a great location but they both work harder and longer days than many people I know, ensuring students get the most from their course. Simon was my Open Water instructor and he guided me and the other student through the training with patience and good humour, especially when neither of us took particularly well to being underwater on our first day.

Belizean Chicken Tamales
Belize Food!

International Sources

15 birds with unbelievable beaks
The animal world is filled with unique faces, but these birds have some of the most flashy and specialized beaks around. When Mother Nature decides to specialize an animal, she sure does it with style! These birds have some of the most amazing beaks and bills in the avian kingdom. Whether flashy or functional, they all have flare. Another species of toucan with a particularly amazing bill is the keel-billed toucan. It has the same functions as the bill of the toco toucan, but adds some rainbow colors in splashy patterns. That's how it gets its alternate name, the rainbow-billed toucan.

United Hub - Watch inflight movies and TV on your personal device
Starting this April, we’re rolling out our new personal device entertainment system onboard select aircraft. With this new service, sponsored by the MileagePlus® Explorer Card, you can choose from over 150 movies and nearly 200 TV shows and watch them free of charge on your personal device. Most planes will be equipped with the new system very soon, and we’ll have it installed on most domestic aircraft by the end of 2014. We’ll begin on Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and select 777-200 aircraft, followed by additional fleets. In the end, all United-operated flights will have some form of entertainment. Remember that 48 hours before your flight you can check the amenities you’ll have onboard at or on the United app. (Please note that the amenities are subject to change up until the time of departure.) How it works Here’s all you need to do before you board to make your inflight viewing as seamless as possible: 1. Download the latest United app from the iTunes® App Store if you’ll be using a mobile device. Laptops do not require the app. (Android™ and other mobile devices are not fully supported at this time.) 2. Charge your device fully. Once you’re onboard, you’ll see two types of media. Some programs require a browser plug-in on your laptop or the latest United App on your Apple® iOS. Other programs can be watched through the United Portal on your browser with no plug-in or app required.

You’ll Be Amazed By These Belize Beaches
There are a few things you should consider when planning a trip to explore the beautiful Belize beaches on your next vacation. With almost 240 miles of coastline and hundreds of offshore islands and cayes, you might expect the nation to be home to dozens of the world’s most pristine sandy beaches. Well, that’s not exactly the case. While there are a number of gorgeous stretches of coastline, among which we’re going to share with you some of our favorites, much of Belize’s coast is occupied by mangrove forests. These important eco-systems house many species of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and even mammals. They also protect the shores from erosion and damage from hurricanes. However, they don’t necessarily provide the best conditions for swimming or sunbathing. As a result it’s important to thoroughly research any areas you plan to visit to make sure that each offers the types of activities and atmosphere you’re seeking. Whether you’re looking to spend your days relaxing in the sand, enjoying some of the world’s best scuba diving in Belize, or soaking up the local culture, Belize has a beach that’s sure to suit your tastes.

Belize Association of Central Florida Annual Easter Picnic
April 5, 2014 - Fort de Soto Park

Inspiring Change; Reflecting Reality – A look at gender quotas
By Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation for the European Union in Jamaica Across the world women continue to be underrepresented in top positions of government and corporate boards, the EU being no exception in this respect. Research shows that more women attain tertiary education than men in many developed and developing countries. In the EU Member States, 60 percent of University graduates are women. Women account for 60 percent of the EU workforce at all levels, however gender balance in positions of leadership in the workforce remain disappointing, despite having improved in the last few years and despite gender equality having been enshrined in the EU Treaty and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Women occupy on average 13 percent of board seats of the largest publicly listed companies in EU Member States but only 3 percent chair boards. Women parliamentarians across EU Member states average 24.7 percent; and of the major political parties, only 10 percent of the leaders are female. Even in the European Parliament only 35 percent of members are women.

Pasco teacher tried to fly to Belize for sex with teen girls
A veteran Pasco County teacher is behind bars in Miami after facing federal charges he tried to entice two young girls to have sex with him. Federal authorities say David Wendel Thompson, 48, left Tampa last week and flew to the country of Belize in Central America to see a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activities but officials there turned him away. On his way back to Tampa during a layover in Miami, federal agents said that’s when they moved in. Thompson made his initial appearance today in Miami, Florida and is currently being detained there. According to federal documents, Thompson had sexually explicit conversations with the girls through instant messages on Facebook.

Central American Coaching for FI Cricket Association
THE Falkland Islands Cricket Association (FICA) has arranged for an International Cricket Council (ICC) accredited Cricket Coach, Conway Young (25) from Belize, to visit the Falklands between March 15 and 29. Organiser Andy Brownlee told Penguin News: “Mr Young is the Cricketing Development Coach in Belize and the idea of having him come to the Falklands was first hatched when the Falklands Cricket Team visited Belize as part of their Caribbean tour in 2012.” Mr Young has played for the Belize national team, has experience working under highly qualified coaches and in 2010 took up the position as coach for the Belize Junior and Senior Male National Cricket Team. He has both national and international cricketing awards, and was also appointed the Cricket Development Officer for Belize which involves working in schools in order to build a strong foundation for the future of cricket in his country.

Google Play Movies arrives in 39 new markets
The Android version of the Google Play Movies and TV app was updated today with support for 40 new languages. Google has also confirmed that its Movies service is now available in 39 new markets: Angola, Aruba, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Gabon, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia. These new regions join the previous markets where the storefront is available: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.

Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World
How happy are you? What about the people around you — do they usually seem to have smiles on their faces? Your environment plays a role in your overall mood and your outlook on life. Thus, factors that can determine a country’s level of happiness include government, income, and mental health. Ready to find out if your country has made the list? Here’s the top 10 happiest countries. 8. Belize Wouldn’t you constantly be happy if you were surrounded by the largest barrier reef in the world, a relaxed Caribbean lifestyle, and a somewhat perfect climate? That’s what Belize citizens get to enjoy every day. On top of that, the country is known for its cultural diversity, making for a happy and harmonious place to live, Travel Channel says.

Pdvsa supplies 43% of energy to 17 Petrocaribe Member States
Diplomacy of the governments of Hugo Chávez andNicolásMaduro, tapping on oil barrels to forge alliances and fasten political and economic cooperation, relies on Petrocaribe as an example of solidarity and complementarity arisen from commitments and obligations contracted between Venezuela and Central American and Caribbean nations. The Petrocaribe scheme, established in 2004 on the initiative of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, comprises Venezuela and other 17 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Suriname. This group of countries received at least 103,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil byproducts in 2013, 84% of the goal, according to data supplied by state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).

5 Ways to Get Seduced by Belize
Belize is one of those places that calls you back time and time again. Here’s why one writer just can’t get enough. It’s my third trip to Belize—you could say I’ve become a bit of an addict. This former British colony bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south may be a small country, but it has a diverse geography that includes the second largest barrier reef, a tropical rainforest that’s home to hundreds of species, ancient Maya ruins, miles of white sand beaches and hundreds of islands. How could one not fall in love with the intoxicating beauty of this country? Warning, a trip to Belize may leave you never wanting to come home.

March 17, 2014


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The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofer: Smart Ass
“Señor Flores, I was just coming over to visit you and find out how you’re doing. I haven’t seen you in a long time,” I said. I was in San Ignacio when I passed Mr. Flores leading a donkey down the road. “Oh Mr. Dennis, things ain’t been too good,” he said. “I don’t have […]

Eulogy of Jeffrey Eiley
Jeffrey was born in San Pedro on June 13, 1983 as the 3rd child of Norman & Susana Eiley. Jeffrey was a charming little boy that had a passion for planes and gained much fame for his love for dancing. Always the performer whether making sure everyone laughed from his jokes or dancing to Richie Valens’ “ La Bamba” and Michael Jackson “Beat it” at every island event. As a little boy when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer would be “I want to get Married!”

Editorial: It is time to stop pretending that all is well in San Pedro

Doctor Love: Weight Loss
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, In my seven year marriage I have had two children with a three and a half year space between them. Something that I […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Mexican wins Belmopan Cycling Classic
After 100 grueling miles in the hot sun and heavy southeast headwind that characterizes Belize’s weather at this time of the year, 20 year old Ignacio Prado, riding his first race in Belize, outlasted the field to win the 33rd Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic sponsored by SMART. Prado, a Mexican riding for Benny’s Megabytes, took about four and a half hours to complete the course, and spent most of that running at the head of the pack with Team SMART member Herman “Hijo” Requena.

Salvation Army church holds Youth Councils
The annual Youth Council of the Salvation Army Church took place today in Belize City on Sunday, March 16. Members of the three main corps, or units, of the Christian organization, met at the main church on Cemetery Road in Belize City this morning for a worship service followed by the official gathering in the afternoon, highlighted by a quiz contest. Participating corps included Georgeville/San Ignacio, Belize City Northside, Belize City Central and Salvation Army Primary School. Guest speaker at the Youth Councils was Captain Mark Gilden from the United States. The organization is one of the foremost participants in providing help to needy persons through its feeding program, mostly subsidized by large donations and the annual Kettle Appeal.

Pallotine Centennial celebrations come to an end
Activities for the celebration of 100 years of ministry in Belize by the Pallotine Sisters culminated on Sunday, March 16 with a special Liturgical Mass. Hundreds of members of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize from all over the country, traveled to Forest Home village, Toledo for the special festivities which were held at the Novitiate Nazarenth Convent. The main celebrant for the Closing Mass of the Pallotine Centennial Celebrations was the Most Reverend Bishop Dorick Wright, assisted by Father Lukasq Ciupa, Father Callistus Cayetano, Father Leo Palma, Father M. Murray and Father L. Mcabe. In his Homily, Bishop Wright told the congregation of over a thousand fathifuls, that being on the mountaintop is beautiful; but one must come down from the mountaintop to face the reality on the ground.

The History of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The first event was organized in 1998. I had dreamed up four ideas for the launching of VIDA purified water, as part of my plans to grow the Big H brand from a regional business and place it on a national stage….with focus on promoting the natural, healthy beverage products that we had in mind to extend our product and market range. My brother Big-h Juices liked this idea more, so we went with it. We wanted a grueling adventure event that would showcase the natural beauty of Belize and our healthy products…with potential for attracting international interest. The first persons I went to was John and Martha August….owners of Marthas Kitchen. John is the son of Peter August, one of my dads best friends and compadre, both involved in the organization of very big horse racing events in San Ignacio in their time. Martha is my cousin….and their restaurant and guest house was the bee hive for tourists in downtown San Ignacio, where river canoeing tours had already sprouted. They loved the idea instantly….and promised to help in whatever way they can.

The Government Outside the Government
In the beginning there was one government….it taxed the people and provided services based on those taxes….through its various line ministries. Then….the public sector entrepreneurs started special-interest projects….with the guise of improved services through better management….with “cost-recovery” mechanisms….replicating all kinds of quasi-government statutory bodies out of these projects…most with special “laws” that these bodies would write for themselves…with their built-in authority/right to “tax”….but without the fiduciary responsibility to account for those “extra-budgetary” revenues. The line of authority still ended with the Minister under whose portfolio the statutory body fell….so the MINISTER ruled in the CENTRAL GOVERNMENT…..and the NOT-SO-CENTRAL GOVERNMENT….he became a king with two fiefdoms. So it was….that the politicians built….a house for themselves and their favorites….outside of the house where the voting public has a direct say. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is one of those houses. The Minister of Tourism is at the head of the line of authority….it has a Board of Directors that is appointed by the political directorate of the day, but which is mostly rubber-stamp….and it has its own law that gives it authority/rights to collect taxes and license fees…. with its own “tax-collectors “….among them, the Hotel Tax….which is many millions of dollars in revenues each year.

Mr. Simon Paulino passes away
News has been received of the death of the former Deputy Mayor of Punta Gorda town Mr. Simon Paulino. Condolences to the family.

A special Liturgy Mass was held on Sunday, March 16 at the Novitiate Nazareth Convent compound in Fores Home village, Toledo to mark the end of the Centennial Celebration for the Pallotine Sisters ministry is Belize.

Video: Belizean Cove Estates Hotel - San Pedro
On the beachfront on Ambergris Caye, these elegant villas feature wonderful sea views. The Belizean Cove Estates has an outdoor pool, tropical gardens and free boat transportation from San Pedro, which is just 3 miles away. Each fully-equipped Belizean Cove villa features stylish contemporary décor, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. All villas have a spacious living room with a flat-screen cable TV and a modern kitchen with a stove and fridge-freezer. A private chef and grocery delivery services are available upon request at the Belizean Cove Estates. You can also find a restaurant next door, serving fresh local seafood, steaks, crepes and homemade bread and desserts. You can explore the island and surrounding coral reefs using the property's free bicycles and sea kayaks. The popular Mexico Rocks snorkeling spot is 3.5 miles away, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve is 7 miles away.

Video: De Real Macaw Hotel - Caye Corker - Belize
De Real Macaw is a property located in Caye Caulker. It faces the beach and all its accommodations feature a private porch with hammocks. Free Wi-Fi access is available. The rustic-style accommodations will provide you with a cable TV and a kitchenette with fridge and kitchenware. Featuring a shower, the private bathrooms also include towels. Some units have a sea view. Guests will be able to find restaurants and eateries within a 10-minute walk. Also, tour offices and interesting touristic spots can be reached in about 10 minutes by foot. At De Real Macaw you will find an airport shuttle towards the domestic airport in Caye Caulke, where air-taxis will take the guests to Corozal. Guests will have to take a ferry boat and the motorway to reach the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Video: Rainbow Hotel - Caye Corker - Belize
Located right on the water in Caye Corker Town Centre, Rainbow Hotel offers an on-site restaurant and excellent views of the Caribbean Sea. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout. The bright rooms here are air-conditioned and feature a dining area with a microwave. They also come with a flat-screen cable TV, a safety-deposit box and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. Rainbow Hotel's restaurant serves seafood and international dishes, and guests can find other restaurants within just 200 metres. Asuncion Beach is 30 metres from the property, while the island's airstrip can be reached in a 5-minute drive. Boat transfer to Belize City takes about 45 minutes.

Video: Isla Marisol Resort Hotel - Glovers Reef - Belize
Set beachfront in the Belizean cays, Isla Marisol Resort is a property that offers bungalows overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The rate includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, a welcome cocktail and round trip boat transfer. The bungalows have a functional décor, air conditioning, terrace with sea views, wardrobe and a private bathroom that provides free toiletries. Some units have an additional toilet. Offering a restaurant, a bar and a private beach area, Isla Marisol Resort is located in Glovers Reef Island. Free Wi-Fi access is available in this resort. Some activities that can be practiced while at Isla Marisol Resort are kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling or walking on the beach. Boat rides to the mainland take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Video: Topwater Barracuda Action Belize
This video was taken in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Some of the action was in the lagoon behind El Pescador Lodge, while other shots were taken while out on the guide boats. The fly fishing was good, but I threw a topwater plug to the mangroves during slow times.

Video: Shark Wrestling in Belize
Shark and Ray Alley Belize, You gotta try it!

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day1
Full days coverage of the race...San Ignacio to Banana Bank

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya, Day 2
The full days race coverage. Banana Bank to Double Head Cabbage

Video: Panchos Villas - Caye Corker - Belize
Located in the north side of Caye Caulker, Panchos Villas is a complex that has its own restaurant on site. The property offers its guests free breakfast and Wi-Fi access. The several accommodations at Panchos Villas will provide you with a TV with cable channels, air conditioning or a fan, and a balcony. Featuring a shower, the private bathrooms also provide towels and linens. Some units have a seating area, kitchenette and a dining area. Guests will find an area with restaurants and bars within a short 2-minute walk. At Panchos Villas you will find free airport shuttle service and also a bar. Other facilities like a tour desk are offered. The property offers free parking and is set 100 metres from Playa Asunción Beach- The Aquatic Taxi Station can be reached in a 3-minute walk.

Video: Leaving San Pedro, Belize
A bit bumpy clearing the break at Ambergris Cay!


Corozal Holds Seventh Annual Fun Run
A massive tsunami blanketed Corozal Town around 6:30 am with a little more than 250 athletes, volunteers, students, and children with disabilities who gathered in front of the Corozal Town Council for the 7th annual Special Olympic Fun Run. According to District Coordinator for the Special Olympics, Martha Correa this year was a successful year since the main objective was accomplished. Martha Correa – Special Olympics “This is exactly the 7th year that we are holding the annual Fun Run here in Corozal and it is an opportunity to have our Special Kids socialize and create awareness in our community; it’s for the to create respect, awareness, but probably next year we will be staring country wide for a fundraising purpose.” Correa also stated that medals were awarded to the top eight crossing the finishing line under two categories.

One Man Charged For Drug Trafficking
Orange walk police have charged one man for Drug Trafficking. The incident occurred on Thursday around 12pm while police were conducting patrols at San Estevan Village when their attention was drawn to a male person acting suspiciously. As a result he stopped the unmarked police mobile and approached the male person and conducted a search on his person and found nothing incriminating. Police then went to a motorcycle parked a short distance away and saw a blue Jansport bag which was searched in the presence of the male person and found inside a black plastic bag containing small foil packets which when opened contained green vegetable substance consistent with cannabis. The male person was escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station along with the suspected drugs which amounted to 120 grams.

Student Knocked Down in Hot and Run Accident
A student of Altamira Area in Corozal is tonight recuperating from injuries that he received after he was knocked down in that municipality. Corozal Police responded to a call around 8:00pm of a hit and run that occurred on 4th Avenue opposite the Rainbow Town Park. Preliminary investigation revealed that 18 year old Victor Casanova was walking on the left side of 4th Avenue, pushing his bicycle while accompanied by 17 year old Yansie Iglesias, student of Finca Solana Area, Corozal Town, when he was knocked down. Casanova reported to police that they were walking towards Corozal Town in a north to South direction when a blue pickup, traveling in the same direction, came from behind and hit him and his bicycle causing him to fly in the air and fall on the road pavement sustaining injuries to his head and abrasions to his right knee. Cassanova also complained of pain to the left side of his body.

Shop Owner Robbed of Her Chain, Robbers Make Their Escape
A man manages to rob a woman using only deception. The incident occurred this morning at Palma’s grocery store located on San Andres Street in Orange Walk Town. Proprietor Fidelia Palma was still shaken when she detailed what had happened around nine thirty this morning. Palma did not wish to appear on camera but said that two men of dark complexion had entered her small retail shop to buy cigarettes. One of the men returned shortly after to borrow some matches. Around nine thirty the man returned and ordered several items, which Palma says she diligently served. He then ordered some condiments and when she reached over the counter to hand these to him the man suddenly reached out and grabbed her thick gold chain, pulled hard until it broke and escaped through the door. Palma says she screamed for help and saw her assailant riding away on a bicycle. Eyewitnesses who saw the men around the area and saw when one rode off on a bike say that the men were loitering in the neighborhood for some time before the robbery took place.


Estel’s Rib BBQ Cook-Off Packs the Beach & Names Two Hometown Favorites Champions
Estel’s By The Sea is a San Pedro, Belize institution. Favorite breakfast spot. House of kitsch and interesting memorabilia. Best fry jacks and flour tortillas in Belize. Breakfast ALL day. A 6am opening time (except Tuesdays.) Only place that I know of that serves you a dish of deep fried chicken gizzards called “tootch” or Belizean Kriol for gizzard. (This I have not tried YET. But only because I just found out about it yesterday from Amy Knox, former chef at Victoria House, currently owner and chef at Wild Mango’s. Talk about your inside tip! I bet it’s DELICIOUS.) Two entries from the island. Charles, the owner of Estel’s, who is famous countrywide for his delicious BBQ. All weekend, every weekend, he’s got his giant barbecues going packed with pork chops, ribs, chicken and more…

International Sources

New Iberia native deploys to Belize
Beaver has the enormous responsibility of coordinating cargo movements from home station to deployed and exercise locations overseas. The sea shipment that he coordinated for the New Horizons exercise included various construction and maintenance vehicles (tractor-trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) and more than 40 shipping containers. “This is the first time we’ve moved everything by ship, so this experience really gave me more of an opportunity to expand my job knowledge,” he said. He has been coordinating with the Belizean government, Port of Belize officials, U.S. Transportation Command, and various military and civilian entities since last August.

Winnsboro native deploys with US military to Belize in support of New Horizons exercise
Lowe is currently part of an elite group of engineers known as REDHORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers). REDHORSE squadrons provide the Air Force with a highly-mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide. Units are self-sufficient mobile squadrons, capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide. Lowe and his crew were responsible for preparing more than 25 vehicles (tractor-trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) for a ground shipment from Las Vegas to Cape Canaveral, Fla., followed on by a sea shipment that arrived at the Port of Belize last week. “We made sure that all vehicles got off the boat safely and then we transported them to different construction sites and staging areas in the country,” said Lowe. These heavy equipment vehicles will be used to assist civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize to construct five New Horizons projects: a hospital ward in Belmopan, three schools in Belize City, and one school in Hattieville. The schools will support furthering the education of children in the country.

OAS Gathers Chief Justices and More than 60 Professionals from the Health and Justice Systems from the Caribbean to Consolidate Drug Treatment Courts
The Organization of American States (OAS), in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTCP), through its National Problem Solving Court Institute (NPSCI), will hold March 18-21, 2014 a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) Exchange and On-Site Study Program event for four Caribbean countries (Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The workshop is organized under the umbrella of the Drug Treatment Courts Program in the Americas, an initiative coordinated by the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). Authorities present during the event will include the Chief Justices of Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, the Attorney General of Barbados, and the four Chief Magistrates of all four countries. In addition, each country will attend with the participation of their DTC teams (judges, magistrates, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and treatment providers). The opening ceremony will be held on March 19, at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver.

St. Louisans aid Belize City school counter social ills
A bright, white picket fence, trees and a neatly trimmed yard catch the eye of visitors to the parish campus in Belize -- a church, three primary school classroom buildings, a preschool and parish center. St. Martin de Porres Parish stands out as a beacon of light in a neighborhood of Belize City ravaged by drug violence. The U.S. Department of State calls the Central American country south of Mexico on the Caribbean, "a high-crime country." The majority of homicides -- a rate 10 times that of the U.S. -- occur in Belize City, where gang violence is rampant, especially on the south side of the city, an area that includes St. Martin de Porres Parish. The parish leadership is fighting back -- by providing young people a solid education with hope for the future. The bolstering of the school is happening with the help of St. Louisans, especially those with ties to St. Louis University and the Jesuits. The volunteers are helping implement many of the practices used by the NativityMiguel schools in St. Louis such as Loyola Academy and St. Cecilia School in St. Louis, including a long school day, summer school and high expectations.

How The Tablet Made An Ass Of The PC
Many tech watchers STILL don’t understand what a “disruptive innovation” is. I’m no Einstein, but I’m going to try to explain it in terms that even a six year old could understand (and with pretty pictures too!). A disruptive innovation is: an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. If that still doesn’t resonate with you, that’s okay, because we’ve just begun and… Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge. ~ Khalil Gibran The Analogy The new often disrupts the old, which is somewhat akin to saying that the new often makes an ass out of the old, which brings us to my analogy: The PC is like an Elephant and the Tablet is like an Ass (in the biblical sense).

March 16, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club wins both Buttonwood Bay and Baron Bliss Harbor Regattas
It was an exciting weekend for sailing clubs from across the country as they traveled to Belize City to participate in the annual Buttonwood Bay and Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta. Both regattas are Belize Sailing Association (BzA) national ranking regattas and all the sailors were out for the win. But it was San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC) who took the grand first place trophy for both regattas. Held on Saturday, March 8th, the Buttonwood Bay Regatta was hosted by the Belize Sea Scouts. 49 young sailors participated in a series of six races in the optimist class. Participating clubs included SPJSC, Sea Scouts, Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC), Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC) and San Pedro Sailing Club (SPR).

Gaby Nuñez is San Pedro Town’s new Deputy Mayor
San Pedro Town has a new Deputy Mayor in the person of Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez. The announcement was made by The San Pedro Town Council on March 7th via a press release in which it indicates that Nuñez took over the responsibility from councilor for the year 2014-2015. The new appointment of Nuñez also saw assignments of responsibility being reshuffled within the council. “The new appointment does not really affect any of our portfolios since the Deputy Mayor’s position is rotated every year. For me I am appreciative of the responsibility entrusted to me by my other colleagues and I will continue to work with them as I have been doing since I was elected to office. I will continue to support them, be by their side and work hand in hand with all my councilors as I have been doing in the past,” commented the new Deputy Mayor.

Oceana My Reef Instagram Competition Winners Announced
Oceana in Belize is pleased to announce the winners of its Instagram Competition. We congratulate Andrew Roe for his first place entry—“Pelican heading to roust at South Water Caye.” Through the generosity of anonymous donor, Andrew takes home a GoPro digital camera. Second place honors go to Belize City resident Chloe Cruz whose entry “Sharks” earns her a night’s stay at Belize Nirvana hotel in Placencia village, courtesy Barbara and Evan Bull.

Misc Belizean Sources

Best Places In Belize With Larry Waight & Jen Knoedl
No longer the world’s “Best Kept Secret”, Belize is attracting travelers of all kinds from all over the world. Jen Knoedl hosts a video Interview with Larry Waight of the Belize Media Group to discuss the best places to visit and experience in and near Belize.

Shooting in San Pedro town injured one man
A shooting incident just before 9:30 last night in San Pedro town has left one man injured. The victim has been identified as Victor Garnet. According to reports, Garnett was shot multiple times and sustained injuries to his abdomen. He was first treated at the Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic in San Pedro town then airlifted via Tropic Air to Belize City where he is not undergoing treatment at the Karl Heuser Memorial hospital. Police are investigating the shooting on incident and have so far collected at least 7 expended shells from the scene of the shooting Laguna Driver in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town.

BAAS 2014: Ancient Maya Domestic Economy
BAAS Belize Archeology & Anthropology Symposium July 1-4

Are you ready to talk, Bishop Dorrick Wright?
Please permit me to offer a brief commentary on the much-publicized letter from the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church Reverend Dorrick Wright banning certain organizations from your schools. First off, I start from the position that I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church; but I am a Christian. Sir, – Mr. Bishop Wright – I believe that you have taken the wrong approach to the whole situation. If the ban on these organizations is based on the supposed promotion of things that are contrary to your church’s Biblical standards, shouldn’t you have taken a Biblical approach to dealing with it? I believe that the Bible says that if a brother or a sister is found to have sinned, the church should do all it can to bring that person to repentance. This I interpret to mean, in the literal sense, dialogue. Talking to the person, understanding the root of their error and using the Holy Spirit to convict them of their wrong and trust the saving grace of God to bring them to Salvation.

Orange Walk man busted with marijuana
A man from San Estevan village in the Orange Walk district has been booked on a charge of drug trafficking. Forty year old Carmen Lino was busted with a plastic bag containing marijuana on Thursday afternoon. The police press officer says that cops on mobile patrol saw Lino acting suspicious and so they stopped and searched him. Police say that initial search did not find anything incriminating. But when police saw a motorcycle parked a short distance from where they stopped Lino, they decided to take a closer look. That was when they opened a sport bag that was on the motorcycle and found the marijuana in small foil packets weighing 140 grams.

Belmopan Cycling Classic
Today is the 33rd annual Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic. "The Annual SMART Belmopan Classic travels from SMART Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway through Belize City and unto the George Price Highway to Belmopan, where it goes around the Ring Road and returns back via the same route to Finish with one lap from the Round a Bout that goes from Napa to the Sol Round a Bout at Buttonwood Bay Blvd for the Open Elite/Masters; while the Female/Junior/Youth use the same route but only to La Democracia and return"

Video: Belize Vacation Trip
Slide show of our trip to Belize (Feb 2014). First half is Almond Beach Resort, second half is Caves Branch Lodge.

Video: Belize 2014 Sailing Adventure
Belize bareboat charter through TMM at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. Sailing Vessels Hope and Toucan head south through Spanish Lookout Caye, Middle Long Caye, Tobacco Caye, South Water Caye, to Carrie Bow Caye. Then turned north to Garbutts Cay, St. Georges Caye, Caye Caulker and back to San Pedro. March, 2014 Adventure.

Video: SunBreeze Suites Hotel - San Pedro - Belize
Offering a freshwater pool, patio bar and free Wi-Fi, SunBreeze Suites is on a private beach on the tropical island of Ambergris Caye. Each spacious suite has a balcony overlooking the sea. The bright, air-conditioned SunBreeze Suites have a bedroom, a bathroom and a living-dining room with a queen-size sofa bed and cable TV. The well-equipped kitchenettes feature a stove and fridge. In central San Pedro, the complex is within a 5 minute walk of many supermarkets, gift shops and open-air restaurants. San Pedro Airport is only half a mile away. The staff can arrange island transportation and help you plan excursions throughout Belize. They can also recommend local scuba diving centers, perfect for exploring the off-shore barrier reef.

Video: Permit landed at Tarpon Caye Belize
Dr. Greg G. and guide, Charles Leslie Sr., landing his permit at Tarpon Caye Belize April 29, 2012

Video: How To Tie The Calvo Permit Crab (Tarpon Caye Belize)
A step by step video on how to tie the famous Calvo Permit Crab. A big thank you to our friend Pablo Calvo for sending us this video and allowing us to share with all our fans.

Video: Diving with BDS Caye Caulker, Belize
2014 Belize Scuba Diving Vacation, Diving off of Caye Caulker, Belize with Belize Diving Services!

Video: Belize 2/3/2014
1º dia de mergulhos a partir de San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Imagens feitas em uma GoPro Hero2

Video: 4 The World Belize 2014

Video: Belize Hang
Trip to Belize...long weekend. Saw a dolphin. :-)

Video: Scuba Diving - South Water Caye, Belize - Lawrence Academy Winterim
Lawrence Academy Winterim IZE Hopkins Underwater Adventures South Water Caye, Belize Scuba Diving PADI Certification GoPro By Adrian Colmenares & James (Tanner) Murphy

Video: Best of Belize short clips
A mix of short clips from our diving adventure with Chuck & Robbie's crew in Belize. Featured are Loggerhead Turtles, Green turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Trumpet Fish, Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Moray Eels, Creole Wrasse, Lobster and Anglefish.

The Belize Times

Laura Esquivel booted from BTB – Executive Managers cast Vote of No Confidence
There was no rolling out of the red carpet or extravagant “farewell parties” which Directors at the Belize Tourism Board have become accustomed to when political appointee, Laura Esquivel-Frampton, stomped out of the Albert Street office on Tuesday. Reports are that the cheers and “party” actually started after Esquivel-Frampton walked out of the building, as the staff only had good riddance to say. Esquivel-Frampton becomes the 4th Director to fall out of grace at the institution within only six short years under the Barrow Administration. This serious instability within an institution that plays a key and integral role in the nation’s economy and development is a sad state of affairs. But Esquivel-Frampton’s departure ends on a sourer note than those who have walked through the exit door before her. Esquivel-Frampton was forced out of BTB by members of her own senior management team. A kind of high level backstabbing. Seven senior managers (Kevin Gonzalez, Director of Destination Planning; Armeid Thompson, Director of Quality Assurance; Keisha Faber, Director of Administration; Javier Paredez, Director of Revenue Collection/Registrar of Hotels; Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Marketing, Industry Relations; Valdemar Andrade, Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives and Karen Pike, Director of Information Management) met secretly and plotted how to turn against Esquivel-Frampton. They complained bitterly to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Herredia Jr. that she must go.

Editorial: Belizean Roulette
Russian Roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against his head, and pulls the trigger. A careful review of Dean Barrow’s actions and reactions to the Penner saga confirms that Barrow is a gambling man and Penner is his “single round”. Last week Monday, history was made when the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Francis Fonseca, overcame all odds and delivered a big win for the people of Belize. In September of 2013, Prime Minister Dean Barrow set the tone for his minions by publicly announcing that Elvin Penner did not commit any crime and that there was no need for an investigation. Following the landmark decision by the Chief Justice of Belize, and with the world now watching his every move under a microscope, Barrow was forced into a corner and had no choice but to change his tune. When asked about the Penner investigation last week Friday, Barrow grudgingly declared that the investigation was “none of his business”. All of a sudden.

REJECTED – Pharmacist Association opposes Appointment of Erwin Contreras’ daughter
The Pharmacist Association has reacted furiously to the appointment of UDP Minister Erwin Contreras’ daughter to the post of “Drug Inspectorate” in the Ministry of Health. The Association held an emergency meeting last week to discuss the appointment, after reports surfaced that Danini Contreras was unqualified for the post. The BELIZE TIMES reported last week that Contreras, who is a recent graduate of a University in Guatemala, was not a suitable candidate for the post. She has no experience in pharmacy in Belize and is not even a registered pharmacist in the country. Her only qualification seems to be her direct connection to her father, Minister of Trade and Economic Development, Erwin Contreras.

John Saldivar’s death sentence for BDF Soldier
The family of Belize Defense Force Corporal Norman Rodriguez have resigned any hopes that the Government of Belize will show compassion and sympathy for their loved one, a military officer who is desperately seeking assistance for medical treatment. In 2007, Corporal Rodriguez found out he had Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), an abnormal connection between arteries and veins in his brain which causes pain and can lead to hemorrhages and difficulties with body movement and coordination. Corporal Rodriguez began receiving medical treatment for free, as is afforded to every BDF soldier. About two years ago, the BDF decided they would no longer provide medical service to him. Corporal Rodriguez said he doesn’t know why his requests for medical assistance have been rejected but his concern has heightened since his last medical tests show that the malformation had increased in size and had spread across his brain.

Penner flees to Chetumal
Elvin Penner, Belize’s most hated UDP politician and a fugitive who is wanted for a serious crime against our nation, is on the run with the help of the UDP Government. Photos have surfaced on Facebook showing Penner and his wife frolicking inside a popular restaurant in nearby Chetumal. The photos were posted on Saturday March 8th. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie seems not to have understood the seriousness of an order issued by Supreme Court Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for an accelerated criminal investigation into Penner’s issuance of Belizean nationality and a passport to Kim Won Hong, a South Korean national who was in prison in Taiwan.

Think About It
DISRESPECTING THE CHURCH “Fools rush in where wise men (and women) fear to tread”. So goes an important saying. It is sensible advice. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy wife and the Prime Minister’s Executive Director of the National women commission need some sensible advice. Both are being quoted on Channel 5 and Channel 7 news as responding to a release signed by Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright on why his church is not supporting the so-called Women’s Rally. Bishop Dorick Wright’s press release said in part that the “National Women Commission promotes values that CONTRADICT Christian and moral teachings regarding respect for all human life, family marriage and human sexuality….The well-being of women cannot be enhanced by advocacy which promotes abortions and so-called pseudo rights of men and women and same sex relationships”

Longsworth & Willoughby War!
Tensions are running high in the UDP Albert Camp after absentee area representative Herman Longsworth called out his wanna be contender Phillip Willoughby for cherry picking on his plan for residents in area. Longsworth took on Willoughby and his master Gaspar Vega last week when he exposed that Vega had stolen his idea of facilitating land papers for residents. Longsworth said the day after he visited Vega with land documents, he saw Willoughby walking through the Albert Division with Vega’s Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos. ...

Alcohol Addiction is Only One Sip Away
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph Alcohol can ruin your life and the lives of others, so why take even one drink? -Duane Alan Hahn Why do young people drink alcohol, and what can we do to educate them about the consequences of their first sip? One of the most dangerous addictive drugs ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Review of the 2014-2015 Budget
By Richard Harrison Last week the Government of Belize read its proposed annual budget for the nation. The proposed TOTAL REVENUES & GRANTS should increase from around $900 million, to around $956 million….a growth of 6.2%. The proposed TOTAL EXPENDITURES will grow from around $974 million, to around $1,013 million….a growth of 4%. Thus ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – The Bar is watching you, Sedi
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia The Bar that I talk about this week is not the one where we go for a beer, drink or glass of wine. It is the Bar Association of Belize, the worthy gathering and conglomeration of attorneys-at-law who are qualified and admitted to practise law in Belize. ...

Misguided Spending
By Norris Hall There is a whole heap of money being spent irrationally in Belize City as compared to the rest of the country where neglect is rampant. It appears that for every ten dollars spent on the least productive area of Belize, one dollar is spent everywhere else. Apart from ...

Clueless Herredia! – Tourism Minister held at ransom by BTB managers
Tourism Minister Manuel Herredia has not properly explained how his flagship tourism institution is again in turmoil. The Belize Tourism Board is searching for their fourth tourism director after only six years under Herredia’s leadership. The Minister appeared shaken and, as usual, incapable of speaking with sense when he was interviewed about the internal fighting at BTB which resulted in Director Laura Esquivel-Frampton pushed out of her post. Herredia was held at ransom by seven senior employees who felt that his political appointment of Esquivel-Frampton as head of BTB was a terrible decision. In a scathing letter calling for the head of the BTB Director, the senior managers forced Herredia to face whatever political repercussions came his way with getting rid of Esquivel-Frampton, who is the daughter of former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel. Choosing not to do so would welcome a worse scenario, the managers told Herredia. ...

Delroy Cuthkelvin Squeals Foul!!
Ms Pearl Stuart Secretary General UDP Headquarters Belize City Dear Ms Stuart: The Committee to Elect Delroy Cuthkelvin hereby informs the UDP Secretariat of our disapproval with the arbitrary decision to prepare a block-out list of almost 900 voters who the Party Chairman and Secretariat propose to disallow from voting ...

Chan Pine Ridge will support Hon. Dr. Marco Mendez elections day!
Dear Editor, The people of Chan Pine Ridge wish to publicly express their full and unwavering support to our Area Representative duly elected Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Méndez in Orange Walk East, who over the recent years has positively impacted our once forsaken village. As Simon Sinek once declared, “Great leaders ...

BTB Senior Managers Bash Laura Esquivel
Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Dearest Minister Heredia, After several meetings held with you, past and present Chairmen of the Board, Board Directors and the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, we, the undersigned, have composed this official grievance to express our dissatisfaction ...

Gwen Liz girls advance to softball nationals
The Gwen Lizarraga High School will take on the northern regional champs, the Belize Rural High School girls, at the high school softball championships to be hosted by Kings College in Maskall on March 14-15. The Gwen ...

San Ignacio United draws with FC Belize 3-2
San Ignacio United drew 3-1 with FC Belize when the Premier League’s 2014 closing season kicked off at the MCC garden on Sunday. FC Belize’s star striker Jarret ...

Belize Bank Bulldogs reign as La Ruta Maya Champs Belize Bank Bulldogs reign as La Ruta Maya Champs
The Belize Bank Bulldogs team of Armin Lopez, Amado and Daniel Cruz demonstrated major superiority, tact and skill when they won the 16th annual Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge for the 3rd year. Bulldogs won the 4 ...


Friday Afternoon & A Minister’s State Funeral in Caye Caulker, Belize
As I was exiting the boat, there was quite a commotion going on at the next dock. A large cruise ship tender boat unloading a big crowd and as I got closer… the street was lined with the Belize Defense Force members in formation. The burial of Former Belize Minister Louis Sylvestre – who served the country from 1957 to 1984 as Belize was becoming her own country. His family had a home in Caye Caulker for years and it was here that he wished his ashes to be scattered.

