The San Pedro Sun

Belize Says "Present" At Four Trade Shows In March
Belize continues to be in high demand at trade shows around the world, and the month of March was no different. The Travel Trade Team found their way to destinations in the US and Europe, participating in the 'New York Times Travel Show' New York, the 'Adventure in Travel Expo' Washington D.C., the 'Beneath the Sea Trade Show' New Jersey, and the 'International Tourism Bourse (ITB),' in Berlin, Germany. Our diligent delegates have successfully disseminated promotional and educational information and materials about our country to over 300,000 potential visitors. Our Travel Trade Team's main priority is the establishment of partnerships within the international tourism industry especially with travel agents, tour operators, airlines, and cruise lines. "Attending trade shows gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase Belize, and market what our country has to offer as a premium tourism destination," said Michelle Bowers, BTB's Travel Trade Manager. Every month, the Travel Trade Team attends roughly two shows in either North America or Europe that target our key audiences. "The New York Times Travel Show" for example, featured over 500 exhibitors and attracted over 8,000 travel trade and 30,000 consumer attendees. As for the ITB Berlin show, it hosted more than 170,000 visitors from around the globe.

Government Appoints Ambassadors
Press Release - Government of Belize - April 3, 2012 - Cabinet at its regular meeting today, Tuesday, 3rd April, 2012, approved the appointments of the following Belizeans to the following diplomatic posts abroad:- *Alfredo Martinez re-appointed as Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala. *Nestor Mendez re-appointed as Belize's Ambassador to Washington and Canada. * Lois Young appointed as Belize's Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. * Janine Coye Felson to continue as Ambassador/Deputy Per-manent Representative to the United Nations. * Perla Perdomo appointed as Belize's High Commission to London, United Kingdom. * Mark Espat in his role as Leader of the Re-negotiating Team appointed Ambassador for Economic Affairs. * Cordel Hyde appointed as Consul General in New York.

San Pedro Seadogs draw with FC Belize
The San Pedro Seadogs played their first home game at the Ambergris Stadium on Sunday April 1st, to a stadium of about 200 spectators. The Seadogs played an intense game against FC Belize that ended in a nil-nil draw. San Pedro had many opportunities to score but for some reason, just couldn't seem to get a goal in. At the end of the game, they remained at fifth place in the Zone A standing while FC Belize takes second. Sunday April 8th, Easter Sunday the San Pedro Seadogs will go up against Juventus in the second to last game in this leg of the Premier League Football Tournament. Team Captain, Kent "Bob" Gabourel, spoke of the Sunday's game, "This game, we had a weakness in the forward position, they couldn't capitalize out there. This week coming we have to start training harder, putting in more hours. Some of the players were slacking off. We are working on more dedication and preparing mentally as well for the next two games."

Two drown in snorkeling accident
Seven tourists left Caye Caulker on the morning of April 3rd to experience Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, one of Belize's top destinations for snorkelers and divers alike. Trusting tour operators from Tsunami Tours to provide this memorable experience in Belize's waters, two deaths were the last thing on their minds. According to Dr. Noeli Nicholson, around 12:40pm, five tourists arrived at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II accompanied by a Hol Chan Marine Ranger. They appeared to have received multiple scratches and were visibly shaken. Further investigations revealed that the tourists left for Hol Chan with Caye Caulker based Tsunami Tours, which is owned by longtime Caye Caulker resident and Canadian national Heather Martin. They mentioned that the tour guide kept taking them into the channel at Hol Chan and they started to get separated because of the strength of the waves that were pushing them into the reef. Dr. Nicholson informed The San Pedro Sun that the husband stated that he and his wife became separated from the group around 11:30am.

Ambergris Today

Tourists Drown as 7 Dragged by Strong Currents at Marine Reserve
Tragedy strikes a group of tourists while vacationing in Belize as seven of them are dragged by the strong currents at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, off the island of Ambergris Caye, leaving two dead on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Five of the seven tourists were rescued after seven of them were dragged out into the channel and into open waters at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. They were on a snorkeling day tour on board Caye Caulker's Cyclone vessel of Tsunami Tours when the incident took place at around midday. Shortly after the five people were rescued the body of a woman was retrieved from the water and taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic where she was confirmed dead on arrival. According to bystanders, the woman was being given CPR at the dock when they arrived to the island, a visiting doctor tried to render assistance but police did not allow him to do so.

Price of Gas Way Up High!
Gas Prices are on the rise! There was a major hike on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, and the prices of fuel are way up passing the $12 mark. Regular gasoline on the island was at $11.67 and is now selling for $12.17 (0.50 cent increase) and the diesel price was $11.06 and is now selling for $11.26 (0.20 cent increase).

