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The San Pedro Sun

Local artisans participate in National Cultural Policy Consultation
The National Institute for Culture and History (NIC) is hosting consultations country wide to get the community input in developing a National Cultural Policy (NCP). On Wednesday August 22nd many artisans, musicians and other interested people were engaged in such a consultation at the Sun Breeze Conference Room. Coming up with an NCP for Belize will help develop the country's cultural heritage industry in an effort to promote Belizean culture. Speaking at the event was Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, Nigel Encalada, who explained that the guiding principles for the NCP is the identification of elements which should be constituted and included in the linkages between culture and development. As such, the NCP will be the roadmap that policy makers will use to provide support for culture, arts and its expressive creativity for the next 10 years. It will also provide cultural stakeholders with a common strategic direction and rationale for current and future investment. It is also geared to challenge Belizeans to be more culturally creative in developing new industries that can better connect to mainstream society in order to promote greater productivity. The NCP should reflect all areas of culture including but not limited to food, music, dance, arts and craft, language, talent, book publication; just about anything that is a part of Belizean culture.

Medical Tourism Becoming a Reality in Belize
Belize has once again pioneered another gateway to attracting more visitors and investors to our country, which is, through the emergence of 'Medical Tourism'. Under BELTRAIDE's Compete Caribbean Project, component two (2) entails the identification of two priority sectors for investment. One of the identified priority sectors is Medical Tourism. There is certainly great potential for this industry to boom and create employment for Belize, whilst increasing its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In early August 2012, a workshop on Medical Tourism was coordinated, with the objective to create awareness of the new industry and to determine the receptiveness of Belize's stakeholders. The workshop was held at the George Price Center in the City of Belmopan and stakeholders from both the medical and tourism industries participated in the event. It was considered an information sharing session which allowed stakeholders the opportunity to voice their opinion on the idea of Medical Tourism.

Expert on Reggae and Dancehall Music to Present at UB
The University of Belize in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Belize will host a presentation by Professor Carolyn Cooper of Jamaica entitled: "Sounds of Freedom: Reggae and Dancehall Music in Decolonization and the Formation of Caribbean Identities" on Thursday September 6 at 9:30 am at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan. This presentation is part of the 2012 September Celebrations in Belize. Students, faculty, artists and the general public are invited to attend this exciting and informative presentation. Dr. Cooper is a professor of literary and cultural studies at UWI, Mona, Jamaica and is an expert in Reggae/Dancehall studies, as well as in the use of Creole/Jamaican Patois. She is the author of two influential books - Sound Clash: Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large (2004) and Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the 'Vulgar' Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (1993). She is the editor of the forthcoming collection of plenary lectures from the 2008 Global Reggae Conference, which she convened at Mona in her capacity as Director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies.

Ambergris Today

Residents Anger as Police Started Confiscating Bicycles
These residents are complaining that the community was not properly notified that the police were going to start conducting this type of searches on bicycle owner and did not give them enough time to prepare and properly equip their bicycles with the needed accessories. Although there are laws governing the ownership of bicycles and the proper accessories that must be installed to legally use it on the streets, most of the laws are not enforced.

"Indiana Jonesing" The Caves of Belize
There is once again much excitement surrounding Belize. We are very pleased to report that our beautiful gem has been featured in the August issue of the Caribbean Travel + Life magazine. This magazine is a trusted source for travelers to learn about Caribbean news and get destination tips. The stories are based on first hand experiences from the writers. The magazine is published nine times a year and is the official consumer publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association.

Grace Kennedy Belize's Island Back to School Giveaway
On Saturday, September 1, 2012, Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. teamed up with the San Pedro Town Council to offer a "Back to School Give-Away" for single parents on the island. Grace Kennedy is celebrating 30 years of service to the country and this is just one way in which it is giving back to the community.

San Pedro Junior Sailing Team Brings First Place Medal from St. George's Caye Regatta
Beginning with last September's historic first regatta at St. George's Caye, Team San Pedro's young Optimist sailors have dominated the competition in that class. On Sunday, September 3, 2012, in the third annual regatta commemorating the historic 1798 naval battle that won the right of what is now Belize to establish independence and to expand upon freedom, our intrepid young skippers received a bit of a wake-up call.

Misc Belizean Sources

In tough competition, Davin Puc of San Pedro Captures the 3rd Annual Battle of St. George's Caye Commemorative Regatta Trophy
Beginning with last September's historic first regatta at St. George's Caye, Team San Pedro's young Optimist sailors have dominated the competition in that class. On Sunday, September 3, in the second annual regatta commemorating the historic 1798 naval battle that won the right of what is now Belize to establish independence and to expand upon freedom, our intrepid young skippers received a bit of a wake-up call. Yes, on this day, as has been their custom, San Pedro skippers sailed skillfully through the preliminaries to take half - 8 out of 16 - of the places in the final. Yes, that in itself is a feat for these sailors to be proud of. And yes, Davin Puc, age 14 of San Pedro High School - who placed 2nd last year - took a masterful first in his qualifying heat and won the final with conviction too, to capture the trophy and keep it in San Pedro. Congratulations to Davin Puc for a very skillfully achieved victory. What a glorious weekend for the whole Puc family; Davin's older sister Naiely had been crowned Miss San Pedro just the night before! If you want to see a really proud mom, check out the accompanying photo.

"Captain" Jeff Kivet passes away
Very sad to report that Capt. Jeff Kivet passed away a couple of days ago. RIP, El Capitano, a very good guy indeed.

The seventh meeting of the Mexico-Belize Binational Commission was held on August 30-31 in Corozal, Belize. The meeting of the Binational Commission, the most important forum for bilateral dialogue and cooperation, was chaired by the Mexican Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Norma Pensado, and the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, Alexis Rosado. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velazquez, and of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. The Mexican delegation also included officials from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Finance, Civil Service, Economy, Communications and Transportation and Agriculture, as well as the Navy and the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Water Commission and the government of the State of Quintana Roo. During the two-day meeting, meetings were held by the political and economic, trade and financial subcommittees. There was also a meeting to assess the 7th scientific and technical cooperation program, and a second meeting on cross-border transportation.

Mexico-Belize Bi-National Commission holds seventh meeting
The seventh meeting of the Mexico-Belize Bi-National Commission was held on August 30-31 in Corozal, Belize. The meeting of the Commission, the most important forum for bilateral dialogue and cooperation, was chaired by the Mexican Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Norma Pensado, and the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, Alexis Rosado. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velazquez, and of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. The Mexican delegation also included officials from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Finance, Civil Service, Economy, Communications and Transportation and Agriculture, as well as the Navy and the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Water Commission and the government of the State of Quintana Roo. During the two-day meeting, meetings were held by the political and economic, trade and financial subcommittees. There was also a meeting to assess the seventh scientific and technical cooperation program, and a second meeting on cross-border transportation. Progress was made in strengthening the already close ties between the two countries during the meeting. The border between Mexico and Belize is clearly an example of good neighborliness as well as a place of opportunity and development. The two delegations toured the new Chac-Temal international border crossing point located in Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo, Mexico and Corozal, Belize, to observe the progress made on the Mexican border, and they agreed to propose inaugurating the crossing point in the near future. Both delegations agreed to continue working hard for the welfare of their border communities and society as a whole. They applauded the start of studies on water quality and availability in the Rio Hondo Basin in 2013 and decided to create a bi-national flood early warning system for the river...

UB's Semester Kickoff Today
The University of Belize is having their Semester Kickoff tomorrow. They'll be having sports competitions, music, club presentations, cake, and a bonfire. It starts at 2:00pm, with the bonfire at 7:00.

