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Today's Belize News: January 1, 2013 #454441
01/01/13 09:03 AM
01/01/13 09:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,113
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Monday-Monday, Dec. 31 2012 to Jan. 7, 2013

A high pressure system centered in the SW Atlantic just west of Bermuda is generating a moist north-easterly airflow over the western Caribbean and Belize. This high is forecast to drift southeastward over the next 48 to 72 hours, causing the airflow over the NW Caribbean to veer to the east and then to the ESE by Thursday and Friday of this week.

Another cold front will move off the Texas coast late New Year day, moving rapidly across the NW and central Gulf of Mexico. However, the cold front will stall in the SW Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. A new surge of cold arctic air will reinforce the continental high pressure system behind the cold front, which will then push the system across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and across NW Yucatan by late Saturday. The GFS model extended forecast move this cold front across Yucatan and Belize by late Sunday and early Monday of next week.

The rains will gradually die off later in the morning on New Year day, giving way to brighter weather with only isolated showers on Wednesday through Friday. Showers with possible thunderstorms will likely begin developing in the north and NW on Saturday, spreading over the rest of the country later on Saturday evening and on Sunday, as the next cold front approaches and cross the country of Belize. Cooler and gusty northerly winds will set in on Saturday morning through early Sunday.

Daily rainfall rates over the sea and coastal regions of Belize will be ranging from 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Monday through early Tuesday, New Year Day. Rainfall will then decrease later on Tuesday, with daily totals ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch over some areas of the hills and in the south. Rainfall will be minimal over most areas on Wednesday through Friday. Rainfall rates will increase on Saturday through Monday, with daily totals of 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch in some localities of the north and the central highlands.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

Specials and Events

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

Police Station Inaugurated at Maya Beach; Special Constables Sworn In for Placencia
On December 15, 2012, a new Police Station was inaugurated in the Maya Beach area, now designated as a precinct of the Placencia Formation in the Stann Creek District. The fully furnished and outfitted Police Station is the product of effective collaboration between the Ministry of National Security, the Placencia Police Formation and the business community and residents of the Peninsula, over 70 of whom have donated material, cash and labor. Present for the inauguration was Commissioner of Police, David Henderson and the Officer Commanding the Placencia Formation, Inspector Mark Flowers. Speaking on behalf of the local business community and residents were Mr. Doran Yount, Coordinator for the Peninsula Community Crime Watch; Mr. Dan Edwards, co-organizer of the group; and Miss Deb Coston, Justice of the Peace and Warden of the US Embassy. The Building was blessed by Reverend Jeanne Marechal.

Dr. Love: Taming a bad boy
Dear Doctor Love, Last week I met a gorgeous guy who used to live here and has just moved back. At the bar I noticed that there were a lot of women hanging around him so I didn’t bother to flirt or anything. After a while he came over and talked to me. I got [...]

Wolfe’s Woofers: Curses and Cures
“I’ve been taking medicine to get rid of this gout but it’s not working,” Casey said. “I’m thinking about going to have to see one of those bush doctors. Maybe he’ll make me up a spell or something.” “I don’t believe in any of that witchcraft stuff,” I said. Ed was sitting one barstool over [...]

Lionel Arzu is sworn in as new Ombudsman
Mr. Lionel L. Arzu, has been officially sworn in as the new Ombudsman for Belize. This took place in brief ceremonies this morning in the presence of the Governor-General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young. Mr. Arzu leaves behind his post as a teacher at Julian Cho Technical High School in the Toledo District, where he resides. Prior to this, he served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Belize, Toledo Campus; Project Coordinator for the MesoAmerica Project, and numerous other posts within the agricultural sector.

Santa’s Little Helpers
There is a lot of thought to give during the Christmas season and three little girls along with their mothers set out to give a little Christmas joy to needy families. Gabriella Knox (8), Arianna Flota (8) and Alejandra Flota (9) took the task of providing food and goods for three families to enjoy during the Christmas season. The three girls, together with the encouragement and support of their mothers, organized a bake sale to raise funds to purchase items such as washing soap, bleach, soap, shampoo, tooth brushes and tooth paste, staple food items including rice, beans, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, herbs and spices, potatoes, carrots, fresh bell pepper, onions and tomatoes, along with a Christmas dinner of turkey, stuffing and yams, and a toy to each child of the family.

Ambergris Today

Busy Tourist Season Brings Weekend Intermittent Outages in San Pedro
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises that it has completed works in San Pedro Town to address the technical problems on the system which caused several power outages in the municipality over the weekend. The technical problems related to an overloading on the power system in San Pedro. This is the result of significant and rapid growth in power demand in the area. To address the problem, the Company carried out works to change equipment settings to help facilitate the growth in demand. The Company encourages customers to practise energy conservation to help reduce the impact on the system. Considering the current high cost of power, customers can also save money by practising energy conservation. Some useful tips follow:

Three Island Girls Become Santa’s Little Helpers
We asked the girls how they would like to raise the funds to purchases the family Christmas boxes. Unanimously they choose a bake sale. We began by creating a menu, purchasing the supplies for the baked goods and then baking lots of delicious cookies, cupcakes and treats. Part of our goal was to have the girls learn the value of a dollar and to understand how much money was needed to purchase the items required to bake the goods for the bake sale. The girls were all very shocked by how much money needed to be spent to buy the ingredients! They worked for two evenings after school to help bake the goodies, and then sold them for two days on the beach; one day in central park during a sailing regatta and one day on the beach at El Pescador. Through this two day bake sale they raised enough money to purchase the contents for all three boxes. We thank everyone who supported the bake sale, many of whom left additional funds when they were informed of the girls’ mission.

Pic of the Week: Family Gatherings During the Holidays in Belize
“Flip flops on Christmas... YES... that is Christmas in Belize! Miss it.” This is what a friend of Ambergris Today commented when she saw this picture. The mercury hardly went below 85 degrees for the “Belizean Winter” this year and even though everybody dressed up for Christmas parties in San Pedro, Belize, there is no need for fancy dress shoes – Flip Flops do just fine.

Flashbacks: The Fun of Kraals
A Kraal is defined as an enclosure for livestock, particularly cattle, but in Belize it also refers to an enclosure in the sea and used particularly for private swimming. Back in the 1950’s business lady from Belize City, Mrs. Serafina Encalada (+) had a kraal in front of her vacation beach house in San Pedro by the Tackle box area. It was enclosed with palmetto posts and even had a dressing room. Later on in the 1980’s and 90’s Holiday Hotel had is private kraal as seen in this Flashback. Whilst some people build them to keep fishes as a tourist attraction, Holiday Hotel had its kraal for its tourists to enjoy a safe swimming area due to the increase of boat traffic and accidents. We believe it is a wonderful idea for resorts to have private kraals for their tourists, and when it is not high season, they could very well open them on Sundays for the Island residents to be tourists in their own hometown. Keeping a kraal in full-time use is advantageous in that it does not allow silt to settle. A public one at Boca Del Rio would also be an excellent idea as it would diminish the chances of boat accidents. So what do you think?

