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Today's Belize News: June 12, 2012 #440361
06/12/12 07:46 AM
06/12/12 07:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,047
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Marty Offline OP

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The San Pedro Sun

What’s New: Tasty Eats at Wet Willy’s
Everybody who knows San Pedro knows Wet Willy’s. Ladies Night on Wednesday has been a staple island pastime for years and has always been an island favorite. It has always been popular with both residents and vacationers alike for nightlife entertainment and socializing with friends, however, it has never really been known much for its food. That is about to change. New owners Bruce and Diane have kicked it up a notch and added a newly renovated and totally upgraded kitchen to the establishment and are now offering a full menu that is sure to be hit on the island. Now, not only can you enjoy the ever famous and popular deck and ocean views at the bar, but you’ll also be able to enjoy mouthwatering dishes along with your preferred cocktail.

Rebecca Stirm back on Mission Catwalk after surprise elimination
Last week on Mission Catwalk Season Two, crowd favorite and local Belizean fashion design star Rebecca Stirm was voted off the competition to the disbelief of her fans and most viewers on the Jamaican reality fashion show. It was a surprise to almost everyone, who couldn’t understand why, despite never being in the bottom ranks for any of the competitions during the show, and after winning more competitions than any other competitor, the sole Belizean designer who had more points accumulated that anyone else, was sent off in episode 11 of the hit television series. The turn of events left viewers shocked and bewildered as to why their favorite designer was sent home in the final competition of the season despite being firmly in the lead. Trinidadian, Ryan Chan, picked up his second win in a “task for the series’ final that was to create a mini collection for SOHO boutique dubbed ‘London 2012’ for a fashionista travelling to London for the Olympics.”

Bodies of missing San Pedro teenagers Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat found in Orange Walk
The search for two missing San Pedro teenagers ended tragically on Saturday June 9th when their decomposed bodies were found in rural Orange Walk District. Seventeen year old Edwardo Daniel Alamilla and his eighteen year old cousin, Charlie Jamille Espat, both fishermen of the San Pedrito Area in San Pedro Town were discovered partially buried 50 yards off a feeder road about six miles southeast of Santa Marta Village located on the Old Northern Highway in the Orange Walk District. The bodies were discovered by a logger in the area after he observed vultures feeding on the remains. According to the logger, the bodies were partially buried in a shallow grave, but due to rain and flooding in the area, the bodies were uncovered. During a press conference in Belize City on Monday June 11th, Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood stated that Orange Walk Police received reports on Friday evening and responded early Saturday where they found the bodies partially buried. “Vultures in the area had already begun to interfere with the bodies, so a postmortem had to be done on the scene,” said Yearwood. “An apparent gunshot wound was seen to the back of one of the victims’ head,” he added.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Missing Teens Found Dead in Orange Walk
Two teenagers from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye had been missing for six days and on Friday, June 8, 2012, the bodies of Edwardo Daniel Alamilla and Charlie Jamille Espat were found off a feeder road in the Orange Walk District. The badly decomposed bodies were transported back to San Pedro on Saturday, June 9, 2012, around 11:00p.m. for immediate burial.

Belize’s Rebecca Stirm Returns to Mission Catwalk as Wild Card
After a shocking elimination on Mission Catwalk episode 11 where contestants were required to design a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Belize’s own Rebecca Strim returns to the Caribbean fashion reality series as the ‘wild card’. This second shot at the win is “very exciting and humbling” says the 19 year-old Belmopan resident who won four of the show’s 11 challenges and placed safe in three episodes. “We wanted to see another collection so we had past contestants Kerin Scott (Ne Sera), Janel Jolly (Jae Jolly) and Rebecca show at CFW and ultimately we chose Rebecca as the wild card,” says Mission Catwalk host and executive producer Keneea Linton-George who along with regular panelists Novia McDonald-Whyte associate editor lifestyle and social content at the Jamaica Observer and menswear designer Carlton Brown have judged the season two presentations.

Teen Talk by Solani Graniel: Saying Goodbye after Graduation
High school was the greatest time of my life, and saying goodbye will be nothing but difficult! What I will miss the most of high school are the fun times with my friends, saying jokes, laughing, playing around when teachers weren’t there, the craziness we did in class, singing songs, dancing, just being with my friends having a good time! I will also miss the teachers although one or two can get on your nerves but I’ll miss them! I have had so many great moments in high school like going on the football trip and wining, wining Miss San Pedro High, Competing in the Food and Nutrition Competition and helping out the school in many ways I could! I can’t believe four years have gone by and it’s not a good bye; it’s just a ‘see you later SPHS’.

Pic of the Week: Coconut Palm Paradise
The coconut tree is pretty much the signature of a Caribbean destination and the offshore islands of Belize have plenty of them. Relaxing under their shade, enjoying the cool breeze and sipping on the nectar of a coconut is all you need to relax in bliss!

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #16
YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF As a child you used to play cowboys and Indians. What else can you expect if for Christmas the most popular gifts children got were play guns and bow and arrows. You grew up using the ‘fogon’ or fire hearth as well as the one-hole kerosene stove. Oh yes, long before the coming of the butane stoves and electric cooking gadgets, the fire hearth was the main cooking source in San Pedro.

First Ever Fingernail Workshop in San Pedro
On Sunday, June10, 2012 the Beauty Club gathered her students at the Isla Bonita Elementary School for a two day Nail Workshop with nail expert Jacqueline Constantino from Mexico. Many of the girls stated that the experience has been very impressive and can't wait for many more workshops in the future. It was a successful workshop and all students were awarded to be certified nail experts. Congratulations to all students for their dedication and hard work. NOW YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN SANPEDRANO IF You have no idea of how a ‘fogon’ works and you dislike smoke and you like the microwaves and Flavor Wave Ultra Red Ovens and butane gas powered barbecue grills.