Will Moreno is Official September Celebrations Photographer
Will Moreno is this year's official September Celebrations photographer. He has captured some amazing shots. You can find most of them on his FB page, and on the Belize Celebrations FB page too. His latest Carnival pictures are amazing. On a related note, you can find all the September Celebrations events on the Cayo Event Calendar.

"New Marketing Success for a New Country"
David Meerman Scott was recently in Belize for the Marketing Summit. The impacts of social media were a big part of the seminar. Much of the information shared, when thought about, is quite obvious, but putting it into play can be tricky. "This is the message David Meerman Scott espoused in Belize and during his speaking engagements and marketing seminars worldwide. 'Communication is evolving, technology is evolving and we must also evolve,' he told the Belize summit audience before explaining the concept of 'real time' marketing. While traditional marketing often involves carefully constructed, often costly campaigns, the real time model encourages businesses to be responsive and use up-to-the-minute engagement with their audience. 'It's a real-time world now, and if you're not engaged, then you're on your way to marketplace irrelevance,' Mr Scott stressed."

Radio Vision Anniversary Parade
The Generation of Fire Youth Group had a parade celebrating the radio ministry in Belize. What a parade! "Our Youth Ministry together with the Praise and Worship Band Mission 3:16 united in Joining the Parade giving God Thanks for this Radio Ministry in Belize. It was of Great Blessing to be able to exalt the name of Jesus in San Ignacio and Santa Elena through this parade!"

Channel 7

Another Drug Related Execution In Corozal May Have Killed The Wrong Man
There is another Corozal murder to report tonight - but this one is not in the town, it happened in a village just four miles outside - and police believe that - like three others in July and August - it may also be drug related. But this time - the victim is a 20 year old - who police believe - was not the intended target. He was likely just collateral damage in a drug war that seems to be ever escalating. Daniel Ortiz found out more in when he travelled north today:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 20 year-old Humberto Gonzalez became a victim of an execution attempt last night at around 11 p.m. Gonzalez was with his friend, Martin Armstrong, and they were socializing at the Palacio Dulce Bar in Ranchito Village, a few miles outside of Corozal Town. They were trying to leave, and when both men got into Armstrong's red Toyota Tacoma truck, 2 men, who seemingly were lying in wait, ran out and started firing shots at the vehicle. Armstrong escaped injury and sped off in the vehicle, while Gonzalez was dying beside him - the Corozal Town native known as Puche had been shot in the right side of the chest.

Chinese Robbed Of Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars
And apart from that most recent murder in Corozal, there is also a major burglary to report from that town also, which netted the assailants almost $28,000 in cash and goods. According to police, Weiquin Zhu, the owner of Lisa Restaurant, which is located on 5th Avenue, reported that on Saturday at around 1:00 a.m., he closed his business place and went to sleep in the living quarters of the establishment. He left 2 of his friends in the living room area watching TV. Half hour later, he was alerted by a noise coming from one of the doors, and saw 4 men dressed in camouflage suits, who were all wearing masks and carrying firearms, storm into the house. One of the men struck him over the head with his firearm, and another ordered his wife to keep quiet or she would be killed. Zhu said that he opened a cash drawer and handed over $10,000 in cash, and that's when the men tied up his entire family, and his friends who were outside watching TV. They then ransacked the place and stole an assortment of goods and more money. When the assailants left, Zhu managed to free himself, and then his family and friends, and they called the police immediately after. They did an assessment of their loss, which was discovered to be a total of $28,825.

Belize Bus Association Not Happy With Chuc/Transport
September should be a month of sweeping change for the bus industry - with the Ministry of Transport's plan to implement industry-wide standards for all bus operators. But the Belize Bus Association - which says it represents 25 operators has rejected the package of 37 conditions for all operators. Today Chairman of the Association Thomas Shaw told us that implementation of the 37 conditions is impractical because many operators are just barely breaking even:.. Thomas Shaw "If there are certain and in reality what the operators are saying is that the people are actually paying for what they are getting. In order for the operator to meet these demands we are asking in increase in bus fares, fuel, tires, whatever, it is needed." Jules Vasquez "You all importantly are asking for representation on the transport board. That's one of the key request you all are making?" Thomas Shaw "Absolutely, why we are asking that as you know from in the past when we just started out that was one of our main goal - is to have somebody from the association to sit on the transport board because what took place in the past we can see it happening here again and if we had somebody on the transport board from the association things like this wouldn't really occur. Basically we have a situation with BBOC and Chucs and it's based on the same thing. We have so many operators in the west but only Mr. Chuc pays for his permit, nobody else."

Historic High Level Bi-Regional Fisheries Meeting Held In Belize
The 25 flags of nations from Central America and the Caribbean flew at the Biltmore today for a major regional meeting being held in Belize this week - and it is one that could only be held in Belize. Fisheries ministers, administrators and senior officials from Central America and the Caribbean are here for the first ever meeting of the CARICOM Regional Fisheries Mechanism, CRFM and the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus, OSPESCA. Just getting everyone in the same room is seen as a major accomplishment - and its historic to have them discuss trans boundary fisheries matters and chart a course for future collaborative action. Today Belize's Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla explained that it could have only happened in Belize because only this country is a member of both organizations:.. Hon. Lisel Alamilla "This is exactly where Belize is poised to say well this is how it's done in Central America and this is how they do it in the Caribbean and so because we move between both regions and we sit in both OSPESCA and we also have a seat in Caricom and we work various regions and so we can share with them this is how things are done in Central America and this is how people move shared agendas forward and then we also share them so that we can advance and support building trust between the regions."

Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sust. Dev. Cracking Down On Rogue Developers
And while the Fisheries Ministry is making history at the international level, domestically - they are also cracking down on rogue developers. Actually, it's the Ministry of Forestry, fisheries and Sustainable Development - which also includes the Department of the Environment. All combined, those departments have a lot of teeth for enforcement - and now they are combining their resources to conduct a sweep, reviewing ongoing developments for compliance with the law. Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade told us what they have found so far:.. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator "We have been to 2 regions actually; we've done Turneffe and we've done Salt Water Caye Marine Reserve area and what we are seeing ranges. They ranges from a group of locals deciding they are going to build their own island by filling it up with garbage on a shoal to infractions by developers who don't have permits to carry out the type of development that they have out there to somebody simply deciding that they want to do a little fill on an already privately owned holiday island." Wendel Parham, Ceo - Min. Fisheries/Forestry/Sust. Dev. "Follow up on issue have been a bit slow and this has cause things to go out of sync a little bit so the issue now is we try to take a new approach and address these issues in a rounded way."

Possession Of One Live Round? Jail!
29 year-old John Bernard Jr., a resident of Handyside Street, is on remand at prison tonight, after police caught him with a single bullet. According to police, they searched his home, which led to the discovery of 1 Aguila Brand 9mm round, which they reportedly found inside his room. They also found 4.7 grams of marijuana in his pocket. As a result, police charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition and possession of a controlled drug. He was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, where he pleaded guilty to the possession, but not guilty to the ammunition charge. He was fined $300 which he has to pay by October 4, or he will spend 3 months in default, but Magistrate Ford couldn't grant him bail due to the nature of the ammunition offence. As a result, he was remanded to prison until his next court date, which is also set for October 4. Another man who is on remand for firearm offences tonight is 23 year-old Michael Dawson. Police say that they were on mobile patrol on Sunday night, and at around 9:45 p.m., they saw Dawson standing at the corner of Ebony and Mayflower Streets acting suspiciously.

