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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

ACES welcomes Halloween 2012 with their annual Halloween Fair
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held its annual Halloween fair on Friday October 19th at the Central Park. It was a not-so-scary Halloween event for the most part, as enthusiastic and expressive children dressed as witches, and princesses, spotted eagle ray and even their favorite pop stars instead of scary monsters and ghouls. Kids were encouraged to dress in their costumes with a chance to win fun prizes for the funniest, most original and the cutest costume. Students and patrons got a chance to enjoy fun games such as the 'pitch-till-you-win' - which is a very interesting game requiring that you knock down six of ten cans to win a prize. There was also the ring toss, the duck pond, wheel of fortune and the ever popular Tombola. Teacher Phillip raised the bar by creating his haunted house under the palapa, complete with coffin, corpse, zombies, tombstones and skeletons crawling out of the sand.

Boca del Rio Park Palapa Burned Down
San Pedro police were notified about a fire in progress at the Boca del Rio Park on Wednesday morning, October 17th. They notified the San Pedro Fire Department at 12:10am, who quickly responded to the scene. According to Chief Fire Fighter at the San Pedro Fire Department, Mr. Ernest Dominguez, when fire personnel arrived at the scene the palapa was engulfed in flames and had burned half way. Quick response allowed the fire fighters to extinguish the flames. No one at the scene was able to provide any information as to what happened to cause the fire. Dominguez stated that there were neither electrical wires nor any ignition source in or around the immediate area of the palapa. As such, it is apparent that the fire was caused by some other source. However, with the lack of eye-witnesses, the investigation has to come to a halt.

Ambergris Today

Road to Recovery for Addicts at House of Hope
San Pedro Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI) is an organization here on the island working arduously to help those with a drug and alcohol addiction to recover from their addictions and become better productive citizens. One of the most recent projects that the group has carried out is picking up of loafers (most with an alcohol addiction) who are in public places. SPADAI along with the San Pedro Police and Councilor Wally Nu�ez are doing this to clean up the island for the betterment of the community and to help these people with addictions. Currently SPADAI takes these men/women with addictions and sends them to either to Remar in Belize City or to rehab center in Mexico called Milagro. Although there are traditional support groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous here on the island there is no rehabilitation center for them to keep these people here and offer support and help them to recover from their addiction.

Belizean Businesses Start Rejecting US Currency
Belize's currency is pegged at $2Bz for $1US. Using American currency in Belize has never been an issue as most establishments accept the currency for payment. But until just recently island folk have started complaining that most, if not all businesses, are giving a hard time accepting US currency. Some business have put up signs that read, "Due to new bank rules we are not accepting any US bills that are torn, old or have any markings on it". And when it comes to bank deposits and credit card payments, customers have been getting frustrated when most US bills have been rejected. Ambergris Today spoke with a representative of the Central Bank of Belize who stated that they have not issued any rules to any banks stating that they are not accepting the US Currency but that it might be that each bank has set up their own policies and standards in regards to the matter.

Misc Belizean Sources

Free speech by GMike
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Plus tv featured an interesting expos� about the citrus industry of Belize. Citrus is one of Belize's major money earners, right up there with sugar, fisheries and tourism. The problem is that as is the case with tourism and sugar, the citrus company is in danger of falling under foreign ownership and control. Louis Wade and Patrick Andrews, the two journalists who host the show, gave some revealing statistics and damning evidence of certain questionable goings-on within the citrus industry. During the Monday broadcast, Mr. Wade read a text whereas someone informed him that a window in his car had been smashed. Of course, there are several scenarios that could explain what happened. A mischievous child might have thrown a rock, someone wanted to burglarize the car or there was someone upset with the family about a totally unrelated matter. There is however, the distinct possibility that this was an attempt to send a message to Mr. Wade. "Back off or face the consequences." In a television interview later that evening, Wade's wife informed that she did not plan to even file a police report and was not paying the incident much mind. Not a wise decision.

Belize bus transport operators have been in negotiations with government regarding rates. They are asking for $0.16/mile, while government has apparently agreed on a $0.10/mile across the board rate. But the bus owners are not only talking about increase in rates�.they are also requesting duty-exemption on the fuel. Bus transport is of great importance to Belizeans, as most Belizeans travel to and from work by bus�.and the cost of transportation is now taking up to 20% of a semi-skilled workers salary. Belize bus transportation is currently of two categories�.the regular service, which stops at any point to pick up and drop off passengers�and the express service , which is a non-stop service in between the major transportation hubs. These different services do not currently factor in QUALITY of service....nor difficulty of traversing terrain. The express service is already charging BZ$0.12/mile�.and there is no consumer tax on bus transportation. The buses are mostly over 20 years old, and regularly experience break downs. In Mexico and Guatemala�.the bus transport system has been developed along the lines of quality of service�.also taking into consideration the terrain of the various routes.

VIDEO: Caribbean Reef Sharks, Blue Hole, Belize

Good news/bad news for ocean miracles
One of the wonders of the oceans is the reef off Southern Belize called the Gladden Spit. Literally millions of cubera snappers, mutton snappers and dogtooth snappers converge to lay their trillions and trillions of eggs. It could forever be one of the greatest tourist attractions for Belize and it is incredibly important for these species that the Gladden Spit is protected. Very sadly the OceanElders were told that the Government is allowing fishing boats to wade in and this miracle of nature could get wiped out, leaving Belize and the world poorer for it. The Grand Cayman Islands are an example of the opposite kind of behaviour. Millions of groupers go there to spawn in the winter and the whole ocean is full of them. The Government have just voted in a perpetual ban on fishing them, which will not only benefit the Caymans, but the countries around them. They deserve full praise for their move.

VIDEO: Diving Belize with Mischa and Maria- Victoria Canyons
Sponsored Lionfish Awareness Dive, The Belize Barrier Reef, San Pedro Ambergris Caye

VIDEO: Lamanai Belize, High Temple, U.S. Military Helicoptors?
Eco Tour day trip from San Pedro to Lamanai...surpriseingly and unexpected guest from the sky. We usually see Dragonflys and Howler Monkeys from here, today was a first for aircraft. Tour Operator, Seaduced by Belize, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Belize Zoo Improves Accessibility
The Belize Zoo is making their walkways more accessible. They are calling it the SHED project, meaning Stroller-Handicap-Elderly-Disabled, and they plan to be done on December 12th. They had their SHED consultant, Jerome Flores, out to experience the progress. Good job, TBZ! "The contrast between the loose-gravel pathway and the SHED upgrade, is truly something to applaud. No longer will guests who are not as mobile as some of us, be left out from a fun zoo visit. There is still much to do, but even with our recent rainy spells, good progress is being made. At this time, the SHED pathway skirts around the jaguar area of the zoo. This is because work is currently going on there to provide Black Jaguar Lucky Boy with his new home."

Photography Workshop pictures
The Benque House of Culture is doing a digital photography workshop this week. Here are pictures from the first night. "Art & Culture Exchange Argentina & Belize, through Proyecto Cruz Del Sur, NICH, CACHE, SISE HOC, Benque HOC & Mount Carmel High SChool, photography session # 1 manual mounting of images, and history of pop art a highly interactive session, the fusion and creativity was highlighted"

SHJC Self Defense Class
Sacred Heart Junior College had Karma Senge, from Primal Survival, come in to teach the basics of self defense. This was the first of 3 sessions that he'll be teaching at SHJC. The next are next week Wednesday and Friday. Here's a great video from the event:

Pumpkin Pie
I decided to use the stewed pumpkin from the prior video to make a delicious pie. Using the sweet pie dough as an outer shell, I put the flesh of the pumpkin as the filling. This pie is sweet and the crust is flaky.

What to expect from Halloween on Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker with it's multi cultural population holds this tradition high and for those of us that have been around for years, it is one that we cherish. This weekend (on Saturday 27th October) the 'adult' part of halloween - the costume party, will be held � commencing at 88 West with their Halloween Monster Bash, following on to the Lazy Lizard at the Split and then last but not least the Oceanside till 4am!! Prizes galore will be given out and much will be had to drink during this process. And the best thing is that Halloween is traditionally rained out but this year's forecast is for glorious weather under the prospect of a full moon - too much fun!! For those of you who do not live in a community like Caye Caulker it would be hard to imagine the enjoyment of this spectacle. The whole island becomes alive - at least 250 people that we all know and love will make an enormous effort to disguise themselves under their costume. With their costume persons takes on a new identity or character and this always proves absolutely hilarious!! Can you imagine your local postman or bank clerk coming at you as Frankenstein or similar???? I can guarantee you that a costume to the party is not a pre-requisite as 50% will not dress up but just come along to enjoy the fun - this is no problem as, in my experience, there is always enough of those who have made the effort to go around. This night is like no other and with very little tourists on the island, the local contingent is always in full force and ready to enjoy Halloween. The kids version or the 'trick or treat' element of Halloween will always be observed the traditional 31st October - nice and early as it is a school night!! So if you are on or near Caye Caulker, come join us - you will not be disappointed!! Please understand that we are almost at the end of high season, festivities and a reason to celebrate has been low on our agenda but now high season is around the corner. This twinned with a Belizean's natural flair for the creative.

Happy to Be Ants Free!
A couple months ago I moved in to my beautiful dream home and it was a very special day for me; I finally had a place of my own to share rich moments with my beautiful wife. I am not here to talk about that though, but about something that has been bothering me since I moved into my new house -- "Ants Infestation". Since my house is still in construction I find a lot of little unwelcome creatures crawling around the house. I guess they make it through the cracks of the house. At first I thought my major problem was going to be roaches since my yard is rich in grass, but that wasn't the case here. Instead a huge colony of ants made their way in and invaded my territory. Ants have literately overpowered my land and have managed to build at least one ants castle every 10 cubic feet. So my yard is currently an ants mine, so to speak. If you manage to walk around my yard without getting an ant bite then consider yourself lucky partner; or your blood just taste awfully bitter, they don't like that. I have had huge headaches lately because every-time I reach home from work, I see a pack of ants marching with leftover food in and out of my house. So I decided to go on-line and search for a solution. While searching on Google I saw small little newly-born ants crawling inside my laptop keyboard and that is when...

