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Today's Belize News: September 21, 2012 #447168
09/22/12 08:39 AM
09/22/12 08:39 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

September 21, 2012


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The San Pedro Sun

Visiting Ambassadors Present Credentials to Governor-General
Seven Ambassadors presented their credentials today to the Governor-General at Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors from Colombia, France, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey all coincided in being bearers of formal but warm greetings from their respective Heads of State, wishing the Governor-General and by extension the Government and People of Belize, all success and prosperity in their national and international aspirations. For his part the Governor-General, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, thanked the Ambassadors for their good wishes and assured them that Belize welcomes them with open arms, especially at this festive season as we celebrate our 31st Anniversary of Independence. All dignitaries wished Belize prosperity and peace during this time of national celebration.

Karen Waldrup to perform benefit concert at Wet Willy’s
Wet Willy’s is hosting musician Karen Waldrup of Nashville, Tennessee U.S. for a “Meet and Greet” benefit concert for the Mama Vilma Family Home. Waldrup is one of the newest and brightest stars to come on to the Nashville music scene. From her humble beginnings hosting her own writers’ night, to releasing her second CD titled “With Love, Karen”, the singer has appeared on Bravo channel’s television show “Platinum Hit” hosted by well known artist Jewel and American Idol veteran Kara DioGuardi. Waldrup has been quite the musical success story that many can only dream about. Besides performing with big name acts such as Rodney Atkins at the 2009 “Salute toThe Troops” concert in Fort Campbell featuring Carrie Underwood and Hank Williams Jr., she has opened for major stars Sara Evans & Terri Clark. She has performed worldwide at numerous events and has performed at many other popular venues all over the country of the United States. In 2010, she shot her latest music video titled “Bayou Baby”, which is currently in worldwide video rotation on The Country Network.

October Issue of National Geographic Magazine Features the MESO-AMAZING Mesoamerican Reef
In a timely reminder of Belize’s rich natural heritage during this month of national celebrations, the Healthy Reefs Initiative has the pleasure of informing the public that the upcoming (October 2012) issue of National Geographic contains a feature article about the “Mesoamerican Reef”. Belize is prominently featured in the article through photographs taken at several of Belize marine protected areas such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserves among others. Displayed with high quality and “Meso-amazing” photographs by Brian Skerry, the feature article, authored by Kenneth Brower, captures the resplendent natural diversity and acknowledges the long standing connection between the people and the natural reef system that dates back to the ancient Mayan civilization. Photographer Brian Skerry writes, “Exploring the mesoamerican reef system remains one of my greatest experiences. During my time on this reef, I watched an array of stunning ocean wildlife moving between habitats, each animal and each ecosystem dependent on the other. As I lived in these environments day after day, it all began to make sense. I was far from understanding all of the mysteries of these animals and their relationships, but the overall picture was that of harmony. It was a perfectly designed machine that relied on balance. Remove or damage a piece of the machine and the whole thing suffers and falls apart. “

Roli Espat Jr. wanted in connection with San Pedrito shooting
A shooting incident in the San Pedrito area now has San Pedro police in search of the brother of the intended victim of the incident, Roli Espat Jr. According to the police the incident occurred in the early morning of Saturday, September 15th. In a statement given by the victim, Byron Espat 24 year-old fisherman of a San Pedrito address, he accounted his side of the story. He reported to police that between the hours of 4:30 and 5AM on Saturday the 15th he was on his way home when he passed by the residence of Roli Espat Sr. and saw his stepbrother Roli Espat Jr. and a second person on the veranda of their home. He claimed that upon nearing them, Roli Jr. said “I wa deal with you snitch,” while pulling out a black .9mm pistol-type fire arm and fired a shot at him. Roli Jr. missed his intended target. Byron told police that he ran away, while Roli Jr. and the other male person pursued him. He alleges that they caught up with him further down the road and it was at this point he jumped into the swamp, fleeing from his aggressor. Police were notified of the incident. In a release dated Tuesday, September 18th issued from the Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood it was stated that 12 shots were fired. According to San Pedro police, upon arrival at the area, Roli Jr. and the other person fled on a boat. Police investigations continue into this matter.

Ambergris Today

National Hero Rt. Hon. George Price Remembered
Wednesday, September 19, 2012, marked the one year anniversary of National Hero George Price's death and in honor of his memory, September 19 was added to the September Celebrations Calendar to be observed as National Service Day. Although it was not a public and bank holiday, Belizean citizens were asked to do some forms of community service project to honor the way the late Price lived his life. As part of the September Celebrations Calendar of events for La Isla Bonita, National Service Day was observed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors who were accompanied by members of the San Pedro Police Department, Fire Department, Traffic Department and Doctor Javier Zuniga of the Dr. Otto Poly Clinic, all of which visited the schools of San Pedro.

Visa Waivers For Three Countries In South America
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that visitors from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile will no longer need visas to visit our beautiful country. The Statutory Instrument waiving visa requirements for visitors from these countries to Belize was signed in August, 2012. The Ministry of Tourism and the BTB views this as a major accomplishment as both have been working tirelessly to change the previous legislation. “The visa waivers will allow for ease of entry for travellers from South America. This will encourage more visitors from these South American countries to travel to our jewel as we make travelling to Belize a more appealing and easier experience. North Americans have always travelled to Belize without visas and we are extending this courtesy to some countries in South America as well. The statutory instruments have been signed and the legislation is being gazetted,” remarked Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Belize is one of the world’s leading emerging destinations and reforming travel requirements to our country without compromising national security is one way in which we remain competitive in a global tourism market.