Southside Project Laid Off Shooting Victim - Day After He Was Shot!
Tonight 37 year old Isaiah Williams is still hospitalized at the KHMH with a bullet in his neck -after he was shot on Thursday night outside his mother's house on Banak Street. Yesterday afternoon, he came out of an induced coma, but his condition is still critical. And while he is fighting for his life in the hospital, his wife was handed his letter of termination from the job that he had held for two years at the Southside project. The letter stated that Williams services as a laborer with the Southside Rejuvenation Project is terminated effective at the end of the normal workday on Friday August 31. That was one day after Williams was shot up. Today in an interview with 7news, his wife Rosalie Williams told us, it is a rather frustrating situation, because her husband, who has contributed two years of payments to social security, is now left with no benefits because he was terminated while hospitalized. Rosalie Williams "Right now I could see all the trials coming and I definitely know the reason why but my husband - I went to his workplace yesterday to see if I got his Social Security forms full out because the doctor has already full them out and I took it there to have them fill it out and then I will take it to Social Security. At least I believe that he should have benefits."

Constables Get A Refresher
26 Police Constables participated in a two-week refresher course at the Police Training Academy. It concluded on Friday and the Officer Commanding at the Training school told us about the lessons learned:.. Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander Police Training Academy "We are the period of this for two weeks and the officers underwent training from within the police department as well as guess lecturers from across the spectrum of police matters relating as well as issues related to police." Reporter "What's the purpose of a training like this?" Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander Police Training Academy "The training of this nature is to better equip and to re-introduce different aspects of the police responsibilities to the officers in the field. This will assist them in communicating to the citizens who walk into the police station or to the citizens' victims who are a part of a complaint to the police as they go on their duties." "The refresher course is very beneficial for us constables. We information that we received is an upgrade as to the manner in which we perform our duties as police officers. There is strong emphasis on professionalism and the ways we give evidence in court and how we investigate crime scenes and the way we treat members of public as well."

Kings And Queens On Parade
The King and Queen of Carnival competition was held on Saturday at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Now, the event is always hotly anticipated - because the Carnival Bands featuring the winning Kings and Queen's can go into the Road March with bragging rights and street swagger. So who gets to brag and "swag" this year? Here are the competitors:.. Monica Bodden reporting On Saturday night, the MCC ground's was packed to capacity as 25 competitors - 12 Kings and 13 Queens took to the stage to show off their elaborate costumes and energized moves. The competition was fierce as these kings and queens went out in full force to represent their carnival band. They brought nothing but their best performances to the stage. In the end there could only be 4 winners. In the junior Queen category -1st place winner went to Sunshine Masqueraders - Elisha Bernardez - portraying a Mayan Rain Goddess. And in the Junior King Category Jump Street Posse took home the 1st place prize - with Warren Smith portraying Prince Kent.

Flavours Savour The Spotlight
A few minutes ago, a new exhibition-dedicated entirely to local cuisine-was officially launched at the Image Factory. Freelance reporter Janelle Chanona got a chance to preview the presentation this afternoon and spoke with organizer Tanya McNab. Tanya McNab "We are showing a lot of our food photography. We also try to show a different spin on the natural ingredients. What you will see here is a lot of images of raw ingredients or things that are being grown in the fields and things like that. Things hopefully nobody has seen before from the cookbook." Janelle Chanona "Were you surprise by anything that you discovered from this culinary journey?" Tanya McNab "Many things - I wouldn't even know where to start on that. But definitely I was by no means nearly educated as I am now as to the different food and which one really belongs to each culture and things that I grew up in but never really ever make connections with or figure out. Coconut is one on them - coconut is what makes a dish creole - like that's why creole bread is named creole bread because it's the coconut milk and things like that."

He Calls Himself "Jah"
Belizean artist Jamal Smith - whose stage name is "Jah" is in Belize for the September celebrations to promote his latest album entitled "I Heart BZE." Smith, who now lives in Los Angeles California, began his musical career 10 years ago by fusing a wide range of genres, including bruk down, soca and punta. Now he's here for the 11th Annual Soundfest and told us what he wants to do for the Belizean audience. Jah, artist "Right now the hit song is ABC. Basically reminisce about when I was in infant 2 and I had a crush on my teacher Ms. Jones. I know that everybody who went to school had to have a little crush on at least one teacher. I did and I just wanted to do something that pretty much everybody can relate to and I also Belize version of ABC is different from American version of ABC because of the teacher, teacher don't lash me. That's makes Belizean ABC unique. I don't know if they still do that. Do they lash children now?" "I am here for sound fest on Friday at the Bird's Isle. I am here to have some fun and just enjoy the place that I love the most, Belize." Of course, he's just one artist in a star studded lineup for the sound fest which will be held at Birds Isle on Friday night.

Channel 5

Ranchito Money Changer murdered by gunmen in shadows
There have been nine murders in Corozal since the beginning of the year. The trend is a cause for concern for residents of the northern district because the total number of homicides in 2011 stood at only five. On Monday, a car washer didn't stand a chance at survival; two armed men lay waited him [...]

NICH Archaeologist says no damage by rappelling at Caves Branch
As we reported on Monday night, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) is saying that when Chukka Belize erected a rappelling platform at an archeological site, it defiled the site and is subsequently endangering the lives of visitors. In the tourism industry, that is a serious charge on any tour operator; one [...]

Poll shows enormous support for tax increase to pay Superbond
The Superbond restructuring continues to be hotly debated. So in our latest internet polling, we asked: Should GOB increase taxes to pay for the super bond? Over two thousand participated and surprisingly, seventy-three percent voted for the tax increase while twenty-seven percent were against it. On our blog, however, all the posts were vehemently against [...]

What the economic indicators show about the country
The Great Belize Research Center begins a series on national economic indicators that will look at health of the economy. To kick off this segment, the GBRC looked at the most recent figures on the population and the state of unemployment. The results, you will find, both surprising and instructive.   Firstly, looking at the [...]

No water in the Jungle; free water service turned off in Pickstock
A small piece of PVC pipe in what is known as the Jungle in Pickstock is causing an uproar. For twenty-eight struggling families, mostly unemployed, it makes a huge difference in their daily lives. The pipe has been disconnected and it is taking a toll on families who have been left without potable water. It [...]

Bus Association will meet with Transport Ministry over route issues
The discontent between the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (B.B.O.C.) and their rival Westline is rearing its head again. Recently, the Transport Ministry approved permits to Westline for runs that were previously held by the B.B.O.C. Thomas Shaw, the president of the Belize Bus Association, says that they have been dialoging with Westline's owner, Sergio Chuc [...]

Suspicious behavior leads to illegal gun arrest
In the courts, twenty-three year old Michael Dawson was arraigned this morning after being busted on Sunday night with an unlicensed firearm. Police say that at around nine-forty-five that night, officers on mobile patrol in the area of Mayflower and Ebony Streets noticed Dawson behaving suspiciously. The policemen reportedly approached and informed him that he [...]

Cain and Abel? Armon Cain stabs older brother
A case of sibling rivalry that went too far landed in court today and a nineteen year old has confessed to stabbing his older brother. Jane Usher Boulevard resident, Armon Cain, was taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning to be charged for Wounding Martin Martinez. In a report to police, Martinez said they were [...]

Family of Rudy Cruz still waiting for answers about his killer
The well known Rudy Cruz was brutally stabbed on June first and three months later, police are no closer to solving the heinous murder. The highly sought after audio and lighting technician, whose skills as a DJ were gaining prominence, was found dead in his bed at his house where there were no signs of [...]

Belize hosts 1st Ministerial Meeting of CRFM-OSPESCA
In a joint declaration, Heads of State and Government of both Central American and Caribbean countries who met at the third CARICOM-SICA Summit in San Salvador, El Salvador, last August, called on Belize to host the first high-level ministerial meeting of CRFM-OSPESCA. Its aim is to strengthen collaboration to manage the shared resources of the [...]