Channel 7

Guatemalans Detained After Conducting Strange Survey In Belize
Very little is known tonight about a group of Guatemalans who are being held by police after undertaking what authorities consider a suspicious survey. Only sketchy details are known, but earlier this week the Immigration Department picked up the group in southern Belize - and - according to our sources, briefly considered charging them for espionage activities. But then they were taken into the custody of police - which is where they remain tonight. We asked the Minister of National Security about the curious case today:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "Yes we are aware of some Guatemalans being held. I am not do sure if it is accurate to say they were doing a mapping exercise but they were certainly doing some sort of survey in the area questioning people and asking various questions of the residence in that area. They were detained, they were questioned, they were found to be legal in the country with proper permits and it is still under investigation."

Police Have No Leads, No Motive In Schakron Murder
Belize City is still recovering from yesterday's stunning murder of 51 year old businessman Alfred Schakron. It happened on Coney Drive in broad daylight - and investigators say the fatal shots were fired by men who drove a 2003 Ford Escape. Eyewitnesses told 7news that Schakron and the men appeared to be having an argument in Arabic before the shooting. But, that is about all that is known tonight. There is no known motive, no suspects and no trace of the vehicle. The officer commanding Eastern Division Elodio Aragon today told the media they have set up a special multi-department team to investigate. We also spoke with the Minister of National Security who underscored what a ministry press release said yesterday: that the execution of two Lebanese descent men in 24 hours is not a part of the current crime wave: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "It doesn't appear to follow the pattern of crime that we have been experiencing over the last few months and that this appears to be an act totally out of the norm in terms of the crime that we've been seeing recently and that it certainly appears to us an orchestrated hit against both business persons and we are looking into it to see the possibility of them being connected."

Why Does US Want Khaled El Turk?
And lurking in the background of all this Lebanese community turmoil is another Lebanese name, Khaled El Turk. He was picked up last week by the ADU and is being held at the Hattieville prison - reportedly for the possession of a single round of ammunition. Reports to us say that he is wanted by US authorities and we asked the police minister about his detention today:... Jules Vasquez "Khalid El Turk, this is a man who was detained supposedly with one round of ammunition. His people say he had no such round. The ADU detained him, he is now at Hattieville. He is Lebanese extraction and I understand United States is interested in this person." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "Yes and we are currently awaiting the submissions and to see what will be done with him. It is indeed my understanding that there is an interest in having him extradited to the US."

Sandy Swamped Jamaica
Hurricane Sandy started to take shape as a tropical storm off the coast of Nicaragua early this week and tonight, she is a powerful Category 2 storm doing damage in the Bahamas. The storm has claimed at least two lives in the Caribbean as she grazed past Haiti, and ploughed through Jamaica, Cuba and now the Bahamas. In Jamaica, Sandy dumped heavy rains, downed power lines, and forced hundreds to seek emergency shelter. Jamaica's power company reports that 70 per cent of its customers were without power. Police ordered a 48-hour curfew to deter looters. A 74-year-old person was reportedly killed when a boulder rolled onto his house.

Indian Interns Pull Disappearing Act
Tonight, bosses at the Archives and Records Service in Belmopan are scratching their head after three Indian University students who came to Belize for an internship have disappeared without a trace. Amandeep Singh Brar, Parminder Singh and Gurmukh Singh arrived in Belize on Sunday afternoon for a one-week internship at the Archives Department. They were supposedly transfer students from the Archives and Information Studies programme at the Dr. Hari Singh Gour University in India. A person identifying himself as the Director of International Training had made the arrangements for them. It seemed legit - until they showed up for work on Monday and appeared clueless. Now, usually internships are for those already in a field of study, but these students told the folks at Archives that they were just beginning their studies.

What About Boco?
Two weeks ago we asked Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington about Kevin Kelly known as Boco-T. He was killed in police custody in May of 2012, but his family has not gotten any compassionate grant from the government. That is contrasted with the treatment afforded to the family of Guatemalan Francisco Quinn Yat. He was killed in Belize by a BDF soldier 20 days ago. Government has said it is putting ten thousand US dollars to the OAS Peace Fund for disbursement to his family. Foreign Minister Elrington told us that the consequence of not giving a grant to Boco-T's family is far less grave than not giving the Guatemalan family. Boco-T's family reached out to us to comment on that. They told us that no one has even contacted them to update them on the investigation - if there is one:.. Lorna Wade - Common Law Wife of Deceased "Up to yet his mother and I don't hear anything. No police, no one contact us. We want to do a lawsuit, but we can't because nobody gives us any kind of information. The most we hear is that they were on interdiction but after that we didn't hear anything more."

Is Diplomacy Turning the BDF Into Toy Soldiers?
The diplomatic crisis between Belize and Guatemala - if there ever was one - has been defused. Relations appear to be just about back to normal after a meeting in Guatemala City on Monday. Unofficial information from inside those meetings is that privately Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros had to back track on inflammatory remarks he had made in early October. But while relations are back to normal - we're not sure we can say the same for the BDF's rules of engagement along the Western border. The Prensa Libre reports that coming out of Monday's meeting in Guatemala, the Government of Belize has decided that the BDF will only use rubber bullets and stun-guns to prevent further deaths. That sounds to some like an emasculation of the armed forces in an area of Belizean territory known to be hostile. We asked the National Security Minister about it:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "What we have been doing at this time is a review of the terms of engagement as it were and the instructions that our BDF has when they go out there with respect to when they confront or engage persons in the area. We are currently reviewing that and very shortly we will finalize a new protocol that hopefully can resolve or can help us to avoid the fatalities that have been occurring in the area. Certainly the BDF will continue to carry live rounds but I would want to say that perhaps in addition to carrying live rounds they may also carry some non-lethal weapons. But the thought of BDF not taking lethal weapons is not under consideration. But we may add non-lethal weapons so that they may have other options when they are confronted."

BTL/BEL Nationalizations Exhaust Court Of Appeals
For the past 3 weeks, the October Session of the Court of Appeal has been overrun with cases involving the BEL and BTL acquisitions of 2011. But, the BEL/BTL case is not the only appeal which was put on the schedule and the court has had to make major adjustments to allow all those appeals to be fully heard, which has caused them to become over-worked. Today, they still had to hear 2 applications from both the Government of Belize and Dean Boyce, Trustee of the Employees Trust, both parties in the BTL acquisition appeal. These applications were made to allow GOB to cross-examine Dean Boyce and the Employees Trust to cross-examine Joseph Waight, the Financial Secretary, in relation to the GOB's ability to pay an award of damages in the event the court rules against them. Those applications were eventually withdrawn, which forced to court to waste an afternoon with a hearing which both sides told us was still important to them. Here's how they explained it:

Evening Shooting In City
A man was shot this evening in the city - but fortunately he was not seriously injured. It happened at ten minutes to five on Rivero Street which is near to Neal's Pen Road. According to reports, Anthony Scott was shot to the foot near the intersection with Barnett Street. He was shot as he stood near the drain where police found his slippers. Residents say they heard three shots. He was taken to the hospital before the ambulance arrived and is in a stable condition. Police have no suspects at this time.

Guatemalan Identity Thief "Guilty!"
You've heard a lot about Guatemala on the news tonight - and there's one more, this time some court news. 61 year-old Carlos Perez, a Guatemalan businessman residing on Handyside Street is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate Court for a slew of immigration offences. According to Immigration Officials, Perez went to the Belize City Immigration Department yesterday and tried to renew a Belizean passport, which he was using. The problem is that passport he was claiming as his belongs to Belizean Naim Matar, who resides in Chicago. The authorities became suspicious and as a result, they conducted an investigation which revealed that there were some discrepancies with his application form for renewal. They discovered that the real Matar had 3 siblings but Perez, on his form, declared that he had no brothers or sisters. When he did not return for the passport, the authorities realized that he might flee the country, and as result, they alerted the officials at the northern and western border.

Reynolds Riding Through Hood With Revolver
22 year-old Eric Reynolds is spending the first night of a 5 year sentence after he was convicted of firearm offences in Magistrates Court today. According to police, on April 12, they were patrolling on Administration Drive, when they spotted Reynolds riding a bicycle. They pursued and detained him, and found a .38 Revolver, loaded with five rounds of ammunition. Police charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. In court, Reynolds denied that he had the firearm and ammunition on him. He said that he sped away from the vehicle, because he had weed on him. Today, Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that Reynolds was guilty of the offence, and as a result, he was sentenced to 5 years for each count, which are to run concurrently. As a result, he will only spend a total of 5 years in prison.

St. Joseph's Primarys Art Is World Class
Art students of St Joseph primary school made their school proud after competing in the Forty third annual world school children's art exhibition of the Republic of China. Two of the school's students both received a bronze medal for their artwork. It is the school's second time competing in the art exhibition with over 30 thousand other students. An award ceremony was held at their school to honor their hard work and 7news was there. Glorisilla Torres - School Principal "The exhibition is done every year internationally and this is our second year that we have won. Last year we won one bronze medal. This year we won two out of 30,000 entries around the world. We have a variety of expressive arts in our school. We have a total of about 12 - 13 students, now we are introducing music into the expressive art program. The art is a program that we have free of cost in the evenings and we have a very dedicated volunteer, she has the passion and the love for art. We worked through summer and over the Easter to have our pieces together."

Tonight's profile is about BDF Soldier, Eric Neal, who grew up as a member of a big family on the south side of Belize City. He learned very quickly in life that his complexion and appearance was a source of ridicule in his social circles. He tells the profile how five great Belizean men played a role in his securing a post which allowed him to meet and work with one of these people. Here's his explanation of how he overcame his obstacles:

Saldivar Spruces Up Police Barracks
Police Minister John Saldivar has been much in the news tonight - and that's because there are so many security issues. But, the reason we got to interview him in the first place is because Saldivar wanted to show off the work the ministry and the police are doing to refurbish the police barracks at the Queen Street station. That is the Rafael Fonseca Barracks named after the former Financial Secretary - father of Ralph Fonseca. It was opened probably two decades ago - and until recently - it had looked like it! But now - with the ministry footing the bill, special constables providing the labour and a Superintendent overseeing the work - the third floor of the barracks is almost ready for use. It is needed with the advent of 12 hour shifts at the Patrol Branch - and should have been in place when those shits started in August. But as the officer commanding explained, everything in due time:.. ACP Elodio Aragon - Officer Commanding Eastern Division "Presently we are renovating 10 of our rooms here at the Ralph Fonseca building behind Queen street and these rooms will be retrofitted to accommodate at least 20 officers for now. That is already in the phase as you have seen and we look to complete this by the end of this month."

