The San Pedro Sun

Belizean Tattoo artist at Cancun Tattoo Expo
A delegation of tattoo artists and assistants from Belize travelled to Cancun, Mexico on Friday February 17th to participate in Cancun's Tattoo Expo 2012. The delegation was a collaboration of three tattoo shops; House of Pain in Corozal, Belizean Ink in Cayo and from San Pedro, Tattoo Life. Tattoo artists included; George Alamilla, aka Inkman; Karim Sosa aka Wimpas and Fabian Mansania. The team, unfortunately did not produce any tattoos that qualified for the competition itself; "We did not do any tattoos that qualified for the competition, which were the larger pieces for black and grey. We had color portraits as a competition and we had best in show. For best in show the tattoo that was being done did not finish until midnight so it couldn't compete. Time frame wise, it was a different atmosphere to what we were used to. The booths were close to each other and we had to fit our three artists in one booth including the assistants. We were right next to these guys that were from Villahermosa who had some sick, sick, sick work. So it was kind of intimidating at the same time, to be next to a guy who has over thirty years of experience tattooing people. But other than that it was a very awesome experience. We got some awesome input and now we are being asked to host an Expo here in Belize."

Ambergris Today

SPRCS Parent/Student Activities
There was much enthusiasm at the school compound of the San Pedro RC School on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, as parents, students and teachers gathered outside to do some arts and crafts. Principal Roxanne Kay explained to Ambergris Today what the entire project was about. "This is a new initiative we are currently working on in getting parents more involved in the school life of the students," commented Principal Roxanne Kay. "We plan on hosting parents to come in one day of the month to do some arts and crafts with the children. Today we have started with the Infant I classes and they are doing posters and other crafts on the topic of pollution." Principal Kay continued by stating that it is not just taking time off from the children's schedule but the arts and crafts was part of the integrated curriculum they are currently working on. Each class picks a subject of interest to work on for example pollution which is part of Social Studies and Science class and works on the topic in class as well as gets to incorporate it in their arts and crafts project.

Is Carnival A Messy Situation?
Carnival has come and gone! Carnival is the time when streets get filled with unrecognizable faces covered with vibrant colours of paint. But more than that is the grand celebration of the comparsas around town and the community partaking in an enticing tradition. A three day spectacular that promotes fun activities that both locals and tourist can indulge in. Most of the time it seems this great, but a few peers don't partake in this tradition because it has taken a wicked turn. Some of the people out in the streets wait for this day seeking the opportunity to confront their enemies as a way of revenge. How horrid has this peaceful event become? Not to mention the constant vandalism that occurs. Businesses constantly have to prepare in covering or repainting their advertisements during Carnival season because of the mischief performed. This celebration is more than what a few have made it. We should be more respectful and stick strictly to the fun of the game. This way we can all enjoy the diverse and exciting comparsas, as well as the body painting in a safe way. Carnival in San Pedro is so diverse and the beauty of the costumes and colours adds a wonderful aspect to it. The tradition continues and we all get so excited to be part of it.

No Fear For Water Shortage
General Manager of Consolidated Water Belize, Mr. Clifford Dillon, contacted the San Pedro Business Association to help in passing on the message of water conservation since the water supply demand for Ambergris Caye was barely being met. The manager of CWBL explained that it was essential to practice water conservation on the island until a new water production facility is placed on the island. In response to these allegations and information brought up by CWBL to the San Pedro Business Association and the public in general the Belize Water Services (BWS) sent a press release press release in regards to the water supply situation on the island. In the release BWS stated that after their recent Water Demand Review completed in January 2011, BWS requested CWBL to implement a maximum plant capacity of up to 550,000 gallons per day. However, CWBL proposed a maximum plant capacity of 420,000 gallons per day. In a press release dated, Monday, February 27, 2012, Mr. Ramjeet Jerrybandan, Vice President of Operations of Consolidated Water Co Ltd, stated, "I would like to assure the residents of San Pedro that our subsidiary company, Consolidated Water Belize Ltd (CWBL), has always exceeded its contractual water supply obligations to Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL). CWBL is committed to doing its part to ensure that BWSL has an adequate supply of potable water to meet its growing needs in San Pedro."