Angels Honoring National Service Day
Dorian’s Angels joined the country of Belize in honoring and remembering the late Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Belizean citizens were asked to do some form of community service project to honor the way the late Price lived his life. The Angels wanted to give back to the children of the island and knowing that the marching band of Isla Bonita Elementary School along with members of the San Pedro Dance Company have been arduously practicing for the September Celebrations they headed out to give them some treats to keep them cool in this lovely Belizean heat.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: PADI Certification Dive at Tackle Box Canyon, San Pedro
Featuring new, Open Water Divers, Stacy and Ron

RT. Hon. George Cadle Price Gallery
PACT uploaded a bunch of pictures of George Price. From the exhibit to the tribute in Belmopan to the George Price Centre, they have some good pictures in there. Have a safe and fun Independence Eve! Here's a link to the Museum of Belize's site, where they pay homage to George Price.

Lucky Boy Shirts at the Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo has a line of Lucky Boy t shirts. They are only $24, and the proceeds all go right to providing care to Lucky Boy. Time for a trip to the zoo! "The wait is over! Lucky Boy t-shirts are now available at The Belize Zoo's gift shop for $24 BZ! Sales of these beautiful shirts go straight to the care of the Boy himself. Support Lucky Boy today!"

Independence Eve in Cayo
There's a lot going tonight in Cayo. There will be a motorcade parade at 8:00pm, and the 11:50pm flag raising, and then fireworks at midnight. Cayo's nightlife will be hopping! There will be Independence day dances at many clubs. Lucky 5, Stork Club, Meluchi's, and Club Next will all have dances tonight. The SI United play the Police tonight at Broaster stadium. Have a fun, safe, and dry Independence Eve!

UB's Patriotic Day
The Univeristy of Belize had a Patriotic Day last week to celebrate Belize's independence. They had poetry, a dress competition, and Melonie Gillett was there to sing too. "Every year during the national September festivities, students, faculty and staff eagerly wait to participate in UB’s annual Patriotic Day celebrations to demonstrate their patriotism. Guest Speaker at this year’s event was Mr. Inez Sanchez, a former Patriot and educator. 'Patriotism has been defined as an undying love for one’s country, and love of country for which one is prepared to die for if need be,' said Mr. Sanchez. 'Nurture love of country in yourself, by yourself and for yourself. That would be true patriotism.'"

National Service Day at Octavia Waight
Feelgood story of the day. The SISE HoC and Pro World teamed up to spend a day at the Octavia Waight Centre, and they had 100 Sacred Heart Primary students with them. "Along with us was Pro World who collaborated with making the day a success. We had fun activities for the kids to enjoy while learning that serving others is fun. They also learned that serving others comes from the heart and that they must take the initiative to help. At the end of the lecture on George Price's life, the motivational speech by Ms. Catherine Garnett from Pro World and activities, the kids headed to the Octavia Waight Centre to perform for the elderly. Their performance was well received and a smile was passed to them as thank from the Elderly. The kids ended their performance by saying, "We love you all, thank you for having us". Children are the foundation of the future and on National Service day they honored the life of our Hero George Cadle Price by serving others."

Channel 7

Belize Didn't Default On Superbond
When we left you last night - the conclusion was that Belize had defaulted on its Superbond debt - but tonight, it seems not. A press release coming from the Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders - which represents the owners of more than 50% of the Superbond - issued a release today saying two important things: One, that they've given a 60 day extension on the payment due date for talks to progress, and two, that the Government has made a partial payment of the interest payment that was due on August 20th. That partial payment is 23.4 million Belize dollars, half of the 46 million that was due. And the release from the Committee also shows a marked change of tone. Whereas in the past they complained about lack of information and dialogue, today's release says quote, "conversations with the GOB are progressing towards a mutually agreeable restructuring of the Bonds and both sides have identified an appropriate framework to advance negotiations." The Committee welcomes the partial payment and in exchanges co-chair AJ Mediratta offers, quote "the Committee has agreed not to seek legal remedies for a period of 60 days…The Committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period." So, no legal action and where it once complained about a lack of information, the release now says, quote, "The Committee takes note of the debt servicing challenges facing Belize."

BBA And Transport Ministry Reach Compromise
The Belize Bus Association will implement new bus fares on Saturday - principally for western runs between Belize City and Belmopan. Those will go up for four dollars regular and five dollars express, to five regular and six, express. It's a 20% increase - but the bus owners - Westline included say it is needed for an industry that is being crushed by the rising cost of fuel and supplies. Fact is, those rates were first approved in 2002 - but that spurred violent unrest across the west - and the public enemy at the time was the Novelo's. Well now it is being introduced by the Bus Association - and their spokesperson Patrick Menzies today told the media that they have the support of the Ministry - who they support right back. The only person missing from that picture is the commuter who will have to pay more.

Coye Money In Limbo
What would you do with over a million dollars? Plenty, right? Well, that's just the dilemma that the Financial Intelligence Unit is facing because a million dollars - that is in the Coye Family bank account - is in limbo, and nobody can move it until the appeal case is heard for the Coye Family money laundering conviction. If you missed it, the Coye Family also can't touch any of the money. If the Appeal Court, which has yet to decide on a date to hear the case, dismisses the money laundering appeal - and upholds the conviction - then the money is forfeited and it goes to the state. And if the conviction is over turned - well, that's a whole other story. But in the meantime, the money is frozen in the bank, and the problem is that the Coye family still faces a 4.8 million dollar civil claim, filed in 2010, in which an international company, Internet Experts S. A., is suing Melonie Coye, Michael Coye, and Money Exchange International - all of whom were convicted in the criminal trial. Internet Experts S. A. is a company from Panama, with its local outfit, InstaDollar, which claims to have been originated from Costa Rica.

