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Today's Belize News: October 6, 2012 #448170
10/06/12 08:14 AM
10/06/12 08:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,806
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Preliminary Results on Pertussis Cases
The Ministry of Health has investigated a total of thirteen suspected cases of Pertusiss or Whooping Cough and has received preliminary results on five of the twelve suspected cases sent for analysis. At this time, the Ministry of Health can confirm two negative and three positive from the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago. They are awaiting final confirmation on these results. All suspected cases came from unvaccinated persons and all have since recovered. Public Health personnel continue to maintain aggressive surveillance activity in the areas having these small clusters of cases. Pertussis commonly affects infants and young children, babies less than one year are especially vulnerable. The public is reminded that the Ministry of Health has vaccines for the under five population which is most at risk. This vaccine can be obtained at all public health centers and several private health facilities across the country. Antibiotic treatment is given to those who show symptoms or are in contact with persons exposed to the disease. All these health facilities can and are able to manage cases of Pertussis. The Ministry has vaccine supplies to cover at least 95% of the general population.

Will there be parking space at the Sunset Boardwalk Project?
According to Christy Mastry, Project Director for the San Pedro Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal Project locally referred to as the Saca Chispas Project, there are no plans for a taxi stand or public parking facility. The surprising confirmation came only after The San Pedro Sun was informed that the eastern part of the old football field is in fact privately owned. Initially the 0.6 acres of land was included as part of the concept for the Saca Chispas project. The land in question is registered now as parcel 963 but was a part of the total land given to the community by the late Ann Elizabeth Parham Blake-Alamilla, mother of Apolonio “Tuto” Alamilla for the use of a football field in the 1960’s. In the first public consultation held in November of 2010, the eastern part of the field was labeled as section B in the project, designed for “future project”. Later during another consultation in July of 2011, after the concept was enhanced, it was set aside as a “public open space for public parking”. But that public open space is no longer a part of the final project that went to the bidding process. According to Mastry who is Project Director for the Belize Sustainable Tourism Program (including the Saca Chispas Project), during the consultation process, investigations proved that the section of the land was privately owned and as such they could not include the parking area in the final draft of the project. “Nobody deliberately lied. We originally looked at it as part of the plan. But after doing our investigation, we found out it was privately owned. So when the project went for b

Another wanted Slovakian, William Misenka, is reported to be living in Belize
Multiple Slovakian media houses have reported on information regarding a wanted Slovakian living in Belize and apparently the local authorities in San Pedro Town are aware of it as well. The wanted person is William (Viliam) Misenka accused of and linked to the death of at least five persons and is also accused of stealing the equivalent of 5 million Euros (US$6,464,500). He is listed on the Interpol wanted list and is believed to have been in the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo in hiding along with Slovakian fugitive Karol Mello before migrating to Belize. In early September 2012, a senior member of the Belize Police Department in Belmopan confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that they had been aware of Misenka’s presence in Belize, specifically in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. At the time, the senior police claimed that they were waiting for Mello’s case, which was tied up in court, to conclude before proceeding to detain Misenka. According to a police source, the department has knowledge about Misenka’s case: that he is wanted and they also confirmed knowing his personal whereabouts, but could not proceed to detain the Slovakian without a direction from the head of the Special Branch of the Belize Police Department. In an interview with Channel 7 News, Minister with responsibility of Immigration in Belize Godwin Hulse denied that Belizean authorities had any knowledge of Misenka’s presence in Belize and would not comment further. As readers may recall, the request for fugitive Mello’s extradition to Slovakia was denied by the Supreme Court after Minister Hulse misspoke about the process during an interview with Channel 7.

From bean to bar: an organic process at Kakaw Chocolate Company
Decadent, delicious, divine chocolate from Kakaw Chocolate Company. Tia Chocolate investigates the local shop and tries out their products. She ends up calling for reinforcements.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air Announces Service to Cancun, Mexico
Tropic Air Announced today, Friday, October 5, 2012, that it will be inaugurating non-stop flight to Cancun, Mexico on November 12, 2012. With the launching of this service, and the opening of its new station there, Tropic Air will be the only airline to operate non-stop scheduled flights between the two countries. This new service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline’s stated commitment to the people of Belize. It will not only serve to make travel to Mexico easier, but will allow for the expansion of trade and tourism between the two countries and an alternate route for Europeans wishing to enjoy all that Belize has to offer. “When we inaugurated San Pedro Sula last year, we promised that we would keep growing internationally. This fulfills that promise and there is even more to come. Cancun is an integral part of the growth strategy of Tropic Air and as such we feel it important that we link the vibrant tourism market of Cancun with Belize,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air.

Taiwan Embassy hands-over donation to Inspiration Center
On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, the Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to Belize, H.E. David C.K. Wu, handed over a cheque for $200,000 to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The donation represents half of the funds pledged by the embassy and government to the Inspiration Center project in 2011. This first portion of the donation was released to coincide with the start of construction of the Inspiration Center. On Friday, September 28, 2012, Mrs. Barrow and CARE-Belize Director, Mr. Evan Cowo, signed a letter of intent awarding to contract for the construction of the Inspiration Center to Usher Construction. Mr. Robert Usher, Proprietor of the construction company, estimates that it will take approximately a year and 1.8 million dollars to build the center.

Belize Voted Fourth Happiest Country in the World
Belize is indeed a happy place; its people are happy. The sun, sea, air, the beach, the mountains, the islands – just looking around you there is a reason to be happy and grateful, a reason to smile and share that smile with others. There is no place like Happy Belize and for these reasons and more, the World Happiness Report has put Belize in fourth place in their “World’s Happiest Countries” list. World’s Happiest Countries - Two major reports published this year rank the world's happiest countries and offer travelers some winningly convivial destinations. The World Happiness Report — commissioned by the United Nations — offers a snapshot of the state of happiness in today's world. Topping that list was Denmark 1st, Finland 2nd, Norway 3rd

Isla Bonita Elementary School Poster Competition
Teacher Sharron Hazen, of Isla Bonita Elementary School, invited Ambergris Today to select the winners of her class’ Poster Completion depicting this year’s September Celebrations Theme “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal, Celebrating Belize. Here are the winners of Standard 5 and 6 Poster Competition: First Prize Winner: Kia Nuñez from Standard 5 Second Prize Winner: Nashly Badillo from Standard 5 Third Prize Winner: Gian Guerrero and Tyreek Arzu from Standard 6 *Another competition was held among the class of Standard 5 and 6 where they had to create models of Historical and National Buildings of Belize. Winners: First Prize Winners (House of Culture Model) -Shannon Nuñez -Marthalicia Vasquez -Gian Guerrero Second Prize Winners (St. John’s Cathedral Model) -Biatriz Ramirez -Kia Cabral -Zoe Cannon -Alan Ek Third Prize Winners (Barron Bliss) -Diego Sanchez -Jessica Perez -Christopher Rivero

Misc Belizean Sources

Chronology of British Honduras 1492-1797
Historical timeline

200 year old British Honduras ginger beer recipe!

Candle Light March for Suzenne Martinez
They had a candlelight vigil for Suzenne Martinez this evening at Columbus Park. Thanks to Pandy for capturing the emotion of the event. There is talk that there will be another one early Monday morning. There will also be the 'Ignite the Peace Initiative' next Thursday.'

Free Public Self Defence Seminar
There will be a free self defense seminar at Hodes on Saturday November 3rd, at 11:00am. Primal Survival will be hosting the event free of charge. For more information, call 621-2590 or email

VIDEO: Lamanai Experience
Beautiful Belize....

Channel 7

Suspect In Suzenne's Murder Not Charged
Alberto Ical from Maya Mopan was detained as the main suspect in the murder of Suzenne (Suzenny) Martinez. But tonight the news is that he has been released by San Ignacio Police. But he is not a free man because he was then immediately re-detained by Belmopan police. They are investigating him not for murder, but for handling stolen goods. Those goods are the ones stolen from the home of Robert Lewis in Maya Mopan. They include a SIM card and assorted pieces of jewelry which are confirmed to be from the Lewis home. Ical is also being questioned for the murder of Robert Lewis - who was killed in that home in Maya Mopan on Monday morning. And so while he is expected to be charged for handling stolen goods shortly - he remains under investigation for the murders of Suzenne Martinez and Robert Lewis. But, at this point, the DPP says there's not enough evidence to bring charges for those murders. She held a meeting with police investigators from San Ignacio in Belmopan this morning to give them further instructions on how to proceed with the murder investigation.