Belize Says "Present" At Four Trade Shows In March
elize continues to be in high demand at trade shows around the world, and the month of March was no different. The Travel Trade Team found their way to destinations in the US and Europe, participating in the 'New York Times Travel Show' New York, the 'Adventure in Travel Expo' Washington D.C., the 'Beneath the Sea Trade Show' New Jersey, and the 'International Tourism Bourse (ITB),' in Berlin, Germany. Our diligent delegates have successfully disseminated promotional and educational information and materials about our country to over 300,000 potential visitors. Our Travel Trade Team's main priority is the establishment of partnerships within the international tourism industry especially with travel agents, tour operators, airlines, and cruise lines. "Attending trade shows gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase Belize, and market what our country has to offer as a premium tourism destination," said Michelle Bowers, BTB's Travel Trade Manager. Every month, the Travel Trade Team attends roughly two shows in either North America or Europe that target our key audiences. "The New York Times Travel Show" for example, featured over 500 exhibitors and attracted over 8,000 travel trade and 30,000 consumer attendees. As for the ITB Berlin show, it hosted more than 170,000 visitors from around the globe.

Busy Easter Weekend Expected for La Isla Bonita!
Many Belizeans are preparing for their Easter Holiday, which starts on Good Friday, April 6 (for some on Holy Thursday) and continues until Easter Monday, April 9. Following long-time tradition for many families from all over the country, most of them are planning to head to La Isla Bonita. Hotel and airline bookings are proving to be at their busiest and business owners of San Pedro are preparing for the crowds. Expect to see busy streets filled with both local and international tourists as hotel bookings for San Pedro are looking good from now way into August of this year. Tropic Air has recently inaugurated its flight to Honduras and bookings are looking bright! Its demand during Easter was so big that the airline added more scheduled direct flights to Honduras around this time. The local water taxis have also added more trips to accommodate people travelling to and from San Pedro. People will be lucky to find accommodations at this point as hotel are booked; and golf cart rentals are out of available carts as well! With lots of entertainment being provided by businesses all over the island, this weekend is looking up to be a very busy and fun-filled one. Just take a look at what all is expected to take place: Friday, April 6, 2012 and Saturday, April 7, 2012 - Island Invasion at Fidos Restaurant and Bar, Wet Willy's Dock will be rocking the weekend with a Fiesta Tropical with a Latin band from El Salvador and On Saturday, April 7, 2012 - The San Pedro AIDS Commission Noche de Estrellas (imitations of artists at is best), to name a few.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Sailing Team Fundraiser
From Tammy Peterson.... We are hosting a fund raiser for the San Pedro Sailing Team. It is this Saturday at The Hotel in Molly Malones Irish Pub at noon to 5:00 ish. We are brand new and located just a 1/2 mile North of the bridge. The BIG white hotel! The kids are sailing from town up to The Hotel for lunch about noon and an Easter Egg Hunt at 1:00. There is also an ADULT SCAVENGER HUNT starting at 1:00. This is going to be done off FaceBook. You may sign up between now and Friday night at Molly Malones. Cost is 20.00 BZ. All proceeds to go the sailing team for jerseys and gloves. The list of items to be found for the scavenger hunt will be posted on FaceBook at 1:00 on Saturday, you will have until 5:00 to complete. The first person/cpl to The Hotel with all items will recieve dinner for two, 100.00 bar tab, an ADULT gift basket and a two nights stay for the GRAND PRIZE ...

VIDEO: Lionfish Awareness, Turneffe Islands, Belize
Featuring Ecologic Divers 5 Star Padi Dive Team aboard "Blue Attitude. Today we dive "The Elbow" as we take a look at Lionfish while providing you with some Lionfish Awareness facts. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize This dive was actaully filmed on New Years Eve, 12-31-11

Channel 7

Tonight, the small village of Caye Caulker is like a tinder box - tensions between police and criminal elements are running very high - and a special police detachment is combing Caye Caulker - looking for a 17 year old - who allegedly shot an officer in the head yesterday evening. That officer, PC John Valerio survived because the bullet only grazed him. But it could have been fatal - and the suspect allegedly took the officers service revolver after shooting him. And tonight, police have closed in on that small island because that same 17 year old is accused of stealing another officer's gun on Sunday morning. And after stealing it, he allegedly pointed it at the officer's head, but it did not fire because the safety was on.

Today the Cabinet had its regular meeting, and approved the appointments of Belizeans to diplomatic posts abroad. Two notable appointments are Mark Espat who, as Leader of the Superbond Re-negotiating Team, was appointed Ambassador for Economic Affairs, and Cordel Hyde who - the release says - was appointed as Consul General in New York. But Cordel Hyde has contacted personnel at this newsroom to say that no such arrangement has been made, and he has accepted no such offer. He said he wasn't called, spoken to or advised of this posting by anyone - and so, effectively, he is not Consul General in New York. Hyde is still in New York dealing with his teenaged son who has a very serious form of cancer.

It was a tour guide's nightmare today at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve - after two tourists - an American and an Italian National - drowned while snorkeling in the reserve. Sometime between 2:30 and 3 this afternoon, San Pedro police received a distress call from a group of tourists who were snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. When police responded with a vessel belonging to the reserve they rescued 5 of the tourists out at sea. They were 54 year old Rebecca Burger, her son 17 year old Zack Burger, American Nationals, 59 year old David Florencia an Italian and 2 Canadian citizens 25 year old Laurence Tastet and 29 year old Yanik Doyon.

