Valid: Friday - Monday, March 19 - 26, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad West Atlantic High pressure system and a frontal low over northern Mexico and Texas. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into the weekend, resulting in a weak pressure gradient, conducive to lighter easterly winds and warmer daytime temperatures.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and drier as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for showers in the interior will be on Wednesday and Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Red Cross donation boxes distributed across the island
he San Pedro chapter of the Belize Red Cross is in full swing, with their first on-going fundraiser commencing on Monday, March 19th. Donation boxes were dispatched to five key collection locations here on the island. Funds collected will serve to assist the local chapter of the Belize Red Cross as well as to assist in its overall goal. The presentation of the donation boxes was launched around 1PM with the first two being placed at the Tropic Air Boarding station, which is considered one of the main gateways to Ambergris Caye. The presentations were done by Belize Red Cross representative in San Pedro, Laurie Norton. John E. Grief III, President of Tropic Air, was on hand to receive the donation boxes, and spoke of Tropic's reason for teaming with the Belize Red Cross. "There is never any controversy with the Red Cross. Every time you hear any kind of emergencies in any parts of the world, the Red Cross is always there, so we decided we would support them."

Ambergris Today

SPTC Mayor and Councilors Sworn In
n Friday, March 16, 2012, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors were officially sworn in to office in a public ceremony which took place at Central Park. Mayor Daniel Guerrero delivered a welcome speech after which the official swearing in was carried out by Town Administrator, Mrs. Patty Tillett. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Town Councilors The mayor was the first to be sworn in followed by the Deputy Mayor, Severito Guerrero and the other councilors. Mayor Daniel Guerrero then officially presented to his town councilors their work portfolios for the year 2012-2013 which are as follows:

UB Students Shave Their Heads for Cancer Awareness
The 2012 Communication Skills class of the University of Belize's Faculty of Education and Arts teamed up with the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, the Belize Cancer Society and Jonze Unisex Salon to launch a public awareness campaign entitled "Baldmiration". The class was inspired by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow's decision to publicy share her fight against cancer as well as her brave, bold, beautiful and bald looks - a result of her chemo treatment. The students believe that Mrs. Barrow has emerged as a powerful message of hope for person living with cancer, battling cancer, surviving cancer or who may yet have to face cancer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Boat Stolen in Mexico possibly headed to Belize
"I live in Puerto Aventuras Mexico and just had my 32' Century center console boat stolen from my dock. The rumor around town is that it went to Belize so I'm wondering if you can help me? Could you print out a few fliers to hand out to your guys or put up on your bulletin board? One of them might see the boat around and there's a good reward for information. Also please forward this email to whoever you think might be of assistance. I know it's like a needle in a hay stack but I'm trying!

PHOTOS: "BALDMIRATION" -Women and Men Going Bald for Cancer Awareness
Belize Cancer Society event to show support for the fight against cancer.

VIDEO: Gomez, the Iguana - Belize: The Green Iguana Conservation Project gets a great mention
Here is a great video of the Green Iguana Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. What a cool place. You can hold a plethora of baby iguanas.. Here is a pic of me and Gomez I filmed the vid at the Green Iguana Exhibit in San Ignacio, Belize on September 15, 2010. The program aims to create awareness, educate, and to release these reptiles into the wild in an effort to repopulate the riverbanks of Belize with these colorful creatures.

Belize at Thirty Conference
The Belize at Thirty Conference kicked off today, but tomorrow and Thursday there will be 8 lecturers presenting. This would be great for students. For more information contact the ISCR office at 822-3307. "The Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) through the National Celebrations Commission will be hosting the Belize at Thirty Conference from March 20th to March 22nd, 2012. The Conference is an educational and reflective exercise in which guest lecturers from development sectors have been invited to develop and present research papers on key areas of national interest since independence. The lectures and discussions will focus on historical analysis, statistics, trends and patterns on Belize's state of development and generate informative projections for a way forward."

VIDEO: "29 Unbeliezable Days with I.S.I.S."
Watch Caitlin's picture video of her time in Belize Studying Animal Scienc

PHOTOS: SHJC Nviro Club Mopan River Excursion
SHJC's Nviro club did a test run from Succotz to Bullet Tree. They are planning a river clean up along that route, and needed to find the best way to approach the clean up.