BDF Soldier Was Retreating When He Fired
This afternoon at around three a team of police investigators, OAS representatives and a Guatemalan diplomat returned, by Helicopter from the remote Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest. They went there yesterday evening to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a Guatemalan campesino. He was killed yesterday afternoon at 12:41 by a BDF soldier. It happened 7 miles within Belizean territory. His name has not been released - but his body was also brought to Cayo this afternoon for a post mortem. Not much is known about the incident - as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is taking the lead on all public statements. In the initial report, the BDF soldier says that he fired multiple warning shots but the Guatemalan kept running at him with his head down. The soldier reports that he stepped back, and fell backwards on the rugged terrain. He says when he looked up the man was still coming at him - so he fired the fatal shot which hit the Guatemalan in the chest and neck area.

Outlaw Mexican Cops Remanded In Bze Prison
Last night, 7News showed told you about the 3 Mexican Police officers who allegedly assaulted a family in the northeastern Corozal district on Tuesday night. Well the news tonight is that the 2 officers who police did catch were arraigned in Corozal Magistrates Court. They are 46 year-old Walter Lopez Cordova and 24 year-old Francisco Javier Gamboa Villanueva, and they are currently on remand. As we reported, at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, 26 year-old Julius Foreman, his common-law wife Darlene Cabral, and their 2 children were returning to their home in Chunox (Shunush) village when 3 Hispanic men assaulted them as they entered their property. Foreman's mother, Dora Rivero, told LOVE TV about the suspicious events that occurred that day which ultimately led up to the home invasion. Here's what she had to say: Dora Rivero, Mother of Julius Foreman "We only heard a gunshot. I was in my kitchen making supper. I heard the gunshot then my son and I came out and I saw my other son coming, blood was all over him. I ask him what is happening and he said that they just rob me. I ask him who the persons were how much of them and he said that he didn't know."

Known Sex Offender Convicted Again
Tonight, 43 year-old Patrick Payne is behind bars after he was handed a 3-year sentence today in one of the quickest convictions for indecent assault recently in the Magistrate's Court. As we reported, a 16 year-old female told police that on August 13, while she was asleep, she felt someone touching her privates. She woke up and caught Payne in the act. Police arrested Payne, charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and took him before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith who remanded him on August 15. 2 adjournments later, the victim came and testified to the court the exact same thing she told police, and when the prosecution closed its case, Payne offered his own defense. He denied the allegation and simply said that the victim was telling lies on him. Chief Magistrate Smith, after considering the evidence, found him guilty of the offence, and she sentenced him to spend 3 years in prison.

Man Acquitted In Trial W/O Jury Back In Jail
25 year-old Oscar Kareem Usher, who was acquitted in July of attempted murder, is back behind bars after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for aggravated burglary. Sanjay Pilgrim reported to police that at around 7 p.m. on September 28, 3 men came to his house on Freetown road. 2 of them had guns, and the third man, who he recognized as Usher, was armed with a machete. Pilgrim said that the men rushed into his house and one of them kicked him in the stomach. Pilgrim said that Usher then swung the machete at him, but he ducked out of the way. He took advantage of that opportunity to force the men out the door. Pilgrim then locked the door, turned off the lights, ran and hid while he called the police. While he was hiding, he says he saw Usher breaking one of the windows. Usher was allegedly trying to get inside, but he heard the police coming, and all 3 men ran off. Police arrested and charged Usher for aggravated burglary and damage to property.

Looking For Closure For Alex Valdez's Murder
We know all about Jasmine Lowe and now Suzenne Martinez. But Cayo has other teen victims. In May of 2011 Albert Alex Valdez was killed - stabbed to death in San Ignacio allegedly by his own friends. Now, the trial for his alleged killers is coming up - and yesterday his father was at the rally for Suzenne Martinez where he had his own message. Here's what he told us:.. Albert Neal "I am the father of Albert Alexander Jr. and he was also brutally killed here in San Ignacio by his best friend over a bicycle. Today the case is going over to the supreme court, I just wish that the best thing come out from this and let the law help stop all these murderers and put them away for good because they keep coming out because of good lawyers around and if I was the parent of one son who commit a crime like that I wouldn't show my face at the court because this is upholding them in their stupidity That all I would like to say to the whole country of Belize; you are the parent of a son - you didn't teach them to kill. If they commit the crime don't show your face there let them do the time." A 17 year old friend was charged for Albert Jr.'s murder.

Wallace Acquitted Of City Shooting
19 year-old Michael Wallace was acquitted before Justice Troadio Gonzales today of 2 counts of attempted murder. He was accused of shooting at and injuring Belize City residents, Terry Felix and Edward Thompson. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Sharmela Williams called several witness to testify, but the main witness was Thompson, one of the victims. He told the court that at around 5:30 p.m. on April 4, 2009, a young man, who he recognized as Wallace rode up on bicycle to their location on Fabers Road and fired 4 or 5 shots at them. Felix suffered to 2 gunshot wounds to the upper left hip, and Thompson also suffered 2 gunshot injuries to one of his feet. The assailant rode off, and police arrived shortly after to render assistance to the injured men. Another major witness was a police officer who testified that he was on Alan Pitts Crescent while responding to the shooting, and saw the accused tossing a silver object behind a house. The officer continued retrieved a chrome .38 special revolver with 5 expended shells. This firearm was also tendered as evidence against Wallace in the trial. After the prosecution closed its case, Wallace gave a statement from the dock in which he claimed that he wasn't there at the time of the shooting. He said that he was playing basketball on the court near Cumberbatch field.

UNICEF Trains Journalists On Child Issues
Today was day 2 of a 3 day workshop for journalists on children's rights reporting. The workshop is being held by UNICEF and focuses mainly on children's issues in the media. Some of the topics covered over the past 2 days included how to handle sensitive stories about children, and making the stories interesting without damaging children. The workshop was held at the Black Orchid Resort in Boom and we found out more from Country Representative Christine Norton: Christine Norton, UNICEF Country Representative "Many people have express some concerns about the way in which children are portrayed particular when they are very sensitive issues and so the workshop purpose is merely to have a chance to dialogue with the media to give them an opportunity to network with each other and also and in particular to look at guidelines and ethical standards and how do we go about doing a news worthy story but at the same time respecting children's rights. We won't be able to set the standards there but we are certainly discussing with media what would be respected standards at an international level so that we could try to influence some level of change."

What You Are Paying For 2012
The consumer price index - it may sound like a technical term but it's simply a measurement of the changes in the price of things you buy for your household. And now the figures for the first eight months of 2012 have been released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. They show an average inflation rate of 1.7%. Inflation was highest in Orange Walk and lowest in Punta Gorda. As for the consumer price index - you'll see eon this graph that fuel is the spikey red line, food is the blue line and all other items is the green line. The Consumer Price index in August rose slightly - about half a percentage point. This was caused by higher prices of "Food and Non- Alcoholic Beverages", "Health", "Recreation and Culture", and "Miscellaneous Goods and Services". Of interest is that the increase in the "Recreation and Culture" index reflected a 29.8% increase in the cost of admission to nightclubs. While those went up, there were price decreases in "Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance", "Transport", "Education" and "Restaurants and Hotels".

Was There An Ambulance For Murder Victim?
Almost three weeks have passed since Norval Belisle was killed in Belmopan. And now an un-named family member has circulated a mail to all and sundry saying that the young man died because there was no ambulance to take him to the hospital. The letter alleges that there is no ambulance at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan because the ambulance driver - who also has his own private ambulance service - sabotaged the public ambulance. The Ministry of Health did investigate this claim - but could find no evidence that such sabotage occurred. But the Ministry's CEO Peter Allen did agree that it is a conflict of interest - and feels that the pubic ambulance driver should not have gotten permission from the Ministry of Health to operate his own ambulance service. But he did get every license, permit and exemption required from the ministry - and now Allen says that when the license expires at the end of this month - he will have to choose to either give up his private ambulance service or quit his public ambulance job. But, after all that, Allen says that there was no ambulance for Norval Belisle because the Hospital's ambulance was out on another emergency.