Big Rock Falls, Blancaneaux Lodge & Basil Mojitos in Belize
If you're traveling to Western Belize, here's a not-to-miss a trip to Big Rock Falls and a special recipe that you can make at home for your own little taste of Belize. Located on the Caribbean Coast of Central America and bordered by Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a travel destination that I’ve visited twice and both times, I’ve traveled away from the popular coast and into Western Belize to stay at eco-friendly lodges and hang out with the locals. From hiking, to horseback riding to viewing wildlife, Belize is a diverse destination. Below is one of my top picks for things to do on your vacation in Belize, including the recipe for the best Basil Mojito I've ever tasted--- straight from Belize. To see these adventures first-hand, watch the "Best of Western Belize" episode in my new, original series Travel Like the Locals with Darley for, the new online video channel from Scripps Networks Interactive. Horseback Riding to Big Rock Falls in Belize from Blancaneaux Lodge One of the coolest adventures that I experienced in Belize was a horseback ride from luxurious Blancaneaux Lodge to a "secret" waterfall, deep within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Blancaneaux Lodge is owned by famous director Francis Ford Coppola. It's an eco-friendly Hollywood-esque resort in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve in Western Belize.

International Sources

More Thoughts On The Upcoming 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
I am someone who constantly looks at the weather and tries to figure out what the current weather pattern may bring in the days, weeks and even months ahead; so, here is what I’m seeing in the data that could impact the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The latest sea surface temperatures continue to show a weakening La Nina and I continue to expect that an El Nino will develop this summer and likely will continue through the autumn and into the winter of 2014-15. A typical El Nino usually shuts down tropical cyclone formation across the Atlantic due to higher than average wind shear, especially across the zone from the coast of Africa to the Lesser Antilles. Sometimes during this sort of setup we see an area of lower wind shear develop near the US Southeast coast, western Caribbean and across parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The current sea surface temperature profile over the Atlantic Basin features colder than average sea surface temperatures over the zone between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa and warmer than average sea surface temperatures from near Bermuda westward to near the US Southeast coast. This sort of sea surface temperature pattern if it combines with the expected El Nino may mean that tropical disturbances tracking off of Africa may struggle until they get west of 60 to 65 West Longitude; meaning this could be a season of in-close development and homebrew tropical development near the US Southeast coast, the Bahamas, the western Caribbean and into parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

American injured as 2-seater plane crashes in Belize
Civil aviation officials were continuing investigations Saturday into the crash of a two-seater single engine aircraft at the Punta Gorda airstrip on Friday. The authorities say while the pilot, Michael Bogacz escaped unscathed, his female passenger, Jennifer Sobre had been taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital in a critical, but stable condition. Police Inspector Ernel Dominquez said that the plane crashed near the compound of the Ministry of Works and suffered extensive damage to its front, wings and tail end. He said the authorities are working on the theory that the plane developed mechanical problems while in the area of the airstrip and was forced to crash land.

Vendors sceptical about lionfish
Lionfish and bake may taste delicious but the misconception that it is poisonous remains the biggest obstacle for its acceptance as an alternative to shark and bake. This is the view of University of Southampton postgraduate researcher Fadilah Ali. Ali, the PhD candidate who has dissected more than 10,000 lionfish, told the Sunday Guardian via e-mail that the lionfish was not poisonous, but that the tips of its barbs contained venom instead. If it stuck someone, it would be painful but was not fatal, and no one has died from it. Ali said throughout the Caribbean there was a great misconception that the lionfish was poisonous and as a result there was a general unwillingness to eat the fish. She said education via the media was the only way to clear up these misconceptions and also prove to people the benefits of eating lionfish.

Crime & Violence In Latin America & The Caribbean: How To Cope With It Using A Human Face
The underlying causes of crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region stems from drugs, inflation, poverty, unemployment, and lack of social inclusion. The United Nations (UN) stated in a 2007 report on "Crime and Development in Central America" that it's geographical position is what makes them exposed to the world's largest suppliers and consumers of cocaine. This could make Central America vulnerable to crime and influenced by crime. Plus, the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Caribbean Human Development Report, launched in 2012, states that drug-trafficking and organized crime generate violence. According to the World Bank, Latin America accounts for 30 percent of the world's homicides. A Latin American security expert for the World Bank stated that the LAC region represents 9 percent of the global population. And, that seven out of ten countries with the world's highest homicide rates are from that region. In Central America, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala, all have high crime rates; as well as in South America: Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. In addition, Jamaica in the Caribbean.

March 15, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Two island residents missing for over two weeks
Two males living on Ambergris Caye have been missing for almost two weeks, leaving no trace behind. They are 31-year-old Dean Nassad Joseph, unemployed of San Mateo Area, and 49-year-old Vincent Crawford also known as Chuku, a laborer of north San Pedro Town. The last time they were both seen alive was on Saturday March 1st. According to police, on March 4th, Joseph’s common-law wife Tessa Ochaeta reported that he left home on March 1st in the company of a person known to her as Chuku. Ochaeta told police that Joseph said that they were going to work as security guards at a cement house in the Robles Point area of northern Ambergris Caye. While conducting an investigation on northern Ambergris Caye, police said that two security officers working on northern Ambergris Caye informed them that on the same date, at about 10:30AM they saw both Joseph and Crawford as part of a group of five, walking northwards along the beach. One of the security officers told police that Joseph indicated to him that he was going to camp at a base in the Bacalar Chico area. That was the last time anyone saw both Crawford and Joseph alive.

Shooting in Boca del Rio Area leaves one man wounded
At approximately 9:30PM Friday, March 14th one male individual was shot while in the Boca del Rio Area on Laguna Drive in San Pedro Town. The wounded man, later identified as Victor Garnett was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II where he was stabilized and later airlifted to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Garnett sustained several gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen and lung. According to San Pedro police seven expended bullet shells were recovered from the scene and residents in the area claim to have heard as many as 13 shots. It is believed that the shooter fled the scene on a skiff. In 2009 Garnett, along with Brionne Swift, Frank Edwards Jr and Gabriel Salaza were charged with the double murder of James Swan and Edwardo Gutierrez. In May 2012 a jury handed down a not guilty verdict for murder and manslaughter to all four individuals.

Footprints for Peace rally brings out hundreds to honor fallen victims
Exactly one week after the senseless killing of Jeffrey Eiley in San Pedro Town, hundreds of islanders marched through the streets of the island to condemn the murder and call for justice. Under the name of “Footprints for Peace – Justice for Jeffery,” some four hundred islanders gathered at the San Pedro Central Park on the evening of Thursday March 13th. Several speakers called for the attention of authorities and government leaders to address the crime issue that has spiked over the past few weeks on the island while also calling upon the citizenry to rise up against violence. Present at the event were families of murder victims, as well as those who have been at the forefront of the fight against crime. Fresh from the loss of their loved one, the Arceo and Eiley families, who organized the event, were out in full force. They took the opportunity to share how the death of Jeffery has ripped their family and community apart. Pablo Garcia, who lost his father in an unsolved murder two years ago on the island, also shared the emotional difficulties it is on a family to lose someone at the hands of violence.

The San Pedro Tigersharks crush Belmopan Bandits
The San Pedro Tigersharks continue to make waves in the National Elite Baskeball League (NEBL) and in week five, they picked up yet another win for the season. On Saturday March 8th, they faced off the Belmopan Bandits at the UB Gymnasium. The home team succumbed to the ferocity unleashed by the visiting San Pedro Tigersharks with a crushing 25 points deficit in a game that ended 84-59. From the start of the game, spectators were in for a showdown. What an unforgettable night the Tigersharks had in store for the Bandits! In the first quarter, the Tigersharks milled the home team so badly the Bandits were unable to recover throughout the course of the night. San Pedro’s Ashton Edwards was on a roll and in the first quarter he scored five three-pointers giving the Tigersharks a comfortable lead of 29-13 points. No compassion was shown in the second quarter as the Tigersharks’ Jamal Kelly hit two three-pointers, contributing half of the twelve points gained by visiting team keeping the 40-22 points lead.

Belize Bank Bulldogs are 16th Annual Ruta Maya River Challenge Champions
The Belize Bank Bulldogs team, consisting of Armin Lopez and Amando and David Cruz, are the winners of the 16th Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge. The event, which is sponsored by Belikin, saw 61 teams participating in the 180-mile long race. The paddlers made their way from the foot of the historic Hawksworth Bridge in the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena to the foot of the Belcan Bridge in Belize City and ran for four days, from March 7th to the 10th. The kickoff saw a multitude of fans gathered along the banks of the Macal River as the paddlers went from the Twin Towns, under the wooden bridge and steadily paddled along the river banks of rural communities. La Ruta Maya fanatics rushed to communities such as Esperanza Village, Duck Run I, and even to the finish line on day one at the banks of the river at Banana Bank Lodge.

Ambergris Today

"Don't Mess Up San Mateo" Clean Up Campaign 2014
The San Pedro Town Council launched the "Don't Mess Up San Mateo" Clean Up Campaign 2014 on Tuesday, March 11, with an opening ceremony held at the entrance of the San Mateo Area. At the ceremony the invocation was delivered by Mr. Dave Nisbet and the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Special remarks were delivered by Mr. Bill Ford and by Mr. Chris Bonnet from Action Twenty 24 and lastly the closing remarks by councilor Kenrick Brackett. Action Twenty 24 is a team of volunteers who organize camps and various activities for communities that are under developed or simply need a helping hand. A team of 20 volunteers are in San Pedro at the moment.

Hundreds Leave Footprints for Peace at Anti-Crime Rally
It was a lively, emotional and highly vociferous rally organized by Nathalie Arceo, cousin of shooting victim Jeffrey Eiley and by Kristina Romero of NDACC. Well organized and extremely well attended, not even a light rain could wet the high spirits or the energy at the Central Park. In fact, the cries from the sky only served to accentuate the cries of the people who are determined to take back San Pedro. Shootings bring consequences. Lack of action from our leaders will also bring consequences. The battle cry by the community shall be "Footprints for Peace". In order to get PEACE, Ambergris Caye residents declare WAR against all forms of violence. The anti-crime rally is the first of events that will be organized by Footprints for Peace. The group will get together for future events, rallies and movements to push the community leaders to fight against crime.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Chemotherapy Org Fundraising Banquet
My name is Mary A. (Usher) Swales, the Founder and President of a non-medical cancer organization name the "BELIZE CHEMOTHERAPY ORGANIZATION OF NEW YORK, INC.". (BCOONY). We liaison with the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga (BCC/D), affiliates with the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), and other organizations here in the USA. We fund-raise only to supplement the cost to pay for chemotherapy treatments for children and adults who are suffering from cancer or some other form of diseases, in Belize. For the first time our organization planned to have an International Banquet outside the USA. It will be in our beautiful country, Belize.

Gregory August appeals murder conviction
The Court of Appeal on Thursday reserved its decision in the case of 26 year old Gregory August. August was convicted of the May 2009 death of 73 year old Alvin Robinson in Western Paradise, Belize District. Robinson, who was physically disabled and blind in one eye, was stabbed nine times in the face and neck and found barely alive on his bed. He died while en route to receive treatment. A jury convicted August in November of 2012 before Justice Adolph Lucas based mostly on circumstantial evidence, including reports that August had recent violent confrontations with Robinson’s grandchildren and was heard to threaten them.

New trial for convicted murderer Viola Pook
The Belize Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction of 57 year old Viola Pook for murder and ordered a new trial. The housewife was convicted in July of 2011 of the death of her common-law husband, 47 year old Orlando Mai Vasquez, whom she allegedly set on fire at their Rancho Dolores home on December 31, 2008. But her cause was taken up by no less than Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan during a visit to the prison last year, when she claimed she had been a longtime sufferer of abuse from Vasquez, who allegedly raped one of her children with him.

Vehicle knocks down man inside convenience store
Almost a week after he was knocked down, 22 year old Carlos Castellanos, a resident of Bella Vista village, Toledo district is still struggling to get medical attention for a seriously injured leg. The incident happened on Sunday, March 9 when an SUV crashed into the front of the A&A convenience store in Bella Vista village. Castellanos was in the process of exiting the store when the vehicle crashed through the glass front door and hit him, flinging him back inside the building. The shattered glass fell on Castellanos’ leg seriously injuring him. The driver of the vehicle and another man who was inside the SUV abandoned the vehicle after the incident and ran away from the area.

Student knocked down in Corozal town
A student of Altamira, Corozal was knocked down and injured on Thursday night. The victim has been identified as 18 year old Victor Casanova. According to reports, Casanova and another student, 17 year old Yansie Iglesias, were walking on Fourth Avenue opposite the Rainbow Town Park when the hit and run incident occurred around 8 o’clock on Thursday night. Reports are that a vehicle hit Casanova from behind as he walked his bicycle, causing him to sustain injuries to his head, abrasions to his right knee and pain to the left side of his body.

Special Olympics Fun Run held in Corozal
The Seventh annual Special Olympic Fun Run was held this morning in Corozal town. Over 250 athletes, volunteers, students and children with special needs took part in the event which started at 6:30 am in front of the Corozal Town Council. According to the Corozal district Coordinator for Special Olympics Martha Correa, the event was a huge success as the main objective was met. In the end, medals were awarded to the top eight finishers in two categories.

Small plane crashes at Punta Gorda airstrip
Reports say that the small plane with the number N192LC emblazoned on its fuselage, landed at the Punta Gorda airstrip around 3:15 pm. The origin of the flight is not yet known. Preliminary indications are that the pilot tried to take off after touching down, when the plane clipped a nearby post, the engine burst into flames and landed on the Ministry of Works compound. A part of the fence was torn down. Eyewitnesses at the scene say that the pilot appeared unhurt, while a woman with him, believed to be his wife, appeared to have suffered only minor scratches and bruises. The couple declined comment to correspondents on the scene.

Courts-Belize offers customers chance to win SUV
The furniture and appliances store Courts-Belize is giving its customers a chance to win a 2014 model Kia Sportage SUV. Courts-Belize today brought the vehicle to Punta Gorda town to show customers and prospective customers what they can win by taking part in their promotion. According to Marketing Officer for Courts-Belize Kovenka Rodriguez, for every $50 purchase that is made any of its stores countrywide, a customer gets a chance to win the vehicle. A drawing to determine who drives away with the vehicle will be held at the end of March.

Challenge Gobie bike ride starts today
The Sixth annual Challenge Gobie Bike Ride is set to start this evening in Punta Gorda town. Professional and non-professional riders from across the country will take to the Southern and Hummingbird Highways to raise funds for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The ride will commence at the “Dollar Sign” monument at the entrance to Punta Gorda town at 6 pm and make its way to Belmopan, finishing around noon on Saturday, March 15. Organizers say that food will be available for purchase at the end of the bike ride on Saturday in front of Caribbean Tire in the nation’s capital. The organizers will also have Challenge Gobie T-Shirts on sale.

FIFA website puts spotlight on Deon McCaulay
Belizean football superstar Deon McCaulay is featured prominently in a story appearing today on the FIFA website. The story highlight’s McCaulay’s big move to a professional team in the United States. Click here to go to the FIFA website story.

Pediatric Wing at the KHMH
The new Pediatric Wing at the KHMH is well under way. We are so appreciative of the efforts of Ms. Kim Simplis, Challenge Gobie Foundation, Maheias United, The Japanese Embassy, The Oak Foundation, the staff of the KHMH and anyone who has donated time, effort, or support. The children of Belize thank you all. As I always say, "Illness does not discriminate."

Plane crash in Punta Gorda
A single engine plane crashed around 2:30 this afternoon into the Ministry of Works compound near the Punta Gorda airstrip. The occupants were Americans, Michael Pierre Bogacz, 52, and Jennifer Sobre, 35 whom sustained minor injuries for which she is receiving treatment at the Punta Gorda hospital.

Donation to the Kings Children's Home
Today Tropigas donated 3 desktop computers along with desks, chairs and printers to the Kings Children's Home in Cotton Tree Village. Ms Leonie Gillham, the Founder and Director, accepted the donation on behalf of the 78 children residing at the Home. The Kings Children's Home is funded by a grant from the Government of Belize, donations from churches and other organizations. The Home is a shelter for children from 8 months to18 years. They have 12 workers and 8 international volunteers. The Home started building on 28th February 2011 and on 24th December, 2013 moved from its original location on Unity Blvd in Belmopan. This safe haven has been providing a home, education, food and nurturing to children for 28 years in Belmopan. If you would like to donate or simply visit please contact Ms Leonie Gillham at phone: 605-9290 or e-mail: Representing Tropigas was Ms Linda Escalante. The donation was valued at $8,000. (7 photos)

Western Ballaz Defeat Toledo Diplomats
The Western Ballaz defeated the Toledo Diplomats 83 to 54.

BCS Pap Smear Campaign
The San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society has teamed up with the San Ignacio Community Hospital to wipe out cervical cancer, and they are going around Cayo to do pap tests. They'll be in San Antonio tomorrow, Bullet Tree on Wednesday, March 19th, and Georgeville on Friday, March 21st. Thanks, BCS!

4 The World Takes Youths to Xunantunich
4 The World, which does a lot of volunteer work in Calla Creek, is back in Cayo for Spring Break, and they took some local youths to Xunantunich for a fun day of hiking and sightseeing. "On our first day in Belize we took kids on a field trip to see the ancient Mayan City Xunantunich. It was hard to tell who had the most fun the kids or the NC State team. Either way it was an amazing way to start our Spring Break in Belize."

Tortilleria Maya Corn Exhibit
The SISE House of Culture has a new exhibit on display. It's called Tortilleria Maya, and is an exhibit that explains how the Mayans used corn. Corn was a big part of the Mayan existence, and a huge influence on their culture. "The San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture welcomes you to their new exhibit"

Belizean Artist, Denise Castillo's New Song - "Watch Ova Wi"

Video: Norman Eiley speaks about the murder of his son Jeffery
Mr. Norman Eiley speaks from the spot where his son lay after suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. This took place at Footprints for Peace, a walk held against the violence plaguing the streets.

Video: Mergulhos em Belize
Mergulhos excelentes! Visibilidade perfeita e muita vida! Grupo animado e super divertido! Organização impecável! Se tiverem oportunidade, confiram. Carnaval 2014

Video: Caye Caulker, Belize
Rush hour in Caye Caulker, Belize. January 2014.

Video: Best Places In Belize With Larry Waight & Jen Knoedl
No longer the world's "Best Kept Secret", Belize is attracting travelers of all kinds from all over the world. Jen Knoedl hosts a video Interview with Larry Waight of Huffington Post to discuss the best places to visit and experience in and near Belize.

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize Vacation Hotspot
This place was just voted the #1 travel destination island in the world. Sun, sand, diving, fishing, sailing, all located on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. This place a little slice of Heaven. My thanks to the great people that live there that showed us a great time.

Video: Archaeological Excavation in Belize Pawnce the Archaeologist
What I was doing in the summer of '09. or Livestream every week day. Follow ..

Video: Victoria Tunnel, San Pedro, Belize, March 5, 2014
San Pedro, Belize. March 5, 2014: Victoria Tunnel. Starting depth about 75 ft, ending depth at 97 ft.

Video: Oil Tanker Runs Off the Hummingbird Highway

Video: Welt der Maya - Mexiko Tulum - Belize Cahal Pech - Mysterious Mayan ruins
Peter Menzel (PMMedia1) Das Hotel Radisson in Cancun ist der Ausgangspunkt einer Rundreise, die uns nach Belize, Guatemala und wieder zurück auf die mexikanische Halbinsel Yucatan bringt. Erstes Ziel sind die Maya-Ruinen von Tulum, die nur 250 km vom Cancun entfernt liegen. Im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen präkolumbischen Orten war Tulum bei Ankunft der Spanier im Jahre 1517 noch eine lebendige, dicht besiedelte Stadt. In Chetumal überqueren wir die Grenze zum Nachbarland Belize, das nur 23.000 km² groß ist. Auf die zahlreichen Besucher haben sich die Menschern in Belize eingestellt. An den Souvenirständen und Geschäften locken Kunsthandwerker mit ihren Produkten und laden zum Kauf ein. Wer die geheimnisvolle Maya Kultur kennen lernen will, kommt in Belize voll auf seine Kosten. Die Maya-Ruinen von Cahal Pech sind von ihren Ausmaßen nicht mit den archäologischen Fundstellen in Tikal und Palenque vergleichbar, dennoch geben sie einen guten Einblick in die Bauweise der Maya.

Channel 7

Florida Plane Crash Lands In Punta Gorda
An American couple is glad to be alive tonight after their single engine aircraft crash landed at the Punta Gorda Municipal Airport this afternoon. These pictures from FACEBOOK, PGTV and the Frontier Inn show the plane as it lay at the northwestern end of the runway, near the Ministry of Works Warehouse. Best information from the PG Airstrip says that AT 2:45 the plane attempted to land and then took off again. When it did, one of its wings clipped the MET Department's weather tower. That sent it crashing to the ground and careening across the airfield. The plane which is a Lancair 320 suffered significant damage as the pictures show - with its wing, the front and the tail affected.

Raylene Dyer Was Decapitated; Alleged Killers Get Off, Her Family Enraged
In October of 2010, one of the most shocking murder stories we've ever reported on made national headlines: 18 year-old Raylene Dyer was allegedly decapitated and dumped in a river, so that her 3 month old baby could be stolen and given to another woman - who masterminded the crime. 3 men were accused of killing her but on Wednesday they were acquitted before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. The main evidence against all 3 men were that they confessed to the crime, and supposedly gave police intimate details as to how they killed Dyer, slit her throat, chopped off her head, and dumped her body into a river near a slaughterhouse in Valley of Peace in October 2010. But, the accused claimed that police obtained those confession statements by force. They say that they only gave the caution statements because the police brutalized them into it.

Convicted Husband Killer Viola Pook Gets A Retrial
And while that case played out in Belmopan, in the Court of Appeal in Belize City, 56 year old Viola Pook, was before the court. She was convicted of murdering her husband by setting him on fire on December 31, 2008. The evidence her trial was that Pook doused 46 year-old Orlando Vasquez with gasoline and set him ablaze. He died 2 days later after suffering from second degree burns to 70% of his body. She appealed her conviction and sentence in the June 2013 session of the Appeal Court, and today, she got good news. The Judges allowed the appeal, set aside her conviction, and ordered a retrial. 7News was outside of court after the decision, and we got a reaction from her attorney, Simeon Sampson. Here's what he told us: Simeon Sampson, attorney "It is the lady who it is allege burnt her husband, the policeman arrive there and she didn't gave any statement to anyone and the policeman met the dying husband on the ground with serious burns to his body and the policeman corporal Zuniga approach who was sitting around and ask her what happen. And according to the police Zuniga she blurted out "da me catch him fire." That was the only evidence they had against her. So I had appeal to the effect that there was no warning definitely the police attitude in my submission, was sort of accusatory in my view when he ask what happen and she blurted out "da me catch him fire." There was absolutely no other evidence against her and I move the court to decide that that allege confession "da me catch him fire" ought not to have been admitted into evidence. The judge agreed this to me but on a different ground and she is going to stand trial another time. I wish her luck."

San Pedranos Want Justice For Jeffrey, And More
Last night, hundreds of San Pedranos took to the streets in a peaceful protest called, "Footprints for Peace - Justice For Jeffrey." The event was held in memory of Jeffrey Eiley, the 30 year old island resident who was killed one week ago. His father knelt in the spot where his son was shot at the Corner of Tarpon Street and Barrier Reef Drive and lamented that no one came to his aid - when he had only been shot in the arms :.. Father of Jeffrey Eiley "This is the spot where I saw my son lay helpless. Both hands were shattered to pieces, he had no way of getting up, no way of helping himself and there is one thing I want the general public to know, there are heartless people living and do not render help. There are heartless security guard, I don't know where they come from, I think they are criminal themselves and they do not render aid. That is another section of this whole situation where there are hard hearted people in the wee hours of the night that does not render help. When I came around the curve and Jeffrey lies here, he was by himself. People were looking on as if though it was a show, they did not rendered help. Had Jeffrey gotten some help, he could have been alive." According to the san Pedro Sun there were 400 Islanders and a number of passionate speeches from families who've lost loved ones to violence on the island. The Sun reports that they called on Government to provide necessary health facilities and amenities to ensure a more adequate response to traumatic injuries.

At Last, Crooked Tree Causeway Set Straight
The Crooked Tree Causeway went under water at the end of October, and didn't re-appear until February. True, it was what villagers call a "Top Gallon" flood - but it only underscored a chronic problem of flooding in the Lagoon. At the end of the almost four month ordeal, one life had been lost to a boating accident, and the villagers, working people and students had experienced many, many hours of inconvenience. Finally, what villagers say should have been done long ago is finally being undertaken: the causeway is being repaired. We found out more in Crooked Tree today:... Hon. Edmund Castro "What you can see out here - as soon as the rains held up maybe not exceeding 6 weeks we are out here trying to put on some material on the causeway. I think we raise most of the causeway right now approximately a foot to two feet. As you can see the equipment are still out here. It's raining so they are working in between to see how we could elevate the situation out here in Crooked Tree."

The New Bridge For Belize City Will Be Ready By Year's End
The new Chetumal Street Bridge in Belize City should be opened by the end of this year. Contracts for the bridge and the approaches were signed today in Belmopan. The bridge design and construction is for 2.2 million dollars - and that went to M and M Engineering, while the filling of the bridge approaches and assembly of the bridge is for 2.7 million dollars and that went to CISCO Construction. Today principals from both companies discussed the significance of the project at a contract signing. Cisco Woods "Personally as a resident of Belize City I know this bridge will provide a lot of relief to the Central American Boulevard and BelCan Bridge especially around 7-8am when students are trying to reach the schools on the north side. As representing our company Cisco Construction we are excited because this will provide quite a bit more jobs for residents in the city and it will be also while providing jobs almost training too because a lot of fellows will learn skills while building the bridge, so we are very excited about this bridge happening. Long time we've been waiting for this."

Man Claims Humiliation and Harassment By Police
We report on police harassment often in our newscast and usually the victims of these stories never get justice. Tonight one more is added to that list: he is Cordell Bernardez, a resident of Wagner's Lane. He told us that on Wednesday night at around 7 o'clock while riding his bike near Southside Market, he was stopped and searched by police. Nothing was found on him, but he was still escorted to the Precinct one Police Station at the corner of Kut Avenue and Euphrates. While at the station he alleged he was assaulted and harassed by officers and then was put to wash several police motorcycles. Three hours later, at around 10 that night he was released without any charges. For this working class man, he believes his rights were violated - here's his story. Cardell Bernardez - Alleges Police Harassment "Riding my bicycle on my way to South Side Meat Market, two Belize Defence Force soldiers and a police officer approach me with a flash light into my face and I told him that that could be avoided, if he want to search me I don't have any problem with it because you have a job to do. He search me and didn't find anything, he turn and told me that I have an attitude, I turn and told him that I didn't have any attitude, I am just defending me. Now all these other people came and he search them and gave then that run, but just the way how I talk to him he must not have liked it. Now I have my hands against the wall, he called for the mobile, the mobile didn't assist him. He walks me from South Side Meat Market shop to St. John's police station. When he walked me there he was trying to take me through the back gate, the gate was close and so he took me to the front. The 2 BDF soldiers told the corporal that I was assaulting them."

Sugar Smuggling: TIDE Catches A contraband Mission In Progress
Belize's sugar continues to be smuggled across to Guatemala - and while that contraband trade probably goes through so many different routes, today in Punta Gorda, The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment known as TIDE caught one contraband mission in progress. They went out and found this Guatemalan dorey - reportedly with its five horsepower engine broken down, but in Belizean waters. 50 sacks of BSI sugar were strapped unto the dorey and three Guatemalan men Pedro and Mario Quv and Marcos Che were on board. Tide took the dorey into Customs and handed the men over to Immigration.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project Gets A Shot In The Arm From Japan
Today a grant contract agreement was signed at the KHMH - between the hospital, The Government of Japan and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children. The government of Japan donated one hundred and twenty thousand US dollars for the purchase of equipment to the hospital's paediatric intensive care unit project. It all happened with the help of the Special Envoy office - which had requested assistance for support through the Government of Japan's Grassroots and Human Security Grant project. And after getting a positive response, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica Hiromoto Oyama travelled to Belize to sign the grant contract agreement. 7news was present. To coincide with the first secretary's visit, tomorrow Japan Day will be commemorated at the Princess Hotel with a display by Japanese chefs.

Sensitivity For Women Soldiers
Its women's month and yesterday the women soldiers at the Price Barracks in Ladyville got some love in the form of counseling. In a job where toughness is valued above all else, women soldiers can come under stress. Here's why:.. Participant 1 "We have decided to team up with the Belize Defence Force especially our female soldiers are one that we don't see often, but their wellbeing is also taken into consideration and so as the officer in charge of the Belize District I have decided to come up with looking at the mental healthiness, looking at the sexual reproductive right of our female soldiers.." Participant 2 "They have a very stressful life and many of them can get some help. Many of them are under some kind of severe stressful situation and they need to know where they can get some help." Participant 3 "It's very important especially with our women BDF because they do experience these problems, not only at home but here at work, so I believe that it will help them to know that they will be able to seek help and it's not a problem to seek help. You are not seeing as somebody weak but actually one of your strengths if you come out and bring your problems across to somebody who will be able to assist you to get that help that you need."

Teryl's Terrible Concert Experience
Terryl Godoy is one of Belize's most well-known painters, but the self-styled "Man At Work" is not only skilled with the paintbrush, he has also been a musician for over 20 years - a past time that first started when he exchanged one of his paintings for a second hand keyboard. Since then, he has released 2 albums and is working on his third. On Saturday night he will be taking the stage at the House of Culture for a live concert. It sounds exciting but Godoy says he has been facing many challenges and disappointments along the way. The concert starts at 7 tomorrow night at the House of Culture. Tickets are 20 dollars in advance and 30 at the door.

Channel 5

Court of Appeal orders a retrial for Viola Pook accused of setting husband on fire
But earlier today, a number of decisions were handed down by the Court of Appeal to conclude its first session for this year. It ended with good news for fifty-six [...]

Date for Pook’s retrial has not been set
While Pook remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison, a date for her retrial has not been set.  According to Sampson, the overwhelming backlog at the Supreme Court will [...]

Graphic evidence presented in Belmopan court on the murder of Raylene Dyer
While Viola Pook will get a retrial, Aracely Cahueque is on trial in the Belmopan Supreme Court. In October 2010 Cahueque and three men were accused of the horrific murder [...]

Attorney explains acquittal of 3 men charged in murder case
As we’ve told you, the tragedy of Raylene’s cruel death has been compounded by another travesty – the matter never even reached full trial, and the three men walked. On [...]

Light the Night for Kids
As we said, hundreds are preparing now to start a march from memorial park to downtown Belize City in what is known as the “Light the Night…for the kids” of [...]

Plane crash lands in Punta Gorda
A private aircraft with U.S. registration crash landed this afternoon at the Punta Gorda airstrip. The pilot was fifty-two year old Michael Bogacz and his partner, Jennifer Sobre…both American nationals. [...]

Still no evidence in investigation into the Won Hong Kim/Elvin Penner passport scandal
Tonight there is very little new information on the criminal investigation into the Won Hong Kim/Elvin Penner passport scandal. Penner, the former Minister of State with responsibility for immigration, has [...]

Court of Appeal reserves decision in the case of Gregory August
The Court of Appeal on Thursday also reserved its decision in the case of twenty-six year old Gregory August. August was convicted of the May 2009 death of seventy-three year [...]

Hit & Run in Corozal
There is another traffic accident to report tonight. It is a hit and run that happened just after eight o’clock on Thursday night. Police found eighteen year old student Victor [...]

2 San Pedro men missing; family fears the worst
In San Pedro, two men have disappeared from the island without a trace and their families are bracing for the worst. Dean Nassad Joseph, a resident of the San Mateo [...]

Japan provides US $120,000 for Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the K.H.M.H.
Today at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital the signing of a grant agreement between the national referral hospital, the Offices of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the [...]

Cultural Day for preschoolers of St. Mary’s School
As part of their activities for child stimulation month, the Preschool at Saint Mary’s Primary School held its annual cultural day. The preschoolers dressed up in different cultural attires for [...]

Supt. Dezerie Phillips, Woman of the Year
Senior Superintendent Dezerie Phillips has been named Belize’s Woman of the Year 2014.  Phillips becomes the fifth woman selected by the United States Embassy for the prestigious title.  She joined [...]

Special Olympics Belize yearly fun run goes countrywide
Every year at this time, Special Olympics Belize stages its Fun Run to promote awareness of special needs children. The event has been growing exponentially and this year, Fun Runs [...]

3 men walk and a woman still on trial for the sensational murder of Raylene Dyer
Three men – Roaring Creek construction workers twenty-one year old Darren Banner, twenty year old Jason Anderson and twenty-four year old UB student Brandon Budna are free after being incarcerated [...]


Corozaleno Alleges Police Brutality
On Tuesday we reported on a bar brawl that left a pair of brothers with head injuries. One of the injured men was 22 year old police officer attached to the Belize City Eastern Division, Javier Noble. Noble reported to police that on Sunday night, around 10:50, he and his younger brother, 18 year old Angel Noble, were socializing infront of Tony Gongora’s Bar, in Concepcion Village, Corozal District, when they were involved in an altercation with 22 year old John Medina and 18 year old Christian Medina, both of Concepcion Village. Well, tonight, the alleged bar brawlers visited our news center and told us that they are seeking justice for being ill accused of the fight. John Medina says he is innocent of the charge levied against him and before and after lock-up he faced a great deal of excessive force at the hands of the police. John Medina and his mother Ofelia Medina say they want justice. John Medina– Alleges Police Brutality “A mi casa y pues me fui a mi casa ya estaba durmiendo yo cuando la policía llego, fueron ocho de ellos en un van y un pólice pickup, pero tres de ellos me fueron a sacar de mi casa. Patearon la puerta de mi casa hasta que se abrió y me sacaron sin camisa solo mi pantalón tenia puesto y me comenzaron a golpear, uno me golpeo con la pistola que tenía, el pump 12, en mi cabeza aquí y yo calli en el suelo y mi mama se metió y les dijo que no quiere que me golpea porque yo soy inocente pero a ellos no les importo rempujaron a mi mama en un lado y a mi señora igual, pero mi señora tiene un hijo de dos años y medio y ella está embarazada y tiene siete meses y solo falta dos meses para que tenga el segundo bebe y no les importo sobre de eso le golpearon a mi señora y ella callo hacia la pared y golpeo a mi hijo igual pero como ella esa embarazada ella se lastimo también y el vino sobre de mí y me golpeo y me llevo en el vehículo que yo machetee a un pólice y yo no sé nada de eso, y después me está llevando el patrol y entro en el camino de San Joaquín el que va al basurero hasta el fondo me llevo y me dijo que me va a llevar a un playgorund adonde sacan la verdad pero como yo no sé qué significo ese playgorund pues ellos me bajaron del vehículo hacía en el cañal en el monte y me dijeron que ellos quieren que yo me dé por culpable pero como yo dije yo soy inocente y ellos me empezaron a patear y me golpearon y todo así me maduraron mi cuerpo y después ellos me subieron al van.”

East Sports Center Vandalized OWTC Comes To The Rescue
The Orange Walk Town Council today began working on improving the infrastructure at the East Sports Center located on Aurora Street. While the Council has committed to carrying out the project, what fast tracked the work was receiving a report that the electricity wires at the center had been sabotaged. Whether this was a vindictive act or not is of no concern to the council and has not discouraged their efforts. After being informed of the incident yesterday, Mayor Kevin Bernard says they decided to start the work immediately. Kevin Bernard – Mayor of Orange Walk Town “The electricity here at the East sport centre apparently has been sabotage, somebody had cut the wires and what we want to do is to bring back life to East Sport Centre, I believe that we would need to bring back sports in this area this is a public space and so we, the council decided that we will invest here at the East Sport Centre Park, so what we are doing right now is reinstall and run back the electricity and so that we can have lighting here at the East Sport Centre and we can have basketball and other activities here at the East Sport Centre.”

First Caribbean Bank Donates School Equipment To Chapel School
First Caribbean Bank has today offered much needed assistance to Chapels Primary School in Orange Walk Town. Branch Manager Pablo Ayala says the project falls under the bank’s corporate social responsibility. Ayala says that on a yearly basis the bank seeks to undertake projects within the community. The bank donated eight white boards to the school which the administration says will greatly assist in reducing the health risks to teachers that come with the use of chalk boards. The school also received doors that were also painted by the bank’s staff, and this morning they were handed a computer for the teachers’ lounge. School Principal Julian Chi says the donations help greatly in the schools efforts towards expanding. Pablo Ayala – Branch Manager, First Caribbean Bank, OW “This year we were glad to partner with Chapel School who we believe it is an institution who reaches out to many young people and many minds and changes life and as their mission goes to change lives we thought it would be a good institution to partner with.”

Belize Ranked High for Homocides
Crime continues to plague Belize despite government’s efforts to tackle it. Strategies put in place have been considerably effective however the problem has not been completely solved. But while Belize’s authorities continue to fight crime at all levels, there is a bigger picture within Latin America. To start with, the United Nations has qualified crime and violence as an “epidemic” and considers the region to be the most insecure in the world. In 2012, reports showed that one in three inhabitants in the region was a victim of a crime, mainly theft. To get a better picture of the current situation in the entire region, the World Bank Citizen Security Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet, gives an overview of the situation of crime in an interview published in the international press.

Rotaract Week Celebrated In O.W
Rotaract week is observed from March tenth to the sixteenth in celebration of the chartering of the first club in North Carolina, USA, on 13 March 1968. It is held annually and is designed to foster Rotaract-Rotary activities in celebration of the founding of the Rotaract program. The Rotaract Club of Orange Walk is therefore also celebrating this occasion with one of their biggest activities yet. President Azalia Torres tells us what they have planned. Azalia Torres – President “Tonight we are having our joint meeting with our sponsoring club and also on Friday we are also doing a bit of packing up hampers for us to go Sunday to San Carlos. On Sunday we are taking over particular the entire village where we will play games, show movies, have different activities with the kids and also we have a team of doctors going in and doing some general health for the different people there.” The club has been active with the community for eight years and according to Vice President Clarissa Azaeta it has been a good run.

BSI/ASR Introduce New Company Logo
Today the ASR Group-Belize Sugar Industries Limited announced its adoption of a fresh new look to its corporate logo and branding identity. The release says that the new branding and color scheme were developed to reflect BSI’s core business activities as well as to embrace partnership with ASR and its family of companies. To date, the partnership has resulted in the investment of $190 Million in Belize since last year which included upgrading and modernizing the mill and sugar operations. The color scheme was chosen to project the core “green” aspect of BSI’s business, its basis in agriculture and its environmental awareness. The colors were also attractive as they embrace the new partnership with ASR Group and reflect the importance of having a compatible collaboration on all levels.

