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The San Pedro Sun

SP Cancer Society members gear up for Cancer Awareness Month
"You know, I have been thinking, while [Carlos] cuts my hair�we have a choice - we're choosing to do this�but others suffering from cancer�they don't have a choice�now I know how my mother must be feeling�" Those words were said with a catch in the throat as Dina Graniel sat in the chair getting her hair trimmed off. Everyone watching and listening felt the importance of the moment, and more than a few tears slipped as Dina bravely held up her head with pride, as the last few strands fell off, and her new short 'do revealed her tears mixed with smiles. Dina was one of the three women who faced the electric razor under the hands of Carlos Barrientos, on Friday, March 23, 2012. Penny Bonilla and Monica Prevett also received radical new cuts in preparation for the bigger, more public activity scheduled for March 31, 2012. Three men also went under the shears: Enrique de Leon, Gonzalo Mu�oz and Miguel Perez. Young Nathaniel joined his mother Penny with a new haircut, while Dina's nephew Brandon sat on the chair asking to match his aunt's look.

Wine de Vine becomes Official Countrywide Distributor of Mo�t Hennessy Liquors
Wine lovers will be happy to learn that Wine de Vine has become the new Official Partner and Distributor of Mo�t Hennessy Wines and Spirits in Belize. The partnership comes after Wine de Vine took the initiative to pursue the distributorship when they learned that their previous supplier would no longer be carrying the products. Wine de Vine says that because there was no official distributor for the country before, wholesalers had to buy through unofficial channels, which ended up pushing up the cost of the products and made availability unpredictable. What this new partnership means for the country is that Wine de Vine will now be able to offer direct access to the wide range of Mo�t Hennessy products and will allow for much more reliable availability, as well as cheaper costs at both the wholesale and retail level. Mrs. Flor Bradley, manager of Wine de Vine, says that this is an exciting time for the company as it opens the doors to a large selection of popular and coveted products that are instantly recognized as top liquors worldwide. The Mo�t Hennessy portfolio includes renowned brands such as Mo�t et Chandon, Krug, Ruinart, Dom P�rignon, Veuve Clicquot, Ardberg, Mercier, Château d'Yquem, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Belvedere, Domaine Chandon California, Domaine Chandon Australia, 10 Cane, Bodegas Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Cape Mentelle Vineyard, Newton Vineyard, Lapostolle Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Château de Sancerre, Château Cheval Blanc, Grand Marnier,Wenjun and Numanthia.

Missing girl Stephanie Mejia calls home
A family from the Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town somewhat relieved after their run-away child contacted them shortly after being reported missing. The teenager is 15-year-old Stephanie Mejia who was last seen on Saturday night, March 24th in the vicinity of Central Park. Brother, Giovanni Mejia, 21, visited the San Pedro Police Station on Tuesday, March 27th around 1PM to place the official missing person's report. According to Mejia, his sister Stephanie went swimming with her aunt and other family members on Saturday afternoon. After spending the day at the beach, she returned home and informed her mother that she would need to meet with her classmates later that night to work on a school project. She was last seen by her family around 8PM, when she left en route to the town core area, where she was to meet with her classmates. Giovanni states that he discovered from asking Stephanie's friends that she left them around 8:30PM that night, en route to meet with some other friends to do her homework after which she was to head home. That was the last she was seen by anyone.

El Pescador donates to Green Reef
On Tuesday, March 27th El Pescador Resort presented a donation to the Green Reef Environmental Institute. The contribution is part of resorts annual commitment to Green Reef's work. The donation of $7,500 is expected to be used by Green Reef in its effort to foster the preservation of important marine habitats around Ambergris Caye. Handing over the donation on behalf of El Pescador Resort was Chief Executive Officer Alyssa Flota. In speaking exclusively to The San Pedro Sun, Flota said that "We believe strongly in Green Reef's ethic to protect mangrove and marine habitat used in sports fishing. We have been making a donation based on the number of guests that visit El Pescador each year." Flota went on to explain that the donation is important to El Pescador because their focus is sports fishing. "It is also very important to the island. It is very easy for all of us to understand the importance of protecting the reef, but frequently the mangrove and sea grass habitats get left to the wayside. People believe that it is just swamp and don't realize the importance of protecting it so we have joined the bandwagon in ensuring that it is protected."

Ambergris Today

Belize Among Top Ten Snorkeling Spots In The World
Belize was once again chosen as an international first pick, this time topping the list of perfect destinations for diving and snorkeling. On March 24th, 2012 'The National', one of the few English newspapers based in the United Arab Emirates, with a circulation of over 40,000 and supporting 200 staff writers posted across the globe, nominated Belize as the second best snorkeling location in the world. According to the newspaper, "The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is perfect for a day trip for snorkeling at the reef while observing a wide variety of fish including jacks, snappers and barracudas. You can spot turtles gliding, dolphins playing nearby and manatees swimming and congregating in the grassy sea beds." This rating is now being added to a list of accolades Belize has received for snorkeling and diving. "This has been a really great year for us, because this top 10 nomination for snorkeling comes on the heels of our beaches being ranked 7th, 8th, and 9th in Central America by Trip Advisor, the world's largest internet travel website," said Yanick Dalhouse, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for the Belize Tourism Board. "These awards are absolutely fantastic and only validate what Belizeans have been raving about for years."

El Pescador Continues Supporting Green Reef Conservation Efforts
Since 2006 El Pescador has partnered with Green Reef Environmental Institute, a marine conservation NGO, to support Green Reef's environmental efforts in the reefs and waters surrounding Ambergris Caye. El Pescador will enable its guests to enjoy themselves and the beauty of Belize with the knowledge that they have contributed to the preservation of the natural environment they came to experienced. As an environmentally friendly fishing and eco-adventure resort, El Pescador is committed to the protection of the environment through responsible travel. Therefore, El Pescador continues its support of Green Reef with this year's 2012 donation on behalf of their guests during 2011. This year's donation is $7500. "Both Green Reef and El Pescador want to preserve the habitats that bring tourists to Ambergris Caye," said Mito Paz, Executive Director of Green Reef. "We at Green Reef are grateful to El Pescador for its innovative program, its leadership in protecting our resources and its practice of progressive eco-tourism."