Picturesque Flavors of Belize
In July, the Flavors of Belize cookbook was launched at the Biltmore Plaza with a grand cocktail that featured sampling from several cooking stations of cultural cuisine from the recipe book. Locally, the book has been well received and its Publisher, McNab Designs is in the process of launching it in the U.S. But while [...]

Awesome and Astounding Superstars at the Bliss
If you missed it, there was a change in schedule for Be the Next Superstar. Instead of the regular Tuesday night, the show was held on Monday night at the Bliss where bookings for September conflicted with our regular schedule. At the knockout round, three singers: Davionne Mayen, Silvian Neal Junior and Audreanna Taylor fought [...]


Mother of Six Killed Inside Her Home
A Belize City woman was murdered on Friday night. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM "Forty one year old, Dana Augustus was shot dead inside her home shortly after midnight on Saturday at #19A Mayflower Street. Augustus...

Belize City Bookstore Robbed
Last Friday Daker's Stationery and Books at 34 Freetown Road was reportedly held up and robbed. The cashier at the store reported that at around nine thirty that morning two youths entered and one wielding a handgun demanded money. The cashier said she opened the cash...

Shooting in Orange Walk; Belizean Killed on Mexican Soil
A shooting incident was reported on Sunday night in Orange Walk Town. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details. ARTURO CANTUN Orange Walk Correspondent Love FM "A shooting incident was reported last night on Liberty Avenue in Orange Walk Town aroun...

Police News
Three persons have been charged in connection with an incident in which a 14 year old girl was shot. They are 18 year old Adrian Alvarez, a student in an apprenticeship program, and two minors, one of them 16 and the other 14. They were arraigned today. They were charged with con...

Western Highway Accident Leaves Two Hospitalised
A traffic accident on the Western Highway has left two people hospitalized. 55-year-old Brian Ernest Clare told Love News sometime around 11:15 this morning he was driving his gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City. He was accompanied ...


8th Murder Recorded In Corozal As A Teenager Is Shot To Death
There was another murder in Corozal last night. It is the 8th murder recorded in the district for the year 2012 and this time the victim was a 20 year old laborer of 5th Avenue Corozal Town. Minutes after 11:00 last night 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. and Martin Armstrong were ambushed by two men who fired several shots at them while leaving a bar in the village of Ranchito. To date police are still trying to decipher which of the two men was the intended target. While there are several sides to the latest homicide we headed to Corozal Town and did some investigations of our own. Here is what reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson found out. Tonight Corozal Police are once again trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together in order to solve another senseless murder this time involving a 20 year old a labourer of 5th Avenue Corozal Town. Reports are that around 11:00 last night 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. and Martin Armstrong were socializing at this bar El Palacio Dulce located near the airstrip in Ranchito Corozal.

Traffic Accident Leaves One Man Injured
An Orange Walk resident is tonight at Northern Regional Hospital recuperating from his injuries after he was knocked down by a bus. The incident happened on Otro Benque Road at around 6:30 yesterday evening. According to 60 year old Frank Mackiezie, a bus driver of Guadalupe Street, he was driving a 1984 white and green blue bird bus, belonging to Kerr company, when upon passing the Orange Walk Police Station he saw a male person, later identified as 41 year old Juan Garcia, a resident of Trial Farm Village, riding his bicycle in a "side to side" motion. Mackiezie told police he drove pass Garcia but a few seconds later heard a noise coming from behind the bus.

Chactemal Bridge Complete But Still Not Usable
The seventh meeting of the Bi-National Commission between Mexico and Belize took place last week at the Princess Casino located at the Santa Elena Border. One of the main topics of discussion was the new international bridge called "Chactemal" which upon completion will link both countries. But the bridge is not in usable conditions as yet and that's because the roadwork on the Belizean side is yet to be completed. According to reports an average of one million three thousand Belizeans travel over to Chetumal Quintana Roo Mexico on a yearly basis while more than 250 thousand Mexicans cross into Belize on a yearly basis mostly to the Corozal Free Zone. The seventh meeting of the Bi-National Commission is an encounter considered the maximum institutional forum for dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Businessman Robbed At Gunpoint
While Corozal Police investigate the death of 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. they are also investigating an armed burglary that generated burglars more than $28,000 worth in cash an items. Around 1:00am on September 1st, Weiquin Zhu, Chinese businessman and proprietor of Lisa's Restaurant located on 5th Avenue Corozal Town, closed his business and went to his living quarters along with his wife and baby daughter leaving two friends at the restaurant watching television. Thirty minutes after, Zhu was awaken by a noise coming from inside his residence and upon making checks he saw four male persons dressed in camouflage suits, wearing masks and each holding what appeared to be 9mm firearms.

Ministry Of Health To Lunch New Study
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago today announced the launch of the "Burden of Illness Study". It is a research study on food Bourne diseases which are major causes of illness and deaths worldwide. In 2005 the World Health Organization estimated that 1.5 million people died around the world from diarrheal disease attributed to food Bourne disease, which in most cases go unreported. In 2008 the Ministry of Health established a food borne disease surveillance system which monitors patients in the public and private facilities who suffer from acute gastroenteritis. Despite the surveillance system, CAREC is reporting that data collected from across the Caribbean; including Belize, indicates an increase in the number of cases of acute gastroenteritis, a syndrome of food borne illness. This study aims to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis related to food and water infection and further investigates the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted by food. The official launching of the study will take place on September 6th at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The study is estimated to conclude in August 2013.

BMHS Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, on September 2nd 2002, Bishop Martin High School was officially inaugurated and started off their academic year with approximately 66 students. In its early years, the high school was located on Muffles Street, across from La Inmaculada Primary School. But in 2004 Bishop Martin relocated to its new campus on San Lorenzo Road. On Sunday September 2nd the educational institution celebrated ten years of providing quality education to its students. Vice Principal of the school Lorelie Torres, has been part of the staff since its early years and today she told us how Bishop Martin Celebrated its 10th anniversary. Lorelie Torres Vice Principal BHMS "Yesterday we had the mass of the Holy spirit, which is an event where we spiritually give thanks to God for all the success that he has given to us and yesterday we invited father Leo Nicasio with us and father Leo Palma who were two of our first Priest here, who were involved in our school and with them was father Amelio Chi as well, so it was a memorable time yesterday, also four awards were given; two to our past Priests who were Father Leo and Father Larry and also receiving his award was Mr. Bernardino Jr. who received it on behalf of his father and because of all his work that he has given to Bishop Martin and also to Mrs. Judith Chell as part of the parents, Mrs. Chell has been here since its inception, for almost nine years she has been actively involved in the PTA and always striving for the best of the school and working hard for our school, so they were awarded yesterday and also we had as a symbolic means we had the lighting of the candle and the blessing from the Priest on all of us." According to Torres, the school has its own unique method when it comes to molding students to become productive citizens.

New Beat Produced To Liven Up Your September
The month of September is filled with revelry as Belizeans will celebrate 31 years of Independence this year. Many activities have been organized leading up to the 21st of September when carnival groups will hit the streets of their respective towns and celebrate their freedom. Of course, incorporated among the activities, is the music that will be put people to dance. In honor of Belize's 31st birthday Super Furia Band, which has been in existence for the past 25 years, composed a song for the September celebrations. The song is titled Long Live Belize and according to Francisco and Roxanna Alcoser, the message behind the lyrics is one of peace. Roxanna Alcoser- Super Furia Band "The message that we are trying to portray is that you know, Belize is so loving and sweet so why this year and every year to come, why don't we have a peaceful celebration and we come united as one Belizean it doesn't matter where you come from if it from north, south, east or west just come as one Belizean and celebrate as one. My father he wrote the song and since like he mentioned before that it is composed of band members of the family so then my brother, puts the keyboard another puts the base talent into and even cousins as well and then I put the finishing touches, I put the bam!?"