Channel 7

The Moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of Rosewood was announced on Friday and since then, no less than ten letters of praise and commendation have been sent to the government for adopting the conservation - friendly position. But, on the ground in the Toledo district, where Rosewood extraction is a major means of income generation, to say the moratorium is unpopular would be an understatement. It is being condemned by those who have profited from the thriving Rosewood trade, and who currently have hundreds and thousands of board feet of the hardwood, duly stamped by Forestry, and waiting to be sold to middlemen or exporters. But now, with the moratorium on exports - they are stuck with it. And so, early this morning, a busload of those Toledo residents got unto a Bus and headed for Belmopan to send a message to the new Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla.

We don't know if it's the demise of the gang truce or just the rise of a new configuration of craziness but violent gun crimes are becoming all too common in the city again. There have been two murders in the last 9 days - and tonight there is one more to report. And again, the word senseless doesn't begin to describe this killing. 47 year old Mechanic Mark Lozano was deliberately shot - apparently - for just being in the area of another shooting - which injured 31 year old Cheray Zetina. Tonight, she is critical and he is dead.

They may not have formally conceded defeat - but the PUP has accepted that it is the Opposition. We know this because this afternoon at Belize House in Belmopan, Francis Fonseca was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by Governor General Sir Colville Young. At 46, Fonseca becomes the youngest Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition on record - and also does so after just five months as the Leader of the PUP. He has won his seat in the Freetown division three times in succession. A release from the PUP says that Fonseca has appointed three Senators, namely Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo.

And joining in the ceremony for Senators will be Mark Lizarraga. He replaces Godwin Hulse as the Senator representing the business Community. Lizarraga was the Chamber's Candidate and at an election last night, his 128 votes easily defeated the Candidates put up by the Belize Business Bureau, Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Fred Hunter who received 40 votes and 8 votes respectively. In a statement from the Chamber, Lizarraga said he expects to take full advantage of the previous working relationship enjoyed with former three term business Senator, now UDP Senator and Minister of Government, Godwin Hulse.

An 11 year old boy was killed in a terrible accident yesterday. It happened in Corozal yesterday evening when an iron goal post fell on top of him. Eric Quiroz, a Std 4 student of St. Paul's School was playing football with his friends at the Andres Campos Civic Center Football Field. According to reports, he was the goalkeeper, and at around 5:00 p.m. the metal goal post which has been described as "not firmly attached to the ground" fell on top of him. Quiroz's skull was fractured, and he died instantly, bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears.

Last night, 7News told you about Ming Pei Chen, the Chinese businessman who was charged for having unlicensed ammunition. Well, it turns out that in that search of his establishments, police discovered that he was employing an illegal immigrant, 22 year-old Guatemalan Iris Marcella Contreras Munoz. She was arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today. She was charged with being a prohibited immigrant. It was discovered that she entered Belize via the Mopan River on February 25, and yesterday, she was busted by police at the at a Bar in Ladyville.

34 year-old Michael Stevens, a resident of Ladyville, narrowly escaped a stiff sentence today for allegedly escaping from lawful custody at the Ladyville Police Station. According to the police officer on diary duties, on January 7, Stevens was detained, as a result of an ongoing investigation for a robbery. The officer said that he saw Stevens exiting the station unlawfully, because they had not released him. As a result, he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for the charge of escaping lawful custody. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but he changed his plea to guilty with an explanation. He said that he never broke any laws because according to him, a police officer opened the door to the cell block and told him that he could leave, which he did.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley today confirmed that former council pay mistress Shirlene Sabal has been dismissed - as the council awaits the outcome of an internal audit - which should be completed by the end of the week. She was suspended the day after the new council went into office - but he today told us that they have taken the decision to dismiss her because the sum of money, which was misappropriated under her watch, appears to be "substantial." As we've reported, she is accused of engineering a daring scheme that cost the council tens of thousands of dollars in bogus overtime payments.