Culture Day - Child Stimulation Month
This is the last week of Child Stimulation Month and children are enjoying the last fun activities prepared for them. Students of ABC Pre-School participated in Culture Day as they came dressed up in the different ethnic groups that make up our beautiful Belize. Students and Teachers dressed up the part and students were lectured about the ethnic groups' traditions, religion, traditional clothing and food. Below are some pictures of the different ethnic groups as portrayed by the students of ABC Pre-school.The Mennonites of Belize The Mestizo of Belize The Chinese of Belize The Ketchi Maya of Belize The Garifuna of Belize The Creoles of Belize

San Pedro Celebrity Vacation Hot Spot!
Our latest celebrity vacationers are cute couple actor and actress Jensen Ackles & Danneel Harris. This happily married couple came down to La Isla Bonita and stayed at the luxurious Portofino Beach Resort for a great getaway to soak up the sun and enjoy many day trips exploring the second largest Barrier Reef in the world. The Ackles also got to experience the amazing nightlife from restaurants to bar hopping and clubbing. Also word was out on the island that popular movie actor Bruce Willis was also vacationing and enjoying life in paradise. Ambergris Today's Gerry Badillo got the opportunity to take a picture with the Ackles and Sandra and Jan van Noord owner's of the Portofino Beach Resort at Jaguar's Temple Night Club.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: The Nuri Akbar interviews
This guy did a literal treasure trove of interviews on social and political challenges facing Belize. He was based in California. The below clip is a one-hour interview he did with then PM Esquivel and then Foreign Minister (and current PM) Dean Barrow. Nuri Akbar was a HARD HITTING interviewer. He didn't ask any powder puff questions. The Bredaa organization sponsored what can be called the first Belize Prime Ministers forum held at Los Angeles in 1992. The forum was hosted by Nuri Akbar and held at the Marcus Garvey school in front of a live audience. This interview was later broadcast via Pacifica radio network (KPFK 90.7 FM) in Los Angeles on the BREDAA produce "Belize Caribbean Pusle" show. The guest included former and current PM Manuel Esquivel and Dean Barrow. Topic covered the economy, social/political challenges, foreign policy and the impact of race on the local body politics of Belize. Many of the issues discussed almost two decades ago remain elusive to the Belizean experiment. This historical interview was release on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Belize independence on Sept 21st 2011. PT 2

PHOTOS: Spring Equinox at Caracol Maya
Ambergris Today has posted some upbeat pictures from the Caracol camping trip in celebration of the Vernal Equinox. Take a look at them.

PHOTOS: Cayo Christian Academy's Science Fair
The Cayo Christian Academy had their Science Fair. Here are their pictures. They also have an update: "Cayo Christian Academy is accepting applications for the upcoming school year! All documents needed can be downloaded from our website! Scholarships coming up next week so apply to CCA now!"

Sleeping Policemen: Speed Bumps of Belize
The first trip to Belize was filled with days of silence. "Why," you may ask, "would an otherwise talkative, gregarious woman, be left speechless?" All the energy I would have expended making conversation, was used in absorbing the landscape. I spent a lot of time on Belizean roads, winding my way in the valleys of the Maya mountains and across the marshes and lowlands. Deep green hills filled with palms and hardwoods were dappled in light. The environment was vastly different from my home and what I had imagined in my mind's eye; this was the tropics, and it was lush, verdant and full of life. There was something however that woke me from the dream that was cruising across the landscape: Speed bumps. Belizean speedbumps, or "Sleeping Policemen" take the cake for world's best traffic control. The are famous around the world, and it is rumored that during the last visit from Queen Elizabeth II, she made a special request that the "bumps" be removed from the route she would travel, to avoid any royal roadside unpleasantness. The rest of us aren't so lucky. The bumps and the subsequent, "Argghhh! OUCH! Yahhhh!" from the passengers in the cars provides a jolt and even potential damage to the car. I have watched cars bottom out, pop tires and scrape bumpers by taking on the bumps too fast. They are extremely effective speed tools - you need to know how to navigate them and take your time getting over them to keep yourself, and your cargo intact. Here's a quick guide to the bumps of Belize:

Channel 7

A 49 year old Belize City man survived seven shots to his upper body this morning. Miraculously, Emmanuel Robinson is in a stable condition at the KHMH after he was shot at the corner of Kraal Road this morning. Monica Bodden spoke to an area resident about what happened and she has this report: Monica Bodden Reporting The shooting happened here at the corner of Haynes Street and Kraal Road - in front of this residence - at around 5 this morning. The bloodstains on the side of the street form a track that leads you almost to Kraal Road. That's because 49 year old Emmanuel Robinson tried walking in search of help with his injuries after he was shot 7 times.

We've all heard about home invasions, but our next story is about a terrifying classroom invasion! It happened yesterday on the ITVET compound. Three University of Belize students were held up at gunpoint and robbed in their classroom - at around 2 in the afternoon. The students who are all attending the faculty of engineering were inside their classroom when the 3 men - one armed with a handgun and 2 armed with sharp objects entered and demanded that they handed over their cellphones and a laptop computer. It's a very disturbing report and the first time that we've ever reported on students being robbed inside a classroom. Today 7news spoke with the Lecturer of Engineering - who told us that the 3 men posed as students and they all carried knapsacks. They walked on the compound as normal and headed straight to the classroom which is located at the back of the compound.

The PUP has filed another election petition - this one against the UDP's Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King. The petition is filed by King's PUP Opponent Martin Galvez. He alleges that Mark King has a contract with the government of Belize - and that King did not make a declaration of it - and because of that, he is not a qualified candidate. As we understand it, the claim is that King's security firm has a contract with the Government. We reached King this evening and he told us he has no comment at this time -but added that he has no concern about what Galvez and his sister do. The PUP will also file petitions in the Cayo Central and Cayo Northeast divisions. They have until Friday to do so.