Another Suspect Passport Under Investigation
The police and immigration department are investigating another case of a suspect passport being issued. The name of the passport holder is Fidel Garcia - who got his passport in two days, September 6th and 7th., 2012. It has raised suspicion because the name sounds like that of a Belizean of Hispanic descent - but the picture on the passport is of a man who appears to be of middle eastern descent. And the address on the passport is for 90 Barrack Road - which is a Lebanese business place and residence. But in this case, police have managed to find the application form and other relevant documents and are investigating to find this person - but it is believed that he may have left the country. Turning now to the other case of Immigration fraud. The Americans have said nothing about Rafic Labboun - but we do know Belize police are questioning Wilhelm Dyck's little brother - who allegedly provided information to interested parties about his deceased elder brother.

Jason Brown Charged for Threatening Officer
Well known police Corporal Darrell Tutsi Usher made a police report yesterday against Jason Brown. If you recognize Brown it's because he was featured prominently as a gang leader in a Ross Kemp documentary on gangs in Belize in 2008. Brown would later step back from that characterization, saying he was reformed. But, back to the present day: Corporal Usher says that yesterday Brown saw him at a Belize City gas station and started throwing words at him. The words were over a disagreement with some pawn business they'd had months earlier. But Usher told us that while he was not intimidated - he still went to make a police report to put it on record. He told police that Brown made a threat of death against him and dared Usher to pull out his firearm.

Fatal Accident On Northern Highway
A man was knocked down and killed last night on the northern highway - on that same stretch of road that Stepehen Okeke complained about in mid-August. It happened at mile three and a half - in an area that has seen multiple fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and care drivers in past years. Last night, it was a pedestrian. Serafin Acosta was attempting to cross the road - when a pickup truck, headed to Belize City and driven by 35 year old Nigel Matus knocked him down. A resident of the area - who asked to appear off camera told us what she saw:.. Eyewitness "What I saw last night was when the vehicle was coming and then the man was crossing the road. The vehicle knocks down the man. I came out here and I saw the man on the road, he wasn't moving."

Conrad Jones Still Missing
It's been over a week since 64 year-old Conrad Jones, a former assistant inspector of police went missing. Jones, now a Custom Guard went missing last Thursday after he was dropped off at the Hattieville Junction around 11 that night. He was last seen at the bus stop in front of Golden Haven Home for the Elderly in Hattievillie by a watchman around 2am that morning but shortly after around 2:30, he disappeared. Numerous searches have been conducted in the Hattieville area, but there is still no sign of Jones. Tonight his family is offering a reward of five hundred dollars to any who can help with information about his where-a-bouts. His daughter told us more:.. Shilpa Jones, daughter "The search although there have been many - none of them have turned up fruitful as yet. We are still in the same place we were the first time we made the report that my father is still missing and no one knows where he is."

GSU Operates In The North
Yesterday, the Gang Suppression Unit travelled to Orange Walk and Biscayne Village, where they claim to have busted several gang figures in illicit activities. It started at around 5:30 a.m. at the San Lorenzo Housing Site in Orange Walk Town. The house belongs to 23 year-old Lyndon Heredia, and according to the GSU, he was present at the time along with 17 year-old minor, 21 year-old Michael Anthony Cambranes, and 19 year-old Jose Ochoa. The search led to the discovery of a very minor amount of cannabis, 2.6 grammes, which was found in a room which Cambranes and the 17 year-old minor were occupying. As a result, both of them were jointly arrested and charged with possession of controlled drugs. Later in the morning, Cambranes pleaded guilty and was fined $505 dollars. He was able to pay it, and the charge was withdrawn against the 17 year-old minor. Later in the day, after the search, the GSU team followed the homeowner, Heredia who was driving a red Ford Mustang on San Andres Street.

Super Furia Wins Battle Of The Bands
For music lovers up north, the Battle of the Bands has become a special September treat after 4 years on the September Celebrations Calendar. This year, it was held at the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town, and Orange Walk's Super Furia Band won first place. Members of the veteran band, which has been in existence for 26 years, spoke to us on what the win meant to them: Roxanne Alcoser, lead vocalist - Super Furia "The battle of the bands - this is the 4th time that they are doing it and this is the first time that we participated in it and it was an excellent experience because we got to practice and rehearse from before and put a lot of work into it. I am glad to say that our work and effort was definitely paid off because we came in 1st." "It was held this past Sunday and it entails 4 bands in which there was 4th place, New Generation Band who had excellent guitarists and they had keyboardist and singers as well and the 3rd place winner was the All Star Band which consisted of band members of Gilharry and also members of CCC junior college band. The 2nd place winner was Techno band which had excellent singers as well as musicians and 1st place was us which are Super Furia Band."

Meet Elle Marie
In our newsroom we know Christelle Wilson as an up and coming young attorney - but she moonlights as Elle Marie, a reggae artist and song writer with a sweet voice and a deft touch of the pen. Over the past weeks, her music has been hitting the airwaves on some of the most popular radio shows… songs like "Ah Me Wear The Ring" and "Burn". Tonight Elle Marie will be hitting the big stage with Dancehall superstar Demarco in Orange Walk Town- where she will be performing her hit songs for the first time in front of a large audience. In a sit down interview with 7news today, the talented young artist spoke about her journey from attorney to artist and what she hopes to accomplish - while keeping her day job!

