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Today's Belize News: February 12, 2013 #457881
02/12/13 09:08 AM
02/12/13 09:08 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

SPJC hosts two-day COBEC Conference
COBEC-Conference-2The San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) hosted the annual conference of Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC). The two-day event saw over 100 participants representing all 13 tertiary level institutions in Belize and over 25 universities from the United States of America (USA). Every year the COBEC members meet once each in Belize and in the US at alternating locations. This year’s event is considered to be the largest conference so far hosted in Belize. COBEC has been in existence for over 25 years and seeks ways in which Belizean tertiary level institutions can collaborate with US institutions in improving the education system in Belize and US COBEC members. A number of issues were discussed and a number of presentations were done during the conference, all in the area of COBEC-Conference-1education. “We look at ways that the US institutions are able to collaborate in furthering education for Belizean students to work, while helping faculties look for better opportunities for the students. We look at the ways US students can come to Belize to do study-abroad programs, and also have students from Belize go to the US for brief periods to study– more of a world enriching type experience.

Ministry of Health signs contract for the supply of Computer Equipment
Ministry of Health and Fultec Systems signed a contract this morning at the Ministry’s headquarters in Belmopan for the supply of BZ$59,000 worth of Computer Equipment under the Grant for Salud Mesoamerica Project. The supply includes twelve desktop computers, routers, switches, servers, server racks and Ministry-of-Health-2printers. The equipment will be used in health facilities in the Northern and Western Regions of Belize to improve the access, usage and quality of Maternal and Infant, Child and Reproductive Health in the full utilization and networking of the Belize Health Information System. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen signed on behalf of the Ministry and Human Resource Manager, Ms. Grace Brown signed on behalf of Fultec Systems.

Noche de Enmascarados – Gangnam Style!
On Saturday, February 9th, the 2013 Carnaval kicked off in grand style with a fabulous line-up of entertainment onstage at the Central Park. Dubbed Noche de Enmascarados (Night of the Masked), the final performance featured scary ghoulish characters who terrified quite a few kiddies as they took their spooky walk down to the stage. After scaring the audience for a bit – what do you know?! They broke out into a dance – and not just any dance – the Gangnam Style dance. Too fun!

Ambergris Today

Mexican Drug Lords and Belizeans Caught in Major Drug Bust
Mexican media is reporting a major drug bust involving a big Mexican drug lord with the involvement of Belizeans. The Mexican Navy raided the house of the Mexican drug lord of The Pelones in Chetumal, Carlos Cabañas Catzin alias “El Monstruo “, where he was arrested along with eight people, including two Belizean nationals in possession of 45 kilograms of the synthetic drug known as crystal meth. Naval Zone XI confirmed the arrest on Friday, February 8, 2013, with the assistance of other federal agencies which had planned their raid on the afternoon of Thursday, February 7, 2013. At approximately 5:50 PM on Thursday, February 7, 2013, two vans filled with Navel members belonging to the 25th Battalion Marines arrived at the home of Carlos Cabanas Catzin on Avenida Benito Juarez between Camelias and Justo Sierra, Colonia Jesus Martinez Ross.

San Pedro Carnaval 2013 Celebrations Kick Off
Even with some skepticism about how the new rules for Carnaval would affect the celebrations, everything went underway with a very good start and no major problems as the painting revelers hit the streets on Sunday, February 10, 2013. The painting started late in the afternoon and the restriction to playing Carnaval only on Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) and the beach did not seem to dampen the spirits of those who love the age-old tradition of San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Town Council made some new rules to ensure the safety of those who participate in the celebrations and to reduce the amount of vandalism that takes place from the throwing of paint and eggs.