UB's Primary School Environmental Project
Environmental awareness may not be something we think about too often in the city - but a group of UB students are visiting with primary school children across the city- educating the youngsters about their environment. One of their main goals is to get the children involved in creating a healthier environment in their own school and home settings. Today 7news caught up with the group in a Standard 3 class at Grace Primary. Freddy Cantillano, UB Student "This is a project that was initiated by our teacher Dr. Perez. We are going though as I said an environmental cause and we were given the choices among many and we choose to come to the schools because it is here that education starts, they also says that it starts at home - but I think it's here that children will be exposed to a lot of different things and garbage would be one of them and of course our message this morning is that we want them to learn what are national resources and what we can do with them; how can we protect them and how can we preserve them."

Belize Zoo's Awareness Campaign On Jaguar Protection
We don't get much news from Caledonia village in the Corozal district - but that village was in the headlines recently when an adult jaguar was killed by hunters and his hide was stripped off as a trophy. Now, it's illegal to hunt jaguars in Belize or to trade in their pelts or teeth. But it happens - and that's why the Belize Zoo sprang into action with an education campaign. They wanted to target mainly the children in the village to teach them not to fear jaguars or to view them as a threat. The Principal of Caledonia RC says it was well received:.. Jamal Andrewin, Zoo Environmental Educator "it's a follow up to the incident that happened in the village several weeks ago and the objective was to turn it into something positive to involve this community that have these jaguars and other wildlife very near their community and interact with them probably on a daily basis and the whole concept is simply education and awareness making them have a sense of pride and respect for these animals that they live in close contact with every single day and for them to understand our value in the conservation of our forest and in all the industries that its connected to." "We were very well received today and so we felt the objective was met."

At Risk Children Reaping Benefits
Several weeks ago, 7News showed you an innovative outreach program called the Belize Camping Experience. It is an initiative headed by Alexander Perez in which farmers from Northern and Central Belize allow at-risk Belize City children to learn about farming. It provides a different way of life for these children, but most importantly, it takes them out of the dangerous environment that they live in constantly. This weekend, there will be a harvesting event for these crops that these children have actively participated in growing, and the director is inviting the public to witness their hard work. Here's what he told us about the significance of the event: Alexander Perez, Director - Belize Camping Experience "The event that is happening tomorrow is the harvest. What we have been doing over the 4 months is to get the corn ready to be harvested and now it is time to harvest and what going to happen on Saturday is that we want to harvest our corn in less time as possible as we can. We are getting ready to tomorrow and we are hoping to line up 10-15 combines or harvester; they are huge machines that are already moving. We already have 3 on the 20 acres of corn ready to be harvested tomorrow."

Channel 5

Visas, Visas, Visas! Hezbollah, Nepal and China
Following the alleged Hezbollah associate Rafic Labboun’s receipt of a Belizean passport in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, the Ministry of Immigration had temporarily closed the Passport Office in Belize City. After the Hezbollah passport scandal became an international media event, other incidences have come to light. Human trafficking involving natives of Nepal has been [...]

Not enough evidence for UB murder suspect/sex offender
Cayo residents and the University of Belize have both expressed dismay following the death of twenty year old Suzenne Martinez. The main suspect in Martinez’s murder is also detained for the murder of fifty-three year old Robert Lewis. The twenty-nine year old Maya Mopan resident has been transferred to the Belmopan Police Station. No charges [...]

Mexican Police Officers charged for Chunox Home Invasion
There have always been talks of corrupt cops in neighboring Chetumal that threaten Belizeans for cash when confronted with minor traffic offenses. But today, two police officers from Chetumal faced serious charges for a home invasion that traumatized a Belizean family. The attack did not occur in Mexico, but far from the border inside Belize. [...]

Postmortem examination shows security guard not murdered
Fifty-three year old Charles Gamboa, a security guard stationed at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI) mysteriously died at his post outside Dangriga Town on September twenty-sixth. His death came as a shock to the family because Gamboa, who has been working with the institution for the past eighteen years, did not have a [...]

Not guilty! Self defense testimony ends murder trial
While that family still cries foul, the verdict in today’s murder trial is not guilty. A jury of twelve persons, in the trial against thirty-two year old Ealsine Gentle, acquitted him of murder after almost five hours of deliberation. Gentle was accused of the September 2008 fatal stabbing of Orlando Myers, which occurred following a [...]

Busted again for trying to fondle a minor
Also in court, was repeat sex offender, forty-three year old Patrick Payne, a Woodpecker Street resident. Payne was found guilty of another count of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature upon a sixteen year old girl. Today, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced him to three years in prison. Since the allegations arose from an [...]

Whooping cough cases positive in Cayo
Recently, the Ministry of Health announced that thirteen suspected cases of whooping cough or Pertussis had been detected. The preliminary results of five of the cases have returned from the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago. Doctor Natalia Beer of the Ministry of Health spoke to News Five about the results.   Via [...]

Auditor General’s report fleecing by public figures
There are many stories that can be told from the auditor general’s report for 2010-2011. There were cases of suspected fraud, including one under investigation at the Toledo District Education Centre. In one transaction, original receipts totaling sixty-four thousand, three hundred and five dollars and twenty five cents did not match the corresponding duplicate copies. [...]

Belizean American says Martinez swindled her in land deal
It doesn’t take the skills of an auditor to solve the next case, just an outraged woman who feels someone pulled a fast one on her. A Belizean living in Los Angeles is piping mad because she claims she has been scammed out of over twenty thousand dollars. Sylvia Baptist alleges that she paid the [...]

But accused says he’s ready for his day in court
After our interview with Baptist on Thursday, she headed to the police station with her documents. We also spoke to Edward Martinez today and he denied the allegations that he was involved in the sale of any land. Martinez says Baptist’s claims are already being investigated, but he’s prepared to face the courts.   Via [...]

Can CitCo suspend license in lieu of property tax payment?
And while Martinez is prepared to walk to the court to defend his name, many Belize City residents may soon be taking a longer walk because of the Belize City Council. It appears that City Hall, in an effort to collect almost seventeen million dollars in unpaid debts, is now enforcing an existing law on [...]

UNICEF trains media on child sensitive reporting
The merits of the Council and the ethics of the driver license suspension will surely be discussed in all outlets of the media. But fairness and a healthy balance is always a concern when presenting similar issues. And that is why three consultants from the UK are in Belize to promote international standards in reporting [...]

The buzz about local talent in B movie, Dragon Wasp
Hollywood’s B actors and low budget sci-fi flicks don’t ever win Oscars, but the B list and horror movement has grown strong in Belize providing an outlet for Belizean actors. The most recent movie from that particular genre was shot entirely on location in Belize in late December. The Movie Dragon Wasp has recently been [...]

How tamper proof is Venezuela elections? Machines will explode
The Presidential elections in Venezuela will not have the sting of Dragon Wasps, but if there is any tampering with the computers, the Public Relations Officer for the Embassy in Belize promises it will be explosive. On Sunday, President Hugo Chavez is seeking a third term in office. For Belize the outcome is important because [...]

Embassy says Chavez healthy for elections
After Chavez’ recent battle with cancer, the opposition charges that he will not be able to finish another six year term in office. But after radiation, chemotherapy, and three operations in Cuba, Sanchez says Chavez is cancer free and he has been hot on the campaign trail over the past two weeks.   Gabriel Sanchez [...]

Sweeping sights, sounds and the history of Taiwan
Taiwan has diplomatic relations with only a handful of twenty-two countries, which includes Belize. Its diplomatic outreach, however, is vibrant and strong as it struggles for full recognition and to gain entry into many international organizations including the United Nations where yearly, its allies seek support for its admission. Also known as the Republic of [...]

CATM, the tourism package in Honduras
The ninth edition of CATM, the Central American Travel Market, is winding down in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. All Central American countries have been taking part and aggressively promoting their countries as prime tourist destinations with a competitive edge. It is one of the biggest shows in the region which provides avenues to tourism stakeholders [...]