And in other news which may concern the council - we couldn't help but notice that the controversial Bhojwani roundabout is on its way from looking like some sort of Mayan temple to a veritable Mayan ruin! That's because since it was opened on December 20th., it seems no one has cut the grass and today when we taped it - the roundabout was very overgrown and shabby looking. Before it got Bhojwani-ed, Courts and area residents looked after the roundabout, but looking now like a creature only its own creator could love - the roundabout appears to have been abandoned. We note also that the dubious responsibility for roundabouts has been taken out of the City Council assignment of portfolios.

Yesterday morning, a messenger was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight. James McKoy, a carrier for DHL Limited, reported that at about 10:45 a.m. yesterday he was on his motorcycle heading toward Western Roundabout, when he stopped at the traffic light at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard. He was waiting for the light to turn green when two men on bicycles approached him. One of the men pulled out a 9mm pistol and robbed him at gunpoint of a bag containing $295 in cash, an RF&G Insurance package, and a package belonging to DHL. The assailants then rode off with the bag.

For the third year in a row, the US Embassy today named its Woman of the Year. 7news was at the ceremony which was held at the US ambassador's residence in Belmopan. The ward is reserved for a woman who has inspired and made positive contributions within her community. Many big names were nominated this year - all of them worthy - but the most worthy was one woman - whose name you might not know unless you live in Hattieville where - through grit, hard work and personal involvement, she has touched hundreds of lives: And this year's most selfless is Rita Coleman who founded the LEAP women's group - she was selected from among ten nominees including Audrey Matura Shepherd and Yvette Burks.

When we think of the nationalist movement, our minds jump to figures like George Price, Philip Goldson, Leigh Richardson and many of the men who helped pushed Belize to nationhood. Well tonight, NICH is hosting an opening lecture on the role of women in Belize's Nationalist Movement. Dr. Anne Macpherson has done her research for her PHD dissertation on Belizean women's political history, and will be giving the lecture tonight. This will kick off a three day discussion called "Belize at Thirty", Nigel Encalada, the director of NICH told us more about the discussion. Nigel Encalada, the Director of NICH "Tonight is the opening of what is called Belize at 30 Conference. It is the last event on the calendar to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Belize's Independence; It is the education academic side so to speak of commemorating and looking at Belize's experience with independence."

Channel 5

Villagers Protest for Continued Rosewood pillaging
A freeze was put in place on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood last Friday within days of the resumption of office by the Dean Barrow administration It was a first major policy statement coming from the new Minister of Forestry and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla that immediately won praise from conservationists. But there are ...

Gang Suppression Unit suppresses Mayans en route to protest
And while some protestors made it Belmopan to picket outside the National Assembly Building this morning, a second busload was turned back upon reaching Armenia. Both buses were met by a contingent of armed officers, believed to be members of the Gang Suppression Unit, who formed an ad hoc checkpoint near the outskirts of the ...

Cabinet endorses Rosewood Moratorium
APAMO which comprises numerous conservation NGOs, on Monday applauded the suspension of harvesting and exportation of rosewood. Letters of support were sent to the Prime Minister and to Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla describing the moratorium as "the first positive and assertive step in mitigating the environmental crisis caused by the unregulated harvesting of rosewood ...

Leader of Opposition takes Oath
In anticipation of Wednesday's opening of the House of Representatives, we note that, Francis Fonseca, took the oath this afternoon as leader the Opposition in the House of Representatives. It is his second term as leader in the House, the first was on November third. Other members of the House will be sworn in on ...

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Business Community
The private sector will also have a new face in the Senate to succeed Godwin Hulse who has been named as Minister of Labour. On Monday evening, businessman Mark Lizarraga of Southside Meats handsomely won elections to represent the Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau Lizarraga is also the Chamber's representative on the ...

Do you support rosewood moratorium?
Tonight's question is: Do you support the moratorium on rosewood? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belizecom You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belizecom...

Lone gunman shoots woman then kills mechanic
On Sunday afternoon, Jovanni Saldano was killed on West Street His murder was followed by another on Monday night News Five's Jose Sanchez reports Jose Sanchez, Reporting Ladyville resident Mark Lozano was the second person shot by a lone gunman on Monday night The mechanic was working late in Belize City on McKay Boulevard when ...

Freak accident kills student during soccer game
Up north, a young boy had an untimely death Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the death of a St Paul's Primary School Student, in Corozal The boy was playing football when he was crushed by a metal goal post on the field He was immediately transported to the Corozal Community Hospital but ...