Armed robbers hit Corozal business establishment
A business in Corozal Town was held up and robbed at gunpoint on Saturday. The proprietor of Lisa's Store on Fifth Avenue, Weiquin Zhu, told police that he closed his business at around one that morning and went into his living quarters along with his wife and his baby daughter. He said that he left two friends inside the restaurant watching television and that about half an hour later, he heard a noise coming from the door. Zhu said that when he looked he saw four men dressed in camouflage suits, wearing masks and each holding what appeared to be guns, and demanding money. One of them allegedly hit him on the head and another threatened his wife if she screamed. Zhu then opened the cash drawer and handed over ten thousand dollars, after which the men bound their hands and feet with tape and ordered them to lie on the floor and then ransacked the place before they left. Zhu said that he managed to free himself, his wife and daughter and then went inside the restaurant where he saw his two friends also bounded. When they took a stock of the theft, they discovered that aside from the money, the robbers also went with an assortment of grocery items, and cell phones all amounting to almost twenty-nine thousand dollars.

Woman raped in Dangriga
A woman from Dangriga was reportedly raped while at home. The thirty-five year old domestic reported that at around two on Monday afternoon she was at her house sleeping when two men entered and covered her face with a cloth. She added that one of the assailants raped her. She said that she fought with her attackers and in the process, they beat her before they fled. Police are investigating the incident.

Fisheries department employees in police detention
Two employees of the Fisheries Department in Punta Gorda are detained by police pending investigations. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Unregulated fishing a key concern for Central America and the Caribbean
Ministers of Fisheries from Central America and the Caribbean are meeting today in Belize City. The purpose of the historic first meeting of the two sub-regions at this ministerial level is to discuss the sustainable use of the resources of the Caribbean Sea. Chairman of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism V. Alfred Gray of the Bahamas told reporters this morning that he is encouraged that the two regions have taken up the challenge to address this vital issue. According to statistics published in time for today's meeting, the fisheries sector in the CARICOM region employs over one hundred and eighty two thousand persons either directly or indirectly. But that pales in comparison to the multi-billion dollar problem of unregulated and illegal fishing which affects both Central American and the Caribbean. Belize's Minister of Fisheries Senator Lisel Alamilla believes the coming together of both sub regions is a positive step in the right direction so far as addressing this problem is concerned.

Gospel concert in aid of school children
September is packed with celebrations here and there and there are many ways of celebrating. According to Gospel Artist, Reality Youth, a free concert in Belize City on Saturday will be sure to celebrate God and help those who need a little hand with school supplies. The concert will take place this Saturday August 8th at Battlefield Park and it begins at 6:30 p.m sharp.

Driver injured when vehicle flips on the Western Highway
A traffic accident on the Western Highway has left two people hospitalized. 55-year-old Brian Ernest Clare told Love News sometime around 11:15 this morning he was driving his gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City. He was accompanied by two Belizean Americans, 62-year-old Clive Carillo, a resident of Ladyville and 67-year-old Grace Meighan, a resident of Orange Walk Town. Clare said they had gone to the border to check on their belongings that were coming in. Clare said when he reached between miles 46 and 47 he felt the steering of the vehicle come loose and he was unable to control the vehicle. He said he realized that the tie rod on the vehicle was broken. The vehicle overturned several times and ended up on the right hand side of the highway on its side. Carillo suffered a broken wrist, fractured neck and complained of pain to the shoulder. Meighan suffered a broken leg and complained of pain to the entire body. They were both taken to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment. The driver of the vehicle received bruises.

Regional fisheries experts meet in Belize
Two regional organizations are converging in Belize City for what has been deemed as a historic high level meeting. Reporter Patrick Jones and Videographer Brian Castillo headed off to the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel and bring you the details in the following report

Belizean killed in Mexico
A Belizean is alleged to have been murdered across the border in Mexico. Arturo Cantun has the details

Police briefing on weekend crime
The shooting death of Dana Augustus was not the only shooting incident that occurred at the start of September. At their regular weekly press conference, Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, shared what police had on a number of other shootings. In last Thursday's shooting of the fourteen year old minor who was also shot while inside a house on La Croix Boulevard, police have charged a fourteen year old, a sixteen year old and an 18 year old. 18 year old Adrian Alvarez, a student in an apprenticeship program, and the two minors, were arraigned today. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The 16 year old, who the police believe was the shooter, was taken to Belize Family Court and charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of dangerous harm and one count of use of deadly means of harm. There was also a shooting in Orange Walk Town, as Yearwood shared. Pelayo remains in a stable condition at the Northern Regional Hospital. Meanwhile, with reference to the investigation over the allegation that members of the GSU visited Crooked Tree Village two weeks ago and assaulted some youths from that community, Yearwood said that the Professional Standards Branch has still not submitted its findings of that inquiry. Finally, with reference to the upcoming Carnival Road March this Saturday and police efforts to deter crime, Yearwood said that the police will be out in full force on Carnival Day and throughout the September celebrations. In a separate crime incident, Daker's Stationery and Books at 34 Freetown Road was reportedly held up and robbed last Friday morning. The cashier at the store reported that at around nine thirty that morning two youths entered and one wielding a handgun demanded money. The cashier said she opened the cash register and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and her cellular phone valued at fifteen hundred dollars. The culprits then reportedly fled. Police are looking for twenty-three year old Henry Patnett, of Rivero Street Extension. The owner of Noemi's Grocery and Fast Food at 138 Antelope Street has also reported her business was robbed at gunpoint. The incident reportedly happened at around three on Friday afternoon when two youths entered and one of them instructed him to get on the floor and to not alert anyone. The two thieves then searched the drawers and stole 400 dollars, and two cell phones. Police are looking for Evan Andrews also known as "Turkey" of Cedar Street in connection with this incident.

Six persons brought up on firearm charges
Six persons were charged with firearm and ammunition offences when they appeared in court today. They are 26 year old Lionel Sampson, 18 year old Lodrick Ovado, 27 year old Jane Ovado, 19 year old Lanickle Ovado, 45 year old Evelyn Gibson and 52 year old Cyril Ovado. Cyril and Jane are a common-law couple and the Ovados are their children. Sampson is a friend of the family. Evelyn wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Aretha Ford did not accept her plea because she did not say that the firearm and ammunition belonged to her. They were remanded into custody until October 8. The incident occurred around 8:05 a.m. yesterday. The police, members of the Gang Suppression Unit, reported that when they searched a house on Raccoon Street Extension, they found a chrome 9 millimetre pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition in its magazine underneath the flooring of a storeroom. Police say their investigation has revealed that the firearm was stolen during a burglary at a house in San Ignacio, which occurred on August 12. Alejandro Najaro, the owner of the house, was away in the U.S.A. at the time.

School warden gunned down inside her home
Dana Augustus killed. A school warden was shot while inside her home shortly after midnight on Saturday. Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Myles Gillett worked the crime beat today and bring you the story.

Chukka-Belize fires back at FECTAB
And while the FECTAB press conference was complete with props and highly charged presentations, Chukka Belize went on the defensive this afternoon, striking back at assertions made by Greenwood and his colleagues. Country manager for Chukka-Belize Valerie Woods told Love TV's Patrick Jones in a telephone interview that FECTAB is being totally irresponsible in making their claims and is simply making a mountain out of a mole hill. Woods told Love News that the construction of the rappelling platform had the blessings of NICH and was built with the highest safety considerations in mind. In a statement to the media issued this afternoon, Chukka Belize said that in keeping with their award winning tours throughout the Caribbean Chukka Belize has ensured its latest venture at Jaguar Paw meets all industry standards and minimizes environmental impact.