B.D.F. soldier shoots and kills Guatemalan in Ceibo Chico
There has been a shooting incident involving the security forces. A Guatemalan national was shot and killed by a Belize Defense Force Soldier seven miles east of the Belize/Guatemala border. According to a brief notice issued late this evening by the Ministry of National Security, the incident occurred at twelve-forty-one this afternoon in the Ceibo [...]

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Birthday Shout Out!!
Greetings goes out to Donovan and Clifton Burgess who are celebrating their birthdays today. Some of you may have met Donovan working with Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia and Cliftion is Donovan’s younger brother who graduated from Ocean Academy earlier this year. Congratulations and we wish you many more birthdays!!!

Tracie Chic Party Creations
Have you ever wondered where and how to get decorations for your event or wished there was someone who does this sort of business, maybe creating a souvenir or creating a gift set. Well you don’t need to look any further as Caye Caulker has it. Meet Tracie Young, born and raised islander, owner of Tracie Chic Party Creations.Tracie Young 1. When was Tracie Chic Party Creations started? A: Tracie Chic Party Creations started doing business in November 2008 (that’s when I got my first contract) 2. At what age did you start making your crafts and what made you decide to make your hobby into a business? A: I became fascinated with arts and crafts at the age of 10. That was my favorite thing to do in school, I could hardly wait for the teacher to assign another project. As i got older I kept making my own greeting cards and personalized gifts for my family and even creating my sister’s and my own Halloween costume every year. I think watching and sometimes assisting my mom create souvenirs and decorations for family functions and events was what opened my mind to other possibilities. I began to help out family and friends with their parties and that’s when I decided to start making money from what I enjoy doing. 3. What type of occasions do you cater for? A: I cater for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baptisms, graduations etc. Events such as reunions, office parties, business parties, dinners, banquets, going away parties and conferences. I also cater for baby showers, bridal showers, tea parties, funerals, kids parties, adult parties and holiday parties. Our motto is: We Create and You Party!!!

Last edited by Marty; 11/17/12 09:44 AM.
Re: Today's Belize News: October 6, 2012 [Re: Marty] #448171
10/06/12 08:14 AM
10/06/12 08:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,806
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Gunman kills gunman on Mayflower
The first gunman’s target escaped, and while he was “relaxing” in enemy territory, he was fatally shot by another gunman Gang rivalry between the Back-a-Town and Ghost Town gangs claimed the life of a gunman from the Back-a-Town gang after he was shot four times in his head while in the zone of his enemies. The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. yesterday at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets, near the fence belonging to Mendoza Auto Parts. The gunman, identified as Steven Polonio, 20, was shot as he sat on Mayflower Street by another gunman after his alleged target, the boss of the Ghost Town group, escaped from him. Polonio’s assailant escaped after killing him, and has not yet been found. A witness told Amandala that Roger Anthony, a known resident of the Bailar area of Mayflower Street, was standing at the corner of Mayflower Street and Vernon Street when a gunman approached Mayflower Street from the direction of Ebony Street. When Anthony saw him coming, he ran into the Bailar area. The gunman then sat down by the fence. Shortly after, another gunman came up Vernon Street along the fence, and ambushed Polonio while he was sitting down. He shot him four times in his head and disappeared into the Mayflower Street area.

Cayo residents call for the death penalty!
Twin Towns residents return to streets in memory of murder victim, Suzenne Martinez, 21; no politician attended demonstration On another hot afternoon in the Twin Towns, the anger was clearly present in the body language and gestures of the 100 to 150 residents gathered inside the Columbus Park in the downtown area to protest the recent death of University of Belize student Suzenne Martinez, 21. Suzenne’s body was found dumped in a ditch at the side of 18th Street, not far from where she lived, early yesterday morning, Wednesday, October 3. By the end of the day, police had been led to their key suspect, who was out on bail for a prior offense and has since been linked to the Monday morning home invasion/murder at the residence of Belizean-American retiree Robert Lewis, 53, in Belmopan. At press time, the suspect has yet to be charged, as police are awaiting directives from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and continue to gather more evidence. But after showing their might when Bert Vasquez was captured, arrested and charged in June following the death of Jasmine Lowe, 13, when a large crowd watched the Department’s every move and Vasquez came close to losing his head to the mob, today residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena came out once again, not with that fiery emotion, but still resolute, to show support to Suzenne’s grieving family, pressure the police to move a little faster, and call on authorities to begin doing more, including authorizing the return of the death penalty.

Gunman kills gunman on Mayflower
The first gunman’s target escaped, and while he was “relaxing” in enemy territory, he was fatally shot by another gunman. Gang rivalry between the Back-a-Town and Ghost Town gangs claimed the life of a gunman from the Back-a-Town gang after he was shot four times in his head while in the zone of his enemies. The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. yesterday at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets, near the fence belonging to Mendoza Auto Parts. The gunman, identified as Steven Polonio, 20, was shot as he sat on Mayflower Street by another gunman after his alleged target, the boss of the Ghost Town group, escaped from him. Polonio’s assailant escaped after killing him, and has not yet been found. A witness told Amandala that Roger Anthony, a known resident of the Bailar area of Mayflower Street, was standing at the corner of Mayflower Street and Vernon Street when a gunman approached Mayflower Street from the direction of Ebony Street. When Anthony saw him coming, he ran into the Bailar area. The gunman then sat down by the fence. Shortly after, another gunman came up Vernon Street along the fence, and ambushed Polonio while he was sitting down. He shot him four times in his head and disappeared into the Mayflower Street area. The witness said that a policeman in plain clothes was not far from the scene of the crime and began to attend to the wounded man, who by that time was gasping for air, and was bleeding through the mouth and nose. The policeman called a mobile unit which came quickly, and victim was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was attended to, but he died shortly after.

UB student, 21, murdered in Cayo
She left school in Belmopan, but never reached her home in San Ignacio, Cayo. Less than six hours after her parents reported her officially missing at the San Ignacio Police Station, Suzenne Martinez, 21, a student of the University of Belize at the Belmopan Campus, was found dead around three blocks from her home in San Ignacio. The heartbreaking discovery was made around 6:10 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday. She was found not far from the 18th Street junction with Benque Road, in the drain near a drugstore. Witnesses who saw her said that she appeared to have been thrown in the drain. She was partially naked. She was wearing only underwear, and no pants; and her blouse was drawn up, leaving her breasts exposed. A liquid of some sort was coming out of her nose, and there were a lot of bruises on her body — which were especially visible because of her fair complexion – particularly on her legs. She apparently had been strangled to death. Police, who noted that Martinez’s laptop computer and cellphone were missing, say that they have a person in custody who they believe can help them in their investigations. Hamid Martinez, Suzenne’s father, told Amandala that his daughter left home on Tuesday morning, as usual, to catch the bus to go to school in Belmopan and typically would not return any later than 8:30 p.m., but at times earlier.

A Wondrous Hypocrisy
The Settlement Deed – 2005 On the 22nd of March 2005, then Prime Minister Honourable Said Musa signed a “Settlement Deed” by which he assured (purportedly) the Carlisle Group of companies (associated with Lord Ashcroft) that (a) they would be treated as having made all filings and paid all Business Tax or Income Tax as at up to 31st March 2005 (b) Business or Income Tax for the Carlisle Group for the future from 1st April 2005 would be calculated in the particular way set out in the Settlement Deed. So, by the Settlement Deed, Honourable Said Musa as Prime Minister of Belize sought to create a special tax regime for the Carlisle Group. No end to this regime was stated in the Deed. And it was expressly “Confidential,” which is a fancy legal and business word for “secret”. But the Settlement Deed was signed not only by Honourable Said Musa. It was also signed by then Attorney General Francis Fonseca, now Honourable Leader of the Opposition. So secret was this tax regime document that not even the Commissioner of Income Tax knew about it when it was signed. He learnt of it years later. Certainly it was never brought before the National Assembly and it is believed that even the PUP Cabinet did not know of it. And it contained hefty exemptions because in arbitration proceedings in London in 2009 the Tribunal awarded BCB Holdings and Belize Bank a whopping $44 million in damages and costs. Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Act 2012 Let’s then fast forward to 26th September 2012. The UDP Government, under Honourable Dean Barrow, introduced the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Act, which is an integral part of the foreign equity investment to save the Belizean sugar industry and, by extension, the livelihood of thousands of Belizeans, including cane farmers and BSI workers. In the House debate the Opposition Leader thundered in a strident voice: “There is no need for us to rush through this bill today. Our farmers need to be properly informed on what is taking place here today”.