25 Years Ago: Happy New Year at Marino’s Roof Top
The New Year’s Eve Celebration has undergone many changes throughout the years. I will take you back to the 1960’s when Marino’s Club Roof Top was the Number 1 place to celebrate. Of course the dances have been the most featured attractions for any New Year’s party as they are today. Twenty five years ago the dance at Marino’s Club was for the teenagers or all single people. Daddy’s Club was the venue for the “Baile de casados’ or ‘Baile de Viejos’ only for married couples and you had to go with your spouse. The dances commenced at 9 p.m. on the dot with any accordion band that was active at the time. Popular accordionists were Wil Alamilla, Aldo Marin, and Ovidio Guerrero. Guitars and percussions were in abundance so that was no problem. The music and dancing went on until 11:30p. at which time the church bell was rung to call everyone to mass. Oh, by the way I forgot to mention that everyone attended the dance in regular or everyday clothing to signal the año viejo or the old year that had transpired. Therefore as soon as the first bell call was rung, the music stopped at the dance hall and everyone went home to put on their new party clothes to signal the New Year. At midnight the mass commenced with Reverend Robert Raszkowski extending his well wishes on behalf of the bishop and himself and all the religious to the San Pedro community.

What is Success?
By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant We educators, while trying to teach young students, both in Primary and Secondary schools, perhaps without realizing it, often times confuse them even more than they already may be confused, by insisting that they focus on “our” visions of success – not theirs. “You had better pass my exam, or else…” Worse even, many parents also (consciously or unconsciously) add more confusion to their already stressed out teenage sons and daughters by pressuring them to “stay at the top” always at school, or remain in the “honors” category each term/semester. Too many parents do not view their children as successful unless they bring home grades in the 90’s or high 80’s. Sadly, this type of attitude from parents (and from many teachers) will only add to young people’s already stressed-out and burnt-out lives at school. Teachers and parents: let’s remember that teenagers are at an especially awkward transition period between childhood and adulthood. Let’s not make it worse for them with “our” constant demands for success.

The Best of 2012 – Happy New Year
It’s a New Year, which means there are many new adventures ahead for everyone. We don’t know what we may have to do this year or what we will encounter, but all we know is that we should try to make this year the best year you ever had. Why not try to develop a new skill or start working on one you already have? Why not help the less fortunate or bring joy into someone’s life? There are many different things we can do. All we need to know is to not waste this year or mess it up by doing something bad. We must take advantage of what life brings our way and make the most of it.

Misc Belizean Sources

Save San Pedro's Wildlife
Welcome to Save San Pedro's Wildlife! We would like to thank you for your support this past year. ACES/ American Crocodile Education Sanctuary has saved lives by relocating problem crocodiles and has rescued numerous animals in Ambergris Caye. We could not have done it without your support and generosity! Our goal is to raise $8,500 by the new year for the completion of two croc habitats & security gates at ACES Wildlife & Croc Refuge in San Mateo, Ambergris Caye, for injured wildlife on the island. On December 27th while joining ACES Team on a CSI Belize croc excursion, The Edmonton Reptile & Amphibin Society made a very generous, direct, donation to this cause lowering our need by $1500 USD! ACES volunteers respond to all wildlife calls and see that any injured animals are quickly and safely transported to the appropriate mainland facility under the direction of the Belize Forest Department. ACES is a member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network and verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Our bathtub is just getting too small, but over the past year it has rescued everything from six foot crocs to crocodile eggs, a Green iguana, and even "Tia," a Collared anteater. Please support San Pedro's Wildlife by donating to The Belize Economic & Ecological Development Fund.

VIDEO: Sharks Battle Diver For Lionfish, Local Diving Belize
Featuring Guest Diver Malik Brooks. Thanks for helping create awareness of reef conservation and preservation here in Belize. In this episode diver wins after making to the surface with Lionfish after repeated attacks from sharks of which they enjoy eating Lionfish from our spears

New Year's Happiness - Quita Goma
Here's some help for today. "quita goma... just in time for the holidays... you can private message me to place your order..."

Channel 7

Man Kills Common Law Wife, Then Himself In Front of Their Child
Tonight three families are shattered after an unspeakable tragedy last night in Punta Gorda. 24 year old James Staine Sr killed his 21 year old common-law Keena in front of their 2 year old son, James Jr. It happened on the seaside of the Coastal Town. Monica Bodden went to Punta Gorda today and we're just putting the finishing touches on her story now. But there's a Belize City element in the story as well. James Staine was from Belize City. He had gone to Punta Gorda to follow Kina. But now he's coming back in a coffin. His mother Michelle Swasey told us about his unfortunate end. Michelle Swasey, mother of James Staine Sr. "it was under a shed in PG that he killed the girl; he put the gun to her head and then he put the gun under here and then he shoot himself." "It's hard for me because I know they were really in love but as I say I don't know what went wrong. I sympathized with Keena's mom and her family and I will miss her also because she was a good daughter-in-law to me and she gave me a wonderful grandson, so I really sympathized with them. I know what she is going through because I am going through the same thing right now and it hurts. I will not say my son is innocent. I don't know what happen during the other times. I know they have their arguments - I stop them because I don't encourage my kid to beat a woman or to do anything bad to a woman because I always tell them to remember that they have a mom and they wouldn't want anyone to beat their mom."

Brother Killed Brother In Sandhill
And while it was husband killing common-law-wife in PG on Sunday, on Friday night in Sandhill it was brother killing brother. It happened at their mother's home at mile near mile 20 around 9:45. 23 year old Brandon Cabanas - who had reportedly been drinking - got into a fight with his younger brother, 20 year old Edward. Edward pulled a knife and stabbed his brother in the legs - and a cousin stepped in to separate them. But - it appears an artery had been severed and Brandon bled to death before they could get him to the KHMH. Officer in Charge of Ladyville, ASP Chris Noble told us more on Saturday: ASP Chris Noble "They were having some altercation. One of them inflicted injuries upon the other that we believe at this time are stab wounds and he pass away this morning. We are looking at it at all angles and we will consult the DPP for advice based on what the circumstances are." Jules Vasquez "Do you have any idea what circumstances may have preceded such an unfortunate event?" ASP Chris Noble "That matter is still under investigation. We've been doing what our normal ground work is with regards with the investigation and that is where we are at this stage."