A BDF soldier who has been in jail for a year staring down the barrel of a 10 year sentence, is a free man tonight - after a ruling by the Court Of Appeals. 24 year-old BDF Private Paulino Assi, who killed a man in a hurricane shelter, was able to successfully appeal his manslaughter conviction today. His 10 year sentence was set aside and a retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeal. Assi's attorney, Simeon Sampson, successfully argued that he was not given a fair trial in February 2011. First, It was determined that the trial judge did not adequately direct the jury to consider his good character. Also, the court found that the trial judge improperly directed the jury on the BDF's rules of engagement with civilians.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has returned from Central American Drug Summit which was held in Antigua, Guatemala. The meeting is making world news tonight because Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina proposed legalizing and regulating drug and the drug trade. His proposal would see the regulation of the trans-shipment of drugs - creating a regional corridor for the transport of drugs and establishing border controls for the proper registry of the movement of drugs. He also proposes the legalization of the consumption of drugs with all necessary. And while it may seem radical, proponents argue that it is the only rational response to curtail illicit trafficking activity which has taken over a portion of Guatemala's north-eastern Peten and has taken thousands of lives throughout Mexico.

We called him the pretend-police, 23 year-old Aaron Wilson who was allegedly impersonating a cop in mid 2010. After several months in the Magistrate's Court, the preliminary inquiry finished today, and it was determined that he will stand trial in the Supreme Court. Wilson has to answer to the charges of forgery of an official document, possession of a false official document, unlawful possession of Police Department accoutrements, and possession of imitation official documents. After several of the police statements were read out in court today, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that there is enough evidence for the Supreme Court to hear the case properly. Wilson's attorney, Arthur Saldivar, attempted to fight the case by pointing out that the original case file has been missing since September of last year, and that the prosecution is depending on copies.

The election may be over, but political tensions are still running high in Orange Walk. Orange Walk Town Council's new PUP Sanitation Supervisor Efrain Alpuche and UDP supporter Dillon Jones have counter-charged each other for threatening words. IT all started with a heated argument on Friday at a paint store in the Town. Jones reported to police that Alpuche - who doubles as the Mayor's driver - had threatened him. And so, on Friday evening, Police arrested and charged him for the use of threatening words against Jones. After some political drama, Alpuche got bail on Friday night and then filed a counter-complaint against Dillon Jones.

Almost three weeks ago an attempt was made on a young man's life - and he identified the culprit as a 15 year old minor. Jose Saravia is a 17 year old Salvadoran Naturalized Belizean of Belize City. At around 4:30 on the afternoon of March 15th, Saravia was at a shop on M&M Street when he was approached by a male who he had known for 10 years. According to Saravia, the male chased him with a knife and stabbed him behind his left shoulder, the left side of his back, and his abdomen. Police have since detained a 15 year old Belize City student and continue their investigation.

23 year-old Emil Audinett, a vendor of Fern Lane, was charged with being caught in a house without adequate explanation. It is alleged that he broke into his sister's home. 25 year-old Devaney Wallace reported to police that at around 7 yesterday morning, he and his common-law wife left for work, and they locked up their house on Rose Lane in the Lake Independence area. Wallace said that he forgot something and returned home 5 minutes later. He tried to open the door, but found that it was locked from inside, which only happens when someone is inside. Eventually he got the door open and that's when he found his common-law wife's brother, Audinett, inside the house. Audinett allegedly told him that he was there to look for detergent, and that he found the door open.

At the top of the newscast, we told you about the classroom invasion at ITVET. The robbers went in posing as students. And that led us back to the YWCA - which is just down the street from ITVET. As we reported last night, that school was robbed on Monday morning. The interesting part is that the assailant posed as a parent going to pay his child's school fee. But he was in fact, an armed robber and got away with over 2 thousand dollars in cash and cheques. Today we stopped in at the Y - where we were told that they are working on stepping up security measures. Sonia Linarez - General Secretary, YMCA "On Monday morning, someone came into our office and held up our finance officer. He demanded money using a gun, and she hand over the amount that we had that she was about to prepare for a deposit at the bank."

In posh, high end stores like Barney's in New York, a product called Maya Bags fetches premium prices, comparable to upscale designer products. Those bags are made entirely in Belize by Mayan women from villages such as Columbia, Dolores, Otoxha (Oto-sha), Indian Creek and other communities. Well, work from native women is also being celebrated in Belize by the Women's Department, as part of women's month activities. They are having a two day Expo featuring locally grown spices along with a variety of baskets, carvings, clothing and accessories. Cynthia Williams from the Women's department who told us what is being sold and why Belizeans buy it. Cyntha Williams - Coordinator, Women's Department "Today, we are having a Maya's Women Expo as part of Women's Month activities. We wanted to really contribute also to a year of the Mayans, which is being observed by the Ministry of Tourism. So we invited several women's group with whom we work with throughout the year, to bring their products that they produce to sell it within Belize City. We have groups from Toledo and Stann Creek district, and we have a variety of products that they produce including Maya pepper, yellow ginger, anato, kasham and also products that do for example Maya blouses, jewelry that they make, slave cravings, and also baskets make out to the jippy jappa material."

Channel 5

Guatemala President proposes to legalize drugs and shipment route
With escalating violence in the region, decriminalizing the transportation of drugs heading to the US has become a hot topic. The idea was first broached by the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. He has been lobbying for support because he believes that in the war on drugs, US assistance has not reduced the drug trade ...

Foreign Minister says U.S. must have a say in drug situation
Elrington says that the discussion caught most country representatives off-guard and that the situation was somewhat confusing as some representatives thought it might have been a Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting. But how does Belize fit in? Elrington's response was that the meeting should not be held without the United States which considers drug ...

Classroom invasion; university students at gunpoint
A robbery was executed at the ITVET on Freetown Road which shows that robberies are becoming even more daring and dangerous. The robbery did not just take place in the compound; in fact it was inside a classroom of the UB Faculty of Engineering. Early afternoon, at about one-thirty on Tuesday, three students; Nirmal Babani ...

