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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

New Caye Caulker Village Council officially sworn in
After winning the recent Caye Caulker Village Council elections in a landslide, elected Chairperson Enelda Rosado and six Councilors were officially sworn in as the new Caye Caulker Village Council for 2016-2018. The official ceremony took place at 1PM on Friday, July 15th at the Caye Caulker Community Centre. The new governing body, headed by Chairperson Rosado comprises of Councilors Seleny Villanueva, Miguel Angel Neal, Hans Badillo, Elizabeth Usher, Myrna Vanina Sosa and Juan Gabriel Cantun. As the Council starts its three-year-term, Rosado spoke to The San Pedro Sun about their plans for ‘La Isla Carinosa.” “We have a lot of issues on the island, however, one of our priorities is which we hope to accomplished at the end of our term is to have a polyclinic properly functioning on the island with medical attention 24/7,” said Rosado. “This will assist us with any emergency situation on the island very effectively.” Rosado also spoke about other major issues affecting Caye Caulker, including the improper disposal of garbage, as well as the waste from sewage systems. “We really want to implement a system to properly collect the waste and get it off the island. With all these diseases all over the place, keeping the island clean is also a top priority,” said Rosado.

International scammer charged in gruesome crime
Belizeans are in still in shock over the gruesome Friday, July 15th discovery of the head of a well know pastor in the pan of a pickup truck in the Belmopan area. The incident occurred at around 8:45PM, when Belmopan Police conducted a search of a black Ford F150 pickup truck belonging to 46-year-old nationalized Belizean, William Mason. The search led to the discovery of a 9-millimeter pistol with five live rounds, a magazine containing four .9mm live rounds, a pump action shot gun and a pouch with eight live cartridges of ammunition and the severed head of 47-year-old Pastor Llewellyn Lucas of the Stann Creek District. As if the discovery was not alarming enough, the events that followed has revealed a number of criminal acts involving Mason. The Belize Police Department is now investigating this matter, which only seems to be grow more controversial each day.

Ambergris Today

Belize On Top of Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards Survey
Every year for their World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure Magazine asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Belize once again shines in the 2016 awards with top destinations like Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia showing a strong presence in the top lists. The top five resort hotels in Central America include Matachica Resort & Spa in Belize, where it says T +L readers could see the barrier reef from their thatched-roof casitas or the private hot tub outside their villas. Mata Chica Resort tied at the #3 spot while the Turtle Inn, Placencia made it to the #5 spot.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

H. E. Benjamin Ho, the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Presents a Grant of US$ 5.0 million to Government of Belize
On July 21, 2016 in Belmopan, His Excellency Benjamin Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of Five Million US Dollars to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Belize. The cheque is the grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize for the year 2016 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between the two countries. The purpose of the Grant is to help the overall development of Belize, and particular in the development of its transportation infrastructure. The Government of Belize will use the funds to cover a part of the expenditures on key infrastructure projects, including the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase II, the extension of the Southern Highway – Golden Stream, Jalacte to the Guatemalan Border in the Toledo District, and for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Downtown Bypass Road Project.

A message from Pastor Lucas' family
Please be informed that we will be hosting a candle light vigil for Pastor Llewellyn Lucas on Monday July 25th 2016 comnencing at 6pm. We will assemble at the Maybeline Gordon Park at 6pm then proceed as a group around the entire Ring Road. Please share widely to all family and friends about our vigil for our beloved Pastor Llewellyn. I will announce date and time of Funeral services later today.

Newly discovered panel at Xunantunich
A week ago we told you that a second section of the panel at Xunantunich was discovered on the right side of Structure A9 here are some recent images that tour guide Eddy Estrada took of it now that it has been all cleaned up.

Cayo Art Collection 2016
The SISE House of Culture is kicking off their 2016 Cayo Art Collection exhibit this Friday, July 22nd, at 6:00pm. Come see all the amazing art from Cayo artists. They always get a stunning collection. "Consider this your personal invitation to the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH)"

Kids at work!
This group is working on a mural at the Department of Youth Services in Belize City. Looking good!

Beltraide Dare To Be Here-Job Creation Fair
This initiative is for new innovative entrepreneurs who are interested in growing their business. The program will ONLY consider start-up businesses ideas. Kindly note that the grant application process is highly competitive. A panel will select the most suitable grantee. Maximum grant amount $5000. Note prizes available for 2nd and 3rd place business idea.