Debo's Dead, But Family Spat Lives On
Last week Friday, 7News told you about 21 year-old Allen "Debo" Davis, who was gunned down in a wild shooting in Ladyville. It happened on Thursday when Davis and 4 others - including a child - were injured, and it resulted in his death. In our coverage, we spoke to several people, including one of his neighbors in Ladyville, who gave an impassioned interview, where she called out Davis's family. She claimed to have treated him like one of his own when he moved to Ladyville, and she made certain remarks which infuriated the family. Well today, Davis's family called us to their home to respond to some of the allegations made by this neighbor. Basically, it's a quarrel between 2 parties which is being conducted via the media, which isn't something that we normally report on. But because those comments ended up in our coverage, we're obliged to air their response. For context, we'll start first with those made by the neighbor. Here's what she told us on Friday: Emily Gabourel - Neighbor "The guy is not anything to me but when they put him out of his house - none of his family was at his side. I had that guy in my house for two years and 6 months; I took him like a mother. I gave him that house over there and then now the family is coming like an idiot, like a jackass to be acting like that. All of a sudden that he is dead - the family comes like they so love him." And here's what his family said in response, as well as their suspicions about why he was killed.

Court Clerk Robbed of 7k. Did Not Have Armed Escort
Last week Friday, 7News told you about a robbery on Regent Street, in which a Magistrate's Court Clerk was targeted. Well tonight, we can report that the assailant got away with over $7,000 in cash. According to police, the First Class Clerk reported that on Friday at around 4:05 p.m., she was accompanied by a special constable who was providing security while she made a deposit. But while on Regent Street, a dark skinned man who was armed with a rusty handgun approached them. The assailant attacked quickly and struck the unarmed officer in the forehead with the weapon, and then pointed it at the clerk. Fearing for her life, the clerk handed over the black plastic bag which contained a Belize Bank Night Deposit bag. Inside that bag was $7,634.90 in Belize currency, belonging to the Government of Belize. The man then fled the scene, escaping with the money. The efficiency with which the attack was executed suggests that the assailant may have been running surveillance on the movement of money from the courthouse to the bank.

Light Rate Goes Up Tomorrow!
made the decision based on BEL's cost of power in the past year - which skyrocketed! It went so high that the company ended up spending 45 million dollars more than it had budgeted to buy power. The company sent its figures to the PUC for the annual review - and when the PUC did the math, the Utility was effectively requesting a rate increase to about 55 cents per kilowatt hour - about one-third more than the 41 cents you are currently paying. PUC gave them half of that - which works out to about 48 cents per kilowatt hour. It's still a 17% increase for you as the PUC Chairman explained at a Press Conference on Friday: John Avery, Chairman - PUC "The new approved electricity rate is now 48.86 cents which is approximate 16.87% above the existing 41.81 mean electricity rate."

PM Says 2013 Public Work Programme Will Cause Major Employment Stimulus
And so while the New Year starts with the blight of higher light bills - don't tell that to the Prime Minister! His New Year's message - all 22 minutes of it, is nothing but good news. One bit that did catch out attention was a major package of public funded works projects designed to create employment. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Government will initiate a 60 million dollar, domestically financed package of public works. This venture, to be planned, executed and managed using a specially chartered investment vehicle, will include the rebuilding of the Belize City Center and construction of showcase sporting/social use facilities in each district. I expect no less than 1000 new jobs to spring from this stimulus package. And there will be myriad opportunities for contractors, sub-contractors and workers in the communities where the facilities will be built. These sporting and multi-purpose centers, along with the soon-to-be completed Marion Jones Stadium, represent a boon for a broad field of community and commercial activities." "Also scheduled for commencement in 2013 is the recently approved, CDB-funded 12 million dollar Youth and Community Transformation Project. This includes a 21,000 square foot Resource and sporting facility on the Lake Independence side of Chetumal Street, plus the uplift of the Wilton Cummerbatch Field in Port Loyola, and the fencing of the Samuel Haynes Institute for Excellence."

He Killed Keena; She Was a Daughter and A Friend
As we told you at the top of the newscast a man killed his common law wife last night in Punta Gorda and then he took his own lif e- all in front of their small child. You've heard from his mother, and today Monica Bodden went to Punta Gorda to hear from his family. They are wracked by grief at the loss of a daughter - another victim of a deranged abusive relationship. Here's the full story:.. Monica Bodden reporting 21 year old Keena Williams was murdered under this seaside shed - only yards away from her parents' house. The incident happened just after 9 last night in the village of Cattle Landing - just outside of Punta Gorda Town. She was shot once to the right side of her temple by her jealous boyfriend 23 year old James Staine - Staine then pointed his 9mm pistol under his chin and pulled the trigger on himself. He died on the spot - while Keena was pronounced dead at 9:20pm- 20 minutes after she was shot. The entire incident unfolded in front of the couple's 2 year old son.

Special Branch Again!
Recently in the Newscast, we've been reporting on the consistent busts being made by Special Branch and the Gang Suppression Unit. Well, this weekend it was the Special; Branch doing a thing. On Friday, at around 6:15 p.m., SB personnel conducted a search at the residence of 31 year-old Nigel Eric Murray, located at #7056 Raccoon Street Extension. This led to the discovery on a black garbage bag which contained 650 grams - over a pound - of cannabis. As a result, he was charged with drug trafficking. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today on the charge where it was discovered that he owed the court fines of $775. He was granted bail of $1,000 which he will unable to meet until after he has paid those fines. His case was adjourned to February 5, 2013. On Friday at around 8:45 p.m., a search was conducted based on Special Branch information in an empty lot on Antelope Street Exension. It resulted in the discovery of 12 Parcels of cannabis to a total weight of 1.94 kilos - or 4.28 pounds - of cannabis, and 123 grams of compressed hydro. No one was in the immediate area, so the drugs were labeled as found property.

The Ferguson Fuss Continues
On Friday, we ended our newscast with Paul Ferguson, the Chicken Dread, who continues to defy City Hall on principle in relation to his quest to sell his fried chicken on the street corner in front of the Abdul Building. As we showed you, Ferguson was once again shutdown and removed from his favorite spot by police. He was as defiant as ever when he instructed his family members to continue to sell chicken at that spot because according to him, they can only stop him, and no one else. Well, when he was eventually removed on Friday, essentially, nothing happened. He was taken away by police who released him later on because no new charges which were brought against him. So, even though the City enforcement unit told us that it was acting under orders from the Mayor, it seems that Ferguson didn't violate any other law. So, he's out tonight, and he told us this evening that he will be operating somewhere on Albert Street tonight and during New Year's night.