Misc Belizean Sources

French Wildlife Photorapher Captures Belize's Beauty
Marie-France Grenouillet visited Belize recently and captured the country’s diverse wildlife with her camera. Take a journey through her photographer’s eye and see Belize’s jungles like you’ve never seen them before! In Marie-France’s own words: My impression of Belize – so small and so “generous” … I had the chance to go to Belize last February. I must say that for those who love birds, the underwater world, local authentic villages and, of course, Maya sites, don’t hesitate to visit this small country. Among the best places I visited, I was very impressed by the Cockscomb Basin, not far from Placencia. I loved this place so much that I went 3 times! It is a wildlife sanctuary, with many trails through lush vegetation, full of birds like the “Hooded Orioles”, Woodpeckers and Raptors like “White Hawks”. Not to be missed in this park is a small pond, well hidden under the trees, but easy to find. There, sitting on the nearby branches only a few meters away, I saw a group of Boat-Billed Herons peacefully looking around without any fear or stress. It was incredible; it was the first time in my life that I was able to approach these strange birds, which normally escape at the first noise. Don’ t miss this hidden pond! Another superb place is Black Rock Lodge Trails and Grounds. It is the perfect place to see Keel-Billed Toucans, Emerald Toucanets, the beloved “Collared Aracari” and many other birds. The scenery is marvelous; it is near a ravine in which the river is running, surrounded by greenery. I would like to speak of many other places, like “La Milpa” in Orange Walk, but it would be too long. Better yet, you should go and discover Belize for yourself! I must also say a few words about Belize’s underwater world. I had no time to see the most famous islands for diving. I was only able to visit some nearby islands in front of Hopkins Village, like South Water Caye. The weather was windy with some sparse rains. However, in spite of that, the underwater landscape was extraordinarily beautiful and the water clear. The reef was not very deep; I was only snorkeling but could take pictures of the many fishes among the living corals, including a big ray in the sand. Marie-France captured many of Belize's birds as well as mammals, insects and underwater images of the Barrier Reef!..

Jaguar Pictures from Hidden Valley Inn
Hidden Valley Inn has captured - on film with their camera traps - some jaguars that have been roaming around at night. There are some nice shots in there. Mountain Pine Ridge still has jaguars all over the place.

Inspiration Telethon Promo
The Inspiration Telethon is coming soon. "Ad for upcoming Inspiration Telethon to raise funds for the Inspiration Center."

St. Ignatius 2012 Graduation
This past weekend was graduation weekend! St. Ignatius High School has some pictures up. Congratulations to all recent graduates!

Channel 7

1 Weekend; 10 Shootings; 2 Dead; Police Say Gang Related
Ten people were shot in four incidents between Friday and Sunday night in Belize City. Plus a grenade was thrown. Plus an elderly woman was killed in a traffic accident. Out district, two bodies of teenagers were found in a shallow grave, plus a police officer was killed in a traffic accident. Indeed, it was a deadly weekend. We've got all the stories, but we begin with an overview of the city violence from the police. The Officer Commanding Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon called a press conference to try and convince the public that - as much as it seems out of control - it is under control. Here's what Aragon told the media this morning: ACP Elodio Aragon - Officer Commanding Eastern Division "Over the weekend, we basically had 4 shooting incidents, of which, we had 10 persons being injured. And out of the 10, we had 2 who passed away, and 1 who is critical at this point in time. I'd like to say that out of all these incidents - these 4 shooting incidents - it is known to us that these are all gang-related. The persons who are involved - to a large extent - majority of them are either gang-affiliated, or they associate with gangs. We do have 4 individuals who are not gang-related, but because they were out there in the vicinity of these individuals, they received injuries. They were not intended targets, and in specific, I'm talking about the 2 females who were shot out there. They were talking to 2 guys who are well-known gang persons at Elements. We had 2 other guys who received injuries. They are not affiliated, but they were caught at that place."

Dummy Grenade Thrown At Woman's Home; Says House Also Been Shot
One situation the police definitely did not have in hand - was the case of a grenade thrown at a house near Bank Street. Fortunately it did not explode - but it was clearly not meant to alarm the members of the house, it was intended to kill. And we know that because the homeowner told us today that multiple attacks have been made on her home recently. Here's the story:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Police also visited a residence, the residence of Patrick Jones - a known member of the Pregnant Alley group - on Banak Street, where they found what is known as dummy grenade." Jules Vasquez reporting This is the impression left by the grenade when it was stoned at the plycem house on Cedar Street - which is off Logwood Street. Euandice Jones was inside when she heard the bang. She asked to appear off camera Voice of: Eaundice Jones - Resident of Targeted Home "About 10:30 to 11 o'clock, I heard a loud bang on the side of the house, and I knew that the sound wasn't a gun, but it wasn't an ordinary stone either. Right away, I picked up my phone, and I called the police, and immediately after that, I put down the phone. My neighbor called me and told me that she saw 2 guys on the street. She said that they fiddled with something, and they threw at my yard. I called the police about 8 times before they came, and it was on the ground for almost an hour." When the BDF came they found what's known as a dummy grenade - the type used in training:

Two Killed In Nightclub Shooting
And four hours after that grenade was thrown - there would be another violent, gang - related event - that would incite even greater public terror. A stream of shots were fired just as patrons were leaving a popular nightspot name Elements on Princess Margaret Drive at 3:00 on Saturday morning. Club-goers from Elements and other nearby nightspots scattered in all directions and when the dust cleared, 6 persons were injured: 38 year old Dwight Panton, 23 year old Kenroy Humes, 29 year old Luis Itzab, 33 year old Martin Oluwadare, 24 year old Brandon "Battry" Smith and Bruce Willacey. The injuries to Humes and Panton were most serious: Humes was shot to the face, arm and back, while Panton was shot to the chest and thing. Panton died shortly after arriving at the KHMH and Humes died 40 hours later. Police today discussed the double murder, the wild shooting event - and how they recovered what they believes is the weapon that was used:... Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We do have a Luis Itzab that was injured, Bruce Willacey, a taxi driver, Brandon Smith, he was treated and release from the KHMH and I already referred to the two victims from this shooting incident: Dwight Panton, a 38 yr. old, he is a resident of George Street and Kenroy Humes. We know that Humes is no stranger to the law, he was recently acquitted of murder, he was jointly charged with some other men from that area in Lake Independence. We ended up impounding a taxi where this magazine with the 14 live rounds of ammunition was discovered. We recovered a firearm not too far from the scene that we believe is also in connection with magazine from the vehicle impounded."

PSE, Not Great, But Getting Better
The results for the 2012 P.S.E are in, and the grades have improved - 2012 has seen an across-the-board increase in performance compared to 2011. Now, there's still nothing to cheer about - the average grades are still depressingly bad - but the overall performance has increased. In English the average was 58.6%, up from 54.9 , yet still 45% of the students failed. In Math, the average was 54.5. up from 47.16 in 2011, but again, 45% of students also failed. Science was much better with the average being 74.4 - up from 64.38. Half of the students scored above 76% with 83% of the students earning a grade B. Social Studies was also on the up and up. This year, the overall score was a 5% better than last year. The average was 68.9, and 73% of the students passed. 6983 candidates sat the examinations this year, and 20 students came out on top. Tied for first, are RHIKI ALEGRIA from Hummingbird Elementary School and JASMINE BETANCOURT from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning with 389 points. Coming in next at 2nd place is EJIKE UDUMII from Solid Rock Christian School in Stann Creek with 387 points. 3rd with 385 points is ERIC HUNTER from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning. Darren Alvarez, also from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning comes in 4th with 384 points. 4 Students are tied for 5th at 383 points: SERENA ANDERSON from Louisiana Government School, AMANDA MOREY from Grace Primary School, JOSHUA POTT from Hummingbird Elementary School and finally, MAMIE WILLIS from St. Andrews Anglican School. Taking 6th place is TANAIRI ARANA from San Pedro RC School with 382 points.