Last night, we told you about the first application for election petition which was granted by Justice Michelle Arana. That was the election petition by the PUP against UDP Standard Bearer Herman Longsworth. The news tonight is that another of the PUP's applications for an election petition was heard before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The PUP, on behalf of Martin Galvez, contends that the Mark King, the duly elected Area Rep. for Lake I is disqualified because his security company has a contract with the Ministry of Finance. Brint's Security, of which King is allegedly the General Manager, is in a 135 hundred thousand dollar contract with GOB, which started on July 2011 and ends on July 2013. In this contract, the security firm is charged with protecting the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany Street Extention, and the San Ignacio Sales Tax Office.

Last night a man was intercepted by the police, but instead of going quietly, he fired two shots and fled. At about 7 in the evening, Stephen Anderson, a 20 year old Belizean Laborer, was riding on a red motorcycle on Evergreen Street in Belize City, which he stole at gunpoint from a business man. Police intercepted Anderson, and that's when he allegedly pulled out a gun -that looked to be a black .38 revolver. Anderson fired two shots at the Police D-Max vehicle, hitting the front bumper and radiator. He fled, but was soon apprehended on Hondo Street where the police recovered 1 Smith and Wesson .38 revolver containing two expended shells and one live round.

Last night we reported on the laying off of workers at the City Hall. A well-placed source gave us information that 25 persons were terminated for redundancy or poor work ethic. Today we caught up with Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley. We asked him to explain why the downsizing is necessary. First off, he told us that it was actually 22 persons who were terminated and not 25 as was our information. He also told us that it was not intended to be any form of victimization. According to Bradley they did a human resource audit, and these people were the non-performing employees. Because City Hall is in a bind for finances, these people had to be terminated.

Last week, we told you about 21 year-old Carldeen Lawrence who was convicted of grievous harm for an injury which he inflicted on his 2 year-old stepdaughter. Our information from the case at court was that he allegedly beat the girl on the right leg and caused a fracture, but he came by our studios yesterday to say that's not quite how it happened. He kept silent throughout the trial, but he told us that he willing to speak up so that there is no misconception about what really happened. He said that he didn't lash the child; he simply fell on her in an accident while trying to avoid injuring her younger sister. Here's how he explains it: Carldeen Lawrence -Says He Didn't Beat the Child "What happened was that I was coming inside, and I didn't know that the smaller daughter was behind me. She was always tagging along behind, and I didn't realize that was there. And when I shut the door, and was turning around to go back inside, I was going to accidentally fall on her. In order to avoid hitting her, I spun, and I ended up hitting the daughter which was also right behind her.

Last night in part one of his interview with 7news, Shyne admitted that his plans to launch his career outside of the United States had failed - and that he needed to get back to New York to get back on track. Now, even though he is Belize's Cultural Ambassador, the truth is that Shyne is a convicted felon and a deportee - and you'd have to pull ropes, not strings to get a Visa after you've been deported. But he has applied for his visa, and he's hoping against hope that somehow, something is going to come through. Now that's his business, right? Well, not really. He says that if he can make a brand new start in New York - then Belizeans will see what he can really do as Cultural Ambassador. If you're not buying the logic - we'll let him explain why it can work - and why he's fit to be Belize's Cultural Ambassador:

Channel 5

Tourists die during snorkeling trip to Hol Chan
There is tragic news tonight out of the island of Caye Caulker where a snorkeling trip ended terribly for two visitors. A group of seven men and women, vacationing in Belize, set out on an expedition, in a vessel named Cyclone led by Tsunami Tours of Caye Caulker this morning. As they snorkeled near the ...

Belize Coast Guard Rescues Tourists Stranded at Sea
The Belize Coastguard was also involved in the rescue of the visitors. The Unit was called out on two incidents at sea today. In the first, four persons were rescued and brought safely to shore. On the second, however, the Italian and US nationals perished from drowning. In the view of the acting Commandant, however, ...

2nd Cop attacked by teen grazed by bullet
Also in Caye Caulker, a teenager is on the run after shooting a cop. It happened shortly after five o’clock on Monday evening. The shooter, Ernesto Bernardez, was wanted by police for a robbery. Bernardez was about to leave the island when police caught up with him. Within minutes, shots rang out and PC John ...

Is $2.6 Million too much for incomplete Marion Jones Fence?
Tonight's question is: Should the government have spent two point six million dollars on the perimeter fence at the Marion Jones stadium that is still not completed? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your ...

Night Court? Chief Justice hears arguments about Mark King
The People's United Party went to the Supreme Court today for the second time this week in respect of election petitions. On Monday the court granted leave for an election petition against Herman Longsworth who failed to disclose a contract for the construction of the perimeter fence at the Marion Jones Stadium. Today, Martin Galvez ...