Cycling Assoc In Chaos; New Year's Race Will Still Be Dramatic
Right now, cyclists from all across the country are making last-minute preparations for the 23rd annual Krem New Year's Day Cycling Classic. As we've been reporting, there is a rift in the Belize Cycling Association, which has caused some instability in the entire sport. Well today, the promoter of the Krem Cycling Classic told us that tomorrow's race is not affected by that, and in fact, they're ready for a very competitive event: Kwamy Scott, Race Promoter - KREM Cycling Classic "Tomorrow bring up the 23rd running of the Annual KREM New Year's Day Cycling Classic. 23 years ago the brain trust of the Kremandala organization saw it fot to have a race to start the New Year. At that time we started from Orange Walk to Belize City, I believe that Gerald Garbutt was the manager of the station at that time; I think that Bowman was the president of the cycling association at that time and they made it a reality. Now 23 years later what we have is the second biggest race on the cycling calendar next to the cross country. When I say second I mean in terms of the quality of the race, the distance of the race and the big prizes; there are over $20,000.00 in prizes; finish and station prizes on the road." "There will be 3 categories; 3 different races; the elite make and under 23 will ride from the Corozal border with Mexico near to the free zone, they start there at 9am and head all the way to Belize City. The Female and the Juniors begin at Orange Walk near the Town Board and they head to Belize City. The Juniors start at 9:30 and the females begin 5 minutes later. All races will finish on Central American Boulevard near its junction with the Mahogany Street stop lights."

What's Your 2013 Resolution?
The New Years' Resolution - most people have them, but very few actually follow through and try to accomplish them. But, there's nothing wrong with aspirational goals and that's what our associate, Giovannie Brackett, hit the streets to find out about today: What do you aspire for in 2013? He found that most people want to increase the peace: Interviewee "I don't have a new year's resolution. I serve God everyday - that's my resolution." Geovanni Brackett "You know like what most people will try to change for the new year?" Interviewee "It's a daily thing for me I don't make resolutions." Interviewee

Alcohol Is the Killing Thing
And according to police, one sure thing you can do to ensure that there is less bloodshed is to consume less alcohol. As the police press officer told us today - alcohol is behind a great deal of terrible crimes: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "We have notice that all the stabbing incidents of late have actually been traced back to alcohol consumption and i want to say this that alcohol has actually been the main cause of death, more than world war 1,2 and aids combined. It's always traceable to alcohol. Quite a few incidents that have been occurring in crime; violence, rape burglary, stabbing, shooting - all the murders can almost be trace back to alcohol consumption."

Goodbye 2012, the Year Of Excess
And we end our newscast on that note: Everything in moderation. Indeed, 2012 was a year of excess: 145 murders is too much. And you probably also had your fill of politics because it was a year of election - and you surely had your fill of pedophiles and girl killers. But we were happy for Rowan Garel's excessive ambition that led him to walk 92 miles, and we were also happy for Giovanni Choto's excessive heroism, which led him to dominate the Cross Country like no Belizean had in decades! And so excess has its virtues, but usually too much is just too much to take. And that's what we found when we looked back at 2012: too many murders - the biggest of them happening on a Friday night in April in Belize City. Here's that and some more images that made news in 2012:.. And for those hardcore news junkies who still want more, well you can tune in to Channel 7 tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 pm when we present the best, most important news stories of 2012.

Channel 5

Cain and Able; brother kills brother in Sandhill
2012 comes to a close with a record number of murders. One hundred and forty five persons have been killed across the country; the majority of victims were gunned down in the Belize District. But gang related killings are not the only cause. This year the explicit degradation of morality and values were shown not [...]

Murder count at 145; lovers’ murder and suicide
The victim, Brandon Cabanas was twenty-three years old, and his brother the murder suspect Edward Cabanas is twenty years old. Though only one brother survived the dispute, his life will never be the same. The other two deceased individuals are twenty-one and twenty-four years old, in the same range as the Cabanas brothers. Their case [...]

Anthony Garcia charged for Boxing Day murder
There is an update to another killing that occurred over the holidays. The man accused of brutally stabbing seventeen year old Luke Dayton Nunez to death on December twenty-sixth has been charged. According to police, forty-eight year old Anthony Garcia, a driver of Hopkins Village has been formally arrested and charged with Murder. It is [...]

House falls on Pelican Street
We’ve reported on a family of a dozen that recently lost their home in a blaze days before Christmas in Orange Walk Town. It’s quite daunting to start the year, without a roof over your head, but a similar fate has reached the steps of a Belize City family. A Pelican Street resident has lost [...]

Special Branch’s numerous drug and ammo busts
The Special Branch of the Police Department has been very busy over the past three days and conducted successful searches for drugs and ammunition. On December twenty-eighth at six-fifteen p.m., officers conducted a search at the residence of thirty-one year old Nigel Eric Murray of Raccoon Street Extension.  Murray was arrested and charged with drug [...]

Islander stabbed and self-discharges from hospital
A San Pedro businessman was the victim of a stabbing incident on Ambergris Caye last Friday night. Edwin Henry was reportedly attacked by four men while he stood on Sea Grape Drive, not far from his home. Henry struggled with the assailants and was injured in the process, but according to Police Press Officer, Raphael [...]

Teacher raped in Cayo and a narrow escape in Belmopan
2012 also saw some of the country’s most heinous crimes committed on females.  The murder of Jasmine Lowe and Suzenne Martinez in the Cayo district tugged at the country’s collective conscience and resulted in peaceful demonstrations for change. That change has not come as yet, as a Santa Elena teacher was reportedly raped early on [...]

Alleged robber at Marion Jones Stadium behind bars
As you are aware by now, the courts were busy even on the last day of the year. Nineteen year old Randy August will bring in 2013 behind bars after he was arraigned this morning for an armed robbery and remanded to prison. August appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith where he was read one count [...]

Youth inspired to be Latin singer
Channel Five has proven that talent comes in all shapes and sizes from our various shows. And tonight, one seventeen year old resident of San Ignacio wants to showcase his love for singing to the country. Roni Baños, who goes by the stage name “Roni B” has been singing for five years and has picked [...]

Who will win the New Year’s Cycling Classic?
Each municipality has its own celebrations to usher in the New Year.  There may be private fireworks and countdown sessions across the country tonight, but come sunrise, 2013’s first national sporting event will be the annual Krem New Years Cycling Classic.  The defending champion is Giovanni Choto, and according to spokesperson Kwame Scott, all eyes [...]

New Year and Old Resolutions
At the start of a new year, the general public often times make goals they wish to accomplish over the next twelve months. And while many may have achieved their resolution, there is the few that may not have kept their plans. So this year, we decided to add a twist when we hit the [...]

Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.
Money time inside the 1st PLB Championship arrived yesterday at the F.F.B. Stadium where Police United and Belmopan Bandits went into the home and away series locked in a 1-1 tie the pump and circumstance on the field tells the tale that one of these 2 ball clubs will become the 1st ever PLB Champion. [...]


Police News
A stabbing incident on Saturday morning has left a Belize City man hospitalized. Forty three year old Edgardo Siciliano was stabbed to the left side of the abdomen and cut to the left thumb during what police have described as an aggravated robbery incident. Police say that...

Galen Holds 8th Commencement Exercise
Sixty five students graduated from Galen University on Sunday. The eighth Commencement exercise was held at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City and featured the welcome address by MBA candidate, President of Galen, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, commended the efforts of ...

Spouse Kills Woman and Himself
A shooting incident last night in Punta Gorda town has left two people dead. Information to the RSV News Centre says that the incident happened around nine thirty last night at the northern entrance to the town. It allegedly involved a man from Belize City who, according to...

Taxi Driver Detained Pending Rape Charge
Police in San Ignacio have detained a taxi driver pending charges after a woman claimed she was raped over the weekend. According to reports, the woman, who lives in Santa Elena, was out socializing and on her way home, the taxi driver took her to the racetrack in the town, where...

Man Stabs Brother In Belize District
Police are expected to file charges against a 20 year-old man in connection with the stabbing death of his older brother. The incident occurred during a dispute between the two brothers in Sand Hill Village on Friday night. Love News understands that 23 year old Brandon Cab...

Re: Today's Belize News: January 1, 2013 [Re: Marty] #454442
01/01/13 09:03 AM
01/01/13 09:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,113
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here


Man kills girlfriend then himself
2012 will end sadly for two families in Punta Gorda Town who lost their son and daughter in the most tragic of circ...

Man kills brother in Sandhill
There is another murder to report on tonight and once again it involves one family member turning deadly on another...

Businessman Edwin Henry stabbed in San Pedro
There was one last incident of violence in the Belize District , this time in San Pedro. A man was stabbed over the...

BEL to receive an increase in mean electricity rate
Barring any objections from consumers and stakeholders, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is set to receive an incre...

Community concern over safety on George Price Highway
When the George Price Highway becomes wet due to rains, the phones at our news room inevitably rings informing us o...

Wilfred Anthony Garcia charged for murder of 17 year old Luke Dayton Nunez Jr
A man has been charged for the murder of a 17 year old youth from Hopkins. On Friday Police arrested and charged 48...

Nigel Eric Murray charged for drug trafficking
31 year old Nigel Eric Murray was arrested and charged for drug trafficking on Friday night. On Friday 28th Decembe...

Belize National Football team in rigorous training for 2013 tournament
The premeire league for Football is over and Belmopan Bandits has been declared the winners for the 2012 Premeir Le...

Collapsing house causes power outage in Collet Division
While Belize City was largely crime-less over the weekend, there was bad news for at least one family. PLUS News un...

Man in hospital following stabbing incident on Iguana Street Extension
There was another stabbing incident, this time inside a Belize City home. A welder of Iguana Street Extension, was ...

Taxi driver detained as Police investigate a rape of teacher
A taxi driver has been detained in connection to a rape report. A 28 year old teacher of Santa Elen told police tha...

16 year old waitress claims she was raped
A 16 year old waitress of Las Flores Ares in Belmopan city told Belmopan Police that on Saturday at about 12:30am s...

Home invasion reported in Hattieville on Friday
There was a home invasion reported in Hattieville on Friday. Acting upon information received of an Aggravated Burg...

Family concerned about Police response to missing 15 years-old
A 15 year old girl is missing and her family says the police are dragging their feet in locating her. The Belmopan ...

Conductor prevents robbery of bus passengers
There was an attempted highway robbery on Saturday. Between mile 16 and 17 on the George Price Highway, a Shaw Bus ...

Deposit bag stolen on way to Belize Bank in Belize City
A 42 year old First Class Clerk of Belize City reported that on Friday at about 4:05pm, she walking on Regent Stree...

Laura Caceres charged for Disorderly Conduct after concert at BTL Park
Police have arrested and charged 24 year old Laura Caceres for the offences of Disorderly conduct and Causing Publi...

Mexican gets five years for firearm offences
A Mexican man has been sentenced to five years in prison after he was found with unlicensed ammunition. Yesterday, ...

The Guardian

Winston Dennison gets 18 Years for Sex with 14-Year-Old
55-year-old Winston Dennison was convicted on three counts of carnal knowledge on Monday, December 17th. Dennison is a parolee, who had been convicted of manslaughter in 2000 and served 10 years of his 25-year prison sentence. A mitigation plea was heard for him before Justice Troadio Gonzalez on Friday, December 21st. In mitigation, Dennison maintained his innocence. He asked only about the process of appeal. Justice Gonzalez explained to him that it is his right to appeal and that he has 21 days to do so. Dennison was unrepresented throughout the entire trial. He has the right to appeal the conviction and the right to appeal the sentence handed down by Gonzalez. The 14-year-old, in an in camera testimony, said she had sex with Dennison on August 20th, 22nd and 24th of 2010. Justice Gonzalez sentenced Dennison to 5 years for the first count, 6 years on the second count and 7 years for the third count against the 14-year-old. The sentences are to run consecutively; therefore, Dennison will serve a total of 18 years for his first sex offense. His parole was also revoked; meaning, that the 15 years remaining from the manslaughter conviction will be added back on. Dennison’s last words to the court were, “I am not guilty of this crime.”

Family charged in connection with Murder of Raheem Requena
Jermaine “Horse” Garnett and Kenneth Barrow joined Cassian Bennett on Thursday, December 27th, when they were charged for the murder of 19-year-old Raheem Requena. Requena was gunned down at the corner of Supaul Street and Kut Avenue on December 19th, 2012. He was not known to be gang affiliated and his murder is believed to be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. On Thursday, Garnett and Barrow appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas to hear the charge of murder read to them. No plea was taken since the charge is an indictable offense. They were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on January 30th. On Monday, December 24th, Cassian Bennett was the first to be charged in connection to the murder of Requena. Also charged in connection with the murder on Thursday were Pamela Garnett, wife of Jermaine Garnett, and her son, Mark Vernon. They were both charged with attempted suppression of evidence. Allegations are that Garnett and her son paid Marie Alvarez $500 on December 25th to refrain from testifying in the murder trial. Both will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on January 11th, 2013. In court, Pamela Garnett was represented by attorneys Dickie Bradley and Anthony Sylvester.