To the Polls! - People's Referendum Day!
NO! - To offshore drilling in Belize! That is the general consensus that you get when you go out to the polls at Central Park in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to cast your vote on People's Referendum Day! The polls officially opened countrywide at 6:00 a.m. today Wednesday February 29, 2012, in the first ever people powered People's Referendum. The polls will remain opened for fourteen hours, allowing Belizean registered voters to participate in history as they take advantage of the opportunity to vote whether they want offshore oil exploration and drilling. This is what the People's Referendum is about! Some 48 polling stations, two of them mobile - one in Toledo and the other in the Belize District - will open from 6:00am to 8:00pm so Belizeans can record their choice on the question of dill or no drill in the nation's seas. Here in San Pedro the people have been coming out to cast their vote, all are welcomed to do so. All Belizean registered voters are asked to come out and cast their votes; those who are not registered are being asked to sign a petition against offshore drilling. Any visitor, student or non-registered voter can sign this petition.


Guatemala Cruise Day 4: The sea was angry that day, my friends
02/29/2012 6 Comments After all the perfect weather we'd had so far on this trip, it seemed like a cruel joke to wake up early this morning to dark, threatening skies and high wind. I guess it had to happen, right? I awoke when the engines cranked up before 5 am, and I believe we pulled away from the dock at Abelle's boat yard a little before 5:30, a bit later than Simon had planned for. (I figured that late night the night before was going to have some fallout!) Surprisingly, even with the loud drone of the engine, we were so tired that we managed to doze off and on until around 6 am, I guess it was, before going out on deck and surveying what Mother Nature had in store for us on this last, long day on the water, as we made our way back from Rio Dulce to Placencia, Belize. Captain Simon was not a happy camper, as the winds had been gusting up to 30 knots (on our nose again as the winds had shifted around to the northeast), and he was concerned that conditions would deteriorate further once we got out of the calm river and into the sea.

PHOTOS: No To Offshore Drilling in Belize | The People's Referendum
Offshore Drilling in Belize should be a no-brainer, a definite NO but unfortunately those who run our country think otherwise. Apparently negotiations to explore offshore drilling in Belize have been going on behind the scenes for quite a while now. I cannot imagine why they made the decision to entertain this but it is obvious that the country of Belize is alarmaed and voting NO to what could lead to the end of tourism in Belize. Why the end of tourism? Well, who would want to come to swim, snorkel, or dive in oil infested waters�NO ONE! We all boast proudly that we have the second largest Barrier Reef in the world but if the government allows offshore drilling in Belize then we can kiss goodbye our reef and all of its ecosystem.

Adventure in Belize: Explore the Cayo District
Many go to Belize looking for the treasures its Caribbean waters may offer. Some dream of taking a dip in the warm cerulean sea; others fantasize with resting under lush palm trees while soft waves caress their feet. And there is always the opportunity to discover the abundance of color offered by the Mesoamerican reef. There is no doubt. Belize's waters seduce with their many charms. However, if you are looking for some daring adventures, you have to move inland. Belize's Cayo district offers options galore for thrill seekers. The action can be found around the town of San Ignacio. Most of the area tour companies operate from here. Budget accommodations can be found downtown. Take into consideration that San Ignacio is not the prettiest town. It is small and rustic. For better accommodation options, consider the hotels outside the town center.

A Guide to the Cost of Living in Belize
People are like shoes. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. And one size never fits all. The more research I do about living, working, retiring, and doing business overseas�the more apparent it becomes that this is not a "one size fits all" idea. Everyone has different dreams, perceptions, and lifestyle requirements. Like the comment I saw from an IL reader: "I was looking to move to Belize and everyone I spoke to said you CAN NOT live there for less than 5k a month unless you live in a shack�even a modest house cost over 100k USD. So why is it posted you can live comfortably for under $2,500 per month?" Hmmm�how to respond to that, I wondered-especially not knowing this guy personally. What kind of "shoes" will fit and make him comfortable? (And hopefully he realizes that the exchange rate for the Belize dollar to the U.S. dollar is fixed 2:1. A beer priced at $4 in Belize will cost you US$2.) Cost of living predictions can be difficult to put an exact number to. For some people, my "comfortable lifestyle" may be poorhouse living. It may be over-the-top lavish to others. Now, let's assign the values. I was in Belize recently, and I collected these average numbers (in U.S. dollars) from expats who live in Belize: Rent: $700 Electricity: $100 Gas: $25 Water: $25 Cable TV: $25 Telephone: $80 Internet: $80 Groceries: $300 Entertainment: $200 Miscellaneous: $200 TOTAL: $1,735