Hit & Run Driver gives victim $20
Joseph Emmanuel Usher, a fifty-eight year old resident of Antelope Street was knocked down early Saturday morning He has been in the hospital for several days following the incident The family says the blow to his head is causing serious pain and he needs help Jacqueline Usher told News Five that even though the person ...

Accused Burglar says he's the victim
A Mahogany Heights man is being accused of burglarizing his neighbor's house and today he was brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to be charged Thirty-one year old Paul Parham allegedly attempted to break into Maria Neal's house on Sunday, but was caught in the act and ran off He didn't give up; instead ...

Busted for bullets and immigrant worker
A Chinese businessman was charged on Monday after being caught with six more rounds of ammunition than his gun license permits Twenty-eight year old Ming Pei Chen was remanded to prison and today one of his employees was before the court That's because the Immigration Department conducted a sting operation that led them to detain ...

Rita Coleman, US Embassy's Woman of the Year
She is unassuming but a dedicated educator and community worker from Hattieville who has been cited for the woman of the year award Despite her selfless dedication in assisting single mothers, Rita Coleman also spends time on promoting programs for young persons and the elderly According to the US Ambassador, Vinai Thummalapally, there is so ...

2 karate Competitions; 1 Weekend
Kumite is a form of karate that is growing in popularity Over the past weekend, primary school students from more than twenty schools converged in Belize City to participate in the first national karate championship There was also a mixed martial arts tournament organized by the House of Shotokan Academy News Five's Jose Sanchez reports ...

Hottest Family Entertainment Show in the Land; KTV Latino
KTV Latino is back! After a two week hiatus, your favorite Tuesday night show is coming back to the Bliss Center tonight The Group B singers will take the stage with their renditions of the Latino hits you love And since the contestants have had some extra time to fine-tune their performances, you can expect ...


Hattieville resident, Rita Coleman is the winner of the 2012 US Embassy's Belize Woman of the Year Award. U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumallapally presented Coleman with the award duri...

The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization along with 13 member organizations and other conservation partners have applauded the Government for institutin...

The newly elected UDP Belize City Council held its first caucus meeting on Monday and portfolio were assigned. Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility for Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Alifa Elring...

Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmo...

The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat...

Three persons who allegedly kidnapped Mexican diplomat 5-year-old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping when they appeared in court today. They are...

A gainfully employed man was shot dead in his yard in Belize City on Sunday. The incident happened at around 12:30 about 12:45 in the afternoon at his house at 61 West Street. The victim, 26 year-old Jovanni ...

Cancer has affected hundreds of Belizeans and next week a group of courageous women and their supporters will make a bold statement to draw more attention to the deadly disease. A group of students and a lecturer from the University of Belize will shave off their hair in what they call "Bal...

The Football Federation of Belize has a new president. In an election on Thursday night, Ruperto Vicente unseated long-standing president, Dr. Bertie Chimilio. Vicente said that officials from FIFA and UNCAF, who supervised the elections, met with him after the elections and extended ...

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. A release from the Ministry states that Rosewood harvesting in southern Belize has increased exponentially over the past two years i...

21-year-old Lincoln Hemsley, a resident of Kut Avenue, who allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old David Hernandez, was charged with murder when he appeared in court today. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea because the offence is indictable, neither could she offer him bail becau...


Schoolboy dies after goal post falls on him
A young boy was accidentally killed while playing with some friends in Corozal Town earlier today. Our northern reporter Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

Mayor Bradley has employee problems
The newly-sworn in Belize City Mayor, Darrel Bradley, has been in office for about two weeks and already he has had to dismiss an employee and is contemplating filing criminal charges against her. The Council's payroll clerk, Sherlene Sabal, is on half-pay on allegations that she swindled a hefty sum of the Council's funds. At ...

Ladyville mechanic gunned down in Belize City
Another murder has been reported in Belize City. A shooting incident has left one man dead and a woman hospitalized. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Leader of the Opposition takes oath of office
Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmopan. The first session of the National Assembly will be opened tomorrow. The inaugural sitting of the Senate will be held in the national assembly chamber beginning at nine in ...