Belize Times Prints Special Edition
After six weeks without a printed edition - we note that the Belize Times was back on the streets today - and in full colour. We'd say it's a special Independence edition as it is headlined, "PUP Honours Price." No one seems to know whether it will continue - but the prevailing wisdom is that it is a one-off effort - and the paper will return to a strictly electronic version in the weeks coming. Again, that's the consensus of those we spoke to, but no one seems to know for sure. Notably, one former PUP politician and representative writes in the Reporter newspaper lamenting the loss of the paper after 56 years, also makes some hair raising claims about George Price. Alejandro Vernon from Toledo writes a colourful history of the paper -explaining that quote, "it takes money to run a paper." And wehre did the PUP get the money at the start? Vernon says that the first Times printing press was donated by the Guatemalan Government.

Frankie Reneau's Grand National Anthem Rendition
It's a tradition here at 7news that every year on the twentieth September - we close with master pianist Frankie Reneau's ravishing, extravagant and extended version of the national anthem. This year is no different, as we present his 2012 performance. We hope you enjoy and that it puts you in the mood for tonight's flag raising and fireworks. We'll have that live on channel 7 and join us tomorrow for the Official Ceremonies live form Belmopan. Enjoy it all and from all of us here at Channel 7, have a great independence day weekend.

Channel 5

Belize makes good-faith partial payment on Superbond
Prime Minister Dean Barrow made some baffling statements on his arrival from the US on the superbond, but today there is some clarity. There were two releases issued this afternoon in respect of the forty-six million dollar superbond payment that bring relief going into the Independence Day celebrations. Firstly, the government has announced that today [...]

Fatal Accident on Northern Highway
A fatal accident occurred at around seven o’clock on Wednesday night on the Northern Highway in Belize City. A man was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck coming from the direction of the Haulover Bridge into Belize City and it was not until this afternoon that the victim was identified as, Serafin [...]

Hezbollah investigation continues; Belmopan City employee questioned
The police investigation into the Belizean passport, driver’s license and birth certificate, issued in late August to alleged Hezbollah associate Raffic Labboun continues. The Criminal Investigations Branch of the police has taken a statement from Kevin Jones, a supervisor at the Belmopan City Council, who issued the driver’s license to Labboun in the name of [...]

Belize and Guatemala leaders not meeting in adjacency zone
There have been recent reports in the Prensa Libre that the heads of government Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to meet in the OAS Adjacency Zone in the days ahead. Prensa Libre sources the information to Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros, who purportedly made the announcement after leaving the presidential palace and the purpose was [...]

Bus Association revs up for new prices
On Tuesday, we reported that after several meetings between the Transport Board and the Belizean Bus Association, effective this Saturday, September twenty-second, commuters from Belize City to Belmopan and all stops in between will be paying higher bus fares. The hike applies to regular and express runs and charges will go up from four to [...]

Independence and George Price
Thirty-one years ago, at the stroke of midnight, the Union Jack was lowered and Belizean flag unfurled majestically as the symbol of nationhood. It was the birth of the new nation of Belize with its territory intact. The British continued to maintain a presence in Belize and Guatemala did not at the time recognize the [...]

Viva Mexico! Neighbors to finish Border Bridge
A new bridge at the Belize/Mexico border has been in works for years and in the next couple of months, it is expected to finally open. Work began on the bridge in 2007, and while Mexico finished the construction on that side of the border in 2009, Belize has not been able to uphold its [...]

GSU suppresses ammunition and drugs
The Gang Suppression Unit took its operations up north on Wednesday. At around five-thirty a.m., a search warrant was executed at the residence of twenty-three year old Lyndon Heredia in the San Lorenzo housing area in Orange Walk. Two point six grams of cannabis were found inside a room being occupied at the time by [...]

Auto rental vehicle stolen
You are being asked to be on the lookout for a 2004 Suzuki XL-7 with license plate number 39255, which was stolen from Habet’s Auto Rental in Dangriga. According to the company, the vehicle was rented on September fifteenth by Canadian national Joan Marie Pearson and her boyfriend, Sammy Juarez of Corozal. It was to [...]

Pros and Cons of disability vs. invalidity benefits
A fifty-three year old Ladyville resident, who has been out of work for over a year, is not a happy camper with the Social Security Board. According to Rodney Bowen, who worked with BATSUB until its operations in Belize ended in August 2011, he has been receiving disability benefits since 1994 when an accident caused [...]

Hip! Hip! Happy Independence Day!
Independence celebrations kick off shortly. In the Old Capital, a throng of spectators is expected to converge at the Memorial Park where entertainment begins at nine o’clock tonight and will be aired live on this station. The festivities will lead up to midnight when the annual flag raising is set to take place to be [...]

Belize Birthday Bash 2012
If you wanna bring in the Independence Day in the north, Shawn Urbina of the S.K.U Promotions says that you need to head to Sugar City. Urbina is holding a grand concert called Belize Birthday Bash, 2012 and some big names in the music industry, including Black Chiney and Demarco are in the country. The [...]

Open Your Eyes with Independence Concert
Here at this station we kicked off the celebrations when you “Open Your Eyes” this morning with William and me. The lineup of artists included the General himself, Ernestine Carballo and the Belize Dance Company just back from Europe and Nello Player. Here’s how they got us into the Independence spirit.   {Highlight of performances…}


Belizean – American author publishes new book called “Daddy’s Maybe”
Belizean-American author Pat Tucker has written another in a series of novels called “Daddy’s Maybe.” The book which is scheduled for release in the middle of November is a social commentary on the issue of family law. Tucker spoke with Love News about her latest literary work. Tucker says that while her writing is focusing on subjects that are relevant to people of color, the book is a must-read for all Belizeans. Tucker has previously authored eight novels and three anthologies. The book “Daddy’s Maybe” and others by Pat Tucker are available online via and

The remembrance of the Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price
One year ago today, the man known at the Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price died at the Belize Medical Associates Hospital in Belize City. He had been hospitalized since a fall at his home on Pickstock Street. The nation mourned the death of the national hero who was the country’s first minister, premier, first prime minister and the man who guided the country to nationhood on September 21st. 1981. Today the legacy of Mr. Price lives on and on National Service Day many Belizeans took time out to remember the fallen Hero. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.