Eulogy for Khalid Hyde
by Vonetta Hyde Dale. On behalf of the Hyde and Garnett families, we want to thank you for coming. We loved him deeply as a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin…Love is not an easy feeling to put into words, but here we go. Khalid Kori Justice Hyde came into this world around 6:25 on the morning of Wednesday, February 16, 1994. Though he was to grow to be a skinny kid, he weighed a full 11 pounds, 4 ounces. He was the second and last child of Shirlette Garnett and my brother Cordel Hyde – the first being a girl, Kamisha. Shir and Cords disagreed over what to name their son. His mother and family wanted to name him “Kori”; my brother wanted him to be named “Khalid.” He was adamant that his son not be named Kori, who at the time was a star on a soap opera called Another World. In the end, my brother won, but lost. He was named Khalid Kori – my brother insisted on celebrating victory so he threw in “Justice” – so my nephew’s full name became Khalid Kori Justice Hyde. But it was a short-lived victory – mothers always win. Of all his immediate and extended family, perhaps only Granny Claudette, his paternal grandmother, called him by his ...

Emmerson Michael, 34, acquitted of firearm charge
He, along with another soldier, were found in possession of 1,340 rounds of 5.56 ammunition. Sgt. Emmerson Michael, 34, an officer of the Belize Defence Force, was today found not guilty of keeping ammunition without a gun license – 1,340 live rounds of 5.56 ammunition. According to a police report, at 8:30 p.m. on December 19, 2008, a green BDF Land Rover approached a police checkpoint that had been set up at the junction of Vista Del Mar and the Northern Highway. Driving the vehicle at the time was Sgt. Michael and in the passenger seat was Cpl. Henry Williams, another BDF officer. When the vehicle reached the checkpoint, the driver was asked to pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. Sgt. Michael complied, and when the police came to the vehicle, they informed Cpl. Williams that they would conduct a search on him. After searching Cpl. Williams, police then searched vehicle and they observed a blue and black colored knapsack on the floor of the vehicle on the passenger side. A further search of that bag led to the discovery of the ammunition. A search of the middle compartment that separates the driver and passenger seats also led to more ammunition being retrieved.

Ideas and Opinions – Marijuana IV
There should never have been a law which made marijuana use a crime. And, there would never have been such a law if the citizens of Belize were able to make their views heard in favor or against. The British Administration made that law when Belize was a Crown Colony and the Governor, Financial Secretary, Colonial Secretary, Attorney General and Accountant General comprised the Executive Council and dominated the Legislative Council. There were no Committees, to which Bills for an Act were submitted for consideration and report. I can imagine a conversation between the Governor and the Colonel Secretary which went like this: Governor to C.S.: “We have to make a law to stop this ‘coolie’ weed smoking habit from spreading to the rest of the native population.” C.S. to Governor: “I’d get the A.G. to draft an Ordinance.” Story done. They didn’t know of any harmful effects then, except that the East Indians began to think and act as if they were everybody’s equal. Marijuana is the leaf of the Cannabis plant, dried and crushed. Perfectly natural, nothing added or taken away. People roll it in paper and smoke it like in cigarette. They like the effect it has on them. It has harmful effects which have been documented. It is not more harmful than alcohol, which is lawful. If you put any fruit in a container, with or without water, cover it and let it lie, it will eventually ferment and form wine, with a low alcoholic content. Through the process of distillation, some fermented substances, like the juice of sugarcane, become rum, with as high an alcoholic content as you wish. You are free to drink as much rum or vodka or gin as you wish, regardless of their alcoholic content and, regardless of how much harm you do to yourself. A man goes to a party to celebrate a victory in sports or in politics. The mood is jubilant. Drinks flow freely. The party ends long after midnight and everybody is high. Driving on the way home, he has a momentary lapse of judgment and there is an accident. Is that a harmful effect? Friends are at a bar drinking liquor. There is ill feeling between two of them, over a real or imagined insult. They get into an argument, ending in a fight. One stabs the other with a broken battle. Is that a harmful effect?

Celebrating and respecting our Belizean athletes
National Coach Matthew Smiling sent us some pictures of our Belizean 3×3 U-18 Basketball National Team that “turned heads” at the 3×3 U-18 World Championships this past weekend, October 28-30, in Alcobensdas, Spain. Belize’s 3×3 squad (Brandon Flowers, Tree-vanne Moses, Akeem Watters and Brian White) ranked 4th in their group with a 4 wins 3 losses record. Belize opened with a 20-9 loss to New Zealand. We then defeated Poland, 21-14, and China, 15-14, before losing to Canada, 18-14, on Friday, October 28. On Saturday, Belize beat Netherlands, 14-9; lost to France, 16-8; and finished with an 18-15 win over Slovakia. It was a stellar achievement for the Belize team, who, as can be seen from the accompanying pictures, were often grossly overmatched in size by their opponents. Someday, our footballers will also swell our Belizean chests with pride in the international arena. We have already made that first small step – a victory in the qualifying round of competition in CONCACAF, World Cup Qualifiers, and recently at the CODICADER Games. In athletics, at the last Olympic Games in London, Kaina Martinez and Kenneth Underwood both broke the first round qualifying barrier by moving ahead in their respective heats, a first at this level for Belizean athletes. Meanwhile, at the recent CODICADER Games, our Belizean youth won gold in basketball (Sadie Vernon Technical High) and softball (Ladyville Technical High). The “sleeping giant” of Belizean sports achievement is slowly rising to our potential. Our sports desk takes pleasure in showcasing some of our athletic achievers.

From The Publisher
I have a maternal uncle to whom I was close; he died a few years ago after being confined, or confining himself, to his Lizarraga Street home for some fifteen years or so. During the years he was confined, I would visit him, on the average, a couple times each week. During those visits, I got to know him much better, and I would refer specifically to the fact that I began to see his flaws. From my childhood, he had been a hero of mine, and hero worship is something which blinds you to your idol’s feet of clay, as they say. My uncle had been in Panama from 1941 until 1946. He travelled to Panama, as many Belizean workers did during that time, for work in the Panama Canal Zone. He was just 19 when he went to Panama. After he returned to British Honduras, he did the best he could until one of his friends hooked him up with the Public Works Department. I would say that around 1954 or 1955, while he was at the Public Works Department, he was given an opportunity to study electrical matters in Puerto Rico. Years later, while he was teaching electricity at Belize Technical College, an institution at which he rose as high as vice-principal, he got another break to study abroad, this time in Los Angeles, from where he returned to Belize in 1968.

Mr. Lawrence Vernon responds
Sir, I refer to Nick Pollard’s letter in the Amandala of September 30, 2012. Nick Pollard is correct in saying that the Amandala did publish a paper on political parties in Belize written by me. Actually the Amandala extracted the paper from the Belizean Studies publication “Readings in Belizean History” published by St. John’s College and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, which is a condensed version of a comprehensive book which I intend to publish, entitled “A History of Political Parties in Belize.” Allow me to make two comments on Nick’s letter, and the Declaration he so thoughtfully published next to his letter lends some support. Firstly, I cannot agree that I took the statement, “that Nicholas Pollard conducted a campaign of slander against leaders of the P.U.P.” out of context when that is almost verbatim in the Declaration that was scheduled to be read by William Lloyd Coffin on September 27, 1956 at the Riverside Hall in Belize City. I will concede, however, that in the condensed version of the book, reference was only made to the Declaration; while my comprehensive text actually details the clauses in the Declaration. Secondly, and again because Nick only had access to the condensed version, although I failed to inform readers of “a bitter feud” among P.U.P. leaders in July 1956 over missing General Workers Union monies, I did infer this by stating in my comprehensive text: “On July 6 the General Workers Union suspended its General Secretary, Nicholas Pollard, for financial irregularities.” In a footnote I further stated: “This dispute amongst the leaders of the Union had resulted in Pollard forming a break-away union registered as the Christian Democratic Union.” I have every respect and admiration for Nick as a political historian, and welcome his comments and I thank him for sharing his thoughts. Let me close by saying, though, that my being listed in the acknowledgements of Godfrey Smith’s biography of George Price aside, and further comments about the author’s treatment of the subject, is for Mr. Smith to take up if he deems it fitting. Lawrence Vernon