Every Ribbon Tells A Story
Tomorrow night cancer survivors along with family, friends and members of their community will join forces in a candlelight vigil and prayer service - to show their support to those living with cancer. Friday night event is just one in a series of events to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And while every ribbon tells a story, some of those stories will be told tomorrow night. Today we caught up with Clinical Director of the Cancer Society, Ivorine Bulwer who told us more about tomorrow's program. Ivorine Bulwer, Clinical Director, Cancer Society "Tomorrow we will be having a candle light vigil. This vigil has to do with a support for persons who have survived cancer - persons who are considered a self-cancer fighter - persons who consider themselves cancer warrior. Also this candle light vigil is a vigil and a prayer service and as I have said earlier for those who are survivors of cancer; those who are experiencing chronic pain and those who are experiencing chronic diseases." "Chronic pain; you are talking about arthritis, chronic pain from injuries. Chronic diseases we are looking at diabetes, hypertension, the cardiac cases cancer including."

Channel 5

3 Indian nationals disappear and leave hefty bill at hotel. Human trafficking?
Three Indian students have managed to con the Belize Archives and Records Service with a plan that is as simple as ABC. The trio applied for an exchange program with the department and arrived in Belize on Sunday. They checked into a Belmopan Hotel and reported to work on Tuesday, but by the afternoon, they [...]

Police say full investigations into murder of Lebanese businessmen
The ruthless executions of businessmen Abdul Aziz Mohammed Dib and Alfred Schakron in Belize City on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning have rocked the Lebanese community across the country. Both men were victims of what appear to be carefully orchestrated hits. Forty year old Abdul Dib was shot multiple times inside King Kabab Restaurant whilst [...]

Anthony Scott shot near City Hotspot
There was a shooting just before five this evening in the south side of Belize City. Another youth has fallen victim to the gun violence. Details are still coming in, but News Five understands that twenty-three year old Anthony Scott was shot three times near the corner of Barnett and Rivero Streets located in close [...]

Guatemalan Gallup Pollsters detained for posing as tourists
A group of Guatemalan nationals who entered Belize over the weekend as tourists were detained by police for suspicious activities. The group was reportedly conducting polls for the international Gallup agency, that provides data-driven news based on U.S. and world polls as well as daily tracking and public opinion research. They caught the attention of [...]

Minors beat and kill 63 year old in Placencia
A group of minors, some of whom are students, is in police custody tonight following the death of a sixty-three year old Belize City resident employed as a marine and industrial engineer in Placencia. Roy "Chief" Waight was brutally beaten at his work site at the Sustainable Tourism Project last Saturday. He was transferred to [...]

A.G. Ministry gets mas tiempo to respond to Dunkeld's binders of arguments
There were two cases in the Court of Appeals today that concern the nationalization of Telemedia. In the morning session, the court heard Dunkeld International Investment Ltd versus the Attorney General. Dunkeld once controlled sixty nine percent shares of the Hayward Charitable Belize Trust in Telemedia. So when Telemedia was nationalized, Dunkeld relied on the [...]

2 applications withdrawn by both sides in Telemedia case
While tensions were high in this morning's session at the Appeals Court, it probably had to do with the fact that only one day remains for the close of the session. There was another Telemedia related matter heard in the afternoon session. The Appeals Court Justices heard two applications; from both sides of the Telemedia [...]

Nonlethal weapons and additional troops for the border
In the wake of the shooting death of Guatemalan national Francisco Quinn Yat inside the Chiquibul National Park recently, requests have been made by Guatemalan officials for members of the joint border patrol to man the border unarmed to avoid further loss of life. While Minister of National Security John Saldivar dismissed the idea of [...]

Teens busted and charged for stealing wood from a house
A thirteen year old school boy and nineteen year old Clive Geban were jointly charged with theft and handling stolen goods this morning in the Magistrate Court. Allegations are that the two stole almost two thousand dollars worth of lumber and plywood from Ewarth Sutherland. But while the older of the two pleaded guilty, he [...]

Guatemalan National steals identity of Belizean living in Chicago
There was another case of theft before the courts today; but this time it's identity theft. Sixty-one year old Carlos Mauricio Rossal Perez is a Guatemalan national from the Sapaka area, who was picked up by Immigration personnel today. In his possession were a Belizean passport, birth certificate, social security card, voter's ID, border's permit [...]

This is Belize! St. Joseph students beat 30,000 in art battle
Art students from St Joseph's Primary School have distinguished themselves in an international competition. Adrian Bernard Junior and Nigel Juarez went up against thirty thousand students; they won bronze medals in an art competition organized by the government of Taiwan. Today they both received awards from the Taiwanese Ambassador. News Five's Delahnie Bain reports.   [...]

Healthy Living coughs up details about strep throat
How do you know if your sore throat is cold or flu related or if it is a more serious throat infection? That question will be answered tonight in Healthy Living, which looks at a condition known as strep throat.   Marleni Cuellar, Reporting Most of us can identify with the pain and discomfort of [...]


Man Knocked Down And Killed By BWEL Butane Truck
Traffic was interrupted this afternoon on the Philip Goldson Highway as one man was knocked down dead near the mameyal curve. The individual, who has only been identified as Carlos of a Guatemalan Nationality, is believed to be between the ages of 28 and 30. Reports are that Carlos recently arrived in Belize and started working as a watchman for Mameyal Cool Spot three weeks ago. When we arrived at the scene the dismantled body of the deceased was observed lying face down on the right hand side of the highway. Reports are that at around 4:00pm the deceased, accompanied by another man, was pushing his bicycle heading towards Orange Walk. The duo was walking on the left hand side of the highway when they decided to cross the road. It is at that instance that Carlos was knocked down by this BWEL butane truck driven at the time by Ermelindo Mai who was traveling from Orange Walk to Corozal. We understand that Carlos and his bike were flung in the air. At the scene laid a boot worn by the deceased. Reports indicate that Carlos suffered several injuries and one of his legs was torn off. Police have detained Ermelindo Mai for questioning.

Caneros To Buy Governments Shares In BSI
Yesterday we briefed you on the meeting held between representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Oliver Barrow at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Belize City. As mentioned last night, several issues were laid on the table including the sugar concession which provides major tax breaks and exemptions as part of the sale of the Belize Sugar Industries to the American Sugar refinery. The meeting went on for approximately three hours but at the end of the day representatives of the BSCFA managed to twist the elbow of the Prime Minister, at least to a certain extent. "Ayer tuvimos esa junta con el adonde �l nos estuvo explicando en lo que aparece en el Bill a veces no es como lo estamos interpretando de que es todo tax free de que van a tener lo de ASR si no que �l nos explico de que hay ciertos par�metros de que ellos van a tener que someter su lista al ministerio de finanzas y de allí va a ver un equipo que va a estar procesando esas listas para ver si que lo que ellos est�n pidiendo es relevante para la �rea que est�n pidiendo ya sea en agricultura o partes de la fabrica para así ellos puedan determinar si todo lo que est�n pidiendo va hacer tax free o si no para lo que no sea tienen que pagar, sin embargo nos dijo que para los caneros individual no puede dar ese mismo oportunidad de tax free si no es de que tiene que ser un proceso a trav�s de la Asociación pero ya sea como en grupo que est�n pidiendo para una maquinaria o equipo que se va a necesitar para trabajar en el campo."

Over $50,000 Stolen From BWEL Corozal
policeTonight over $50,000 dollars has been reported missing from the Belize Western Energy Limited located in Ranchito Village, Corozal. According to the General Manager of BWEL, Orlando Perez, during September 2012, the external auditor for the company, Jiron Hernandez, conducted an audit for the BWEL Company countrywide. The audit proved that up north, specifically in Corozal, thousands of gallons of butane and sales were unaccounted for. On September 20th of this year, Perez received an inventory report which revealed that 5.95 gallons of butane from the Ranchito Plant was unaccounted for. But further investigations revealed that that was merely the icing on the cake because later on it was found out that some 6,994 gallons of butane had gone missing valued at a total of $27,976. Further checks on the reconciliation of sales and deposits also revealed financial discrepancies for the months of August and September 2012. According to auditor $24,598 was also unaccounted for. No arrests have been made and police investigations continue.

Crime On The Decrease In Orange Walk
Last night a community meeting was held between the Orange Walk Police Department and residents of Orange Walk at the Banquitas House of Culture. The meeting symbolizes one of the many steps the Belize Police Department is undertaking in order to sensitize the general public on several sensitive issues that continue to plague our nation. Forming part of the meeting's agenda was the crime statistics for the Orange Walk District which was presented by Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvett. Believe it or not Superintendent Myvett reported that crime in Orange Walk has seen a decrease in the past 5 years. In 2007, 1612 crimes were reported. In 2008, the number of reported cases reduced by 349 with a total of 1263. Over the years the numbers kept decreasing and so far, for 2012, the number of reported crimes stands at 579. Joseph Myvett, OC O/W Police Station "We are very much on par with last year except for minor increases especially in minor crimes. As a result of our traffic enforcement from January to September there were five traffic fatalities on our highways and equally five traffic fatalities on our highways this year. There was an increase in minor traffic offences and we believe that it is very essential that we improve our driver education as well as our traffic enforcement and by doing these things we believe that we will be able to further reduce our traffic accidents." Kevin Bernard, Mayor "Just for some clarity ask the officer in charged based on those twelve murders that have occurred and I could point out on two that have really touched the town; that of Mr Perrera and the businessman, the Hindu that was killed at Guadalupe Street. How many people have been arrested and how many have been charged in relation to these murders and how many convictions.


Alfred Schakron murdered
Less than twenty four hours after a Lebanese businessman was gunned down in cold blood, tonight the business community is mourning the loss of another of its members. Businessman Alfred Shakron was marked for death this morning on the city's north side. Love TV's Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo pick up the story on Coney Drive.