IMayorista Corporativo FAM TRIP
The Belize Hotel Association, in collaboration with Tropic Air was pleased to host a FAM trip to San Pedro, Belize for IMayorista Corporativo and three other travel agents from June 24-27, 2016. IMayorista Corporativa is a prominent Wholesaler, that is based in Merida, Mexico and they are actively promoting Belize as one of their new top destinations. Their highest season for sales are the summer months, which is the low season for tourism in Belize, resulting in maximum benefits for both the Mexican traveler, and our local market. Tropic Air provided complimentary round trip flights from Merida to the Phillip Goldson International Airp ort and then on to San Pedro for the four agents. During the days they were in San Pedro, Tessie Tonaco, Marketing Director of the BHA took them on various site visits to our member hotels, as well as a snorkel trip to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, and they also enjoyed a wonderful fun filled evening at the San Pedro Lobsterfest.

Splashers
Hi guys sorry I didn't have time to update the website or make a painting for this week. So I decided to paint something I did before. This is a painting from 2008! I think it would be a great painting for this week. Let me know who is coming. I don't have the Facebook app on my phone, so the best way to sign up is via email or text.

VISIT BELTRAIDE BOOTH AT SUGAR FEST 2016 ON SATURDAY JULY 23rd!
2016 to be held this Saturday, 23rd July at the BSI Field in Orange Walk Town. The booth will feature an array of displays and product sampling courtesy of clients of the Small Business Development Centre Belize, (SBDCBelize), a unit of Beltraide. These include body scrub products from K & K Naturals, pepper sauces from Papanero and Tambranero, Mayan crafts from Epie Maya Tour and honey products from Perla’s Honey among many others.

Beltraide participates in Taipei Food Show
EXPORTBelize, a unit of Beltraide, participated in the 2016 Taipei International Food Show from June 22 – 25, 2016 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition to EXPORTBelize, two other Belizean companies also participated in the food show – L&R Liquors and Caribbean Premier Products. Some of the products on display included pepper sauces, beer, rum and natural juices. The Taipei Food Show featured buyers from over 100 countries passing through the show and having opportunities to sample food & beverages from over 36 national pavilions. Exhibitions included fresh fruits & vegetables, preserved fruits and vegetables, poultry, seafood, meat & processed meats, edible oils, dairy products, organic and vegetarian foods, frozen prepared foods, canned food, baked food, biscuits, wine & liquor, coffee & tea, juice & soft drinks, condiments & confectionary and ice cream.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington in Nicaragua for the Commemoration of the 37th Anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington is in Managua, Nicaragua this week as a specially invited guest of President Daniel Ortega on the occasion of the commemoration the 37th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. This event is noteworthy given that in 1980, Nicaragua took on a significant role in the world when the Sandinista National Liberation Front defeated the dictatorship of General Somoza. As a result, the Sandinista Revolution led to profound and lasting changes in Nicaragua, among them were the reduction of illiteracy and greater participation of women, youth and the rural population in Nicaraguan society. While in Nicaragua, Minister Elrington will have an opportunity to explore opportunities to further Belize-Nicaragua cooperation in the area of tertiary level education, social development and cultural aspects.

Letter: Concern over CARICOM's shortsightedness involving Guatemala's aggression
Dear Sir: During the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the regional grouping demonstrated a most disturbing example of digressive group-think by embracing the government of Belize’s ill-conceived intent to appease Guatemala and certain factions within the international donor community by endorsing to take the matter of the unfounded claim to Belize’s sovereign territory to the ICJ. To compound matters, their decision was taken amid the ever-increasing and unprovoked Guatemalan aggression towards Belize, as is evidenced by the unilateral annexation of Belize’s side of the Sarstoon River. It is for these reasons, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) expresses grave concern involving CARICOM’s short-sightedness on this matter of national and regional concern. The blind-faith acceptance of such a misguided approach, which places Belize’s territory at serious risk and ultimately questions the essence of Belize’s national identity and nation-state status, is both entirely disconcerting and unacceptable. The notion that arranging a protocol with Guatemala to define Belize’s access to the Sarstoon River is entirely and utterly inconceivable, given that prior to Guatemala’s increased aggression, no such arrangement was in place.