FECTAB takes aim at Chukka-Belize
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize has raised concerns over a recent addition by one of the country's tour operators. Patrick Jones has the story.

Community care centre for Dangriga
A ground breaking ceremony for a Community Care Center was held this morning in Dangriga Town. Coordinator for Productive Organization for Women in Action, Michelle Irving, says they have been working with orphans and vulnerable children, not only to HIV but other family issues like poverty and neglect and this prompted them to think of setting up a care point for them. According to Irving, those who will be providing the services are fully trained in the area. Monitoring and evaluation officer at UNDP, Assad Maga�a told us about the funding for the Center. Dangriga Mayor, Gilbert Swazo says that the project is a great opportunity in Dangriga and told Love News that there was much transparency in choosing the contractor for the project. Today's groundbreaking ceremony included residents of the community and surrounding schools.

Lecture on Reggae and Dancehall culture to be held in Belize City
"Sounds of Freedom: Reggae & Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean", is the title of a lecture which will take place tomorrow in Belize City. The lecturer is Dr. Carolyn Cooper a professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies' Mona Campus in Jamaica. She told us more about her background. Dr. Cooper told us what the focus of tomorrow's lecture is. We asked Dr. Cooper to share why there is still some stigma toward dancehall and why some people view it not as part of a culture . Dr. Cooper says that with that since young people are moving toward music, new technologies that exist in our modern world, can allow for it to be incorporated into the formal school system. The lecture, which is free of cost, will take place at seven p.m. at the Bliss Center for the performing Arts.

Carnival kings and queens chosen
Also on Saturday night, the carnival king and queen competition took place at the MCC Grounds. Here are the highlights of that night

New Queen of the Bay chosen
Activities in connection with the September celebrations continued this past weekend. The Queen of the Bay Pageant was staged at the Bird's Isle. Yadira Arguetta who hails from the Stann Creek District walked off with the crown. First Runner-up was Ivoree Mendez from Corozal and second runner up was Jorlee Marin, who represented Caribbean Shores. Marin also won the title of Miss Photogenic.


Ministry of Education 'no comment' on Controversial HFLE manual
In February of this year, a Committee of ten professionals from the educational, health, social, and religious sect...

Corozal man shot to death in his vehicle
Corozal is once again dealing with a murder. It happened last night at about 11 0'clock and after the gun shots wer...

Belmopan Council to enforce Public drinking laws
Chapter 150 of the laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000 is the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act for the country. LI...

Belmopan Celebations schedule is released
Events leading up to Belize's Birthday are many. On the 21st of September Belize will celebrate 31 years of Indepen...

Wil Maheia to lead another patriotic Border Flagraising
For the past ten years, the Peoples National Party has been travelling to different border points in the country to...

Fisheries rangers caught with large sums of money
And speaking of fisheries, two employees of fisheries department have been detained pending investigations. On Mond...

Belize hosts high Level Caribbean Fisheries meeting
Belize hosted the first ever high-level ministerial meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) an...

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Ministry of Education 'no comment' on Controversial HFLE manual
In February of this year, a Committee of ten professionals from the educational, health, social, and religious sect...

Corozal man shot to death in his vehicle
Corozal is once again dealing with a murder. It happened last night at about 11 0'clock and after the gun shots wer...

Belmopan Council to enforce Public drinking laws
Chapter 150 of the laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000 is the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act for the country. LI...

Belmopan Celebations schedule is released
Events leading up to Belize's Birthday are many. On the 21st of September Belize will celebrate 31 years of Indepen...

Wil Maheia to lead another patriotic Border Flagraising
For the past ten years, the Peoples National Party has been travelling to different border points in the country to...

Fisheries rangers caught with large sums of money
And speaking of fisheries, two employees of fisheries department have been detained pending investigations. On Mond...

Belize hosts high Level Caribbean Fisheries meeting
Belize hosted the first ever high-level ministerial meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) an...

Gun used in Cayo crime found in Belize City
A gun traced to a burglary in San Ignacio was found in a Belize City Home. GSU conducted a raid on the home on Raco...

Four persons invade home in Corozal
There was a home invasion and robbery reported in Corozal as well. Weiquin Zhu, the proprietor of Lisa's restaurant...

Home invasion in Dangriga
There was another home invasion reported but this one resulted in a rape. It happened in Dangriga yesterday afterno...

Three arrested for Sunlight Restaurant robbery
Three persons were detained in connection to a robbery in the Cayo district. We reported on that robbery yesterday....


Dana is killed; she leaves 6 children!
The well-known school warden, 41, was dressing for a party when she was shot at her window Dana Sterling Augustus, 41, who lived on Mayflower Street, was getting ready to go to Lodge Hall around 12:10 Saturday morning, September 1, for a night of fun when someone in her yard called for her. Reports are that the mother of seven children (one deceased), a well-known school warden, opened the window of her elevated wooden house to see who it was and was shot in the chest, abdomen and head by a gunman who, according to reports, was one of three intruders in her yard. She died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Dana, a single parent, lived with her daughters in the house. We are told that no man had been living in the home for over four years, and that everyone in the neighborhood knew that. Augustus' sister told Amandala that she was in her house at the back of the yard when she heard a barrage of gunshots in her vicinity. She said that the sound of gunshots in the area was nothing strange, so she ignored them.

Police charge gunmen - 14, 16, 18 - with the shooting of girl, 14
She was shot in home around dining room table Police have arrested and charged three persons who they believe were the gunmen who endangered the lives of many people when they opened fire in the La Croix Boulevard area of the city on Thursday, August 30, 2012, which resulted in Desiree Aranda, 14, being shot in her home as she sat around their table eating with her aunt and sister. Today, Monday, Adrian Avaloy-Alvarez, 18, a resident of #82 Linda Vista Street, along with two minors, ages 16 and 14, were brought before Magistrate Aretha Ford, to answer a "conspiracy to commit murder" charge. This afternoon, the 16-year-old minor was taken over to the Family Court, where he was slapped with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, dangerous harm and deadly means of harm, all stemming from the August 30 incident. No pleas were taken from them and they were remanded to prison until their next court appearance on October 10, 2012. Police believe that they are the youths who were behind the shooting on August 30, which resulted in Desiree Aranda, 14, a high school student, suffering from a gunshot wound in the right lower side of her back. She was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was treated for injury and released on Friday, August 31, 2012.

Police vs. Castellanos family in Alta Vista; bullets fly!
A routine aggravated burglary report for a patrol team from Dangriga police on Thursday night apparently led to a violent confrontation that ended in four persons being injured by gunshots and facing a multitude of charges. [...]

FIFA Development Officer Mauricio Caballero visits Belize
Mauricio Caballero, FIFA Development Officer for Central America, visited Belize on the 20 - 22 of August. During his visit Mr. Caballeros: (1) Visited and inspected the MCC Grounds and observed that the pitch is a [...]

Belize Softball Gold at 2012 CODICADER Games
Ladyville Technical High School girls beat Guatemala in softball for Gold medal at 2012 CODICADER Games Congratulations are in order for our Ladyville Technical High School girls softball team who represented Belize bravely and proudly last [...]

Telemedia repeats as National Softball Champions
After a compact schedule of games beginning Friday night, August 24, all day Saturday, and climaxing on Sunday night, Telemedia from Belize City was once again crowned National Softball Champions [...]