Investigations continue into Abdul Aziz' murder
Investigations continue into yesterday's broad daylight murder of businessman Abdul Aziz Mohamed Dib. Aziz was shot dead just after one o'clock yesterday afternoon inside the King Kabab Restaurant at number four Farmers Market in Belize city. According to police reports, Aziz was shot several times to the head, chest, abdomen and lower back. Police say that their initial investigation reveals that Aziz was with another man around a table when an unknown male person entered the restaurant and fired several shots fatally wounding Aziz. Police say they have retrieved a total of nine millimeter expended shells and three slugs from the scene.

Businessman held up on Neal's Pen Road
There was an armed hold up in Belize City on Tuesday afternoon. Twenty five year old Abram Dyck reported to police that he was in front of number 136 Neal's Pen Road when he was approached by two men, one of whom carried what appeared to be a nine millimeter pistol. Dyck says that the man with the fun ordered him to hand over his belongings. Fearing for his life, Dyck says that he put both of his hands up in the air and the men proceeded to search his pockets, relieving him of personal documents, a hundred dollars in cash, his cell phone and vehicle keys. Both men then rode off on separate bicycles making good their escape. Police investigations continue.

Youth beaten up for his bicycle
A nineteen year old Belize City man has reportedly been beaten up by someone who tried to steal his bicycle. Maynor Francisco Perez told police that he was walking on Wilson Street around ten fifteen yesterday morning, when as he approached the corner with Kelly Street, he was approached by a dark skim man who was riding from the opposite direction. Perez says that his assailant stopped in front of him causing him to get off his bicycle. When the thief demanded that Perez hand over his bicycle, Perez says that he refused and as a result he was beaten up. Authorities say that upon seeing the police approaching, the thief ran off onto Baymen Avenue making good his escape.

Problems brewing in the citrus industry
The opening of the processing season for citrus is about to start � but not without controversy. The Citrus Growers Association is suggesting that the factory at Pomona be opened at the end of the month; but country's largest processor, the Citrus Products of Belize Limited, is proposing that the opening be brought forward to today. That proposal to open for delivery and processing of fruit by CPBL is being supported by another group of producers known as Belize Citrus Mutual. The other group says it is tentatively accepting CPBL's first fruit price submission, subject to a review with CPBL. The Citrus Growers Association, in a press release says that it has so far only received a first fruit price submission for grapefruit, and none for orange. CGA had requested a meeting with CPBL to discuss the submission which was made on Friday; but that meeting is yet to be formalized. A meeting of the harvest committee, which is tasked with setting the schedule for the delivery of fruit to the factory which was supposed to happen today, was postponed on the instructions of the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche. The Chief Agricultural Officer is the chairman of the harvest committee. With the submission for first fruit price for grapefruit already in hand, the CGA is requesting a submission forthwith for orange along with the annual sales plan as mandated in the legally binding 2010 arbitration report, which the CGA says was sanctioned by the Citrus Control Board.

Commuters complain of inadequate bus service
For a while now the issue of public transportation has been out of the headlines. But that does not mean that everything is honky dory. Love TV's Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett have been monitoring the situation and bring you this first in a series of reports.

Poster competition opens at the House of Culture
A special exhibition is being mounted at the Belize City House of Culture on Regent Street. But the launch of the exhibit was not the only thing happening at that venue this morning. Director of the Belize Tourism Board is Laura Esquivel Frampton. The Minister of Tourism and Culture who was present for this morning's occasion, told us why he made an effort to be present. Heredia also commented on the relationship between the Tourism Industry and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. Nazeem Segura from Grace Primary School took third place in the junior division and was presented with a cheque of one thousand dollars, the same amount of which will be awarded to the school for art supplies. Second place in the Senior Division was placed by Jordanny Williams of the Belize High School and he received a cheque of one thousand five hundred dollars. BHS will also receive one thousand five hundred dollars for art supplies. Segura's and Williams' posters won from among a pool of entries in which according to FCCA representatives Ana Benitez, came from fifteen nations.

Karena Mahung gets top academic award
Former Love FM correspondent Karena Mahung has won a top regional academic award. Reports reaching the RSV News Centre indicate that Mahung topped the Environmental and Natural Resources Management Year Two group. Karena, who is the daughter of Paul and Celia Mahung, is currently pursuing a degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago.

Woman steals shampoo, pleads guilty
Fifty-four year old Jennifer Moody of Victoria Street who shoplifted a shampoo and conditioner from Bottom Dollar Store on North Front Street, pleaded guilty to theft when she appeared in court today. Because she did not have any previous conviction, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith bound her over to keep the peace for one year. If she does not keep the peace for that period of time she will have to pay a fine of $200.00 or serve two months in prison. The incident occurred on Monday, October 22. Bottom Dollar security officer Francisco Camara reported to the police that Moody was seen removing the items from a shelf in the store and she walked out of the store without paying for them. It was then Camara seized her and held her in custody until the police arrived. When asked by Chief Magistrate Smith why she stole the items, Moody said she did not have any shampoo and she did not have any money to buy it.

Man charged for smuggling marijuana into prison
Twenty-eight year old former prison officer Amir Reyes, charged with drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central Prison in a food container, was fined $10,000.00 after he was found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who imposed the fine, ordered him to pay $5,000.00 forthwith and the balance by June 30, 2013. If he defaults on payment he will serve three years. The bust occurred around 6:50 p.m. on May 7, 2012. Prison officer Derol Dougal testified that when he searched a transport bag that Reyes had, he found a food container that not only contained food but also two black plastic bags that had compressed cannabis. Police constable Mark Pascascio testified that when he weighed the cannabis it amounted to 324 grams or about a half of a pound. Reyes who worked at the orison for one year and five months, testified and said that the bag was given to him to take into prison by a man by the name of Kent whom he met at the junction of Burrell Boom Road and the Northern Highway while he was on his way to work. But Chief Magistrate Smith did not believe his story and she told him that it was pack of lies and she found him guilty.

Organic farm to be held in Punta Gorda
Plans are in place for the fourth annual sustainable harvest international organic fair in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Police officers undergo training on how to record proper statement
There have been complaints in abundance about police officers who fall short of taking a comprehensive statement from witnesses and complainants, but a two-day course that ended today is expected to enhance the skill of officers, at least those in Belize City, who must deal with that part of the job. Sergeant Martha Reese who heads the Family Violence Unit, told Love News that there are specificities being looked at in obtaining a proper statement. Fifteen officers mainly from the Patrol Branch at Eastern Division and Belize City-based branches were part of the training.

PNP wants the PM to fire Wilfred Elrington
There has been a fresh call for the removal of the minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. This time the call comes from the Toledo-based People's National Movement. In a statement issued today, the PNP says that Foreign Minister Elrington has on multiple occasions, quote, "demonstrated that he is unable to properly articulate and represent the sovereignty of our country," end of quote. PNP Leader Wil Maheia told love news this evening that he and his party are of the belief that Elrington is incapable of handling weighty matters of diplomacy. Love News pointed out to Maheia that Elrington is a senior member of Cabinet and as such a call for his removal is not something that should be taken lightly. Maheai says the time for action is now. The PNP release concludes that Belize's Foreign Minister responds from a position of subservience and reacts nervously to maneuverings of a country that has no moral grounds to its unfounded claim on our country.

The Bible in Belize Kriol
In 2011 the New Testament was translated into Kriol. That publication is still at the publishers, but as an addendum to that, Kriol aficionados will take pride in knowing that the New Testament will also be available in dramatized audio CD's and on the internet. It comes through an effort of the Belize Kriol Council and Primary Translator in the project, Yvette Herrera, told Love News that it was a time-consuming period. Nicholas Okereke is from the organization called Faith Cometh by Hearing, which is the organization that is funding the project. The translation comes at a cost of fifty thousand dollars, all funded by Faith Cometh by Hearing.

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UNO introduces its brand to Belize
Over the past months the Belizean Community may have noticed that the former Texaco gas stations have now gotten a new image and a new name. That new name is UNO and this morning, the company launched its new service at the UNO Gas Station situated beside A&R on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City. During a brief ceremony this morning, Country Manager for UNO in Belize, Guillermo Monroy said that this is a confirmation of their commitment with Belize. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Santiago Castillo said that today's event is a very historic and important development both for the Country of Belize and for the local and foreign private sector. UNO service stations across Belize will offer UNOPro, their premium fuel with additives to improve engine performance, along with regular and diesel fuel. They will also offer a variety of lubricants for good engine performance and protection for engines. UNO originates from the country of Honduras.


Three Indian students have disappeared
Three Indian students who landed in Belize on Sunday have disappeared. The Belize Archives and Record Service were ...

More conflict in the citrus industry
In the first part of our series on the citrus Industry, PlusNews revealed that the current board of CPBL is without... Belize needs to prepare for a larger population of older persons

Belize needs to prepare for a larger population of older persons
Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and A Challenge". That is the name of a report launched in Belize today b...

A Guatemalan national stole the identity of a Belizean man
A Guatemalan national who stole the identity of a Belizean man was arraigned in court today. Guatemalan national, 6...

Belize City man shot in leg this evening
A Belize City man, Anthony Scott, was shot to the leg just after work time this evening. Scott was on Riviero St at...

PUP expresses sympathy to Alfred Schakron's family
The People's United Party (PUP) in a press release issued today expressed its sincere sympathy and deepest condolen...

The Guardian

Belize: the Bread Basket of CARICOM
The United Nations Millennium Development Goal Number 1 calls for the reduction of the proportion and the absolute number of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition by half by 2015. Unfortunately, high oil prices, expansion of ethanol production from corn, increased demand from developing countries such as China and India and climate change - giving rise to an increased frequency of natural disasters - has caused world food prices to continue being volatile and remain at high levels. High food prices are difficult for every citizen of the world however, for citizens of developing countries such as those in CARICOM, high food prices are even more crippling. This makes food and nutrition security one of the top priorities of regional leaders. The Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque, said, "Belize, Guyana and Suriname have a much greater role to play than others in the region in terms of food security." Read more...

Police Officer Amin August Recognized by People's Coalition of Cayo
President of the People's Coalition of Cayo (PCC) Albert Moore handed over on Wednesday night, 'The People's Hero Award', to Assistant Superintendent Amin August. There was a standing ovation for August. In receiving the award, Officer Amin August said "� it is my duty to protect and serve; I had to put in my input." Read more...