Trying to spark international solidarity to fight offshore oil drilling in the Belize Barrier Reef
Last year, the government of Belize sold concessions to drill for oil to 18 oil exploration companies. They parceled the entire country behind closed doors. Including protected areas and the Barrier Reef - second or third largest in the world (depending on how you define large). When the deed was done and the fact was leaked, there was a public outcry in Belize. Over 80% of Belizeans oppose offshore oil drilling. A coalition of NGOs started to initiate the referendum process laid out in Belize's constitution to stop the drilling. Over 17,000 signatures from voters had to be collected - and they were collected. Most of them were then rejected by government. Not on the grounds that the signees were not eligible to vote. Not on the grounds that people signed twice (only a few did). The signatures were rejected and the referendum denied because government compared the signatures with signatures from a years old census. Where the signatures didn't look alike to the government employees, they were rejected.

Cooking Guide: Fresh Herbs
Good Housekeeping's complete guide to cooking with fresh herbs, including rosemary, basil, and cilantro. You can store herbs for several days by immersing the stems in 1 inch of water in a tall glass. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate; replace water when cloudy. You can also freeze herbs by removing the leaves from the stems, rinsing and drying the leaves, and then placing them in a heavy-duty sealed plastic bag for up to six months. (Frozen herbs darken but retain much of their flavor.)

Channel 7

PUP Candidate Francis Smith's Car Burned; He Blames UDP Camp
Last night on the news you saw PUP Pickstock Candidate Dr. Francis Smith making the case for a Polling Area on the north-side of the city to accommodate voters in his constituency.

Taximan Shot In Benque
And moving now from politics and crime, to just crime, Benque Police have confirmed to 7news that, at around 9 this morning, there was a shooting incident on the Western highway leading to t

"People's Referendum" A Success
They call it the People's Referendum - and today OCEANA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage deployed volunteers to 50 polling stations all across the country. It is

Referendum Haters Allege Fraud
And while that would be an impressive figure - and it seems like they will get it, would it matter if a few of those votes were bogus? It seems that's just what one man set out to do t

"Inside Job" Former Bank Worker Re-captured
Today, Benque police caught Vilma Guzman, a fugitive wanted in connection with the October 18, 2008 robbery of the Corozal Belize Bank Branch, which netted the assailants approximately $11

6k Weed Plants Up In Smoke
A marijuana plantation containing 6254 plants was found three miles away from a Mayan archaeological site in the Toledo district. The plantation was uncovered by the Police Anti Drug U

Giving Hope At Living Hope
The last time we told you about the folks at Living Hope Prep School, was in June of 2011, when they were being evicted from their cramped quarters at the crumbling City Center.

Lee Mark Cries Foul In Freetown
There's only one week to go before the double election - and this is when politics overtakes every aspect of everyday life. For those in the heat of the political battle, it's the time wh

US Army Medical Readiness Training In Belize
If you've seen an air convoy of US Military helicopters flying in formation across the countryside recently, it's because the US Army is here spearheading an exercise called MEDRETE (M

British Students Who Were Raped In Belize, Sue
In August of 2005, we aired a story of two British students who alleged that they had been raped by a local tour guide, Aaron Juan at a lodge in Georgeville, just outside of San Ignacio.

Women In Art
March is celebrated as Women's Month and the Institute of Creative Arts will be celebrating with a month long - Women in Arts - Exhibit. The exhibition features over 30 female artists fr

BNE Trust Gives In Orange Walk
When the folks at St. Peter Anglican School in Orange Walk Town asked BNE for 5 Thousand dollars, to give their rundown classrooms a cosmetic touch up, they didn't expect a windfall of 100

Kim Simplis Gets Cover
When Kim Simplis Barrow announced on November 7th of last year that she had been diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer at the age of 39, she became the first public figure to go public in s...

S & P Strikes Again
Three hours ago, Standard and Poor's the New York Rating agency, downgraded Belize again - this time by two notches. According to the Wall Street Journal, the downgrade pushes "Belize's credit rating two notches deeper into junk territory." Standard and Poor's points to what it calls "the increasing likelihood that (the UDP) will seek to restructure the�external debt," The S and P analysis says that, quote "Although the (UDP) is favored to win a majority in the March 7...elections, we believe the political incentives are sufficient for either the UDP or the (PUP)--to pursue...a restructuring." The release points to the fact that recently the UDP has begun to frame the restructuring as an explicit campaign pledge. Regarding the double downgrade, preceded by another three weeks ago, Prime minister Dean Barrow recently told an audience at a public meeting in Orange Walk that, quote, "I don't give a damn about the rating agencies."