Editorial: A September tragedy
This past Friday, Albert Street and surrounding areas were bubbling over with activity. Residents were out in the hundreds, finalizing the last of the shopping for the start of primary school on Monday. It was also the beginning of the traditionally festive September celebrations. People were in a festive mood; it was the end of the month. Later in the evening the carnival revelers really put the old capital in the September mood, with a "teaser" through the streets of the City. Saturday night was going to be the eagerly anticipated Carnival King and Queen competition and the traditional pageantry of the Queen of the Bay. But as Friday slipped into Saturday, September 1, a few minutes after midnight, a 41-year-old Belize City woman was shot in her house, through a kitchen window, as she prepared for a night out on the town. This was the third female shot in a little over 30 hours. A 14-year-old student had been shot on Thursday night when a bullet targeted for a group on La Croix Boulevard ricocheted and hit her as she ate her supper inside her home. The second and third shootings were unlike anything we had seen before - there were no males in the vicinity of the females targeted. Police report that the second young lady was shot late Friday night while sitting with her mother and sister at the corner of Vernon and Sibun Streets.

From The Publisher
Had I known the history of the mulattos in Haiti and Jamaica, for instance, I would not have been so sanguine about making attitudinal changes in Belize through the UBAD experience. Strictly speaking, a mulatto is the child of a European man and an African woman. I suppose a child (but they were very rare indeed in the old days) who is fathered by an African man with a European woman, is also considered a mulatto. But, the term is loosely used in the modern era to refer to people who are mixed, where European and African bloodlines are concerned. So then, for the purposes of this essay, consider me a mulatto, and we'll go from there. Before the time of UBAD, there had been a movement called the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), or Garveyism, in British Honduras, a movement which extolled the achievements of Africa and Africans and preached black pride. I have a maternal great grandmother by the name of Lillian Gibson Lindo who was a Garveyite in the early 1920s. Lillian Gibson Lindo was brown-skinned, which is to say that she was of mixed ancestry. I met Nurse Vivian Seay in 1969: she was also brown-skinned and a Garveyite. Still, the vast majority of Garveyites, it appears to me, were black in appearance. In the days of slavery and colonialism, most people who were brown were trying to "raise their color," which is to say, become as European as they could where marriage, social circles, tastes, language, and behavior were concerned.

Letters to the Editor

Blame IMF for controversial banking bill: Gian Ghandi
Ghandi says definition of spouse harmless, since Belize law criminalizes same-sex relations The Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Bill, approved by Parliament last week, has been stirring up the church community, because, to them, the definition of the word "spouse" in the bill appears to expand the meaning to include same-sex couples. Government's legal counsel in the Ministry of Finance, Gian Ghandi, told Amandala that the bill is linked to the debt restructuring exercise and the definition now being disputed was in the bill ever since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) drafted it about 6 months ago. Ghandi said the definition of spouse is being totally misunderstood, as it was never their intention to widen the meaning to include same-sex couples. Ghandi pointed to existing provisions in the Criminal Code (Section 53) which outlaw same-sex relations, and he said that as long as those laws are on the books, no other legal meaning could be construed for the word "spouse" in Belize, which he described as a very religious society to which the sanctioning of same-sex relations is abhorrent. Ghandi said that during all the reviews of the banking bill, and even during the house committee meetings at which public input could have been given on the bill, no one ever raised concerns about the way spouse is defined in the act.

U.S. donates equipment to Coast Guard, BDF
This afternoon at the Belize Coast Guard's headquarters on the Western Highway, a donation was made, totaling more than 4 and a half million dollars, from the U.S. Southern Military Command (SOUTHCOM) to the Coast Guard [...]

Teachers reject marijuana decriminalization
The extended deadline for the submission of comments on the proposal to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, up to 10 grams or 10 sticks of the drug, passed on Friday, August 31, 2012, and the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU), one of the bodies asked by the reviewing committee for their input, has issued a statement saying categorically that it is opposed to the idea, which, according to the BNTU, is "premature and dangerous." The current proposal calls for Belize to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, which would be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment. Currently, the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana is a criminal offence and punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment. The BNTU, whose president is Luke Palacio, said that it held a special meeting of its Council of Management on Saturday, August 25, at which the decriminalization question did come up. The union of teachers pointed first to "the negative effect of its use on the body, especially the brain and rational behavior," which, it said, "far outweighs its known medicinal uses." The BNTU highlighted the need for much more education, study and research of its use and effects.


When is the last time you �.?
When is the last time you were trying to run an errand on your lunch break and hit the one hour roadblock where all the places you wanted to go were closed? Leisa and I were talking about the San Pedro town slowdown last week when we met her at Fido's, it had just happened to her. I told her how Dick and I were planning an errand run the day before and we had planned our whole trip around that very thing. Of course we ended up on Belize time by 15 minutes or so. That idea went out the window and left us going for a nice joyride around town while we waited for BTL to open. Today I was thinking about meeting Mary1220 and DW as they arrive at Tropic Air on the 12:40. Once again I find myself having to consider where I want to go and what is the best timing to make it all fit.

11-Year Old Belizean Aquarium Manager Knocks My Socks Off On St. George's Caye
Yesterday I started to describe my Sunday funday on famous St. George's Caye. The island is such a interesting place...a gorgeous Caribbean weekend getaway for a lucky few that is somehow stuck in time. For a map of the island and some drawings, all you need to do is pick up the Belize $5 bill. We were there for a full day of sailing and speeches, BBQ and beers but I found something very cool on the north side of the island. Actually, someone really cool. His name is Karly. (And I'd actually read about him in this Dallas News article about a year ago: Boy's Aquarium an Attraction on Belize Coast). He has lived on St. George's Caye his entire life, all 11 years of it. And inside his parents' boat house, he has built an aquarium, the only aquarium in Belize, and he manages it himself. Here is the sign on the property at the entrance to their property. It indicated that they were open but I didn't see anyone around... I walked around the house. Even though it appeared closed, there were signs along the way to encourage me... A HUGE dog was sleeping on a leash and the neighbor helped me by calling upstairs. "One minute" answered a kid's voice. Hmmmm....this should be interesting...

Caye Caulker premiers Belize's first film on Friday!!
Friday will be the night of great celebration when Paradiso's Outdoor Cinema will present Belize's first motion picture - Kurse a Di Xtabai! This movie was not only filmed in Belize, by an all Belizean cast and crew but it is also in Kriol!! The film is a supernatural thriller that is set to impress and along with the fact that the screening will also have the cast making an appearance, it sure is something that we should not miss!! So come on out and support Belize's first motion picture - showings are on Friday 7th September at 6.30pm and 8.30pm and tickets can be bought in advance from Paradiso Cafe!

International Sources

Caribbean's Creepiest Adventure Tour: Belize Caves
There is once again much excitement surrounding Belize. We are very pleased to report that our beautiful gem has been featured in the August issue of the Caribbean Travel + Life magazine.... Intrepid Caribbean Travel + Life writer/photographer Jad Davenport does his best Indiana Jones in this adventure tour of the Belize caves. If you want to see skeletons, bats and the darkest corners of the Caribbean, this is the best vacation for you. Once the domain of Maya shamans, the sacred caves of Belize hold the most surprising (and haunting) sights in the country, perfect for mellow day trips or Indiana Jones adventures. Here is your guide to what lies beneath.

The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems. The memorandum of agreement signed Tuesday is part of a controversial experiment meant to bring badly needed economic growth to this small Central American country. Its weak government and failing infrastructure are being overwhelmed by corruption, drug-linked crime and lingering instability from a 2009 political coup. Both sides hope to begin work on the first city in coming weeks and say the project could create 5,000 jobs over the next six months. The project is opposed by civil society groups including indigenous Garifuna people who say they don't want their land to be used for the project. The developers say the fears are unjustified.