Man shot multiple times; no motive established
Less than twenty-four hours after the robbery, gunshots rang out on Kraal Road at dawn today and when the echoes faded forty-nine year old Emmanuel Robinson had been hit multiple times. The shooting occurred just a few feet away from the now infamous location where a grenade was thrown in December 2009. Robinson, a resident ...

Budget presentation delayed
There are only few examples when budgets have been delayed. The last time it happened was in 2008 when the U.D.P. assumed office after ten years of P.U.P. rule. After the recent March seventh elections, the PM announced that the 2012 budget would be late even though budget preparations normally begin in October to be ...

But what will be in the budget?
So what is in store in the budget? There is some new and some rehashing of projects. Osorio also told News Five that the construction of a new bridge at the Macal River adjoining the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, is contemplated as is the completion of the Kendal Bridge. Equally impactful ...

Sedi speaks on accused GSU excessive force
Earlier in the newscast, the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington spoke on the security meeting in Antigua, Guatemala. Elrington is also the Attorney General so we asked him about a legal battle brewing with Belize City gangs. Recently the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Police Department was accused of using excessive force on gang members ...

Commercial Center bomb threat
Business was halted at the Commercial Center and traffic was rerouted in downtown Belize City after a hoax bomb threat was called in around nine o’clock this morning. The building was evacuated and businesses closed their doors for about forty-five minutes while police and traffic officers manned the cordoned off area. The B.D.F. bomb expert ...

B.D.F. Soldier gets retrial in Manslaughter Case
Just over a year ago, Belize Defence Force Sergeant Paulino Assi was convicted of Manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison. But Assi appealed and today a retrial was ordered in the case. The appeal started last Friday and Assi's Attorney, Simeon Sampson argued four grounds on his behalf. Simpson's submissions included that the ...

Fake Cop faces real court
The infamous fake cop, twenty-three year old Aaron Wilson, is going to trial on four charges. During the preliminary inquiry today, his attorney Arthur Saldivar made several attempts to challenge the evidence before the court and revealed that Wilson's case file has been missing since September, 2011. But Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith committed Wilson ...

Water rates to go down
It's official; water rates are going down. That's the final decision that was announced today by the Public Utilities Commission, which recently concluded the annual review proceedings for the Belize Water Services Limited. BWS submitted its application on December twenty-third, 2011 and wanted its rates and tariffs to remain the same. The P.U.C., however, believes ...

Water Services wants P.U.C. to review rate decision
While it did not submit an objection, the BWS has now made a formal request for the P.U.C. to review its final decision. But Almendarez says the commission's final decision is just that� final.   Leroy Almendarez "You don't review the final decision. There was a period for objection; they either objected or they did ...

2 other petitions filed by the P.U.P. in Court
This Friday, the Supreme Court will deliver a decision on whether or not, Yolanda Schakron and the People's United Party will get leave to proceed to hearing on the disqualification of the nomination of Schakron that barred her from running in the Lake Independence. This afternoon the opposition filed two other petitions. Martin Galvez, who ...

Southern women display Mayan Art
The Women's Department, as a part of the calendar of activities for Women's Month, is hosting a two-day Maya Women's Expo to increase exposure and generate income for the indigenous women of southern Belize. The initiative was made possible through an ongoing relationship between the department and the women's groups and it also coincides with ...

Read a Passage at the Leo Bradley Library Book Fair
A book fair took place today at the Leo Bradley Library and its aim was to encourage reading. The National Library Service has the fair annually with the hopes that by motivating youths to read, the practice will be passed on through generations. News Five's Delahnie Bain reports on the event that saw an impressive ...

KTV Latino; Music sung from the Heart
Local talent at its best; that's what the KTV Latino contestants showcase every Tuesday night in the Bliss auditorium. And this week was no different as the five singers in Group A took the stage. The variety and quality of the performances impressed both the judges and the audience. But now it's time to get ...


A fifteen year old boy has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder. Because he is a minor, his name cannot be released; but police say they have detained him pending the outcome of their investigations. Seventeen year old Jose Saravia was stabbed multiple times on March fifteent...

On Tuesday afternoon a trio or armed men interrupted classes at the University of Belize's Freetown Road campus and robbed three students of their belongings while inside the classroom. The terrifying incident happened around one thirty yesterday afternoon at the Faculty of...

A man was shot early this morning as he rode to his worksite in Belize City. The victim, 49 year old Emmanuel Robinson was shot six times in his chest, stomach and arm. The incident happened on Haynes Street, near its junction with Kraal Road. One resident told Love N...

The Public Utilities Commission has issued a statement confirming that the initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Water Services Limited has been confirmed as its final decision. According to the brief statement announcing the final decision, the Commission o...


Efrain Alpuche and Dilon Jones Go To Court
This morning 45 year old Efrain Alpuche, an employee of the Orange Walk Town Council accused of threatening words, and U.D.P loud mouth piece dubbed serial caller Dilon Jones accused of using insulting words appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. On Friday March 23rd Jones visited the Orange Walk Police Station and filed a complaint against Alpuche who was then arrested by police and charged for threatening words. Alpuche was released from police custody only after Attorney Marcel Cardona intervened and number of PUP supporters including Mayor Kevin Bernard and councilors gathered in front of the Orange Walk Police Station on Friday night. As mentioned last night reports are that on the night of Alpuche's arrest orders from the higher hierarchy of the UDP were that he be offered bail until Saturday evening despite the fact that threatening words is a minor offence.

Orange Walk Resident Victim of Freak Accident
A 20 year-old man from the Village of San Jose/San Pablo was severely injured in a freak accident this morning. Omar Calles reported to work at around 7 o'clock this morning. At that time little did he know that he would be the victim of a dreadful accident that could leave him without one leg. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting A pool of fresh blood, pieces of flesh and a portion of broken bone are all indications that 20 year old Omar Calles was severely injured this morning at around 8:45 when his left foot was severed by the shaft of a bush hog. Reports to CTV3 News are that 37 year old Elmer Novelo and Calles, both from the Village of San Pablo, were hired by contractor Luis Rodriguez to clear the high shrubs along the Northern Highway for the Belize Electricity Limited. This morning both men were clearing the shrubs with a bush hog being pulled by a tractor when all indications are that somewhere near Belize Western Energy Limited an old tire got caught in between the bush hog and the tractor.