Channel 5

San Pedranos vote against Offshore Drilling
The People's Referendum on off shore drilling is being held today countrywide. From all accounts voting has been steady all day and the organizers, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, say they are satisfied with the turnout. OCEANA, which is at the frontlines, collected twenty thousand signatures last year, eight thousand were rejected, thus ...

Will Patty and Manuel be Voice of the People?
The offshore drilling question is split among political lines. Several ministers of the ruling United Democratic Party have publically stated that they want offshore drilling. On the other hand the People's United Party has made it a manifesto issue that they don't support offshore drilling. And though the party lines are drawn in oil, politicians' ...

People's Referendum Spread in Old Capital
The Coalition had intended to have the referendum on the same day of the elections. That was rejected so it pulled off today's event in a relatively short time. In the City, thousands came out to say No to offshore drilling. Voting started at six and continues at this hour. News Five's Isani Cayetano reports. ...

Standard & poor Rating for Belize plunge
At the launch of the U.D.P. manifesto last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was deliberate in saying that bond holders will have to sit around the table to renegotiate the five hundred and sixty-five million dollar Superbond. The statement has been picked up by Standard and Poor's, which again lowered Belize credit rating this evening. ...

Who torched Politician Dr. Smith's car?
It's down to the last leg of campaigning before the elections on March seventh. There has been the usual mudslinging between the political parties on the airwaves and vandalism of street signs. But it appears that the political rivalry has gone too far and has become dangerous. On Tuesday night, the vehicle of the P.U.P. ...

Smith says arson was politically motivated
Smith believes that the arson was politically motivated, but says revenge is not on his agenda. He also told News Five that he will not tolerate any acts of retaliation from his supporters because he has always been against dirty politics. Dr. Francis Smith "I'm just appealing to all people, to all voters irrespective of ...

Man shot in face; was politics the motive?
There was a shooting incident near the Benque border today. Was it a random act of violence or was politics involved? The details are still sketchy but it involved a twenty-four year old man who lives in the Belize side of Arenal Village. According to sources, Minor Najaro was driving a black Toyota Corolla with ...

Pop confesses to Machete Murder
A Punta Gorda man who has been accused of a recent murder is now in police custody. At five o’clock this morning, the suspect Florencio Pop boarded a James Bus in Bladen Village and went to the Independence Police Station where he handed himself in. During an interview with police, Pop confessed to murdering forty-five ...

Homeless man dies from shooting injuries
There's another murder. An attack on four men at the Battlefield Park earlier this month has now turned to a homicide. On the night of February seventh, two gunmen opened fire on a group of men who were changing a flat tire on a van. Twenty-year-old Gilbert Wade was shot to the right thigh, eighteen ...

Private Citizen Spooner voted in Referendum
Offshore drilling has become a passionate issue. Thousands turned out to vote in a mock referendum today. This morning, Jeremy Spooner, a known U.D.P. supporter who was also involved in the Association of Concerned Belizeans before the 2008 elections, called Wave Radio to say he had voted against offshore drilling. Spooner is also a regular ...

Minister of Police on Gang Truce Funds
A truce was signed with the gangs last year to keep the peace. At the end of 2011, there were one hundred and twenty-four murders while in 2010 were one hundred and twenty-nine, five more than last year. While gang related murder may be down, since the beginning of the year, there have been fourteen ...

Minister says credit rating not affecting country
As we told you, this evening S&P downgraded Belize's credit standing. According to Singh, if elected the government intends to re-negotiate the terms of the Superbond to reduce the interest. He also says that the reduced credit rating doesn't affect Belize at this time. Doug Singh "There's a mad scramble to buy Belize bonds out ...

Dekel Bennett charged with Attempted Murder
The trial of Dekel Bennett, a security guard accused of stabbing twenty-four year old Dwayne Staine during an altercation at the Battlefield Park in June 2009, began this morning before Justice Herbert Lord. Newly appointed Crown Counsel Stevanni Duncan called several witnesses to the stand where they testified to observing Bennett inflict a stab wound ...