BTL's Second Acquisition Questioned By Supreme Court
One week after the double election in March - no one was really paying attention when the second acquisition of BTL was argued in court before Justice Legall. But the pivotal case was argued over two days and a hugely consequential judgment was handed down today. We say hugely consequential because the last time the courts judged such a matter, it happened in the court of Appeals, and when they ruled the first acquisition unlawful, the Ashcroft alliance went back to BTL and took back the company - if only to hold it for a few hours before the state re-asserted control. That's why the company had to re-acquired - which gave rise to the controversial eighth amendment to the constitution. So today, lots of people were on edge - but Legall delivered an anti-climactic judgement that put it both ways: the second acquisition may have been unlawful, but Government can still hold unto the company. Confusing? It was to the sharpest attorneys in town as well, who came out of the courtroom claiming victory, but with only the government side still having control of the company. Here's what they told us:... Godfrey Smith, SC - Attorney for Employee's Trust "What we've been able to get in terms of the core, is that the acquisition order - that SI signed by the minister - 70 of 2011 - is invalid, which suggests that the acquisition is bad in law. However, the judge goes on to order - to say really - that no consequential relief is granted, and then oddly orders the parties to sit and discuss compensation starting August 1. So, the upshot is that on the one end, it seems that he is saying that the way it was done was bad, but at the same time he's saying, 'I'm not granting any consequential relief.'"

Two Females Injured In Late Night Shooting
As we told you earlier, two men died as a result of a gang related shootout on Saturday morning. But that was only one shooting in which six men were shot. Another occurred a few hours earlier on Friday night as a group of persons were hanging out in front of Wesley school on Yabra Road. The police press officer told us this one was gang related as well - even though the victims are two females. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Two females that were associating with a group of men on Yabra Road received gunshot wounds as a result of a person attacking that group and firing several shots at them." "The females were identified as Renesha Pitts, 18 yrs. old and Carla Cardinez, 20 yrs. old." 18 year old RENESHA PITTS, had a gunshot wound to the left side of her abdomen and an apparent exit to the back while 20 year old CARLY CARDINEZ, had gunshot wounds to both side of her buttocks.

Shooting In Lake-I
And then on Sunday night there was a shooting on Lacroix Boulevard, which is behind the complex building. 20 year old Hazard Rowland was shot to the right eye at 10:15 pm. Police told us more: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We had another shooting incident that was reported on Sunday where Hazard Roland is saying that he was on Lacroix Boulevard waiting for a friend who was making a purchase at a store when he saw lone gunman on bicycle approached his vehicle from behind and fired a shot hitting somewhere around his right eye with the bullet exited to the top of his head. He was rushed to the KHMH where he underwent surgery." Rowland was in surgery today.

Sheldon Sosa Shot
And then in our last shooting report for the night: 23 year-old Sheldon Sosa, an unemployed resident of Belize City is a fortunate man who survived another shooting on the weekend. According to police, Sosa was walking on Iguana Street at about 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, and when he arrived at the Elston Kerr Street intersection, several shots were fired at him by an unknown gunman. He suffered injuries to the left shoulder and right arm, but he was able to get to the KHMH where he received treatment. He was admitted in a stable condition.

Cop Run Over and Killed In Capital
And the weekend's catalogue of woe goes now from shootings to deaths in traffic accidents. Tonight the Police Department is getting ready to bury one of its own after 33 year-old Ken Emmanuel, a Police Constable of #4 Corozal Street, was knocked down over the weekend. According to police, Carlos Santos, a 71 year-old retiree, reported that he was driving his red Izuzu pickup towards Belmopan and when he arrived between miles 54 and 55, a vehicle coming in the opposite direction had its high beam on. Santos said that he was temporarily blinded by the light of the high beam which caused him to hit Emmanuel, who was riding his bicycle on the same side of the road that Santos was driving. Emmanuel suffered serious head and bodily injuries, and police rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. According to police, Santos has been detained pending investigation.

62 Year Old Female Killed in Traffic Accident
A fatal traffic accident on the Northern Highway between miles 3 and 4-claimed the life of an elderly woman. According to police, around 8:25 on Saturday night, 62 year old Maria Torres had just got off a bus by the Benny's Apartment junction- and while crossing the highway she was hit by a moving Ford Ranger Pickup truck traveling from the direction of the Haulover Bridge. The vehicle was driven by 56 year old engineer James Bowman. Torres received severe body injuries and died shortly after. Today 7news caught up with the family of Torres who told us that Bowman's statement to police isn't quite the same as those who witnessed the accident. They strongly believe that he may have been in the wrong. Sarah Torres, Daughter of Deceased "She was coming to visit my sister in Belama. She came off the bus but she missed the lane, the bus stopped far from where she was supposed to come off. According to people that saw what happened she got off the bus and cross the street and there were two vehicles coming, one of them almost hit my mom, the one behind actually did." "He is telling the police that my mom was in the middle of street and he didn't see her. When I saw the body the body in the middle of the street or not even at side of the street, it was almost off the street. Her feet were almost on the grass."

Two Missing Teenaged Boys Found Dead
There's been a lot of bad news to report on this Monday night - and we've tried to kind of space it out - to reduce the trauma of all these unfortunate events. And the next one is among the most unfortunate. It's about those two missing teenagers we reported on a number of times last week. 17 year old Daniel Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat Were found dead on Friday evening at the far reaches of Santa Martha Village - which is on the Old Northern Road. It is a very remote location and it appears that that pair were lured to their death in what police are calling a drug related killing. Our friends at CTV-3 in Orange Walk provided us with footage of the very morbid scene and Monica Bodden spoke to the family in San Pedro today. Here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting The decomposed bodies of 17 year old Daniel Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat were found on Saturday morning in an area North East of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk district. The bodies were located about 50 feet off the old Northern Highway - semi buried in a shallow grave. Both bodies had reached a skeletal stage - A bullet hole was observed through each young man's skull and one hole to Charlie Espat's chest. A post mortem was done on the scene - and then the grieving family, bagged their loved ones remains in garbage bags and put them on a boat to San Pedro - where they were laid to rest.

KHMH Board Has A New Boss
A new chairperson of the Board of Governors of the KHMH has been appointed. Registered nurse and Former UDP hopeful in Caribbean Shores Chandra Nisbet Cansino is the new chairperson. She will now oversee case management, monitoring and evaluation as well as the purchasing of medical services. She has had 10 years of experience - nursing in both the private and public sectors- before she became Employment Injury Manager at the Social Security Board. She replaces the former Chair Mr. Gulab Sharma who - according to a release - stepped down for personal reasons.