PRESS RELEASE From Frank Mena
Yesterday I informed my cabinet colleagues that over one year ago, in the last bye election season, I received a campaign contribution from a businessman I knew as Danny Mason. In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to inform the public at large that about a year and a half ago I met Mr. Danny Mason through Dr. Henry Canton when he visited Dangriga expressing interest in the Commerce Bight Port. I was later taken to his residence prior to the bye-election by Minister John Saldivar. Mr. Danny Mason, who was presented to me as a businessman, contributed $10,000 to my campaign. At no time did I promise to offer any special services or access by virtue of my position to Mr. Mason. The horrendous scenes unveiled over the last few days have been deeply troubling to me, my family and to all Belizeans. To that end, I am publicly returning all of the $10,000 contribution I received for my campaign from the man who I believed to be businessman Mr. Danny Mason. Please know that when I accepted this campaign contribution, I had no reason to believe that Mr. Mason was who he is now known to be. I'm placing the $10,000 into an Escrow account to be used for some kind of charitable purpose. In closing, let me offer my sincerest condolences to the family of Pastor Lu. May his soul Rest in Peace.

Rotaract Fill A Backpack 2016
The Rotaract Club of Benque is having their 3rd annual Fill A Backpack school supply drive. If you can help them out, call them at 621-5969. "Donations are welcome towards our 3rd Annual Fill-a-Backpack project. It will be distributed for San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo primary school students. Send us a message, or contact any Rotaractor from our club."

Belmopan Mural Unveiling
Independence Park in Belmopan has a new mural. Thanks, Oceana Belize and Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage! "The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage and Oceana are proud to highlight an ongoing, national mural project depicting Belize’s Caribbean Sea in every major municipality... These murals were done by artists and volunteers from each community and supported by various businesses and individuals. The colorful displays showcase our natural wealth and should remind everyone of the importance of remaining vigilant in the struggle to love and protect these living factories that provide us with clean air, clean water, food and a sense of self."

Backpack Drive for Primary Students
Do something positive at all times. Stann Creek Youth Council is always grateful to do good. Still in need of exercise book and pencils if anyone would like to help let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER!
It has been one of the most troubling times for me as a Belizean in the diaspora to have been observing the touching moments of suffering among the Belizean people at home as black on black crime rocks the Belizean nation, and heinous crimes of brutality are being inflicted upon its citizens by forces almost strange and bizarre to the Belizean way of life. Belizeans were once, but still are a very peaceful and kind race of humanity that people all over the world continues to talk about in a positive light despite these horrors, trials, an tribulations that we as a people continue to face. We have to win this fight to secure our humanity that God Most High has blessed us with as a humble and kind people to the world.

14th National Tourism Awards
Would you want to be part or nominate an outstanding Tourism Partner? Email us at [email protected]

Stakeholders Preparadness for European Market
Aug 13, The Ramada Belize City Princess. Mark your Calendars!

Group from San Pedro High School traveled to Harbor College in Los Angeles
People to People Ties - Today we would like to highlight the experiences of a few Belizeans' travel experiences in the U.S. Recently a group from San Pedro High School traveled to Harbor College in Los Angeles to work on a theatrical production called, "OUR WORLD," which deals with environmental and social issues. While in the U.S. the group worked with Mr. Larry and Mrs. Debbie Heimgartner and Mr. Juan Baez, director of the Arts and theatre from Los Angeles Harbor College. Their principal Ms. Maria C. Flota said the trip was “life changing”.

"The Energy of Nature Vs. The Nature of Energy Conference"
Find out more about "The Energy of Nature Vs. The Nature of Energy Conference" Part II and register to attend for free! It is happening on July 27th at the Radisson Fort George Hotel from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Channel 7

The Man Mason Kidnapped Gives Police His Statement
Tonight, the William Danny Mason saga continues to unfold – and there are at least two major new revelations – one, about a video of the kidnapping of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and others, and second, about the story of another UDP elected official who got a donation from Mason – and now wants to give it back! But first we'll tell you about Lloyd Theissen. He's the Mennonite businessman who ran away to Canada after William Danny Mason kidnapped him and his wife – and that's the unofficial report police keep saying they got weeks ago. Well, now that Mason is in jail, Theissen returned to the country yesterday and made an official compliant to police - it is the first he has made.