6 months in prison for theft with a firearm
Today, Gregory Thompson was found guilty of robbery with a firearm in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. In the trial which started and ended today, one of the three victims, 17 years at the time, told the court that on November 7, 2011, he, his two friends and others were at the La Democracia bus stop waiting for a bus to come. Thompson, he claims, then came and began eating a bag of chips with his back to the crowd. After half of the group caught a bus to “Malantee” (Gales Point, Manatee), only he, his two friends, Thompson and two others were left out there. He told the court that Thompson then pulled out a gun and pointed it at his friend and told him to give him the phone, and to shut up. His friend handed over the cell phone, and Thompson then pointed the gun in the face of his other friend and took away his phone. Then Thompson pointed the gun into the witness’ face, and took away his cell phone, then told him not to say anything.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis returns
Costa Rican to helm Belize National Team at UNCAF Copa Centroamericana in his home nation next January. Belize has left itself little time to prepare a full-strength National “A” side to attend next January’s UNCAF Copa Centroamericana to be held in Costa Rica. But the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) today unveiled its most important weapon in the arsenal for a team on the rise in the region: new national team coach and head of coaching training, Costa Rican Leroy Sherrier Lewis. Lewis previously acted as head coach and technical director for Belize in 2001, and authored one of Belize’s best runs to date at the regional level in what was then known as the Nation’s Cup, and subsequent World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately, he was run out by the former FFB administration under Dr. Bertie Chimilio, and Belize’s record under his successors until recently was mediocre at best and desperately poor at worst. As the FFB fought with the Government and its detractors at home, Guatemala’s Palmiro Salas and Honduras’ Jose de la Paz “Chelato” Ucles led the national side to important victories against St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Grenada and St. Vincent – admittedly smaller Caribbean sides – while the team gave good account of themselves in matchups with mighty Mexico (lost 9-0 over two legs in the second round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers played in 2008) and nemesis Guatemala (lost by a combined score of 5-2 in two group matches in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers played in 2011). But in the Nations’ Cup, the qualifying tournament for CONCACAF’s Gold Cup, Belize has never had so much as a victory despite appearing since 1996.

Let it go, Mr. Said, let it go
Last week we submitted some questions for the Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize from 1998 to 2008. These questions were rhetorical questions, which is to say, they were questions to which we know the answers, or, think we know the answers. Mr. Musa was never the dreamer and adventurer that Assad Shoman was, but because he was a faithful friend to Assad, Said basked in the aura of revolutionary romance which surrounded Mr. Shoman. You must understand that this aura was a magnetic field which drew young university students to its energy in the middle and late 1960s, especially if those young university students belonged to ancestral groupings which were being oppressed by European world dominance. In the case of Mr. Shoman and Mr. Musa, they are of Palestinian descent on their fathers’ side, so in the boiling intellectual cauldron which was London, they discovered identity and cause in the sizzling sixties. Electoral political success for Mr. Shoman and Mr. Musa was slow in coming in the 1970s in Belize, and by the early 1980s it had become clear that this success would be limited by some political realities within the political party they had chosen as their vehicle for socio-economic change – the ruling, undefeated People’s United Party (PUP), led by the charismatic George Cadle Price. Then, in 1984, came political disaster for the aforementioned attorneys. The PUP lost their first general election ever, and it was by a landslide margin. Both Shoman and Musa lost their seats, even Mr. Price himself. It is important to understand that the party was rebuilt after that 1984 shocker, because then you will understand why Mr. Musa felt his hands were tied, as it were, when he resumed his political career on a solo basis, Mr. Shoman having withdrawn from electoral politics after 1984. There are some people, like Joe Coye, who have sought to take some credit for the rebuilding of the PUP after 1984, but all we can is say what we saw from our position as political observers. Mr. Price was tired after 1984; perhaps more important, in a way he was content, because the elusive Holy Grail had been achieved, after much arduous effort, in 1981. The people who rebuilt the PUP and masterminded its surprise victory in September of 1989 were two of Mr. Price’s personal protégés – Glenn Godfrey and Ralph Fonseca.

Another illegal Guat logger; this time in Caracol
A Guatemalan of Peten, Guatemala, is tonight in jail, but not for the offense which joint security forces personnel say they caught him red-handed trying to do – cut down the National Tree, mahogany, in an archaeological reserve. Edgar Rene Amador Jenis, 38, of La Calzada Mopan, Dolores, Peten, appeared this morning in San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court charged with drug possession for 4.5 grams of marijuana and illegal entry into the country by the Department of Immigration. He was issued a fine by the presiding magistrate, but was unable to pay and was sent to jail for a year. This evening, FCD chair Rafael Manzanero registered to Amandala the organization’s “deep concern” that charges of illegal logging in a protected area and entry of an animal without proper documentation is apparently yet to be lodged by the Forestry Department. Our checks this evening with San Ignacio police were fruitless, as their senior personnel had left the office when we called.

The Reporter

Scout Association spearheads clean -up of Belize’s rivers and beaches
The Scouts Association of Belize mobilized volunteers across the country to work with this year’s International Waterway and Coastline Clean-up, a global initiative carried out by Ocean Conservancy last Saturday, September 29.

Guat illegal logger caught in Caracol reserves
Belize security forces have captured a lone Guatemalan logger in the Caracol Reserve of the Chiquibul forest, some five miles deep in Belizean territory. Security forces sneaked up on 37-year-old Edgar René Amador Jeni of La Calzada Mopan Village in the province of Dolores shortly after midday last Saturday, September 29.

Retired Belizean murdered inside home
San Ignacio police have detained a man from the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan related to the murder of retired Belizean American contractor, Robert Lewis, 53, also of the Maya Mopan area. Lewis was stabbed multiple times in his neck, and his throat slashed. The incident occurred inside his home at around 1:30 on Monday morning, when a knife-wielding man gained entry to the house and ambushed Lewis and his wife, Orsula Patnett-Lewis, 50. Orsula, who was in the master bedroom on the second flat, was ordered to lie on the floor, tied up and threatened before her attacker demanded money and the couple’s gun.

Telemedia wins 6th Charles Solis softball marathon
Belize Telemedia , the national women’s softball champions, hammered the Belize rural champions, Easy Does It of Flowers Bank, 11-2 to win the finals of the fourth annual Charles Solis softball marathon at Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, September 30. Easy Does It pitcher Margaret Hendy held off the Telemedia women for the first two innings, but Telemedia went on to collect eight hits off Hendy’s pitching. The Flowers Bank defense committed four errors in the bottom of the third inning, allowing catcher Earlene Belisle, Lydia Cacho and Martha Rhys to score.

GOB accounts full of irregularities – Auditor General reports
The United Democratic Party administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow may have been elected to office on a promise of accountability and transparency, but the Auditor General’s recently released report indicates their management of public finances has been anything but accountable. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has scrutinized Government spending of more than $890 million and revenue receipts of $840 million for the financial year 2010/2011, which ended on March 31, 2011. Her report cites a litany of audit issues: revenue arrears not submitted as required, inadequate records management, pertinent information missing from computerized accounts, unreconciled bank accounts, unreconciled line accounts, contracts drawn up after the job was completed, deficient inventory management of assets, unsatisfactory accounting for government stores, and poor control over the use of government vehicles. She found that the Accountant General’s office has too much of a workload and too many responsibilities to provide the strict , continuous and effective monitoring as required by the government’s financial controls.

22-year-old UB Student Murdered
Suzenne “Purple” Martinez, a second year Medical Laboratory Technician student at the University of Belize, Belmopan campus, was murdered in San Ignacio on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old, who caught a bus near the lane where she lived on Eighteenth Street, had gone to school and was on her way home. San Ignacio police are yet to determine whether she was forced into a vehicle or was lured by someone she knew, but one of her classmates reportedly saw her get off the bus in San Ignacio sometime after 7:00 pm. She never arrived home and her family grew especially concerned when she didn’t report home by midnight, and they made a formal missing person’s report. Suzenne’s half-nude body was discovered a few hundred yards from her home further up the street. Her pants had been pulled down to about her knees and her blouse was pulled up. Jamid Martinez, Suzenne’s brother, told reporters that he was on his way to work around 6:30 Wednesday morning, when his attention was drawn to police officers scouring a spot in some bushes. When he arrived at the scene, he realized that it was his sister. Jamid said that his sister appeared to have suffered multiple bruises.