SIF To Work Under Transparency, Says New Director
In September of last year, the media blew the lid open on the allegations of rank corruption at the Social Investment Fund – allegations of rampant corruption that had surfaced, including accusations of extortion within the Social Investment Fund connected to a botched $1.3 million renovation project that was to be carried out at the Dangriga Town Market as part of the Municipal Development Project. Since then, four staffers were given the boot including Public Relations officer Mike Hernandez and Executive Director Daniel Cano. And while we told you of their replacements on Tuesday, yesterday at the inauguration of the Guinea Grass Multi-purpose Community Center and Library, we managed to get a comment from newly assigned executive director of the Social Investment Fund, William Lamb. Lamb says his goal is to carry out the projects assigned to SIF with much transparency. William Lamb– Executive Director, Social investment Fund “Definitely, we want to promote transparency and accountability on what we do and carrying out the projects as set out by the grants and agreements that come through the World Bank and CDB and the community of Belize. All of these projects are put together with community interaction and involvement.


Trio Acquitted of Raylene Dyer’s Murder
Three years five months and six days – that is how long ago it is since Indira Cayetano went to the media, for the first time to report her sister missing. You may recall the name, Raylene Dyer, a young mother who Police confirmed was murdered in the Cayo District on October 8, 2010 in the Valley of Peace community. Following investigations, police arrested and charged four persons including three men, 21-year-old, Jason Anderson; 24-year-old, Darren Banner, Brandon Budran and a woman, Aracely Cahueque of Corozal Town. The family, who has been following the trial of the three men were disheartened and hurt, to say the least when the judge in Belmopan court handed down a verdict of not guilty. Today, we met up with Cayetano, the sister of the deceased who told us what the family is going through right now. INDIRA CAYETANO “We were very disappointed but like my mom said, she doesn’t know why she set up herself and had hoped that the judiciary system would have worked because it’s full of crap – those were her words; they’re not fair. At first, I was really angry, I was mad and I tried to pray because it is kind of hard to pray when you are going through a disappointing time but with good people around me like my co-workers I started to feel positive again and I said, you know what, God is the ultimate judge, he doesn’t sleep and he sees everything.”

Retrial Ordered for Woman Convicted of Setting Spouse on Fire
She was arrested and charged for setting her husband on fire on New Year’s Eve 2008 in the small and quiet village of Rancho Dolores in the Belize District. On July 12, 2011, about two and a half years after the incident, Viola Pook was found guilty in the Supreme Court of Belize and later sentenced. Pook’s attorney, Simeon Sampson later applied to the Court of Appeals for what he had hoped would have resulted in an acquittal. Earlier today, the court handed down their decision and Love News Centre heard from Sampson on the matter. SIMEON SAMPSON “The appeal is allowed; the appellant’s conviction is quashed; the sentence is set aside and in the interest of justice, a new trial is ordered – I thought she was going to be set scott free but what to do…..This is the lady who it is alleged burnt her husband; the policeman arrived there and she didn’t give a statement to anyone and the policeman med the dying husband writhing on the ground with serious burns to his body and the policeman, Corporal Zuniga approached the wife, who was just sitting around and asked her what happened and according to the police, she blurted out that it was her that caught him on fire – that was the only evidence they had against her.

Hit and Run Incident Leaves Student Hospitalised
Police in Corozal are investigating an apparent hit and run incident that occurred on Fourth Avenue just after eight o’clock last night in that municipality. Police went to the scene and encountered a man of Hispanic descent lying on the left side of the street when traveling from a north to south direction. The man, who was later identified as Victor Casanova, complained of pain to his body and was bleeding from the head. The 18-year-old, student of the Altamira area was reportedly walking with his bicycle and in the company of 17-year-old, Yansie Iglesias, a female student, on the left side of Fourth Avenue when a blue pickup truck came from behind them and hit him and the bicycle causing him plunge into the air and landing on the road pavement. The vehicle continued traveling on Fourth Avenue and the driver did not stop to render aid.

Ferry Operator Drowns in Northern Belize
A laborer of Corozal Town lost his life on Thursday, March 13 in the wee hours of the morning whilst working on the Pueblo Viejo Ferry in the Corozal District. Reports are that the 51-year-old, Javier Artemio Vivas, one of the operators of the ferry was on duty just after two o’clock on Thursday morning when he fell into the river and drowned. Vivas was reportedly operating the ferry from a north to south direction heading towards Progresso Village when he shifted to the side of the ferry to relieve himself and accidentally fell in the water. A search party set out into the waters and Vivas’ body was retrieved at around 7:40 yesterday morning. He was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Oceana Announces Winners of Instagram Competition
Oceana in Belize has announced the winners of its Instagram competition that was held as a part of activities for Reef Week. Capturing first place with his photograph entitled “Pelican heading to roust at South Water Caye” was Andrew Roe. He took home a GoPro digital camera as his prize. Second place went to Chloe Cruz with her entry ‘Sharks”. She won a night’s stay at Belize Nirvana hotel in Placencia Village. Rounding out the top three was Deborah Hamrell of Placencia with her photo taken at the Hol Chan Marine reserve entitled “Everyone wanted to be in the picture”. She won a round trip ticket from Belize City to San Pedro courtesy of Tropic Air. Oceana Belize launched the competition in early February when it asked its social media followers to show how they connect Belize’s marine resources and what the reef represents in their lives. Reef week is being celebrated with the theme “Our food, our jobs, our pride and joy. Our reef.”

Businesswoman Pleads Guilty to Immigration Offense
Fifty-four year old Dora Prado, a naturalized Belizean businesswoman originally from Guatemala who was charged with employing a person not in possession of a temporary employment permit, changed her plea from not guilty to guilty when she appeared today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. She was fined one thousand dollars and she was ordered to pay five hundred dollars forthwith and the balance by April 30, in default six months imprisonment. Prado, the owner of Noa Noa Restaurant and bar, located in Ladyville, hired Guatemalan national Evelyn Jimenez to work as a waitress. She was busted on February 21 when immigration officers went to her place of business.

Convicted Murderer Awaits Decision of Court of Appeals
Belize Court of Appeal has reserved its decision for the appeal of 26-year-old, Gregory August, who was convicted of the murder of 73-year-old, Alvin Robinson and sentenced to life imprisonment. On May 23, 2009, Robinson, a resident of mile 8 and a half on George Price Highway who was a cripple and was blind in one eye, was found sitting on his bed with stab wounds to his face and neck. He was stabbed nine times. He died on his way to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. August’s appeal was mainly on two grounds. One ground was that the circumstantial evidence led by the Crown was insufficient. The second ground was that the learned trial judge did not properly direct the jury in relation to joint enterprise. August was convicted and sentenced in November 2012. August was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal represented the respondent.


God has Plans for You to Prosper
Our verse for this week is taken from Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Small Airplane Crashes in PG During a Take-off Attempt
A small airplane crashed at the Punta Gorda airstrip today as it was attempting to take off. Eyewitnesses claim that the small plane had landed at the airstrip at about 3:15 p.m., but when it tried to take off again it hit a post, burst into flames and then...

Corozal Student Hospitalized After Traffic Accident
18 year old Victor Cassanova, a Belizean Student of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, has been hospitalized after he was knocked down by a vehicle. Reports are that on Thursday March 13th at about 8:05 p.m., Cassanova was walking on Fourth Avenue, Corozal Town, with a 17 year old female...

Mr. Elijah Miller to Be Sentenced to Prison for Manslaughter of Stepson
29 year old Mr. Elijah Miller of Tower Hill, Orange Walk will be sentenced on March 27 for manslaughter after being convicted of the death of his stepson, 2 year old Ezekiel Tejada. In July of 2009, Miller, who was watching Ezekiel and his siblings while his mother was...

Ms. Viola Pook Case Under Appeal for Allegedly Burning her Husband
She was convicted of murder by a 12-member jury nearly three years ago, but 57 year old Viola Pook will be retried at the order of the Court of Appeal. In its last day of the first session of the year, the court handed down its decision and ordered...

Court of Appeal Hears Gregory August for Alleged Murder by Stabbing
The Court of Appeal on Thursday heard the case of 26 year old Gregory August, convicted of the May 2009 death of 73 year old Alvin Robinson in Western Paradise, Belize District. Robinson, who was physically disabled and blind in one eye, was stabbed nine times in the face...

Backhoe Driver Charged for Mr. Anthony Hunter’s Death
Mr. Tony Hunter perished in a traffic accident on February 22 when his motorcycle slammed into a backhoe on the George Price Highway and police now say it is the backhoe driver who was at fault. 52 year old Hunter was travelling on his morobike from Belize City towards...

“Woman of the Year” Selected by U.S. Embassy
Senior Superintendent Dezerie Jacklyn Phillips has been selected as the U.S. Embassy’s Belize Woman of the Year 2014. Phillips held the post of commander community policing for three years and has passionately implemented community policing initiatives, which has proven to be a very effective tool in crime fighting efforts...

Coye Family Exonerated but Still Owes Millions in Taxes
The Coye family, recently exonerated of money laundering charges, owes some $3.23 million in income taxes. That is almost half of the combined estate of the late Michael Coye and the assets of Money Exchange International Limited, which were frozen when Michael, Melonie, Marlene and Jude Coye along with...

Gospel Expo’ Kicks off With Great Euphoria from Tonight Until Sunday
The Belize Gospel Expo 2014 officially kicked off tonight at 6:00 pm at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, in Belmopan. The weekend long event will see live performances from local and international Christian artists, local and international speakers, worship sessions, talent spotlight, and much more. Richard Smith,...

Rotaract Week 2014 Celebrates
March 9th to 16th is celebrated as world Rotoract week. About 46 years ago the first Rotaract club was chartered in North Carolina. Since then it has expanded, establishing clubs all around the world including Belize. We caught up with Bruce Flowers, Vice President of Rotaract in Belmopan, as...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

R.I.P. “Cuz”
Every now and then in life a politician stands out as iconic for their time. That person for the sister islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker was Louis Sylvester, better knows as “Cuz” to his constituents. The Honorable Louis Sylvestre represented Belize Rural South as Area Representative during the time of independence. One of the most charismatic politicians ever to grace Belize, the love of the Belize Rural South constituents for “Cuz”, and his love for them, was boundless. With his trademark toothpick set between his lips, he would mingle comfortably between and among the people of Belize Rural South, chatting comfortably, engaging rich and poor alike, exchanging conversations, and offering advice. Humble, and with a kind word for everyone, he was a friend to all.


There had been murmurings since last week that Laura Esquivel-Frampton—the embattled director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and daughter of ex-Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel, of the ruling United Democratic Party—was being pressured to resign due to a major rift between her and senior BTB management. Today, the BTB issued a statement confirming media reports released yesterday, Tuesday, that Esquivel-Frampton, who was heading the BTB, had resigned from her post. Before assuming directorship of the BTB, Esquivel-Frampton was the BTB’s director of product development. Two years ago, she was appointed as director of the BTB to replace Seleni Matus, who resigned forthwith in September 2011 amid reports that she and the then CEO, Lindsey Garbutt, were disputing over how BTB’s money should be spent. Javier Paredez, the BTB’s director of revenue collection and registrar of hotels—one of the seven managers who signed the letter of discontent and who served as interim director after Matus’ resignation — will also serve as interim director until a replacement is found for Esquivel-Frampton.

Excessive alcohol consumption is believed to be the factor that led to a fatal and horrific traffic accident which played out on the Burrell Boom Road last Sunday evening and claimed the lives of two persons – a male driver and a toddler who was a passenger in another vehicle – and injured six others. Today, Thursday, four days after the deadly accident, police still refuse to confirm the identity of what witnesses say was a 6th victim, a young man who was supposed to have surgery today. According to police reports, a white Honda CRV SUV was exiting the Burrell Boom area near the riverside at around 5:15 p.m. Sunday, March 9, when it collided with a white Kia Sportage SUV with 5 occupants, which was coming from the opposite direction. Today, Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, told us what the police know about the mishap. He said, “Sometime after 5:00 on Sunday, there was a traffic accident in the Burrell Boom area near the bridge. Subsequently, a 3-year old female and a 28-year old male succumbed. The male was the driver of one of the vehicles and there are multiple persons with broken bones at two separate hospitals in Belize City. We are looking into what may have caused it.

Reverend Dorick Wright, Bishop of Belize and Belmopan, has issued a directive to Catholic schools and institutions under its watch, calling on them to ban from their schools organizations and groups which are promoting “First World’s errors and problems” among “unsuspecting people,” such as the notion of “sexual rights” among children, as well as abortion and homosexuality. Last Monday, March 3, Bishop Wright sent a letter to Catholic local managers and assistants, administrators, principals and teachers, saying that he was reminding them “that organizations whose activities and positions are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and which endanger the souls of the People of God, cannot be welcomed under any circumstances in our schools.” “These organizations often present themselves as champions of some apparent good, whether it be to educate on sexuality and reproductive rights, AIDS, or to administer certain medical treatments or shots to our children, but despite some apparent good, you must, nevertheless, respectfully decline any and all invitation or association with any such organizations. I make this directive to all local managers of Catholic Schools, assistant local managers, all administrators, principals and teachers,” he said.

Controversy has erupted in the health services sector over recent revelations that the daughter of Hon. Erwin Rafael Contreras, Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development & Consumer Protection—fresh out of a Guatemalan school—has been awarded a plush job within the Ministry of Health, in what some say is an instance of flagrant “nepotism.” (Hon. Erwin Contreras has been the UDP area representative for Cayo West since 1998.) Danini Contreras, who has recently acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Pharmaceuticals, is now the Director of the Drug Inspectorate – a brand new post in the Ministry. A senior government official told us that her salary package is of a higher scale than the Chief Pharmacist, who has been working in that position for years. Pablo Marin, the United Democratic Party representative for Corozal Bay, is the Minister of Health, but Amandala has been advised by the Ministry that it was Health CEO Dr. Peter Allen who arranged the hiring.

Bert Vasquez faces trial for murder of Jasmine Lowe
The accused killer of Jasmine Lowe, 13, of Santa Elena, Cayo, Bert Vasquez, 32, will be tried at the Supreme Court without a jury. The decision was handed down yesterday at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing to determine if there was a case against him that warrants a Supreme Court trial. The defense for Vasquez, Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson, made a no-case submission on the grounds that the cause of the girl’s death was unknown, and that there was no eyewitness to the events which led to her death, nor any other evidence that tied him to the death of the girl. The Director of Public Prosecutions, however, countered that they have DNA evidence and other evidence that proves that he, Vasquez, was the one who killed the girl.

SIF under new management
The good reputation of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) was tarnished in September of 2013 when a scandal unfolded involving an incomplete Dangriga market project, irate market vendors and disconcerted subcontractors which led to the eventual departure of 4 senior staffers, including former SIF executive director, Daniel Cano, and former SIF public relations officer, Mike Hernandez, Jr. Five months later, SIF, through a government-issued press release, has stated that the vacant posts have been filled since the start of this month. According to the release, William Lamb – an engineer by profession for more than 25 years – has assumed the post of executive director, while Selwyn King – former public relations officer for the University of Belize (UB) – has been appointed as SIF’s new public relations officer.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Serious bus hassle from Belmopan to PG
This letter is intended to serve as a notice to the Ministry of Transport and to the Department of Public Safety. On several different occasions while on route to PG Town from Belmopan, I have personally witnessed an incredibly dangerous situation, and if we do not do something, perhaps one day – fatal. Between the 3-5 p.m. rush hours as soon as a bus arrives and the gates are opened many people are forced to rush towards the bus in hopes to get a seat on the way home. This is not just any normal rushing. As soon as the gate opens people run and push indiscriminately, putting children, elderly and everyone at risk for falling, or worse. All this occurs in a bus depot with vehicles passing through. The presence of uniformed traffic officers monitoring to stop buses from leaving with “standees” does not actually help this part of the situation. People run to the bus to get a seat so that they do not have to stand and then be kicked off the bus, only to go through the process again on the next bus. This is simple mathematics. There are two ways to solve this problem: 1. Let the exact number of people through so that all seats are filled and no more rushing takes place. 1. Have more buses during this 3-5 p.m. rush hour.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: An appeal from Cerro in Toledo
Our community is located ten minutes walking outside of Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District. The name of the community is Saint Vincent’s Block or Cerro. Our community is majority Garinagu people living on and caring for these communal lands. Most of us living here (over one hundred people) do not have access to clean safe drinking water and many of us are children. Currently those in the community with hand-dug wells use the well-water for cooking and cleaning but there are some people in the community without wells. Our hand-dug well-water is not safe for drinking. We must buy drinking water that is prohibitively expensive and creates plastic pollution. During the dry season once a month the town Fire Department provides us with a drum of water per household. We are grateful for this service. That water comes free of cost but, it is not enough for households (some of which are made up of more than 10 people). Also, this water is not safe for drinking.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Lockey returns to Belize in November
My name is Ray Lockey, I lived and worked in Belize in 1970-71 lecturing at the Teacher Training College and was the National Football Coach. I travelled extensively in the country and made many friends. I played for the Belize team Spurs managed by Teddy Gonzalez and have kept in contact with him over the past 40 years. I am returning to Belize (for the first time) in November and would like to meet as many of my old friends as possible. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Many of the participants in the “20,000 Strong” march wore T-shirts on the back of which were printed the slogan “Imagine Belize Without Women!” Yes, indeed, unimaginable for sure. What I would like to see are T-shirts carrying on the back the slogan “Imagine Belize Without A Corrupt Government!” Maybe someone like Lord Ashcroft could have them made up and personally stand on street corners handing them out to every passer by. It would be inspirational and help to realign his otherwise deplorable karmic debt. Who knows? Imagine!

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Come on with some labels for food safety!
Unlabeled food products are a hidden danger to all of us. When there are no labels, consumers are at risk of getting ill while the health authorities are not able to trace the origin of the tainted products. It is hard to believe that in this modern age there are so many packaged food products sold from shop shelves in Belize without any labels. Food safety is a serious subject. Food producers owe it to their customers to identify themselves. And the supervisory agencies should take every possible action to ensure that buyers receive good quality products for their hard-earned money. However, when one walks the aisles of many shops it can be seen that there are many items on sale without ANY labels including baked bread, plantain chips, ideals, bottled drinks, meats and others. This makes one wonder about the quality of the product.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Amandala fan writes
As a writer and an aspiring journalist, I thank you Amandala for your newspaper’s articles and commentaries. I find them always riveting and informative when I read. The articles touch on the inside scoop with in depth and accurate reporting in contrast to the boring and predictable spin of linear one-sided stories that we are accustomed to on TV news and other political propaganda pieces. I would like to thank and commend the Amandala for its dedication to actual news and its critical social commentary on the state of blacks and other poor downtrodden people in Belize. Keep it up!

Why no helicopters?
I just want to ask a question. Why doesn’t the Belize army have any helicopters? Is it because they can’t afford them? I’m pretty sure the government could spare some money to at least buy them one helicopter. I believe that helicopter aviation is really vital to an army as they more easily access the outback. Also, when a criminal is on the run he can easier be tracked from the air and this could probably be sooner done with a helicopter than with an airplane. it is something we can consider, the usefulness of a helicopter.

From The Publisher
Sunday morning was Ninth of March, and in sailing families, such as the one from which I am descended, this is a holy day. Usually the fresh, sunny southeasters are beginning to take effect by Ninth of March, but they do not dominate the weather as absolutely as they will do in April and May. This Ninth of March morning, praise God, a southeaster was in effect. I was driving sometime between 7 and 7:30 towards the Kremandala yard on Partridge Street when I heard Captain Nicholas Sanchez call KREM Radio, where our engineer J. C. Arzu was the announcer/technician in control. Captain Sanchez, a great Belizean patriot, was in charge of the annual ceremonies to honor Baron Bliss and other Belizean “heroes and benefactors.” These ceremonies would take place at 8 a.m., and I could hear the regret in Captain Sanchez’s voice when he realized that KREM, tied up with La Ruta Maya, would not be carrying the ceremonies live.

Baron Bliss Regatta 2014
Belize City harbour was again the venue for the 86th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta. The event is sponsored annually by the Baron Bliss Trust and the Office of the Governor General. “The first Baron Bliss Regatta occurred in 1927, and there was one year after a devastating hurricane, either 1932 or 1962, when none was held,” said Chairman of the Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta Committee, Captain Nicolas Sanchez. The many spectators in the newly renovated BTL Park, Newtown Barracks enjoyed races by 44 sailboats of the Optimist Class. The Optimist Class is raced equally by boys and girls up to age 15. The youngest competing were Malik Jones of Caye Caulker Sailing Club and Christian “CJ” Ferrel, Jr. of Placencia Sailing Club, both 8 years old. The first of five Optimist races was abandoned, as the Northern Drowned Caye flag had come off the marker and could not be seen from the first marker, a nautical mile away. As the wind dropped nearer mid-morning, the second race on the traditional course took little over an hour, so the course was shortened for an additional 3 races (with one discard). The final Optimist race was drastically shortened to make up time.

(Smart) No Limit Soldiers fall
The Belize City (Smart) No Limit Soldiers arrived at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium, which was already packed with Western Ballaz supporters, last Friday night about 20 minutes before tip-off time. The atmosphere in the building was great, and the fans were chomping at the bit for some top level basketball. Much respect must be given to the Western Ballaz organizers and promoters for hosting such a grand basketball event; hopefully, that kind of experience can be duplicated in all 8 home gyms for the remainder of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season. It was evident that this home court would be one of the best in the league, as the noise level was off the charts even for the player introductions. And when the game finally got underway, the local fans erupted with excitement as the Ballaz’ Farron Louriano won the jump ball over No Limit’s Andrew Ortiz. The Western Ballaz fans would maintain their high energy throughout the entire 40 minutes of action, as they all screamed at the top of their lungs with every made basket and rebound by the home team. MC’s for the night, local deejay Mistah G and Belize City native Melissa Coleman, led the crowd in chants such as: “DEFENSE” and “LET’S GO BALLAZ,” in which each fan participated with immense gusto.

Gwen Liz girls and Nazarene boys are CSSSA Softball Champions 2014

3 suicides in 4 days in the north
There have been three deaths that have been classified by police as suicides — two in Orange Walk Town and one in Corozal. The victims all died by hanging themselves with a rope tied around their necks. The three suicide victims are Frances Salam, 13, of Santa Rita, Corozal, a first form student of the Corozal Community College; Edwardo Pech, 36, a businessman of Stadium Street, Orange Walk Town; and Abel Garcia, 28, of Santa Familia Street, Orange Walk Town, who was a supervisor in a construction company. The first to die was Frances Salam, who was declared dead about 4:30 Friday afternoon at her home in Santa Rita after she was found hanging by a rope tied around her neck, the other end being tied to a 2×4 beam in the ceiling of their shed. She was taken down by her father, Constable Sotero Salam of the Corozal Police Formation.

Tragedy on the Pueblo Viejo ferry – operator fell overboard and drowned
Artemio Vivas, 51, of Corozal Town, the Pueblo Nuevo ferry operator, died after falling overboard into the water and disappearing at about 2:00 o’clock this morning. Reports are that Vivas went to urinate, but he slipped and fell into the water, which was higher than normal due to the rain that had fallen earlier that night. The incident occurred on the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District. In an interview with Que Pasa Corozal, Rolando Alcoser, who was working with Vivas on the ferry, said that they were pulling across a BEL vehicle from Corozal to the Progresso /Copper Bank side when Vivas went to urinate over the edge of the ferry, and fell overboard into the water. The BEL workers on the ferry along with him quickly tried to rescue Vivas, but he was unable to swim and went under. The alarm was raised and a search for him began, with police involved, and Vivas’s body was found at about 8:00 this morning in the area.

Intoxicated unlicensed driver drove into shop
Giovanni Elijio, 21, of Compassion Lane, the driver of a vehicle that crashed into and damaged the verandah of Guan Ying Shop located on Marage Road, Ladyville, about 12:30 Monday afternoon, was charged with using an unlicensed motor vehicle, using a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle without being the holder of a Belize driver’s license, and driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit. Police said that upon arriving on the scene, they saw a black 4-door Sidekick motor vehicle parked in the middle of Marage Road facing the Philip Goldson Highway, with damages to the rear bumper. Also, the rear right tire of the vehicle was punctured, the rear right fender was broken and the glass window of the driver’s door was completely shattered.

The Tigersharks tear apart the Bandits!!!
Last Saturday night at the UB Gym, the Belmopan Point Bandits (2-3) succumbed to the ferocity unleashed by the San Pedro Tigersharks (4-1). From the get-go, the home fans had a foreshadowing of the unforgettable night the Tigersharks had in store for the Bandits. In the first quarter, the Tigersharks pounded the Bandits so hard with points that the Bandits were unable to recover. Ashton Edwards was on fire, particularly in the first quarter, where he alone scored five three-pointers to give San Pedro a lead of 29-13. The second quarter was slower, when compared to the first, but points still kept coming. Jamal Kelly hit two three-pointers, contributing more than half of the eleven points gained by San Pedro and maintaining the lead, 40-22. In the second half, the fans saw both teams exchanging “blows.” Left, right and center penetrations made the game very exciting. Fans from rival teams cheered on their champions’ magnificent plays. Nevertheless, the first-quarter damage inflicted by the Tigersharks had already taken its toll. The Bandits suffered their first home loss at the hands of the Tigersharks by 84-59.

No early elections, says Barrow
The Barrow administration—elected in 2012 on a five-year term—has been under fire over allegations of corruption in the issuance of Belizean passport(s) and nationality, and while the slim 17-14 majority of the United Democratic Party remains intact, Barrow has said that if anything could bring down his government, it would be ‘hustling’ in immigration. Even as the passport scandal in which Elvin Penner, a UDP parliamentarian, was fingered, remains at the center of controversy with criminal investigations now underway, Barrow boasted confidently on Friday that his administration will remain in office for at least the next three years. He went on to say that the UDP will win every seat in the next municipal elections, due next year, 2015.

2 referees in need of public’s assistance after traffic accident
The present health status of two well-known local football referees who were knocked down after 10:00 p.m. on Friday, February 28, near Los Lagos on the Philip Goldson Highway underscores – yet again – the dangers posed by drivers who apparently have no problem jeopardizing the lives of both themselves and innocent civilians by consuming too much alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Last week we reported on a traffic accident in which two motorcyclists almost lost their lives after a careless driver who was overtaking another vehicle nearly ran them over at about Mile 12 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Today, when we checked in with the victims, who are still admitted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, they told us that they are completely unaware of the status of the police investigations, but more importantly, they need the public’s assistance to defray mounting medical bills which they have accumulated since being in the hospital.

November 1982: “Price under threat from Belize Right”
(The article below by Greg Chamberlain was first published in THE GUARDIAN of November 29, 1982, and reproduced in the AMANDALA of Friday, December 17, 1982.) On the eve of President Reagan’s visit to Central America this week, Washington is anxiously monitoring a power struggle in the former British colony of Belize which could tip the political balance in the region further against the United States. The Belizean Prime Minister, Mr. George Price, who has dominated the country for 32 years, is resisting powerful pressure to throw in his lot with right-wing, strongly pro-US members of his Cabinet and dismiss two Ministers accused of trying to ally the country with Nicaragua and Cuba. Mr. Price, who has so far tried to walk a narrow line between the region’s rival governments, recently met representatives of the Salvadorean and Guatemalan left, with Nicaragua’s Sandinistas, in Belize to discuss the country’s role in the region.

Caribbean leaders discuss priority issues
In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the 25th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on Tuesday, the region’s leaders—who expressed their continued support for the territorial integrity of Belize—welcomed the latest developments between Belize and Guatemala to activate the Joint Commission to promote cooperative relations between both countries. According to the communiqué, “They also welcomed their renewed commitment to preserve the Special Agreement of 2008, which commits both parties to resort to the International Court of Justice for a final determination of the Guatemalan claim.” The Caribbean leaders said that they support the Road Map signed on 24 January 2014 by Belize and Guatemala and by the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS). That road map is said to be aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and enhancing mutual trust conducive to setting a new date to hold the referendum in both countries.

2% growth forecast for 2014-2015
The country’s economy is expected to grow at a modest rate of 2% percent, according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who presented the latest economic review and projections in the National Assembly on Friday in the context of the budget presentation for the upcoming fiscal year, 2014-2015, which begins on April 1. Barrow reported that Belize’s economy grew by 0.7% in 2013 – a deceleration of the 4.0% he reported for 2012, but said that the outlook for 2014 is “full of promise,” with the Central Bank projecting a GDP growth of 2% in 2014, as the primary sector returns to positive output, construction and tourism hold steady, and Government’s capital spending program expands. In explaining the low GDP growth reported for 2013, Barrow said, “The slowdown emanated in part from the primary sector where unfavorable weather and diseases caused production of the major export crops – banana, sugarcane and citrus – to decrease”.

Delroy complains
Candidate for the Stann Creek West constituency for the UDP, Delroy Cuthkelvin, has complained to UDP Secretary General Pearl Stuart that apparently, there is an intention to “prejudice the outcome of the [party] convention in favor of one candidate…” According to Cuthkelvin’s campaign committee, “at a meeting in Silk Grass on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, attended by our candidate and other representatives of our campaign committee, a maximum of just over 200 names were presented, reviewed and agreed on. “Yet the Secretariat has prepared a list of almost 900 names, which we understand was compiled in conjunction with Melvin Hulse, one of the other contestants in the convention.

Will Elvin Penner ever face criminal charges?
The former Minister of State for Immigration, Elvin Penner, the disgraced UDP politician and area representative for the Cayo North East constituency, is about to become the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to face criminal charges for official wrongdoing, say lawyers for PUP leader Hon. Francis Fonseca. Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head of the National Crime Investigation Branch, Russell Blackett, confirmed today that the police’s investigation of the Penner passport scandal is well underway. “A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but there are still a few minor details that the police have to deal with, before the investigation is actually completed,” Blackett said. When asked, however, how many persons have the police interviewed during the investigation, Blackett would only emphasize that “the investigation is almost complete.”

Four games were played at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Sunday, March 9, in Week 2 of the Youths Cup category in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids, Female and Youth Cup 2014, which is being conducted by the Belmopan Football Association (BFA). In game 1 at 10:00 a.m., San Martin-Mexico dropped Valley of Peace-Korea, 2-1, with both goals coming from George Hidalgo (2’ & 52’), while Savier Sanchez (56’) scored for Valley of Peace. Game 2 saw Central Site-England bombing Las Flores-Spain, 5-1, with goals from Noah Moro (7’), Ajani Banner (34’ & 49’) and Jamal Tejada (69’ & 73’); the lone tally for Las Flores-Spain was by Jairo Lopez (26’). Salvapan-Brazil drew 0-0 with Mountain View-Italy in game 3. And in game 4, Armenia-Portugal demolished Piccini-France by an 8-nil score, courtesy of 5 goals from Carlos Gonzalez (7’, 27’, 58’, 60’ & 69’) and 1 apiece from Eduardo Alfaro (23’), Rony Riviera (32’) and Adony Ascencio (62’).

The working basis of parliamentary government in Belize is a lie, and that lie involves Cabinet members who swear that they are honest, working along with and testifying for Cabinet members whom they and many members of the public know to be criminal in their intent and in their behavior. The basis of the legal system in Belize is a lie, and that lie involves trained counsel using all their skill to have citizens they know to have committed criminal acts, be released into the society as free, exonerated men/women without being punished for their evil deeds. The legal system in its operations exposes the fact that, despite its portrayal of itself as impartial through the metaphor of the blind lady holding the scale of justice, the legal system is unequal and unjust in its decision making. The inequality and injustice are derived primarily from financial realities. Some accused cannot afford an attorney to defend them: they are doomed. Those accused who are wealthy can afford attorneys who are so skillful that it is functionally impossible to convict them, and when there is such a thing as a conviction phenomenon in their matters, these issues are resolved in their favor in higher courts of law. The rich become richer; the poor go to jail.

There are many things going on all over the place that may seem unrelated but which to me are very much related: these “things” or “events” are very much reflective of the ethos of our people and the culture of our nation. They are also yardsticks by which to measure the way we see ourselves and others. This past long holiday weekend was interesting for many reasons…. some good and some not so good. From juice to beers Tragedy struck the Silva family when a youth suspected of being drunk crashed his vehicle into theirs resulting in the death of a three-year-old, miracle child of a young couple. I personally had stopped following the cycling race and now Ruta Maya, because I have become concerned with the wild driving and excessive drinking being associated with two of my favorite sporting events. Those who went out can attest to the excessive drinking now associated with these “family” outings as many adults forget children are what they learn and learn what they see.

Louis “Cuz” Sylvester, a former People’s United Party (PUP) stalwart, died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City on Thursday, March 6, of complications from a stroke that he suffered in 2008. Sylvester was 82. In his political heyday, which lasted almost three decades, under the leadership of the late Rt. Hon. George C. Price, Sylvester dominated the Belize Rural South constituency. He served as Minister, holding various portfolios in former Prime Minister Price’s cabinets from the mid 1950’s. Sylvester, in the course of his political career, had served as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Public Utilities, and Minister of Communications and Local Government. Considered a part of the PUP’s right wing, Sylvester left the PUP in 1984, after the party lost its first post-independence elections and the rivalry between the PUP’s right wing and left wing became more pronounced. He formed his own political party, but was less successful. Late in his life he joined the United Democratic Party and ran in a general election on their ticket.

A special sitting of the Supreme Court was held on Tuesday, March 11, in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, for the swearing-in ceremony of a new Supreme Court Justice, Shona Griffith, who will preside over the civil division of the court. Madam Justice Griffith, who is a Guyanese national, has been in Belize a little over two years and was serving the Judiciary as a Senior Magistrate in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. Justice Griffith has been practicing law for over fifteen years, and holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of London. She is a graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.

(The article below was first published in the AMANDALA issue of Friday, February 25, 1983.) BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 24 Following a meeting of right wing PUP Ministers and “soldiers” held last week at Trinidad Farm, a mimeographed bulletin has been circulated attacking Attorney General Said Musa, who is described as “the proclaimed leader of the Democratic Direction, the leftist party within the People’s United Party.” For the first time the right has fingered, which is to say, called the names of all those they consider “the socialists and communists.” Those accused are, and we quote directly: “Said Musa, MacClovio Alamilla of Shell Oil Company, Gloria McField, Elkin Trench of Belize Estate, Bobbie Usher of Northern Fishermen, Steve Mahler of Belize Estate, Leni Jo, Martin Saldivar of St. Joseph School, Remijio Montejo, Dorian Barrow of Belize Technical School, Rafael Chavez, Clement Usher of Credit Union of Belize City. From the Cayo District, Assad Shoman, Jorge Aguilar, Juan Duran, Enrique Martinez of Belize Times and Oscar Alonzo of Development Finance Corporation. From Orange Walk, Eddie Salas and Domingo Perez from the U.G.W.U., Landy Burns and Chabo Orio, and Godfrey the Lawyer who is the overall contact man.”

Just before daybreak this past Sunday, March 9, a young motorcyclist lost his life almost instantly after a head-on collision with an SUV in the vicinity of Camalote, near the City of Belmopan. Police reported that they were called out to Camalote at about 5:00 a.m. on Sunday where they observed a red 4-door Isuzu Rodeo parked on the George Price Highway with severe damages to its right front light and fender, damage to its right front wheel and a broken right side windshield. They also saw, in the immediate area, a red motorcycle – resembling a dirt bike – with extensive damages and its driver lying face down on the pavement, motionless and apparently dead. Their initial investigations revealed that Belmopan resident Anthony Polonio, 53, was driving his vehicle from the direction of San Ignacio Town towards Belmopan when, upon reaching between Miles 50 and 51, a motorcycle – being driven at the time by Jose Martinez, 22, which was coming from the opposite direction, collided head-on with the vehicle.

The extended weekend was buzzing with an array of activities which took place mainly in the Belize River Valley area where the 16th Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya canoe race was passing. However, the celebrations probably also created the conditions for both major and minor traffic accidents which either endangered or claimed the lives of several persons. Authorities who were working in the Burrell Boom area on Sunday had their hands full as they responded to multiple traffic accidents – two of which occurred almost simultaneously within their jurisdiction. A few moments before a small child and a young man perished in a fatal traffic accident on the Boom Road, there was a 4-car pile-up along that same stretch of road, and according to ASP Chris Noble, O.C. Belize Rural Formation, the officers had to prioritize the accident in which there were lives at risk.

Leslie Vernon, 40, a fisherman and tour guide operator of Placencia, bled to death when he sustained a large cut wound on the back of his right leg, which caused a main artery to be ruptured. The incident occurred about 12:30 yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, in a boat repair yard on the banks of the lagoon in Placencia. His brother, who saw what had happened, rushed him in a boat across the lagoon to Malacate Beach in an effort to get him medical attention at the Independence Polyclinic, but the effort was in vain. Vernon died in the boat before they reached Malacate Beach on the other side of the lagoon. His body was taken to the Dangriga Hospital, where it underwent a postmortem. Doctors declared that he bled to death. Vernon and his father had been repairing a fiberglass boat at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon when the grinder he was using hit a bump on the boat, causing him to lose control of it, and it caused a large cut behind his leg, which began to bleed heavily. Mary Toy, a close friend of the family, told Amandala that when they called the Placencia Polyclinic, they were told that the doctor was not in, but that the nurse would try to contact him. They became fearful, however, that Leslie would die in their care because of the delay, and his brother quickly applied a tourniquet to the wound to stop the bleeding, but Vernon died before they could have gotten him critical medical treatment.

Police have concluded, after investigating the road traffic accident that claimed the life of Anthony “Tony” Hunter, 52, at about 8:15 Saturday morning, February 22, that the driver of the backhoe with which Hunter’s motorcycle collided was at fault. Hunter, of Dolphin Drive, Belize City, was travelling on his motorcycle from Belize City towards Hattieville when he collided with the right rear wheel of a backhoe at the junction of Linda Vista and the George Price Highway near the Foam Factory, between Miles 2 and 3 on the highway. Police say that they have forwarded the file containing the results of their investigation into the incident to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for further directives, but are confident that the driver of the backhoe will be charged with the traffic offenses of driving without due care and attention, causing death by careless conduct and manslaughter by negligence. The announcement was made today, at the Racoon Street Police Station.

The bodies of a Belizean man and three other men who were massacred by gunmen on a road leading to a farm opposite the colony, Villas Paraíso, in the El Carmen area of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, were found by Hondurans soldiers and police who went to the area Thursday morning last week, March 6. Authorities reported that the four men murdered in what they believe was a drug-related massacre were identified as Belizean-Guatemalan, Mario Roberto Cocón Ochaeta, 34; Mexican, Miguel Torres Jimenez; Douglas Secoff Anthony, 23, of Roatan, Honduras, and Leizer Hugo De la Rosa Garcia, 36, of Guatemala. Quentin Juarez, Commander of the National Interagency Security Force (Fusina), in an interview with Diario De Honduras, San Pedro Sula, said that they have declared that the deaths were due to a bad drug deal, which led to the shooting.

On Thursday, a Belize City woman was arrested and charged by Hattieville police after prison officials caught her with 12 grams of marijuana inside her underwear; she was attempting to smuggle the weed to her boyfriend, who is on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Kristy Ramclam, 19, a single mother, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled drug. Ramclam broke down in tears before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton fined her $500 plus $5 cost of court. He ordered her to pay $250 forthwith. Before imposing the fine, Hamilton told Ramclam that she is fortunate that she was not charged with drug trafficking; otherwise, she would be facing a $10,000 fine and a possible three-year prison sentence.