Mex cops want Yasser Safa!
Belize Immigration has no record of Rafic Labboun Allaboun; he must have been smuggled into Belize, says official. Mexican police have put out an all-points bulletin (APB) for Lebanese-Belizean Yasser Youssef Safa, according to Belize National Security Press Officer Delroy Cuthkelvin. Safa has been wanted for questioning since last week, when Mexican authorities reportedly found his younger brother, Samer Youssef Safa, in the company of Lebanese-American Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, 44, an imam of California, who has since been deported back to the US after allegedly skipping probation. Meanwhile, Labboun is also being investigated in Belize after he allegedly acquired the birth certificate of Wilhelm Dyck and used his identity to obtain a Belizean passport and driver’s license in Dyck’s name, although Dyck, of Shipyard, Orange Walk, died as a baby at the age of 2 months back in 1976.

Customs guard, 64, disappears from Hattieville bus stop
His family says he has been missing for seven days.. Retired Inspector of Police, now a Customs guard and escort, Conrad Jones, 64, of West Street, who was travelling with a fellow Customs officer, has disappeared. Jones asked his fellow officer to drop him off at a bus stop in Hattieville after 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, to hitchhike to Belize City; he has now been missing for seven days, and his family is very worried. Jones was last seen around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 12, at the bus stop in front of Golden Haven Home for the Elderly in Hattieville, by a watchman. The watchman told the family that Jones was sitting under the bus stop when he made his rounds, but around 2:30 a.m. when he returned he did not see Jones again.

He invited his killer to his bed
One man is dead and the other man is nowhere to be found after the two of them were seen sleeping together in a bed by friends of the deceased, who live in the same house. Wilmer Alexis Esquivel, 27, was found dead in his bedroom at Corner 12th Street and St. Thomas Street at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday, September 17, about five and a half hours after he was seen sleeping with the unknown man. Esquivel was found stabbed to death in his room and police say they have identified the man who was sleeping with him as Jose Humberto Gabarrete. His friends and fellow tenants told Amandala that Esquivel came home around 11:00 p.m. that Sunday along with a man who they had never seen before, and when they engaged him in conversation and asked him his name, he gave them different names.

Pickup driver kills man on Northern Highway
A Hispanic man who was walking on the Northern Highway in the Bally Gardens area is dead after he was knocked down by a pickup truck around 7:30 tonight. The pickup’s driver said that they were travelling from Ladyville to Belize City when a man who was on the opposite side of the road suddenly ran across the road, right into the pickup. The impact threw him a short distance away from the truck, and he died almost immediately. He reportedly had no identification on him. The pickup’s left front bumper and hood were damaged, and its left headlamp and grill were broken.

Mirage Lady Rebels are 2012 Belize City Softball Champions
The 2012 Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition concluded with game 4 of the best-of-5 championship series on Friday, September 14, at Rogers Stadium, where Mirage Lady Rebels won, 5-3, over defending champions Belize Telemedia, to [...]

2012 FFB Inter-District tournament kicks off on Sunday
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has released the tournament schedule for its 2012 Inter-District Club Championship, which features 16 teams, 2 from each of the 7 official football districts, [...]

Football renaissance, tougher than tough in PLB Opening Season 2012-2013
There are times when football interest and excitement has peaked in Belize, for one reason or another. The appearance of the young Dunlop around 1958; the emergence of the Mighty Avengers in the mid-60’s; the Charger-Berger [...]

September 21 – what do we celebrate?
On Friday, September 21, Belize celebrates its 31st anniversary of independence from Great Britain. All our neighbours, beginning with Mexico in the north to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the south, were ruled by Spain. Only Mexico fought Spain for its independence, but like all its neighbours, with the exception of Belize and Costa Rica, suffered through a civil war to cement that independence. We all know what are normally the main causes of civil wars – perceived injustices of one group of citizens against the other, sometimes ethnic, sometimes political, sometimes a combination of both, and there is always bloodshed, no matter who wins the war. Mexico’s war of independence from Spain lasted from 1810 to 1821, while the Caste War of Yucatán, in which the native Maya people of Yucatán fought against the population of European descent, called Yucatecos, who held political and economic control of the region, lasted from 1847 to 1901. Honduras, home to several important indigenous cultures, most notably the Maya, became independent in 1821. Much of the country had been conquered by Spain, which ruled it for about 300 years; and in the ensuing 191 years since independence, nearly 300 small internal rebellions and civil wars have occurred in the country.

From The Publisher
I suppose that when Said Musa offered in early 1977 to invest in a company which would move Amandala from ancient letter press to modern offset technology, it was a decision which was made at the highest levels of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). While Mr. Musa bought $20,000 worth of shares in a company capitalized at $50,000, five other PUP Ministers and cronies bought $1,000 each, so that from the beginning the PUP controlled exactly 50 percent of Cream, Ltd. On my family’s side, I believe that, using a loan from Miss Jane’s Holy Redeemer Credit Union, I bought $14,200 worth of shares, my dad bought $3,000, and my aunt, Mrs. Chrystel Hyde Straughan, bought $3,000. So that, my family owned $20,200 worth of shares, while $4,800 worth of shares was unsubscribed. When the PUP leadership began to discuss candidates for the Belize City Council elections scheduled for December 1977, it was decided that I should be a PUP candidate. I had retired from electoral politics after my unsuccessful run as the UBAD Party candidate for Collet in October 1974, but the pressure came down on me from on high, while two of the PUP candidates, Leroy Taegar and Lois Young, were friends of mine and probably thought they were doing me a favor by agitating for my candidacy. I don’t really know.