Belize at 30 Lecture Series opens tonight
The Belize at thirty opening night lecture takes place tonight at the Fordyce Chapel at St. John's College. The event is sponsored by the National Celebrations Commission and organized by the National Institute for Culture and History. But what exactly is the Belize at thirty conference? Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, ...


Mayas protest in Belmopan over Rosewood moratorium
The Rosewood Saga Continues. Mayans from the villages of San Pedro Colombia, Dolores, Otoxcha, Indian Creek, Crique...

Belmopan City Council outlines its manifesto pledges
The Belmopan City Council Manifesto represents its pledge to the people of its municipality. Mayor Simeon Lopez and...

Rotary Club donates playground to OLOG Primary School
Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School this afternoon inaugurated its new playground in style. Work on the playgroud ...

Rita Coleman named Woman of the Year by the US Embassy
The U.S. Embassy has announced the Belize Woman of the Year 2012.This year marks the third year since the U.S. emba...

Two persons shot in Belize City, one dies
On March 19, about 11:00pm, Police visited KHMH, Belize City where they saw Cheray Zetina, suffering from a single ...

One teen's mission to swim from San Pedro to Belize City
"Swimming for Healthy Reef and Healthy People," that's the campaign of 17yr old Eric Donis of San Pedro Ambergris C...

11 year old dies from head injuries sustained during football game
An eleven year old boy from Corozal is dead tonight due to an accident which occurred while he was playing football...

Chinese businessman charged after gun found in home
Saturday about 11:30am Ladyville Police conducted a search at the residence of Chinese Businessman Ming Pei Chen, w...

Leader of the Opposition sworn in, PUP announces its slate of senators
In parliamentary news - the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, was officially sworn in by the Governor...

Chamber elects Mark Lizarraga as Private Sector Senator
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) held a joint election to sele...

Two couriers for DHL Limited robbed in separate incidents
James McKoy, a Courier for DHL Limited, reported that on March 19 he was on a Honda motorcycle, license plate #MC-1...

Woman assaulted by gunman
Belize City Police are also investigating a case of aggravated assault. 28year old Natalie Adolphus reported that o... The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) held a joint election to sele...


Murder and arson in Roaring Creek
Village handyman's house's only door had been chained shut, and house set on fire! The badly burned body of a well-known resident of Roaring Creek, Dean Bennett, 32, was found in his small home after rescuers broke down the chained and padlocked door to try to rescue him from a blazing fire in the shack.

New FFB President says FFB account almost empty!
Newly elected Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente said tonight that the picture doesn't look good from what he has seen so far of the FFB account.

Giovanni Saldano, 23, murdered on West Street
A gunman began firing at Saldano while he was walking on West Street around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, and chased him into his own yard, on West Street, where he was then shot to death.

6 chosen to review Belize's US$1 billion foreign debt
The Prime Minister will chair the Debt Review Team, led by Mark Espat... Financial Secretary Joe Waight told Amandala today, Monday, that the task of a newly appointed Debt Review Team is not just to look at restructuring the US$500 million super bond, but to review Belize's entire external debt, which currently stands at about US$1 billion or 80% of Belize's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Herman Garbutt shot to death in Mahogany Heights - why?
Herman Garbutt, 23, formerly of Belize City but who lived in Mahogany Heights, was found dead in the Mahogany Heights area. He was seen lying face down on the ground with gunshot wounds to his head, back and shoulders.

CitCo employee suspended over alleged financial fiddling
The Belize City Council has confirmed the suspension of payroll clerk, Shirlene Sabal, as it commences its investigation into allegations of "bogus" overtime payments made to junior-level employees at some point during the previous administration.