Candle-Light Remembrances For Jasmine Lowe
ON Saturday a NUMBER OF candle light vigils were held in the memory of Jasmine Lowe and as a form of protest against the vicious crimes and murders occurring in Belize. The main ceremony in Cayo, which began at 7 o'clock was a success, and was described by one as "a sea of candle flames." Before the ceremony began, some supporters gave out 50 meals to some homeless people who regularly congregate in the Macal River Park where the vigil was held. This was to create a multifaceted effort for social justice reform. During the ceremony The Galen University 'Eagles' played meaningful songs, and the Chairperson of the Peoples Coalition of Cayo, Albert Moore, offered strategies to confront crime and urged the community to come together to quote "obey the laws of our land." And Cayo wasn't the only district protesting crime that night. The Belize Sea Scouts joined in solidarity and hosted a simultaneous vigil at the Seashore Park In Buttonwood Bay in the Belize District. They were joined by young sailors from the Belize Sailing Association along with their family, friends and sympathizers.

BDF with the Big Guns in Colombia
Last week, marked the start of the 9th annual Fuerzas Comando exercise - an 8 day military skills competition. Special operations forces from 21 countries INCLUDING BELIZE - went to Tolemaida, Colombia to test their strength and tactical abilities to determine the best in the Western Hemisphere. The exercise will not only test the tactical abilities and strengths, but will also strengthen bonds so that the participating countries can collectively deal with issues affecting the region. Columbia has won the competition 4 out 8 times, and this year Canada and Guyana are joining for the first time. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, and the competition will end later this week.

CNN Says Belize City A Hated Place
Even after increasing crime and poverty rates, many Belizeans still cling on to their jewel of the Caribbean. Well, according to CNN-GO, tourists that come to Belize feel otherwise. In fact, Belize came in 10th on their list of the world's 10 most hated countries. And why is the general consensus less than desirable? Well to quote the website, "Crime. Drugs Dilapidation... a vibe that screams avoid-being-out-after-dark-and-wait-for-your-real-itinerary-to-begin" has the tourists running for safer - and, according to the site, more enjoyable waters. With all this bad press some may be wondering, are tourists overlooking the value of Belize, or is it time to re-evaluate our country? Coming in as the worst rated country was Tijuana Mexico.

Channel 5

San Pedro teens shot in the head and dumped in Orange Walk
Between Friday and Sunday nights: Four bodies, eight injured, including two women and a grenade is hurled at a south side house. The bloodbath over the weekend went like this. The bodies of two San Pedro missing teenagers were found on Saturday morning in the Orange Walk District, a shooting in front of a north [...]

Grenade, Shooting and Arson at former home of Patrick Jones
Six fragment grenades were detonated by the Belize Defense Force in March. The explosives made headlines when they were lobbed in residential neighborhoods but failed to detonate. And luckily, an incident that occurred at eleven-forty-five on Friday night also went without the charge that the assailant had intended. Apparently it was intended for a youth [...]

Mayhem at nightclub; 4 injured and 2 dead
The Old Capital is bloodied by spiraling murder statistics. The violence from gangs isn’t slowing down and on Friday night alone, following a fight at a bar, two men were mortally wounded. Four others were injured in the shooting spree. Members of the Supal Street Gang opened fire on the George Street Gang giving way [...]

3 more persons shot, including 2 women
Hours earlier on Friday night, two women were shot around ten-thirty while socializing with a group of men reputed to be gang affiliates in the Yarborough Area. Eighteen year old Renesha Pitts and twenty year old Carly Cardinez were with in front of Wesley College when a lone gunman came from Dickenson Street and opened [...]

Gang war results in 10 shooting victims during weekend
There was a fourth shooting incident in the murder capital. The urban warfare is gang related according to the police. On Sunday night, at around ten-thirty-five twenty year old mechanic, Hazard Rowland, received two gunshot wounds—one to the right eye and the other to the left forearm. He is in critical condition.   Elodio Aragon [...]

Supreme Court Rules against Nationalization
Since about 2003 the management of Belize Telemedia Limited has changed at least five times: from an Ashcroft Board to Prosser to a Dean Boyce board, to the Government of Belize, back to the Boyce board for a few hours and then back to the G.O.B. This morning anticipation hung in the air of Justice [...]

Is Telemedia under illegal occupation?
Attorneys for Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank, Godfrey Smith and Eamon Courtenay, agree that since the acquisition order is declared null, then Telemedia is under illegal occupation.   Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Dean Boyce and First Caribbean Bank “It is an eighty page judgment to begin with which we have not fully digested. We’ve [...]

2012’s Top P.S.E. student revealed
This afternoon, the 2012 Primary School Examination (P.S.E.) results were released. A total of six thousand nine hundred and eighty-three standard six students sat the P.S.E. this year. This number represents a two point four percent increase over the number of test candidates registered in 2011. The P.S.E. assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills [...]

End of an awesome Sugar Crop Season for B.S.I.
Majority shares in the sugar factory are about to be acquired by American Sugar Refinery at a time when sugar has rebounded. The sugar crop has had a good season; production targets were exceeded, the quality of sugar is sound and farmers can expect to fetch a better price. But did you know that Belize [...]

Carjacking with a loaded gun
A carjacking took place in Belize City in the wee hours of Saturday morning and the suspect is already behind bars. Twenty-seven year old Fermin Matura was along with two female friends at around three a.m. when they suddenly asked him to stop the vehicle near a pedestrian crossing on Newtown Barracks. Two men then [...]

Bail for man accused of stealing motorcycle
Meanwhile, a man who allegedly stole from a security company, escaped prison—at least for now—when he was granted bail on a charge of Theft. Twenty year old Alaric Cocom is accused of taking a Meilum brand motorcycle that was parked in front of Priority Security Company on Freetown Road. The owner, Haitian National Jean Desire, [...]

Belmopan cop and Teakettle woman die in accidents
A Belmopan police lost his life in an accident over the weekend. On Saturday evening, Police Constable Ken Emmanuel was riding towards Belmopan between miles fifty-four and fifty five near the junction of the Hummingbird Highway when he was knocked down and killed. Seventy-one year old Carlos Santos told police that he was driving towards [...]

Vigil for slain teen Jasmine Lowe
A taxi driver who was detained in connection with last week’s murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe has been released from police custody. The last time Jasmine was seen alive was when she took a cab heading to her mother’s house on Monday. The western community continues to reel over the killing of Jasmine, [...]

12 year old boy missing in Corozal
We’ve reported so far on three teenagers who went missing and have all been found dead. Well, another child recently disappeared and his families is tonight hoping for better news. Twelve year old Alvin Choc of Louisville, Corozal was sent to a shop, not far from his house on Saturday morning and has not returned. [...]