Arthur Connor, 47, found beaten to death
Arthur Connor, 47, a mechanic, was found beaten to death in the back of a delivery truck that was altered to live in, on the Foam Factory compound at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway. The gruesome discovery was made about 8:30 yesterday morning, Tuesday. Connor was believed to have been drinking with two other men, whom he knew, in the truck back adapted as a caravan. For some reason, the men subsequently became involved in a fight, during which Connor was repeatedly bashed in the face and head with a concrete block, and his upper body was beaten with a stick. One of the men who was drinking with him has been taken into custody, while police continue to look for the second man. Connor’s family said that Arthur’s phone was found with the man now in custody.

Earl Baizar, of Dangriga, killed in San Ignacio
The Baizar family of Dangriga is mourning the death of their son, Earl, 20, who died in San Ignacio Friday morning after he was stabbed multiple times in the chest and upper part of the body, in front of Atlantic Bank, while walking on Burns Avenue at about 1:00 o’clock in the morning. Reports are that Baizar was walking from the Blue Angels nightclub, from where he was ejected after he became involved in an altercation with another man. The security guard and police had reportedly put the two men out of the club. Police believe that while Baizar was on Burns Avenue, not far from the nightclub, the man with whom he had been fighting in the club rode up on an ATV motorcycle and attacked him with a butcher knife.

Man who stabbed uncle over land dispute arraigned on murder charge
Oliver Peters, 36, an electrician formerly of Arlington Drive, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning and was arraigned on a charge of murder. Cayetano remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until his next scheduled court date on April 23. Peters was originally remanded to prison on attempted murder and related charges after he allegedly stabbed his uncle on December 7, 2013, sending him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition. But on February 22, Peters’ uncle, Thomas Ferguson, 44, succumbed to his injuries and police upgraded Peters’ charges to murder.

Salesman robbed on Philip Goldson Highway
At about 3:30 Friday evening, a salesman and his assistant were held up and robbed at gunpoint while travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk on the Philip Goldson Highway in Biscayne, and the three bandits got away with $2,100. Fabian Quinones, of Orange Walk Town, told police that he and his driver, Mason Quiroz, a truck driver, also of Orange Walk Town, were traveling from Belize City to Orange Walk on the Philip Goldson Highway, in a white freightliner truck when a black four-door Toyota pickup with tinted glass overtook them, slowed down in front of them and stopped, causing them to stop. Then, three men, two of whom were armed with 9mm pistols, jumped out of the vehicle.

Gungulung resident shot in the chest
Tarique Gillette, 17, of the CET Site area of Gungulung in Lake Independence, is presently fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot in the right side of his chest by one of two men at about 3:00 o’clock yesterday afternoon at the corner of an unnamed street that intersects with Holy Emmanuel Street in the Gungulung area of the city. Police reports are that Gillette and three other men were standing at the corner of the unnamed street, talking, when two men rode up on separate bicycles and one of them pulled out a gun and shot Gillette.

Policeman and brother injured in brawl in Concepcion
A policeman and his brother were hurt after they were attacked at a bar in Concepcion by two men of the village. Police Constable Javier Noble suffered a large cut wound to the head, while his brother, Angel Noble, 18, was cut in the right side of the head. They were both taken to the Corozal Hospital, and afterwards, PC Javier Noble was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further medical treatment. The incident occurred at about 11:00 last night. According to police, the two Noble brothers had been involved in a brawl with some men, who inflicted the cut wounds on them.

Inadequate ID leads to murder acquittal
“It is not in all cases the judge will leave it to the jury to find the accused guilty or not guilty,” said Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas, addressing a jury of eight women and four men who heard the evidence in a murder trial. “In this case I find the identification of the accused is insufficient for me to leave it to you to decide.” Following those words, Justice Lucas directed the jury to return a not guilty of murder verdict in the trial of Kirk Smith, Jr., 22, accused of the August 15, 2010 shooting death of Ian Arnold at his Berkeley Street residence. Arnold, a practicing Rastafarian and an employee of Wesley College, was shot multiple times and died about one hour later. Four days after the homicide, Belize City police arrested and charged Smith, Jr., for Arnold’s murder. Smith, however, never participated in a police identification parade.

Brothers stabbed in bar in Orange Walk
Two brothers were stabbed with broken bottles during a fight in at a bar in Orange Walk. Juan Ramirez and his brother, Jose Rafael Ramirez, were socializing at the Mi Casa Bar when they were attacked by three men who wielded broken bottles at about 11:30 Saturday night. Juan Ramirez suffered multiple cut wounds to various parts of his body, while his brother, Rafael, suffered cut wounds to the head. The attackers then ran out of the bar.

Teacher robbed at knifepoint by former student
A teacher was robbed yesterday at knifepoint by a former student of hers, whom she had taught for years. The incident occurred about 7:25 last night in front of the Saint Francis Xavier Church on 1st Street South in Corozal Town. Ayonie Briceño, 57, a teacher of Santa Rita, Corozal Town, told police that she was standing in front of the Saint Francis Xavier Church talking along with three women who were part of her church group, when two men approached her, one of whom was a former student of hers whom she had taught for several years. Her former student was armed with a knife, which he put at her side, then he stole her chain, valued at about $250, from around her neck.

Carnal knowledge in San Antonio, Toledo
Toledo police are seeking a man, 25, of San Antonio on charges of carnal knowledge of a girl, 14. The incident occurred about 7:30 Friday evening behind the girl’s house in her family’s yard in San Antonio, Toledo. The girl told police that she was at home when a man she knows came into their yard and took her behind her family’s house, where he had sex with her. Her brothers, who saw what was happening, alerted their mother, who went to see what was happening, and the man ran out of the yard.

Succotz villager charged with drug trafficking in Belize City
Adan Martinez, 29, a construction worker and resident of Succotz, Cayo District, was released on a $10,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to one count of drug trafficking in the Belize Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Martinez appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who stipulated that as part of his bail condition, he is to report to the Benque Viejo Police Station every Monday, until his case is concluded. Belize City police charged Martinez with one count of being in possession of a controlled drug, 7.5 kilograms of cannabis (16.53 pounds), with intent to supply to another for the purpose of drug trafficking.

Burglaries reported in Cayo, Belmopan and Corozal
Burglaries were reported in Cayo, Belmopan and Corozal, with the victims of these incidents, in total, losing over $15,000 in goods and merchandise. The most recent burglary occurred sometime between 8:00 Saturday morning and 8:00 Sunday morning, March 9, said one of the burglary victims, Harris Patten, 39, a Public Health Inspector of College Road, Corozal Town, who told police that the thief or thieves entered his house in that time period and stole a 32-inch Magnavox flat screen TV valued at $1,800 and a black Sony DVD player valued at $300.

Darrington Lauriano, Jr., escapes death
Darrington Lauriano, Jr., 21, of San Juan, San Pedro, has been treated and released from the San Pedro Polyclinic after he was shot in the shoulder, with the bullet exiting though his back. The incident occurred at about 9:30 last night. Lauriano, who is well-known to police, reported that he was walking home on Sandpiper Street from the direction of Pescador Drive toward the San Juan area when he heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot, and realized that he had been shot.

7 years for punching minor and stealing his bicycle
A Belize City man who pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and wounding was sentenced to seven years in prison when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. Eutychus Nuñez, 19, an unemployed of 6060 Mahogany Street, was accused of stealing a beach cruiser bicycle and wounding the owner, Delroy Herrera, Jr., a seventeen-year-old minor and student, in the process of committing the robbery. According to court documents, Herrera was riding his beach cruiser bicycle on Princess Margaret Drive around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, when two men rode up beside him.


The San Pedro Boardwalk & Water Taxi Inauguration: A Look Around
A few days ago, I was passing on the Back Street of San Pedro and saw this sign. And quite honestly? After the flurry of activity around this expensive re-do of the “Old Football field” or Saca Chispas at the back side of town last year, I had kinda forgotten about this big project. The $6 million US project was planned to move water taxi traffic (both domestic and international) to the back side of the island to centralize arrivals. It was also planned with a sorely needed REAL (like with grass and everything) football field and with a full board walk along the lagoon side of town. A project to bring traffic to this area. Here is a bit of what the area used to look like… Boats, small docks and huts. And here is what I saw yesterday.

Press Release: Technical Cooperation on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) between Belize and Mexico
To view the Press Release on the Technical Cooperation on LPG between Belize and Mexico, kindly view the document below.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Hamantasche an' t'Feas o'Purim
Tomerroe is t'Feas o'Purim. It is nairy a feas at I have ev'r celebratid, since it is manely a Jewish Feas, but t'stery o' its origin is recerdet n' t'bibull n' t'book o'Esth'r. It is a feas o'joy an' celebrashun fer t'salvashun o't' Joos who had bee cundemmd ta die by ord'r o'Kyun' Ahazuerus. T' plot ta destroy t'Joos wuz contrivet by thar arch enemy Hamun who hatid Merdicai , t'uncle who raiset Esth'r, t' lovelee maide at won t'heert o' Ahazuerus an' became his'n quee. Quee Esth'r is t'heroine o't' stery. It is through hern at t'Joos n' t'kingdom air spard an' nairy onlee spard but honouret !

Next Stop – Belize
After doing some research and scouring the travel blog-osphere we decided on this beautiful Central American destination. If it’s anything like Costa Rica then how can we really go wrong? How We Decided on Belize We first came across a Groupon for a Belize Getaway to Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is an island off of Belize that sits in the Carribbean. I had never heard of it before, but quickly learned it was recently voted #1 in the Top 10 Islands of the World by Trip Advisor!

Great Blue Hole: hardest place to reach of all my travels.
You know those beautiful images that you see on the internet and then you think, one day I want to go to this place! So, this was the case with the Blue Hole, a vertical cave, full of sharks, shaped in a perfect circle in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and nearly 100 km from the coast. I think the Great Blue Hole was the hardest place to reach of all my travels. Since my departure from Guatemala, I faced: 1) a driver who almost left me at the border because I was the only nationality that needed an entry visa for Belize; 2) then a bad diving instructor, who cancelled without notice 3) two hours in a speedboat at high speed, facing a storm with winds and huge waves 4) amazingly enough, I was trying to dodge a million cockroaches that started coming out of all the cracks of the boat as soon as the vessel began to shake because of the stormy sea.

Massive march commenced from the San Pedro Central Park
Mar 14 – Ambergris Caye - Last night March 13th, a massive march commenced from the San Pedro Central Park at around 5:30 p.m. in support of the Arceo and Eiley Families and for their horrible loss of a beloved son Jeffrey Eiley, who was senselessly shot to death on the island. The march was also a peaceful protest against the growing crime and gun violence on Ambergris Caye. It was non-political and non-partisan. It was a march AGAINST THE SENSELESS violence recently plaguing the island. The march was to say that together “we love our island, our home, and will not tolerate this anymore”. The islanders and expat community clearly stand strong and will resist further impact of crime in their daily lives. It was also to show the police department and the government (local and country-wide) and their neighbors and the whole island that they need change. Change is coming!

Profiting from a strong private sector – Donations Part VII
Most businesses make charitable donations in different forms. Some give cash; some donate the products or services they usually profit from selling. However, schools, athletic teams, scholarship recipients, health causes, and many other entities that depend on charity will acknowledge that the business community does a great deal to assist. Why do we need the private sector? Because a healthy, growing private sector that collectively contributes to its community in the ways described above, also contributes to Belize’s economic development because the world’s most vibrant economies are built on a thriving private sector and because the food, artwork and culture are irresistible. Let’s work hard and build a safe and productive environment for our Corozal District.

Hiking The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Oh so much fun we had in Belize! Come along for another day of adventure as we explore the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar preserve. It’s just the place to explore a jungle, to swim in solitude beneath a refeshingly cool waterfall, to hear the calls of birds and monkeys high up in the trees, and to hike along a trail less traveled. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to one of the best maintained jungle hiking trail systems in Belize. It’s also a safe haven for many native wild cats, including jaguars, pumas, margays and ocelots. But don’t worry, the odds of you crossing paths with any of these wild critters while hiking in the sanctuary is unlikely. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is also a haven for other Belize critters – coatis, kinkajous, deer, peccaries, tapirs and nearly 300 species of birds call the sanctuary home. Are you ready to get this adventure on the trail? Great! As with every journey, there is a beginning, and so, this journey begins at the Wildlife Sanctuary’s Information Center. It’s perfect for orienteering yourself to the sanctuary’s many hiking trails and the resident wildlife. Oh, and meeting a resident jaguar that won’t eat your hand.

International Sources

Thoughts on the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Spring is upon us, and it is time to start looking toward this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. Readers should be instantly dubious of any hurricane season forecast, such as this one, due to their inconsistent skill. Last year, myself and every major forecasting agency that I know of predicted a more active hurricane season than normal, and we were all wrong. In fact, 2013 turned out to be one of the top 10 least active seasons since 1950, with only 2 hurricanes and an ACE of 34% of normal. In hindsight, there are a couple of possible reasons for this, such as an apparent faltering of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and the local Atlantic Hadley Cell. Regardless of how well hurricane activity is predicted in advance, you the reader should be aware that nobody can predict individual hurricanes months in advance, and no matter what the season as a whole is like, there is always the potential for a hurricane to form and impact you. Hurricane Andrew destroying south Florida during the otherwise completely quiet 1992 hurricane season is the poster child example of this. With this in mind, and despite forecasting failures like 2013, meteorologists can usually glean useful insight into how active the hurricane season will be before it has even begun. Here, I will offer my thoughts on what 2014 may bring.

European Union Fisheries Ban Ignores Belize Conservation Success Story
Belize is a small nation that has been making some big headlines lately due to the rogue fishing practices of some of the vessels its government has flagged. Regrettably, this has cast the entire Belizean fishing industry in a poor light, including its 15,000 people whose livelihoods are directly tied to fishing. A reader of recent headlines could deduce that the Belizean government is not doing anything to promote sustainable fishing. That assumption, and the EU’s move to ban imports from Belize, have one thing in common: They are wrong. In its coastal fisheries, Belize is leading the way in innovative management strategies designed to preserve biodiversity in a manner that keeps fishermen on the water and focused on the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. Future generations of Belizeans will be able to carry on their rich fishing traditions thanks to the decisions, at times quite difficult, being made right now.

Students to spend week at school for deaf in Belize
Seven students from Munro Academy left Thursday for Belize and will spend a week with students at the Cayo Deaf Institute. The Cayo Deaf Institute is run by Mennonites. According to its website, the students participate in activities such as class work, farming, chores, meal preparation and cleanup, yard work and church services. "Our students will be doing farm work in support of the school," said Jeanne Ferguson, a member of the board of Munro academy. The group will also be setting up a computer network for the students. "Our students have been raising money for the trip and to purchase computers for the school," Ferguson said. "Last week we received a hefty donation to help with the cost of the computers, so that was a big help. We don’t know who made the donation, but it was very nice.”

The pride of Belize hits the road
Who is Deon McCaulay? It is a question many football fans were asking after seeing the name at the top of the scorers’ table for 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying. Many may not know the man himself and even more may not be able to find his home nation of Belize on a map, but one fact remains: He edged out Dutch ace Robin van Persie and Uruguay’s ruthless Luis Suarez - not to mention Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - as the globe’s top marksman on the road to Brazil 2014. “I mean, it feels really good to have my name up there with those big, no, those huge names from all the big countries,” McCaulay told in a recent interview. “Not a lot of people know me and not a lot of people probably know much about Belize, so it’s a nice thing.” It should be clarified that McCaulay’s 11 goals came in the early, and often chaotic, rounds of qualifying in the CONCACAF zone. The Belize City-born striker, lean and with a sharp turn of pace, scored four over two legs against Montserrat, an island in the Caribbean who’s population declined by two-thirds since a giant volcano erupted in 1995. Even so, his hat-trick in the first leg – the first game played by any nation en route to Brazil 2014 – hinted at a player who knew his way to goal. “What a feeling,” he said after the contest. “Scoring three goals in a World Cup qualifier is a truly special thing.”

Belize looks to La.Guard to create its own at-risk youth program
The Louisiana National Guard welcomed a delegation from the Belize Defence Force to Camp Beauregard in Pineville, to tour its Youth ChalleNGe Program, Feb. 18-20. The National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program pairs countries and states together to link U.S. national interests and security cooperation goals by engaging partner nations to establish and sustain enduring relationships to promote national objectives, stability, partner capacity, better understanding and trust. The LANG and BDF have been partners since 1996. “The BDF, working through the State Partnership Program in Louisiana, requested to visit our Youth ChalleNGe Program. They are in the process of creating a very similar program for at-risk youth in Belize,” said Col. Michael Borrel, director of educational programs for the Louisiana National Guard.

Top 10 beach activities and where to do them
Glover’s Reef Atoll is considered to be the prototypic atoll in the Caribbean and is also the best developed biologically. It contains the greatest range of reef type and is home to a variety of sea life including three species of sea turtles, eight species of sharks and rays, more than twenty species of aggregating reef fish, and numerous species of coral. Fishing can be enjoyed year round, but because the area is now a Marine Preserve, it’s catch and release only. Some fish you might encounter are Bonefish, Jacks, Mutton Snappers, Yellowtails, Bonitos, Cubera Snappers, Barracudas, King Mackerel, Wahoo and Groupers and Permit.

Fortis Inc. Files 2013 Year-End Disclosure Documents
Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") today filed its audited Consolidated Financial Statements and related Management Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2013, as well as its 2013 Annual Report and Annual Information Form, with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Copies of these documents are available electronically on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval ("SEDAR") website, and the Corporation's website,, or by emailing The Proxy and Management Information Circular for the upcoming Fortis Annual Meeting of Shareholders are expected to be mailed on April 7, 2014. The Annual Meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. (Newfoundland Daylight Time) on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Holiday Inn St. John's, 180 Portugal Cove Road, St. John's, NL. A live audio webcast of the Annual Meeting will be available at

Where to Find the Best Beaches in Belize
Belize is well-known for its famous Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. For decades adventurous scuba divers and anglers have vacationed in Belize, in pursuit of their favorite marine sports. But this tiny country also has some fine beaches. But they aren’t always obvious to the first-time tourist. Fortunately, the majority of Belize’s beaches are public and accessible. The 60-foot strip of beachfront adjoining the Caribbean Sea is usually public property. Some exceptional beaches are hidden, hard to reach, or located on remote cayes. The small, remote cayes tend to be protected parks or privately owned. You’ll need a boat to find them.

March 14, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Paul Thompson elected Vice President of COCABA
The Confederation of Central American Basketball (COCABA) held its yearly Congress meeting on March 8, 2014 in Tegucigalpa Honduras. COCABA includes the basketball federations of eight countries, Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. At this congress meeting the elections for the executive of COCABA was chosen and the President of the Belize Basketball Federation was elected as the Vice President of COCABA. Yamil Bukele of El Salvador was elected President of COCABA and Marcela Mejia was elected Secretary. The executive is elected to serve for 4 years from 2014-2018.

Belize Red Cross to host Regional Meeting
The Belize Red Cross Society is pleased to announce it will be hosting the 2014 Annual Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting during the week of March 17th to 21st 2014. The CHAP Program is an initiative, funded by the American Red Cross that looks at addressing prevention, education and organizational capacity strengthening in the area of HIV/AIDS. It also focuses on addressing stigma and discrimination against persons infected and affected by the disease. Some forty Red Cross National Society Delegates from Caribbean territories of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize will be attending the one week meeting at the River Hall of the Best Western Belize Biltmore Hotel on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Facilitating the CHAP meeting will be a six member delegation of the American Red Cross which supports the Caribbean regional project.

San Pedro High School Science Fair 2014
San Pedro High School (SPHS) students are known for their sports skills, but on Friday, March 7th, they showcased their intellectual abilities in the 2014 Science Fair. The fair, held under the theme “Young Minds, Crafting the Science of Today for the Technology of Tomorrow”, demonstrate the students’ creativity and potential in developing ideas that can be used to alleviate problems that affect their school and community. SPHS Science Fair-18The students were divided into groups of up to seven members and since the beginning of the school year in August have been working along with their Science teacher to develop experiments and projects using the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Method. On the day of the fair, students proudly displayed their final work to be judged and critiqued by a panel of experienced science professors.

Sea Therapy 911
The “sea” within us has the same saltiness as the Precambrian seas of three billion years ago. Rachel Carson, in her book The Sea Around Us, gives us a clue to our origins: “When the animals went ashore to take up life on land, they carried part of the sea in their bodies, a heritage which they passed on to their children and which even today links each land animal with its origins in the ancient sea.” I was missing something…I was feeling out of sorts and out of sync with my everyday life…my inner balance was off and I was in need of some serious equilibrium. Finally the little light went off in my head (and heart) and the fog suddenly cleared like murky waters settling into clarity…I was suffering from a severe case of Vitamin SEA deficiency! With hands shaking and sweat on my brow I made a frantic call to my sea doctor, the lovely and very attentive Mrs. Enes of Belize Diving Adventures before I went into full withdrawal symptoms!

Action Twenty 24 donates anti-microbial shoes to the residents of San Mateo
The unplanned development of San Mateo has come far from its deplorable conditions thanks to the continued support of missionary groups and volunteer workers from the USA. On Tuesday, March 11th, San Mateo residents received yet another generous donation in the form of 500 anti-microbial shoes from Action Twenty 24 volunteer group. The donation was facilitated by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), who along with the students of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School organized a cleanup campaign on the same day. The day started with a short opening ceremony that included the singing of Belize’s National Anthem and a short prayer, after which master of ceremonies Councilor Kenrick Bracket who is responsible for solid waste management, invited Mayor Daniel Guerrero to share a few inspiring words. Mayor Guerrero reiterated the council’s commitment to the residents of San Mateo by highlighting the efforts to better their living conditions. Guerrero also took the opportunity to announce that the electrification project for San Mateo will commence in the next coming weeks. “I ask that all the residents of San Mateo show their gratitude for the support and donations that they have received by taking take care of what is given to them,” said Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

Director of Tourism Laura Frampton Resigns
In a press release that was sent out on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, the Belize Tourism Board announced the resignation of Mrs. Laura Frampton from the post of Director of Tourism. Mrs. Frampton has served in that capacity for the past two (2) years and is resigning the position for personal reasons. In the release, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, sincerely thanked Mrs. Laura Frampton for her significant contributions during her time with the organization. It indicated that during her tenure, she conducted herself with integrity, genuine concern for the industry and fiscal accountability and that Laura's experience within both the financial and marketing sectors proved a valuable asset to the BTB over the last two years. Both the BTB and Minister Heredia wished her well in her future endeavors.

Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visits Ambergris Caye, Belize
Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visited La Isla Bonita, San Pedro Town on Friday, March 7, 2014. The purpose of her trip was to officially visit Mayor Daniel Guerrero and present to him the proposal of a sister city relationship between San Pedro Town and Roatan, Honduras. Mayor Daniel Guerrero met with Ambassador Sanda Rosales-Abella at the San Pedro Town Council where they discussed the forming of a sister relationship between both cities. Although a specific date of the signing of the sister city relationship was not established both parties are equally interested in forming this relationship. Also visiting was Mr. Carlos Villanueva Medina, Minister Counselor of the Republic of Honduras.

Footprints for peace
Hundreds stand strong at Footprints for Peace event as San Pedro residents rally against crime on the island. 'Justice for Jeffrey'

Misc Belizean Sources

Footprints For Peace
Despite the weather, a sizeable crowd gathered to rally for peace and Justice For Jeffrey with speeches and a march through San Pedro Town streets.

Police look for man accused of killing Jeffrey Eiley
Residents of San Pedro town have begun circulation of a photograph of Rafael Juarez, the man wanted by police in connection with the murder of Jeffrey Eiley. Eiley, 30, was shot and killed on March 6 a short distance from his home. Police say that prior to his death, Eiley was involved in an altercation with Juarez and he remains a person of interest for police in the homicide. Police believe that Juarez is still in Belize but may have left Ambergris Caye already. Rafael Juarez is of Hispanic descent, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds.

Sexual abuse reported in San Antonio, Cayo
The sexual abuse of our underage girls continues to be reported. The latest report comes from the quiet village of San Antonio in the Cayo district. A fourteen year old girl was preyed upon and sexually abused by a man on Friday night. The girl’s mother went to the San Ignacio police station on Wednesday morning to report the incident. According to police, the girl’s brother alerted their mother of what was going on. When the woman checked with her daughter, she was told that the man took the teenage girl behind the house where he had sexual intercourse with her. Police investigations continue.

Corozal man drowns after falling off ferry
An early morning incident in Corozal has resulted in the death of one man. 51 year old Artemio Vivas, who worked as a ferry man on the Pueblo Viejo ferry, reportedly fell off the vessel as it was enroute to Progresso from Corozal. The indicent happened around 2:10 this morning. Reports are that Vivas went to urinate as the ferry was at the midway point in the crossing and that was when he reportedly fell into the river. Reports are that efforts to rescue Vivas from the river were unsuccessful. His body was found around 7:25 this morning. The circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident are now the subject of an ongoing investigation, but it is understood that it might have been raining at the time of the incident.

New multi-purpose centre opened in Guinea Grass village
A new multi-purpose facility was inaugurated earlier this week in the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk district. Over 800 children stand to benefit from the opening of the facility in the village, which will provide an outlet for educational and cultural activities, such as reading. The Guinea Grass village multi-purpose Center was financed by the government of Belize at a cost of $368,099. Funding was provided through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The new Guinea Grass multi-purpose center houses the community library, the Village Council office, the Water Board office and a sewing project.

SPHS SCIENCE FAIR 2014 (18 photos)
On Friday, March 7, 2014, The students at San Pedro High School had their annual Science Fair where the students had sleepless nights and hard working days working together in groups to create very interesting projects that provided the supply of power through wind, water and solar energy. Master of Ceremonies of the event was Mr. Alex Nuñez who invited Mr. Ricardo Sedacy for the invocation. Following the invocation, Miss Elina Palma and Miss Martha Alicia Vasquez graced everyone with the singing of the National Anthem and the San Pedro High School's very own anthem. Principal Emil Vasquez welcomed everyone to the ceremony while Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Guest Speaker of the event, offered a few words of encouragement to the students. Mr. Sedacy was invited once more to the stage to announce the judges and the judging criteria for the projects. Miss Neslen Rivero also graced everyone with an excellent music rendition. After all the speeches, the event was open to the public for the project demonstration and viewing.

Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visits San Pedro
On Friday, March 7, the Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras, Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella visited Mayor Daniel Guerrero to officially and formally propose the formation of a Sister-City relationship between San Pedro Town and Roatan, Honduras. The date of the signing of the Sister-City relationship was not yet established but both parties are excited and interested in building this relationship.

Venezuela & Belmopan Women United by Poetry in celebration of The International Women´s Month
The Embassy of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize in conjunction with National Institute of Culture and History & Belize National Library Service and Information System, cordially invite you to the Poetry Evening: Date: Friday, March 14th. 2014 Time: 6:00P.M. Place: Venezuelan Institute for Culture & Cooperation Corner Orchid Garden #787 Floriana Avenue, Belmopan City

Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated on March 12th, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Isidoro Beaton Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, will be working closely with the Local Government Representative and local municipality for the area.

Employee of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry drowns
The Corozal Daily has received an unofficial report of an employee of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry drowning in the New River early this morning. At about 2:10 a.m. March 13th, 2014 two employees of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry 51 year old Artemio Vivas of Corozal Town and his assistant Rolando Alcoser were crossing a B.E.L vehicle en-route to Progresso Village from Corozal Town. According to an unofficial report, Artemio Vivas slipped from off the barge into the New River after some rain had fallen on the barge. From all accounts Vivas was not a swimmer and all efforts that were made to rescue him were unsuccessful. His body was found about 7:25 a.m. this morning. The Corozal Daily is awaiting an official police report on this incident. We extend our condolences to the family of the late Artemio Vivas. May he Rest in Peace.

Streetlight power interruption Friday, March 14 downtown Belize City
North Front Street from 6:00 to 9:30pm, Albert Street from 6:30 to 8:00pm and Regent Street from 7:00 to 8:30pm. BEL will turn off streetlights in these areas in support of the Light the Night for Kids initiative aimed at raising funds for The Inspiration Center, scheduled to start 6:00pm on Friday, March 14 from Memorial Park through downtown Belize City, returning to Memorial Park.

Preschool talent show held in Georgeville
Preschool children from Georgeville, Unitedville and Esperanza took center stage on Wednesday for a special talent show. The event which was held at the Destiny Preschool in Georgeville is part of activities for Child Stimulation Month. Over 29 boys and girls accompanied by their parents took part in the talent show. It included dance presentations, songs and poetry. One of the presentations was by Jayden Ferrifino and his grandmother,

Two men arrested on marijuana charges
Weed in his boxers: a man from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala was arrested on Wednesday afternoon by Belmopan police after marijuana was found in his underwear. The man, identified as 22 year old Esvin Estuardo Garcia, was searched by Belmopan police yesterday afternoon and authorities say that a plastic bag containing 160 grams of cannabis was found inside his boxers. Garcia was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. Meanwhile, in Tuesday morning, a Belize City man ran straight into the arms of a police mobile patrol at the corner of Linda Vista Street and La Croix Boulevard. Officers on patrol stopped 31 year old Alaine Garcia who was seen running from the direction of Linda Vista Street. When the officers informed Garcia that they would carry out a search on him, authorities say Garcia then threw away a black plastic bag in some nearby bushes. The bag was retrieved and police say it was found to contain what they described as “leafy vegetable substance” believed to be cannabis.

Ferry operator drowns in Corozal
olice in Corozal do not suspect that foul play was involved in the death of a man who worked as a ferry operator. 51 year old Artemio Vivas fell off the Pueblo Viejo ferry just after two o’clock this morning and drowned in the New River. And while foul play is not suspected in the unfortunate incident, a sudden rain in the area may have contributed to Vivas slipping and falling into the river as he went to urinate. According to police, Vivas who lives in Corozal town, was accompanied by his assistant Rolando Alcoser as they ferried a utility vehicle for Belize Electricity Limited from Corozal to Progresso when the incident happened.

Double rainbow
Beautiful double rainbow over San Pedro yesterday afternoon!

Rotaract Races La Ruta Maya
The Rotaract Club entered La Ruta Maya, and they placed 8th in males. Great job for first timers. Looks like they also had some fun along the least, their support crew did. "A big thank you to Recino's Imports for making the participation of Alican/Rotaract in the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge possible. Thank you everyone who came out and supported the club, and last but not least, to the Rotaract Paddlers, Mani Matus, Christian, and Francis, who gave it their all in the competition and made the Rotaract Family Proud! Thank you all of you!"

Benque Cultural Fair
The Benque House of Culture is teaming up with Helpage Benque, and having a cultural fair this Saturday, March 15th. It'll start at 2:00pm at Centennial Park and the Benque HoC. There will be lots of food, and a decoration paper cutting workshop. "All these activities happening this Saturday March 15 @ the Centennial Park since 2:00 pm. Don't miss the watery tasty 'cocoyol, maja blanca, dulce de panela and much more' Also register now for the 'papel picado workshop' and let's end the day by watching the 'Passion of Christ Movie.'"

COMMUNIQUE - Ombudsman Reports Committee Meeting
Government of Belize Press Office

Louis Sylvestre passes away
It is with deep regret we note the passing of a political giant, Louis Sylvestre, widely known as "Cuzz". He died on Thursday night from complications of a debilitating stroke he suffered in 2008. He was 82. Sylvestre's political career spans the history of modern Belize starting in 1952 when he became involved in the Nationalist Movement with George Price. Under Price, he served in various capacities from 1957 to the 1984 when he was politically undefeated. Sylvestre came to be synonymous with his political stronghold in Rural Belize. Under George Price, Sylvester served variously as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Public Utilities and Minister of Local Government. He was also chairman of the PUP. After he became disillusioned with that party, he formed his own, with far less success, and late in life joined the UDP. At the time of his passing, he was the Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation. His funeral will be held at Holy Redeemer Cathedral on Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Interment immediately follows at Caye Caulker.

Video: Mrs Laura Framptom Resigns from Post of Tourism Director

Video: Belize Police Department Gets Steadier for Disaster Reaction Management

Video: Dr Billie Jean Mounts a One Woman Show at University of Belize

Video: Women In Art 2014 Opens at the Bliss Centre

Video: Punta Gorda, Belize 2014
Spring Hill College - International Service and Immersion Program trip to Punta Gorda, Belize.

Video: Belize: First Open Heart Surgery Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas Healthcare System goes to Belize to help upgrade medical facilities there. They speak of the importance of modern medical facilities and go on to p. Ron McGuirt and his doctors tell the story of his heart attack, surgery, and recovery at Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute in Charlotte, NC. Listen to this. Dr. David E. Newman discusses the benefits robotic surgery for OBGYN treatments. Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute is transforming the delivery of care with only one goal in mind - better outcomes for everyone.

Video: Belize ´14

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize Vacation
This place was just voted the #1 travel destination island in the world. Sun, sand, diving, fishing, sailing, all located on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. This place a little slice of Heaven. My thanks to the great people that live there that showed us a great time.

Video: Diving with Sea Turtles at Robert's Grove Beach Resort, Belize
Crystal clear video of a diving with sea turtles on a tour with Robert's Grove Beach Resort, Placencia Belize. Come see them for yourself.

Video: Belize City Tour Part 1
Tour of Belize City. Horse and Carriage.

Channel 7

UDP Land Hustlers Swindled Lease
Two weeks ago on the news Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos spoke with unusual candor about pervasive corruption in the Lands Department; he said that if he were moving staff for corrupt behavior, he would, quote, "have to move probably the entire department." True indeed it is a "hotbed of corruption" as the Prime Minister called it, but it's fine and well to speak about that in the abstract - but when it hits home - that's another story altogether. And that's what happened to Eric Bowen - he's a Belizean American who's returned to Belize - and 2 years ago, got the lease to a piece of land in the Belize Rural area, specifically lot #166 in the Sandhill area. It's nothing special, mostly swamp land really, and until a few weeks ago, Bowen hadn't even seen it yet because it was underwater. After seeing it, he went to pay the annual rental only to find that in its second year, his 7 year lease was gone. It hadn't been taken away by government, in fact it was swindled from him in a fraudulent transfer orchestrated by seasoned land hustlers with connections inside the Department. He explained:..

Church Blacklists BFLA, UNIBAM, NAC, Red Cross
The Catholic Church made news when it came out powerfully against the 20,000 Strong Women's Empowerment march. That was sent out on March fourth, but what escaped our attention was another major policy position sent out by the Church on March third. This one came from the Office of Bishop Dorrick Wright, and it laid down a hardline directive to all two hundred plus Catholic-managed schools: Catholic managed schools should decline "any and all invitations" from the Belize Family Life Association, UNIBAM, the National AIDS Commission and the Red Cross program of "Together We Can." The directive is to all local Managers of Catholic Schools, Assistant Local Managers, all Administrators, Principals and Teachers. These organizations have all been blacklisted because according to the Bishop the, quote, "foster programs that ultimately undermine our Catholic values." The directive accuses BFLA of fronting for "Planned Parenthood" which is says is, quote, "an international billion dollar business that profits from the killing of babies through abortion." End quote. He laments that, quote, "This agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition, is seeking to radically change Belize's Christian character. I call on all of you to be vigilant with me against this threat to Belize's moral foundations and family values."

The Curious Case Of The Guatemalan Smuggler
Over the long weekend, Customs busted a Guatemalan woman with 2 pounds of weed, and instead of going to jail like she ought to, she got off with just paying a fine. 23 year-old Luisa Oralia Lorado Alvarado, a resident of Melchor the Menchos in Guatemala, was caught trying to cross the western border into Belize with the illegal drugs on her, and she was charged with drug trafficking. Alvarado was arraigned on Tuesday before Magistrate Narda Morgan, where Alvarado pleaded guilty to the charge. Now, highly placed police sources tell us that Magistrate Morgan, as prescribed by the law, initially sentenced Alvarado to pay a fine of $10,000 and serve 3 years in prison. The sentence was already handed down, and Alvarado was then removed from the court room. Police then started to prepare her remand papers so that she could be transported the Belize Central Prison, but then, everything changed.

Police Constable Remanded
Tonight, 29 year-old Police Constable Ronald Sutherland is at prison after his bail was revoked at Magistrate's Court today for charges of aggravated assault and wounding which he allegedly committed against his ex-common-law wife. Tanisha Ortiz claimed that on September 26, of last year, pulled a machete and wounded her, while issuing threats. As a result of her report, Sutherland was charged with aggravated assault, wounding, and threatening words, and he was arraigned in October before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. He was granted bail of a $1,000 which he was able to meet, but he was supposed to sign in every Friday at the Queen Street Police station. Well, it turns out that he hasn't been doing that, so when he was last seen, police detained him and took him to court this morning where Chief Magistrate Smith revoked his bail for non-compliance with the conditions she set.

The Tale Of The Tanker
This morning, word went out that a full oil tanker, belonging to Belize Natural Energy had an accident near the Sibun Bridge on the Hummingbird Highway. The concern was that because it was near the bridge, a spill could have happened and polluted a major water way, but we can confirm that nothing of the sort happened. We spoke with Daniel Gutierrez, the public relation's officer for BNE, who told us that the company is still doing it's investigation into the accident, so they don't have the full details. What they do know is that the driver of the truck was bringing back the tanker from Big Creek last night, and was empty. The driver reports that he almost had an accident with the driver of a motorcycle, and to avoid hitting the biker, he ran the truck off the road.

Siarsha, A Long Road To Wellness
3 year old Siarsha Alvarez is back home in Belize after three weeks in a Merida hospital. As you will recall, she's the 3 year old with the rare skin condition known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. As we told you on Tuesday, the doctors at Clinica Merida successfully brought her medical condition under control which means that her condition is normalized. But as we found out from her family today, while their short term crisis is over, a costly, long term ordeal awaits. Simeon Alvarez Jr. - father "The doctor will email me the rest of information to the standards of how the baby should live, but before we have to install an AC unit in the room because he said that the air conditioner kills bacteria and different things. Her lip is not healed, she still can't speak as yet, and her throat is still infected. It's a big change of life for her and the family. It's going to be a delay for her in school. Ten years is the least, they gave us 10 years - the syndrome will be in her system and the drugs will have side effects because the drug she is taking is powerful."

Stamp Helps Siarsha
And in another effort to try to help baby Siarsha and her family with the long road ahead, NICH's Joseph "Stamp" Romero is organizing a benefit concert for tomorrow night at the BTL Park where all proceeds will be donated to the family to help them with the medical bills. Today, Romero told us why he wants you to come out and support the concert: Joseph "Stamp" Romero "At 7pm at the BTL Park. We believe that this has to be an effort coming from artist and the entire country to give a child a chance from Belize - a chance to receive some kind of normalcy in her life and so tomorrow it's really about fundraising for her and giving all the proceeds - nothing goes to me or any of the artists who are coming out - giving them the opportunity to pay their bills. They can know that NICH is behind them. We feel that this is our child, this is like anybody's child who knows what it feels like to have a child be this sick and so tomorrow it's really about helping pay for those bills."

Sports Trainers From States
Today, Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Herman Longsworth held a press conference to outline a new opportunity for serious world-class sports training in Belize. It's a partnership with sports authorities from Northern Illinois University in the US, who are here to train coaches and athletes. The programme is funded by the US State Department, and facilitated by the US Embassy in Belize. At the press conference, Longsworth introduced the facilitators: Hon. Herman Longsworth "This initiative is one that really reflects where we are today and what is critical to development in Belize today, it is the kind of cooperation that we must have if we are to move. It is in line with the plans that we have been making for sports. Most of you will know that we are almost ready to launch our national sport policy and one of the three main pillars in that policy is inclusivity - is trying to ensure that we can create an atmosphere for sports where everybody regardless of where they come from or who they are can participate."