4 more weeks to painful cut for Premier League playoffs
On Saturday night, F.C. Belize remained undefeated in the North, as they visited winless World F.C. at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio and promptly shut out the home squad with second half goals from Jeromy "Jarro" James (57 min) and rookie David Ramos (80 min). Meanwhile, further west at the Marshalleck Stadium, the home squad Hankook Verdes registered their first victory of the tournament, a come from behind win against visiting Belmopan Bandits. Floyd Jones put the Bandits up 1-nil at the 20th minute, but Verdes came back with 2nd half goals from Julian Maldonado (80 min) and Jaime Lozano (82 min), to grab the 2-1 win.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald "Speedy" Henry - Part 8
(FFB Executive elections were held last Thursday night, March 15. Speedy lost his bid for the presidency to another accomplished veteran of the sport, Ruperto Vicente, the new FFB President, who is joined by new Senior Vice-President Sergio Chuc, a member of his slate. A member of Speedy's slate, Rawell Pelayo, is the new 2nd Vice President; and the two other new Executive Members, Cruz Gamez and Marlon Kuylen, were also members of Speedy's slate of candidates. Hopefully, Speedy and the other members who offered themselves as candidates, but were unsuccessful, will be called upon to fill posts on the many dormant FFB committees.)

Police charge 5 for kidnapping of Mexican diplomat
Five men were arraigned today in the #1 Magistrate's Court in connection with the kidnapping of a Mexican diplomat, Domingo Rodriguez Semerena, 50, which occurred around 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.

New Forestry Minister invokes immediate rosewood moratorium
The recently installed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, formerly the executive director of Ya'axch� Conservation Trust (YCT), has invoked a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of Belizean rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii, with immediate effect.

"Bald is beautiful" - UB students and supporters cut hair for cancer awareness
Whether because of necessity or simply for a fashion statement, baldness and the shaving of hair have become almost universally accepted.

NASA-funded study shines light into deforested Belizean forests at Caracol
NASA-sponsored study finds: "extensive modern deforestation and looting along the Guatemala-Belize border that is encroaching several kilometers into the archaeological reserve and threatening the preservation of Belize's cultural and natural heritage."... "while LiDAR [laser] enables a synoptic, never-seen-before, below-canopy view of the Maya city of Caracol, it also reveals the degree of canopy disturbance and potential looting of areas yet to be documented by archaeologists on the ground..."

Editorial: Spin, propaganda, and arithmetic
In the March 7 general elections, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) polled roughly 5,200 more votes in Belize City than the Opposition People's United Party (PUP) did. In the three Belize District Rural constituencies, the UDP polled more than 750 more votes than the PUP did. Overall, however, the UDP only defeated the PUP by some 3,000 plus votes nationwide, so that means the PUP defeated the UDP by roughly 3,000 votes in the so-called Out-Districts - Toledo, Stann Creek, Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal. (The UDP did narrowly defeat the PUP in the Cayo District's six constituencies, by a total of 14,521 votes to 14,247.)


Our first brush with medical care in Belize
Since moving to Ambergris Caye in late August, we've been quite healthy overall. This isn't unusual for us as we tend to avoid most of the viruses that go around, at least in part because we're around young children only infrequently. In recent years I actually went four years without a single cold, while my co-workers seemed to catch every bug going around. Barry and I both caught a cold with a cough around the Christmas/New Year's holidays, but we weren't sick enough to require doctor's visits. That changed this week. Barry had been tending to a fingertip that was a bit red, swollen, and infected. He thought it probably started when he poked his fingertip with the sharp blade while cleaning our blender a month ago, but it could have stemmed from a small cuticle tear around his nail that became infected. Whatever the cause, it wasn't getting any better; in fact, it was getting worse. He'd been soaking it and squeezing it, applying antibiotic ointment and Band-Aids, but none of this self-care was helping. The area around his nail was red, swollen, and there were a few pustules visible.

International Sources

Belize: Like Florida in the 1940′s
In 2007, after years working as an electrical engineer all over the U.S., my wife Jamie and I decided we'd like to move to a warmer climate and chose Florida. I was still working at the time and could continue over the Internet. Times were good until the economy began its downturn, crashing the real estate market. We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldn't see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer. We had always been intrigued by the idea of living somewhere "beachy" and exotic. And with the kids all grown-the youngest is 23-it seemed a good time to make the leap. So we began looking at Belize as a possibility, and took an exploratory trip in early 2010 to see Corozal, Placencia, and Ambergris Caye. Corozal is close to Chetumal, a good-sized city in Mexico, and it just seemed to feel right. We purchased a half-acre lot close to the water and built a house for about $125 per square foot.