Attorneys will return for ruling and for Francis Fonseca hearing
Mark King did not appear in court but his adversary, Martin Galvez and his sister Yolanda Schakron sat through the entire proceedings. They would not speak on the matter but their attorney Lisa Shoman did. Shoman was hopeful that the ruling would allow them to seek the election petition for Lake Independence.   Lisa Shoman ...

New Diplomatic Appointments for Foreign Offices
Six diplomatic appointments were announced today following the regular sitting of Cabinet. Of the six, four are new and are as follows. The government says that former P.U.P. senior deputy leader and Lake I representative, Cordel Hyde, has been named Consul General in the New York area. That appointment is a rank lower than ambassador ...

Youth shoots at Police Mobile Unit
In other crime news, a city cop dodged a bullet when a robber opened fire in his direction. The suspected gunman who shot at Police Constable Homan Katanegie has been identified as twenty year old Stephan Anderson and he is some serious trouble with the law. At around seven-thirty on Monday night, Anderson was spotted ...

Machete pulled out on Compassion Lane
Forty year old Sidney Humes, a laborer of Ladyville, appeared in the lower court today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith following an incident on April first during which he was attacked by a machete wielding neighbor. According to Humes, he was assisting Alicia Vargas, whom he said was intoxicated, when her husband, forty-seven year ...

Former Cop fighting for wages and job
Ex-police officer, Aldo Ayuso was fired in 2005 and six years later he is still fighting to get his job back. Ayuso was charged for the fatal shooting of Leslie Rogers in February, 2005 and even though he was freed of the Manslaughter charges, he was dismissed from the force later that year. He sued ...

Oh Snap! Belize is the 34th Happiest Country
The first ever United Nations World Happiness Report has been released and it may make you smile. It shows that Belize is the thirty-fourth happiest country. The one hundred and fifty-eight page document explores various factors that influence the happiness of residents in over a hundred and fifty countries. Numerous surveying mechanisms were used during ...

SMART's Grand Anniversary Raffle Winner
In celebration of their seventh anniversary, SMART started a grand anniversary raffle that culminated on the twenty-ninth of last month. The grand raffle, which was carried out in partnership with COURTS, was for a living room and kitchen make-over. After three months of raffle entries, the lucky winner, thirty-nine year old Jason Staine of Belize ...

KTV Latino is Hot, Live and Only on 5
Group B performers will be back at the Bliss for another exciting night of KTV Latino. It's down to five singers and they have one common goal; that is to win the ten thousand dollar grand prize and be named KTV Latino champion. That is why they will sing out their hearts to woo the ...


Police search for gunman who injured officer in the line of duty
Caye Caulker police have begun an extensive manhunt for a seventeen year old who has attacked and assaulted two police officers in just a matter of two days. The first incident occurred on Sunday and the other on Monday when the suspect allegedly shot an officer in the head during a scuffle. Police Public Relations Officer, Raphael Martinez, gave Love News a briefing on the two incidents. We have the identity of the suspect, but because he is only seventeen years old, we are obliged to withhold his name. Meanwhile, a man reportedly shot at a police vehicle that was on patrol in Belize City on Monday. Martinez explains what happened. Police investigations into this incident continue.

Government announced diplomatic appointments Patrick Jones
The government of Belize today announced the appointments to the Diplomatic Corps. According to an official release, the appointments were approved today during the regular meeting of Cabinet in Belmopan. The list of appointments to diplomatic posts abroad include: Alfredo Martinez as Belize's ambassador to Guatemala. Returning to his post in Washington is Ambassador Nestor Mendez who is Belize's ambassador to the United States and Canada as well as permanent representative to the Organization of American States. Over at the United Nations, the new ambassador and permanent representative is attorney at law Lois Young. She will be assisted by Janine Coye Felson who was reappointed as ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the UN. In the United Kingdom, the Barrow administration has replaced Kamela Palma are Belize's representative there. Now serving as Belize's High Commissioner to the UK is Perla Perdomo who will take up residence in London. Rounding out the diplomatic appointments are former leader of the People's United Party Mark Espat who was appointed as Ambassador for Economic Affairs. As we had reported earlier, Espat was named the leader of the Super Bond Re-negotiating Team last month. Former deputy leader PUP Leader Cordel Hyde's diplomatic posting is as Belize's Consul General in New York.

BEL proposed revised pole rental fees Patrick Jones
Belize Electricity Limited has announced that it is asking the Public Utilities Commission to consider revised fees for pole rental paid by cable companies and telephone operators. According to a release from the government-owned electricity provider, BEL has submitted an application to the PUC under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding for the period of July first of this year to June thirtieth of 2013. Copies of BE:'s submission are available at BEL's corporate headquarters an online at the company's website. According to the company's website, BEL is the primary distributor of electricity in Belize, serving a customer base of approximately seventy seven thousand accounts.