Free Internet Available In Public Areas
In February the Orange Walk Town Council officially launched their manifesto entitled "Change is Here" which covers a multitude of plans and ideas. The manifesto serves as contract to the people and is fixated on solutions and not promises. In the area of Youth and Sports the council committed to provide free internet access to all students, youths and citizens in public areas. In seeing the importance of embracing and making technology available for students and youths on a whole, the council immediately embarked in its plan to provide free internet access which is now available. Ian Cal, councilor "Well basically what we did that in our manifesto we had included that we are going to provide free wireless internet for the people of Orange Walk and I am happy to announce that we have completed that project, we as the town council when we came in we immediately battle this project and we can say that now today is a reality but we didn't only stopped with providing free wireless internet but we are also are providing a feed to the Barracks and as well to the market area so people can start enjoying that wireless internet that was much needed by many students around town, I mean internet is something that is needed, the school actually demands internet to do your research, your homework and things like that and it is kind of hard in this hard times students find it a little bit hard to take out that little extra four dollars to go to an internet caf� and pay that for an hour now they can come out here if they have a laptop, their phones and do their research on it free of cost courtesy of the Orange Walk Town Council but of course it is the taxpayers money and we are just giving back to the community as well."

Another Burglary Reported In Corozal
Recently Corozal has been plagued by a series of burglaries which seem to have no end. And tonight there is yet another report of burglary coming out of the Corozal District. Sixty six year old Belizean Taxi Driver and Caretaker of Hall's Layout, Servalerio Garcia, reported to Corozal police that between the hours of 3:30pm on March 20th and 3:00pm on March 26th, the house which he is in charge of, located on the Santa Elena Road was burglarized. According to reports the thief or thieves made off with one Mahogany door valued at $1,500, one Mahogany bed with mattress valued at $4,000, one refrigerator valued at $700 and one bathroom wooden door valued at $400. All items amounted to a total of $6,600. Police observed that the burglar or burglars gained entry to the building by prying open an aluminum louver of the bathroom window located on the southern side of the building. So far no one has been arrested and police continue their investigations.

BTIA And O.W.T.C Join Hands To Develop Orange Walk Into A Tourist Destination
Tourism is one of the leading incomes for Belize: creating employment and the inflow of foreign currency. For the most part Orange Walk is not considered as a tourism destination but that's about to change. Yesterday the Town Council met with the Belize Tourism Industry Association to form a partnership aimed at developing tourism in Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us what their main purpose is. Kevin Bernard, Mayor "Our meeting that we had today with BTIA Orange Walk, basically is to reaffirm our commitment to work in partnership with the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter, as you know the tourism center was constructed in late December now they are seeking in getting someone to work with them to carry out and promote tourism in Orange Walk, so what we did was basically sit down and discuss and we have agreed that the council will be meeting on Wednesday and BTIA will also be sending us a proposal as to how we go about partner shipping with them in order for us to promote tourism in Orange Walk because as you know tourism is something that we also campaigned on and this council is very committed and will fulfill its commitment and as Ian Cal mentioned in his interview earlier that we have already launched part of our planning because the entire plan is for us to rebuild the entire Central Park and its surroundings and part of that had involve us working together with BTIA in order for us to attract more tourist and as well as for our meeting to solidify the support we have to would offer to the BTIA Chapter and likewise the support they would offer us as a council in order for us to move Orange Walk forward in one direction." With Orange Walk embraced as a tourist destination, new employment opportunities will be created thus benefitting the entire community.

Preschoolers Take Part In Festival Of Arts
The month of March is being celebrated as Child Stimulation Month with preschooler's country wide participating in a number of activities. The key purpose of the activities is to promote the importance of Early Childhood Education. One such activity is the Festival of Arts celebrated this year under the theme "Art is Expression; Art is Education, Let's Keep It Alive". Today as the 12 rural pre-schools and 12 pre-schools located within town took part in the annual Festival of Arts our camera captured all the talent that was exposed at the Multi Purpose Complex Building. Janine Ayuso-Reporting On well decorated and colourful stage 24 pre-schools took their turn at the spotlight and showed the audience what their performance was all about at the Festival of Arts. The event saw pre-school talent at it best as preschoolers dressed in their different yet very distinguishing outfits expressed art in the form of dance, music and drama. But according to Early Childhood Coordinator, Eleanor Carillo, the Festival of Arts was not only about showcasing creative ideas and talent in dance and drama; the main objective goes way beyond that.

Yolando Schakron's Court Case Commences
On February 17th, Yolanda Schakron's Candidacy to run for the 2012 General Elections for the Lake I Division was rejected by registering Officer Noreen Fairweather on the grounds that Schakron held dual nationality. On March 22nd Schakron filed an application for the leave to present an election Petition to the Supreme Court. The preliminary hearing for that case was heard in the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin yesterday. Lisa Shoman and Godfrey Smith represented Yolando Schakron and on the other side of the court room, Attorneys Senior Counsel Denys Barrow and Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo, represented Mark King and the Attorney General. Lisa Shoman, Attorney "Under the Constitution we have to ask for leave to present an election petition and so that is what the hearing was about today and the test that you have to pass in order to satisfy the court that you are permitted to bring an election petition is there is an adequate case and we try to demonstrated to the court that not only do we believe that there is an adequate case, there is an adequate case with a realistic prospect of success based on our cases which is that Section 8 (1) of the third schedule of the representation of the peoples act only give the nominating officer, the returning officer, the power to inquire into the nomination paper and nothing more."