Belize enacts moratorium on rosewood
The Belizean Government has banned the harvesting and export of rosewood with immediate effect, in response to the widespread clearing of the hardwood species for the Asian market. A government statement released on Friday, March 16th claimed the moratorium was necessary "to carry out an orderly assessment of the situation on the ground and as a first response to regulate the timber trade occurring in southern Belize." The government would subsequently institute "a rigorous regulatory framework throughout the country." Southern Belize had been the remaining stronghold of Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii) until it became subject to widespread felling for the Chinese market. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) had been criticized for overseeing a situation in which no effective control system was put in place. The UDP narrowly won reelection on March 7th but lost control of southern constituencies to the opposition People's United Party.

Guatemala/Belize: helping resolve the territorial dispute
One of the priorities of the British Embassy in Guatemala City is to work with the government of Guatemala to resolve its territorial dispute with Belize. We also work closely with the British High Commission in Belmopan. Read on the find out more about: the current status, the UK's interest and role, and some of the history to the dispute. Current status In March 2000 the governments of Guatemala and Belize re-started talks to end their long-standing territorial differendum through the Organisation of American States (OAS). And in December 2008 they signed a Special Agreement setting out their agreement to allow their territorial dispute to be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for independent arbitration. On 9 September 2010, Guatemala's Congress approved the holding of a referendum on the referral of the dispute to the ICJ, and now Guatemala and Belize have to agree a date for this to happen simultaneously in both countries. Meanwhile both have put into force positive measures to strengthen bilateral relations. For example, in 2009 a Partial Scope Agreement was agreed that liberalises trade for more than 70 Guatemalan products and removes other physical barriers to trade, as well as allowing Belize to export duty free to Guatemala fish, tropical fruits and some industrial equipment. And Guatemala's candidacy to be elected non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2012/13 is being supported by SICA and CARICOM of which Belize is a member.

Should You Consider Offshore Banking?
For much of its history, offshore banking has been seen first and foremost as an avoidance maneuver. Countless action and mystery movies depict Swiss bank accounts as places for villains to hide ill-gotten fortunes. Indeed, one need not rely on movies for evidence of offshore banks housing shady activities. Offshore bank accounts have been used to hide the profits for everything from drug sales to arms dealing to bribes - not to mention tax evasion schemes. But today, offshore banking is much more than a haven for underhanded financial shell games. Increasingly, legitimate businesses and individuals are finding it more advantageous than ever to utilize offshore banks for the privacy, flexibility and accessibility that they offer. With identity theft and bogus lawsuits as prevalent as ever, it's plain to see why people take comfort in storing assets overseas - especially in countries where banks pride themselves on being loyal to customers first, and governments second. Swiss banks, for instance, are famous for refusing to cooperate with all but the most serious and unavoidable of government snooping. Such secrecy protects not just devious crooks, but innocent citizens with legitimate reasons to keep prying eyes out of their finances. Today, we'll take a deeper look at offshore banking - including its key advantages, what it offers to different types of people and several nations known for protecting the assets and identities of their foreign depositors.

Belize named as a top retirement spot by US News Money
Belize has been in the travel headlines countless times recently for everything from the upcoming end of the Maya Calendar on December 21, 2012 to the high-profile royal visit from Prince Harry earlier this month. Now, US News: Money has included Belize in on a round-up list of the top places to retire in the world. The article published on March 19th includes 18 retirement havens where "an interesting, adventure-filled lifestyle is available for a better-than-reasonable cost." Author Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas Publishing Group. She puts Belize as the number two place to retire in the Americas and notes it is a great place for 'reiventing your life in retirement'.

The 18 Best Places to Retire Overseas
Belize is a great place for reinventing your life in retirement. This tiny, under-developed, sparsely populated country offers two distinct lifestyle options: Ambergris Caye is the best of the Caribbean at a discount, while the Cayo is a frontier where independent-minded pioneers can make their own way and do their own thing, peacefully and privately. The climate is tropical, warmer on the coast, and cooler in the mountainous interior. The official language is English, so there's no foreign language barrier for Americans. You'll find a well-established and welcoming community of expats in San Pedro and on Ambergris Caye, and an emerging community of expats in the Cayo around San Ignacio.

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 10:48 AM.