The Mexicans and Marion Jones
And before that press conference, Longsworth had a meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister and Mexican Ambassador to Belize. He's been trying to get them to partner with his ministry to add more facilities to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Today, we asked him about what came of that meeting, and he explained that the Mexicans have committed some 8 million dollars in funding for an indoor volleyball facility: Hon. Herman Longsworth "In terms of the meeting that I was in today I have said before that I've been in discussion with the Mexicans and they have agreed that they would do something at the Marion Jones Stadium. I was hoping for a building and a swimming pool. It works out that they can only give us the building because of the monies they have available and they will be giving us the FIFA standard lighting for the football field. That is what they came to present me today to show me what they've come up with and to get my concurrence on it for them to now go back start the process of getting the money out and that sort of thing. But they are now committed to get this done."

BSI, The Bounce Back
The sugar crop season may have gotten off to a rough and much delayed start, but so far all targets for grinding, production, purity and efficiency are being exceeded, and despite the difficulties, the 2014 crop could be not such a bad year after all. And now the ASR Group-BSI has unveiled a new corporate logo and branding identity for Belize Sugar Industries. It incorporates the ASR logo and a release says it was developed to quote, "embrace its partnership with ASR Group and its family of companies." CEO Joey Montalvo says it projects a fresh identity and accurately reflects the company's modern outlook."

Instability Continues At Belize Amateur Athletic Association
Hugh "Pinnaz" Staine was elected president of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association in October of 2013. His term should have lasted four years, but it hardly lasted four months. Staine today confirmed to us that he stepped down quietly some weeks ago. He told us it is to devote more time to his job as a coach at ACC and because he felt the executive was not ready to work with him. Second Vice President Jaheed Smith is holding over as President until May 31st. when an Annual General Meeting will be held to select a new president. It's another major setback for the Association which was suspended by its parent body, the International Association of Athletics Federations last year as a result of infighting. Staine was not involved in the dispute, and his election was seen as a hope at a fresh start - hope which has now been dashed.

President Paul, COCABA VP
And while Staine is stepping down, the president of the Belize Basketball Federation Paul Thompson is stepping up. On Saturday in Honduras, at the yearly congress of The Confederation of Central American Basketball known as COCABA, Thompson was elected Vice President. Yamil Bukele of El Salvador was elected President of and Marcela Mejia was elected Secretary. The executive serves until 2018. Thompson departed today for Istanbul, Turkey to take part in an extraordinary congress of FIBA where he will join delegates from 200 of FIBA's 213 member federations.

More Chicken Than Ever
The Belize Poultry Association held its 18th Annual General Meeting at the Biltmore Best Western yesterday evening. According to President Landy Habet, in terms of poultry consumption, 2013 was a very good year:.. Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega was the Special Guest at yesterday's meeting.

Remembering The Reef More Than A Catchphrase
And while the poultry people were meeting at the Biltmore the conservation people were meeting at the Mexican Institute. OCEANA hosted a mixer to bring all the conservation types together to celebrate reef week. Country Vice President Janelle Chanona told us that Reef Week is more than a catch phrase; it's about ownership:.. Reef Week is observed under the tehem: Our Food! Our Jobs! Our Pride & Joy!.

Profile Of A Special Educator
As we told you last week, this year the I am Belize profile series will focus on teachers. This weeks; subject is Sylvia Soriano from the Cayo District. She's one of the few teachers in Belize who qualified to teach special needs children. She explained to the profile that it is about overcoming challenges..

Reparations and The Caribbean Population
AS we told you earlier this week one of the major initiatives coming out of the CARICOM Leader Summit in St. Vincent is the plan to proceed at the state level with claims of reparations for slavery against European states. The lead proponent of this cause has been Sir Hilary Beckles and today at the at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados will hosted a Press Conference to outline's the Caribbean's case:.. The CARICOM meeting produced a ten point plan, addressing reparatory justice.

Channel 5

Will the Marion Jones Sporting Complex be ready for Cross Country?
Since its groundbreaking in August 2009, the Marion Jones Sporting Complex has been slow to become a reality.  In fact, construction began on enclosing the perimeter before work could commence [...]

All’s well between Herman Longsworth and Phillip Willoughby
City councilor Phillip Willoughby has tossed his Superman hat into the political ring, where he will be challenging area representative Herman Longsworth in the Albert Division.  While Willoughby’s announcement came [...]

National Budget 2014 by the numbers
Debate of the proposed budget for the new financial year begins next week; both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives are going through the budget with a [...]

Coye family’s financial situation lies in the hands of the FIU
Last week, the Court of Appeal overturned a conviction on money laundering charges for the Coye family. Melonie Coye, on bail pending the appeal hearing, has been acquitted, but the [...]

Corozal ferryman falls off ferry and drowns
Early this morning, Police reported the tragic drowning of Pueblo Viejo ferryman fifty-one year old Artemio Vivas. Vivas’ body was retrieved from the river at around seven twenty-five am. Preliminary [...]

Cop remanded for assault charges
Interdicted police officer, Police Constable Ronald Sutherland who was charged in October 2013 with three criminal offenses including aggravated assault with a machete, wounding and threatening words upon his ex-common-law [...]

National Aids Commission says Roman Catholic Church has it wrong
The Roman Catholic Church has been roundly criticized as appearing less than spirited in matters of social and political concern. But it can certainly not be accused of remaining quiet [...]

Police looking for 2 men for the shooting Tarique Gillett
Belize City police are looking for a pair of men whom they believe can assist with their investigation into the near-fatal shooting of seventeen-year-old Tarique Gillett.  The minor was shot [...]

Delroy Cuthkelvin accuses U.D.P. of fixing convention
In political news, the U.D.P. is getting set to finish its round of constituency conventions, but not without party feathers being ruffled along the way. On Sunday, longtime U.D.P. operative [...]

Athletes and coaches participate in teaching sports skills
Athletes and coaches across various sporting disciplines are presently taking part in a training seminar organized by the Belize National Sports Council, in collaboration with facilitators from Northern Illinois University.  [...]

B.B.F. president appointed as vice president of COCABA
President of the Basketball Federation of Belize, Paul Thompson, is the newly elected Vice President of the Confederation of Central American Basketball (COCABA). On Saturday, representatives from member states attended [...]

PASMO holds an open day
The younger population is mostly vulnerable in contacting sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. It is an issue that PASMO, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, has been targeting with a [...]

A private message from McAfee to his best friends engaged in treasure hunt
John McAfee…the eccentric millionaire whose escapades and raunchy sex-capades are now social-media legend in Belize, is a strange fellow by any definition, and his pranks run the gamut between hilarious [...]


Another Person Shot In San Pedro Police Look For Shooter
While authorities in San Pedro remain on high alert looking for the shooter in last week’s murder of Tour Guide, Jeffery Eiley, today cops have another shooting to investigate in that municipality. On Tuesday, at around 9:20pm, police visited the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town where they observed 21-year-old Darrington Louriano Jr. of San Juan Area suffering from one apparent gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Preliminary investigations revealed that Louriano was walking on Sandpiper Street from the direction of Pescador Drive towards San Juan Area when he heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot and realized that he had been shot. Louriano was escorted to the San Pedro Poly Clinic where he received medical attention and released. Police investigation continues.

Orange Walk Youth Talk About Development Of National Council
The National Youth Police was launched last year but that was only the pivoting point of the work for youth in Belize. What lies ahead is the full implementation of that policy and ensuring full youth participation across the country. Even after the launch of the policy, consultations across the country continue to get youth involved in structuring a district level youth council that will eventually lead up to the development of a National Council. Today, that consultation was held in the Orange Walk District where one hundred young people from rural and urban Orange Walk took part in. Dalila Ical has more on that story. Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC OW “I must Say and I want to say kudos to the representation and I have Trinidad, San Lazaro, San Roman, San Pablo, I have a large rural community and of course I have representation from all secondary schools here that reflects the audience for young people and it is pretty positive but today particularly was to give them the policy and have them look at the policy and having them come up with their interpretation in terms of getting a vision for themselves particularly in the Orange Walk District.”

New Multi Purpose Building Inaugurated In Guinea Grass Village
Though it took years to be completed, today Guinea Grass residents can boast of their very own multi-purpose complex building. This morning stakeholders converged at the village for the facility’s inauguration. Our news team was there to capture the highlights and filed the following report. Dalila Ical – Reporting This new multi-purpose facility was welcomed with open arms by the residents of the Guinea Grass community. The initiative was a collaborative effort from the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, The Social Investment Fund and the Belize National Library Service. Jose Hernandez – Chairman, Village Council “This structure represent a public laboratory for our children so that they may have a place of supplemental education, a meeting place for various committees, a social projects so that they may have stability and common community areas where they exchange productive ideas may be communicated an debated and the spirit of seeking general benefit for the people of Guinea Grass.”

Orange Walk Town Council Donates To Feeding Program
The Orange Walk Town Council has publicly announced that they are prioritizing on improving the infrastructure in town but this morning they diverted from this focus, just for a little, to make a significant contribution to Saint Peter’s Anglican School. Mayor Kevin Bernard and Deputy Mayor Ian Cal visited the school before the students left for their fun run event. During the visit Cal handed over a check to the school’s Principal that will go towards the schools feeding program. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “We as a council believe that it is important to give back to the community after all the monies that we receive and the council is for the people if Orange Walk and there are some that say that the children are the future and we believe that the future is now, we must start now with the young people. This donation particularly is coming from our stipend that we get so each councillor decided to give back a hundred dollars from their stipend and even the town administrator decided to give back and that is how we came out with a thousand dollars that we gave back to this feeding program.”

Cobb's Arm Wins Third Place On La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The annual La Ruta Maya Belize Endurance Canoe race concluded on Monday March 10th. The four day challenge is the longest of its kind in Central America and sees the participation of local and international teams. It involves a course of one hundred and seventy miles of paddling on the Belize River and has proven to be a true test of stamina. The race starts in San Ignacio Town and is carried over a course of four days. This year, first place was won by the Belize Bank team, second place by NICH and third by Cobb’s Arm, a team from Orange Walk. Today we spoke with Manager Grimoaldo Cobb who says the team is proud of the achievement as this is the first time they have landed in third place after being in the race for fourteen years.

Police Investigate Robbery and Burglary In The Corozal District
Tonight Corozal Police is looking for one Hector Kelly in relation to a robbery which played out yesterday evening in Corozal. Around 7:25pm 57 year old Ayonie Briceno, a teacher of Santa Rita Area, Corozal Town, was standing in front of Saint Francis Xavier Church having a conversation with a couple of church sisters, when she was approached by a male person of Creole decent. According to Briceno, she recognized the individual as Hector Kelly who was holding a knife on the right hand. Threatening his victim with the knife, Kelly managed to take away Briceno’s gold chain with a gold medal valued at $250.00 off her neck. Anyone with information on Kelly’s whereabouts is asked to contact the nearest police department. A man from the Corozal District is tonight out of more than $4,000 worth in goods. Thirty nine year old Harris Patten, Public Health Inspector, presently residing on College Road, in Corozal Town, between 8:00am on Saturday March 8th and 8:00am on March 9th, his house was burglarized.

Senior Superintendent Receives Belize Woman Of The Year Award
The winner of the fifth annual Belize Woman of the Year Award was announced today by the US Embassy. Taking the esteemed title this year is Senior Superintendent Dezerie Jacklyn Phillips. Philips has been an inspiration and integral part of the Police force here in Belize since her inception in 1985. Since then Philips has worked her way up the ranks during the course of twenty eight plus years to her current post of Senior Superintendent. She is currently one of two deputy officers commanding Eastern (Police) Division which is the largest division in the department and her duties and responsibilities are focused primarily on community policing enhancement and administration. The embassy’s release states that Phillips' passion is community engagement and empowerment and the level of energy and enthusiasm she holds so passionately in the concept, philosophy and implementation of community policing initiatives has proven to be a very effective tool in crime fighting efforts.

Corozal Honours Its Women
Honoring, Respecting and Celebrating Women is the theme for this year’s celebration of Women’s Month. In Corozal Town several activities are taking place in commemoration of the month one of them being a free beauty session for all women. Consuelo Hernandez - Women Development Officer “Today we are having a special day for women as part of the Women’s Month activities during this month of March. I am sure that you know that this is being done throughout the country and they have different activities and today we have this special day for women whereby we are doing manicures, pedicures and other services to beautify women and we are doing it at a price for $5 for the person that is doing it not for our department but them and with $5any women can have this service. The objective is to celebrate women for them to feel good about themselves, for women to be empowered, for women to do things that they have not done for example taking a day for them out of other things that they would like to do and as the theme for this year says; Honouring, Respecting and Celebrating Women and Girls, that is the theme for this year so that is the objective for this whole month of March, you know for women to feel good like I mentioned, to be able for them to do whatever they want and for them to be special and also for them to know that somebody thinks about them and that is why the Women’s Department take this initiative to do activities for women during the whole month of March.

Ferry Man Drowns In The New River
Tradegy struck a family from the Corozal District early this morning when their loved one drowned in the New River. Fifty one year old Artemio Vivas became the districts first drowning victim when he slipped off the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the wee hours of Thursday morning, apparently during the torrential rain. Vivas met his death while working his shift at the ferry. He and his coworker were ferrying a truck across the river to the road leading into Progresso Village when death came calling. Our news team followed the lead and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting For years this operational, manual transit known as the ‘Pueblo Viejo ferry’ has been the point of access for many commuters who travel to and from Corozal to Progresso, Sarteneja and other surrounding villages. And while this ferry has gone without any mishaps during its operations, it took its first casualty early this morning.Fifty one year old Artemio Vivas, a Corozal resident and worker at the ferry, met his untimely demise shortly after 2:00am. According to police, Vivas, who was accompanied by his assistant Rolando Alcoser, were ferrying a BEL utility vehicle that was enroute to Progresso from Corozal when tragedy struck.

Corozal Police Women Takes Course On Cancer Awareness
Cancer, it is a decease that fears no race, color or religion; simply it does not discriminate making men and women vulnerable to all types of the disease. In order to enhance public awareness on Cancer, today a group of female officials attached to the Corozal Police Department were educated on what has been dubbed as the silent killer. The informative session, which forms part of the activities for Women’s Month, was headed by Doctor Melanie Grinch. WPC Rosario Romero took part in the lecture today and told us how it will benefit her and her department. Rosario Romero – WPC Corozal Police Department. “Since it was in connection with the Women’s Month 2014, part of the activity was to get a free medical check-up for the police women, so at the beginning we got our free check-up when it comes to our cholesterol, blood pressure then we were given a short lecture on cervical cancer and the importance of getting a pop smear on time and breast cancer and symptoms and basically that.”


Church Bans Organizations That Teaches Against Its Values
The National Aids Commission has responded to a letter written by Roman Catholic Bishop, Reverend Dorick Wright addressed to local managers, administrators, principals and teachers of Catholic Schools across the country. The bishop tells the schools that quote, “organizations whose activities and positions are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and which endanger the souls of the People of God, cannot be welcomed under any circumstances in our schools”, end of quote. The organizations that the Bishop is referring to are the National Aids Commission, the Belize Family Life Association, and UNIBAM because according to the release, these organizations are working together to ultimately undermine Catholic values and push an agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition, in order to radically change Belize’s Christian character. Executive Director of NAC, Allison Green says that the Bishop has been misinformed about the works that duties carried out by the organizations. ALLISON GREEN “Well it can certainly hinder our work because if we are supposed to be the national response to HIV/AIDS in the country and for the leader of the biggest Church in the country to be directing the administration of the schools to prevent us from entering or to go and do any of the trainings and workshops in the schools, as we need to do, then that is basically, as I have said before, it is not a health issue only, it is a national developmental issue and although youth, as a group has not been identified as one of the vulnerable populations then we know that youth form one of the bridging population to HIV/AIDS in the country and if we go and in turn, try and prevent the spread to them as far as we are able to and if this mandate is coming to stop us from doing that then you can imagine what the prevalence and incidence rate would turn into in a very short period of time.”

Gobie Foundation Undertakes Project for Children
The annual bike ride under the umbrella of the Gobie Foundation is planned to pedal off on Friday, March 14 from Punta Gorda Town. This is the sixth such event that was initially launched by Alan Gobie with the goal of assisting Belizeans in need of financial assistance for medical causes….but this year, they have a bigger objective in mind. For 2014, the Gobie Foundation is setting out to raise one million Belize dollars for the brand new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Gobie, this project is one that is very dear to him as the unit will be a great benefit to the children of Belize. As an added attraction for this year’s ride and an extra challenge for Gobie, he will be doing the ride dunned in a dog costume and is challenging everyone to sponsor him by donating money for how many miles they estimate that he can complete wearing the costume. Donations can be done directly to the foundation’s Scotia Bank Account, Spanish Lookout Branch with cheques made payable to Challenge Gobie Foundation. The ride will be from Punta Gorda Town to Belmopan – a span of about one hundred and fifty miles.

Five Hundred Dollar Bail for Crack and Marijuana
Forty-two year old Jason Hoare, an unemployed of 36 Dean Street, was charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking and 1 counts of possession of a controlled drug when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Hoare pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of $500 and his case was adjourned until May 24. Hoare was busted yesterday. The police reported that when they executed a search at Hoare’s residence they found drugs in 3 parts of his house. They said they found 5.1 grams of crack cocaine in one part, 1.7 grams of crack cocaine in another part and 7.3 grams of cannabis in a third part. Hoare was represented by attorney Marilyn Williams.

BSI Sports New Company Logo
Belize Sugar Industries Limited has a new look. Today the ASR Group BSI says the new branding and color scheme were developed to reflect BSI’s core business activities as well as embrace its partnership with ASR Group and its family of companies. It says the partnership has resulted in the investment of 190 million dollars in Belize since last year which included upgrading and modernizing the mill and sugar operations. BSI’s CEO Joey Montalvo says they embarked on the new branding project because they wanted to accurately reflect the company’s modern outlook. According to BSI the color scheme was chosen to project the core green aspect of its business, its basis in agriculture and its environmental awareness.


17 Year old Boy Shot in the Chest
17 year old Tarique Gillett was shot yesterday. Gillett, a resident of Mahogany Street Extension, Belize City, was standing at the corner of an unnamed street that intersects with Holy Emmanuel Street sometime around 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Wednesday March 12th. Tarique was along with three other male persons...

Man Slips off Ferry and Drowns
A man fell off a ferry and drowned early this morning. The incident happened at about 2 o’clock this morning March 13 at the Pueblo Viejo Ferry in Corozal, near Tony’s Inn. 51 year old Artemio Vivas was along with his assistant crossing a BEL vehicle that was en...

Three Accused in Gruesome Murder Acquitted
Three accused murderers were acquitted yesterday in the Belmopan Court. You may recall the highly sensational 2010 story of the murder of Raylene Dyer whose body was never found but the gruesome story came out after three men confessed to the brutal murder of the 18 year old and...

Oil Tanker Runs Off the Hummingbird Highway
An oil tanker ran off the Hummingbird Highway last night. Mario Cardona was driving during the night towards Belmopan with an empty oil tanker as he was returning from making delivery for Belize Natural Energy to Big Creek in Independence. Some 400 to 500 yards away from the Sibun...

Bert Vasquez Going to Trial
Mr. Bert Vasquez will stand trial in the Supreme Court without jury. Yesterday, Vasquez was in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court for the results of his preliminary inquiry. Mr. Bert Vasquez was accused of the murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe back in June 2012. It is believed...

Catholic Church Takes Heat From Some Controversial Organizations
The Catholic Church is taking heat from some controversial organizations such as UNIBAM and the National Aids Commission. The reason is because the Catholic Church in Belize has made certain managerial decisions to protect their school children from some of these organizations which push various agenda which are contrary...

Murder Suspect on the Run, John McCafee, Taunts Belize Minister via Video Message
In November of 2012, John McCafee, a British-American living in Belize, who became internationally known for his antivirus software, became a suspect in a murder investigation. The GSU searched his residence and the police wanted him for questioning, but instead of reasoning with the authorities, McCafee went on the...

The Guardian

More traffic fatalities in Belizean roadways
This weekend, 3 more persons lost their lives to fatal traffic accidents which happened in the span of 12 or so hours. The first happened on the George Price Highway in Camalote village on Sunday morning, March 9, at around 5 o’clock. Belmopan police were called out to an area between miles 50 and 51 where they found the lifeless body of 22 year-old Jose Martinez, a resident of Ontario Village. He was lying next a red motorcycle, and a short distance away, they found a red Isuzu Rodeo, which had damaged to its front portion. That vehicle was being driven by 53 year-old Anthony Polonio, and was heading towards San Ignacio when he had a head-on collision with Martinez, who was riding the motorcycle. The force of the impact flung Martinez onto the highway, and he suffered extensive head and body injuries. He died on the spot before he could receive any help. Belmopan investigators are now looking into the accident to see who was at fault. Twelve hours later, Ladyville police, who were manning the La Ruta Maya race at its 3rd leg in Burrell Boom, had to respond to another serious accident which claimed the lives of twovictims.

Bert Vasquez will face a trial
A preliminary inquiry whether or not Bert Vasquez is to stand trial at the Supreme Court for the murder of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe concluded that he is to face that trial. Vasquez was committed to stand trial in the San Ignacio Magistrate's court by Magistrate Narda Morgan. In court Vasquez's attorney, Simeon Sampson submitted that a doctor could not specify what the victim, Jasmin Lowe's cause of death was. He added that there were no witnesses or direct evidence to connect Vasquez to the murder. For her part DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal submitted that there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Vasquez committed the crime. After hearing both sides of the argument, Magistrate Morgan committed Vasquez to stand trial at the next session of the Supreme Court. Vasquez was charged with Jasmine Lowe's murder on June 22nd. Lowe had gone missing on Monday June 4 as she was going to her mother's beauty salon located on the Bullet Tree Road. Her Body was found on Wednesday, June 6, at around 12:30p.m. a mile and a half on the Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District.

$34 Million Salary Increase for Public Officers - $20 Million for More Teacher Training
“Despite our disagreements with some of the Union Leaders, we tremendously value both our Public Officers and Teachers. We believe in them, we treasure them and we consider it our special obligation to properly reward them.”- Prime Minister Barrow. Hon. Prime Minister of Belize, Dean O. Barrow, introduced the General Revenue Appropriation Bill (2014) at the House of Representatives on Friday, March 7th. The budget for the upcoming fiscal year features significant investment in national infrastructure, expansion of social programs and even more spending on education and healthcare. The highlight of Prime Minister Barrow’s presentation however was the allocation of an additional $22 million to the Capital II Budget of the Ministry of Finance plus more than $11 million for the wage increase of teachers and public officers and 2.5 percent annual increment. According to Prime Minister Barrow, the financial figures show that there will be an increase of about $44 million in actual recurrent revenue for the financial year 2013/2014, as compared to 2012/2013. This was due in large part to “unbudgeted inflows of $22 million from licenses and fees from the IBC and Shipping Registries, and from $7.0 million in unfrozen dividends from Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)”. Government and the unions agreed that fifty percent of any increase would go towards a salary raise for public officers, teachers and senior managers. Therefore, $22 million will go towards a raise that teachers and public servants will see in July, retroactive to April 1st. Teachers and public officers will also receive an additional $11 million for their annual cost of living adjustment, also known as “merit based increment”. All together, the teachers and public servants will see a salary adjustment of more than 7.5 percent.

Sunday past I went to the agricultural fair in Chan Pine Ridge here in the Orange Walk District, an event which I have not attended for several years now. It was truly sad to see how much it has shrunk from the glory days when the jingle rang that “Ninth a March da Chan Pine Ridge Day!” I mean, in the old days there were all sorts of livestock, drinks, food, games, shows, dancing and exciting horse racing. Those days the grounds would be so packed that there was little room to move around and it was considered to be one of the next best to the National Agricultural Show. Something has to be done to bring back this event to prominence; it should not be allowed to just fade away. Anyway, I stayed for a few hours at the fair, and during that time met up with Fortunato Noble, brother to the editor of the Guardian newspaper. We began chatting and he asked me what my topic would But I informed my friend that these days anytime I run out of topics, there is always Bernard to fall back on, since he is always prattling in front of a mike and will undoubtedly say something that can be elaborated on, if you know what I mean. A case in point is the headlines of last week where the Guardian showcased the financial report posted by the OWTC on their website.

New Library and Multi-Purpose Center for Guinea Grass
Eight hundred children in the village of Guinea Grass, Orange Walk District, will now enjoy a safe community space promoting reading, culture and knowledge through a project implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS), along with the community of Guinea Grass. The Guinea Grass Multi-Purpose Center, which was financed by the Government of Belize by a loan provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a total cost of $368,099, houses the community library, the Village Council, the Water Board and sewing facility. The library is equipped with furniture, books and computers made available by SIF. SIF was also instrumental in providing sewing equipment, sewing and small business/entrepreneurship training to men, women and youth in the village.

Oliver Peters Charged with Murder of His Uncle
Oliver Peters,37, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with the murder of his uncle, 44-year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. Peters allegedly stabbed his uncle in the chest on Saturday, December 7, 2013, after a bitter land dispute. According to Ferguson’s wife, the two have been arguing over a parcel of land that Peters had been living on along with his uncle. Reports are that Peters wanted his uncle to give him the entire parcel of land but he refused since he intended to give it to his children.

Sunday past I went to the agricultural fair in Chan Pine Ridge here in the Orange Walk District, an event which I have not attended for several years now. It was truly sad to see how much it has shrunk from the glory days when the jingle rang that “Ninth a March da Chan Pine Ridge Day!” I mean, in the old days there were all sorts of livestock, drinks, food, games, shows, dancing and exciting horse racing. Those days the grounds would be so packed that there was little room to move around and it was considered to be one of the next best to the National Agricultural Show. Something has to be done to bring back this event to prominence; it should not be allowed to just fade away. Anyway, I stayed for a few hours at the fair, and during that time met up with Fortunato Noble, brother to the editor of the Guardian newspaper. We began chatting and he asked me what my topic would

New Library and Multi-Purpose Center for Guinea Grass
The library is equipped with furniture, books and computers made available by SIF. SIF was also instrumental in providing sewing equipment, sewing and small business/entrepreneurship training to men, women and youth in the village. The project represents SIF’s continued commitment of realizing its mission by implementing social infrastructure projects and programmes that provide basic services to the most severely affected groups aimed at reducing poverty in urban and rural areas across Belize. Speakers at the inauguration were Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports; Chairman of the Village Council, Mr. Jose Hernandez; Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Mr. William Lamb; and Chief Librarian of BNLSIS, Mrs. Joy Ysaguirre.

7 Years of Lean for the PUP
The worst of it is upon the PUP hierarchy that they have become dangerous. Proof of the hard times that is being visited on the PUP after they are not able to loot the Government coffers came on display on Friday March 7, in front of the National Assembly Building. Julius Espat and his pet Vaugh Gill were right at the foot of the national assembly as harbingers of the PUP ills. Vaugh epitomizes the 'haad times' that have befallen the PUP these days, and his handler is the true-true slave master who is all too eager to parade the frail canine that is Vaugh to prove that the PUP is truly doing bad. This time around they fumed and fraught-ed , proclaiming that they were championing some land issue for the people of Cotton Tree - we say Bull. These two are grandstanders and could care less about the people of that village. In fact, people have not seen Julius in that village, very much like the entire constituency, for over two years now. When he does make appearances it is to bring half of toys which are put together like jigsaw puzzles when two neighbors realize they received pieces of the same toy. For these two to now pretend to somehow care, well, that we can't even laugh at.

New Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Sharon Ramclam as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with oversight for Department of Lands & Survey, Hydrology, Mining, Policy Coordination and Planning Unit, and Solid Waste Management Authority. Ms. Ramclam is a natural resource professional with more than 16 years experience in the field. She brings both private and public sector management experience to the Ministry, having served as the Executive Director of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the General Manager of the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust. Ms. Ramclam also served on several national and international boards such as the Meso-American Reef Fund, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds and Belize Debt for Nature Swap Oversight Committee among others.

Coye family owes $3.23M to Income Tax
On March 4, the Court of Appeal quashed a conviction of Money Laundering against the Coye family and in effect acquitted them of the charge. The court subsequently ordered that the 1.557 million dollars which had been found and confiscated at their home on New Year's Eve 2008, be returned to them. That was to be done within 60 days of the ruling. While it was a victory for the Coye family who has been back and forth between the courts, the Income Tax Department is now claiming 3.23 million dollars in taxes from the greater Coye estate which is worth 6.5 million dollars and has been frozen by the financial Intelligence Unit since it came under suspicion of having been acquired through money laundering. The family's expectation now is that, having been cleared of charges, that the money would be unfrozen for them to use as they see fit. However the Income Tax Department is claiming 50 percent of those moneys.

Work commences on Isidoro Beaton Football Complex
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated on March 12th, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Isidoro Beaton Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, will be working closely with the Local Government Representative and local municipality for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this consultancy, include a feasibility study, inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with the community and relevant stakeholders, socio/environmental studies as related to any environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of all cost estimates, and operational recommendations for the Isidoro Beaton Football Complex and Facilities.

Director of Tourism Laura Frampton resigns
The Belize Tourism Board announced today the resignation of Mrs. Laura Frampton from the post of Director of Tourism. Mrs. Frampton has served in that capacity for the past two (2) years and is resigning the position for personal reasons. The Belize Tourism Board and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, sincerely thank Mrs. Laura Frampton for her significant contributions during her time with the organization. During her tenure, she conducted herself with integrity, genuine concern for the industry and fiscal accountability. Laura’s experience within both the financial and marketing sectors proved a valuable asset to the BTB over the last two years and we wish her well in her future endeavors. Until a new Director of Tourism is appointed, Mr. Javier Paredez, currently the Director of Revenue Collection and Registrar of Hotels, will serve as Interim Director.

World Water Day Open Day Exhibition to be held in San Ignacio
The World Water Day Planning Committee is hosting an Open Day Exhibition to celebrate World Water Day under the United Nations theme: “Water and Energy”. The theme will be depicted at various booth displays at this year’s venue, the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday March 21, 2014 at 9:00am; the Open Day Exhibition is scheduled to take place immediately after from 10am to 3pm. International World Water Day was adopted twenty years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. The day is held annually as a means of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources. Access to potable water is crucial to public health, agriculture, energy generation and many other parts of our society.

Meeting the 20,000 Mark to kick off Activities for Women Empowerment
Meeting the 20,000 Mark to kick off Activities for Women Empowerment

Belize Bank “Bulldogs” 3-peat as La Ruta Maya River Challenge champs
The 17th Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge is now history. The four days 174 miles river challenge was held from Friday March 7 and concluded on Monday March 10, 2014, attracted some 68 canoes that participated in 8 different categories. The paddlers all travelled down the Mopan River and then the Belize Old River before arriving at the Belcan Bridge on Monday March 10 at about 11:30 am. The event which is designed to stop at three different locations on the river took in Banana Bank in the 1st lap, Double Head Cabbage in the 2nd lap, Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom in the 3rd lap before making its way to the Belcan Bridge in Belize City for the conclusion. In the last and final leg of the journey on Monday March 10, the first canoe to arrive in Belize City was Westrac Stingers and then they were followed by the Belize Bank Bulldogs. They were then followed by BTL Cobb’s Arms came in third and then they were followed by NICH.

Belize Basketball to hold Officials Certification Course
The Belize Association of Basketball Officials (BABO), in conjunction with the Belize Basketball Federation and FIBA Americas, will be offering Certification and Re-certification in the following areas: Referee Certification Commissioner Certification National Instructor Certification The FIBA clinic will be held 8-11 April, either in Belize City or in San Ignacio. In preparation, all interested persons must attend mandatory workshops which will be held Saturdays 15, 22, and 29 March at the ICB office of Marvin Garcia, on Daly Street, from 9.00 till 11.00 a.m. Then from 11.00 till noon, a "practical" session to go over mechanics and to do physical training will be held (probably at Birds Isle); therefore, bring suitable attire. FIBA application forms will be emailed on request and must be filled electronically, BABO’s email address is

33rd Annual Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic takes place this Sunday
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with SMART presents the 33rd Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday, March 16th, starting at 8:00 a.m. from in front of SMART Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway, where the Open Elite and Masters will travel the Philip Goldson Highway to Belmopan City for a total of 100 miles; while the Female, Junior and Youths will travel to La Democracia for a total of 60 miles. The Technical Meeting for this event is open to Team Managers only and will be held on Thursday, March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the Belize Olympic Committee Conference Room, upstairs Dooney's on Albert Street. Deadline for registration is Wednesday, March 12th. Kindly note proof of payment should be presented at the Technical Meeting. All teams bringing in foreign riders are asked to present the aval and riders license.

Central Christian girls win again in primary schools softball
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continues at Rogers Stadium with a number of games. On Tuesday March 11, in the girls’ game played, Central Christian School continued on its winning path when it defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 16-0. The winning pitcher was Hannah Usher and the losing pitcher was Devina Periera. In the boys competition game played, Unity Presbyterian edged Wesley Upper in a hotly contested game by the score of 7-6. The winning pitcher was Shemmar Bowen and the losing pitcher was Andy Alford. The competition then continued on Wednesday March 5, with two more games. In the girls’ competition, Muslim Community School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 14-1. The winning pitcher was Essenie Vernon and the losing pitcher was Tyra Belisle.

Gwen Lizarraga girls and Nazarene High boys are Central Region High Schools softball champs
The 2013-2014 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Tuesday March 11, 2014 in both the female and male competitions at Rogers Stadium. In the female competition, Gwen Lizarraga High School the number three seed defeated Ladyville Technical High School the number two seed by the score of 5-3. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Amber Wade. In the male competition, Nazarene High School the number one seed edged out St. John’s College the number two seed by the score of 7-6 to capture the Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher was Jerome Carr and the losing pitcher was Dylan Snaggs.

King’s College to hosts National High Schools Softball Championships
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association will be sponsoring the National Secondary Schools Softball Competition, which will be hosted by King’s College on the Old Northern Highway on Friday and Saturday March 14 and 15 respectively. The schools that will be participating in the championship are from the Northern Region female Belize Rural High School and male San Pedro High School; from the Western Region female Alvin Young High School and male Belmopan Comprehensive High School; from the Southern Region in both the female and male category will be Independence High School and from the Central Region female Gwen Lizarraga High School and male it will be Nazarene High School.

Orange Walk Running Rebels win first game of Elite Basketball campaign
The Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday March 8, in the game played out at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex, the host team Orange Walk Running Rebels defeated the visiting Toledo Diplomats by the score of 87-70 to win its first game of the 2014 campaign. The top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Randy Usher with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, Tyron Baptist with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals, and Ian Carcamo with 16 points, and 7 rebounds. For the Toledo Diplomats, the top scorers were Elbert Ariola with 18 points, and 6 rebounds, Jovannie White with 14 points, and 6 rebounds, and Evon Lino with 12 points.

Seventeeth Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The Belize Bank Bulldogs have come out as victors, with their cumulative points, at the end of the Seventeenth Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, which ended just before mid-day on Monday of this week at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. For the third consecutive year the Belize Bank Bulldogs have come in first place and this year made the four day journey in 17 hours, twenty five minutes and thirteen seconds. Coming in second with just a few minutes in extra time in the race was the National Institute of Culture and History’s NICH team and coming in third was the BTL Cobb’s Arm. The Seventeenth Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge commenced in earnest last Friday at 7:00 am from under San Ignacio Town’s historic suspension bridge, the Hawksworth Bridge. Leaving in its wake furious ripples along the Banks of the Macal River, the 61 registered teams of paddlers in canoes sought to win portions of the $21,000.00 worth of cash prizes along their short trip down the Macal River and then aimed to do the same along the Belize Old River.

Killed by his friends
Police Investigators from Precinct 2 are now trying to find out who murdered 47 year-old Belize City resident Arthur Connor and hid his body in an abandoned vehicle on the foam factory compound at mile 2 and 1/2 on the George Price Highway. Acting on information, at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, officers went to the foam factory, and searched a van used as the living quarters for the facility’s security guard. They were told that they would find a body of a man who had been electrocuted to death, but instead they found Connor, who had been bludgeoned to death. The officers observed that Connor suffered a wound to the back of the head. A cement block they believed to have been used by his assailant was found nearby. What they’ve been able to put together is that he went home to his family on Monday night, March 10, spoke with them, and left saying that he was going to visit his brother on Faber’s Road. While away from his family, he began socializing with 2 other men, and they went into the compound.

Pleads guilty to stealing a Car
A student who stole a vehicle belonging to her boyfriend’s boss and later damaged it was before the court for taking a conveyance and for damage to property. 22-year-old Clarene Estrada, a student, appeared in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she pleaded guilty to the two criminal charges. Estrada was charged with taking a conveyance, being a 2002, Nissan pick-up truck which is the property of Raymond Charley Sr., owner of Innovative Engineering Services and causing damages to its rear passenger side window. She was also charged with one count of damage to property. In court, Estrada wasted no time and pleaded guilty to both counts.

Murder in Cayo
Members of the San Ignacio Police are currently looking for Gabino Garnett Jr., a man most familiar to them, who they believe can assist them in their investigation for a murder which occurred in the early hours of Friday of last week. Sometime around 12:30 am last Friday, San Ignacio Police received a report of a male person that had allegedly been stabbed and as a result had been taken to the San Ignacio Hospital on Bullet Tree Road. Upon arrival at the Hospital, Police noted that the dark complexion male person had received stab wounds to the left side of his chest and a cut wound to the left hand, left under arm and right thigh. The male person was later identified to be 20-year-old Stann Creek resident, Earl Baizer, who succumbed to his injuries at about 12:50 am that same morning while undergoing treatment at the San Ignacio Hospital.

Not Guilty of Rape
Vanzy Lamb, 38, who stood accused of abducting and raping a 14 year old student walked from the charges after a jury of 6 women and 3 men found him not guilty of the crime. The girl had alleged that between May 1 and 2, 2009 she was travelling in a vehicle with her cousin on King street when they got involved in an accident. Her cousin ran off and left her behind and she alleged that Lamb came shortly thereafter, took her out of the vehicle, placed her on the bar of his bicycle and rode off with her. She continued to say that she struggled but he punched her in the face and carried her to his home in the Jane Usher Boulevard area where he threw her down on a mattress, placed a knife at her and raped her.

Eutychus Nunez Gets 7 years for Jacking Bicycle
Eutychus Nunez,19, of #6060 Mahogany Street in Belize City is serving a seven year sentence after he pleaded guilty to the robbery of a bicycle and harm upon its owner. Allegations are that at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014, a 17-year-old student was riding his bicycle on Princess Margaret Drive when he was approached by two males on separate bicycles. According to the minor, the two men rode next to him and one of them asked him for a dollar. When he refused one of the men punched him in the face and he fell off the bike. The other man picked up the bicycle and they rode off with it. The minor immediately reported the robbery to police and an investigation led police to arrest Eutychus Nunez who was found in possession of the minor’s bicycle. Nunez was arrested and charged with robbery and harm after the minor pointed him out to police as one of the two men who attacked him.