Primary and Secondary School Teachers Take Part In Special Education Workshop
Special Education is a form of teaching that specializes in meeting the needs of physically or mentally handicapped children. Such education requires an effective pedagogical strategy to teach and stimulate learning in children with special needs. To ensure that teachers are prepared in dealing with special cases the Ministry of Education invited two professors from the New Mexico State University to educate teachers on the different methods and strategies used when lecturing students with disabilities. The training program was designed with the key objective of creating an awareness of the various forms of disabilities and how to effectively teach special needs children to become both academically and socially successful. Dr. Monica Brown, Associate professor "What we are doing is really trying to bring some awareness to the teachers here for the primary and secondary around educating kids with disabilities specifically learning disabilities in attention to disorder because there is serving new way within the country to try to be inclusive as far to all the kids and educating them all because they deserve to be in those classrooms. I think it is something that they want to have, I think they want to knowledge, I think they want the skills and I think that is why the teachers are here, they care about moving into inclusivity they make sure that all of those kids that are not left behind, that they are getting what they need in the classroom and I feel all of their passion from them that they really want to help the kids and right now as they are instructing in their college courses or in their training they are just not getting those tools to work with the kids so that's why we are here to help them and give them some more tools so they can be prepared."


Public officers get disaster preparedness training in San Pedro
Public Officers and Town Councilors today received some much needed training from the National Emergency Management Organization. Love TV's Maria Novelo has the story.

House collapses in Belize City
A family of five is displaced after the place they called home collapsed on Sunday evening. It happened at number 24 Neal Pen Road when the two storey wooden structure caved in. Glenbert Reneau, who lives in a house behind the wreckage, was inside the structure at around six o'clock on Sunday evening and narrowly [...] PUBLISHED BY PATRICK JONES ON MARCH 28, 2012 7:38 PM

It is official: PUC says lower water rates start on Sunday
The Public Utilities Commission has issued a statement confirming that the initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Water Services Limited has been confirmed as its final decision. According to the brief statement announcing the final decision, the Commission on January twenty third, approved an average seven point two percent reduction in water [...]

Can and truck collide on Central American Boulevard
About an hour and a half before news time tonight, traffic flow was slowed down by an accident on Central American Boulevard, across from the Belize City Center. The accident involved a Benny's Truck and a Geo Prizm car which slammed head on into the side of the truck. The car was making its way [...]

Traffic accident reported in Orange Walk
An Orange Walk man was seriously injured in a traffic accident this afternoon in that northern municipality. Arturo Cantun from our sister station Estereo Amor has the details.

New PG town council announced portfolio assignments
Members of the newly elected Punta Gorda Town Council have been assigned specific areas of responsibilities. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Missing San Pedro girl located in Punta Gorda
A fifteen year old San Pedro girl who was reported missing on Tuesday has been located; but the teen apparently does not want to go back home. As we reported previously, Stephanie Meijia was reported missing after she did not show up at home on Saturday night. The family informed the authorities in San Pedro that Mejia had gone to do some homework with friends that night. After that story was broadcast, Mejia reportedly contacted her mother and confirmed her whereabouts. Love News spoke with the mother Reimi Chimilio this morning.

Maya Women expo held in Belize City
The Maya Women's Expo was held today at the corner of Queen and North Front Streets. On display were food items as well as arts and crafts. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development Coordinator at the Women's Department. The expo continues on Thursday at the NICH parking lot on Regent Street.

Pre-School children have fun in San Pedro
Activities in celebration of Child Stimulation Month continues in San Pedro town. Correspondent Maria Novelo reports.

Can and truck collide on Central American Boulevard
About an hour and a half before news time tonight, traffic flow was slowed down by an accident on Central American Boulevard, across from the Belize City Center. The accident involved a Benny's Truck and a Geo Prizm car which slammed head on into the side of the truck. The car was making its way across the Belcan Bridge heading toward the direction of the Mahogany Street intersection and the truck coming on the opposite direction was making a left turn on to Peter Seko Street when the collision occurred. According to the driver of the Prizm, Alvaro Avilez, the truck driver was in the wrong. The truck driver declined an interview. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the mishap.

Bees swarm interrupts classes in Orange Walk
Classes at August Pine Ridge Roman Catholic School in the Orange Walk district were suspended this morning due to a swarm of bees on the compound. Love News spoke with Principal Blanca Torres via phone who told us that during the morning break students alerted teachers that a swarm of bees was flying over the school. Torres says the bees were on a fence adjacent to the school compound. Five of the panicked students were reportedly stung by the bees; but none of the injuries were considered life threatening and the children were sent home to their parents. The rest of the student body was also sent home for the rest of the day. With the help of some parents, the teachers chased the bees away by spraying them. Principal Torres says the matter has been reported to the Agriculture Department in Orange Walk, which is looking into the incident. August Pine Ridge RC School has a population of 424.

Teenager detained on suspicion of attempted murder
A fifteen year old boy has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder. Because he is a minor, his name cannot be released; but police say they have detained him pending the outcome of their investigations. Seventeen year old Jose Saravia was stabbed multiple times on March fifteenth and based on his description of his attacker, police picked up the fifteen year old. Saravia says that around four thirty on the afternoon of March fifteenth he was at a shop when he was approached by a man he had known for the past ten years. Saravia says the minor chased him with a knife and stabbed him behind his left shoulder, left side of his back and abdomen. Police have detained the teenage boy pending the outcome of their investigations.

Man shot multiple times on the way to work
A Belize City man is lucky to be alive tonight after he was shot multiple times today. Love TV's Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett have that story from the crime beat.

Robbers target University students in class
Armed robberies have become almost a daily staple of the newscast; but today there is a disturbing incident to report. On Tuesday afternoon a trio or armed men interrupted classes at the University of Belize's Freetown Road campus and robbed three students of their belongings while inside the classroom. The terrifying incident happened around one thirty yesterday afternoon at the Faculty of Science and Engineering located at the ITVET compound. Twenty year old Nirmal Madhu Babani told police that he and two other students were in their classroom when the robbers arrived. One of them who carried with appeared to be a silver-coloured firearm, ordered that "nobody move". After they froze the students, the robbers proceeded to rob them of electronic items, including cell phones and laptop computers all to a total value of six thousand, seven hundred and twenty three dollars before making good their escape. Jeffrey Jones, who is a lecturer at UB's Faculty of Engineering at the old Belize Technical College, told Love News that the students are so traumatized that they are receiving counseling. Jones told us how the robbery happened. Jones says that the school will see how it can institute better security to protect its students.