25 Years Ago: The Fiance Formally Visits His Fiancee
Monday, December 5 has arrived. It is the day that Alberto will start to visit Angelita with the consent of her parents. They are no more "enamorados" (boyfriend/girlfriend) but now official novios (fiance/ fiancée) or engaged couples At Angelita's house there are new curtains, a freshly scrubbed wooden floor, and two new chairs. The children have been instructed that they must be in bed/ hammock before 7 p.m. Angelita has made the best of herself, making sure she had her "chorros" (curls) which her novio loves so dearly. Alberto, on the other hand, has put on his nice black pants, which he normally only used to wear for Easter. He wears a white long-sleeved shirt tucked in, and he places a white handkerchief in his back pocket with a tip of it showing outside as was the custom. I tell you, does he look sharp! He goes to the store or saloon to buy a pack of Spearmints or PK. chewing gum and some pepitos. At 7 p.m. sharply, he heads towards Angelitas house, only a block away. Mrs. Lucia Rosado, the mother, greets him with a pleasant good evening and invites him to come in. Angelita shyly says, "Good Night" and sits down. Alberto sits beside her on a separate chair and both parents, Lucia and Ramon Rosado, sit down. The father lights up a Colonial cigarette and tries to start a conversation. He is not too successful. After Alberto offers the ladies some chewing gum, the mother is able to' start a fine conversation. Angelita gets a full pack of Spearmint chewing gum. The conversation is about how fishing has been for Alberto and the father laments on his bad luck at fishing. By 8 p.m. the mother and the father leave the couple so they can have their private conversation and interact better between themselves.

Pic of the Week: Artisan's Display at Captain Morgan's Caribbean Night
If ever on the island on a Tuesday make sure to visit Captain Morgan's Retreat for their Caribbean Night. It is a fun filled night with live music, great food and amazing arts and craft from local artist's. As seen on the picture above, you can find the most colorful and memorable souveinir to remind you of your fantastic trip in Belize.

Teen Talk: Carnaval Celebrations Start with New Painting Rules
You probably heard about the new rules to San Pedro Carnival this year; some of you might like it but we have heard how others think differently about them. I personally think it is kind of good as it will stop a lot of vandalism that takes place. The rules state: “Painting will be ONLY be allowed from the Cemetery (beachside) all the way to Ruby’s Hotel and on Barrier Reef Drive only between the hours of 4pm to 10pm.” If you think logically it is a good thing. The rules that caught a lot of teens’ attention were the rules of no bottle squeezers and no throwing of eggs. Egg throwing and the tossing of paint through squeeze bottles are the two major things that cause the most damage to property during Carnaval. The paint ruins buildings, vehicles and business signs and the eggs leave a horrible smell once it starts rotting on the streets.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rosewood in Belize: the truth behind the smoke
Commentary by: Ya'axché Conservation Trust . In Belize, the uncontrolled and often illegal harvesting of rosewood has been, and still is, one of the major environmental issues in the country. In March of last year, the government established a moratorium on the export and extraction of rosewood, however illegal harvesting continued. On Friday 11 January, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development made the bold move of burning confiscated illegally cut rosewood flitches. The purpose of this action was to send a clear message to the world and illegal loggers that Belize will not tolerate illegal logging of its precious forests and that no one will profit from this illegal trade. How has Belize ended up in a situation where such drastic action was necessary? The Maya communities of Toledo have used rosewood for traditional purposes for many years, but the levels of harvesting seen from 2010 onwards have been way beyond anything that could be classified as "traditional use." Harvesting a few trees each year from the forests surrounding the villages to build houses is one thing; harvesting hundreds of trees each month for export to China is quite another.

San Ignacio United vs. BDF Pictures
They got some great pictures from the first game of the Premier League yesterday. It was a close game, with the BDF winning over the SI United by 3-2. The United play the Verdes in Benque on Saturday.

Cayo Wine House Wine Tasting
All this week, from Tuesday, February 12th through Saturday, February 16th, they are having a Free Wine Tasting from 2:00pm until 6:00pm each day at the Costless Wine House. The Costless Wine House is on the Benque Viejo Road in the old Costless supermarket. Enjoy the wine! "They have a Wine House inside Costless Mart. Go taste some wine and cheese. They have hundreds of types of wine from all over the world. They also have cheeses too."