Woman Police Officer Charged for Aiding Prisoner’s Escape
On Thursday, December 27th, Special Constable, Lisa Cayetano was formally arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate Court for aiding the escape of a detained woman, Pamela Garnett, on Christmas Day. Garnett, who is the wife of Jermaine “Horse” Garnett, was detained for allegedly threatening a witness to a murder. No plea was taken from Cayetano since the prosecutor indicated to Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. that they are not certain of the DPP’s position on the matter as yet. Magistrate Lucas then offered Cayetano bail in the sum of $2,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Cayetano, who has been with the department for four and a half years, is due back in court on February 8th, 2013. At the time of the allegation, Cayetano was posted on duty at the Patrol Branch headquarters on Queen Street.

Christmas Brawl in Belmopan City
Belmopan Police are investigating a Christmas day brawl in the Maya Mopan Area of Belmopan City that led to 28-year-old Amancio Ico receiving numerous chop wounds. According to police initial investigation, Ico and a group of men were involved in a fight on Bethel Street in the Maya Mopan Area of Belmopan when he received a large cut wound to the back of his head, a chop wound to the right arm and a fractured skull. No charges have been levied as yet in connection with the incident and police investigation continues.

Daisy Tillett convicted of Crack Cocaine Possession
Cosmetologist and resident of Ladyville Village, Daisy Tillett, was convicted of the possession of 0.3 grams of crack cocaine on Friday, December 21st. On June 21st of this year, Tillett, who was living in Taylor’s Alley in Belize City, was found in possession of the controlled drug after officers of the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search at her home. Police officer Stacey Smith made the discovery. She said that when she arrived at Tillett’s home she saw her kneeling down in the house and regurgitating the substance. When she checked, it was crack cocaine coming out of her mouth. Apparently, Tillett tried to swallow the substance when she saw the police coming to her home. Tillett put up no defense and remained silent in her trial. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart found her guilty and imposed a non-custodial sentence; where she was fined $300 plus a $5.00 cost of court. Tillett has until January 31st, 2013 to pay the fine or serve 3 months in prison.

Ibrahim Smith charged for the Murder of William Francis
19-year-old William Felix Francis was murdered on Sunday, November 25th, and on December 24th, police escorted his alleged killer to the Magistrates Court to face a charge of murder. 20-year-old Ibrahim Smith, a resident of Hill View area, Santa Elena Town, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read the single charge of murder. According to police, sometime between 12 noon and 1 p.m., Francis was talking with his brother inside their house on Mahogany Street Extension, when a dark complexion male, dressed in black clothing, entered the house and pointed a pistol at both of them. The gunman asked for someone and that was when Francis’ brother ran and jumped through the window leaving him behind. The gunman opened fire. Francis was shot multiple times and died on the scene. Police recovered 8 expended shells and a slug from inside the house. Ibrahim Smith was unrepresented in court. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and bail was not discussed at the Magistrates Court. Smith will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on January 31st, 2013. Smith also has a charge of manslaughter in the death of a Sadie Vernon student for which he was out on bail for.

17-Year-Old chopped to Death in Hopkins Village
Police have arrested 48-year-old Wilfred Anthony Garcia, for the chopping death of 17-year-old Dayton Nunez, Jr. According to police reports, Nunez and Garcia were involved in a misunderstanding on the north side of Hopkins Village sometime after 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26th, and it led to Garcia chopping Nunez to the right side of the chest, center of the head and the upper left side of the chest. Nunez was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital for treatment but later succumbed to his injuries. Police investigation into the incident continues and Garcia was charged for causing Nunez’s death.

Cashawn Gentle Charged for Murder of Raheem Requena
Cassian Bennett, 23, known as “Cashawn Gentle” of Ceasar Ridge Road, was charged for the Wednesday, December 19th, murder of 19-year-old Raheem Requena on Monday, December 24th. Bennett appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read the single charge of murder. He was unrepresented and since the charge of murder is an indictable offense, no plea was taken. He will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on January 30th, 2013. Raheem Requena was a 4th form student at Excelsior High School. He was gunned down at the corner of Kut Avenue and Supaul Street at about 8:10 p.m. According to reports, Requena was riding his bicycle on Kut Avenue while heading to his grandmother’s home on Supaul Street when he was shot 6 times. The fatal shot made its mark in his chest. Requena was not known to be affiliated with any gang and his murder is believed to be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Reynard Grinage charged for Keeping Unlicense Firearm
While conducting patrol on Queen Charlotte Street at about 9 p.m. on Christmas night, December 25th, police conducted a search on 39-year-old Reynard Grinage of Faber’s Road Extension. The search led to the discovery of a chrome and black Luger 9mm pistol with a magazine containing fifteen 9mm live rounds. Grinage was subsequently arrested and charged with keeping a firearm without a gun license and keeping ammunition without a gun license.

Another Murder in Ladyville
Police are investigating a shooting incident in Ladyville Village, which claimed the life of 21-year-old Allen Davis. Reports indicated that on Thursday, December 27th, 2012 at around 7:30 pm, a gunman approached a group of people who were socializing at a residence in the Milpa area of Ladyville and opened fire. Reports indicate that the gunman, who was wearing a blue shirt and blue 3/4 jeans pants, shot into the crowd hitting Davis to the head, chest, his private area and both legs. He died while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. Also injured was a 4-year-old child who received a graze to the left hand. 25-year-old Jamie Chavarria also received a gunshot to the left leg. Two other young women who were in the crowd were grazed as a result of the shooting. Police have retrieved two slugs along with four S&B,three Aguila and five Luger 9 millimeter expended shells from the scene. Preliminary reports by police indicate that the intended target of the shooting was Rene Chavarria Jr. who is the brother of Jaime Chavarria.

Ernest Thurton Jr. and Jasper Brannon charged for Murders of Frank James and Robert Young
Police have cracked a double murder case that occurred two months ago. On Monday, December 24th, 20-year-old Ernest Thurton Jr. and 22-year-old Jasper Brannon, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where they were read two charges of murder in the shooting deaths of Frank James and Robert Young which occurred on October 25th, 2012. No plea was taken since the charges will be dealt with on indictment and bail could not be offered at the Magistrate’s Court. Thurton and Brannon were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next scheduled court appearance on January 31st, 2013. The murder of James and Young occurred just before 11:00 p.m. at a dockyard near the Northern Fisherman Cooperative on New Road. Residents of the area said they heard several gunshots and when police arrived at the scene they found the bodies of 35-year-old Frank James on the side of the street and 43-year-old Robert Young in the dockyard. According to police, James was shot once to the left side of the abdomen, twice to the right calf and once to the left wrist. Young was shot to the left ear, right side of his head and right side of his neck.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow New Year's Message
My Fellow Belizeans, From time immemorial, each New Year brings with it a rekindling of hope and a renewal of optimism. For Belize in 2013, there will be a very early realization of this promise of brighter prospects. Our national reset will receive an immediate stimulus by the signing, in the first part of January, of a legal agreement that will resolve once and for all the crippling commercial debt burden that has threatened to turn Belize into an economic basket case. The settlement we have reached with our Superbond holders is on terms very favorable to us. And the relief we have been able to secure amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. For a physically and economically tiny country, for an Administration and a people unfairly saddled with a monstrosity not of our making, this is an accomplishment of historic proportions. And it is a great way to underline the annual refresh with which we mark every January 1.