Police Brass visits Cayo
Commissioner of Police, David Henderson held the first of a series of consultations with community members in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District last Thursday, October 18th, 2012. Commissioner Henderson was joined on this tour by Superintendent Aaron Guzman, Officer Commanding of the three Western Regions; Superintendent Ralph Moody, Officer Commanding of the San Ignacio Police Formation; Senior Superintendent Deserie Phillips, Officer Commanding, Community Policing and Inspector Dehann Augustine, National Coordinator for the Jasmine Alert Program. (A similar meeting by the Police Department will be held in San Ignacio Town at the Center for Employment Training on Buena Vista Street at 7:00 PM on Thursday, October 25th, 2012.) Read more...

CEMO Continues Hurricane Preparedness
The hurricane season is coming to a close but even so, there is one hurricane that has formed in the Central Caribbean. And Belize has a history or being struck by hurricanes in the month of October. With that in mind, the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 23rd at the Belize City Council's Conference room to keep committee members updated. Read more...

Coalition Afraid of Public Education in Southern Belize
The Department of the Environment has scheduled a public consultation process on the prospect of petroleum exploration drilling (inside and outside) of the Sarstoon National Park by U.S. Capital Energy to begin in Sunday Wood Village, Toledo District, on Thursday, October 25th, at 5:00 pm.

Fort George and Dangriga has New Committees
Dangriga new Executive CommitteeDangriga new Executive CommitteeOn Friday, October 19th, the Fort George Division held its meeting to elect its new executive committee. Read more...

More for Port Loyola!!
Belize City Mayor and Port Loyola Representative on a MissionBelize City Mayor and Port Loyola Representative on a MissionResidents of the Port Loyola Constituency are asked to exercise patience for any inconvenience caused during the execution of infrastructural projects in the area. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez recently upgraded the entire stretch of road from the Faber's Road Police Station to Pen Road. An entire portion of uninhabited land was cleared in the area as well and loads of solid soil was also dumped to make house lots for residents of Port Loyola. Minister Martinez promises to continue the upgrading of secondary streets in Port Loyola. On Thursday, October 19th, the Minister was in the area with the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley. Residents were happy to see both men in the area, knowing it means not only that infrastructural development will continue, but that it will proceed at a much faster pace. Read more...

Minister of National Security visits Recovering Police Officer
Minister of National Security, Minister John Saldivar on Thursday, October 18th visited Police Officer Sergeant #97 Mark August at his residence in the village of Camalote in the Cayo District. Read more...

Councillor Pitts secures Trophies for Upcoming Mayor's Cup
As the Councillor with responsibility for Youth and Sports, Bernard Pitts, Jr. received a generous donation of 56 football trophies from Major Lloyd Jones. Pitts explained that Belize is a country that has many talented people who love sports whether it is basketball, volleyball or football. More often than not however, the young people don't get a chance to excel and share their talent. This, he says, is something he is looking to improve upon through his portfolio. He stated that he will do his best to organize sporting events for the youths to involve them in positive activities. Read more...

Jason McKenzie Captured after Seven Months on the Run
26-year-old Kenroy Flowers almost lost his life on March 24th of this year after being stabbed while trying to part a fight between two men. Flowers reported to police that at about 10:00 p.m. on the night of March 24, he was on Kut Avenue when 21-year-old Jason McKenzie and another man got into a fight. Flowers intervened and that was when McKenzie stabbed him to the left side of the abdomen. Police were unable to apprehend McKenzie until Friday, October 19th. He was arrested and charged for one count of attempted murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Kenroy Flowers. Since the charges are indictable offenses, no plea was taken and bail was not granted. McKenzie will remain on remand at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on December 20th.

Murder Retrial for Alvaro Rene Gregorio
The murder case against 34-year-old Alvaro Rene Gregorio began on Monday, October 15th, and took a sudden halt on Friday, October 19th, when Justice Troadio Gonzalez discharged the 12-member jury and ordered a retrial. Gregorio is accused of killing his estranged wife's lover, 43-year-old Roberto Jimenez Maroquin on October 8th, 2008. According to reports, Aura Molina had separated herself from her husband, Gregorio, for three months before the incident took place. Gregorio went to his wife's home on the day of the murder and fifteen minutes later, Roberto Jimenez arrived to have lunch. Gregorio warned Jimenez that he did not want him around his wife and that's when police say he reached for a twelve-inch kitchen knife and stabbed Jimenez to the left side of the rib cage and to the left side of the chest. Jimenez died inside the home. San Pedro Police later recovered the murder weapon from a nearby swamp. Gregorio's wife was the only witness to the incident and she testified in court on Friday, saying that she had been having an affair with Maroquin, who showed up at her house in San Pedro while her husband and two children were at home. She told the court that Gregorio tried to chase Maroquin from the house and they got into an argument. Gregorio allegedly took a knife that Molina was using in the kitchen and stabbed Maroquin. The trial came to an abrupt end when Gregorio's attorney, Simeon Sampson, raised a technicality that his client's wife should not have been called to give evidence against him. Molina assured the court that she was willingly testifying, but after arguments from both sides, the issue could not be settled and the jury was discharged. Sampson says that he approached the prosecutors, Sharmilla Williams and Thalia Megan Francis, about his concerns even before the trial began, but it was not addressed until he brought it up in court. The retrial is set to begin next week and Molina will not be on the witness list.

Elderly Man charged for Attempted Murder of His Nephew
On Wednesday, October 24th, an elderly man, 66, appeared in court on charges of attempted murder. Cyril Banner, a plumber of Lemonal Village, who was represented by attorney, Arthur Saldivar, appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 where three indictable offenses were read to him. He was charged with attempted murder, grievous harm and the use of deadly means of harm upon Alvin Banner. No plea taken and due to the nature of the offenses, the Chief Magistrate remanded Banner into custody at the Belize Central Prison. He was remanded to prison despite the fact that Saldivar submitted that the incident did not happen with a firearm and rather a machete. He then asked that the court grant his client bail. The Chief Magistrate explained to him that she was unable to grant his client bail at this time. Allegations are that on October 20th, there was a misunderstanding between the men which resulted in Cyril Banner pulling a machete and lashing his nephew with it. Cyril Banner is due back in Court #1 on November 27. Saldivar requested in court for partial disclosure to be granted on at that time.

Patrick Jones on Remand for Gun Assault
On Thurday, October 18th, 20-year-old Patrick Jones, a laborer of #4161 Banak Street in Belize City, appeared unrepresented in Magistrate's Court to answer to a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon, Layla Fuentes. He was also charged with harm upon her. The incident is said to have occur on Tuesday, October 16th on Banak Street at Jone's home. Allegations being made against Jones are that Fuentes, went to Jones' home, her daughter's father, and upon her arrival, Jones pointed a black revolver at her and threatened to kill her. According to Fuentes, Jones then punched her in the face and hit her in the head with a stone, which caused a cut wound. In court, Jones, who was in pain and crying was asked what happened to him and he told the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that, he had been tazered. Jones pleaded not guilty to the charge but due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Four Minors charged for San Pedro Killing
The death of a Succotz resident on La Isla Bonita has led police to arrest and charge four minors between the ages of 13 and 15 for the offense of manslaughter. On October 10th, 46-year-old Emerito Itza was hanging out on the eastern end of Sand Piper Street with 24-year-old Marwin Lizama, when they were attacked by a group of young men. One of the minors grabbed a piece of wood and hit Itza and Lizama in the head. Itza, who was badly injured, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday, October 15th, whilst undergoing treatment for the injury. The minors were escorted to the Belize City Family Court on Friday, October 19th, to face a charge of manslaughter. No plea was taken since the matter is an indictable offense and the minors will be remanded in a juvenile detention center until their next court appearance on November 20th. The minors were represented by attorney, Simeon Samspon.

Shalini Zabaneh is Inet Caribbean Cycling Time Trial champion
Shalini Zabaneh wins goldShalini Zabaneh wins goldThe Belize Cycling Association participated in the 2012 Inet Caribbean Cycling Championships that were held in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda on October 20th and 21st. Belize participated in the female Individual Time Trials held on Saturday, October 20th with only one participant in the event. At the end of the 12-mile event, it was Belize's Shalini Zabaneh that captured the Gold Medal in the Individual Time Trial. She completed the course in a time of 31:12.967. The silver medal went to Bermuda's Nicole Mitchell in a time of 31:15.550. The bronze medal went to hometown favourite Tamiko Butler of Antigua and Barbuda in a time of 31:27.682, fourth place went to Donnelys Carino Rivera of Puerto Rico in a time of 32:22.541, while fifth place went to Claire Fraser of Guyana in a time of 33:40.250. The other finishers included Kevinia Francis of Antigua, Dahlia Palmer of Jamaica and Naomi Singh of Guyana. We say congratulations to Shalini for capturing her second Caribbean Cycling Championships gold medal.

Port of Belize leads in Firms Basketball Competition
Atlantic Bank's Marcel Orosco scored 20 points against SmartAtlantic Bank's Marcel Orosco scored 20 points against SmartThe Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games at Bird's Isle. On Saturday, October 20th, in the only U-23 game played, Belize Bank defeated Tiger sharks by the score of 55-46. The top scorers for the Belize Bank were Brian White with 16 points and 13 rebounds; and Lincey Lopez with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Tiger sharks were Daniel Norberto with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals; and Winston Pratt with 12 points, and 5 rebounds. In the only Firms' game played that evening, Belize Bank won over BEL by the score of 57-46. The top scorers for the Belize Bank were Troy Gabb with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals; and Eugene Courteney with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BEL were Lloyd Leslie with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and a steal; and Brandon Cadle with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. The competition continued on Friday, October 19th, with three more games. In the U-23 game played, Truckers defeated Belize Heats by the score of 74-53. The top scorers for Truckers were Winston Reynolds with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Stannis Thomas with 14 points, and 14 rebounds.