Toledo high school gets footwear donation Patrick Jones
A collection of football gears was donated to the Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

An Easter tradition: the hot cross bun
Preparations continue to be made for the observance of Easter. And as we count down to the holiday, many of the traditions that go along with it are in full gear. Love TV's Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo have a report on one sweet tradition that is sure to add flavor to the holiday.

Youth charged for shooting at police vehicle Patrick Jones
20-year-old Stefan Anderson who allegedly fired two shots at Police Corporal Holman Katanegie after a robbery was committed was charged with six offences when he appeared in court today. Anderson was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, damage to property, kept firearm without a gun licence and kept ammunition without a gun licence. No plea was taken from him because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith remanded him into custody until May 23. The incident occurred around 7:30 last night. 39-year-old businessman William Leiva reported to the police that he was driving his red motorcycle on Douglas Jones Street and when he turned on to Freetown Road he was held up at gunpoint by a person of dark complexion who wore a cap. Leiva said the person demanded that he hand over his motorcycle and he complied. Leiva said the person then sped away on his motorcycle. Leiva reported the robbery to the police and Corporal Katanegie who was driving a police pickup truck saw a person driving a motorcycle that fitted the description of the stolen motorcycle and he began to pursue the motorcycle. Katanegie said the motorcyclist fired two shots that missed him but damaged the radiator and bumper o the pickup truck. The police reported that Anderson was apprehended with the stolen motorcycle on Mopan Street by members of the Police's Anti Drug Unit. According to the Police Anderson took them to an area on Evergreen Street where he had hidden the point 38 revolver he used to fire the shots at Katanegie. The revolver had one round of point 38 caliber ammunition in it.

Chief Justice to rule on application for leave to lodge election petition against Mark King
Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, will pass down a ruling on Wednesday afternoon at two in the petition application filed by former PUP Lake I standard bearer, Martin Galvez, against his political opponent, Mark King. The application questions the legitimacy of King's nomination and election to electoral office on ground that he did not publicly declare that he has a contract with the government of Belize to provide security and surveillance services for two government buildings. In arguments before the CJ this evening, Attorney for Galvez, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, pointed out that the two year contract is for a hundred and thirty five thousand dollars and ends in July of 2013. As in the previous application filed by the PUP's former Albert Standard Bearer, David Craig against the UDP's Herman Longsworth, Shoman argued that Mark King did not publish any information about his contract with the government in any newspaper one month prior to his nomination as is required by law. But, Shoman's opponent, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow for Mark King, feels that the evidence that the claimant and his attorney provided is not admissible. Chief Justice Benjamin will deliver his judgment at 2 pm on Wednesday.

Woman locked up inside ATM booth Patrick Jones
An unexpected incident inside the Automatic Teller Machine booth at the Punta Gorda branch of the Belize Bank has left a Toledo resident disturbed and concerned. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Belize City man on remand for aggravated assault
21-year-old Percival Blancaneaux Jr., one of two persons who allegedly broke into the house 48-year-old Esmeralda Glastonbury, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Blancaneaux pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent, that the penalty is no less than 10 years, that a second suspect id still at large and if granted bail the accused might interfere with witnesses. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith upheld the objection and remanded Blancaneaux into custody until May 8. Mrs. Glastonbury, a housewife of Old Well Road, Ladyville reported to the police that at about four a.m. while she and her husband and their son were asleep, two men armed with knives broke into her house and tried up all three of them. She said the burglars stole her red Isuzu Rodeo and a number of items that included five digital cameras, a DVD player, one Samsung touch screen cellular phone, 385 dollars, 400 pesos, two computer monitors, a chain saw, 13 DVD movies and games and other items. The police reported that they recovered the Isuzu Rodeo the following day in Burrell Boom Village.

Former prison officer found guilty of drug trafficking
32-year-old Dean Crawford, a former prison officer charged with drug trafficking dor 100 grams of cannabis was fined $10,000.00 after he was found guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the fine, ordered Crawford to pay $3,000.00 forthwith and the balance by January 2013. If Crawford defaults on payment of the fine he will serve three years. The incident occurred around 7:15 a.m. on October 2, 2011. When Crawford reported to work at Belize Central Prison he was searched. The search resulted in the discovery of the cannabis in two plastic bags. One bag was in one of his boots and the second bag was in his other boot. Crawford testified and said that he was set up.

Couple found guilty of drug trafficking Patrick Jones
A common law couple, 36-year-old Delroy Barrow and 36-year-old Carolyn Garoy, charged with drug trafficking for 50 grams of crack cocaine, were each fined $10,000.00 after they were found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the fines ordered them to pay $2,000.00 forthwith and the balance by January 2013. If they default on payment of the $2,000.00 they will serve six months. If they default on payment of the $10,000.00 they will serve three years. The incident occurred on June 29, 2011. The police went to the couple's residence on Haynes Street and Police Officer George Ferguson testified that when he arrived there he saw a black sock being thrown through a window. When the police retrieved the sock it contained the crack cocaine. Only Barrow and Garoy were in the room of the window from where the sock was thrown. Barrow and Garoy testified but they did not say anything to prove their innocence.