Added Security for Bullet Tree Falls
A Yamaha motorcycle was handed over on December 27th by the Cariddi Family to the Bullet Tree Falls Community in the Cayo District. The keys were handed over by Christopher Cariddi, a representative of the Cariddi Family, to Victor Pott, President of the Bullet Tree Falls Neighbourhood Watch Committee.

Cayo Central Christmas Football Cup
On September 19th 2012, 8 teams from Santa Elena Town participated in a football marathon held at the Santa Elena Football Field, to kick off the Cayo Central Christmas Cup Sponsored by Hon. Rene Montero, Area Representative for Cayo Central And Minister of Works & Transport. This past Sunday was the Finals for the competition and the Trapiche Team and the Hillview team played an exciting and competitive game and exhibited discipline and excellent sportsmanship.

Lee Mark Chang’s and the UDP Freetown Christmas Party
It is the fourth year Lee Mark’s UDP Freetown Committee has organized a Christmas party for 250 needy children in the Freetown Division. This year was no exception. The event was held in the Belama Phase I Community Park on Saturday, December 22nd. It was a true Christmas blessing to see children of very unfortunate situations having the time of their lives and the positive attitude for this Christmas season.

Primer Ministro Hon. Dean Barrow Mensaje Ano Nuevo 2013
Mis compatriotas Beliceños. Desde tiempos inmemorables, cada Año Nuevo trae consigo un renacer de la esperanza y la renovación del optimismo. Para Belice en el 2013 [dos mil trece], habrá una temprana realización de esta promesa de prospectos brillantes. Nuestro reinicio nacional recibirá un estímulo inmediato con la firma, en la primera parte de enero, de un acuerdo legal que resolverá, de una vez por todas, el peso paralizante de la deuda comercial que ha amenazado en convertir a Belice, económicamente, en un ‘caso perdido’. El acuerdo a que hemos llegado con los titulares del [la deuda] el ‘super-bono’ tiene condiciones favorables para nosotros. Y el alivio que hemos logrado asegurar equivale a cientos de millones de dólares. Para un país, física y económicamente pequeño, para una administración y un pueblo injustamente embarcados con una monstruosidad, , es un logro de proporciones históricas. Y es una gran manera de subrayar el renacer anual con el cual marcamos el primero de enero.

Year in review 2012
There’s not just one word to summarize the year 2012. It was a historic year in the world of Belizean politics and in the nation’s fight against crime. 2012 has also seen development of exponential proportions – particularly in regards to infrastructure -- in all the major municipalities across the country, but it hasn’t been short of some controversy. All that aside, it has also seen the testament of the human spirit and how far one person’s vision can inspire an entire country to become juxtaposed and moved together for a singular cause. 2012 could be considered a year that truly has left some impact on us all. Let’s take a look back at the year that has gone by.

The Year that was in Sports 2012
The 22nd Annual Krem Sugar and Cream Cycling Classic have now etched its way in the pages of Belizean Sports annals.

$300 Million in Savings from Superbond
It’s perhaps the best Christmas Gift that the country could have gotten when Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow made the announcement on Friday, December 21st that there was a breakthrough in the negotiations of the Superbond. PM Barrow called a press conference at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza where he made the announcement. The Prime Minister stated “Belize has reached agreement in principle with its bond holders over the re-structuring of the super bond. This agreement is comprehensive, it is sustainable and it will provide well in excess of 150 million dollars in relief to Belize.” The relief is in excess of 300 million Belize dollars. Under the old arrangement, the Government and people would have paid a total of U.S. $794,295,350, of that the principal payments represent U.S. $546,800,000 and interest alone would have been U.S. $247,495,350. Simple mathematics applied on the figures would suggest that the relief is in the region of almost 19% of the total. According to the Prime Minister, the negotiating team and the bond holders will now be working at a schedule of payment. These terms are expected to be drafted by the middle of January. Lead Negotiator, Ambassador Mark Espat explained that by February and no later than the end of the first quarter of 2013, the entire term sheet would have been completed.

Contract Signed for Construction of Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
On Thursday afternoon, the office of the Special Envoy, the Ministry of Health, KHMH Authority and Challenge Gobie Foundation celebrated another milestone in the establishment of the new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) with the signing of the contract for the first phase of the construction works. Signing the contract was Mr. Javier Gutierrez, Managing Director of Gutierrez and Associates Architecture, whose company won the bid for the construction of the PICU, and Mr. Alan Gobie, founder of the Challenge Gobie Foundation, who fundraised the initial one million dollars for the start of construction. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen signed as witnesses. The PICU project is being spearheaded by Special Envoy for Women and Children and Lifeline Founder/Director, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, KHMH Authority, Challenge Gobie Foundation and the Oak Foundation. This new unit will provide services to critically ill children and babies who presently cannot be treated in country and whose parents have to seek services abroad. As such, this new wing is expected to greatly aid in the reduction of mortality rates among critically ill neonatal and paediatric patients. Construction of the new wing will commence in January 2013.

Belmopan Comprehensive High School is National Basketball Champions
Belmopan Comprehensive High School National Basketball Champions The 2012-2013 National Secondary Schools Male Basketball Competition came to an end on Saturday, December 15th, 2012, at the Independence High Schools Basketball Court in Independence Village. Four schools representing the various regions of the NSSSA participated in this championship. The schools are from the north, San Pedro High School, central, defending champions Sadie Vernon Technical High School, from the west, Belmopan Comprehensive High School and from the south, Stann Creek Ecumenical High School. On Saturday, December 15th, in the male championship game, Belmopan Comprehensive High School defeated Stann Creek Ecumenical High School by the score of 62-49 to regain the national high school basketball title. The top scorers for Belmopan Comprehensive High School were Akeem Watters with 17 points and Kevin Brown with 15 points, while the top scorers for Stann Creek Ecumenical were Quinton Brown with 21 points and Brandon Castillo with 12 points. In the consolation game, Sadie Vernon Technical High School defeated San Pedro High School to finish this year’s competition with the Bronze medal. The top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical were Jamal Augustine with 20 points and Lincey Lopez with 15 points.Meanwhile, the top scorers for San Pedro High School were Russell Linarez and Jose Guerrero with 13 points each. On Friday, December 14th, in the first male game, Belmopan Comprehensive School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 45-43. The top scorers for Belmopan Comprehensive School were Akeem Watters with 27 points and Felix Requena with 6 points. For Sadie Vernon Technical High School, the top scorers were Lincey Lopez with 14 points and Deon Roches with 8 points.