UK Story of Alleged Teen rapes in Belize
Two UK women are suing their school for an alleged rape that occurred during a character building trip to Belize back in 2005. The women are claiming substantial damages from the school in Kent County, England, saying that not enough was done to protect their safety. The girls were ages fifteen and sixteen when they ...

Parham Family busted by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) has not slowed down its efforts to rid the streets of drugs and ammunition. Early this morning the GSU searched the Parham residence on Curassow Street. Six structures, three concrete buildings and three shacks are built on the compound. Upon arrival the GSU sighted twenty-three year old Kenroy Parham sitting ...

Talent of the Land; Amazing Performances in KTV Latino
Tuesday night culminated in another sizzling round of KTV Latino. The talent from across the country came out to sing a variety of Latin songs while portraying the culture of the region. The judges and the audience had their favorites who did not disappoint on stage. If you missed last night's edition of KTV Latino, ...


A donation of rescue equipment was handed over this morning to the Punta Gorda fire service. Paul Mahung reporting� "Power Rescue equipment were handed over this morning to the Punta Gorda Fire Service. The Hurse brand power rescue equipment were officially handed over to the Punta Gorda Fire Service by PG Mayor Floyd Lino. Mayor Floyd Lino "On behalf of the Government of Belize I would like to hand over this rescue operation equipment to the PG and Toledo Fire Service and on behalf of the people of Punta Gorda I would like to say how grateful we are to be able to receive such an important equipment." Others at the brief power equipment handing over ceremony were National Fire Service Station Officer Andrew Nunez, leading fire fighter Meshack Henry, PG fire fighter Dorin Mc Pherson and others of the Punta Gorda Fire service. National Fire Service Station officer Andrew Nunez said that the power rescue equipment costing $ 30,000 was financed by the government of Belize.

CARICOM Youth Ambassadors promote the participation of young people in all areas of development. The ambassadors have now developed a campaign in alignment with general and municipal elections to encourage young people to exercise the right to vote. Dylan Williams is a CARICOM Youth Ambassador to Belize. Dylan Williams - CARICOM Youth Ambassador "We want for young people to go out and vote both for the municipal and general election just as a way to ensure and understand that it is their constitutional right to participate and it is something that if they do not they are basically giving up that right. That is why we are starting off with this campaign, it is not an end, it is a larger campaign that we want to look at after the election but this is the first point in the process of this campaign. First of all it is being developed through a TV ad campaign, we are also running it on the radio, we are doing it through printed tee shirts as well as looking at the social networking through Facebook and these different sites. We know that young people are more captured through the social networking and that is much more easier and accessible to most young people but in terms of the coverage we are using the radio and the TV media as well. It is really just a simple campaign to say just go out and vote, the reason you go out might be varied but the reality is that if you do not go out and exercise that franchise then you are doing a disservice to yourself and you are not doing due diligence to the development of the nation."

The Ministry of Agriculture has signed four project agreements to provide for technical assistance. According to an official press release, the largest projects will benefit the citrus industry where over eight hundred thousand dollars will be provided to assist with the management of the citrus greening disease. This project, according to the official release, will provide support by enhancing the country's capacity to reduce the impact of citrus greening on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy. Other projects included one in the Belize River Valley area for the production and marketing of eggs and poultry for the local market; another for the preservation of fruits and vegetables; and a strategic plan for the development of an extension services policy. The projects for technical assistance are a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Earlier this week there was a report of a chopping incident in Los Tambos village which appeared to be politically motivated. Cayo Northeast Representative, Elvin Penner, called our studios this morning and said the incident is much more serious than previously reported and he wanted to give his account of what transpired. According to Penner, the United Democratic Party was holding a peaceful meeting in Los Tambos Village, when vehicles with supporters of the People's United Party came in their direction started throwing missiles at the UDP supporters. Penner said one of the stones even broke the windshield on his vehicle. Elvin Penner - UDP Cayo Northeast Representative "Shortly afterwards several of their supporters came back on a motorcycle with their flag, shouting and screaming and again throwing stones at our supporters. Actually two of their supporters were facey enough to get off their motorcycle, came to the center of our crowd and started waving their PUP flags. Of course they were escorted out, their flags were taken away and they were escorted out of the crowd but they didn't stop there.