James Adderley’s weekend sports wrap up
Good evening, I’m James Adderley. Welcome to this serving of Sports Monday.   The stage was set for a monster showdown inside Bermudian Landing on Saturday where Berlan hoped to force a decisive Game III in its battle with Western Eagles to make it to the Championship series. We pick up the action with Berlan [...]


Monday, June 11 - POLICE NEWS
23-year-old Ian Haylock, a labourer of Richard Street employed by CYDP who allegedly stole a Honda taxi car, was charged with robbery and two other offences when he appeared in court today. The other offences were aggravated assault and kept prohibited ammunition. Haylock p...

The Belize Youth Movement, a body within the opposition People’s United Party has issued a statement on the murders of Jasmine Lowe, Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat. In its statement, BYM is calling on the government, community and the churches to come together as one to...

51-year-old Merlene Moody Belizean reported that sometime between 11:30 a.m. on Sunday June 3 and 10:30 a.m on Saturday June 9 her home situated on Mamie Apple Street Belmopan City was burglarized. Thieves made off with a number of items including a generator, a number of electro...

It has not made it on to the daily police press release but there was a terrifying home invasion over the weekend in the Cayo district. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY, Correspondent “On Saturday June 9th at about 9:30 PM, Vilma Teck, a r...

It was a weekend of bloodbath in Belize City. Crimes have always punctuated many of the weekends, but this past weekend was so littered that it sent many people to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. At a press conference this morning, the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fi...

A primary school student in Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District, is reported missing. Paul Mahung tells us the details. PAUL MAHUNG, Correspondent “Ministry of Human Development Community Development Officer in Bella Vista Village, Albert...

The 2011 – 2012 sugar crop has ended. Our Orange Walk correspondent Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN, Reporter “The 2011 – 2012 sugar cane crop season officially concluded on Thursday June 7th around 9:30 PM. For the second time Belize S...

Police in Orange Walk are investigating the discovery of the decomposing bodies of two teenagers from San Pedro. Our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso reports. MANUELA AYUSO CANTUN, Reporter “The decomposing bodies of who were later identified to be s...

A flash flood this morning in Santa Teresa Village Toledo, has left damage to property, livestock and agricultural products. Correspondent Paul Mahung Reports. “Santa Teresa Village Council Chairman, Pedro Ack told Love News that the flash flood came upon parts of the village unexpectedly at about 3 AM and quickly washed through four houses nearby the flooded village creek. Ack confirmed that the rushing flood waters, from heavy rainfall throughout the night, also washed away a number of cooking utensils and other items out the flooded homes as well as pottery and pigs and over flood agriculture crops namely rice, beans corn and other ground crops. No one reportedly was injured in the part way of the flash flood while cost of damages remain unknown so far as Santa Teresa Village Leader, Pedro Ack, says there is a need for NEMO Toledo to intervene and help with direct assistance to the affected families and village level lost due to damage to agricultural crop and live sacks in Santa Theresa located 32 miles out Punta Gorda in Rural Toledo. Reporting for Love News, Paul Mahung, Punta Gorda.”


Search continues for Jasmine Lowe’s killer
The search continues tonight for the person or persons responsible for the death of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. The Santa Elena teenager left home on Monday afternoon to go prepare for a Scouts evening and never made it back alive. Her decomposing body was found on a feeder road near Cristo Rey village on Wednesday afternoon. Police in San Ignacio, along with town residents have pooled their efforts to hunt for clues that might lead them to solve the brutal murder. The focus for investigators is an impounded taxi, with Benque Viejo licence plates. The vehicle has been in police custody for a couple of days now and investigators have been going through it with a fine tooth comb, even using newly acquired forensics equipment to see if this is indeed the vehicle in which Jasmin Lowe took her final ride. Police in San Ignacio also have one man in their custody and are continuing their investigations. Meanwhile citizens have organized two nights of candlelight vigils in connection with the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Both vigils will be held inside the Columbus park in front of the San Ignacio police station. A candlelight vigil is also planned for this weekend at the Punta Gorda Central Park. Jasmine Lowe buried: Belizeans for Justice today issued a statement on the death of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe as well as the recent murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura. The statement says, quote: “Belizeans For Justice believes that these incidents are symptomatic of this government’s inability to adequately address the spiraling increase in crime and to fulfill its obligation to provide security and a sense of safety for the citizens of Belize who are presently living in fear. We appeal to this government to urgently address this most disconcerting matter by placing more emphasis on the care and well-being of all Belizeans, especially our children,” end of quote. The statement ends by saying that Belizeans For Justice requests that citizens and all organizations unite and work together for the protection and well-being of our children who are the future leaders of our country. The organization says that it stands ready to assist in this endeavor. Kim Simplis Barrow: In related news: the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis barrow has also spoke out on the murder of Jasmine Lowe. In a statement issued yesterday, Mrs. Barrow notes that since 2011, in her role as Special Envoy for Women and Children, she has been advocating for the drafting of new legislations for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Trafficking in Persons and sexual assaults. Mrs. Barrow says she has gone as far as proposing the establishment of a new Special Victims Unit, an idea which has been embraced by the new Minister of Police, John Saldivar, and is currently in the process of being formed. Mrs. Barrow says that these things take time to put in place, if it is to be done properly. She ends her statement by calling on all parents and guardians to improve communication with their children, teach them how to protect themselves, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents. By working together, Mrs. Barrow says, we can make Belize a better and safer place for all our children.

Citizen speaheads new proposed taxi law
Residents of San Ignacio and surrounding areas are pushing for newer more stringent laws to regulate taxi operations in Belize. The push for the new regulations comes on the heels of the murder this week of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Mary Carriddi is the sponsor of the new proposed law, which if approved would be called the Jasmine Taxi Law. The proposed Jasmine Taxi Law has seven main points, as explained by Carriddi. The proposed Jasmine Taxi Law is currently being circulated in San Ignacio and Santa Elena and will be shared with participants of a candlelight vigil which is scheduled for tonight in San Ignacio town. According to the sponsors of the proposed law, the new initiative has the support of the Special Envoy for Women and Children.

Group charged for drug trafficking
In court news, three men and a woman were charged with drug trafficking for 22 grams of crack cocaine today in the Magistrate’s Court. They are fifty year old bartender, Ernest Brown, eighty four year old Alvin Diamond, the owner of Mike’s Club, fifty-eight year old Douglas “Rojo” Patterson, and twenty year old bartender, Kamisha Ariola. They all pleaded not guilty and were each offered and met bail of six thousand dollars. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser ordered them to return to court on August eighth. The bust occurred at around one thirty-five on Thursday afternoon at Mike’s Club at 17 Regent Street West. Police say that the discovery was made inside a plastic bag between two pigtail buckets in a room behind the bar. At the time of the search, the four defendants were behind the bar, according to the police.