San Pedro High Baseball Boys win 2 at CODICADER
The San Pedro High School boys' baseball team, won 2 games and lost 3 when they represented Belize in the Jewel's first participation in baseball at the 17th annual COCICADER Central American Junior Students Games hosted by Panama from Friday to Monday, October 12 -15th. Belize did not medal as a team, finishing with a two win - three loss record in five outings, but star pitcher Eduardo Carmona won a gold medal for pitching the Most Strike-outs: 18. This brought Belize's total medal haul at this year's CODICADER Games to 14 total: 10 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze, the most Belize has won in 6 years of participation at CODICADER. The St Catherine's Academy girls won Belize's first team medal in volleyball: bronze, while Sherika Burton won an individual gold for Best Attacker. Belize also won team golds for the first time in basketball - won by the Sadie Vernon Technical High School boys and in softball - won by the Ladyville Technical High School girls. The Stann Creek Ecumenical boys won Belize's first ever football win in CODICADER: 6-3 over Nicaragua, and St Catherine's academy girls won Belize's first ever female basketball win. The San Pedro High School boys had won National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) softball Championship at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote earlier this year, but boys do not play softball at CODICADER, only baseball, so to represent Belize, the island squad had to get a whole new game. Baseball not only has a faster overhand pitch as opposed to softball's underhand pitch, but the distance between the bases is bigger; it's a bigger diamond altogether. The baseball is smaller, harder and travels faster. To win an individual gold medal against teams, who have been playing the sport since they were children, is a major accomplishment The San Pedro boys enjoyed their first win: 13-1 over Costa Rica on Friday, recovering from a 0-21 loss to the hosts, Panama. On Saturday, the San Pedro boys lost 1-11 to Nicaragua, holding off the first 3 innings, giving up only 4 hits, but the island boys' errors allowed Nicaragua to score.

Primary Schools Football Competition continues at the MCC
St. Ignatius' Michael Sarmineto scored only goal of the gameSt. Ignatius' Michael Sarmineto scored only goal of the gameThe 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games over the last week. On Wednesday, October 17th, in the first of three boys' games played, St. John Vianney blanked St. Luke Methodist by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. John Vianney were Kenroy Linares' two and a third by Orlando Velasquez. In game two, Calvary Temple won over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 3-0. The goals for Calvary Temple were scored by Tariq Lamb, Miguel Jax and Kelly Connor. In the final game of the day, Salvation Army edged Muslim Community by the score of 2-1. The goal scorers for Salvation Army were Marvin Martinez and Keron Patnett, while the goal scorer for Muslim Community was Tyrique Ciego. The competition continued on Thursday October 18th, with three more games. In the girls' game played, Holy Redeemer School blanked Queen Square Anglican by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for Holy Redeemer were Jennifer Estrada and Dianna Banks. In the first of the two boys' games, Queen Square Anglican won over Holy Redeemer School by the score of 7-1. The goal scorers for Queen Square Anglican were Kadeem Longsworth's impressive six and the seventh by Rayne Gentle, meanwhile, the only goal for Holy Redeemer was scored by Anthony Cervantes via a penalty kick.

Hattieville, Third World & Brown Bombers win in Smart Mundialito
The Hattieville United Youth Sports Club and Third World of the St Martin de Porres area enjoyed their second victories, Jane Usher Boulevard posted their first win and the Brown Bombers continued to lead the Smart Mundialito under-15 football competition with their third win in the fourth week of competition at the MCC grounds on Saturday, October 20th. The Bombers now lead the tournament with 10 points following a 2-0 triumph over Unity Rangers. Shamar Thompson scored the first winning goal before intermission, and Sherwin Requena added a second goal after the break. Requena is now the tournament's top goal-scorer with four goals to his credit. The Rangers rank ninth in the league with two points from two draws and two losses. The Hattieville United Youth Sports Club moved up to third place with 7 points from two wins and a draw enjoyed a 3-0 victory over the Ladyville Jaguars in the second game of the morning. Kenyon Young scored the first winning goal, Cameron Thomas added a second goal and Darrel Flowers scored a third for the 3-0 win. The Ladyville Jaguars are the cellar dwellers of the league with only one point from a draw and three losses. Third World moved up to second place in the league as they enjoyed their second win 1-0 over the hitherto undefeated Ladyville "Japan" in the third game of the morning, when Marquis Conorquie scored the winning goal.

Rivero's Welders & Ping Pang winning in Bros. Habet Table tennis
Team Rivero's Welders is leading the 1st Division of the Brothers Habet team table tennis competition with 5 points, while undefeated Ping Pang is leading the 2nd Division with 10 points the tournament held under the auspices of the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Saturday, October 20th. Team Welders cruised past Team Cuz: 5-1 with Ian Mcfield swatting Hollis Parham and Nick Martin 3-0 each, Ernesto Rivero spanked Jorge Espat and Hollis Parham each by a 3-1 score and Petie Usher-Matus edged past Jorge Espat 3-2. Nick Martin won one for Team Cuz: 3-2 against Petie Matus. In 2nd division play, Team Ping Pang blew out the winless SJC Strikers 5-0. Yasser Musa spanked Johann Ketz and Kody August: 3-0 each, Mark Musa spanked Ashley Weller and Johann Ketz also 3-0 each and Mishek Musa won 3-0 over Kody August. Ping Pang also mauled Team Garage 5-1. Team Tallawah is ranked 2nd with 8 points after posting their 4th win: 5-0 over SJC Lightspeed on Saturday. Tallawah's Robert Peyrefitte spanked Daniel Sanchez 3-1 and despatched Miguel Reyes: 3-1, Gian Lisbey spanked Bryton Codd and over Daniel Sanchez each: 3-0 and Harim Ochaeta dismissed Miguel Reyes: 3-0. Team Bismark also has 8 points after posting their 4th win: 5-4 against the BDF Spin Kings. Bismark's Aaron Stock swatted Charlton Roches 3-0 and spanked Radford Baizar 3-1, Moses Babb won 3-1 over Radford Baizar and 3-0 over Clifton Williams, and Matthew Usher dismissed Charlton Roches 3-0. For the BDF Spin Kings, Charlton Roches outlasted Moses Babb 3-2, Clifton Williams outlasted Aaron Stock and Matthew Usher each: 3-2, while Radford Baizar sent in Matthew Usher: 3-1. The Turds bounced back to upset the SJC Strikers: 5-3.

Team Belize wins Taiwan National Day Double-10 Basketball tournament
The Belize-Taiwaneese community's organized its first annual Taiwan Double-10 National Day Basketball tournament at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium in Belize City on Sunday, October 21st, and the Belize team won. Taiwan's Ambassador to Belize, H.E. David Wu presented the first prize and medals to Team Belize and 2nd prize to Team Chinese. Junior Commissioner on the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission, Alex Chang of Fen Lan Motors sponsored the event along with Lee Mark Chang of Chon Saan Palace. Team Cayo finished the first round to enter the semifinals undefeated as the No. 1 seed with 2 wins: 48-40 over Team Youths and 37-34 over Team Belize. In Game 2, the Taiwan-Belize Seniors won 52-38 over Team Chinese. In Game 4, Team Chinese made the semifinals as the No. 4 seed when they eliminated Team Youth: 37-21. Michael Guan top-scored with 13 points. Ming added 8 points, Allan Huang drained in a trey to add 7pts, and William Quan hit 2 treys as Team Chinese led 19-6 at the half. Nick Chang top scored for Team Youths with 8 points, Inaru Enriquez added 6pts, Chia Chen had 4 points and Jonathan Tseng added 2 points. In Game 5, Team Belize made the semifinals as the No. 3 seed as they won 51-46 against Taiwan Belize Seniors. Clive Reyes top-scored with 10 points, Devon Defour had 6 points and Brandon Rogers added 5 points to lead 21-19 at the half. Keron Reyes added 4 points and played Big D, grabbing rebounds in the paint. Randall MacFadzean and Arden Pou each added a basket for the win. Andy Lin top-scored for the Taiwan Belize Seniors with 16 pts, David Ying added 4pts, Tony Liu and Aries Lin added 3 points each and Rei Lee had 2 points.

Five Men Appealing Convictions
Five Guatemalan men who were convicted in March of 2011 for their plot to kill Jose Shoman, Jr. and his family back in December 2008 have appealed their sentences. The five men, Miguel Mayorga, Eswin Fabian Rosalez, Carlos Juarez, Jose Ismael Cordova, and Cesar Junior Aldana are hoping to get their conviction overturned. Their attorney in the matter was Hubert Elrington while the DPP herself, Cheryl Lynn Vidal represented the Crown in this matter. Elrington argued on eight grounds on behalf of the men. They included, that the trial judge erred in law in leaving the case to the jury without giving the jury the directions and warnings in a case where the evidence was solely visual identification evidence. He also argued that the judge erred when he permitted the witness, Eric Alexander Miranda to make a dock identification of Eswin Rosales, Jose Ismael Cordova, Carlos Juarez and Cesar Junior Aldana and Miguel Mayorga. He stated that it was wrong for the judge to allow the witness to conduct an dock identification of them. He also argued that the judge erred when he left the case to the jury without giving them an adequate direction on conspiracy and joint enterprise. After the Court of Appeal judges heard from both Elrington and the Crown, they concluded that there were a number of discrepancies in the trial but they will leave their ruling for a later date so they can consider all they heard.

Government destroys over 700 Guns
Hydraulic Shears Crushing RiflesHydraulic Shears Crushing RiflesIn just two days, the Government of Belize destroyed 730 confiscated, surplus or obsolete guns. Such a feat would not have been possible without the use of a hydraulic shear weapons destruction machine donated by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in May of this year. Read more...

An Intellectual Giant from Cayo passes on
An intellectual powerhouse from the Cayo District has passed on. Elias Awe passed away on October 19th, 2012 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Dulce Maria Awe; daughter, Amira Awe Bodden and sons, Joe and Mike Awe. He is also survived by his brothers, Jose and Nazim Awe. Read more...

The San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture exhibits Art Collection
Artists from the Cayo District now have a new opportunity to exhibit their work. The San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture opened this past Friday, the 'Cayo Art Collection 2012', a variety of paintings from a multi discipline of talents.