Pastor Lu's Kidnapping Captured On Surveillance Camera
And while police are looking at additional charges, the ones they have laid already got a major boost with surveillance video of the entire kidnapping of Mennonite David Dodd, Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, and another man, which happened on last week Friday afternoon. As we have reported, William "Danny" Mason, is known to have an elaborate surveillance system set up at his mansion on Intelco Hill in Belmopan. But, it appears that this system he set up to secure his property, has become a part of his undoing. Police think that he either forgot to turn off those cameras, or he forgot to destroy the surveillance evidence of the crime caught on tape. While searching through Mason's property for evidence, the cops came upon the surveillance footage of that day, and those who've seen it say that it gives a play-by-play look the kidnapping of the 3 victims by Mason and his 4 fellow accused, Ashton Vanegas, Keron Fernandez, Terrence Fernandez, and Ernest Castillo. It also confirms the details of the kidnapping that one of the victims gave police.

PM Says Papa Got 10k From Mason, Papa Gives It Back
And while police are building their case, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was doing his own investigation yesterday when he had his Cabinet meeting. The PM had to ask his ministers who all visited the Mason Manor, and who all received donations. This morning after appearing on LOVE FM, he disclosed that Dangriga Representative and Minister of State Frank Pawpa Mena did receive campaign financing. This revelation came as part of a wider conversation about who all had been to the house on the hill, cap in hand:… Jules Vasquez: "Sir we know that at least two of your cabinet have conceded that they socialize at the home of this gentleman Mr. Mason. We know that at least 3 others we received reports senior ranking ministers were regulars at the house. Are you concerned about this?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Of course I'm concerned because naturally there are certain conclusions, wrong conclusions I think being drawn in consequence. But as long as the acquaintanceship ministers had with him did not result in any kind of impropriety engaged in or sanctioned by ministers; we will just have to take the licks that the fact that optically it is not an ideal situation brings."

Saldivar, the Mason Intermediary to Cabinet?
And the media did have a chance to pursue some points with Police Minister John Saldivar today. Earlier we showed you how his Cabinet colleague, Frank "Pawpa" Mena, has publicly declared that it was Saldivar who introduced him to Mason. And last night, we told you how Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber said the same thing via text message. So today, when we met him at another event, we asked him about the political blowback following the revelations that he was one of the high-ranking UDP ministers who Mason had befriended. Here's how that conversation went: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News: "We have been able to find out that Mr. Mason's business was extortion. That for many years he was in the business of extortion using information received against people to get money from them. Let me ask you point blank were you ever a victim of such an extortion attempt by him or anybody that you know of the cabinet ministers who we have discovered use to go to his home?"

Cops Explain Delay In Searching The Mason House
And we also asked both Acting Police Commissioner Russell Blackett and Police Minister John Saldivar why exactly did police take so long to make a move and arrest William Mason. As viewers are aware, Blackett said in Monday's police press conference that the cops had been looking at Mason for at least 2 months based on other informal reports and suspicions of kidnapping, and un-reported allegations of extortion. But, if the police were as muscular and on point as they were when they blocked the media form the Belmopan and Belize City courthouses, Mason would have already been in police custody, and Pastor Lue might not have lost his life. So, what do the police say about that? That's what we asked both the minister and the acting top cop:

PUP Calls For Saldivar's Removal, Independent Investigator
And the PUP says that both Saldivar and Blackett's police department have to go. The party held a press conference today to say that Saldivar is compromised by his past connection to Mason, and that also comprises the police department. PUP Leader John Briceno explained why the cops cannot investigate their own boss:… Hon. John Briceno - Leader of Opposition: "Minister Saldivar confessed that Mr. Mason had helped to sponsor his very expensive Belmopan Bandits semi-pro football team but insisted quote "He has never contributed to my political campaign." End of quote. We won't argue with national security Minister Saldivar with financing his semi-pro team isn't part and parcel of financing his political campaign but in September of last year both the police and Minister Saldivar had an opportunity to bring in Mr. Mason for questioning and possible arrest and expulsion from Belize and they didn't. If they had we submit Pastor Lucas would probably be alive today."