Ideas and Opinions: About gangs
Two weeks ago, a young man was murdered. A gang had tried to recruit him and he had refused to join. Conclusions: 1. The gangs are actively recruiting members to increase their strength and, 2. If you live in an area where there is a gang, you are not allowed to refuse their invitation to join. I hope that the Ministry of National Security has taken note of this very interesting development. Early last week in Belmopan, the former Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. James Murphy, Jr., was getting ready to take his daughter to school in his car. As they approached the vehicle, he saw two men sitting under a tree, nearby. They got up and came over to the car after they were inside. One of the men pushed a gun through the window on the driver’s side and ordered them to get out of the vehicle. The two men took possession of the vehicle and drove away. It was found parked in Belize City the following day. I was struck by the attitude of those two men. They seemed to be supremely confident that they would get away with what they did. It is a serious crime to point a gun at someone. It is another crime to take possession of another man’s vehicle. Yet they made no attempt to conceal their identity. Clearly, they had no fear of punishment.

Our greatest resource
What is our country’s greatest resource? Is it our Barrier Reef and our fishing and aquaculture industries; or, the citrus, sugar, and banana industries taken together, or, is it the land, including the cayes and atolls? It’s none of these. Our greatest natural resource is our children. There are some very interesting ideas about how a model society ought to be structured. The one I will discuss was presented in a book I read many years ago called Plato’s Republic. My recounting will be from memory, so, it will not be exactly as it was written by Plato. Plato said that the children were all wards of the state. They would be taken away from their parents when they reached the age of reason and put into camps where they would be cared for, trained and educated. The training would be in military discipline and the use of arms, so, that they would all be able to serve in the defence of the nation in the time of need. After their primary education, it will be determined what they are best suited for and that will be the area that their training will concentrate on to prepare them for their lifework and position in the society. Some will be tradesmen, some artisans, some be trained as officers for the army, some professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers, some in the performing arts and the best minds will become philosophers and professors and they will be rulers of the society. Society would have a hierarchical structure and each individual will belong to a class. The class structure would not be rigid, so that, there could be movement of individuals upwards or downwards, depending on performance or qualifications. The rulers would set high moral standards for the rest of society to emulate and, since everyone’s basic needs would be satisfied, there would be little excuse for criminality.

Super-bond grace period expires – Belize discusses part-payment option
GOB urges against “legal wrangle” “…negotiations with the creditor committee advisors and non-creditor committee bondholders continue,” says Ambassador Espat Wednesday, September 19, marks the end of the 30-day grace period for Belize to make its August 2012 semiannual payment on the US$544 million super-bond, which it has been trying to renegotiate with bondholders. Belize defaulted on its August 20, 2012, payment last month, citing an inability to pay – but calling on bondholders to work with the debt negotiation team to come up with a restructured debt relief scheme. Government has said that it would not likely find the funds to pay within the grace period, which expires a month from now. “Unless something were to fall out of the sky – that doesn’t happen these days – there can’t be any material change in our circumstances over the next 30 days,” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Barrow said at a press conference held late August.

Bus fare Belize City to Belmopan up by $1, to $5
After 20 years operating “at a loss”, transport industry asks for “ease”from Government and commuters The Independence Day weekend will see a 1-dollar increase in the fare for bus operators working the Western Zone between Belize City and Belmopan, including stops in the villages along the route, from $4.00 to $5.00. Technically speaking, however, it is not an increase. In fact, $5 was what customers should have been paying all along, because for the distance of 50 miles between Belize City and Belmopan, operators are legally mandated to charge $.10 a mile. Operators in the Belizean Bus Association (BBA) this week went public with their concerns that in order to keep up with the major increase in the cost of living since the last re-alignment of fares took place in 1992, commuters should pay the rate legally agreed upon. This afternoon, president of the Association, Thomas Shaw, was in meetings with Minister of State (Transport), Edmond Castro, who since taking over the portfolio following March’s general elections, has been on a campaign to clean up the industry in the wake of the national embarrassment that was last May and June’s imbroglio between the authorities and the Association over the distribution of runs in the Northern and Western Zones that climaxed in a fiery protest and a later court case.

FECTAB steps up pressure over rappel post at archaeological site
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) remains unconvinced by the assurances of Chukka Cove Caribbean Tours based in Jamaica, and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), that a metal/wood rappelling platform built approximately six weeks ago above Cave 3 at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve in the Cayo District, is safe for Chukka customers to use and will not lead to disaster. FECTAB President Tom Greenwood and operators, Yhony Rosado of and David Almendarez of Cavetubing ‘R Us, this morning visited Amandala following an appearance on the Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB) show on KREM Radio. Rosado, who told us he has been in the cave tubing business for 12 years, says that he has had “many ideas” for improvements to tours to the area, but never followed through because of the historical and archaeological importance of Nohoch Che’en, a cave system approximately 200 million years old and sacred to the ancient Maya. But the platform, which is accessible only via a hidden walkway built directly above the entrance to Cave 3 in a rock formation containing limestone and other rocks, is, Rosado said, “destroying the Maya heritage” and according to Greenwood, is a “disaster waiting to happen.”