Great Food In Merida, Mexico: Here’s Where I Ate…Very Well
I ate often in Merida and I ate really really good food. Let me run down QUICKLY (I promise) my favorite places . La Chaya Maya: Real Yucatecan food with a bit of Yucatecan kitch. The original restaurant is gorgeous in an old building with a courtyard. ESCARGOT: This is the spot that I frequented the most. A small small French bakery filled with inexpensive croissants both plain and flavored. Heaven. All ran between $1US and $1.50 US.

The Things We Live For – We Love What We Do!
The Management & Staff of The Lodge at Chaa Creek would like to thank the Yuen Family for the sweet gesture, we truly appreciate it! These are the things we live for – we love what we do! And it is the best feeling to know that our guests leave happy and appreciate the hard work our team puts into creating truly unique Belize vacations from start to finish.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge Collage
One of the photographers for the MMAC put together 100's of pictures from the race last month. He captured pictures from all over Cayo, from downtown San Ignacio to Cahal Pech, to waterfalls and trails in MPR. He captures the essence of the race really well, and he has the music to go with it - 'We Are the Champions' is one of many great songs.

Western Ballaz Host Toledo Diplomats
The Western Ballaz, currently tied for the number 1 spot in the league, are hosting the Toledo Diplomats tonight. It'll be another exciting night, with the warm up game being between SHC and Ladyville. It'll also be Kid's Night, and after the halftime show, there will be a shooting and dribbling competition for the youth. On site parking is only $5, and VIP tickets are $10. There will, as always, be tons of gate prizes, food, drinks, and fun. DJ Caesar will be in the house!!! See you there. Meluchi's will be the place to go for the after party.

ASTM International and the Belize Bureau of Standards
ASTM International invites organizations to join them by becoming a member and contribute to the standards development process. (Please refer to the flyer for additional information.)

The Best Instagram Photos on Belize
In today’s Information Age almost anyone who travels to Belize for vacation brings a camera or mobile device to snap photos. If you visit and search for #Belize, you will find over 100,000 stunning photos on Belize that have been published from people all over the world. The photos range from the beautiful Caribbean Sea to the verdant Maya Mountains. Today, we will share with you our top ten best Instagram photos on Belize.

The Best Fishing Day Trip I’ve Ever Had – San Pedro, Belize
After fishing with Abbie from Gofish Belize I realized that I have never before been fishing with someone who really knows how to fish. Abbie knows fishing like he knows how to breathe. It was fascinating to watch him spy the fish hundreds of feet away and then turn the engine off, creep around the mangroves and sneak up on them all the while intensely narrating like a hunter. Gladys and I couldn’t even see a fraction of the fish he could see. Abbie will help you more if you need it, or if you are an avid fisherman he’ll find the fish and you catch them. We caught a HUGE permit fish-it took 30 minutes and it was the funnest experience I have ever had catching a fish! They are very difficult fish to catch because they jump out of the water often while you are trying to reel them in. Abbie did most of the work with the big fish because we needed the help, but we caught plenty of smaller fish on our own. All of them were catch and release-so no fish dinners for us. One of the highlights of this trip for me was Abbie sharing his own philosophy, about the environment around us, his dreams and various stories about his life. He is a very eclectic, interesting person. He also took us snorkeling for a little bit in Hol Chan Reserve and the water was unbelievably clear. Just being on the boat in the sunshine around the beautiful islands is a treat by itself. If you want to catch fish, this is the tour for you!

International Sources

Belize Defence Force leads security team for New Horizons exercise
Soldiers from the Belize Defence Force have been leading the charge in providing round-the-clock teams to safeguard vital New Horizons assets since exercise construction and medical equipment arrived at the Port of Belize last week. BDF security at each site is critical in allowing the New Horizons engineers to quickly move various shipping containers and maintenance vehicles (tractor trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) from the Port of Belize to various construction site staging areas in Belomopan, Belize City and Hattieville. Civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize will begin construction on a hospital ward in Belmopan, three schools in Belize City, and one school in Hattieville once the New Horizons exercise kicks-off, April 2. The Belize Defence Force will lead 24/7 security details at each one of the five construction sites until the end of the exercise in late-June.

Extinct Mammal Had an Extreme Underbite
The remains of a long-lost porpoise reveal that the marine mammal sported a distinct and unusual underbite, which is described in the latest issue of Current Biology. The porpoise, Semirostrum ceruttii, lived between 1.6 and 5 million years ago in waters off of what is now the coast of California. Researchers think it used the long, lower part of its snout to hunt for food. “The extinct porpoise is a bizarre new animal, with the mandible extending well beyond the beak-like snout, which it may have used for probing and ‘skimming’ in the substrate,” co-author Rachel Racicot of Yale University said in a press release. “Although this morphology has been recorded in birds and fish, this is the first described mammal with this anatomy.” The birds and fish that she refers to are black skimmers (birds) and small fish called half beaks. Both have long, lower jaws that help them to feel around for food at night, or under low-light conditions. Remains of the porpoise were first found in early rock formations along the California coast in 1990. More recent medical CT scans of the specimen revealed the porpoise’s unusual anatomy.

Caribbean to Forge United Front on Elusive Climate Finance
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says the promises of money by the "biggest polluters in the world" for small island developing states (SIDS) like his to adapt to climate change are a mostly a "mirage”. But as chair of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, Gonsalves will be playing a lead role in getting the region to coordinate a united front on climate finance."The big polluters, they make commitments of all sorts of monies but it is a mirage and the closer you get to it you realise it is not there, it recedes." -- CARICOM Chair Ralph Gonsalves "We agreed on the establishment of a task force on climate change and small island developing states to provide guidance to Caribbean climate change negotiators, their ministers and political leaders in order to ensure the strategic positioning of the region in the negotiations," he told IPS following the CARICOM summit that ended here on Tuesday.

Fortis Inc. Announces Second Quarter Dividends-2014
Fortis has designated the common share dividend and preference share dividends as eligible dividends for federal and provincial dividend tax credit purposes. Fortis is the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada, with total assets of approximately $18 billion and fiscal 2013 revenue exceeding $4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for 90% of total assets and serve more than 2.4 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investment is comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada.

Target Missed Alarms in Epic Hack of Credit Card Data
These people are dumber than doorknobs. Their new $1.5 million threat detection software goes off, and they just sleep. Don't trust them with your credit card.

The Beautiful and Mesmerizing Belize
Belize is an amazing country located towards the north-eastern coast of Central America. Belize has the official language of English and Spanish is also commonly spoken in the area. If you are looking for a new holiday location which is different from conventional retreats then choose Belize because this Central American wonderland will allow you to indulge in countless amazing holiday activities and scenic surroundings away from your monotonous and busy routine life. Let us guide you through the amazing things that you can expect to see there.

Belize GPS Map for Garmin Devices
This GPS map will give you turn by turn directions to your destination using a point of interest (POI), city point, and/or latitude and longitude, with the ability to preplan driving destinations before getting into your car. The easy to follow instructions allow you to download and install the map into Garmin BaseCamp desktop software and transfer it to your Garmin GPS in minutes. This installable map is compatible with ALL Garmin GPS units . To get a better sense of the map's details and features, click on the thumbnail images below. The screenshots are of the map as viewed in Garmin BaseCamp®, which provides an interface for viewing Garmin-compatible map products and managing geographic data.

March 13, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town and Roatan discuss signing of Sister City Relationship
On Friday, March 7th the San Pedro Town Council received a visit from Her Excellency Sandra Rosales Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras and Carlos Villanueva Medina, Minister Counselor of the Republic of Honduras. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the proposal of a Sister City Relationship between San Pedro Town and Roatan, Honduras. San Pedro Town has always had good relationships with its neighboring countries, so much that on October 26, 2013 the City of Chetumal renewed its Sister City Relationship with San Pedro Town. The aim of such relationships is to strengthen exchanges in the cultural, academic, tourism, economic and health sectors in both municipalities.

Social Investment Fund to inaugurate Guinea Grass Library & Multi-purpose Center
Eight hundred children in the village of Guinea Grass, Orange Walk District, will now enjoy a safe community space promoting reading, culture and knowledge through a project implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports through the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS), and the community of Guinea Grass. The Guinea Grass Multi-Purpose Center, which was financed by the Government of Belize by a loan provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a total cost of $368,099, houses the community library, the Village Council, the Water Board and sewing facility. The library is equipped with furniture, books and computers made available by SIF. SIF was also instrumental in providing sewing equipment, sewing and small business/entrepreneurship training to men, women and youth in the village. The project represents SIF’s continued commitment of realizing its Mission by implementing social infrastructure projects and programmes that provide basic services to the most severely affected groups aimed at reducing poverty in urban and rural areas across Belize.

Jordy Craft is current top scorer of the SPSC Football Tournament
The San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) Football Tournament is winding down to the finals, and teams are fighting for the win. After the fifth round of games, FC United and Joker FC are still leading the boards in their group but they better not get too comfortable because Island Pure and Southwind are looking to take over. At this point of the tournament every goal counts. On Saturday, March 8th, four teams faced off in two grueling matches. In the first game, Southwind faced off Costa Blu. With every intention to take the lead in Group B, Southwind defeated Costa Blu in a 4-1 point game. The second game was between VH Bomber and Island Pure, the game ended in a 0-1 win for Island Pure.

NACNW group effort leads to the successful apprehension of two culprits
A neighborhood watch is a group of neighbors who believe that fighting crime is every citizen’s responsibility. That theory was put to the test on Wednesday March 12th by the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) in the Tres Cocos area of San Pedro Town. The group, working along with other people in the area managed to detain a male identified as 22-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez and later a 17-year-old male minor, who police believe have been terrorizing islanders in the Tres Cocos area of the island. San Pedro Police said that residents in the Tres Cocos area have been experiencing a number of burglaries and they strongly believe the two males are the ones who have been terrorizing the residents in the area. Both Martinez and the minor have been arrested and are expected to be charged for the incident and will be investigated for other similar incidents. Martinez, who is known to local authorities on the island, has been out of prison on bail after he was accused of an armed robbery on the island which is still pending before the court.

Darrington Louriano shot but refuses to speak to police
One person was treated and released following a shooting incident that occurred on Sand Piper Street in San Pedro Town on Tuesday March 11th. The victim is 21-year-old Darrington Louriano Jr. of a San Juan Area address. According to residents on Sand Piper Street, they heard several gunshots sometime around 9:24PM and moments later saw a dark skinned male wearing a gray T-shirt running towards the beach area. The incident occurred at a time when several area residents were heading home from work while others were trying to purchase food from a mobile food stall in the area. According to one eyewitness who requested to remain anonymous, as many as seven gunshots were fired. The person explained that some buyers were so terrified that they took cover behind the stall in fear of being hit. According to police, when they visited the scene, they found Louriano Jr. suffering from one apparent gunshot wound to the left shoulder.

“Footprints for Peace”- the community is invited
With the increase in crimes happening in our San Pedro community that led to the shooting death of Jeffrey Eiley, his family and friends have joined together to partake in a coalition to restore safety within the streets of San Pedro Town. The movement is called “Justice for Jeffrey,” and will see a series of events geared towards raising awareness and breaking stigmas associated with crime and violence, but will moreover be geared towards restoring compassion. Jeffrey’s violent death has brought to light what is lacking in our community, and it is the hope of his family that with the formation of the Justice for Jeffrey coalition, that sense of community and fellowship is restored.

Ambergris Today

My Baby Turns 15. Happy Quince Años Ambergris Today
I sit back at my desk, close my eyes and can just feel like it was yesterday when I published my first edition of Ambergris Today Newspaper. Wow! It has been 15 years from that day this year as Ambergris Today becomes a Quinceañera - Sweet 15 indeed! And as I keep my eyes closed, I recollect on all the wonderful memories that include happy times, triumphs, adventures, excitement, celebrations, knowledge, failure, tragedy, sadness and on top of it all, so much wonderful experience. My experiences working on building my personal business and public service to the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and my country Belize has brought tremendous happiness in my life. ‘Love your job and you will not have to work a day in your life’; this explains my passion towards my career.

San Pedro AIDS Commission Sends Thanks For Carnaval Support
The San Pedro AIDS Commission wholeheartedly thanks the following businesses/individuals who so generously helped us this year with our comparsa expenses. It is because of your support that our group moves forward. We salute each of you and say Muchas Gracias to: Mata Chica Resort NICH Kelly McDermott Kanabar Rojo Lounge Findley Halliday Sandy Point Resort Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez Councilor Guillermo “Mito” Paz The San Pedro Town Council The Unique Pharmacy Yadira & Rene Paz Sajia’s Construction Traveller’s Liquors Captian Iguanas Coqui Rodriquez Elito Arceo Wilbert Magaña Elder & Corina Alvarez E&L Butane Juvinie Sabido Dennis Alfaro To Our Designers and Comparsa Helpers: Dianelita Hancock, Pablito Guerrero, Sandra Ayuso, Mrs. Irma Banegas, Angel Nuñez, Noel Wiltshire, JoVan Ayuso & Lilia Westby.

Misc Belizean Sources

Women’s arts & craft display in Punta Gorda
As part of celebrating Women’s Month the Toledo Women’s Department of Toledo is today hosting an arts and craft display at the PG Central Park. According to Coordinator Loraine Johnson, the main objective of the day-kong event is to “showcase the talents of women and their efforts in keeping to strive for the best.” And a look at the vast array of items on display, the arts and craft done by the women of Toledo are second to none. Johnson says that “as women we also have a lot of potential to do things and that success starts with wanting to do something.”

Outstanding women recognized in Corozal
Activities for Women’s month are continuing across the country. Here in Corozal, women are being treated to a complete spa treatment for a previously unheard of $5.00. This includes manicure and pedicure for that one low price. In related news, two prominent women from Corozal have been designated Most Outstanding. They are 66 year old Elda Sutherland, a retired Community Development Officer. Sutherland contributed 23 years of service to her people as an officer with the Human Development Department. The other awardee is 23 year old Niedi Leticia Rosado.

Fun run in PG a success
Promoting a healthy lifestyle was the theme of this morning’s Fun Run in Punta Gorda town. Over 360 persons, including children with special needs took part in the event which was coordinated by Special Olympics Belize and the One World Running volunteer group from the United States. Organizers say they are happy with the turn out. Congratulations to all who took part in the Fun Run.

Hot and dry today; but rain on the way
It is another hot day in beautiful Belize, as fair and mostly dry conditions will push the heat level to the high end of the thermometer. But rain is on the way as a weak cold front approaches the country. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for sunny skies with cloudy spells. Then the change will come this afternoon with an increase in showers and isolated thunderstorms starting over inland areas and then spreading southward tonight. Winds are easterly to southeasterly at 5 to 15 knots. The sea state is choppy.

San Pedro Town Council

Ministry of Health Invites the Pharmacy Association to Dialogue on Regulatory Framework in Pharmacy.
The Ministry of Health notes with concern a press release issued by the Pharmacists Association dated March 11, 2014. As always, the Ministry of Health is happy to discuss any issues the Association may have, but regrets that the executive of the Association has not made any attempt to contact the Ministry in this regard. Nonetheless, the Ministry is open to discuss such issues at any convenient time and has already responded by inviting the executive of the Association to meet. While the Ministry supports several of the points raised by the executive, it opposes others. Some of the issues raised appear to be flawed conclusions based presumably on inaccurate information. The Ministry emphatically rejects the underlying premise of the release. Certainly, the quality of pharmaceuticals is an important issue. The public sector has a clear and transparent procurement process in place which optimizes the quality of supplies – but the inspections over pharmaceuticals sold privately have been weak and must be strengthened. The Ministry also agrees that a strong, independent unit should be created, staffed and empowered to carry out these and other functions.

Meet the U.S. Embassy's Woman of the YEAR 2014
Congratulations to Dezerie Jacklyn Phillips!!!! You are an inspiration to women in Belize, and women around the world. Through your example of excellence you teach girls and women that they can achieve anything in any field. Dezerie Jacklyn Phillips was born on December 22, 1967 and joined the Belize Police Department on December 1, 1985 and worked her way up the ranks during the course of twenty eight plus years to her current post of Senior Superintendent. She is currently one of two deputy officers commanding Eastern (Police) Division which is the largest division in the department and her duties & responsibilities are focused primarily on community policing enhancement and administration.

Corozal Police News Report
The Corozal Police Department has noted to the Corozal Daily the increase on a number of burglaries and robberies of late. We would like to inform the neighborhood watch groups to kindly become active and report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

YWCA Cultural Experience in Benque
The YWCA, which has been touring their Cultural Experience all over Belize, visited the Cancha Marshalleck in Benque yesterday. The Institute of Social and Cultural Research was there to take some pictures, as was the Benque House of Culture. Benque HoC Pictures The Senior Steppers put on a show to Gangnam Style. Classic! "The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA Belize) has touched the lives of over 400 rural women and youth from various cultures through the Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship and Market Development Project (YWCA EEOEM Project). To honor this accomplishment during Women’s Month, the YWCA CULTURAL EXPERIENCE is a month-long cultural celebration of YWCA Belize women and youth that showcases the culture of each represented district through food, music, dance, drama, arts & crafts, and other cultural presentations."

Vanzie Lamb acquitted of rape charge
A jury of nine this afternoon acquitted Belize City resident Vanzie Lamb, 44, of rape after nearly three hours in deliberation. The trial’s conclusion before Justice Troadio Gonzalez had been delayed since last week as a juror recovered from a bout of illness. Lamb had been accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl from Punta Gorda in May of 2009 while she was visiting Belize City for a party. The girl told the court that she was taken by Lamb from the scene of a car crash to his house where he allegedly beat, raped and tied her up. She reported the matter to police after escaping her binds the following morning.

Laura Esquivel-Frampton leaves Tourism Director post
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) confirmed this afternoon that Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton had resigned after a 22-month tenure. In a release the Board said Esquivel-Frampton’s resignation was “for personal reasons” and commended her knowledge of the industry and personal integrity. These may be a response to allegations that the daughter of former Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel and former City Councilor was being pushed out after several senior managers reported requested a meeting with Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia to discuss concerns of poor management, leadership and control of finances. A letter circulated in the press quotes the group as saying that Esquivel-Frampton has not been open with them and financial concerns have reportedly limited the functions of the Board’s departments and caused significant dissatisfaction with industry partners.

Police train to communicate during emergencies
The Belize Police Department is an especially key member of the apparatus for national response to disasters and emergencies. Today, 45 staff members of the Police Communications Control Room were trained in emergency disaster response. Chief trainer is Wayne Usher of the Central Emergency Management Organization, and participants will learn about establishing and maintaining an operations centre during emergencies and how to cope with stress and pressure in tough times. Additional presentations are being made by the Meteorological Service and Belize Red Cross. This session is the first of several planned for the Communication division of the Department.

Women in Art exhibit opens
Women’s Month activities continue tonight in Belize City with the launch of a special art exhibit saluting our most creative women. It kicks off at the Bliss and Communications Officer for NICH, Shari Williams says the 7:00 p.m. opening is not limited to the art found on canvas. There will be a special dramatic and musical performance titled “Evolution of the Belizean Woman,” produced by Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy and exhibit of culinary art from Chef India of the “Back to Life” Café. The curator of the exhibit is up-and-coming artist Briheda Haylock. She said she wants a different experience for visitors, where the pieces are not just hanging on the wall but part of the atmosphere inside the gallery. She acknowledges as an artist herself that art is an increasingly important method of self-expression for women and indeed for all humanity.

Former Minister Louis Sylvestre dies
Former Minister of Government and long-standing area representative Louis Sylvestre died last Thursday after a long illness. The House of Representatives observed a moment of silence in his honor on Friday prior to the National Budget presentation. Known as “Cuz” or “Louie,” he was one of the towers of the People’s United Party (PUP) in the time of Right Honorable George Cadle Price. Sylvestre was first elected to political office in 1957 and served until 1984, holding the portfolios of Agriculture, Local Government and Public Utilities and was chairman of the PUP. He would later leave to form his own political party and eventually join the UDP. Sylvestre was recognized for being close to his constituents, particularly in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker, where he will be buried after a memorial service on Friday.

Kirk Smith Jr. acquitted of murder
On Tuesday, a jury freed Kirk Smith, Jr., 22, from a charge of murder at the direction of Justice Adolph Lucas. Smith was accused of shooting Wesley College janitor Eyan “Trouble” Arnold, 35, to death at his home on Berkeley Street in August of 2010. But attorney for Smith, Bryan Neal, argued in a no-case submission that the evidence against his client was weak and did not positively link him to the murder. Crown witness Corporal Antonio Pop could not identify Smith in court, saying that he saw a man looking like Smith briefly and from a distance. Smith said he was not in the City at the time of the incident but in Hattieville with his aunt.

Estel's BBQ Cookoff
Come join us this Saturday for our annual BBQ cook off. Its gonna be lots of fun!!!!!

Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated on March 12th, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Isidoro Beaton Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, will be working closely with the Local Government Representative and local municipality for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this consultancy, include a

Cayo Classifieds 11-Mar
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly is out. Read about Victoria Peak in this issue. "In the weekly 'Wellness Corner' read about the 3-day juice cleanse. Ladies, on page 7 see New Arrivals at Pink Boutique for all your fashion needs. View page 12, Central Wholesale Premium Wines & Spirits. You don't have to drive to Belize City, prices are the same, 'free' delivery service every other Saturday and will find any alcoholic beverage or kitchen supplies and deliver for 'free.' Looking for a room? Rumors Resort Hotel located in the San Ignacio Hills has special rates for locals, missionary group specials or planning an event the staff are well trained to assist your needs.

La Ruta Maya Cultural Night
The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night was a great success, and the Cayo Welcome Center proved to be the perfect spot for the wonderful event. Fire spinning and the World Culture Band really made it a great night. Pictures on G+. "The Cayo Welcome Center was happening Thursday night for the La Ruta Maya Cultural Night. They had artists, cultural presentations, music, fire spinning, and the World Culture Band played too. Thanks, NICH!"

Help Little Siarsha Fundraiser
There will be a fundraiser for Siarsha Alverez at Club Next on Friday, March 21st. The $15 collected at the door completely goes to Siarsha. They have a great line-up of DJ's for the event. Eclipse Sound, Cloud 9, Richie Galvez, Mistah Geeh, New Vybz Sound, and many more will be at the event.

Real Ice Cream Sandwiches
This ice cream sandwiches remind me of the stuff we get from the store, with one difference...It tastes way better. The cookie or skin is very simple to make and you can use any ice cream flavor you chose.

Video: Mopan River Belize
The majestic Mopan River in western Belize.

Video: Belize's Indian Community celebrates Holi Festival

Video: Tarrus Riley live in Belize City with BadGyalSharon opening for him

Video: Cruise - Day 4 - Belize City, Belize

Video: An Injured Dolphin Approached this Diver for Help. Then This Happened
During a night dive last January at Gadren Eel Cove in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; a bottlenose dolphin caught in a fishing line approached scuba diver Keller Laros for help. The dolphin’s left pectoral fin was stuck, wrapped around fishing line with a hook embedded into its body. Laros, who was equipped with scissors, was able to free his fellow mammal and the amazing rescue was caught on film by Martina Wing.

Video: Belize Bonefish on the Fly
Fly fishing for bonefish in Belize.

Video: Belize Horse Carriage Tour
Horse & Carriage Tour in Belize City, Belize. 30 minute tour with horse drawn carriage and Belizean guide.

Video: Maya Mountain Adventure Race
My first attempt at making a picture movie. Enjoy.

Channel 7

Bert Vasquez Will Stand Trial Without Jury
Bert Vasquez, who has been charged with the murder of Jasmine Lowe, will stand trial in the Supreme Court in a trial without jury. That's the decision that came out of the San Ignacio Magistrate's Court when his preliminary inquiry was completed. Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, presented all the materials to the court that will be used case to attempt to convince the Judge of Vasquez's guilt – that includes DNA evidence, according to our sources. Simeon Sampson, attorney for Bert Vasquez, made submissions that his client should not have to stand trial in the case because the doctor could not specify what the cause of death was, and that there was no direct evidence, such as eyewitnesses, who tied his client to this crime.

Linbergh Tucker's Father Speaks About His Son's Alleged Drunk Driving
Last night we told you about that terrible accident that took the life of a 3 year old girl and a 28 year old adult male. Ashley Silva was in a vehicle driven by her father Karim Silva and her mother. They were hit head on by Linbergh Tucker – who was allegedly driving drunk and in the wrong lane on the Boom Road. It has the arc and the elements of an infuriating traffic tragedy: a young life needlessly lost to a man who should not have been behind the wheel. But, it's not always that simple. Today Monica Bodden spoke to his father, Linbergh Tucker Sr, who wasn't there but has gathered information as to his son's state of mind when the accident occurred:

BTB Sends Sheepish Release
The Belize Tourism Board sent out a sheepish release this afternoon confirming what everyone knew yesterday: Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton has resigned. The release tries to gloss over her tumultuous departure, saying that was resigning the position for personal reasons. It adds quote, "During her tenure, she conducted herself with integrity, genuine concern for the industry and fiscal accountability." That last part, about "fiscal accountability" alludes to the concerns raised about the multi million dollar deficit the BTB finds itself it. The consequent across the board budget cuts for the coming fiscal year is what seems to have tipped the entire situation and led to the unprecedented mutiny by the BTB senior managers. Seven of them signed a letter of no confidence and sent it to the minister one week ago. After that, Esquivel Frampton's fate was all but sealed, and the fact of the deficit left Cabinet with its hands tied. And so, the daughter of the UDP's two time Prime Minister was pushed out of the job after two years, serving only a few months longer than her predecessor Seleni Matus who was also pushed out. Overall, it does not create a favourable impression of the BTB as a well-governed or stable organization. And so, the Director of Revenue Collection Javier Paredez, now takes the helm as Interim Director – his second stint in the job – that he last took up when the previous Director was pushed out.

Coye's Cleared In Appeals Court, But Owe Millions In Taxes
8 days ago, we told you about the dramatic decision that the Court of Appeal made when it reversed Belize's first money laundering conviction and acquitted the Coye Family. More than that, the Court ordered that the Government of the Belize had 60 days to return the 1.557 million dollars in cash that police found at their house on New Year's Eve 2008. That's a complete reversal in fortune for the Coye Family which has lost their name, their reputation, their business, and their cash flow – so much so that they had to struggle to find the money to bury Michael Coye when he passed away a few days after being released on bail. But that 1.557 million dollars is not the entire sum of the Coye family's financial assets. In fact, it's only a part of the 6.5 million dollars total which was frozen by the FIU because they were under suspicion of being ill-gotten gains from money laundering.

Income Tax Says Coye Assessment Fair and Just, Not Arbitrary and Oppressive
But we did have more success with this afternoon, when we spoke with Commissioner of Income Tax, Kent Clare. He told us there are certain aspects of the case that he is unable to discuss due to confidentiality under the Income and Business Tax Act. He did say however that this assessment is not new, and it was done legitimately under the Income tax Act. Clare told us the Department's contention is that taxes were due on business that the Coye's conducted but didn't pay tax on, and that is how the assessment was made. As to the sum, which Saldivar calls oppressive, arbitrary and exorbitant, Clare told us that the assessment was done under the law. He said that the claim was lodged with the Registrar of the Supreme Court a short while after the assessment was made. The assessment was made under section 111 (3) of the Income and Business Tax Act. That section reads, "Where it comes to the notice of the Commissioner that a person or entity has not reported or disclosed any receipts which ought to have been reported or disclosed, such unreported receipts taxed at the rate of 50% of such receipts, in addition to any other penalties leviable under this Act..."

Convicted Of Killing His Own Stepson
29 year-old Elijah Miller, a resident of Orange Walk, is at Prison tonight awaiting sentencing after he was convicted of causing the death of his stepson. As viewers may remember, Miller was accused of beating 2 year-old Ezekiel Tejeda to death on July 1, 2009. The child's mother alleged at that time that Miller threw Ezekiel in the air, stoned him with a pint bottle and shook him. She realized that something was wrong with her baby, and took her to the Northern Regional Hospital. The doctor said that the child was fine, but a short while after, he had to be rushed to hospital a second time, where he died of complications originating from abdominal trauma after he received multiple bruises to his abdomen, bowel, and intestines. Miller stood trial before Justice Herbert Lord in the Northern Sessions of the Supreme Court, and after deliberations, the jury of 12 found him guilty of manslaughter on Friday night.

Man Cleared Of Rape Accusation
44 year-old Vanzie Lamb is free tonight after he was acquitted of rape in the court room of Justice Troadio John Gonzalez. He was accused of an outrageous case of sexual abuse by a female who was only 14 years-old at the time. The victim, who came to Belize City from Punta Gorda for a party, testified that between May 1 and 2 of 2009, she was involved in a car accident on King Street. She said that Lamb forcefully took her from the scene of the accident by putting her on his bicycle, and he rode her to his house, where he dragged her inside. While there, Lamb allegedly tied her hands and legs and raped her. She was only able to get away just before daybreak by cutting her hands and legs free with a knife that was nearby. Evidence was entered before the court that the medical examiner certified that she was carnally known.

Pharmacists Fight Over Hon. Erwin's Daughter's Appointment To Big Post
You surely know the name of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, but you probably don't know his daughter Danini Contreras. But she's making the news tonight because she's gotten a big job at the Ministry of Health and the rarely-heard-from Pharmacists' Association of Belize is making a major stink about it. Contreras – who we are told has a degree in Chemical Pharmaceuticals was brought in as the Director of the Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health. The Pharmacists Association says that she's not qualified for that post and today the President and Vice President of that association – who both work for government – spoke plainly about why they're dissatisfied with her appointment: Hortence Humes - President, Pharmacists' Association of Belize "To be a drug inspector, you have to be a registered pharmacist, have 5 years working experience, specialized training in drug inspection, and have an associate or a diploma in pharmacy."

Man Shot On San Pedro
21 year-old Darrington Louriano Jr., a resident of San Pedro Town, is at home tonight, recovering from a gunshot to the shoulder. According to Police, Louriano reported that sometime after 9 o'clock last night, he was walking on Sandpiper Street, and he was heading toward his neighbourhood, when he heard the sound of a gunshot. He didn't see who the shooter was, but he later realized that he had been struck in the left shoulder. He was escorted to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was treated for his injury and then released.

Police Get Trained In Handling Emergency Callers
Police are always responding to emergencies and people in dire situations, but in a natural disaster, that load of desperate callers is multiplied. Today, the employees of the Police Eastern Division Communication center, 911 operators and other members of the division were trained on how to respond during a time of national emergency. We found out more at the Queen Street Station conference room. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Training With CEMO "Our personnel from the control room, or emergency center for the Police Department, we have decided to cooperate along with CEMO, members from the meteorological service, the Belize Red Cross, and of course, a psychological aspect, we have a nurse coming in to help to emphasize people who work at the control room in times of emergency or disaster. Well, on a daily basis, we deal with emergencies, but in the event, we face one of those horrific storms, what they should and shouldn't do."

Man Busted On Major Marijuana Move
Tonight, 29 year-old Cayo resident Adan Martinez is at prison after he was allegedly busted at the Novelo's bus terminal with 16.5 pounds of marijuana. According to police, one of their officers was on foot patrol, and while at the bus station, he decided to search Martinez, who was carrying two knapsacks. Inside, the officers found 2 parcels of suspected cannabis. Martinez was charged with drug trafficking, and was arraigned today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, where he pleaded not guilty, telling the court that he was given these packages, and that he didn't know what was in them. His bail came up for question and Magistrate Hamilton adjourned the matter until the afternoon session to see if Martinez was eligible given the amount of cannabis that was found. When the case resumed, he was granted bail of $10,000, which he was not able to meet. He will remain on remand until he is able to make arrangements to do so.

Music Instruments For The Masses
Yesterday, the National Youth Orchestra and the Choir of Belize accepted a donation from the international non-profit organization, MusAid. MusAid, an organization that was founded in 2006, has been in the country assessing the Orchestra's musical needs, and after consultation, the instruments were delivered. MusAid's founder presented a few of the instruments to NICH's Music Director at the Maud Williams High School, and 7News stopped in. We spoke with the organization's founder about the donation: Kevin Schaffter - Founder, MusAid "Part of our organization's - the first step in helping a country is that we visit, we see what kind of needs the schools have, and after that, we form a long-term relationship where we supply the instruments that they lack, and we bring teachers that can help with different, various instruments that they may not have teachers in Belize for. So, for example, in Belize, the lack is in lower strings, chello and base, and so, we hope in the future to bring chello and base teachers to help."

After A Long While, A Regatta To Remember
Last night, we showed you some of the 9th of March weekend activities like the Kite Contest, the Ruta Maya race and the opening ceremony of the 2014 Reef Week. But one that we didn't get to last night is really the original 9th. of March event. That is the Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta which has been held in the Belize City harbor every year since 1928, one year after Baron Bliss's death. Recently, the number of boats participating has dwindled, but not so this year, when the Belize Sailing Association joined the party; it's 47 teenaged sailors in their Optimist class sailing dinghies gave the harbor regatta a shot in the arm of fresh, young blood who look to keep alive the tradition for many years to come. Here's the story: The Sailing association had also held a regatta of six races for the Optimist class only of Buttonwood bay on Saturday.

Women Artists Free Like They Want To Be
Women in Art 2014 opens tonight at the Bliss Center. It's part of Women's Month, but Curator Briheda Haylock says it's also an opportunity to shake things up and focus on revolutionary art: This year's exhibit features twenty women.

Channel 5

Laura Esquivel Frampton officially resigns as Director of Tourism
Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton has officially demitted office, following a two-year stint as head of the Belize Tourism Board.  Her resignation from the post was formally confirmed via press [...]

Minister of Tourism says Esquivel-Frampton resigns for personal reasons
Since being appointed the portfolio of Minister of Tourism in 2008, the posts of Chief Executive Officer and Director of Tourism have been revolving doors in Heredia’s ministry.  Current C.E.O. [...]

Pharmacy Association lashes out at MOH on appointment of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras
Political connections and lucrative appointments – that’s always been commonplace in Belize, almost as traditional as rice and beans. But that doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow. Today, [...]

Pharmacy Association says she does not meet requirements
The association has pulled no punches with the issue of its release, stating that the appointment is based on a preferential political agenda and asking that the situation with the [...]

Bert Vasquez to stand trial for the murder of Jasmine Lowe
Accused murderer Bert Vasquez has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court for the murder of Jasmine Lowe. The decision was handed down at the preliminary inquiry today [...]

Attorney says allegations against Sharon Neal in immigration scandal were groundless
As we’ve told you, the three passport officers whose names were dragged through the mud of public scrutiny in the immigration scandal have been exonerated by the Services Commission. Despite [...]

Belize City man clings to life following broad daylight shooting in Gungulung
A mid-afternoon shooting near Holy Emmanuel Street has left one Belize City resident clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  Shortly before three o’clock today Tarique Gillett, a [...]

Shooting in San Pedro
A week ago, a tour guide was murdered in San Pedro and on Tuesday night, another resident of the island was shot as he headed home. Around nine-thirty p.m., on [...]

Rafael Juarez still on the run for murder of Jeffrey Eiley
It’s been a week since the ruthless murder of thirty year old Jeffrey Eiley on San Pedro. Eiley, a well-known tour guide, ran from his killer but could not escape [...]

Ombudsman issues report on 1st year in office
The ombudsman, Lionel Arzu, has issued a report on his first year in office. It contains a wide range of public matters from police brutality to inmate treatment and housing [...]

Belize City man is freed of a rape charge
After deliberating for hours, a jury decided the fate of thirty-eight year old Vanzie Lamb, a Belize City man accused of forcibly abducting a fourteen year old primary school girl [...]

Training for officers on disaster preparedness
Members of the Eastern Division Communication Center, comprised of a team of twenty-three, nine-one-one dispatchers were participants in a one-day workshop organized in conjunction with the City Emergency Management Organization [...]

Women in Art Exhibition launched at Belisle Art Gallery
Throughout this month, activities are being held to celebrate women from all walks of life, home makers and professionals alike, be they bold, challenged, or in whatever capacity. Over at [...]


Police Officer recieves Large Cut Wounds
A bar brawl in Concepcion Village in the Corozal District has left a pair of brothers with grave wounds. Reports are that on Sunday March 9th, at around 11:05pm, police visited Concepcion Village where they saw 22 year old Javier Noble; police officer attached to the Belize City Eastern Division, suffering from a large cut wound to the head and bleeding profusely. Investigations revealed that on even date, at about 10:50pm, Noble and his younger brother, 18 year old Angel Noble, were socializing in front of Tony Gongora’s Bar situated in the same village when they were involved in an altercation with 22 year old John Medina and 18 year old Christian Medina, both of the same village.

Appointment of Daughter Of Minister Erwin Contreras Raises Eyebrows
There is much contention and controversy regarding a new post in the Ministry of Health. We are talking about the Director of Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health that has been allegedly filled by Danini Contreras, the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras. News of this was first broken on March 4th by Plus Television in Belmopan. Today, a heated and lengthy press release was circulated by the Pharmacists Association of Belize denouncing the position that was filled in ‘secrecy and by a person with strong political ties. For the association this is one more indication that the MOH has no real desire to support and strengthen the practice of pharmacy in Belize. According to the release, there is the urgent need to ensure that such position be filled following clear and transparent processes and to remove any suggestion of political interference or other conflict of interest. The PAB stated 6 facts backing up their belief that Contreras is not fit for the position. The PAB states that one: the has no working experience in the field, no knowledge of the pharmacy programme in Belize, is not registered as a Pharmacist under the Chemist and Druggist Act Chapter 311 of the Laws of Belize and lacks the specialize training required to carry out duties necessary in the Drug Inspectorate position.

Alleged Release Of Catholic Diocese Causes Controversy
Much like the release issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan opposing to the 20,000K strong women’s empowerment rally, a similar release is being circulated to the local managers, administrators, principals and teachers who share common catholic missions. The release is causing quite a controversy at the helm of the Catholic Diocese as it emphatically states and we quote “I write to you as Bishop to remind you that organizations whose activities and positions are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church and which endanger the souls of people of God cannot be welcomed under any circumstances in our schools. These organizations often present themselves as champion s of some apparent good whether it be to educate on sexuality and reproductive rights, AIDS or to administer certain medical treatments or shots to our children. Of much scrutiny from the catholic Diocese if organization such as the Belize Family Planning Association (BFLA), UNIBAM, the National Aids Commission or the Red Cross program of ‘Together we can’ foster programs that ultimately undermine our catholic values. BFLA, the operational arm in Belize of International Planned Parenthood, is an instrument of the most serious crimes against life and our Christian morality.” End of quote.


Baby Siarsha Returns Home
About two weeks ago, the Alvarez family reached out to the public for financial help in seeking medical attention for their three year old daughter who was diagnosed with a rare skin condition. Today, the toddler and her parents returned to Belize; Reporter Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo went to the airport to meet them and get an update on the child’s health condition. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “In the latter part of February, the Alvarez family was distressed after learning that their three year old daughter, Siarsha Amri Alvarez was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) – it is a life threatening skin condition that affects the skin and the mucous membranes that is known to be caused by certain medications, infections or in rare cases, cancer. The case became publicly known as the family had reached out seeking financial aid in order to have Baby Siarsha travel to Merida, Yucatan for medical attention. Today, the family returned to Belize on Tropic Air and got to speak with the parents.”