A man from Cotton tree village in the Cayo district has reported being the victim of an aggravated assault. Twenty six year old Marvin Casey reported to police that he and another man, identified as twenty seven year old Kurt Hyde were talking in the village when they were accosted by two other men. Casey sys one of the men carried what looked like a homemade shotgun which was pointed at Hyde and an attempt was made to fire the weapon. When the gun did not fire, police say the gunman then reportedly hit Casey in the left side of his head with the weapon. Police investigations continue.

Belize City police are investigating a suspected case of arson. Police say that around twelve twenty this morning, the visited the Esso Gas Station on New Road where they say a four door car belonging to Dr. Francis Smith engulfed in flames. Police say that their investigations revealed that just before midnight another vehicle, without license plates as observed parked beside the burnt car, and then drove off towards Douglas Jones Street. Dr. Francis Smith is the PUP Standard bearer for the Pickstock Division.

Its latest commercial speaks of how eight thousand people were silenced, referring to the names of people that were found to be illegitimate by the Elections and Boundaries Department on the matter of offshore drilling. But today, OCEANA in Belize is holding its own elections countrywide in a referendum on that matter. The ballot has only one question: Should there be oil exploration and drilling in Belize offshore" unquote. Since the polls opened earlier this morning, there has been a steady showing of voters, according to OCEANA's Vice President, Audrey Matura Shepherd. Audrey Matura Shepherd - Vice President, Oceana Belize "The response is fantastic. So good that we were forced, some of the polling stations we had planned to cancel, we were forced to open them. For example we were not going to have a polling station anymore by Faber's Road; we were reconsidering the one by Central American Boulevard and we couldn't, we had to open them. We had to open a new one at D's Diner just across from the KHMH and just next to the Belize Elementary School because students and teachers in that area were clamoring and they were calling in here and they were saying we want to, but we want accessibility and we come out of school late and we don't want to be out at night late so the response has been fantastic. We were forced to send our mobile units in more places in the rural areas than we had planned to because people are saying you can't ignore my village. So at the last hour we were out in the media begging people to come in and volunteer and fortunately, praise God a lot of people did come and volunteer."

An explosion in Orange Walk has left one man injured and a house completely destroyed. Love News understands that sometime after midnight a loud explosion was heard in the Custard Apple Street Area of Orange Walk Town. When neighbors came out to see what had happened they found 46 year old Reymundo Dominguez suffering from burns to his body and the house destroyed. We spoke with one of the people who were first on the scene. Witness I went to the place where it happened and I saw the man come out from the inside and he had his skin peeled off and he asked me to call the ambulance. The ambulance took long to come and so a teacher took him to the hospital. He said he lit the cigarette and a candle to sleep because he does not have light inside." Two houses away, Pablo Castillo said he heard what sounded like a bomb. Pablo Castillo - Neighbour "From here I heard the explosion. For me it did not sound like a gas explosion, it sounded like a bomb. When I arrived everything was under control, the fire engine and the police were there. Dominguez's brother, Jose Dominguez, says the semi - concrete house with zinc roofing was recently built and his brother had only been living there for a week.


CARICOM Youth Ambassadors launch campaign
CARICOM Youth Ambassadors promote the participation of young people in all areas of development. The ambassadors have now developed a campaign in alignment with general and municipal elections to encourage young people to exercise the right to vote. Dylan Williams is a CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Belize. Williams says there is a great number of young voters out there and possibly a lot more to come in the next couple of years. The campaign is an initiative of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors in Belize in partnership with Youth for the Future, The National Committee for Families and Children and many other organizations who are helping with the coverage and using various means to get the message out.

House explodes, man injured
An overnight explosion in Orange Walk has left one person injured. Love TV's Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the story.