PANCAP holds Twelfth Annual Meeting
Under the theme "PANCAP: Forging New Paths, more than 100 members of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) will meet for its Twelfth Annual General meeting on October 24 - 26th, 2012, in Belize City, Belize. Chaired by Hon. Dr. Kevin Fenton Ferguson, Minister of Health, Jamaica and Chair of the PANCAP Executive Board, the objectives of this Twelfth meeting are to assess the Partnership's progress in, among other areas, planning for its sustainability, human rights and access to prevention and treatment by vulnerable communities. It will also review developments related to the reshaping of the regional architecture for HIV and the complementary roles of PANCAP and the recently established Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in advancing the regional agenda for HIV. The meeting is organized into several sessions, which will examine new perspectives on the global economic climate and sustainability at the Community level. Panelists include members of Government, representatives of regional and international agencies and Civil Society. Keynote speaker of the official opening, Henrietta Elizabeth Thompson, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Coordinator of Rio+, will address several Ministers of Health of Health of the Caribbean, high-level Government officials, regional and international representatives of the Partnership and other invited guests in attendance.

UNO double dipping on Consumers?
UNOPETROL is the leading distributor of fuels and petroleum products in Central America. It has over 500 service stations in the region and on Wednesday, October 24th, the company officially launched operations in Belize. Read more...

Violence and News Part II
In "Violence and News Part I", we looked at the two most popular news producers in Belize, 7 News and Channel 5 News, and found that in one week 37 of 42 pieces featuring subjects 25 years of age and younger were crime reports. The executive producer of both newscasts were unapologetic about their coverage despite the fact that the Prime Minister's Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Wallace said, "Increasingly the Belize Broadcasting Association (BBA) has been receiving a lot of complaints about the graphic details featured in news and the impact it has on children watching." Without intervention by the Belize Broadcasting Authority (BBA), the content in local news is unlikely to change. That intervention is unlikely to happen since Wallace explained the difficulty of finding a balance between "emphasizing the need for sensitization and being accused of censoring the media". Wallace pointed out that the Belize Broadcasting Act has been reviewed and the belief is that it needs to be amended for the authorities to effectively regulate the industry. The Act was passed in 1984 and is inadequate for the modern media. The Act provides the BBA with no authority to control content. In essence, the BBA is simply a door watcher. It decides who gets to operate in the media but doesn't control what they do once inside. Wallace said that there are a lot of provisions in the Act that needs to be revised and as the BBA continues to review its policies and role in the media, Wallace said, "We will also begin to focus on regulating content." She stressed however, that the BBA will be careful not to engage in censorship because it has no place in a democratic society. Until the BBA is able to revamp its code of ethics in local broadcasting, those raising concerns about the violent content in news are left at the mercy of the news producers. Based on their comments last week, readers will understand that they have no plans to change their "if it bleeds it leads" policy. Understanding that, the United Nation's Children Fund is requesting an improvement in the standard of reporting. Christine Norton, Country Representative for UNICEF, is challenging journalists to look beyond the immediate story. She suggests we look into the background of the subjects. That means reporting more than the shooting was done by a 14-year-old. It means shedding light on the life of the 14-year-old to get viewers to understand what happened before that child pick up the gun. It means asking what alternative did the child have and is any of his siblings at risk of falling into the same trap. Looking beyond the story means presenting young viewers with alternatives to the choices that were taken by the 14-year-old, who picked up the gun and opened fire at another.

Wesley College to celebrate 14th Annual Red Ribbon (Drug Prevention) Week
Wesley College will be celebrating its 14th Annual Red Ribbon (Drug Prevention) Week, October 29th - November 2nd, 2012. The theme for the week is "The Best ME Is Drug-Free!". Red Ribbon Week focuses on drug prevention and celebrates drug-free youth. It is a special time for the Wesley College community as it allows time to focus on whole-school activities in the very important area of drug prevention. The week will be officially opened on Monday, October 29th by His Worship Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City. Tuesday is "Shade Out Drugs Day" and staff and students will be wearing sunshades to "shade out drugs" (saying no to drugs). Wednesday, October 31st is Red Ribbon Day and students, members of staff and members of the Board of Management will be wearing red ribbons throughout the day. The Red Ribbon is a catalyst and symbol for Wesley College to say that, ribbon by ribbon, the school community is united for drug-free youth. There will be the usual Wednesday Church Service at Wesley Church which, this year, will be led by Form 3 Red. After the Service, there will be a short parade. Special activities organized for the students include Class Mascot and Homeroom Mixed-Talent Competitions on Wednesday, and Wear Red Day and Roast and Toast on Friday. The Roast and Toast is a special time for fun and fellowship and the toasting of hot dog sausages and marshmallows. Students will also participate in poetry and poster competitions, and the signing of the Red Ribbon Week Pledge Banner.

OW Town Council Broke - Eleven Employees Fired
Kevin Bernard, Mayor of Orange WalkKevin Bernard, Mayor of Orange WalkThe chickens have come home to roost at the Orange Walk Town Council as 11 employees were axed from that municipality. PUP Mayor, Kevin Bernard has gone to great lengths to try to explain away the woes at the Town Council, but the reality has set in. Last week, we reported that the Council was unable to pay employees and now, they have begun to lay off workers. A release from the Council states that "On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, the Orange Walk Town Council held a management meeting to address certain critical matters affecting the delivery of service to residents of the town." It goes on, "At the end of the meeting, the regrettable decision to immediately streamline staff was taken, resulting in the Council laying off 11 employees on Friday, October 19, 2012." What the release forgot to mention was that after assuming office, Bernard and his Council went on an all-out campaign to fire employees, who had been there for years and, who were perceived to be supporters of the UDP. Shortly thereafter, the Council was overloaded with PUP lackeys, some of whom were hired to do the same job, in effect paying two people for the same work. Among those hired was a bodyguard for the Mayor. The Council then became overburdened with salaries. In the month of April, salaries went from a projected 34 thousand dollars to be spent, to a whopping 55,600 dollars. Then in June, the projection of salaries went from 34 thousand dollars to 66 thousand dollars. It is no wonder that these days, all the mayor can say is that salaries are consuming all of the Council's finances. And he is right, but it is as a result of the Town Council being saddled with highly paid lackeys, who spend most of their time standing in front of the Town Council looking at passersby.

OAS Secretary General visits Belize to discuss Referendum Costs
OAS General Secretary, Jose Moguel InsulzaOAS General Secretary, Jose Moguel InsulzaThe Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) was in Belize on Tuesday ,October 23rd. Jose Miguel Insulza met with the Belizean press after having talks with the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar. At the press briefing, Insulza explained to the press that the reason for his visit to Belize was to appraise the Prime Minister about talks, which had taken place a day earlier in Guatemala on October 22nd. "It would be proper to come to Belize to report to the Prime Minister and talk to the authorities to ensure that everyone is well informed," stated Insulza. At the meeting held in Guatemala, Insulza met with Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros , Ministers of Foreign Affairs for Belize and Guatemala respectively. During the meetings, the men spoke of the upcoming referendum process, which is expected to take place on October 6th, 2013. Key in the talks were the costs that will be associated with the referendum process. The Guatemalan press is reporting that the education campaign in Guatemala will be in the region of 33 million U.S. dollars or 260 million Quetzales. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, Belize's figure is significantly less at 4.4 million U.S. dollars or 8.9 million Belize dollars. The monies will be used in various aspects of the education campaign including setting up an office, equipment and staffing. The campaign will also be a dynamic one where printed material, documentaries, debates and panels will be held as well as website blogs and other forms of electronic media will be used.

Two Businessmen killed in Two Days
Alfred Shackron is the latest victim of crime in Belize City. Shackron was shot three times as he exited Body 2000 gym, which is located on Coney Drive at around 9:20 on Wednesday morning. Shackron was shot just as he was about to get into his vehicle that was parked nearby. Police report that shots were fired at Shackron from a vehicle, which was in the area. Those, who were in the area, say that men pulled up in a black Ford Escape and he had an exchange of words with them. After which, the men in the vehicle attempted to drag him into the vehicle. He resisted and was subsequently shot. He received wounds to the neck and chest. He died shortly thereafter as a result of the injuries he sustained. At the scene, police recovered two expended 9 millimeter shells as well as a .22 millimeter expended shell. Shackron, who is of Lebanese descent, was a well-known businessman, being the owner of JEC Pawn Shop in Belize City as well as the owner of the popular lottery game Mega Bingo. Shackron's murder comes just a day after another businessman was similarly killed. Shortly before 1p.m. on Tuesday, Abdul Aziz Mohamed Dib, a 40-year-old U.S. national of Lebanese descent, was at King Kabab Restaurant located in the Farmer's Market in Belize City along with other men of Lebanese extraction, when a gunman approached them. The assailant, described as being tall and of dark complexion and wearing a mask, simply approached Dib and opened fire. He received a gunshot to the head, left hand, center of the abdomen, upper chest and lower back. Dib fell off his chair, breaking it, and died on the spot. Police recovered 7 expended shells on the scene. It is unclear what connection there is between the two murders, but, that two businessmen of similar background being killed less than 24 hours apart has investigators looking at the likelihood of a connection existing between the two murders. Police have stated that the killings were not random acts of violence or gang related. A police press release states that the Shackron killing has all appearances of being an organized hit having to do with a business deal gone sour.


What $50 buys you at the corner store
Yesterday I left the house with $50 in my pocket and decided somewhere along the way I would pick up a few groceries. I could not resist stopping in Flamboyant park for a bit as the swing bench was in the shade and it was nice to sit and listen to music for a bit. After my nice Zen break, I walked as far as the gas station and on my way back, I stopped at a few fruit markets on the main road but did not see anything I wanted to carry the distance, and decided to shop closer to home. I ended up at La Despensa Del Hogar otherwise known as our corner store. We have always called it Mini Marinas because it is the same owners and there was never a sign. Without doing the math as I was shopping, I came pretty close to my $50 budget, $49.40 was my total. Here is what I got for that: 4 pack pork chops from Running W meats $12.75 1 Jar Nescafe Dolca Coffee $9.50 1 Lala Light box milk 3.50 1 pack Ginger cookies $1.25 1 bag of peanuts $1.25 1 jar Manzanilla Olives $4.45 1 Gatorade $3.50 1 Cucumber $2.00 1 Green Pepper $1.50 12 rolls Elite butt wipe $9.70 Pricing in Belize dollars

An Afternoon on the Rum Punch and a Stop at Palapa Bar
Yesterday four ladies and quite a few coolers loaded on the Rum Punch II for a sail northwards. A very pretty day with a few heavy clouds and a surprisingly stiff wind from the northwest. The captain, George Eiley, estimated it at about 15 knots. We sailed north passed Grand Caribe... And some gentlemen out lobster hunting... Bonnie lounging with Captain George. Up by the Mexico Rocks snorkeling area, the water was getting pretty rough. A few went in to is Manuel, the first mate, blowing bubbles... You can see how foggy the water was. I chose to take a quick dip and then lay in the sun. On the way home, we decided to have one quick drink at the Palapa Bar. Here we are pulling up...