Band Fest Parade route announced
The 7th annual Belize Band Fest will be staged in Corozal town on Saturday, March 31, beginning at 9 o'clock in the morning. The parade is set to start at the beginning of Seventh Avenue (across from the bus terminal), and continue down Seventh Avenue to the roundabout at the entrance to Corozal Town. At the roundabout, the parade will turn LEFT into First Avenue (passing Miami Beach), into Fourth Avenue, passing in front of the Central Park and St Francis Xavier Church; continuing towards the Corozal Civic Center; LEFT into Sixth Street North, LEFT into Fifth Avenue, and into the Santiago Ricalde Stadium.

Maya Day celebrated in Toledo
The indigenous Mayas of the Toledo district hosted a cultural extravaganza over the weekend in Blue Creek village. Love TV's Patrick Jones and video journalist Harlan Wagner were there and bring you the following report.

Youth Ambassadors recruiting in Belize
The Youth Ambassador Program 2012, which is an initiative sponsored by the U.S Department of State, Partners of Americas and implemented in Belize by Belize-Michigan Partners was launched during a brief ceremony at the Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City. Co- Coordinator for the Youth Ambassador Program, Belize Michigan Partners, Joseph Card explained what the program is all about. Another requirement to become a youth ambassador is that the person must be of limited economic means. At the Ceremony Representative for the United States Department of State Eric Hayden says he believes that the U.S Ambassador program is a chance to connect with other people. Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth was the guest speaker. In his speech he expressed that the initiative is both timely and valuable. The United States Youth Ambassadors will be visiting Belize from July fifteenth to August 2012 of this year to engage in similar educational, social cultural and networking opportunities in the country.

Maya women's expo coming next week
The work of Maya women will be featured later this week at a Maya Women's Expo. This is an event put together by the Women's Department. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development Coordinator at the Women's Department. Williams says that all the proceeds of the sales will go directly to the women whose arts and crafts are sold.


UB students robbed at gunpoint in classroom
Three University of Belize students were robbed inside their classroom. Nirmal Madhu Babani, Wen Cheng and Hilmer A...

11 year old needs assistance to undergo MRI for tumour
Last week we told you about 11 year old Katarina Ishim of San Pablo Village who needs your help because of a tumor ...

Belize City man shot on his way to work
An early morning shooting has left a man hospitalized. Shortly after 5am this morning, Police transported 49 yr old...

Don Hector Silva honoured for his contribution to the nation
The National Library Service and Information System hosted a Meet the Author session yesterday. The man of the hour...

St. Mary's Primary hosts intramural Math Olympiad
The SSB's Secondary School Math Olympiad may be on pause but that hasn't stopped one school from preparing for comp...

Man posing as parent robs the YMCA office
A employee was robbed at gunpoint at her work place. Elvira Chacon, a 29 year old accountant of the Young Women's C...

National karate team selected for Central American tournament
The Belize Karate Federation held a successful National Team Training and Try-out, over the weekend in San Ignacio ...


Literacy Projects in San Ignacio: Voluntourism is huge in Cayo
Voluntourism is a huge moneymaker in Cayo, and Belize in general. If someone had a good channel of communication, they could really make a fortune. $800usd for 2 weeks, which covers a dormatory stay(not a hotel), and a few meals a week. You'd think that would cover the bus. Paying to volunteer 6 hours a day... "Belize reports a high enrollment rate at primary school level (Girls 95.9, Boys 94.6) suggesting a significant level of achievement. However, there are a number of challenges related to quality and disparity that must be addressed." From the perspective of formal education, the adult literacy rate is often quoted as high as 76%. However, the last comprehensive survey to be completed in Belize found the functional literacy rate was an astoundingly low 40%. With an adult literacy rate at such a low level, many children struggle for various reasons. A literacy rate this low is of epidemic proportions. Through various project initiatives, we hope to reach children and steadily improve the literacy within Belize. Youth Literacy Projects Include: Youth Mentoring - Administrators and teachers of local schools often identify children who seemed to have lost interest in school or who are in need of special attention. These children are matched with community members and/or volunteers in order to provide them with personal mentors that promote and inspire healthy lifestyles and attitudes. High school youth who are temporarily out of school can be matched with work or volunteer placements as part of the mentoring process.

International Sources

Commentary: Belize: A Nation at Risk
For years now I have been hearing that some Belizeans would not vote unless they are being paid by the political parties in Belize. This is a fact that is now known by most Belizeans and some of them continue to boast publicly about the amount of money they have been receiving over the years to go and vote. The right to vote is priceless and many people have given up their lives to exercise this right. I am opposed to paying people to vote because it is fundamentally and morally wrong for a government to condone such activity in a democratic country. Plus, once people are being paid to vote our political representatives will be obligated to serve in their best interest as opposed to that of our beloved country Belize and people. Also, the poor people who took their monies out of desperation will be giving up the only power they have and when they go to the politicians for help he or she can tell them that they do not owe them anything because they already paid them for their vote. In Belize today, politics is being influenced by money.

The Greatest Diving Sites in the World
Great Blue Hole, Belize. Jacques Cousteau visited this site in 1971 and declared the Great Blue Hole of Ambergris Caye to be among the best diving locations in the world. The Great Blue Hole is a wonder of geology, a 410-foot deep sinkhole located within the Belize Barrier Reef system and was created through forces similar to those responsible for the underwater caves of the nearby Yucatan Peninsula. The Hole is more than twice as wide as it is deep, making it less like a bottomless pit than a huge pothole, yet the vertiginous void may offer divers something of the feeling of facing off with the edge of the world. Descending into the hole, one will encounter local residents like groupers, various sharks, great barracuda and a diversity of other species. Bottom topography consists of sand, reef, many varieties or coral and ancient limestone stalactites, as well as caves and dramatic outcroppings that look like cathedrals. Visibility may exceed 150 feet and surface water temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

10,000 Indigenous Protestors March on Guatemala Capital
An estimated 10,000 indigenous people marched on Monday in the Guatemalan capital after they walked more than 200 kilometers (120 miles) to demand a government settlement of a conflict over land. Tired and sweating, with bags slung over their shoulders and waving red pennants, the thousands of Indians and peasants, who were joined by social organizations, students and labor unions, marched through the historic downtown area before meeting with President Otto Perez Molina. The director of the Committee for Peasant Unity who called the march that set out March 19 from the northern city of Coban, Daniel Pascual, told Efe that the Indians "are pretty tired now, but in hopes" of finding an satisfactory answer to their demands. A number of women carrying toddlers on their backs and with their feet cracked from walking so far, Efe observed, were visibly exhausted. "It's not easy to walk more than 200 kilometers (120 miles), but we have hopes that the march will end with some concrete proposals by the government," Pascual said. The leader said their principal demands include an end to the evictions and criminal prosecution of Indians, a pardon for farm debts of more than 300 million quetzales ($38.96 million) affecting more than 10,000 families, access to land and the end of mining in the region.