Passenger bus held up at gunpoint
It was a terrifying ride on the Western Highway on Friday night for a group of commuters as a passenger bus was held up and robbed at gunpoint. The incident involved a Shaw's Bus that had departed Belize City just before nine o'clock on Friday night enroute to San Ignacio town. The owner of the Bus that was jacked, Andy Shaw, spoke with Love TV's Patrick Jones about the terrifying ordeal. Shaw says the robbers fired at least two shots after they had gotten off the bus after the robbery. No one was hurt and Shaw says that the bus continued on its journey west. Shaw told Love News that he would like to step up security on his busses but with the escalating cost of fuel it is a real challenge to keep his passengers and employees safe on the highway So far, police have not released any information on the armed hold up.

Home invasion leaves one injured
A man was shot in his face in the wee hours of Sunday, but luckily for him, he survived the attack. Police say that at around three-thirty on Sunday morning, thirty-five year old Michael Usher, also known as "Pama" was inside his house on Antelope Street Extension when a man entered through the front door and shot Usher. The bullet struck Usher on the left side of the head near his left eye. Usher remained in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital until this morning when he was released, having suffered an injury that was not life-threatening. Police have no suspects.

New champions of Band Fest chosen
It was billed as the premiere family event of the year and on Saturday Belize Band Fest did not disappoint. Corozal was the place to be on Saturday for the 2012 edition of Belize Band Fest. At the end of the day, the Corozal Community College Marching Band was voted the most popular marching band. Succotz Festival Drum Cops won the title of best uniformed marching band, while the Holy Redeemer Marching Band won the drum line competition. In the drum corps category, Delisle Academy Marching Band from Dangriga won first place and took home four thousand dollars as prize. They also took home a trophy and individual medals. First runner up was the Sarteneja United Drum Corps while the second runner up was the Holy Redeemer Marching Band. In the Marching Band with Wind Instruments category, the top prize was captured by the defending champions, Succotz Festival Drum Corps. They took home six thousand dollars plus a trophy and individual medals. Second place was captured by the Corozal Community College Marching Band, while the third place winner is the Western Xunan Marching Band.

Plane wreckage retrieved
The wreckage of a sea plane that crash landed on Saturday, March twenty fifth in the waters offshore southern Belize has been recovered. No one was hurt in the incident. The sole occupant of the aircraft at the time of the incident was pilot James Glen Wagner. An alert viewer of Love Television snapped these photographs of the plane being towed away from the site of the crash-landing . Love News understands that the plane was being towed north towards the mouth of the Monkey River. The eight seat sea plane went down in the Caribbean Sea near Abalone Caye around three thirty on Saturday afternoon, March twenty fifth. According to the pilot, he had just dropped off some guests in Placencia village and was attempting to land the aircraft in the sea when it flipped over. Investigators from the Civil Aviation Department are conducting an aircraft accident investigation.

Orange Walk businessman injured in shooting incident
A businessman remains hospitalized following a shooting incident on Sunday. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details.

Supreme Court approves application for election petition
The Marion Jones Stadium has undergone a number of phases of renovations, and its attractive fence, which was first started in 2009, is now the grounds of a court battle to determine whether a man's electoral seat is on the line or not. Herman Longsworth, the UDP Albert Area Representative who beat the PUP's David Craig at the March seventh polls, will have to face the court to find out if his nomination and subsequent election was legitimate. This morning in the Supreme Court, Justice Michelle Arana, ruled in favour of Craig that there is a question on whether or not the contract that Longsworth held to construct the fence around the Marion Jones Stadium, was completed by nomination day. As the law stands, anyone seeking political office is required to declare whether he has a contract with the Government of Belize. Craig, who is represented by Senior Counsel, Said Musa and Attorney Anthony Sylvestre, is contending that his political opponent failed to declare that he had a contract with the government to construct the fence. And today Musa argued on those points. He quoted directly from section fifty-eight of the Belize Constitution, which states that any person who has a contract with the government shall be disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives. In Longsworth's case, his construction company, L and V Construction, received the one point five million-dollar contract to construct the fence - a project that the claim is still ongoing. What makes Longsworth's victory illegal, according to Musa and Attorney Anthony Sylvestre, is that Longsworth failed to publish this fact in the newspapers one month before his nomination. Further to that is that there appears to be a supplementary contract, said Mr Musa, for ongoing work.

New cook book for use in schools feeding programs
A cook book for school's feeding programs is being implemented in the Toledo district. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Basket weaving competition held in Toledo Patrick Jones
The annual Jipi Japa Basket making Competition Award Ceremony took place at the weekend in Punta Gorda town. Artisans who participated in the competition were awarded on Saturday by the Building the People Movement, a Toledo based, non-governmental organization primarily focused on economic empowerment. Founder and Director of the Movement, Dorla Bowman spoke with Love News about the competition this afternoon. The first prize winner received two hundred dollars; second place winner received one hundred and seventy five dollars and the third prize was a hundred and fifty dollars in cash. Participants winning in other categories received a hundred dollars in cash prize and all winners received plaques along with their cash prizes. Over forty women participated in this year's event and Bowman says she's grateful for all the businesses and organizations that assisted with sponsorship.