The people, their life stories and their rich history is why I want to experience the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice in Belize
Sitting on the bank of the Moho River in the Toledo District, Senida a thirteen year old Mayan girl, relates wanting to go to high school but instead her father has found a man for her to marry. Senida asks the high school students I am traveling with what school is like in the US and they ask her about life in Belize. We are all richer from the experience. On break from building a library for a school in Conejo Belize, I cut a pineapple purchased at the market. Immediately school children are next to us saying "Please Miss." We share our pineapple and in return they share mangos. One girl, Juanita, offers us a drink of her cloudy drinking water. After sharing a small meal together we start a quick game of soccer. All are richer from the experience. One evening Rhea, A Mayan woman with five children, invites me to dinner. Her children eat on the floor while we share stories of what motherhood is like in Belize and the US. We see that we are more alike than different. We both worry about our children's health, education and future and we both love to cook. We are richer from the experience.

The Day Of The Dead
Although, the Day of the Dead (also known as el Dia de los Muertos and Los Finados) is most prominently recognized and celebrated in Mexico, it is also very popular in many villages and towns in Belize. This is due to the fact that the tradition of celebrating the life and death of lost loved relatives dates back to the ancient Maya, an indigenous culture of Belize and Mesoamerica. However, interestingly enough, the day of the dead is also linked to Catholicism, the primary religion that was enforced by Europeans when they colonised the Americas. Understanding that, it is not by coincidence that the Day of the Dead is celebrated at the beginning of November coinciding with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. What makes this event unique? On the Day of the Dead, Maya and Mestizo communities across Belize unanimously get together to commemorate the life and death of their ancestors. This is done by decorating small tables as alters at home and including water, flowers, fruits, candles and portraits of their deceased. Families also make sure to have delicious traditional Belizean foods such as tamales, Bollos, Caldo de Gallina local, Chirmole and Ishpasha Atole. As for favorite alcoholic drinks, rum and tequila seem to be the popular choices.

International Sources

The Evolutionary Importance of Grandmothers
In the 1980s, Kristen Hawkes and James O'Connell spent time with Hadza hunter-gatherers. They noticed that the older women in the society spent their days collecting tubers and other food for their grandchildren. That was the proverbial fallen apple that sparked Hawkes' interest in the Grandmother Theory, which says that humans evolved to live so long because grandmothers were around to help take care of the young'uns. The Grandmother Hypothesis goes further than to establish the importance of grandmas. In our early years as a species, the theory goes, older women helped gather food for their offsprings' offspring. In so doing, they were freeing up their daughters to have more children, more quickly. So the most evolutionarily fit grandmothers have the most grandchildren, to whom they pass on their longevity-promoting genes.

Funding opportunity for Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has modified its announcement that it expects to award a maximum of 35 discretionary grants to support projects that promote the conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. It was modified to reflect changes in the description of the funding opportunity. The estimated total program funding available was cited as $3.79 million with a ceiling of $200,000 for each award under this program. This funding opportunity is open to any entity such as state, county, city, township and special district governments; Native American tribal governments and organizations; institutions of higher education; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities; nonprofits; for profit organizations; small businesses; eligible agencies of the federal government; and faith-based or community-based organizations. A funding opportunity notice from the Fish and Wildlife Service states: "The neotropical migratory birds population reductions contribute to the loss of biological diversity in the nearctic and neotropical countries where the migrants breed and winter. Most evident in forest-dwelling species, the declines have been attributed to human activities like forest fragmentation, tropical deforestation and general habitat loss. Much alarm has been expressed about the impacts of deforestation on South American biotas, yet deforestation rates have been highest in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Basin, areas where most neotropical migrants are concentrated. The Foundation proposal recommended that research and conservation efforts be focused on those countries that supply winter habitat for the majority of neotropical migrants: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program is designed to address this need by coordinating cooperative efforts among federal, state and local government agencies in the United States, as well as conservation groups, professional alliances, philanthropic foundations and private companies. Cooperation is also actively sought with government agencies, institutions and private groups in neotropical countries and Canada. The program emphasizes that cooperative research, monitoring and habitat management actions be implemented simultaneously in breeding and wintering areas and that conservation activities embrace the goal of sustainable development for human populations." The funding opportunity number is NMBCA-13-635 (CFDA 15.635). The application closing date is Nov. 29.

Mexico Daylight Saving Time ends on October 28th
� In Mexico, clocks go backward one hour on Sunday, October 28th. � Mexico and Belize will have again the same local time. Belmopan, Belize, 25 October 2012- The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, October 28th, Mexico ends Daylight Saving Time, in order to begin Winter Time. This means that Mexico's local time will be the same as Belize's local time. For those traveling within Mexico on the evening of Saturday, October 27th, the Embassy suggests that their time be changed backward one hour before going to sleep. If you are in transit through Mexico, please verify your flight and bus local time.

CHC documenting historical sites in Texas, Belize, San Francisco
Historic sites at California's most famous prison, in the jungles of Belize and closer-to-home in the town of Belton, Texas are three of the most recent documentation projects undertaken by Texas A&M's Center for Heritage Conservation. Earlier this month, Robert Warden, CHC director, took preservation technology students to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, to create 2- and 3-D models of the former federal prison's recreation yard using sophisticated scanning equipment including the total station, a tool that employs a laser distance meter to scan and record imaging data that yields accurate, highly detailed structural models when entered into computer-aided design software. The Alcatraz imaging project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Chico State University and the National Park Service, which operates the island as a tourist attraction and a sanctuary for seabirds. Warden documented other parts of the prison during a previous visit to the island. In another CHC project, Warden and Michelle Bernhardt, a civil engineering Ph.D. student pursuing a Certificate in Historic Preservation, traveled to northwestern Belize for two weeks in July 2012 to document Blue Creek, site of an ancient Maya site. It was Warden's second trip to Blue Creek, where the Maya Research Program has been conducting archaeological excavations since 1992. "We do our work where burial grounds are uncovered," said Warden. "Before artifacts and bones are extracted, we go in and create 3-D models of the burial site, which we share with archaeologists working on the project."

New World Oil & Gas making steady progress with Belize drilling
New World Oil and Gas's (LON:NEW) first well at Blue Creek in the Pet�n Basin in northwest Belize is making steady progress toward its primary target. The B Crest well has drilled to a depth of 4,509ft, having passed through anhydrite, dolomite and limestone sequences in line with the company's geologic prognosis. Drilling is on schedule and under budget and progressing at an average rate of 24ft per hour, it said. The primary objective of the well lies at 5,700ft in the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval, 1,300ft below the current depth. New World added it remains on course to reach the total depth of 7,000ft on or before 15 November 2012 where it expects to have reached the base of the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval. William Kelleher, chief executive, said, "We are 1,300ft above our primary objective, being the Yalbac 2 formation, which we believe to contain multiple payzones for this well." The Blue Creek #2 well is part of the company's three well drilling programme at Blue Creek. An independent report compiled by RPS Energy assigned an un-risked P50 resource (ie a 50 per cent chance of oil or gas being produced) of 92 million barrels of oil to B Crest. It is the smallest of three prospects at Blue Creek, which has a total P50 resource of 329 million barrels.

Michael and Linda Mastro Accused of Stashing Assets in Belize Off-Shore Trust
The indictment against Michael and Linda Mastro relates to bankruptcy fraud and money laundering. The federal government alleges that the two hid millions in assets during a bankruptcy proceeding, including a $15 million Medina home. Medina residents Michael Mastro, 87, and his wife, Linda, 62, caught in France Wednesday after more than a year on the run, are being accused by federal prosecutors of hiding millions of dollars in assets from creditors in an off-shore trust in Belize, and now face a 43 count indictment, announced First Assistant United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes Thursday. The hidden assets, according to federal prosecutors, included diamond rings, a Rolls Royce automobile and their $15 million Medina home. Federal prosecutors also say they transfered money from their hidden bank accounts and paid for car loans for a 2006 Range Rover, a 2007 Bentley Continental, and a 2008 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe; household expenses; legal expenses; department stores purchases; and a bulk gold coin purchase. The indictment includes a variety of bankruptcy fraud crimes and multiple counts of money laundering, according to federal prosecutors.

New World gets closer
Belize-focused New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) is drilling ever closer to its target depth at Blue Creek. Drilling operations at the Blue Creek #2 well have continued on schedule and under budget at an average rate of 24 feet per hour. As at 24 October 2012, the well had been drilled to a depth of 4,509 feet, with the primary source expected to lie at 5,700 feet. The well remains on course to reach the total depth of 7,000 feet on or before 15 November 2012. Blue Creek in Belize is the company's most advanced project, with unrisked prospective resources of 92 million barrels of oil, as confirmed by a competent person. New World also operates two projects in onshore Denmark, located in producing basins covering a combined area of more than 2.6 million acres, making it the largest holder of acreage in Denmark. Management has said it is 'constantly evaluating' additional projects that would 'complement' the growing portfolio, particularly late-stage exploration or early production projects located in basins with large proven reserves that, in the opinion of the directors, are 'undervalued, underdeveloped or underperforming'. Chief executive William Kelleher argued that the experience of drilling so far had been 'in line with expectations and forecast geological prognosis'. Shares were up 8.7 per cent today at 9.4p, valuing the company at £33.2 million.

Mind-Blowing Glamping in Cayo
Chaa Creek was mentioned in's top 5 list for 'mind-blowing' retreats. The article mentions glamping, a term which is becoming well known, at CC's Macal River Camp. "The budget-friendly Macal River Camp at Chaa Creek takes camping to a whole new level - specifically, the 'glamping' (translation: glamorous camping) level. Guests stay in tents lit only by the flickering glow of a gas lamp at night, and can fall asleep to a chorus of howler monkeys and cicadas."

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