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Belle River diver found dead in Belize
The family of a Belle River man is searching for answers after he was found dead in his hotel room in Belize Monday morning. "I don't really know much, other than what we're reading in the paper from over there," said his sister, Kim Straw. "It's unbelievable. You don't know what to think until you see him and he's not here." Jan Peter Sol, 51, was on scuba diving vacation in San Pedro Town, Belize, visiting a friend named Mandy Lee. Another guest at the hotel entered his room after he didn't answer the door and found him slumped on the floor. Laurenzco Nicholson, the coroner who attended the scene, said there was no evidence of foul play when he examined his remains. "It looks like something happened before that, some kind of medical problem that made him unconscious and hit the floor," he said.

NAVOCEANO Using Airborne Laser to Survey in Belize
For almost two months, since early February 2012, the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) has been using airborne laser and imagery systems to conduct cooperative hydrographic surveys in the coastal waters of Belize. The survey work is part of an ongoing, long-term project to survey the western Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua, based on U.S. 4th Fleet oceanography, hydrography and bathymetry (OHB) survey requirements. "This is just a piece of a much bigger program," said Bill Elenbaas, head of NAVOCEANO's Airborne Coastal Surveys branch. "There are a lot of miles to cover." The surveys are designed to improve safety of navigation by mapping the seafloor and locating shallow reefs and other obstructions in the approaches to Belize's major ports, Belize City and Big Creek, and are being conducted in cooperation with the government of Belize. The airborne laser system, called Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system, is particularly effective in the Caribbean Sea because of the water clarity. Laser systems are useful OHB survey tools in clear and/or shallow water because the system uses light to map the bottom. U.S. and Belize governments will use the data to make new charts.

Students change world 1 Spring Break at time‎
Spring Break is a time that most students use to relax and celebrate in the sun, but Iowa State gives students opportunities to spend their week off changing the world. This year, Iowa State's study abroad shorts took a group of students to Belize for a service-learning trip. Laurie Fiegel, administrative director of the Honors Program, took about 18 students on this trip. Fiegel said the purpose of this trip was to encourage students to use language skills and to understand and learn in a more experiential environment. Fiegel said she wanted students to see how different cultures perceive life differently than we do in America. "Each person gets something different out of this trip," she said. Ciara McCarty, freshman in kinesiology, attended the trip to Belize. "It was very eye-opening; they tried preparing us about the difference in culture, but you had to experience it to really learn," McCarty said. McCarty said she learned that Belize is not the starving, poor country that many may believe it is. She says it is very fun-loving and the people there don't feel deprived, but are grateful for the help they are receiving.

Rapper Shyne is Turning Music Into Humanitarian Aid
The Belizean rap artist Shyne, who became an orthodox Jew and moved to Israel, has teamed up with Israeli music exporter Oleh! Records to help at-risk youth in Belize, Central America, through music. The pilot project, titled Let's Fill This Town With Musicians, is a first-of-its-kind music residency program, where Israeli musicians will guide and teach under-privileged youth communities worldwide, starting with Belize. The project says its philosophy lies in the power of music as a positive vehicle for change. Shyne, along with Israeli musicians and educators, will teach music and record production skills. Shyne, who was once sentenced to ten years in jail for his involvement in a New York nightclub shooting, which also included Sean Combs (Diddy), says he has embarked on a new path in life with his conversion to Judaism.

U.S. Diplomat Travels to El Salvador & Belize on Citizen Security Issues
Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights María Otero is traveling to El Salvador March 26-28 and to Belize March 28-29. During her trip, Under Secretary Otero will engage on a variety of themes, including citizen security, community policing, youth, social inclusion, trafficking in persons, and financial inclusion. Under Secretary Otero's visit will highlight U.S. partnership with El Salvador and Belize to improve citizen security in Central America. In El Salvador, she will meet with senior government officials, business leaders, civil society representatives, and youth to address a number of issues under the Partnership for Growth, including citizen security, social inclusion, and community policing. She will also visit a school, tour a police precinct, and participate in a ceremony in honor of the donation of computer equipment and vehicles to the National Civilian Police. While in Belize, Under Secretary Otero will engage in bilateral discussions with senior government officials on citizen security, trafficking in persons, and financial inclusion, and, in addition, will meet with civil society leaders.

Going Overboard
Cruise tourism in Belize is skyrocketing, with hundreds of thousands of passengers now disembarking on the country's shores each year. While Belize has typically been touted as an ecotourism spot, cruise passengers may be less environmentally-minded than other types of visitors, according to a study accepted for publication in Ocean and Coastal Management. The number of cruise tourists arriving in Belize reached 597,370 per year in 2008 - a "staggering" increase of 1,140 percent since 2001, the study says. Cruises have a reputation for being unsustainable because of the large number of tourists they bring, potential impacts on the ocean, and weaker links to the local economy. Overnight and cruise tourists in Belize were surveyed to find out their opinions on conservation issues, such as whether they considered marine protected areas important. While both groups generally agreed with these types of statements, overnight tourists expressed more concern for the environment than cruise tourists on all five questions. Cruise tourists also ranked their cruise company's environmental ethics as one of the least important factors in their vacation choice, behind safety, price, and cultural experiences.

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