House of Mercy hit by burglars
La Inmaculada House of Mercy on Church Street Orange Walk Town was broken into last night. Stolen was a quantity of food that was intended to feed needy children and families. Maria Lisa Martin coordinates the House of Mercy. Martin estimates the food stolen to be approximately $400.00. La Inmaculada House of Mercy provides daily lunches to needy families and especially children from the nearby primary school. Martin says that the burglary will hamper their program and are making an appeal for assistance. Martin says that the thief or thieves left behind a container with beans and a bucket with flour, which was used to feed the children for lunch today. So far Martin says the police is investigating the matter. For assistance you can contact La Inmaculada House of Mercy on Church Street, beside the Pallotine Sisters Convent in Orange Walk Town.

Coastal Zone Management Authority holds summit
High rise buildings are infrastructure that first world countries take pride in. But in developing countries such as Belize, they are the very types of development that conservationists discourage against because of the fragility of our eco-systems and the volumes of pollution that usually accompany these types of large scale developments. Over recent years we’ve seen more of these types of structures going up around our country. Quite a few have received criticism, either over questionable phases during their construction or for what they represent — merely fast money-making. So for the last two days, the folks involved in coastal zone management, fisheries and the environment, have been knocking heads trying to chalk up a solid blueprint that would effectively govern these types of development, particularly those along the coastal communities. Reinforcing that need this morning for stringent guidelines was Stewart Krohn, a private investor and developer himself, who spared no words in saying how he feels about the “fly by night” projects. Just as guilty as the irresponsible developers, he says, is a government that allows them to carry on. But according to Anthony Mai, who works with the Department of the Environment, there is a set of procedures in place that developers must follow, but to improve upon the vigilance, they need your help. Mai says that the department has been successful in netting fines from investors who have ignored the regulations in the past.


Known Belize City gang affiliates murdered
This weekend was an ugly one in Belize City. There were at least 8 shootings two of which resulted in murder, a mas...

UPDATE: The Jasmine Lowe murder investigation
The death of 13year old Jasmine Lowe has captured the attention of the country. Jasmine's body was found on Wednesd...

Bodies of missing men found
The decomposing bodies of two men were found late Friday evening. The bodies were discovered near Santa Martha vill...

Police Officer knocked down and killed
A police officer was knocked down and killed on Saturday night in Belmopan. The officer, identified as Ken Emmanuel...

Countrywide vigils for Jasmine Lowe brings out thousands
As we said the death of Jasmine has galvanized the country and the case is being scrutinized closely. Enormous supp...

UPDATE: Sacred Heart teacher murder investigation
It's been almost a month since the murder of 45 year old Marco Thompson who was an English teacher at Sacred Heart ...

Is the gang truce holding?
Is the gang truce holding? That’s question many are asking. Police assistant commissioner Elodio Aragon admits that...

Missing girl found in company of elderly man
On Sunday June 10th 43yr old Jose Ernesto Hernandez Lopez, of Bella Vista Village reported that on Wednesday June 6...

Rebecca Stirm returns to Mission Catwalk; two episodes remain
After taking the Caribbean fashion reality series ‘Mission Catwalk’ by storm with a record breaking four wins, Beli...

Home invasion terror in the Cayo district continues
There are reports of a scary home invasion which occurred last night in Bullet Tree Falls Village in the Cayo Distr......

Women injured in shooting incident
Two Belize City women were shot at whilst hanging out with friends. On Friday June 8, after 10:30pm CIB personnel v...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Congrats Graduates of 2012!!
Congrats are in order to Andre Alamina, who recently graduated this past Sunday, June 1o, 2012, from St. John’s College High School with his High School Diploma and with Honors, also being the Senior Student of the Year. Andre comes from the Alamina ancestry, a family which spans to now about 5 generations. Andre was also the President of the Student Body at SJCHS during his senior year. Andre is the son of Alvaro and Kay Alamina, a second of three children. I can definitely see great and grand things happening in his future!! Congrats and Best Wishes, Dre!

Mr. Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia awarded by Oceana Belize
This past weekend, World Oceans Day was celebrated in Belize City with a series of events providing public awareness in protecting Belize’s Caribbean Sea to young and old, educating them on the importance our seas and oceans form an essential part of our eco-tourism. Mr. Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia was on the list of awardees for Oceana’s award ceremony and he was the proud recipient of the Ocean Hero Award for his lifetime dedication to protecting Belize’s marine bio-diversity. The Caye Caulker Chronicles and the entire Caye Caulker community would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Chocolate on one of his many accomplishments as he continues to educate those on the protection of our manatees.

Authentic Mayan Crafts for sale…
These indigenous Mayan ladies bring their authentic crafts all the way from the Mayan villages in the Toledo District to Caye Caulker. Next time you pass one of them along the way, stop and take a look. If you do, tell them the Caye Caulker Chronicles sent you. They have many beautiful items such as tropical hammocks, pot holders, place mats, table runners, blankets, decorative wooden masks, and a host of other amazing stuff.

Shrimp Sticks, BZ$ 5 (US$ 2.50) each …
Grilled fresh while you wait.


Checking out a Bit of the Coast Line in Panama: Coronado, San Carlos and El Palmar......
Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day (for me), I relaxed on the family Lazy Boy and whiled away hours enjoying the quick internet speed of Panama (it has to be 10x that of my connection in Belize). Cesar and Danni spent much of the day cleaning their "casa para un ano" (also known as their truck) and Cesar's dad did the heavy labor...disassembling the old outdoor brick fire oven. We had a hankering for fish tacos later than evening so Danni and I headed to the beach first thing in the morning (it was really our only outing). The area fishermen all pull up in a town about 20 minutes away called San Carlos. It's a relatively small, quaint town with some government's the local county seat. San Carlos is a mix of old-school and brand new that I am starting to get used to in Panama. Across the street from a JET BLACK gold flecked beach and the area where the fishing boats pull in is a large tract of land being cleared for a new development high rise called Fontanella de Mar. According to its website it is inspired by "new urbanism"...ugh. I guess the fishermen are going to need to relocate. You can see the cleared land as Danni collects her fish heads to make a soup later that evening. Here are some pictures of the little area where the fish are weighed... And of the boats and the black, black beach... And of some black vultures waiting for scraps... Each of the 6 or 7 boats had a serious display of hooks and a good sized catch...almost all Red Snapper. Fish cost $2.25 USD per pound. It is hard to say whether we got the gringa price or not...the two of us did stand out like sore thumbs. But everyone there was quite friendly.