Mayor Bradley defends the termination of 22 City Hall employees
Twenty two persons have been terminated from the Belize City Council and there could be more. Newly elected Belize ...

More wrangling over election petitions in the Supreme court
Yesterday morning Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana granted defeated candidate in the Albert division, David Cra...

YC Belize draws youth from across the country
This past weekend YC Belize held its 6th annual Youth conference under the theme SURRENDER. And this past weekend's...

High level training for Belizean educators culminates today
Over a hundred teachers from different parts of the country participated in a two days workshop held in the City of...

SICA's Secretary General pays Belize's Foreign Minister a courtesy visit
SICA - Central American Integration System has been the economic, cultural and political organization of Central Am...

DJ to participate in Cross Country race to raise funds for underprivileged children
Alfrain Suppal rides to raise funds for much needed children. The annual cross country this year will see a new com...

Cabinet meet to approve appointments to diplomatic posts abroad
Cabinet met in session today 3rd April, 2012 and approved appointments to diplomatic posts abroad. These are the ap...

Cop shot, authorities seek 16 year old culprit
A shooting on la isla Carinosa results in injury to a police officer; Yesterday (April 2) around 5:05pm, informatio...

National Agriculture and Trade Show dates announced
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture have announced the dates for this year's National Agriculture and...

Gun stolen in burglary of Cristo Rey home
On Friday, 32yr old Frank Patrick BURNS, a businessman of Monkey Falls Hill, located in the village of Cristo Rey r...

Man drowns in the Belize River trying to save brother
Ronnie Loewen, an 18 year old teen from Spanish Lookout drowned in the Belize River yesterday, in Joe Friesen Ranch...

Teens arrested after highway vehicle search
Last week Friday around 8:30pm, San Ignacio Police was on mobile patrol on the Western Highway in the vicinity of R...

Burglars hit electronics store in Belize City
Belize City and San Elena Police are also investigating cases of burglary. On Saturday March 31st, 31 yr old Sharle...

Over 13 grand in merchandise stolen from Santa Elena home
In Santa Elena 43yr old Ramon VARGAS, reported to Police that on Saturday at 6:00am, he left his home to conduct bu...

Police investigate case of obtaining property by deception
San Ignacio Police is investigating a case of obtaining property by deception. Jeffery Joseph MURILLO, reported tha...


Our Sojourn in San Ignacio - Day 4: Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour
Even before leaving on our trip to San Ignacio, we had booked an Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave tour through River Rat Expeditions, after reading great recommendations and reviews online stating that they were THE tour company to see ATM with. Thursday was our last full day in the Cayo District, and an excellent day it was indeed. We started with breakfast at Mr. Greedy's again. I had a breakfast sandwich that was supposed to be on wheat bread but came on white bread, unfortunately, though it was still yummy. Barry had his usual -- a breakfast burrito. After breakfast we changed clothes and waited to be picked up on the steps of Casa Blanca, joined by a very pregnant black cat who hung out there during our entire stay. Gonzo and Becky with River Rat picked us up around 8:45 am, and we joined three other people who were taking the tour with us, a Hungarian couple and a man from British Columbia. The five of us, plus Becky and Gonzo, made a nice small group as opposed to some of the groups we saw with eight to ten tourists plus guides. After driving over to Teakettle Village in their SUV, we parked, then took a two-mile hike along a well-worn trail through the jungle to the cave. It was a beautiful hike, and nice and flat since it went alongside the water. We had three river crossings that were fun -- the water was so clear, with many river rocks visible below our feet.

Get Zen at Exotic Caye yoga classes
I have always admired the skill and flexibility of those that practice yoga, I tried a few classes back in Canada and have done yoga in Belize twice. While I can honestly say it is not my thing, I can see why people would choose this form of exercise. Yoga is an ancient practice that has been done for more than 5,000 years, and millions of people world wide enjoy it's health benefits daily. Yoga brings together both physical and mental to help achieve peace in mind, body and spirit. May see it as a perfect way to reconnect with the balance that we were all born with. Think about it as babies we were all natural yogis, we were able to pull our feet up by our head and all had great flexibility. As we grew older and life got more demanding most of us lost that flexibility. This also proves the old saying if you don't use it you loose it.