Funding secured to fight Citrus Greening
The Ministry of Agriculture has signed four project agreements to provide for technical assistance. According to an official press release, the largest projects will benefit the citrus industry where over eight hundred thousand dollars will be provided to assist with the management of the citrus greening disease. This project, according to the official release, will provide support by enhancing the country's capacity to reduce the impact of citrus greening on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy. Other projects included one in the Belize River Valley area for the production and marketing of eggs and poultry for the local market; another for the preservation of fruits and vegetables; and a strategic plan for the development of an extension services policy. The projects for technical assistance are a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Belizeans vote in People's Referendum
One week before general and municipal elections, Belizeans today voted in a People's Referendum. Polls remain open at this hour and the goal of the exercise is to canvass public's opinion on whether or not there should be offshore oil drilling. The ballot has a single question, which is: Should there be oil exploration and drilling in Belize offshore? According to the vice president of OCEANA-Belize Audrey Matura Shepherd from the time the polls opened at six o'clock this morning, there was a steady stream of voters. Matura Shepherd says that OCEANA and the Coalition to Protect our Natural Heritage will deal with the matter of drilling in protected areas on another occasion. Matura-Shepherd says that the objective of this exercise is to show the government that Belizeans are against offshore drilling and that OCEANA Belize intends to keep the fight alive. For a report on voting in the People's Referendum in the San Pedro town, here now is Love TV's Maria Novelo. The results of the People's Referendum will be released on Thursday during a press conference.


PlusTV hosts Belmopan constituency debate
Interested citizens and party loyalists converged on the George Price Center last night for a first of its kind: Th...

The Coalition's people referendum brings out thousands
The People's Referendum as it has been named by OCEANA and the Coalition is currently on going countrywide as we sp...

Hon. Francis Fonseca talks superbond and UNIBAM
Appearing on Rise and Shine yesterday morning, leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca spelled out his party's ma...

Areas in Belmopan get facelift in preparation for Prince Harry's visit
As we've reported, preparations are on the way in Belmopan for the arrival of Prince Henry of Wales. The Governor G...

Belmopan store robbed, owner hospitalized
There was a robbery this evening in the capital city. A little bit after 5 o'clock this evening, an ice cream and g...

Attempted robbery almost turned deadly
An attempted robbery in cotton tree village could have turned deadly. According to 26 year old Marvin Casey, a resi...

Family tied up and robbed in home invasion
Plus News understands that around 8 pm on Saturday night a burglary turned into a home invasion in Corozal Town. Re...

Political bad blood translates into aggravated assault
An aggravated assault was apparently spurred by political bad blood. 39 year old Israel Parham reported that on Sun...

Two-storey building to be erected at Corozal Methodaist School
A Corozal school held a launch for a new school building project today. The project includes construction of a six-...

Police discover marijuana plantation near archaeological site
On Wednesday, February 29th, the Police Anti Drug Unit launched an anti drug operation in a jungle terrain, some th...

International Sources

Schoolgirls raped on Belize trip should have screamed for help, says teacher
TWO schoolgirls raped on an organised trip to Central America should have screamed for help, a female teacher told a court yesterday. She said that she had been sleeping a few yards from their cabin during the adventure trip to Belize, but heard nothing of the incident. "Had the girls shouted, there would have been no problem. We were always running around, keeping an eye," she said. She and two adult leaders had been within easy hearing distance, she added. "We are talking 15 metres apart. Noise travels incredibly well and, had anything been amiss, the leaders would have been up and running, as would I." When Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, for the girls, asked why their cabin had not been locked at night, the teacher replied: "I could not go around like a total sergeant major and lock them in. "The last thing I was going to do was prevent them from

S&P Cuts Belize By Two Notches, Citing Restructuring Risk
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded Belize's credit rating two notches deeper into junk territory, citing the increasing likelihood that government officials will seek to restructure the nation's debt this year. The latest downgrade is the second by S&P this month following a single-notch cut on Feb. 6. Belize's credit metrics have faced pressure from low economic growth, a weak investment outlook, higher crime rates and the government's limited ability to raise revenue. S&P now rates the Central American nation at triple-C-minus, which is nine rungs below investment-grade status. Its outlook is negative. Belize's United People's Party is favored to win a majority in the March 7 parliamentary elections, though S&P said both of the country's main parties have political incentives to seek to restructure the nation's debt. Talk of such a move has solidified from campaign rhetoric into a campaign pledge, the ratings firm said Wednesday, as weak economic growth prompts policy makers to seek other ways to make the budget cover current social programs. The debt in question is a $546.8 million superbond due 2029, which came out of Belize's 2007 debt exchange. S&P expects the next administration to try to restructure Belize's commercial debt before its next coupon payment is due in August, calling the move "our base-case scenario." S&P rival Moody's Investors Service earlier this month lowered its credit rating on Belize one notch, citing its concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring. Moody's cut Belize to Caa1, which is now two steps above S&P's current rating.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:47 AM.