Association of Pharmacists Opposes Newly Created Post in Ministry of Health
The Pharmacists Association of Belize has reacted to a news report on a newly created position of Director of Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health. The Association says Belize is plagued with a myriad of issues related to the quality of pharmaceuticals which pose numerous direct threats to the health and safety of the people of this country. It says for years it has advocated for an inspectorate unit that is supported by appropriate legislation. It insist that the unit must be properly created, equipped and staffed by suitably qualified persons and necessary laws be enacted and enforced to give the requisite authority to carry out their duties effectively. The Association said while a person has been hired as the Director, she has no working experience in any field including pharmacy, is not registered as a pharmacist under the chemist and druggist act and lacks the specialized training required to carry out duties necessary in the drug inspectorate unit.

World Bank: Belize Ranks High for Homicides
The World Bank Citizen Security Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet has revealed in a report by the World Bank that even though the Latin American and the Caribbean regions possess only nine percent of the world’s population, almost one of every three murders globally are committed there. According to the report, thirty percent of the world’s homicides occur in these two regions, adding that of the fifty cities around the world that has the highest homicide rates, forty two of those cities are in Latin America including the top sixteen. Berthet says that the report indicates that Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala make up the countries with the highest murder rates in Central America; Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil rank highest in South America; and in the Caribbean, Belize and Jamaica are the worst.

Jury Says Vanzie is Not Guilty of Rape
A jury of six women and three men deliberated for about 2 hours and 45 minutes today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez before it found 44 year old Vanzie Lamb not guilty of rape. The jury’s verdict was unanimous. The incident occurred between May 1 and May 2, 2009. The complainant, who was 14 years old at the time, testified that she was involved in a traffic accident on King Street and she was abducted by Lamb. She said Lamb put her on his bicycle and rode her to his residence, an unpainted wooden house, in Jane Usher Boulevard area. She said she struggled with Lamb just before they reached his house and Lamb threw down his bicycle and dragged her into his house. She testified that lamb raped her then he tied her hands and feet. She also said that Lamb struck her on her back with a dumbbell. She said that while Lamb was asleep she managed to cut herself loose with a knife just before daybreak.

Interim Director Appointed for Belize Tourism Board
Late yesterday, Love News Centre got a copy of a letter that was addressed to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia and signed by seven of the Belize Tourism Board directors who seemingly came together and made a formal documentation of their votes of no-confidence in BTB’s Director, Laura Esquivel Frampton. It indeed came as a surprise but the shocker was when Frampton’s resignation was announced earlier today via a press release from the Belize Tourism Board. For those who are unaware, Frampton is the eldest daughter of former prime minister, Manuel Esquivel and a supporter of the ruling United Democratic Party. In the letter the directors cited several reasons for their votes of no-confidence, stating that the major area of concern is her leadership ability and we quote, “a leader should exhibit character that is beyond reproach, be transparent in their motives and demonstrate integrity as an example for and on behalf of staff and industry partners. Instead, her actions have exhibited a secretive, egotistical philosophy of policy implementation that is directly responsible for the current lack of morale throughout the organization.

Belizean Centenarian Walks For Cancer in United Kingdom
A Belizean man, who migrated to Edinburgh, UK decades ago, has planned an epic trek in the form of a fundraising walk for charity. The trek planned is a sponsored walk for the children’s cancer charity, Cclasp. According to an article on the internet, the one hundred and four year old, Sam Martinez has chosen to do this for Cclasp as that organization had been very instrumental to his family when his granddaughter, Carrie battled leukemia as a child. Martinez is reported to have been one of eight hundred Belizeans who traveled by ship across the Atlantic to work as tree fellers in Scotland and of those men, is the only one that is still alive. Retired only ten years earlier at the age of 94 as a meat packer, Martinez is an avid supporter of charities and says that he finds it heartbreaking that young children are battling cancer while he is a picture of health at the age of 104. Martinez was born in Barranco Village in the Toledo District in 1910 and is one of 11 children, many of whom died during Hurricane Hattie in 1931. His last return to Belize was in 1990.


Shooting Incident in San Pedro Leaves Another Victim Injured
There was another shooting incident in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. It happened last night, Tuesday March 11th, at about 9:24 p.m. The incident happened in the San Juan Area where 21-year-old Darrington Lauriano was shot to the shoulder. According to police reports, Mr. Darrington Lauriano Jr. was walking on Sandpiper...

Mr. Vanzie Lamb Acquitted of Rape
A jury of nine this afternoon acquitted Belize City resident 44 year old Vanzie Lamb of rape after nearly three hours in deliberation. The trial’s conclusion before Justice Troadio Gonzalez had been delayed since last week as a juror recovered from a bout of illness. Lamb had been accused...

Mrs. Laura Framptom Resigns from Post of Tourism Director
The Belize Tourism Board announced today the resignation of Mrs. Laura Frampton from the post of Director of Tourism. According to the announcement, Mrs. Frampton has served in that capacity for the past two (2) years and is resigning the position for personal reasons. However, the daughter of ex...

Salvadoran Electors Residing in Belize Travel Again to El Salvador for a Second Round; Results not Clear Yet
On Friday 31st January, five buses left Belmopan en route for Salvador. On board were some 200 Salvadoran-Belizeans who were going home to El Salvador to cast their vote in the Presidential elections. The group encountered some problems with the Media and the Police but were able to cast their...

Belize Police Department Gets Steadier for Disaster Reaction Management
In times of disasters and emergencies, more than at any other, the Belize Police Department is a key tool to steady the populace. Of course, police officers are humans too, and their jobs are not without doubts and anxieties. Today, 45 staff members of the Police Communications Control Room...

Dr. Billie Jean Mounts a One Woman Show at University of Belize
Women’s month continues to be celebrated in Belize. Today the Women’s Issue Network of Belize (WIN Belize) in collaboration with the University of Belize and the US Embassy celebrated the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, an African American that participated in the black rights movement. There to dramatize her...

Two Separate Incidents, one Dead,Three Hospitalized in the South
Reporter Harry Arzu- Dangriga Correspondent for Plus TV “40 year old, a resident of Placencia village succumbed to injuries he sustained while working on a fiberglass boat yesterday. Police from the peninsula reported that shortly before midday, Vernon, a fisherman and a tour guide from the said community was...


The National Aids Commission Gaming Fair 2014
he National AIDS Commission has been serving the Belizean public with resource, research, and a coordinating approach to the HIV/AIDS situation in Belize since 2002. At the heart of this effort has been the resounding issue of the public identity or public image of the Commission. While the commission has its governing regulations and systems of structure to effectively do its work; the general public doesn’t truly know what the Commission is and what it does. This “misunderstanding” or “misinformation” by the general public is largely fueled by a lack of correct information from the NAC itself; and is mostly viewed by the targeted populations (youth, MSM, FWS, LGBT, etc.) as a complete disconnect between resource managers and those who need these resources. Belize’s very large youth population (approx. 62% of the population) is a very diverse and dynamic group, encompassing and range of cultures, languages, dialects, socio-economic backgrounds and sexualities; but technology unites them and connects them to the world. While there are varying devices and techs available to the Belizean youth, the cellular phone is the one device that most young people have access to on a daily basis.

Bandits vs. Tiger Sharks
The Belmopan Bandits hosted the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, and lost 84-59. They travel to Belize City to play the No Limit this Friday.

The Mayan Ruins of Caracol
I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about traipsing through ancient ruins that makes me feel very small. I guess it just puts everything in perspective making me realize how many thousands of years humans have been around before me and how the species will do just fine continuing to exist long after I'm gone. It makes me feel small but part of something bigger at the same time. Visiting the Mayan ruins of Caracol in western Belize has been one of my favourite experiences so far in Central America. Our day started at 7am in San Ignacio in front of the PACZ tour office on Burns Avenue. My sister arrived the afternoon before and it was so nice to see her smiling face again. Everyone meet my little sister Rachelle! Back to the ruins -- 14 of us piled into a van with our knowledgeable guide Bruce to begin our bumpy two and a half hour journey into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. "It's going to get worse before it gets better!" Bruce warned. "Only the last 10 km before Caracol is paved road." He was an excellent driver though and navigated our van through muddy terrain that others weren't able to pass through. "Good thing we didn't rent a car," I muttered to Rachelle since that was our original plan.

International Sources

Belize Family Fun Day in Houston

Brooks Tropicals says tropical creating ‘sling-shot’ effect in family meals
Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals, headquartered in Homestead, FL, a leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, told The Produce News that tropicals are moving into the mainstream in consumer diets. “At first consumers and restaurants were trying these items as something new and unique — ways to help expand their palette and menus in healthy ways,” said Ostlund. “But as familiarity with these interesting and exciting products has increased there’s been a sling-shot effect. Putting together a vibrant fruit salad in the summer is easy. In winter it’s not as easy as more mainstream fruits are off the peak of their seasons, lower in availability and sometimes in taste.” Ostlund explained that “Caribbean Red” papayas are grown in the Central American country of Belize. Solo papayas are grown in Brazil. “SlimCado” avocados and starfruit are produce in Florida. Uniq Fruit is produced in Jamaica and Persian limes are grown in Mexico.

OAS anti-corruption mechanism to conduct on-site visit to Belize
A Commission from the OAS Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) will conduct, from April 23 to 25, an on-site visit to Belize with the consent of the host country, as part of the follow-up “inter pares” process carried out by the Mechanism in various countries of the region. The Commission will be made up of representatives of Canada and Jamaica to the Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) who, with the support from the Department of Legal Cooperation of the OAS Secretariat for Legal Affairs, in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the MESICIC, will meet with representatives of the main oversight bodies of Belize. The purpose of the visit is to collect in-situ information on how these organs perform their functions, which will serve as an input during the preparation of the report on Belize by the MESICIC at its meeting in September 2014. In addition, it is expected that the Commission will meet with Belize civil society organizations, representatives of the private sector, professional associations, and academics in order to address the topics that are currently being reviewed in the Fourth Round of the MESICIC.

March 12, 2014


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The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air Recognized by Pratt & Whitney Engines
Pratt & Whitney is one of the world’s largest jet and turboprop manufacturers, and the maker of the PT6 Engine, which powers Tropic Air’s fleet of modern glass cockpit Cessna 208 Caravans. Pratt & Whitney also recently recognized the Company with a special commemorative engine. The specially selected PT6 engine was fitted with a 24k gold data plate to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic engine series, and will be installed on one of Tropic Air’s Caravans during its routine and scheduled engine change later this month.

SPHS Male Softball Team claim 4th Victory at Northern Regionals
The San Pedro High male softball team travelled to Orange Walk over the weekend of March 1st -2nd where they defended their title as Northern Regional Champions for the fourth year in a row. The SPHS boys claimed a blow out victory Orange Walk Technical, then advanced to the Championship round where they took on Corozal’s Escuela Secundaria Tech over whom they also claimed victory. As such, the SPHS boys are once again the Northern Regional Champs for the fourth consecutive year. They are scheduled take part in the Nationals on March 14th and 15th where they will defend their back to back National Secondary School Softball Championship.

Ambergris Caye is #1 Again?! Why Thank You!
Can falling in love with a place be compared to falling in love with a person? If you are able to look beyond the beautiful waters and fancy resorts and actually embrace a place for all that it is AND all that it isn’t, when you focus on how it makes you feel instead of what you can see, then yes, I guess it is like falling in love. And Ambergris Caye has many loves whom she welcomes time and again in her warm embrace. Despite her flaws and growing pains, she’s managed to capture the hearts of so many who cannot fathom a year without a taste of her. Those visitors have ensured that for the second year in a row, Ambergris Caye is ranked #1 Island in the World on TripAdvisor®! Now that’s love! She welcomes first time visitors with her charismatic charm, stealing the hearts of many who remain faithful by returning every year. Some have even stepped up the commitment; making her their home away from home. Ambergris Caye means family and friendships cemented from the first smile and ‘hello’. Wanting to find out why our visitors have chosen to make Ambergris Caye ‘home away from home’, we took to the streets to ask. Our friends did not let us down, sharing their reasons why Ambergris Caye has earned this title yet again.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air Recognized by Pratt & Whitney Engines
Pratt & Whitney, one of the world’s largest jet and turboprop manufactures, just recently recognized Tropic Air with a special commemorative engine. The company is the maker of the PT6 Engine, which powers Tropic Air’s fleet of modern glass cockpit Cessna 208 Caravans. The specially selected PT6 engine was fitted with a 24k gold data plate to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic engine series, and will be installed on one of Tropic Air’s Caravans during its routine and scheduled engine change later this month. Tropic Air is part of a Pratt & Whitney maintenance program that sees the current engines replaced with new ones at regular intervals in order to maintain the most up to date and energy efficient engines in its fleet. Certified Belizean aircraft engineers at Tropic Air’s maintenance facility in San Pedro carry out these engine replacements and avionic upgrades, along with other Cessna maintenance programs.

Travellers Awarded Gold in Fifty Best Rum Tasting in New York
Belize is yet again on TOP as Travellers White Rum is awarded Gold in Rum Tasting in New York. recently hosted a White Rum Tasting, where 20 contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best White Rum” awards for 2014., rating the finest in wines and spirits, has once again shined its spotlight on White Rum. In a press release the online guide announced that it is very pleased to announce that Travellers Classic White Rum of Belize was awarded a Gold medal. Using professional criteria, the pre-qualified panel of judges blind-tasted the white rums and rated them individually on a 1-5 point scoring system, with 5 being the best. Rhum agricoles were tasted and scored separately. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges' impressions.

Pic of the Week: Military Choppers Flyby Very Close to Ambergris Caye
Island residents have been hearing them hover over Ambergris Caye and even coming over town and flying very close over some buildings downtown San Pedro. Military helicopters have been spotted zooming by the island over the weekend and some residents are wondering what is going on. Well, remember that Ambergris Today posted that the Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America approved a joint Belize Defence Force/U.S. Military training exercise? Well, this is why these choppers are flying in and out of the island. The exercise will continue through this week so there is nothing to be alarmed about; it is just a military exercise. The training events are being held in the Cayo District and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Tropic Air Announces Service To Merida, Mexico
Tropic Air inaugurated non-stop service to Merida, Mexico on March 3, 2014. With the launching of this service, Tropic is the only airline to operate non-stop scheduled flights between Belize City and Merida. Initially, Tropic will fly (BZE) to Merida (MID) three times weekly. Tickets are available for sale at a special introductory price thru February. This new service will allow for the expansion of trade and tourism between the two countries and serve to further grow the historical ties between Belize and Merida. It will also allow the people of Merida to make easy connections to Roatan, San Pedro Sula, Flores, and 11 destinations within Belize. Merida is Tropic's second destination in Mexico and its fifth international route. In November, Tropic added Roatan service to complement its existing San Pedro Sula, Cancun and Flores, Guatemala routes.

San Pedro Sports Council Hosts Football Clinics
The San Pedro Sports Council has been hosting football clinics on Saturdays for the children of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye at the Plaza De San Pedro (Old Football Field). Football (soccer) is an integral part of local cultures across the world. It is something so positive that it brings smiles to children’s faces, even in the worst of circumstances. Football is for everyone; it can be played by everyone regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity or social background and level of fitness. It can be played everywhere and anywhere. Football is a school of life – Fair play, team spirit and camaraderie are just a few of the many values advocated by football and being taught to the island children at these clinics. Having fun is the most important thing in football and this is exactly what the San Pedro Sports Council and coaches wish to imply to the children of Ambergris Caye.

Flashbacks: Jeffrey Eiley, a Star Growing up in San Pedro!
From an early age San Pedro has grown to love Jeff. He first hit the spotlight at a tender age when he started imitating famous personalities like Michael Jackson and Ritchie Valens. At every festivity at Central Park, Jeff won the hearts of the audience with his great impersonations in singing and dancing. The highlight of his performances must be sharing the stage for Costa Maya Festival with famous calypso singer from Trinidad and Tobago, Denyse Plummer. He did not just show up. No, he prepared for his shows, mimicking every detail of clothing, shoes, shades and moves. For lack of better descriptive words, we will simply leave you with these photos to tell his story. Enjoy “Our Jeff” (+) as we will remember him forever.

Footprints for Peace Candle Light Walk
Greetings. It is our hope that this letter finds you and your place of business under the most fortunate of circumstances. As you are aware, our island was shaken with the savage murder of one of our own. In light of this, the Arceo and Eiley families are organizing a coalition against all forms of senseless violence. It is not only our family who has been affected by this tragedy, but the community on a whole has been robbed of their peace of mind. It is in this respect, that we are inviting the community to become a part of a movement to minimize the rate of crime in the number one island of the world. Our first initiative is a “Footprints for Peace” walk to commemorate the lives of all those who have been affected by violence.

25 Years Ago: Looking Back at how Lent was Celebrated in San Pedro
Last week Wednesday was the first day of lent and for all Christians it was the beginning of a long period of redemption. However, lent is perhaps only a word and a period, but practically life goes on as usual. Not so 25 years ago in San Pedro! Lent was a period of redemption and to be redeemed one had to really work for it to deserve it. The very first thing that was different in Lent in years gone by was the eating habit. Meat was not to be eaten for the entire period of Lent. To do so was like committing a mortal sin. Therefore fish was the only source of food in this almost entirely Roman Catholic community. Fortunately for Sanpedranos there was never a scarcity of fish on the Island and it was even more abundant during February and March when grouper were laying eggs and were abundant in several banks around the country. Consequently Sanpedranos corned fish in great quantities and were even able to export some for sale in Honduras and Guatemala.

Misc Belizean Sources

Man charged for Placencia jewelry store robbery
Quick work by police in Placencia led to the arrest of a man who allegedly stole an IPhone from a woman this morning on the Peninsula. The suspect has been identified as 37 year old Albert Betancourt, a resident of Placencia village. According to reports, the woman – a tourist – was walking on Main Street in Placencia around 6:30 am when her IPhone was stolen, probably by pick-pocketing. When she realized her phone was stolen, the woman went straight to the police and a search was conducted in the Sunset area of the village. That search led to the apprehension of Betancourt and during a search of his person, the stolen IPhone was found in his possession.

Disorderly conduct in Placencia
A man from Placencia village had his holiday celebration cut short on Monday night when he was arrested by the police for making unnecessary noise. Michael Foreman was taken into custody around 9 pm on Monday night after residents complained of a man behaving rowdy and loud swearing near the sidewalk in Placencia. Police say that when they visited the area, they met Foreman who appeared to be intoxicated. The officers say that on their arrival, Foreman proceeded to shower them with threats.

Placencia police nab suspected thieves
One month after a jewelry story robbery in Placencia village, police have nabbed a man they believe was involved. The suspect, identified as Lionel Vasquez, is a resident of Seine Bight village and police today announced that he has been charged for the crime of robbery. The jewelry store robbery happened in the month of February and police say that their investigation has so far led to the recovery of $19,000 worth of stolen loot.

New Justice of the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will this morning swear in Sonia Young as a new Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Young replaces temporary justice, Rita Joseph Olivetti, whose contract expired at the end of January. With the elevation of Justice Youngm, complement of judges on the Supreme Court bench is now 9, including temporary criminal Justice Antoinette Moore. Indications are that more Justices are being sought for addition to the Supreme Court bench.

Separate suicides reported in Orange Walk town
Two men have taken their own lives in Orange Walk town. The full details of the incidents are not yet known, but the men who committed suicide are Abel Garcia and Eduardo Pech. Reports are that both men were found hanging at their homes on Stadium Street in Orange Walk town on Monday. More details on this will be released shortly. The death of Garcia and Pech on Monday brings to three the number of suicides in the north in the last week.

The first event was organized in 1998. I had dreamed up four ideas for the launching of VIDA purified water, as part of my plans to grow the Big H brand from a regional business and place it on a national stage....with focus on promoting the natural, healthy beverage products that we had in mind to extend our product and market range. My brother Big-h Juices liked this idea more, so we went with it. We wanted a grueling adventure event that would showcase the natural beauty of Belize and our healthy products...with potential for attracting international interest. The first persons I went to was John and Martha August....owners of Marthas Kitchen. John is the son of Peter August, one of my dads best friends and compadre, both involved in the organization of very big horse racing events in San Ignacio in their time. Martha is my cousin....and their restaurant and guest house was the bee hive for tourists in downtown San Ignacio, where river canoeing tours had already sprouted. They loved the idea instantly....and promised to help in whatever way they can.

"The country I want to lead, is not one that will be dependent on me." Francis Fonseca

Partial Scope Agreement.
Belize and Mexico have for some time now expressed interest in pursuing a Partial Scope Agreement. Progress with this agenda continues to be made through communication at diplomatic and other levels with both countries reiterating the need for this Agreement. At the VII Meeting of the Belize Mexico Bi-National Commission in Belize, both countries reiterated their commitment to proceed with negotiations for a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA). On Monday, 03 March 2014, The Belize Delegation met with a high level team of officials from the Secretaria de Economía in Mexico City. The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss and agree on the General Framework and a schedule for negotiating a Partial Scope Agreement between Belize and the United Mexican States. The discussions highlighted the benefits to be gained by both countries with the successful conclusion of negotiations in areas such as transportation, trade in goods and Investment among others. With respect to Trade in Services, both countries have experienced significant growth in this sector which can only be augmented through the negotiation and implementation of the agreement. It is envisioned that negotiations will be concluded before the end of 2014. The meeting ended with both countries reaffirming their commitment to concluding a Partial Scope Agreement.

Ready for Belize Screen on the Green's screening of "The Color Purple?"
The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. Belize Screen on the Green is every second Thursday at the Governor General Field in Belmopan from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The March screening is this Thursday, March 13th. Hope to see you there!

Dr. Jane Usher-Described as the longest running and most beloved CEO in the jewel, Ms. Jane, as she is fondly known, still manages Belize's most successful Credit Union, Holy Redeemer Credit Union. She assumed responsibility when the credit union had about $13000.00 in assets and 200 members. Under her leadership, HRCU now boasts approximately $400 MILLION in assets and 50,000 MEMBERS, enabling members who are also shareholders, to benefit tremendously from rebates from loans, dividends from shares, loan protection, funeral and many other benefits...Ms. Jane was also the 2nd woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, serving two terms, 1979-1989, as the Area Representative of Pickstock and a Cabinet Minister of Health and Cooperatives 1979-1984...

Belize Trade Delegation Visit to Mexico City

PM Barrow attends CARICOM summit
The Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow has traveled to Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. While in Kingstown, Prime Minister Barrow is attending the Caribbean Community Heads of Government meeting. A terse press release issued by the Government Press Office provided no details of the meeting and only reported that the Prime Minister is due back in the country on Thursday. The Caribbean Media Corporation is reporting that several major issues are being discussed at the 25th CARICOM inter-sessional summit which opened on Monday, including the situation in Guyana which is lagging behind in approving anti-money laundering legislation. CMC reports that CARICOM leaders have expressed concern over Guyana’s failure to approve the legislation and expressed concern “about what is taking place in Guyana.”

Vehicle crashed into Jacintoville bridge
A Toledo resident escaped serious injury or worse when the vehicle he was driving crashed into a bridge on the Southern Highway. Cecil Woodye was driving a small pickup truck heading towards Punta Gorda town when he reportedly lost control and crashed into the railing of the bridge in Jacintoville. Woodye, according to reports, did not suffer any injury. Police investigations continue.

Tennis shoes for Toledo children
Members of the One World Running, a team of volunteers from the United States are in Punta Gorda town for the annual Fun Run. The event this year is being held in conjunction with Special Olympics Belize with support from SMART telephone company. Today, members of the One World Running group were busy distributing tennis shoes and T-Shirts to children from various schools in the Punta Gorda area, including St. Peter Claver, St. Benedict, PG Methodist, Little Flowers and the Toledo Community College.

Justice for Jeffrey
Justice for Jeffrey: Join hands with us on Thursday, March 13th at 5:30pm at the Central Park where invited guests will give testimonies on how violence has affected our island. AFter the testimonies, we will proceed with a candle light walk through the main streets of San Pedro. Peace starts with us. God Bless you.

Citrus Greening has been announced as rampant in Belize
Sad day at Jasmine Cottage. A neighbour told me that Citrus Greening has been announced as rampant in Belize and they have it on their trees, so I just checked all our trees and found Blotchy Mottle on all of them. This site states that pruning does not work and the trees should be removed. I really do not want to destroy my fruit bearing lime, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, tangelo and 2 orange trees. It has been suggested to me that there may be a cure for this by spraying with larsban. Any ideas before I get the chainsaw out!

Venezuela assures PetroCaribe and ALBA agreements are safe
Venezuela says the current political unrest in the country poses no danger to the future of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas(ALBA) and the oil initiative PetroCaribe. Venezuela’s Ambassador to St Lucia, Leiff Escalona Barrueta, addressing a sod turning ceremony for a bridge building project funded through ALBA, said there were "concerns expressed by various communication professionals in the news media" regarding the two initiatives that Caracas has been using as a means of integrating Latin America and the Caribbean.

Please join the Women's Dept. & Bmp Women's Council in celebrating Women's Month 2014

Rotaract Food and Clothing Drive
It's Rotaract Week, and the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having a clothing and food drive. You can drop off canned foods and clothing at Hode's. Thanks, Rotaract! "WANT TO GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY BUT DONT KNOW HOW? As Part of our Rotaract Week, The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio will be collecting clothing in Good Condition and canned foods as of today, March 11th, up until Saturday (15th) in the Morning. Your generous contributions can be dropped off at Hode's Place stating its for the Rotaract Week Project. If you have questions on what all you can donate, comment below, inbox our page or ask any Rotaractor you may know"

Belize International Film Festival
The Belize International Film Festival is accepting entries through March 26th. They have 6 categories for film submission. For more information, email them at In related news, the Cayo International Film Festival is next month, and it'll take place at the Soul Project and the Cayo Welcome Center. "The Belize International Film Festival (BIFF) is currently accepting entries for its 2014 Edition that will take place July 16-21stin Belize, Central America. This unique 5 day Festival in the tropics focuses on independent films with storylines that celebrate cultural diversity; a reality of life in the Americas where multiple ethnicities integrate with each other daily while managing to hold on to their diverse cultural identities."

Penners, Elvin and Rocio, Living It Up on the Lam!
Last unofficial report was that 16 statements have been recorded by Police investigators in the Penner case, including statements from Minister responsible for immigration, Godwin Hulse; CEO, Candelaria Saldivar and Director, Maria Marin. Neither Penner nor his JP accomplice could be found for questioning and NBZLive has confirmed that they have skipped town! It’s official, Penner is now a fugitive from justice just like the man who got him into this mess in the first place. Penner is on the lam with his wife, Rocio Penner and our best guess is that they are somewhere in Mexico, thanks to clues offered by the dullard he has for a wife. Police are expected to file complaint today, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in the Belmopan Magistrate court after their efforts to arrest Penner as per the order of mandamus issued by the court on March 1st, 2014.

Education in Belize: Effective Discipline
What constitutes effective discipline? Why should we raise our children subject to some form of discipline? How do we properly enforce discipline everyday in our homes and schools? If we do not continuously discipline young people how will they comprehend that there are always consequences to any bad choices they make? We cannot address these questions comprehensively in just one article; however, we can discuss what discipline is about vs. what it is not. Most parents and teachers think of discipline as the system of (self) control that we use to bring out the best behavior in children and in ourselves. Schools focus on discipline mostly as a system to prevent and/or cope with students’ behavior problems. However, no matter which definition we use, I feel strongly that we should not consider discipline to be merely a system of punishment for adults or children, or have punishment be its major purpose.

Video: Jim's Diving Movie Belize 2014
A selection of the best clips from a week in Belize with Chuck and Robbie's dive operation. They are, hands down, the best in the business. This video features Jim, Kristy, Dave and some of the Chuck and Robbie's crew: Big Sexy, George, Robbie, Bryan and Danny. Wildlife featured are: Loggerhead Turtle, Reef Sharks, Octopus, Moray Eels, Nurse Sharks, Lobster, Crab, Barrel Sponges, Hawksbill Turtles, Green Turtle, Eagle Rays, Southern Stingrays and assorted fish. This footage was filmed exclusively with a GoPro Hero 3.

Video: Another great week of diving with Belize Pro Dive Center! March 3 - 10
We got highlights from another great week of diving...Night dives with octopus, deep dives with turtles oooohhh even a dolphin!! Enjoy!

Video: Belize & Roatan on Carnival Conquest
Video of the dive excursions in these two ports

Video: PM Dean Barrow Reflects Belize's Debt Stewardship Into the Budget

Video: 2014 2015 Budget Reading Includes More Infrastructure, Health and Education

Video: Marie Sharps
History, current products, about their factory, and more!

Channel 7

Palace Coup Claims Esquivel-Frampton As Director of Tourism
Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton is resigning from the BTB. She packed up her possessions at the office today - and is not expected back. It's a dramatic development in this major industry - and as we understand it, hers is not a happy departure. Through she is resigning, best information tells us that she was pushed out of the job in what can only be called a "palace coup" orchestrated by her executive management team which lodged a dramatic vote of no confidence in a letter to the minister last week. The letter points to what they say is a lack of leadership, and poor fiscal management that led them to put forward a no confidence vote. The letter tells Minister Manuel Herredia, that, quote, ""we firmly believe that the organization and industry deserves a leader who leads." It warns him that quote, "if decisive action is not taken at this time, it will lead to an even worse position," end quote.

Penner Investigation Comes To 7News
Police investigators worked through the weekend to gather more statements in the investigation into criminal wrongdoing by Elvin Penner. They were acting under orders from the Director of Public Prosecutions who received the file on Friday evening and found that the investigation was incomplete and that statements had not been recorded from certain key persons. So that's the job that investigators led by Inspector Santiago Ciau undertook this weekend. One of those key persons was 7News Director Jules Vasquez. On Saturday, Ciau came to Channel 7's studios to record a statement on the email that Penner sent to this newsroom on September 27th, 2013. In that he said his friend Won Hong Kim came to him to get a signature for a passport. Penner's accusers say that this amounts to a confession of wrongdoing since Penner could not have met with Kim in September, because at that time Kim was in a Taiwanese jail. So, the email is pivotal and so is this text message which Vasquez exchanged with Penner - in which the area representative acknowledged that the mail was from him.

Immigration Officers Who Issued Kim Passport Re-instated
And while Penner may be getting on the hook - the three Immigration officers who alleeg3dly issued Citizen Kim's passport look like they are getting off it. Immigration Officers Sharon Neal-Flowers, Omar Phillips, Erwin Robinson, who were accused of having a hand in the Citizen Kim passport scandal have been cleared of all wrong-doings by the Public Service Commission, and they've been reinstated to resume duties as public officers. Viewers may remember that all 3 officers faced a tribunal hearing before the Commission a month ago, when they defended themselves against allegation with their attorneys Oswald Twist and Andrea McSweaney McKoy. In that hearing, which was concluded in one day, the Commission heard evidence from the Acting Director of Immigration, Maria Marin. Well, after reviewing the materials placed before them - which we are told was rather thin, the Commission has ruled that these officers did not act in a manner that would justify their termination from the public service.

Free, After Four Years On Remand
35 year-old Ian Arnold was gunned down on Berkeley Street in 2010, and today the man accused of killing him 22 year-old Kirk Smith was allowed to go home a free man after he was acquitted of murder. Crown Counsels Kayshia Grant and Shanice Lovell prosecuted the case, and after Justice Lucas allowed for submissions, Smith's attorney, Bryan Neal argued on behalf of his client that he had no case to answer. After careful consideration, Justice Lucas agreed with him and directed the jury to return a not-guilty verdict - leaving Smith to go free after three and half years on remand. A short while after the case was completed 7News spoke with Neal outside of the court room, and he explained the details of his no-case submission:

Man Beaten To Death In City
There's been a modest upswing in crime in Belize City in 2014, and today - after a relatively quiet long weekend - another murder was reported. In this case, a body was found up the Western Highway near the Belfoam factory near mile two and a half on the Western Highway. Monica Bodden was on the scene and found out that police believe 47 year old Arthur Conner was beaten to death. Here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting This morning police were called to a murder scene at mile one and a half on the Western Highway. The body of a man was found inside an abandon vehicle in the Belize Foam Factory compound. He was later identified as 47 year old Arthur Conner who police believe was beaten to death. 7news was on the scene and here's our story. The body of 47 year old Arthur Conner was discovered by police inside this abandoned van- at around 8:15 this morning. Police say they received a call of an electrocution at mile 1 and half on the Western Highway- but when they arrived on the scene, they saw Conner covered in blood with injuries to his upper body - which suggested he was viciously beaten to death.

Small Girl Loses Life to Drunk Driver
The long weekend was full of activities - and many of them were centered in the Belize River Valley where the Ruta Maya was rolling through. Unfortunately, it probably also created the conditions for an deadly accident that claimed the lives of two persons, one of them a three year old girl. The accident happened at around 5:15 near the first entrance to the village where 28 year old Lindbergh Tucker was driving a white Honda Civic SUV out of the village - when he collided with a KIA Sportage coming from the opposite direction. The Kia Sportage was driven by 31 year old Karim Silva- who was travelling along with his 3 year old daughter Ashley Silva, his wife and 2 other passengers. Silva and his family were at Bacab when he received a call from his sister who needed roadside assistance. He was on his way with his family when the tragic accident occurred.

One More Dies In Fatal Accident
And about twelve hours before that accident claimed the lives of the child and the adult, another man died from a traffic accident on the Western highway. At around 9 a.m. on Sunday, Belmopan Police went to an area between miles 50 and 51 in Camalote Village where they found the body of 22 year-old Jose Martinez. He was lying next to a red motorcycle, and the officers also found a red Isuzu Rodeo which had sustained damage to its front portion. What police have been able to learn so far is that 53 year-old Anthony Polonio was driving the Rodeo going toward San Ignacio and at that location, he had a head-on collision with Martinez, who was riding the motorcycle. Martinez was flung from motorbike, and he suffered massive head and bodily injuries; he died on the spot.

Another Guyanese Judge
Senior Magistrate Shona Griffith, who has been an administrator and a sitting magistrate in the Belmopan Court, is now a Sitting Justice of the Supreme Court. Griffith, who has been an attorney for 15 years, and a Senior magistrate in Belize for a little over 2 years, was sworn in today before the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, today to make it official. It is expected that the new Madam Justice Griffith will serve the judiciary in civil jurisdiction. She continues the trend of Guyan-ization of the judiciary in Belize where she becomes the 5th Guyanese high court judge to be appointed. She joins her sister judge, Justice of Appeal Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, and her brother judges, Dennis Hannomansingh, and Courtney Ashton Abel, and Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who is also the Chair of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, which reviews candidates for such appointments. Fellow Guyanese Judge, Oswell Legall demitted office as Justice of the Supreme Court a few months ago.

7 Years For Stealing A Bike
19 year-old Eutychus Nunez, a resident of Mahogany Street, will spend 7 years in prison for robbing a 17 year-old boy of his bicycle. The minor told police that on last week Thursday, he was riding bicycle on Princess Margaret Drive when 2 men rode up beside him. One of them begged him for a dollar, and when he refused, one of the men punched him in the face causing the minor tumble of his bike. One of the men stole his bike and his 2 assailants rode off leaving him there. Police investigated the young man's report, which led to the bike's recover and the detention of Nunez. He was charged with robbery and harm, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He pleaded guilty to the charges, and after careful consideration, Senior Magistrate Frazer sentenced him to 6 years in prison for the robbery and 1 year for the harm. Both sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only spend 6 years in jail.

PM At CARICOM Summit Talking Reparations
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in St. Vincent and the Grenadines wrapping up a CARICOM Heads of Government Summit. Prominent issues being discussed by leaders include the legalization of marijuana and reparations for slavery. The leaders form the 14 CARICOM countries say they will back a ten point claim for reparations from European countries. Barrow left the country on Saturday and is due back on Thursday.

Siarsha On The Mend, Getting Ready To Come Home
Little Siarsha Alvarez - the three year old with that rare skin disorder - is doing better and is getting ready to come home. That's the word from her father Simeon Alvarez in Merida who told us today that she's fought off pneumonia and will be discharged tomorrow at noon. Tropic air is sponsoring the family a free flight on their new Merida route and so they should be back tomorrow. But Siarsha is under strict orders. The doctors say she can only bathe with purified water and she has to be kept in an air conditioned home. Those with Stevens-Johnson syndrome suffer for as long as ten years with side effects. The family's medical bills so far? About thirty thousand Belize dollars.

Ruta Maya Runs Through The River
The 16th La Ruta Maya River Challenge started on Friday in Cayo and 170 miles later, rolled into Belize City on Monday. It was a closely contested match amongst all the top teams this year, and on the Final day, 7News was on Belcan Bridge to see the teams which crossed the finish line first. Here's how that finish went yesterday: Though the Belize Bank Bulldogs came in second in the final leg of the race, their cumulative time was the best to earn them their 7th win. They've placed second in 3 of the last 10 River challenges.

Kites Magically Aloft On Ninth March
And while Bowen and Bowen kept busy organizing the La Ruta Maya, they also put in a lot of time to prepare for their 4th Annual Kite Contest. The skies above Marine Parade in Belize City was filled kits of all kinds, and 7News stopped by to see the collection being flown. We spoke to a few of the contest winners about their kites, and what it takes to make the biggest, most unique, and, most eye-catching entries. Here's what they told us: There were winners chosen from 6 categories in the Juniors and Seniors level, and each was given a cash prize.

Reef Week Underscores Conservation With Simple Message
And after the Kite contest, our news team moved over to the 2014 Opening of Reef Week, which was held at the BTL Park. Reef Week is an initiative where the conservation communities come together to promote Belize's barrier reef and what the public can do to help to protect it. 7News stopped by to speak with a few of the reef experts about its importance to the reef agenda: The theme for this year's Reef Week is "Our Food! Our Jobs! Our Pride & Joy!"

The Passing Of a Political Giant
Tonight we note the passing of a political giant, Louis Sylvester, widely known as Cuzz. He died on Thursday night from complications of a debilitating stroke he suffered in 2008. He was 82. Sylvester's political career spans the history of modern Belize starting in 1952 when he became involved in the nationalist movement with George Price. Under Price, he served in various capacities from 1957 to the 1984 when he was politically undefeated. Sylvester came to be synonymous with his political stronghold in Rural Belize, and on Friday in the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow paid tribute to his common touch:..

Channel 5

3 year old girl and man killed in Burrell Boom Accident
There are three more deaths to add to the growing list of traffic fatalities; so far, there have been at least fifteen accidents since the beginning of the year in [...]

Ontario resident perishes in fatal accident in Camalote
Traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death, and unfortunately an Ontario family is grieving the loss of a loved one. A third fatality occurred on Sunday, involving a [...]

A four-car pileup along the Boom Road
Just a few moments prior to the deadly traffic accident which claimed the lives of three year old Ashley Silva and twenty year old Linbert Tucker, there was a four [...]

Laura Esquivel-Frampton pushed out of B.T.B.
There is a breaking story in the B.T.B. and that is Laura Esquivel-Frampton, the high profile daughter of former Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel is resigning from the post of Director [...]