Crossing the Border from Mexico to Belize and the Thunderbolt Water Taxi
I took the San Pedro Belize Express from Chetumal to San Pedro, Belize to get back home but my friends needed to cross the border another way. They too were coming to San Pedro for Easter week but they have a truck and lots of equipment. Note: If you have been in Mexico for more than 7 days and are leaving by boat or by land (rather than plane), you need to pay the exit fee of $294 pesos (about $24 USD). Here is a relatively new twist or really just one that they have been cracking down on recently, you need to pay the fee at a bank and not at the border. A GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS. There is a bank near the border but it is not open on weekends and, like my friends, you may need to back track to Chetumal. Luckily, they have a car but if you don''ll probably have to get a taxi to find the bank. The boat seems more lax. Though I didn't have to pay (I'd been in Mexico Friday to Friday), the immigration guys will let you pay at the boat terminal. (Who knows where that money actually goes.) Dani and Cesar left the truck in Corozal. Not just on the street but at an RV park managed by Henry Menzies. Mr. Menzies is pretty well known and runs a taxi/transfer service driving people from Corozal to Chetumal and back all day long. For more information on the RV park or the transfer service, check out: BelizeTransfers. They are paying $5 USD a day to leave their truck in the secured park.

Hot Cross Buns
Just in time for Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns are a special treat made every Good Friday in Belize. This bread is just sweet enough to be eaten with cheese,or jelly or peanut butter, or some time of cold cuts. It can also be eaten simply with butter. You may put dried fruit in the dough and honey on top.

International Sources

Caribbean Fisheries Forum Concludes Three-day Meeting
The Caribbean Fisheries Forum, technical arm of the CRFM, concluded its tenth sitting in Nassau, Bahamas on 28 March 2012. The three day forum was held under the Chairmanship of Michael Braynen, Director, Department of Marine Resources, Bahamas. The Bahamas will chair both the Forum and Ministerial Council of the CRFM for the next year. Delegates from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, were joined by observer and fisheries experts from Bermuda, Bonaire, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), University of the West Indies, University of Southern Mississippi, the USA's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), EU-sponsored ACP Fish II Project, and the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Project based in Colombia. In his opening ceremony address Bahamas Minister for Agriculture and Marine Resources Hon Larry S. Cartwright cited the significance of role of the Forum, as technical and scientific advisors to Fisheries Ministers, in respect of regional policy. Minister Cartwright reaffirmed the importance and potential of the marine resources of the Caribbean Sea- as a source of food for the region's people, for export and income generation. He also noted the potential for development within inland waterways, rivers, ponds, lakes and the aquaculture enterprises as natural assets which can support the region's future economic and social development. In his delivery CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton re-echoed his concern over the numerous challenges which can militate against sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Among these, an inadequacy of resources and staffing in the national fisheries departments; the prevalence of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; the need to improve sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards to ensure safe, good quality fish and seafood and, therefore improve access to export markets. The Invasion of the invasive Pacific lionfish and climate change were also issues of concern. "In only a few years this invasive species has spread across the entire Caribbean causing untold negative impacts on local fish stocks and marine ecosystems. The impact of climate change and climate variability on the fisheries and marine ecosystem, and possible links with the unprecedented large quantities of sargassum seaweed have negatively impacted the fisheries and tourism sectors in 2011".

Belize's Hidden Treasure
Sharita Hutton takes a boat down the Belize River to find out about a project that is reducing deforestation by tracking down precious woods in the most unlikely of places - at the bottom of the river. The world's hardwoods are disappearing fast, with 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of rainforest cut down every second. This in turn causes the loss of an estimated 50,000 species of hardwood each year. From the Amazon Basin to the forests of Southeast Asia, extensive logging has resulted in the disappearance of huge swaths of hardwood supplies, and world population growth is putting pressure on governments to gain quick cash flow by cutting down what is left of their hardwood forests. But in the Central American country of Belize, there is a supply of hardwoods that was cut since 200 years ago that could help meet the demand without cutting down the remnants of existing forests.

BOOK: Giant Belizean Anteater of Death
The Anteater of Death. It exists, but it's a mystery novel. "But if Lucy, the pregnant Giant Anteater from Belize, didn't kill the man found dead in her enclosure, who did? California zookeeper Teddy Bentley must find the real murderer before her furry friend is shipped off to another zoo in disgrace. Then another human bites the dust, the monkeys riot, and the wolves go nuts."

Down and out in San Ignacio Town, Belize
Located approx 10 miles from the Guatemalan border, San Ignacio and it's across the river neighbor, Santa Elena make up the majority population of the Cayo district, Belize's most historical district. Hot spots such as Tikal (2 hrs), Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM, 1.5 hrs) and various eco-tourism have made San Ignacio a must see destination for anyone coming to Belize. Granted they can steal themselves away from the coast for a couple days. I would recommend 3-4 days here to really take advantage of the abundance of excursions, tours, and wanderings. A sample of what can be had here is below. Barton Cave Creek- canoeing through a couple of the local rivers. Mountain Pine Ridge- Bumpy ride showing off a cave, waterfall and relaxing secluded swimming spot. Actun Tunichil Muknal or ATM Tikal Tour- See the famous Guatemalan Mayan Ruin Spanish Lookout- Mennonite Village- yes, there is a thriving Mennonite community in Belize. Horseback riding Birdseeing tours