CCJ stops BTL dividends payment
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Belize’s highest court, has ordered Belize Telemedia Ltd. not to pay out dividends to shareholders at an early Annual General Meeting to be held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City on Friday night, September 28. The CCJ so ruled after hearing arguments from attorneys representing the Ashcroft Alliance at a special hour-long hearing held via video-conference on Wednesday, September 26. Attorney Godfrey Smith, SC, appeared on behalf of Dean Boyce and the BTL Employees Trust, and Eamon Courtenay appeared on behalf of the British Caribbean Bank to argue why the government, which holds the majority of shares in BTL, should be restrained from paying out any dividends to itself. Senior Counsel Denys Barrow and Senior Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo, of the Solicitor General’s office, represented the Government. The CCJ ruled that BTL could not deal with the dividends before December 14, 2012, one year after the last BTL AGM. Godfrey Smith explained to The Reporter, that Boyce had learnt of BTL’s plans for an early AGM, and they immediately applied to the CCJ for an interim relief. Smith said that they had also applied to the CCJ, on January 26, 2012, because the Belize Court of Appeal did not order consequential relief when it ruled in their favor in the first nationalization case. “The CCJ,” Smith pointed out, “felt that our appeal should be stayed, pending challenges to the second nationalization.”

Taiwan gives $200,000 for Inspiration Center
The Inspiration Center, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for Belize’s children with special needs, now has financing to begin construction, thanks to a timely $200,000 donation from the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. David C.K. Wu, presented the cheque to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow on Tuesday, October 2. The Embassy has pledged twice this amount to the project, but this first disbursement will help construction get underway at the site at Mile 1.5 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. Both Mrs. Barrow and CARE-Belize Director Evan Cowo, whose agency will manage the center, thanked Ambassador Wu for his government’s splendid support to this project and to Belize. The ROC’s pledged $400,000 and the proceeds of the Inspiration Telethon have made it possible for the project to begin immediately. Mrs. Barrow and Mr. Cowo have signed a letter of intent awarding the construction contract for the Center to Usher Construction Company. The contractor, Robert Usher, estimates that the center can be completed in about a year at a cost of $1.8 million. The Special Envoy’s office also thanks those who contributed to the Inspiration Center, since their support, however small, will directly enhance the life of children with disabilities in Belize.

Belize plans to cut oil imports by half by 2020
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities has announced its strategic five-year plan to make Belize completely energy-independent and to transform the country into a low-carbon economy by 2033. The Ministry’s medium-range plan, unveiled at a conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel last Thursday, is for Belize to become a net exporter of electricity by 2020, and a net exporter of bio-fuels by 2033. To ensure Belize’s smooth transition into a low-carbon environment, the ministry aims to improve energy efficiency and conservation across all sectors, triple the amount of modern energy carriers derived from waste material, and reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels by 50 per cent during the next eight years. Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Science and Technology, disclosed that the Ministry is managing two sustainable energy projects: one in Flowers Bank Village in the Belize District, where cohune oil is being tested as a bio-fuel. The other project is to enhance energy efficiency in buildings in Belize. This is to be accomplished through a US$1.2 million grant provided to Belize by Japan. Consultants are expected to arrive in Belize later year to begin work on this project. Since March this year, the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities has taken oversight of electricity and energy, including solar energy, gas, geology and petroleum research and development, public utilities and the Public Utilities Commission, among other duties. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who is Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, Senator Joy Grant and Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber attended this benchmark meeting.


A Bar Birthday Challenge: Cheap, Fun and New
When you've lived on this island as long as I have ( it's only been 6 years but I like to start my posts out dramatically like that), you can fall into a bit of a rut. Always eating the same thing, at the same places, going to the same stores and bars...time to find something new. Let's change things up. Plus, it was Bonnie's birthday. (That is Bonnie below posing yesterday with the very cute Rudy of Wahoo's Lounge.) New. Cheap. Fun. Open in October. It's a tall order. But...after extensive plotting and planning, the afternoon was a success. We located two bars that we hadn't been to before, met new, very friendly bar owners, got caught in some seriously heavy rain and celebrated Bonnie's birthday with many (perhaps one too many) Belikins. And (I think) found a new favorite bar for my 2012 Best Bars on the Island list. (For 2011's winners see this post). Here is where we started. A VERY cool spot on the backside of the island. If you are heading north from town, it is the 3rd...or 4th left. You will see the sign. I am now in love with this spot. We met the owner, Luce...Lou...Lucito.. GREAT guy who has lived his whole life on the island.

Effects of Tropical Climate
If you are moving to Belize, effects of tropical climate is something to consider, I say this partly because because of things like hurricane and rainy season in Belize. The rain was so heavy last night that Eileen said they closed DandE’s and she left her bike in town and cabbed home. Leisa texted and said Cowboy Doug had emptied a total of 4.5 inches from the Grand Caribe rain gauge this morning. That seemed like a lot but after my bike ride I was not surprised at the number. I got my cardio up in a not so fun way with several giant puddles while riding to the pool. I could feel my body tense and my heart rate go up as I was driving through hoping I would not hit big rock or suddenly sink in a pot hole. I never had to think about that kind of thing when I was living in downtown Toronto. Even though my San Pedro weather related bike riding issues are not something I would put on my favorites list, I would still take that over shoveling snow any day. My second example of the effects of tropical climate comes in the form of our washing machine which recently started leaking. My first thought was a hose had come loose but upon close inspection tacoboy found that part of the bottom was rusting out and hole underneath were what was causing the machine to leak. I happened to be talking to Tim to arrange when they could show the house to a client and he said that I should pick up some dual epoxy and would have Heraldo come over after the showing to fix the washer for us. In addition to the epoxy Tim had Heraldo use a fiberglass patch to make it stronger and last longer. We all have our fingers crossed that our temporary fix will last a while, it looks pretty sturdy.

Why I want to experience the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice at Chaa Creek
I want to be a part of the New Years Eve celebration in Belize that is once in 52,000 years in the year of 2012. I want to experience the reflection of the end of the cosmic circle and celebration of a new beginning in this historical Winter Solstice. I want to discover the artifacts of this fascinating place and be a part of this Maya culture celebration. I want to see the pyramid of Xumantunich and the sacred caves of Actun Tunichi Muknal, and the Royal Palace of Cahal Pech. I want to be a part of this reflection of time. It would be amazing to be in the heartland of the Maya during this time of completion of the great cycle of the 13th B’ak’tum and celebration of the new age.

Who invited the Sandflies to our party??
And they are here … what you might ask … the Sandflies!! As October the 1st hit (the normal time of the year for these pesky creatures to appear) these tiny little irritants appeared here in Caye Caulker, and probably the rest of Belize too!! Sandflies, sandflies, sand gnat or no-see-um/ noseeum – they are all the same, a tiny midge. No bigger than a pin head they almost seem like flying dust but their bite is more ferocious than that of a mosquito! They live in the sand and therefore they are attracted to white and light and therefore anybody with pale skin (and particularly those who are new to these parts like tourists) beware! Red itchy bumps appear that may well turn into a rash for those who have not had the fortune to bump into these creatures before – for us locals we are still left with an intense itching sensation without any marks. Neither scenario is pleasant! The only prevention (and it is indeed 100% effective and indeed environmentally friendly) is baby oil. Agreed you lube your body up sufficiently enough that you look like you want to enter a ‘strong man’ competition and indeed you may slide off any seat you may choose to sit upon, however, those suckers wings just clog up in the oil and they die a pleasant death!! This period and their time with us, in our experience is short lived – the higher winds that come to us at the end of October flush their presence out here on the island entirely – for this we are blessed and therefore we will bide our time and baby oil ourselves up each day with much humor. In the meantime, think of us and our little critters and say a tiny little prayer that they are gone as quick as they came!!