Kim Simplis Barrow’s Reflections, Inspiration and Outlook for the New Year!
A YEAR I WILL NEVER FORGET… by: Kim Simplis Barrow 2012 is coming to an end and for many reasons it is a year I truly don’t mind putting behind me. As I sit here reflecting on the year that was, there is no denying that 2012 was a challenging one for me as I spent a great deal of it fighting for my life. I battled cancer the best way I could and just when it seemed that the victory could well be in sight, there was another major struggle to overcome. When I suffered heart failure at the end of May, I couldn’t help but ask, “what the hell is going on?” I really needed answers. Answers I really didn’t get, but I continued to fight and I also continued to hope and pray and believe. It was a tough year as I completed chemotherapy treatments, radiation, and restored my heart to an acceptable beating pulse after a very grim prognosis. Despite the many adversities I had to face, many days I smiled! I smiled at the everyday miracles I experienced. My faith in the human spirit, the goodness and beauty in everything was ever so present. I am forever grateful for all the support and constant prayers that came and continue to come my way. Yes, during 2012 I struggled with my health but nonetheless, I can gratefully say – it was a successful year. Oh yes it was! My daily inspiration: our beautiful Belizean children! They are the ones who gave me the strength and courage to keep working on my Special Envoy projects.

A Tale of Five Cities: Tulum Food, Part 2
We began our second full day in Tulum with breakfast a place that is quite popular with the locals, right on the main street: Don Cafeto's. It was good, but not our favorite meal of the trip, and we were downwind from heavy smokers sitting at the table next to us, so the experience was not the best. But it was reasonably priced and conveniently located right on the main drag. The coffee was really, really strong -- a bit too much for us. They bring you this rather unexpected bowl of pickled vegetables and garlic (!?!) before your meal arrives. I don't know if this is supposed to be a hangover cure or what, but it didn't hold any appeal to us in the morning, and we left it untouched. The homemade salsa, however, was nice, and Barry enjoyed it on his omelet. My fruit plate with yogurt and granola -- very nicely presented and more than enough For lunch after our long bike ride, we were pretty hungry. We decided to try Charlie's on the main street through Tulum, which we'd heard was good. It really was! We had the place to ourselves as Mexicans tend to eat lunch much later than we do (like 2-4 pm, with dinner correspondingly late).

Happy New Year from Chaa Creek!
Wishing you a Wonderful 2013 With all of the expectations, speculation and anticipation for 2012 finally having come to pass, all of us here at Chaa Creek are once again inviting our many friends and family members from around the world to join us in counting our blessings and renewing our energies as we look forward to a New Year. There’s no doubt it’s been a very big year, and no less so here in Belize, the heartland of the Maya, where world attention was turned to the Maya Winter Solstice of December 21 2012, with some people actually wondering if the so called Maya prophesies were real and if the world was indeed going to end on that date. Those of you who have been following our many blogs and articles knew that there never were any Maya “prophesies” and, in fact, the Winter Solstice of 2012 was celebrated here at Chaa Creek with all the respect and enthusiasm such an event – the culmination of a 5,125 year cosmic cycle – deserved. We’re happy to report it was a hugely successful celebration preceded by a week of education and immersion in Maya culture for our many guests and friends. We think the ancient Maya would have been happy.

Feliz Año Nuevo
As we come to the end of 2012 and week 8, or 20%, of the project time for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize there is still long a long way to go but it has been a great year for us. In seven months ( it seems much, much shorter) we have left the UK and started the build of our new home here in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Something that we dreamt of doing for years. Just goes to show that if you really want to do something and set your heart on doing it, you can. We went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today at around 10.45 am not really expecting to see a lot going on. It is New Year’s eve after all. Pleased to say that our expectations were totally wrong. There was lots going on. The fact that there were nine guys on site surprised us . We had thought that at best the number would be between three to four. As we parked the golf cart we could see that the stack of concrete blocks had shrunk materially and when we looked at the build we could see why. They were being stacked in piles on the Ground Floor.

International Sources

The Escape - Part One
by John McAfee. It’s Christmas day and I’m taking a break from the seriousness of my upcoming January 3rd post. I thought I might post the picture story of the first half of Sam’s and my escape from Belize and my eventual arrival in the States. It’s visually interesting and it is mostly a happy story – in line with most Christmas stories. I’ll start with our arrival, undercover, in Belize City a few days prior to our departure on our exit adventure. We had been in hiding for a couple of weeks, living in less than desirable conditions. Sam was eaten alive by bugs and was happy to reach a place with hot water and comfort, as was I: Our plan was simple: Multiple checkpoints had been set up along every highway exiting Belize and all of the border crossings and seaports had been beefed up with police and Belize Defense Force personnel. Air travel was impossible since the few existing airports had beefed up security staff armed with our photos and names. I chose a few very simple social engineering tricks to effect our escape. Social engineering is the art of predicting people’s behavior based on given stimuli. It is the method of choice for modern computer hackers wishing to gain access to sensitive data. Cracking a computer system’s security electronically, for example, can be difficult. Tricking a secretary or systems manager into simply given you the access is simple. It requires only a cute young man, or sexy woman, or a correct role playing scenario, a little software and a little bit of time. Social engineering can be applied to any problem, not just computer hacking problems. Distractions and decoys, for example, have been used for centuries as primitive social engineering tools. We choose to take the Southern Highway to a town at the far southern end of Belize called Punta Gorda. From there we had arranged to take a small fishing boat the thirty or so miles to a border town in Guatemala called Livingston. The Southern highway, we knew, since we had friends driving the full length daily, had three checkpoints along its way. On the day we left we chose, as a decoy, a friend driving one of my high profile pickup trucks. He drove three miles ahead of us and was in constant communication with us. The truck’s documentation was in my name and was with the truck, just in case they failed to identify the truck by sight. The plan was the following: If they stopped the truck I knew the checkpoint officers would be swarming all over it. Subsequent traffic would be likely to be waved on through. For a distraction, I arranged to have my double – a man I have known for over 30 years and who years ago legally changed his name to John McAfee – arrested in Mexico a hundred miles north of the Belizean border. We posted the arrest on the blog and within an hour of the posting radio stations in Belize were broadcasting the arrest. Advance teams reported a relaxing of checkpoint procedures on the Northern and Western Highways a couple of hours later.

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