BTL earnings drop 22%, revenues fall 8%
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) is due to hold its Annual General Meeting next Friday, September 28, 2012, at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. The Government of Belize holds a 63% stake, the Belize Social Security Board a 20% stake, The Central Bank of Belize an 8% stake and small shareholders a 9% stake in the company, and directors and shareholders are expected to vote on dividend payments at the upcoming AGM. A substantially reduced profit could mean that Government stands to receive less in dividends than it did last year. The company has published online its directors’ report and financials for the year ended March 31, 2012, and those reports indicate that revenues, earnings and shareholder equity have declined compared to the previous year. “In this fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, net income decreased by $7.3 million or 22% to $26.5 million from $33.9 million recorded in the previous year,” BTL reports. “Earnings per share decreased to 53 cents from 68 cents per share from the previous year [also 22%].”


If you are squeamish don’t look
This morning we had quite an adventure, Cowboy Doug was cleaning up the tiles that were taken down to add a screen door to their condo and he found a big black scorpion. Our first thought was to jar it but that did not work out too well and the scorpion made a quick exit, making us jump in the process. Unfortunately the quick exit turned into work as it darted into the space between the door frame and concrete that used to be covered by tile. Not wanting to leave it in there Cowboy and Kai (sp?) started thinking of ways to get it out, stick, pliers, outdoor bug spray, filling the area with water – none of those worked. In a last effort to draw our nemesis out I hit ambushed it with some of Leisa’s skeeter spray and he came staggering out, [ girls to the rescue :) ] Cowboy was ready to get it [ boy job :) ] but only managed his to cut his tail off. Still not wanting to get caught our king size creepy crawler went for cover under the metal door plate. We sprayed each end of that, he came back out and it was bye bye Mr. Scorpion.

Popayan: Colombia's Second Most Beautiful Colonial City is a Bit Bland
According to the guide books, Popayan is an amazingly gorgeous white city and the second most beautiful colonial town in Colombia after Cartegena. That's a tall order. Though I have never been to Cartegena (YET!), Danni and Cesar (my travel mates) have been over-the-top GUSHING about the place. They LOVE it, the atmosphere, the colors, the music, the entire mood of the place. They are pretty much packing their bags and moving to Cartegena. So second best? We were expecting great things from Popayan. And to some degree it delivered... And in other aspects, it was just a bit white washed, empty feeling and well...bland.

Belize’s Birthday Proof That Multiculturalism Works
Belize’s 31st birthday is not only a celebration of this tiny Caribbean nation’s independence, but a festival of multiculturalism and living proof that racial, religious and cultural harmony does work, the owners of theLodge at Chaa Creek said today. In the run up to the nationwide celebrations about to take place in Belize under the theme of “Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize”, Mick and Lucy Fleming said they wished to highlight one of Belize’s most fundamental but sometimes overlooked qualities. “When people think of Belize, it’s usually the pristine rainforests, Maya temples, sparkling Caribbean islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef that come to mind, but one of the country’s most magnificent attributes and proudest accomplishments is the racial and cultural harmony we see every day throughout Belize,” Ms Fleming said. Ms Fleming said that as Chaa Creek was also celebrating its 31st birthday as Belize’s first rainforest eco resort, she and her husband wanted to congratulate their very multicultural staff of 135 people. “I think we all take it for granted just how large and varied the Chaa Creek family has become over the last three decades, and in this way we truly represent Belize as a whole. “My husband Mick is English, I was born in the US, our son and daughter are both Belizean born, as are our adopted children, and the roster of our 135 member staff reads like a veritable united nations, with people of Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Lebanese, East and West Indian, Asian, European and other cultures represented. Just walking through our beautiful gardens and grounds you’re likely to hear English, Spanish and Garifuna spoken along with the ever present lilt of Creole. “We notice that all over the world, in articles and blogs, people always comment on the warm friendly nature of Belizeans, and our guests often mention the diverse makeup of our people. I think we take it for granted, and birthdays are an important time to highlight what’s special,” she said.

Happy Birthday Ish!!
Today we have a big shout out to one of our biggest characters at Raggamuffin – Captain Ish!! Ish is a fairly new recruit in Raggamuffin terms ie he has only been with us a year but in that time he has already had a huge impact rising to Captain within the shortest time I can remember, never mind the fact that he will start leading tours come November! Island boy, accomplished fisherman and seaman he is Raggamuffin through and through and he really is still only a baby!! Ish’s huge lovable personality combined with his exceedingly professional nature makes him a hit with everybody that travels with him and for us, a man that we can very much rely on to get the job done! Ish’s birthday lands on the eve of Belize’s Independence day and therefore this means that he can guarantee that island will be partying with him tonight – we have already received our invitation to his house for his pre-fireworks party, so if you are on the island … you are given full permission to crash the party and join us!!

26 Tips and Tricks To Get The Most of This Independence Day
Don't miss the flag raising ceremony/fireworks ( September 20 @ Independence Plaza -- 11:45 PM). Don't miss the Official Independence Day Ceremony ( starts @ 10:00 AM in Independence Plaza,). Don't miss the Jump Up (Devon Beaton Park @ 1:00 PM to 12:00 AM). Come out from early to see the Citizen's parade ( anytime before 11:00 AM, around the Ring Road to Devon Beaton Park). Carry along a camera. A radio would be helpful. If you are driving, ensure that you are driving with precaution and park in areas that are safe. (Early birds get the best parking spots).

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (20 September 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 3 ­53 ­28 ­12 ­26 ­57 ­61­ Y 125.00 Each (17 Balls)

International Sources

New Permanent Representative of Belize Presents Credentials
The new Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, Lois Michele Young, today presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Until her appointment, Ms. Young chaired the Board of Directors of the Social Security Chamber from 2008, having previously chaired the Belize Social Security Appeals Tribunal between 1989 and 2002. Self-employed in private practice as an attorney-at-law and Head of Chambers at Lois Young Barrow and Co. since 1976, Ms. Young has been a member of the Bar Association of Belize since 1976. From 1975 to 1976 she was a Public Prosecutor in the Office of Public Prosecutions, a Crown Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General, as well as a magistrate. Ms. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in law from King’s College, University of London. Born in Belize City on 19 January 1951, she is single.