Taking Care of Nature
My name is Danielle Mohammed-Ali, I am a 9 year old Standard 3 student from Burrell Boom Methodist School. I have two older sisters and one little sister and we live with our parents in Burrell Boom Village. I am also a Cub Scout of 18th Belize Burrell Boom Scout Troop. I would like to be an Eco kid and be able to go to the Eco Kids Camp because this camp looks as much fun as when I went to Cub Scout Camp at Camp Oakley. Being a cub scout I get to do a lot of activities outside at our meetings. As cubs scouts we look after nature and learn to take care of it by doing garbage cleanup and planting trees around our community. We also have fun with other scouts by playing games and learning to share with them. It would be exciting for me to be able to go to this Eco Kids Camp because I know I will get to learn more about my environment, about different things we can do to take care of it. I am also looking forward to do new things that I never knew or did at Camp Oakley, like going bird watching, horseback riding and getting to explore new adventures on the nature hikes. I know I will also get to make new friends and the most exciting thing would be to travel and see a different part of my country. At the Eco Kids Camp I would love to share all my experiences being a Scout with the friends that I will make and when I get back I will share with my scout troop and my family all that I learnt and did at the Eco Kids Camp.

Belize Consumer Price Index 2012
According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, between April 2011 and April 2012, the National Consumer Price Index for Belize increased from 100.0% to 102.2% yielding a point to point inflation rate of 2.1%, down slightly from 2.2% in the previous month. This change was mainly because of the high prices in the categories of “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” (+5.3%) and “Transport” (+5.6%) as noted in the visual above.

Raggamuffin’s baby turns 3 yesterday!
She is very much the youngest member of the Raggamuffin crew, Zahara Jones, turned three yesterday. In true girly fashion the trees around Raggamuffin were adorned in pink and purple balloons and ribbons – the mermaid pinata swung in the strong breeze of the afternoon. She invited all her little friends (and some bigger ones like Ellis, Shane & Shane, Chris and Jerry!!) and put on her fairy wings and treated her guests to chips and dip, pinata, cake and goodie bags – all washed down with much soda made for a festive afternoon for the 3 year old! As the sun began to set and the children began to yawn, the birthday took on a new twist. Zahara and her older brother Malik went home to count their sweets and the rest of the Ragga crew took the party (Raggamuffin style) to the split and eventually the I&I – needless to say heads are hurting this am. Happy Birthday sweet Zahara!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (9 June, 2012)
by Admin at 6/11/2012 Comment Filed under: mega-bingo Lucky Two 5.00 Each (5 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (5 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (6 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4 ­41­ Mini X 50.00 Each (9 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4 ­41 ­43 ­20 ­53­

What Is Up With The New Belize 2012 Dollar Coin?
Hey guys! Have you seen our new one dollar coin? Do you like it? The reason I ask is because I have a lot to say about the new dollar coin and some of it is not good. My concerns are basically on the entire design of the coin -- it just goes against my liking. I have a strong appreciation on the efforts and the work that it took to create the new dollar coin but I strongly believe there are some things that could have been done better and I would like to express them here if you allow me to -- of course this review is with all due respect to the Belizean people. My intentions is not to offend no one, I just simply love to give my two cents whenever my heart urges me to.

Re: Today's Belize News: June 12, 2012 [Re: Marty] #440362
06/12/12 07:47 AM
06/12/12 07:47 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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International Sources

Five days in Belize
That kind of diversity is quite appropriate. Belize’s exotic plants and animals, caves and mountains, stunning beaches and barrier reef, and historic and cultural connections to Mayan, Caribbean and African cultures are almost overwhelming. They are certainly too much to appreciate in one visit. Travelers here should treat the place like a spicy gumbo of experiences, with a complexity best savored through multiple samplings. Our travels started in the urban center of Belize City, from where we flew to San Pedro, a beach-side community of 12,400 on Belize’s Ambergris Caye. San Pedro features footprint-perfect white sand beaches and streets so narrow that most residents and visitors get around on golf carts. I found it a distinctly charming beach town. Our base at the beachfront Xanadu Island Resort provided us with an upscale suite equipped with a granite-countered kitchen, flat-screen television and Wi-Fi. From there we took a walk past the small shops, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and souvenir stands lining Front Street, as residents and pedestrians zipped around in golf carts and strolled by on foot. Belize’s barrier reef extends for more than two miles along San Pedro, and the beach is lined with dive shops, excursion boats, open-air bars and restaurants, and water taxi stations. Anyone looking to dive or snorkel has definitely found the right place in this town. In the evenings, the restaurants and bars form a lively, multi-colored nightlife scene. Unlike in some other communities, however, it all comes across in an orderly and attractive presentation. In fact, my primary concern was that due to time and other circumstances we drove about in a van and were unable to use our own golf carts around town. I felt positively deprived. We did manage to stop from time to time and enjoyed a drink at the over-the-water Palapa Bar and Grill. I’ve resolved to remedy that lack of a golf cart on my next visit.

Avoid the blame game: Liability relating to educational and volunteering trips
A recent High Court decision has thrown the spotlight on liability relating to educational and volunteering trips. Mark Lee examines the findings and identifies lessons for educational tour operators in Travel Trade Gazette: 'Educational and volunteering trips usually take place off the beaten trail, which leads to greater potential exposure to lapses in security. One such example is the recent High Court decision involving Adventure Life Signs Limited (ALS). This was a tragic case arising from the rape of three school pupils during a trip to Belize in summer 2005. Being prepared ALS assisted the school with the expedition planning and arranged for two experienced, ex-military staff to accompany the group. There was also a teacher in a supervisory role. A hurricane in the area of Mexico where the group was headed meant the itinerary was changed and the group diverted to Belize.

School and tour operator not vicariously liable in rape case
This decision demonstrates the court's reluctance to extend the doctrine of vicarious liability on the part of schools (and tour companies) to the conduct of third parties with which an expedition engages, and highlights the importance of the issue of control. It also affirms that for a duty to arise to prevent deliberate wrongdoing by a third party, the conduct must be considered very likely to occur. May Ahmed, BLM London XVW & YZA v Gravesend Grammar School for Girls and Adventure Life Signs The claimants, students at the first defendant school, were raped by the joint owner of a jungle resort in Belize. The resort is where they were accommodated and had been working during a trip organised with the help of the second defendant, a specialist travel company. Prior to the attack, some of the students described their assailant's behaviour as inappropriate, but did not report this to the leaders, who had been present at all times. The claimants alleged the defendants were both vicariously liable for the assailant's actions, even though he had not been an employee of either. It was alleged that the school itself was directly liable for allotting only one teacher to the expedition.