Investigations continue into Immigration Scandal
Speculation about the pending arrest of former Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration Elvin Penner ran wild and free over the long weekend. On Friday, News Five was informed [...]

Belize City man found murdered in the cab of a truck
The long weekend was filled with tragedy but no murders. Unfortunately, the inadvertent moratorium on murders did not last, and just after eight this morning Police Detectives from Precinct Two [...]

Police still looking for accused murderer, Gabino Garnett Jr.
San Ignacio Police remain on the lookout for Gabino Garnett Jr., the man they believe is responsible for the fatal stabbing of twenty-year-old Earl Baizar on Friday morning.  The Dangriga [...]

Quarrel in the U.D.P.; Councilor Willoughby forgives Herman Longsworth
Last week Thursday, U.D.P. Minister of State Herman Longsworth accused Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of undermining him to benefit Belize City Councilor Phillip Willoughby – basically stealing his idea [...]

Senior Magistrate Shona Griffith elevated to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has been operating under staffing constraints in the complement of judges since the double blow of losing Justices Oswell Legall last May and Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti in [...]

Kirk Smith Jr. acquitted of murder
Twenty-two year old Kirk Smith Jr., who has been on remand for almost four years walked free late this afternoon from a charge of murder.   Smith was accused of [...]

Oliver Peters arraigned for his uncle’s murder
While Smith has been freed of a murder charge, thirty-seven year old Oliver Peters has been arraigned for murder. Peters is accused of stabbing his uncle to the left side [...]

Former P.U.P. minister, Louis “Coz” Sylvestre, passes
Former P.U.P. minister, Louis “Coz” Sylvestre, passed last Thursday after ailing for years. A memorial service will be held this coming Friday; and today, while acknowledging his contributions, the People’s [...]

NICH issues last call for Belize International Film Festival entries
The National Institute of Culture and History through the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts has issued last calls for entries for the 2014 Belize International Film Festival. While the [...]

Dr. Billie Jean Young in the jewel for women’s month
Actor, activist, poet, and educator, Doctor Billie Jean Young is here in the jewel in celebration of Women’s Month. The Women’s Issues Network Belize (WIN-Belize) has planned several activities for [...]

Belize Bank Team and Western Ballaz top weekend competitions in Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 17th running of the Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya attracted 68 canoes as the Mopan River tossed to [...]


Double Suicide On Stadium Street In Orange Walk Town
And here at home Orange Walk Police are tonight investigating two separate incidents of suicide, both which occurred last night approximately an hour and half from each other. In the first incident authorities were called to the residence of Evelia Pech on Stadium Street around 9:30pm. There they saw the lifeless body of 36-year-old Edwardo Pech, businessman of the same address. Pech’s body was observed lying face up with no signs of visible injuries. Preliminary investigations revealed that Pech was out socializing with friends and after a while he left and went home. It was around 9:25p.m when his mother, Evelia Pech, found him hanging from a rope tied to a 2X4 beam at the back of an enclosed shed located adjacent to the family’s house. The authorities do not suspect foul play.

Elijah Miller Found Guilty Of Manslaugther
On Friday we told you about Elijah Miller who was tried at the Northern session of the Supreme Court for the murder of his then two year old stepson. Miller was accused of beating 2 year old Ezekiel Tejeda to death on July 1st, 2009. The case, which was heard before Supreme Court Judge Herbert Lord, entered into deliberation on Friday with a jury of twelve. When we left you on Friday the jury was still deliberating. But today we can confirm that at the end of deliberation the jury found Miller guilty of Manslaughter. Miller was remanded to the Hattieville Prison pending sentencing hearing on March 27th.

Three Political Endorsement In Orange Walk Town
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that the only elections bound to happened any time soon is the municipal elections and vehemently added that his administration is in for the long haul. Despite his confidence, the PUP has begun oiling its machinery and over the weekend endorsed three standard bearers in the Orange Walk District. They are Standard Bearer for Orange Walk Central John Briceno, Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez and standard bearer for Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai. Our newsteam was there to catch highlights of the event and bring you the following report. Carmelita Perez – Reporting PUP party supporters joined current area representatives for Orange Walk Central John Briceno, Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez and Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai in the endorsement ceremony held at the Crystal Palace Auditorium on Saturday March 8th.

Director Of B.T.B. Resigns From Her Post
The Director of the Belize Tourism Board Laura Esquivel Frampton has resigned from her post. That’s the news coming out of the BTB tonight. But was it something Frampton was pushed into doing? Apparently she was. CTV3 News was able to obtain the copy of a letter dated March 5th 2014 directed to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr., by the members of BTB’s Executive Management team. In a nut shell, the first paragraph of the letter states that after several meetings held with Minister Heredia, past and present chairmen of the board, board of directors, and the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the team is making an official grievance their dissatisfaction and to put forward a vote of no confidence against Frampton. The letter states and we quote, ‘The vote of no confidence is based on the evolving discussions that we, the undersigned, have had over the past year with you (Heredia) and those outlined which have delineated three major concerns. The first major area of concern is leadership.

Police Makes major Drug Bust In Xaibe Village
Corozal authorities made a major drug bust in Village of Xaibe over the Baron Bliss holiday weekend. While many enjoyed quality time with their families, authorities in that municipality report that in the wee hours of Sunday morning, equipped with a search warrant approached the residence of 66 year old Gregorio Villamil Sr. where on arrival they encountered two houses on the same lot. Two of which would reveal illicit activities occurring. Police searched inside a Pimenta house with zinc roof and present at the time were Roberto Rodrigo Villamil, Francisco Aguilar Jr. and Luis Angel Villamil. The search led to the discovery of (1) corn chips plastic bag containing green leafy vegetable substance and (1) piece of paper containing within green leafy vegetable substance suspected cannabis. At the station the drugs were weighed and amounted to 61.7grams. The trio were subsequently arrested and charged for the offence of Drug Trafficking.

Pictorial Exhibition In Memory Of Hugo Chavez
Today a pictorial exhibition was opened at the Banquitas House of Culture to honour the more humanitarian side of the late Hugo Chavez Frias, former president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Born Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías on July 28th 1954 in Sabaneta, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez was the son of schoolteachers. Chavez became president in 1999 and was widely known for his reform efforts and strong opinions as president of Venezuela. Chávez discovered that he had cancer in June 2011, and subsequently underwent three surgeries. He eventually acknowledged the severity of his illness and he passed on March fifth 2013 at the age of 58 in Venezuela. The exhibition is being promoted by the Venezuelan Government and is titled “Por Aqui Paso Chavez”. Ambassador of Venezuela to Belize, Yoel Perez Marcano told us more about the small exhibition.

C.C.C. Students Hangs Herself
Over the holiday weekend, a total of three suicides were recorded in the Northern districts; one in Corozal, a 13 year old female student and two in Orange Walk, both male persons. On Friday, 13 year old Frances Diana Salam a Corozal Community College student from Santa Rita Area, Corozal Town, was found dead at the back of her residence hanging from a rope. Police investigations have revealed that at around 4:15pm, PC Sotero Salam, attached to the Special Branch arrived at home along with his wife and two daughters ten and twelve years of age respectively.


Remanded for Assaulting Wife with Firearm
Twenty-seven year old Floyd Jones was remanded to Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and using threatening words. Jones pled not guilty to the charges. Senior magistrate Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him any bail because of the firearm offence. She remanded him into custody until April 30. The incident occurred on January 22 in Hattieville. Jones’ wife reported to the police that Jones slapped her in her face with a firearm and threatened to kill her. Jones’ troubles were not over yet. He was brought back to court, this time before magistrate Dale Cayetano, and he was charged with common assault. He pled not guilty to that charge and he was offered a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until May 5. Jones’ wife reported to the police that while she was inside Green Iguana Lodge in Hattieville Jones came up to her and slapped her.

7-Year Jail Sentence for Stolen Bicycle
Nineteen year old Eutychus Nunez, an unemployed of Mahogany Street, was sentenced to a total of seven years today by Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to robbing a bicycle from a 17 year old boy and causing harm to him. Nunez was sentenced to six years for robbery and one year for harm. Senior magistrate Fraser stipulated that the sentences are to run consecutively. The incident occurred around 3:45 p.m. on March 6. The boy reported to the police that he was riding his black beach cruiser bicycle on Princess Margaret Drive when two persons rode up beside him and one of them asked him for a dollar. The boy said he refused and that was when one of them punched him to the left side of his face and caused him to fall. The boy told police that they both rode away with one of them towing his bicycle. The police launched an investigation which resulted in the recovery of the bicycle and the detention of Nunez. The second suspect has not been arrested yet.

Griffith Appointed as Justice of Supreme Court
Hon. Madam Justice Shona Griffith is a new justice of the Supreme Court. She was sworn in today by the Chief Justice Hon. Kenneth Benjamin. Justice Griffith will work in the civil jurisdiction and will be doing the same work as Justice Rita Olivetti. Justice Griffith was a senior magistrate at the magistrate Court in Belize for a little over 2 years. She is a Guyanese national who holds a master degree in law which she obtained from the University of London. She is a graduate of Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.

Student Fined After Going on Joyride
Twenty-two year old Clarine Estrada, a student, was fined a total of one thousand five hundred dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to taking a conveyance and damage to property. She was given until July 31 to pay the fines. If she defaults on payment she will serve 18 months. She was also ordered to pay 800 dollars in compensation for the damage that was done to the left rear passenger side of the vehicle. The incident occurred on March 8. Estrada’s boyfriend, Akeem Theus gave her the keys for 2002 Nissan pick-up that he was driving for the company he worked for. He told her to get some cigarettes that were in the vehicle. But instead she drove away. Police later found Estrada along with two other occupants in the vehicle in Ladyville. Estrada managed to get away from the police. However, she later turned herself in. The vehicle is the property of Raymond Charley Sr and it has a value of eighteen thousand dollars.

Sunday Morning Accident Proves Fatal in Western Belize
22-year-old Jose Martinez of Ontario Village died as a result of a traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Sunday morning. Police say when they visited Camalotte Village they saw Martinez’ body on the highway as well as a red four door Isuzu Rodeo parked on the highway with damages to its front portion and a red motorcycle extensively damaged. 53-year-old Anthony Polonio was driving his vehicle from the direction of San Ignacio to Belmopan when upon reaching between miles fifty and fifty one there was a collision with the cycle driven by Martinez. Martinez sustained head and body injuries and died on the spot.

Belize’s Main Opposition Party Remembers Louis Sylvestre
The People’s United Party has extended sympathies to the family of Louis Sylvester. As we mentioned last week Sylvester died at the Karl heusner Memorial Hospital. In its release the PUP says Sylvestre served as a PUP Representative in Rural Belize from 1957 to 1984 under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. George Price. During that period he served in different capacities as a Member of the Cabinet. The PUP says Sylvester was a humble, “people’s man”, whose contributions to politics and development in Belize will not be forgotten.

PM Travels for Heads of Government Meeting
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where he is attending the CARICOM heads of Government meeting. The Prime Minister is expected back home on Thursday. In his absence Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is acting Prime Minister.


13 year old commits suicide in Corozal Town
A total of three reported suicides took place in the Northern Districts of Corozal and Orange Walk over the weekend. The first incident, occurred on Friday March 7th, in the Santa Rita Area, Corozal Town, at the residence of Police Constable No. 1146 Sotero Salam attached to the Special...

Vehicle Slams into Belmopan Store
On Monday morning, a car rammed into a Chinese convenience store called ’99ft located in the Picini area, Belmopan, causing extensive damage. Luckily enough, no one was hurt, though it did put back the proprietor, Zi Qiang, several hundred dollars in expenses. However, he told us that they are...


Belize’s Biggest Sporting Event: La Ruta Maya River Challenge Ends Yesterday in Belize City
And DANG, yesterday was a hot one in Belize’s largest city. La Ruta Maya is a torturous (my own word) 180 mile, 4 day canoe race across Belize on the Belize Old River – an important trade route for the Maya between cities like Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Altun Ha and the Caribbean Sea. SERIOUSLY impressive the tv and radio folk that were talking for hours and hours doing play by play for a canoe race. I mean…it has its moments for sure…but man…there is no way I could keep that conversation going. I decided to test my press credentials/see if I could sweet talk my way into the press area on the side of the river. The Belize Defense Force was kitted out in half camoflauge/half Belikin t-shirts and not letting many pass into the press zone. They are in charge of the official times, safety and standings of Ruta Maya.

Belize Celebrates Baron Bliss Day
With the Red Baron, Baron Barracuda (for those of you who remember the kids’ show “Under the Sea”) and many other notables, there has been an assortment of, shall we say, interesting barons. But not many as interesting, and as cool, as Baron Bliss. And Belize has some very interesting holidays, and today we commemorate Baron Bliss Day in honour of Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, 4th Baron Bliss, commonly known as Baron Bliss. Born on February 16 1869 and living a very interesting life until he passed away March 9th 1926 aboard his yacht anchored off Belize City, Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, was an English traveller and adventurer who willed nearly two million Belize Dollars a trust fund for the benefit of the citizens of what was then the colony of British Honduras, now known and loved as Belize. Born Henry Edward Ernest Victor Barretts, he lived in England in Buckinghamshire as a youth, an engineer by trade. At some point in his adult life, inherited the title 4th Baron Bliss of the Kingdom of Portugal, from an ancestor.

Ride for the Children of Belize
The Challenge Gobie Foundation is having a bike ride to fundraise for the pediatric intensive care unit at KHMH. It starts in Punta Gorda on Friday the 14th, at 6:00pm. The finish line is at Caribbean Tire in Belmopan. They'll have a booth there where you can get t-shirts and bike raffle tickets. Good luck, Gobie! Have fun riding in that dog suit. You can register here: Registration Form

Color Purple at Screen on the Green
The Color Purple is the movie being played at this month's Screen on the Green. It's Thursday, March 13th, at 6:00pm, at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. "The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture."

The Sixth Round of CARICOM-Canada Negotiations
The sixth round of negotiations for CARICOM-Canada Trade and Investment Agreement was held at Knutsford Court in Kingston, Jamaica from the 3rd of March to the 8th of March, 2014. Director General of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), Ms. Gail Mathurin, welcomed the delegation and explained that the sixth round of negotiation would be done in a two-part series with the second half reconvening at the beginning of April in Ottawa. The sixth round of negotiations covered topics of Trade-Related Agricultural Cooperation, Trade in Services and Investment, Financial Services, Investment, Intellectual Property and Innovation, Institutional Issues and Dispute Settlement and Environment.

ReefCI working with the local school kids!
ReefCI and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have recently partnered up to target primary level schools around Punta Gorda Town. Our focus is Educational Outreach/Programs on environmental issues affecting freshwater sheds and the Marine Coral Reef Ecosystem. The initial objective is to focus on garbage disposal and recycling. Through this initiative, Ms. Emi Yamaguchi (JICA) and myself, Mr. Jason Guy (Marine Biologist), are collaborating with the Punta Gorda Town Council, Solid Waste Management Authority and the Department of the Environment. Our aim is to educate and get students actively involved in the intended objective of proper garbage disposal, recycling and on solid waste management on a whole. The first joint presentation was conducted on Wednesday March 5th at the PG Methodist School. Belize is celebrating Reef Week this week and the theme is “Our food; our jobs; our pride and joy: our reef!”

International Sources

Best White Rum
Rum is a sugar cane distilled spirit that is directly influenced by terroir, tradition and technique. Sugar cane can be grown anywhere in the world that hosts a tropical climate. But the Caribbean is considered the predominant producer of rum. White rum is also known as "silver" or "light" rum. It is light-bodied, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. As is all rum, white rum is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short distillation period. But unlike gold, dark and aged rums which are matured in charred oak casks, white rum is mellowed in plain oak casks or stainless steel tanks for about a year, then filtered. By aging the spirit in this way, the final product remains clear. Rhum Agricole is produced mainly in the French West Indies. The main ingredient is sugarcane, with a tasting profile defined by dry, grassy notes. This differs from rums produced from molasses with sweeter, vanilla flavors. Gold: Travellers Classic White (Belize) Nose: Banana, tropical fruit, apricot, elderflower, almond, subtle vegetal. Palate: Vanilla, subtle cocoa, buttery, banana, fig, marzipan, nutty, toasty notes, flowery, cherry blossom, rose, charcoal. Finish: Floral, clean, short.

The Placencia Condos & Residences as the Top Belize Destination for March 2014 has declared The Placencia Condos & Residences as the top Belize retirement destination in the month of March 2014. Retirement destinations destinations are analyzed by the independent research team at to uncover which destinations supply the top Belize services. The ratings are reexamined on a monthly basis based on the latest achievements of contending Belize destinations.

Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America
In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers. Recently, a report in the journal Science by seven researchers working in Central American forests examined the effects of Mexican drug policies on the MBC, urging policy makers to target ecological devastation as an unintended consequence of a skewed emphasis on supply-side drug reduction policies. They highlight this unfortunate side effect of Mexico's successful law enforcement: the deforestation of pristine areas within smaller countries like Honduras and Guatemala, ill-prepared for an influx of drugs.

Belize, a True Caribbean Gem
A tiny country snuggled between Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the south on the Caribbean side of Central America, Belize is a true Caribbean gem with a warm and breezy climate year round. The coolest part of the year is from December to May (the wet season) and the hottest from May to September (the dry season). Belize can be humid as you move inland but by the Caribbean there are beautiful breezes to be found.

Three Belize Getaways
Any experienced scuba diver will have Belize on their shortlist of the best diving destinations in the world. It's home to the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, there are hundreds of islands ("cayes," as they are called locally) that dot the 240-mile coastline and give visitors an abundance of diving opportunities. While there are picturesque white-sand beaches, luxury shopping and vibrant culture on land, there is just as much happening underwater. For most traveling from the US, the best point of entry is to fly directly to Belize City and then head to one of Belize’s largest and most inhabited islands, Ambergris Caye. Ferries run frequently to the island, but one of the most spectacular ways to travel is by small plane. If you're comfortable in a smaller plane (14 seats to be exact) and don't mind the extra expense, this is by far the best and fastest way to travel around Belize.

Taking a break abroad
This spring break, while many students take a breather from classes, some Gamecocks will be getting hands-on health care experience, helping rural villagers and getting a taste for world travel. The service-learning trip to Belize promises to be a life-changing experience for the 24 students. One of 10 study abroad class trips during the weeklong break, “Service learning in Belize, health care in developing countries,” will give students a firsthand look at how a health care system works, the a taste of health care global systems for pre-med or pre-pharmacy students, says Eileen Korpita, director of pre-professional advising and host for the trip. The students will observe doctors working in rural villages in the Central American country, from finding patients to taking medical histories and watching diagnoses to distributing prescriptions. “It gives them a great observational experience for health care. They see a lot more in one week than they have the opportunity to see in the United States typically,” she says.

March 11, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro RC hosts Cultural Day Fair
On Friday March 7th, The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School held their Annual Cultural Day Fair. The various cultural groups represented included the Mestizo, East Indian, Maya, Creole, Mennonite, Garinagu among others. Parents were invited to the campus to observe each group from each division’s display booths on the various cultures that depicted the history and lifestyle of each as assigned to them.

Child Stimulation Month opens with Pre-school Sports Day
Child Stimulation Month is here once again and the various pre-schools of San Pedro opened their calendar of events on Friday, March 7th with a fun sports day at the beach. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Early Childhood: Where Our Future Begins”. The pre-schools were divided into two groups that simultaneously held sports events in two different locations. San Pedro Pre-school and Little Angel’s Pre-school teamed gathered at Boca del Rio Park while ABC Pre-school, Brighter Tomorrow Pre-school and Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) Pre-school held their sporting activities at Central Park. It was a day of fun in the sun, and parents joined their children in playing fun games, such as tug and war, three legged race, wheelbarrow race and much more. Afterwards, the children enjoyed delicious healthy snacks and refreshing drinks.

Belize Forest Department celebrated World Wildlife Day
On Monday, March 3rd the Belize Forest Department (BFD) celebrated the first ever World Wildlife Day in a big way. The celebrations were held under the portfolio of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development to raise awareness and promote conservation of the world’s wild fauna and flora. In Belize, fauna and flora play a key role in economy, in fact it is one of the main aspects of Belize’s Ecotourism. As such it is very important that they cared for and protected. As a result, BFD announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ACES, the Belize Bird Rescue, Wild Tracks and the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic. The MOU outlines the efforts and collaborations that the groups will partake in conserving and fostering Belize’s wildlife.

La Ruta Maya
A few final shots of the paddlers as they made it through the final leg of the race. Westrac crossed the line first, but the cumulative time gave the Belize Bank Bulldogs the big win! (4 photos)

Misc Belizean Sources

Wildlife Protection Act of Belize
The Belize Forest Department will be present during the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2014. We are geared towards bringing awareness to the general public and enforcing the Wildlife Protection Act of Belize. Thanking the communities along the Belize River Valley and the General Public in advance for their kind cooperation and we encourage everyone to comply with the laws of Belize. Hunting and Dealing Licenses:

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 1 – 8, 2014
Spring is in the air…and that means time to plan your tarpon fishing! This from Andy Mill’s, “A Passion for Tarpon.” “There’s nothing more simultaneously exciting and nerve-racking than hooking the fish of your dreams. There are countless nights of tying fresh knots, designing new flies, massaging tackle. Hell, our lives are driven by passion and love, memories and dreams. But we are also driven by work, triaffic, bills, phones, e-mail and all the other things we race away from to get to the rivers, oceans or mountains. We are rarely more keenly alive than when something to which we’ve dedicated so much of our energy and attention comes to fruition. Or failure.”

Moments I Can Never Forget

Moments I Can Never Forget
High school life has been the most remarkable and energetic moments in my entire life. Being at high school provided an excellent medium as a student to engage myself in fun filled and beneficial activities. Although I faced many difficulties and problems, it was through these that I learnt to become a more esteemed person. My academic life was very successful since I demonstrated a keen interest in my studies. The ultimate goal for my dedication towards academics was to attain a justifiable honor at the end of my high school era. At school, many students saw me as their “star” role model.

Sunny skies this holiday Monday
Mainly fair and warm conditions are dominating factor in our weather this Baron Bliss Day holiday. Similar conditions will continue for most of this week. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for sunny skies with a few cloudy periods. Tonight will be partly cloudy. Winds over the open sea and along the coast will be easterly at five to fifteen knots. The sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today will range from 86 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast, to 92 degrees Fahrenheit inland. It will be a comfortable 78 degrees Fahrenheit up in the hills. Low temperatures tonight will be around 73 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 68 degrees Fahrenheit inland a cool 64 degrees Fahrenheit up at the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.

(by Richard Harrison) This week the Government of Belize read its 33 proposed annual budget for the nation, after political Independence in 1981. The proposed TOTAL REVENUES & GRANTS should increase from around $900 million, to around $956 million….a growth of 6.2%. The proposed TOTAL EXPENDITURES will grow from around $974 million, to around $1,013 million….a growth of 4%. Thus financing will be required to bridge a deficit of around $57 million…..which when combined with loan amortization of $69 million, total financing of around $126 million is required.

Ride to the Reef Pictures
The Cycling Federation of Belize took 100's of pictures from the race.

Benque Animal Health Clinic
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic and the Institute for Sustainable International Studies teamed up to provide a vet clinic at Cancha Marshalleck. Thanks, ISIS and BWRC! "The whole town went to the dogs this morning......had a busy Community Animal Heath Clinic."

View The Results of The 2014 Belikin La Ruta Maya

Spanish Lookout buzzing with activity
It is a Public and Bank Holiday in Belize, the official celebration of Heroes and Benefactors Day which this year fell on a Sunday. The holiday was known previously as Baron Bliss Day in honor of Belize’s greatest public benefactor Baron Bliss. But while most Belizeans are out celebrating or spending the day with family at some waterside or exotic destination, the mennonite community of Spanish Lookout is open for business. Tractors are busy in the fields preparing for planting or harvesting; the school buildings are open and children are learning; sawmills are busy putting out lumber and just about every ot

Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Is it King Kong vs Godzilla? Flexing of muscles or an expression of anger When the Catholic bishop expressed his church’s non support For the Special Envoy and Women’s Department 20,000 Women rally effort Quoting the Pope Man, Belize is heading down a slippery slope This one is surely no joke! Does the layman and woman Truly understand how the bishop’s stand will impact the nation? Knowing that the PM is a vindictive man And can be misinterpreted that the bishop diss di the First Lady’s plan His government is running a perceived Anglican ministry of education That is responsible for giving schools subventions Is this a war of religions?

Western Ballaz Defeat No Limit
The Western Ballaz defeated the Belize City No Limt by one point: 74-73. The Western Ballaz will be hosting the Toledo Diplomats this Friday, March 14th. The warm up game will be SHC vs. Ladyville. The Western Ballaz will be travelling to UB to play the Belmopan Bandits on Thursday, March 20th. Thanks to Adma's Photography for the great pictures. The Western Ballaz got some great pictures too.

Belize Bank Bulldogs Win LRM
The Belize Bank Bulldogs won La Ruta Maya with a total time of 17:25:13. Congratulations, Bulldogs! NICH took 2nd place.

Bread Bowl
I used the same recipe that I used to make the Baguette to make 2 round loaves. Just a simple cut out at the top to make a lid and remove the inside of the bread and voila we have a bowl made out of bread. I put chili inside my bread bowl, but you can put any type of soup or dip.

Video: BTL & Belize Bank Race for the Finish @ Henderson Bank
RAW EXCLUSIVE footage from the close of Day -Three of the Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge. If you didn't see it live, then YOU SAW IT HERE

Video: Rencontre avec des dauphins au Belize
Une belle rencontre avec des dauphins pendant une plongée au Belize avec Phocea Mexico.

Video: I had A Dream of Belize
Belize is a very rich country and new in the production of oil in which many people can benefit from it because it is a natural wealth and we should all enjoy the benefits and wealth of such natural blessing in our country. Unity is strength. Let's all join hands and think as one. One mind One Country Our Destiny. Long Live the People of Belize!!

Video: Caribbean squid

Video: View of the ramp area at Belize City airport
Belize City airport

Video: Cane juicer in Belize
This is a 1906 cane juicing machine. Come and see it work for yourself.

Video: Finish of La Ruta Maya

Video: Belize In America on tour in Belize - Pedestrian Artisan in Placencia, Belize

Video: Snorkelling near Placencia Belize
During our recent stay at the Green-Parrot resort in Maya Beach, Belize, the resort manager arranged the most amazing snorkelling trip I have ever been on. The plant and animal life was incredible! Aside from the usual variety of fish, we saw nurse sharks, lemon sharks, loggerhead turtles, eagle-rays, stingrays and a thick forest of colorful coral and plant life. Truly an amazing experience! There were about 15 of us who snorkelled that day and from the novices to the seasoned veterans, we were all amazed by what we saw.


2014 Is A Year Of Miracles For GOB Says P.M
Among the Prime Ministers several administrations public contentions is the salary adjustments to teachers and public officers. Today, in the budget presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that government will come through and this salary increase is on the way for teachers. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “Teachers and public officers with this budget, this budget Mr. Speaker are receiving the nectar of a not less than 5% of salary increase on top of the annual 2.5% increment, all together this translates up to around 34 million dollars more that this government is finding just this year alone for its employees. Truly 2014 is a sort of anus mirabilis, a year of miracles, under this United Democratic Party government, unfortunately notwithstanding government extra ordinary munificence there seems to be in some quarters in gratitude sharper than a serpents tooth but we will not allow that to rain on our grand raise of pay parade.”

CEMJC Beautifies Corozal Bay
A joint initiative with CEMJC and the Corozal Town Board for the beautification of the Corozal Bay is currently underway in that municipality. It’s a project being undertaken by the students for their sustainable tourism course. Lisbet Cabral – Tourism Lecturer at the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College told us more. Lisbet Cabral – Tourism Lecturer, CEMJC “Really what we are aiming for is to really make Corozal more of a tourist destination as well as to give back to our environment and we believe that making that possible we need to attract people and we need to excite them and making them want to come and so what more is better than do to beautify our biggest asset to the sea.”

Rene Montero Talks Sugar Roads
As we have been reporting over the last months, one of the major problems within the sugar industry has been the deplorable conditions of the sugar roads that have made sugar cane deliveries a lot more difficult. Reports were that at least ninety percent of sugar roads were in very bad conditions and during the rains some of these roads were impassable. Towards the end of 2013, the government committed to allocate 2.7 million dollars towards the rehabilitation of these roads, and today at the request of Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno, Minister of Works and Transport, Rene Montero gave an update on those works. In the Corozal District, one million one hundred fifty thousand dollars were allocated of which over eight hundred thousand was spent.

Things Get Heated Inside And Outside The House Over Land Matters
Following the adjournment of today’s House Sitting, one of the hot pressed matters raised was surrounding land matters. This was made by Cayo South representative Julius Espat who raised concerns over land distribution in Cotton Tree. Julius Espat – Area Representative, Cayo South “Mr. Speaker the residence of Cotton Tree is concern, there is a land distribution, a property that the government is dividing into lots, it is 111acres, it will give approximately 254 lots and we know this Mr. Speaker, because the residence of Cotton Tree went to the lands department and they spoke to a high level official in the ministry and they went because they wanted to find out how is it that they could apply for one of these lots. We were informed Mr. Speaker and the chairman of Cotton Tree is here along with some of his councilors, we were informed that this land is a government project and the 254 lot have already been given out and they are all to residence of Belize City specifically to Port Loyola Area.

Ministry Of Natural Resources And Agriculture Appoints New CEO
A new Chief Executive Officer has been appointed for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Sharon Ramclam will now oversee operations for the Department of Lands & Survey, Hydrology, Mining, Policy Coordination and Planning Unit, and Solid Waste Management Authority. A release from the Ministry says that Ramclam possesses more than 16 years’ experience in the natural resource profession and brings both private and public sector management experience to the Ministry.

P.M Says There Will Be No Early Elections
There has been much speculation surrounding possible early elections due to the numerous scandals that have plagued Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration. Add to this the Prime Minister’s earnest interview as to the damage these controversies have brought his administration. Today however, he laid those questions to rest as he declared that his government is prepared to continue working throughout their term. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “The mandate of this administration is five years, we have every intention and what is, more we have every ability to fully discharge that mandate. And discharge it we will, because the majority that I speak of is not just the majority in the house it is the majority in the country made up of all those that have benefitted and are benefitting from UDP social justice, from UDP nationalism, from UDP jobs and from UDP opportunities for the poor.


“Many Rivers to Cross’ in Belize.
I’ve done a bit more weeding – in fact I think I probably did no more than pull up the weeds that have grown since I last weeded, no fresh ground cleared- and I’ve painted some more of the fence. I washed the golf cart – so much easier since getting a hose pipe! I have not unsurprisingly continued to enjoy my ‘me time’ on the veranda early morning and I’ve made the trip to Estel’s a couple of times but it hasn’t been a ‘stand out’ week if you know what I mean. You know one of those weeks where you feel, in fact you know, that you’ve accomplished something. OK, so Rose and I,flushed with the success of gaining our Masters (boat captain) Licenses, did spend some time making our first foray in to trying to find a boat to buy. And the obvious place to start our ‘window shopping’ was at Captain Shark’s boatyard in the DFC area.

Belize photographers share their best photos of 2013
by Lorenzo Gonzalez of At the beginning of this year I reached out to a few of the top photographers in Belize and asked them to feature their best photographs of 2013. I soon found out that it’s hard to ask a photographer to quickly narrow down their favourite photos on a random request, especially during Belize’s high tourism season. After some time they finally got back to me and now I can share with you the lovely photos.

Penner on the Run, Police to File Complaint on Tuesday
“i have been elected by the people to serve them under the UDP and I will continue to serve my area to the best of my ability.” That was disgraced former immigration Minister Elvin Penner to Jules Vasquez of Channel 7 on Thursday, September 19th, 2013. Six months later, it seems that Penner has had to bail on that commitment. On that day, a release from the Office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the nation that Penner had been sacked because he (Penner) “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgement and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” Whose appearance Penner failed to be scrupulous about? That was jailed South Korean, Won Hong Kim who was detained in a Taiwanese prison for violating the immigration laws of that island nation. He had allegedly illegally entered Taiwan in an effort to avoid embezzlement charges in his native, South Korea. Taiwan and South Korea do not have an extradition treaty therefore Kim may have calculated that if he entered Taiwan, he could escape facing charges on a multi-million dollar embezzlement charge in his country.

Dry Rice and Beans Served to Women at Kim Simplis’ 20,000 Strong March
According to history, slave masters ate the best part of the pig and then gave the parts they didn’t want to their slaves – thus why descendants of slaves to this day eat pigtail and pig snout (nose). Whether true of not, similar scenario played out that last Thursday’s 20,000 Strong march held under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow. From the get-go, the event was all sorts of wrong. First Simplis-Barrow could not articulate what exactly the March was about, except to say that it was to empower women….then gee…we here at NBZLive are wondering how does marching in the broiling heat of the sun after being bussed in from various parts of the country “empower women?” Perhaps tired of Simplis’ charades the Catholic Church issued a release criticizing the march because it excluded men and ignored their contribution. The event, it was said was more a smoke screen to promote the government’s gender policy which has been heavily criticized by Belize’s Christian community.

International Sources

Chiquita to Buy Fyffes Creating Biggest Banana Supplier
Chiquita Brands International Inc., (CQB) owner of the namesake banana label, agreed to buy Ireland’s Fyffes Plc (FFY) to create the world’s biggest supplier of the fruit for about 403 million euros ($559 million). The merger would make ChiquitaFyffes the world's No. 1 supplier of bananas, catapulting it past Dole Food Co. David McCann, currently Fyffes's executive chairman, will become chief executive of the new company, while Chiquita's chief executive, Ed Lonergan, will be chairman. The new company is positioned to exploit growing global demand for bananas, supported by improvements to shipping which allow the yellow fruit to stay fresh for longer. Exports of bananas increased by 7.3% in 2012 to an all-time high of 16.5 million tons, according to the United Nations.

Giant virus comes back to life after 30,000 years
While it lacks the fear factor of the discovery that set the fictional Jurassic Park in motion, there’s still some cause for concern about what lies frozen deep in the Siberian permafrost. According to a team of French scientists, an ancient virus has "come back to life" after lying dormant for at least 30,000 years. The virus was found frozen and harmless in a deep layer of the Siberian permafrost. It nevertheless became infectious again after it had thawed. While researchers say the contagion poses no danger to humans or animals, other more deadly pathogens could be unleashed as the ground becomes exposed.

Guyana trying to tie up small rice opening in Belize
With a large amount of rice on hand from bumper harvests, Guyana is trying to sew up a small market in Belize and aiming elsewhere. The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has been thrust into the responsibility of marketing Guyana’s rice overseas according to the General Secretary of the Rice Producers Association (RPA), Dharamkumar Seeraj.

Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental Now Open in Belize
Enterprise Holdings has announced the March opening of new international airport and neighborhood franchise locations for its Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands. Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental will serve customers at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport and in Belize City, Belize. Alamo Rent A Car will also open a location serving Peru's Jorge Chavez International Airport, as well as two locations in Turks & Caicos in Providenciales and at Providenciales International Airport. All locations are offering grand opening promotions in celebration. Available on qualifying minimum six-day car rentals, specific country offers include: Belize: From March 31 through May 30, both Alamo and National locations will offer up to a $25 discount off weekly rentals. National customers can use coupon code: ND9357KRT; and Alamo customers can use coupon code: AD2894HED.

Chiquita-Fyffes merger creates new top banana
The two form the world’s biggest banana supplier. Yes, they have more bananas. Fruit supply companies Chiquita of the United States and Fyffes of Ireland said Monday they had agreed to merge to create the world’s biggest banana supplier. The all-shares agreement means the two companies will become ChiquitaFyffes PLC, to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange and be headquartered in Dublin, a more tax-efficient corporate base. The companies said the deal, which requires shareholder and regulatory approval in Ireland and the United States, would generate $40 million in pre-tax savings through more efficient operations.

Treaty Energy Corporation Retains Oil & Gas Industry Strategic Development Consulting Service
Treaty Energy Corporation (OTCQB: TECO), a growth-oriented international energy company, today announced it has retained Inspire Energy Services effective March 10, 2014 to conduct a full review of the Company's oil and gas operations and assets to further develop and enhance the Company's on-going oil and gas strategy. Inspire is a group of petroleum engineers and business development experts who advise small public and private companies seeking investment in operated and non-operated oil and gas exploration. The consultants review reserves and recommend reserve value, property acquisition and financing strategy as well as direct operational efficiency. Inspire Energy Services advocates to management framing in reasonable stock price targets and works to disseminate that information through the management to the Company's current and potential investors.

Book Review: ‘Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You’
First a word on the author. Riskin is a evolutionary biologist who specializes in bats. That’s right, he’s a bat doctor. Don’t you wish you knew that this was an actual career option before wasting all that time wanting to be a fireman/astronaut/cowboy? You might even recognize Dr. Riskin from Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me,” which he hosts. This isn’t a book for the frail of heart or the easily nauseated. Dr. Riskin introduces his tome with a graphic description of an experience he had with a botfly that had lodged itself in his head during a bat-finding trip to Belize. From that point on things only get more cringeworthy. So if phrases like “chest-bursting parasitic larvae” and “convoluted duck vaginas” cause you to instinctively fan yourself against an onset of the vapors, this isn’t the book for you. But Dr. Riskin doesn’t gratuitously dish out horrific and disgusting factlets merely for shock value. He makes the case that what may seem horrific on first impression can become fascinating when viewed in context, and sometimes even beautiful.

CARICOM Leaders Discuss Regional Issues
Leaders from the 14 state members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) today discuss here at the 25th Intersectional Meeting on new strategies to boost economic growth and development in the region. The two-day meeting agenda includes issues such as human resources development in the Community, Information and Communication Technology, economic growth and sustainable development and climate change. According to Caricom, head of states will receive preliminary reports of that Economy and Transport Commission.

Ancient Maya Live Again at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The largest exhibition about the ancient Maya ever to be displayed in the United States is running from February 14 to August 24, 2014 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed uses a combination of never-before-seen artifacts, hands-on activities and immense walk-in environments to explore the rise, accomplishments and eventual decline of the ancient cities of the Maya. At their height, the Maya developed an incredible system of roads and built huge cities filled with gigantic stone temples. They developed astronomy, created one of the world's most accurate 365-day calendars, conceived a new system of mathematics and invented a hieroglyphic form of writing. They were even able to make rubber and invented one of the world's first team sports -- a popular ball game that involved putting a rubber ball through a ring. It was a game that could literally mean life, or death, for the team players and the fans, as the losers were often sacrificed.

Diving with the biggest shark in the deepest hole
The Great Blue Hole is known to be one of the world’s top ten dive sites, dubbed by the famous Jacques Cousteau, who discovered it in 1971. I along with many other divers would not disagree. It is here, even as a Dive Master, I have experienced one of the best days of diving ever. Belize is a little country in Central America; it’s located on the southeastern side of Central America, just below the most eastern part of Mexico and fronting the Caribbean Sea. I spent 5 days just off the coast on an Island called Ambergris Caye, which is just north of another amazing island named Caye Caulker, famous for its super chilled vibe. From either of these two Islands you can take tours out to dive or snorkel the famous Blue Hole. The day tour that I took consisted of 3 dives, which I will never for the life of me forget. Our first dive was into the Great Blue Hole,

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