Man Accused Of Molesting Infant Boy
31 year-old Jose Rivas, better known as "Rojo" is at the Belize Central Prison after he was taken to court for sexual assault on a 2 year-old boy. Rivas is being accused of fondling the toddler. According to police the heinous act happened on Monday when Rivas allegedly touched the child in a sexual way and used a finger to penetrate his buttocks. Police investigate the report and they charged Rivas with sexual assault. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who remanded him into custody until October 20. Police must provide him with disclosure on that date, and on November 29, the court will hold his preliminary inquiry.

GSU Commander Flowers Under Serious Scrutiny
Last night, we told you about the reports we received that GSU Commander Mark Flowers was implicated in a carnal knowledge complaint. Well, his police bosses confirmed to us today that indeed a report has been made. As we told you last night, the mother of a 14 year-old girl has made a report to the Domestic Violence Unit that Flowers had sexual relations with her under-aged daughter earlier this year. Acting Police Commissioner Russell Blackett told us that indeed they have received that report, and they are first checking to see if it has not been made due to malice. He assured us that if the investigators are convinced that the crime happened, Flowers will face criminal charges:

Capital Cops Catch Income Tax Heist Crew With Cash
It shocked Belmopan residents on Friday July 15th when three armed men stormed into the Income Tax office at 5:50, held everyone at gunpoint, tied up the staffers and a policeman, took the cop's gun, and then left with thirty thousand dollars from the cash drawer. Well, last night the thieves are the ones who were stunned when Belmopan police moved in on them at the San Ignacio hideout. With help from the community and surveillance video – which captured the getaway vehicle, police were able to nab the four suspects along with weapons and cash last night. The officer commanding in Belmopan told us more:… Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police: "The suspects left along enough personal particulars and I won't get into any further details in relation to that. That we were able know who these people were and we have all suspects in custody; 4 people total 3 men and 1 woman. We believe the woman was the driver of the vehicle at the time and the 3 men were the persons who robbed the income tax department and held up the police and the staff members. So far we been in operation last week in the San Ignacio area we were able to confiscate one rental, two motorcycles, a large cash of Belizean currency, one 9 millimetre pistol, the 38 revolver that was stolen from the police the officer at the time."

3900 Tonnes Bad Molasses Cost Half Mil, BSCFA Says BSI Must Eat The Loss
For a week now we've been reporting on the molasses that went bad in storage tanks at the Tower Hill factory in Orange Walk. We've been covering the environmental side of the story – because disposal of the large volume of molasses poses environmental hazards. But tonight we finally know how much molasses went bad – and we've learned it from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association – to whom it means the loss of major earnings. Today the Association issued a one thousand word press release saying that 3,900 tons of molasses was affected, equivalent to a loss in value of four hundred and thirty two thousand, six hundred and sixty six dollars ($432,666).

PUP Says GOB Antidote To Crime Is Tried and Failed
On Monday, national security minister John Saldivar unveiled a new plan to fight gang related crime in Belize. It got overshadowed by the "Pastor Lu" beheading, but on any other day that plan would have raised many eyebrows. And that's because the Saldivar strategy is to put even more boots on the ground, and the give the much-criticized GSU the green light to go even harder after gang targets. PUP Deputy Leader Cordel Hyde criticized the new approach today:… Hon. Cordel Hype - PUP Deputy Leader: "If you listen to the minister of national security on Monday it's the same old solutions to a very serious problem. We're talking about hundreds of lives that has been lost on the Southside and their solution is more boots on the ground. They boast that they've added 850 additional police officers since 2012. Half of those have been deployed to Belize City. All the equipment in the world they boast of in terms of getting for the police. So the police is better equipped but yet still this problem persists." "It's not that the persons on Southside are some psychotic beings as the prime minister seems to think."

Man Charged For City Shooting
Belize City resident Clifford Anderson was shot 12 days ago on the Pen Road basketball court – and tonight his alleged shooter has been charged. He is 24 year old Luis Kerr, a labourer of #4374 Fabers Road. Kerr was read charges for attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm with a firearm upon 26 year old Clifford Anderson. No bail could be granted to Kerr who denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until October 20, 2016. Anderson was hit in the back, his lower back and the gunshot caused damages to his internal organs.