Are Salvadoran 'Maras' Infiltrating Belize?
El Salvador's "mara" gangs may be moving into Belize, according to reports, with both the MS-13 and Barrio 18 having a presence in the capital of the tiny Caribbean country. According to a report by La Prensa Grafica, El Salvador's maras have increased their presence in Belize over the last decade. The article cited police reports which say that El Salvador's two largest gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, have a presence in the country's capital, Belmopan. Other police reports suggest that in the district of Cayo, where Belmopan is located, an unnamed Salvadoran gang with 400 members operates with impunity. There is a large Salvadoran community in Belize -- the Foreign Ministry estimates that around a fifth of the 315,000 or so people living in the country are Salvadoran citizens, according to the newspaper. One reason for the growth in gang activity in Belize could be the use of the free economic zone in Corozal, close to the Mexican border, for contraband smuggling. Another report by Prensa Grafica detailed the rise in smuggling of goods bought in this zone, which are illegally taken into Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico. InSight Crime Analysis The reports of increased presence of Salvadoran gangs in Belize lack detail, but could be a worrying sign for the authorities. El Salvador had one of the highest murder rates in the world last year, at 72 per 100,000, which the government blames largely on gang violence. Belize also has local gangs. A truce made between 13 gangs in Belize City last year brought a sharp reduction in violence, but now appears to be fracturing. Last year, the White House placed Belize on a watch list of countries involved in the international drug trade. The murder rate has climbed to about 40 per 100,000 people, outstripping Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica, which all have rates of below 25, and edging past Guatemala, which had an estimated 38 last year. The Corozal free economic zone seems to have prompted smugglers to take advantage of its cheap prices to make a profit, which could open the door for more serious organized criminal activity. There is precedent for this: Paraguay's Ciudad del Este, in the tri-border area of Brazil and Argentina, is both a cheap retail destination (due largely to the availability of smuggled and counterfeit goods) and a key hub of drug, arms and human trafficking.

Caribbean struggling with debt
A mountain of debt is hanging over Barbados and some of its Caribbean neighbours, sapping government revenues and retarding economic and social expansion. As outlined by Standard & Poor’s, Wall Street’s leading credit rating agency, the pile of debt accumulated by Barbados, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Grenada and Belize since the turn of the 21st century has skyrocketed since the turn of the 21st century. The financial situation has gotten much worse in the wake of the global financial crisis that began four years ago. Some of those nations – Jamaica, Belize and Grenada – have even restructured their debt without “reducing the principal” while pushing the burden to a higher level today than in 2001. The upshot: almost every Caribbean state, Barbados among them, has seen its credit rating downgraded by Wall Street. That depressing picture of the impact of rising debt on Caribbean island nations was painted by S&P in an analysis entitled Caribbean Debt Is On The Rise. The paper was written by Kelli Bisset, a credit analyst who told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that the debt was having a negative impact on all of the countries, including Barbados. S&P indicated that at a time of great “economic weakness”, many governments maintained their levels of public spending and in the process probably made a bad situation worse.

Belize's Rebecca Stirm returns to Mission Catwalk as Wild Card
After a shocking elimination on Mission Catwalk episode 11 where contestants were required to design a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Belize’s own Rebecca Strim returns to the Caribbean fashion reality series as the ‘wild card’ This second shot at the win is “very exciting and humbling” says the 19 year-old Belmopan resident who won four of the show’s 11 challenges and placed safe in three episodes. “We wanted to see another collection so we had past contestants Kerin Scott (Ne Sera), Janel Jolly (Jae Jolly) and Rebecca show at CFW 2012 and ultimately we chose Rebecca as the wild card,” says Mission Catwalk host and executive producer Keneea Linton-George who along with regular panelists Novia McDonald-Whyte associate editor lifestyle and social content at the Jamaica Observer and menswear designer Carlton Brown have judged the season two presentations. On Friday June 8, 12 looks from the Rebecca Stirm Collection were shown at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW); the region’s premiere fashion event. Caribbean Model Search winner (2002) Jaunel McKenzie who has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Essence Magazines walked the CFW catwalk in Rebecca’s designs, as did Nell Robinson who has worked for brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Agent Provocateur. Miss Universe Jamaica 2012 contestant Caribbean Model Search winner (2008) Crystal Patterson also wore Rebecca’s pieces on the catwalk. Her CFW debut was made possible due in part to local sponsors Belize Bank and Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). For Rebecca, her experience in Jamaica means that the hard work is paying off.

Bart Romero: Willing to do the work
Over 2,000 students can point to their year with Bart as their agriculture teacher as one where they “learned something that helped me.” Romero’s Maricopa High School (MHS) teaching position has spanned the 20 years during which Maricopa evolved from a small rural agricultural community to a predominantly suburban, bedroom community. Beginning as the agriculture instructor in 1987, he oversaw raising steers and growing crops. Students were required to be hands-on and pitched in to produce pit barbecues, tend the plants, and help with the cattle. Romero grew up in a large farming family in Belize, a “paradise on earth.” As the oldest of 13 children, Bart had a strong work ethic instilled in him by his father. In addition to working on the family farm, he also earned a teacher’s diploma and, subsequently, taught elementary school for 13 years. Although English is the national language of Belize, a large part of the population speaks Spanish. So, in 1978, he was recruited to tutor a Peace Corps Volunteer in Spanish. The Peace Corps volunteer, Barbara, was setting up dental school programs in Belize. After dating for a couple of years, Bart and Barbara married and decided to return to the United States so she could care for her parents.

World's 10 most hated cities
10. Belize City, Belize Hate Belize? No no no. I'd just prefer to be somewhere else. Few tropical outposts less than a three-hour flight from Dallas have spawned as many alluring Sunday travel section taglines as Belize -- a diving and cruise ship magnet that has been dubbed “Central America Lite,” “the other Caribbean” and “the gateway to the world’s second largest barrier reef.” With all that warm press and tourist traffic passing through, you’d expect Belize City to have kicked its nagging reputation as the sorriest port o’ call on either edge of the Caribbean. Crime. Drugs. Dilapidation. Welcoming committees of bored, desperate touts. A vibe that screams avoid-being-out-after-dark-and-wait-for-your-real-itinerary-to-begin. Belize City has it all. When your own Director of Tourism owns that Belize’s main transport hub is “consistently rated as the worst destination” among cruise passengers, something more than the city’s famous swing bridge may need adjusting. Until then, it’s full speed to the puddle jumpers and water taxis.

Belizean Vacation: Sites from the Cayo District & San Ignacio
This vacation article highlights the Cayo District - as they all should. You'll see pictures of the market, the wooden bridge, Ko Ox Hannah, and many other things. "The Cayo District of Belize is beautiful. I spent the entire time we were there feeling very relaxed and loving the scenery. From crazy San Ignacio (driving in this small yet big for the area town was something else) to the tiny villages dotted along the road to the enormous ranches and citrus groves it was all mesmerizing... Here are a few photographs of the view in the Cayo District, our favorite local eatery we discovered, the beautiful fruit at the market, and simply things that caught my eye."

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