Successful Live Twitter Chat From Belize
On October 2, 2012, the Belize Tourism Board held a live twitter chat under the hashtag #WhereisBZE. The purpose of the live chat was to promote Belize to the world. The 1 hour chat was a success with an approximate “reach” of 890,125 Followers. iBelmopan was part of the educative chat group and we are proud to say that Belize is stepping up its game in the travelling industry. BELIZE’s “IMPRESSION” in the TWITTER world and online has amplified as a result of a successful one-hour LIVE CHAT, organized by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) entitled “Where in the World is Belize!” This LIVE CHAT held Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012, was successful in promoting Belize as one of the ultimate vacation destinations. With an approximate “REACH” of 890,125 Followers, (measured as new IMPRESSIONS) under the hash tag #WhereisBZE, @BelizeVacation, it engaged new and existing Followers along with Twitter-savvy Industry Partners in a question and answer chat “ABOUT BELIZE”. BTB’s main focus for this LIVE CHAT was to increase the awareness of Belize’s natural wonders, diversity, cuisines and historic legacy to a wide travelling online audience that are eager to explore the beauty of ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret’. With close to 1 million new Impressions during the CHAT, this initiative was a HUGE Breakthrough for Belize in its innovative online marketing ventures! TWITTER has evolved into a top business/product-to-consumer metric medium for theaccuracy in online initiatives’ effective “Reach” and “Impression” on target audiences. The BTB recorded a total of 810 TWEETS (posts) under the hashtag #WhereisBZE, at the conclusion of this LIVE CHAT. A total of 95,188 Followers tuned in using #WhereisBZE to participate, bringing the ending metrics of Impressions to 890,125, some who are still trending the hashtag!

10 Most Common Ingredients Used In Belizean Food
It is not a mystery that Belizeans are excellent cooks – both male and females. Even though I am a male, I can cook from well prepared pastas to the most iconic Belizean dish – the Rice and Beans. Talk about being multi-talented! I am obsessed with the kitchen in so many ways that I always keep it stacked with a variety of ingredients. And when I am ready, I cook something for both my wife and I; who needs restaurants anyway. Don’t even ask how she thanks me later– kisses here, kisses there. O’ how I love cooking! But what makes us excellent chefs? It could be that we have inherited these abilities from our ancestors. What do you think? I don’t even know my ancestors so I can jump to that conclusion. How about you?

International Sources

TSA to Deploy Marijuana-Detecting Body Scanners
These new “laser” body scanners, about to be deployed by the TSA, are capable of detecting every trace of any substance on your body down to a molecular level. While the TSA claims that the purpose is to search for explosives, they are also capable of tracing the level of adrenaline in the body. The machines will also be capable of detecting pieces marijuana within the body or on clothes and skin. “Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away,” reports Gizmodo.

Fake Antivirus Ringleader Must Pay $163 Million
According to the FTC, Kristy Ross, together with defendants Sam Jain, Daniel Sundin, Marc D'Souza, and James Reno, served as officers and directors of two businesses: Belize-based Innovative Marketing, Inc. (IMI), and a subsidiary, Cincinnati-based ByteHosting Internet Services. The businesses were used "to conduct a massive 'scareware' scheme that marketed a variety of computer security software via deceptive advertising."

Double dipping Belize, Ecuador and Cote d'lvoire
Sovereign Bond Defaults since 1997

Grace acquires minority stake in GraceKennedy Belize
The GraceKennedy Group has acquired the 33.3 per cent interest of the minority shareholder in GraceKennedy Belize, effective September 28. This gives the Jamaican conglomerate outright ownership of the Central American outfit. GraceKennedy’s operation in Belize started 30 years ago, and was the result of a collaboration between the company and its former chairman A. Rafael Diaz and the Espat family in Belize. It was led by well-known Belize businessman Roberto Espat, Snr. Espat Snr., Roberto Espat Jnr. and Rosemarie Espat have been active board members of GK Belize since January 1982. GraceKennedy has been the majority shareholder and business operator since the inception of GK Belize. However, Espat recently decided to sell his minority stake in the company and in keeping with the shareholders’ agreement his shares were offered to GraceKennedy. CEO of GK Foods, Michael Ranglin reiterated GK Belize’s commitment to its customers and consumers. “We will continue to be the company that is known and loved in Belize for its quality offerings. It is our intent to grow the business even more significantly there and we look forward to doing that in our new capacity as full owners,” he said.

Florida Crystals subsidiary acquires majority interest in Belize Sugar Industries
American Sugar Refining has become the majority shareholder of Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. American Sugar is a subsidiary of West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals Corp. and Belle Glade-based Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. “The BSI acquisition presented an opportunity to expand our sugar business by acquiring a majority interest in a key supplier of raw and direct consumption sugars to our refineries,” American Sugar Co-President Luis Fernandez said in a statement. “We plan to invest in the company and utilize our employees’ depth of sugar expertise to expand BSI’s operations and efficiencies in order to increase supplies of raw sugar and value-added fair trade and specialty sugars to our operations to meet consumer demand.” BSI owns the only sugar mill in Belize, which crushed more than 1 million tons of sugar cane and produced 114,000 tons of sugar in its most recent crop, according to a news release. The company directly employs nearly 500 people and farms 4,000 acres of cane. All of the farms qualify for the fair trade certification, which provides additional compensation to local farmers and helps foster sustainable businesses and communities. The company and its independent farmers are the largest employers in Belize.

Impact of climate change on Caribbean stressed at UN
Member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are becoming increasingly concerned about the negative impact of climate change on the vulnerable countries of the region, with Grenada, Barbados, Dominica and Belize urging the United Nations (UN) to move swiftly toward finalizing a new binding climate treaty. Grenada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dessima Williams urged the global body to move toward finalizing a new legally binding agreement by 2015. “Without a legally binding climate regime to uphold environmental integrity, Caribbean and other small island states could lose the opportunity for achieving sustainability soon, and some could even disappear,” Williams said on Monday in New York. “We see the upcoming COP 18 in Doha, Qatar as an opportunity to move decisively away from this scenario.” Barbados Foreign Minister Senator Maxine McClean said there was “no greater threat” to the survival and viability of her country and other small island states than “potentially catastrophic” climate change.

American company acquires majority interest in Belize sugar supplier
American Sugar Refining, the world's largest sugar refining company, has become the majority shareholder of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), the chief supplier of Fair Trade-certified sugar globally. American Sugar acquired a majority of BSI, while the company's previous shareholders, including BSI Employee Holdings Limited, continue to hold the remaining shares. "The BSI acquisition presented an opportunity to expand our sugar business by acquiring a majority interest in a key supplier of raw and direct consumption sugars to our refineries," said Luis Fernandez, co-president of American Sugar. "We plan to invest in the company and utilize our employees' depth of sugar expertise to expand BSI's operations and efficiencies in order to increase supplies of raw sugar and value-added Fair Trade and specialty sugars to our operations to meet consumer demand." BSI owns the only sugar mill in Belize, which crushed more than a million tons of sugar cane and produced 114,000 tons of sugar in its most recent crop. The company directly employs nearly 500 people and farms 4,000 acres of cane. BSI is a vital member of the local economy, as it also processes the cane of 6,000 independent growers, who farm roughly 55,000 acres. All of the farms qualify for the Fair Trade certification, which provides additional compensation to local farmers and helps foster sustainable businesses and communities. BSI and its independent farmers are the largest employers in Belize.

Trip planning for Belize & Tikal
I'm planning to a trip to Belize & Guatemala (12 days total) in a few weeks, and have a few questions: 1. Planning on about 4 days in/around San Ignacio. I was looking at various jungle lodges, trying to stay around $50/night for a double with bath. I came across Cohune Palms website last month, but now it won't connect. Does anyone know if they are still in operation? Looking for something laid back with river access. Plan on seeing a few local ruins, doing ATM tour, maybe a little tubing, and otherwise kicking back in a hammock with a Belekin or rum drink. Any other lodges in my price range that I should consider? (Looked at Trek Stop and Parrot Nest.)

LibriVox - acoustical liberation of books in the public domain
Great resource for those that like to listen to great books: "...LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. There are several options for listening. The first step is to get the mp3 or ogg files into your own computer:..."

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