Tomb Uncovered At Xunantunich
Last month we showed you the panel found at Xunantunich and the rich story inscribed on it. Well, there have been more remarkable discoveries at Xunantunich including another panel. It is a lot to condense in one story so we have split this feature series into 3 parts. The first part is about the discovery of a tomb with the skeletal remains of a Maya ruler. The archaeologists say the tomb probably dates back to the Late Classic Period but more tests need to be done to confirm the time period. Courtney Weatherburne and Codie Noralez traveled west yesterday to see this sacred burial site. Dr. Awe told us that they plan on conserving the tomb, making a replica of the skeletal remains and later installing a Plexiglas so tourists can get to see the tomb from above. Tune in tomorrow for part 2, as Courtney Weatherburne delves into the interesting story of the second panel, how it is linked to the first that was found and what it likely says about the Maya ruler.

Bahamas Choir Makes A Magical Sound
A singing and dancing troupe from the Bahamas was in Belize earlier today for a spectacular one hour performance – which was about the nearest thing you’ll get to a Broadway performance in Belize City. The group is called the Bahama National Youth Choir. Every year they go on a very unique musical tour. They hop onboard a cruise ship and grace the stage in whatever country the cruise docks for the day. Belize happened to be on the line up for the first time this year. So, they dropped in at the Bliss Centre in Belize City as part of their third leg of this annual tour. After their performance in Belize they hopped on the cruise again which is now enroute to Cozumel Mexico, for the final leg of their annual tour.

Maya Case At CCJ
Yesterday via teleconference, the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Maya Communities named as claimants in the Maya Land Rights case went back before the judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice. They were there along with the legal representative of the Government to give an update to the court on how far along the Government is in implementing a system which officially recognizes and protects communal land rights. The Land Rights Commission, set up by the Government of Belize, has only just started preliminary consultations with the 39 Maya communities, and they're a months away from arriving at a suitable system. So, the Government attorney communicated that to the CCJ, and when they were given their opportunity to address the CCJ judges, the Maya Leaders made sure to mention their grievances with the Government related to the Jalacte and Santa Cruz. As viewers are aware, the Maya from Jalacte have complained that the Government ejected Maya farmers to widen the Jalacte Road and to set up the Agricultural Ministry's Outreach Station. Of course, the Santa Cruz villagers remain upset about the fact that Rupert Myles squatted on the research for the UxBenka Maya Site. After the hearing, we spoke with MLA representative Cristina Coc about the issues raised:

More Human Traffic At Crooked Tree Junction
Tonight, 8 Hondurans, all believed to have been smuggled into the country as part of a human trafficking ring, are at the Belize Prison. That's after they've been charged by the Immigration Department for illegal entry. They are Vicente Romero Pinedo, Juan Francisco Valeria Romero, Angel Alvarado Carcamo, Samuel Perez Garcia, Silvinio Rodriguez Martinez, Luis Pineda Cruz, Reina Isabel Aguilar Garcia and Alba Luz Aguila Portillo, all of whom claim to be farmers living in the village of Crooked Tree. They were busted by Eastern Division Rural Police, and today the Commander told us how the cops learnt that they were here: ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Yesterday our officers stationed at Crooked Tree intercepted 9 Honduran nationals; 3 female and 6 male who were in Belize illegally waiting to be transported further north and they were brought in and handed over to the immigration authorities."

Thanks to Taiwan
The Taiwanese have given the government of Belize another gift. This one is 5 million US dollars to assist with infrastructure programs, namely the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase II, the extension of the Southern Highway – Golden Stream, Jalacte to the Guatemalan Border in the Toledo District, and for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Downtown Bypass Road Project. The cheque was handed over by ambassador Benjamin Ho to Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday in Belmopan.

Sedi Salutes The Sandinistas
In other diplomatic news, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington is in Managua, Nicaragua this week building on Central American friendships. A press release says he is a special guest of President Daniel Ortega to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. A press release says that while in Nicaragua, Elrington will explore opportunities to further Belize-Nicaragua cooperation in the areas of tertiary level education and social development. Nicaragua currently holds the presidency of SICA.

No More Hard Day's Nights For Hattieville Cops
The cops at the Hattieville Police Station have a new barracks to make use of after a hard day's work. It was officially inaugurated today by the top police brass, and we asked the Police Minister about those other police formations around the country which continue to suffer in rundown barrack buildings which are in dire need of repairs. He told us that those other stations need only wait a little longer for repairs: The National Security Ministry spent just under 90 thousand dollars for the Hattieville Barracks.