Deeper CO2 Cuts Needed to Save Corals
Limiting climate change to two degrees C won’t save most coral reefs, according to new, state-of-the-art research. About 70 percent of corals are projected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030 with two degrees C of warming, the first comprehensive global survey reported Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The planet will get far hotter than two degrees C based on current commitments by countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning oil, gas and coal. Humanity is on course to heat up the atmosphere an average of three and even four degrees C, according to the Climate Action Tracker, an international scientific monitor. Those temperature levels are what most scientists consider “catastrophic”. Global temperatures have risen an average of about 0.8C so far and already melted much of the Arctic and generated costly extreme weather events around the planet. Keeping that global average increase below two degrees is only a matter of “political will” not technology, said Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, one of the partners in the Climate Action Tracker.

Belize Buys Time by Making Half of $23 Million Bond Payment
Belize agreed to make about half of a missed payment on $544 million of its debt, buying time as it negotiates with creditors. The Central American country will pay holders of a 2029 bond $11.7 million of the $23 million that they’re owed, according to statement issued today. “This suggests Belize doesn’t want to walk away from the negotiation and cares about the public relations part of it,” Joe Kogan, the head of emerging-market debt strategy at Scotia Capital Markets, said in a phone interview from New York. “It’s a step towards building goodwill. There’s some reason to expect a better outcome than Belize offered initially.” A day after Belize missed the payment on Aug. 20, Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating to selective default and said investors were likely to recover 30 percent to 50 percent of the bonds’ face value in a restructuring. A 30-day grace period for Belize expired yesterday. The bond gained 0.55 cent to 34.85 cents today, the biggest advance since Aug. 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Belize Makes Partial Payment on Bond
An adviser to creditors holding Belize sovereign debt said the government made a partial payment on its only bond, a day after the country defaulted, laying the groundwork for debt relief. The adviser to the creditor group, which holds more than 50% of the bonds totaling $548.3 million, didn't say how much the government paid of its $23.1 million interest payment that was due Aug. 20. BroadSpan Capital, the Miami-based adviser, said discussions were progressing "towards a mutually agreeable restructuring of the bonds and both sides have identified an appropriate framework to advance negotiations." A.J. Mediratta, co-chairman of the creditor committee, said the panel had agreed to not seek a legal remedy for the missed payment for 60 days. He also said he advised other creditors to do the same. Government officials declined to comment.

Placencia, Belize Travel Tips
Communications- Wi-Fi is available at various places around the village. While accessible the bandwidth is not as good as in the US so it may be slower and I found that streaming videos or music was not practical most of the time. I used US telephone cards to call back to the States. Cheap rate. Note: There are two phone cards widely sold, one that is for US only and one that is International. If you are only going to call the US, that is the least expensive card to us. Shopping - There are several grocery stores in town to purchase food, drink, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, etc. There are quite a few gift stores and stands throughout the village that sell hand-made purchases, local artwork and some clothing. These are locally owned small stores. Their unique offerings and quaint style will likely be an adventure in itself. Enjoy a new world! Restaurants and Bars - There are many to choose from and I had good meals at all of them, from finer dining, to Italian (yes, a very good Italian restaurant) to bar food to street vendors. Loved them all. Lobster is like chicken there when in season.

Snorkelling with sharks, rays and turtles in Belize
Arriving in Belize was like stepping onto a completely different continent. Although archaeologically and geographically similar to the countries it borders, the impact of more recent history was obvious. With much more of a Caribbean vibe, and English replacing Spanish as the predominant language spoken to visitors, the atmosphere was quite different. After a brief stop in Belize City, we hopped on a water taxi to Ambergris Caye, one of the main islands off the coast and an ideal location for indulging in lots of watery activities. I'd managed to snag a gorgeous beach bungalow for very little cost, and as we sank into the chairs on our deck and watched the sun dip below the crystal clear blue water on the first evening, I wasn't sure a week there would be enough. Once the sweltering temperatures dropped, the town came alive, Reggeton music drifting on the breeze and the smells of BBQ wafting over the sand. As we wandered along the shoreline, trying to decide which of the many seafood restaurants to pick, we spotted rays gliding through the seaweed in the gloom. I knew I was going to love Belize.

Re: Today's Belize News: September 21, 2012 [Re: Marty] #447169
09/22/12 08:40 AM
09/22/12 08:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,887
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

First Day of Bonefishing for Mrs. BOTB
She’s a sport. This was our honeymoon, after all. It was also her second day of fly fishing ever. That’s jumping into the deep end, pretty much. Still, I figured if it was going to happen, it stood a good chance of happening here, out of El Pescador in Belize. I would routinely say that what I wanted, out of the day on the water, was to share with her what it was that I loved, out there on the flats. It is an obscure concept if you’ve never been out there and maybe the selling of it is a bit challenging. ”Hey, let’s stand on a boat for a few hours, looking for fish that are really hard to see, in the sun without shade. Oh, and you can’t have a beer until you land a fish (OK, that’s really more my rule).” She was kitted out for success. She came walking up for breakfast like she belonged. We then left to find some bones and the Mrs. got up on deck. Cesar, our guide set about helping out with her cast. This was her second day fishing, period. It is a tough place to start. Cesar got her up and running and put in into position to catch fish. There is a lot to remember though, and it was tough for her to carry it all in her mind. There is so much we carry in muscle memory and when you have to pick it all up and have to keep it in the front of your mind, well, things are going to get dropped, and plenty of things got dropped.

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