Guatemala to Establish Military Bases on Mexican Border
The government of Guatemala will open three military bases to fight drug trafficking, as announced by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina Tuesday, days after the news about the presence of almost 200 U.S. soldiers to neutralize drug traffickers. In these new installations, located in the departments of Peten (north), San Marcos (west) and Izabal (north-east) there will be officers to counterarrest drug trafficking, smuggling and other crimes. President Perez Molina said the Executive wants to but radars and planes made in Brazil to reinforce the work of the intelligence corps. Since last week, a total of 250 Guatemalan soldiers are operating together with almost 200 US soldiers in the Pacific coast to fight drug trafficking. This is the first movement of US Marines in the region, said US Navy Sergeant Earnest Barnes. Forty-five days ago, Guatemala and the US government had signed an agreement to authorize an operation called "Martillo" (Hammer) against drug trafficking.

Belize City, of the Central American nation of Belize, emerged the most hated city and ranked 10
The website, CNNGo, introduces a list of 10 cities, which have been described as: "They're not the worst cities in the world but they are the best at bugging people. Introducing the places guaranteed to swing your mood southward." While Belize City, of the Central American nation of Belize, emerged the most hated city and ranked 10, Delhi ranked eighth for "plenty of cons" and "endless fleecing of travellers". The list rated the cities in the increasing order of 'hate quotient'. Belize City was declared the 'most hated city' for having a very high rate of crime, drug dealings and a sense of dilapidation.

Reveal Real Estate presents the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot
How much does a 3 bed house cost in Central America? It may seem like a simple question, but in countries like Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, where official property statistics are not available, it's hard to find reliable market comps. This leaves buyers entering the market relying only on thin slices of information for their investment decisions - a glossy brochure, an anecdote, a Google search or information given to them by vendors. It's against this vacuum of reliable information that Reveal Real Estate and Global Property Guide have come together to prepare the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot. The study provides an apples to apples comparison of the sales price of a typical three bed home across 12 different property hotspots in Central America. The results are generated by a special Benchmarking Group of recognized real estate experts with in-depth knowledge of their local market.

Access Financial, Belize entrepreneur top Citi awards
The Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award went to Belize's Javier Basto of Basto & Sons Plantain Chips. Basto will receive a cash prize of US$3,000. Frying plantains in his backyard In 2008, the entrepreneur launched into business by frying plantains in his backyard and selling to friends and neighbours in affordable US$0.50 bags in Guinea Grass Village, Belize. With financing from La Inmaculada Credit Union for equipment and improved facilities, his business has expanded to seven employees and 5,000 bags per week; and includes cassava chips and churros distributed through grocery stores in Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town and Belize City.

Belize Gains Leverage in Default Talks as New Borrowing Not Seen
Belize's creditors are betting the Central American country will improve its bond restructuring offer in order to maintain access to global debt markets. The government says it doesn't need them. Belize's $1.4 billion economy, which expanded 2 percent in 2011, can go without more borrowing on international credit markets, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in an Aug. 22 press conference. The country didn't sell global bonds before 1998 and hasn't returned to them since a 2007 restructuring. Barrow's government, which missed a $23 million coupon payment on Aug. 20, is seeking to reach an accord with creditors before a mission from the International Monetary Fund comes to the country in October as part of an annual review of the economy, according to Mark Espat, who heads the country's bond restructuring committee. Belize's ability to survive x'without global market access may give it an advantage in talks, said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at Exotix Ltd. "I am not sure at the moment the government does care that much about accessing the capital market," Culverhouse said in an Aug. 30 phone interview from London. "I don't know if the creditors' leverage is that strong." While both creditors and the Belize officials have expressed the need for "good faith" negotiations, a group representing Belize's investors says the government hasn't provided sufficient justification for its default and subsequent restructuring offers, which value the bonds at about 20 cents.

Central America and Caribbean Agree on Interregional Fisheries
Belmopan, Sep 4 (Prensa Latina) Central America and Caribbean countries today signed in Belize a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation and policies coordination on sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems in the region. During the meeting started Monday in the capital, representatives of 25 nations approved an action plan and a strategy for collaboration among participating organizations, reported the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). According to the statement, participants also discussed issues related to fisheries and issues related to border surveillance mechanisms to prevent illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing. They also discussed the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems and fishing communities, as well as a coordinated approach to invasive species, including lionfish. The meeting was attended by States members or associates of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CRFM, and the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Central America. This meeting was one of the results of the third summit between CARICOM and the Central American Integration System, held in El Salvador in August,2012.

3 Countries That Welcome Foreign Retirees
Another country that rolls out the welcome mat for foreign retirees is Belize. About a dozen years ago, the government of this country enacted legislation to allow Qualified Retired Persons (QRPs) to obtain permanent residency in this country. In many ways, this program is the most efficient route to foreign residency anywhere in the Americas. And while the QRP visa allows you full-time residency, you can enjoy the benefits of being a QRP even if you spend as little as four weeks a year in Belize. Belize's QRP program not only offers the equivalent of a U.S. green card to foreign residents aged 45 and older, but it also grants a host of other incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from all Belize taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, and import tax on household goods (up to $15,000), automobiles, boats, even airplanes. The only requirements are that you or your spouse be 45 years of age or older, that you consider yourself to be retired, and that you show that you have at least $2,000 a month in income to support yourself in Belize (not necessary from a pension, but from any source). In practical terms, the "consider yourself to be retired" requirement means that, as a QRP, you can't apply for a work visa. This is not to say that you couldn't start an international, Internet, or even local Belize business as an entrepreneur. You just can't take on traditional employee work.

US sees links between Belize and Mexican drug cartel
The United States government has targeted three men and five companies in Belize under the Kingpin Act, which means the US government can freeze their assets and ban citizens of the US from doing business with them. The US Treasury Department has designated John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and their associate Daniel Moreno of using five Belize-based businesses to support Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel as it smuggles drugs north from Colombia. The Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it froze the assets of the Belize residents and designated as off-limits a number of companies either owned or controlled by Moreno or John Zabaneh, including a building contractor, a resort and marina company, a pharmaceutical firm, a supermarket company, and a banana farm called Mayan King Ltd. Treasury officials say the Belizeans are associates of billionaire fugitive Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, leader of the most powerful organized crime group in Mexico and perhaps the most powerful narcotics ring in the world. "John Zabaneh's drug trafficking activities and his organization's ties to Colombian sources of supply and Mexican buyers make him a critical figure in the narcotics trade," Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.

Belize holds successful investment conference in Los Angeles
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (Beltraide) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) presented "Invest in Belize" information to a full house at the Consulate of Belize Investment Conference held on Saturday, August 25, 2012, in Los Angeles, CA. Beltraide's deputy executive director, Lejia Melanie Gideon, joined DFC's representatives Natalie Goff, general manager, and Norman Garcia, manager for marketing and communication, in presenting information about investing in Belize. Those in attendance listened attentively to the presentations in the general sessions, and later got an opportunity to meet with the visiting representatives in private consultations. In addition to the procedures for investing in Belize, Beltraide also covered, among others, the advantages for investing in Belize, major industries, key growth areas for investment and the retirement program for those who want to do so in Belize. Among the topics discussed by DFC were the mortgage finance and commercial lending programs, which covered the requirements for borrowing, payment mechanisms, and purchasing DFC properties. "I am surprised at the level of interest and awareness that exist for investing in Belize," remarked Goff, as she commented on the attendants and the questions raised by the audience. The conference was organized by the Consulate of Belize Investment Task Force, in order for both government entities to present information about investing in Belize, for those who live outside its borders. Consul General Roland Yorke maintained, "That our Belizeans in the Diaspora can become just as engaged as anyone else in the economic development of Belize, once we are aware of those opportunities." Certificates of appreciation were presented at the conclusion of the conference to the three presenters. "I am impressed with the responsiveness of the community in Los Angeles and their desire to become an economic stakeholder in Belize," commented Gideon, as the day came to an end.

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