8 Weeks of Music at the Soul Project
Danny Velazquez has compiled a video of some of the great artists that have performed at the Soul Project over the last 8 weeks. Great video! The Soul Revolution Art exhibit is now on display. "A look back on all the great local talent that has walked in the door the first 8 weeks. shot and edited by Daniel Velazquez addition photography by Miriam Antionette"

Ride Against Crime Pictures
The Ride Against Crime went very well, Saturday morning. This is going to be a monthly activity, so the police and the community of Cayo can come together to end crime. Thanks to everyone, civilians, and police officers, that made this happen "We at the office would like to thank all persons who participated on saturday's ride aganist crime. The police and the community riding for a great cause. We had atotal of 24 riders, including Officer CommandingOfficer Commanding Community Policing Sr, Supt.Willis, Supt. Moody, Deputy OC Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Sgt Victorin, Sgt Neal, Cpl Valencia, Officers of the community policing San Ignacio Cpl Emil Bradley,PC Jason Jones, PC Roland Augustine, PC Cireaco Medina WPC Reynolds , also several neighbourhood watch committies sent riders, Special thanks to Mr Marcel Bedran, Ernie Braun, Michael Cyphers and the Cayo neighbourhood watch assocaition for assisting with bikes and t-shirts. Thanks to Mr Mick Fleming, Bryony Fleming and Chaa Creek. We are planning it as a monthly ride different locations, its not a race just. The police and community comming together."

7th Annual NRM Symposium Call for Abstracts
The Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, UB, and the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation are having the 7th Annual NRM Symposium will be at the University of Belize on April 17th. They are having the call for abstracts, with the theme being: Meeting National Challenges of Water Security, Climate Change and Social Development. The deadline is the 28th of February.

Designers – Artisans – Exhibitors
Caribbean Export announces the launch of Design Caribbean formerly (Caribbean Gift & Craft Show), which will be held at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas on June 20 – 23, 2013.

Channel 7

Well-Known Belizeans Implicated In Major Mexican "Meth" Drug Bust
Two Belizeans are in a Mexico City jail after they were allegedly caught smuggling 100 pounds of the drug Crystal Meth in Chetumal. The two men, Milin Vasquez from Orange Walk, in the center of this picture and Hugo Cassanova from Corozal on the right of your screen - are known underworld operatives in northern Belize. But they are also businessmen: Vasquez owns the La Hacienda Steak House in Orange Walk, and Casanova has a car rental company in Carolina village. But on Thursday evening, they weren't tending their businesses: Mexican law enforcement says they were doing drug business. They were caught in a Chetumal home along with a notorious Mexican dealer, Carlos Cabanas Catzin, known as the Monster - seen here on the left of your screen in the white shirt. The crystal meth - valued at about two million Belize dollars - is on the table in front of them, but was found in plastic bags in an icebox. The bust was made on Thursday evening at 5:50, when marines from the Mexican Navy received launched a major operation targeting this house on Avenida Benito Juarez. The Diario Quintano Roo reports that the marines closed off two blocks, rappelled from a helicopter and entered the property. They arrested eight men, two women and confiscated three vehicles - all with Mexican plates.

Teenager Survives Being Run Over In Cayo; Points Finger At Hon. Mahmoud
Hon. Mark King was the focus of the news all of last week for the incident in the Corozal Free Zone, and tonight, another first term member of the House of Representatives is trying to defend his reputation after a family in Cayo accused him of negligent behavior. Joseph Mahmud, the PUP Area Representative Cayo North, denies any involvement in an incident that happened on his family's property in the Cayo District - but the family of the victim maintains that he was there. Here's the story:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting This private property belongs to the Log Cab Inn on the Benque Viejo Road. It was also the scene of an incident in which a young man was run over by a gray Isuzu pickup. The tire tracks on the well-kept lawn tells the story of a vehicle speeding in several directions, as if in pursuit. 17 year old Michael Valdez is very lucky and fortunate to be in good enough health to be able to speak to us.

PUP Says It's In the Dark On Superbond Motion
And while first term Representative Mahmoud is lashing out at the media, the PUP today issued a statement criticizing the government. The issue is tomorrow's House Meeting, convened to pass a motion for the Superbond 2.0, known as the Government of Belize Restructuring Motion." Well, it's a special sitting and the PUP says that the text of the motion should have been sent to the Opposition today. But up to 3:30 p.m., it had not been sent. So, the opposition says quote, "Representatives will be expected to vote on a matter that will bind our nation's financial future without being afforded any opportunity to examine the proposals thoroughly." We'll see how this dispute plays out tomorrow.

Cayo Taxi Man Critical After Bar Brawl Over Ex
Tonight a Cayo Taxi driver is in a critical condition at the KHMH - after he was badly beaten. It happened in San Ignacio Town at Mariana's Bar on Sunday at around 2:30am. The 33 year old owner Mariana Galvez was attending to a customer around the Bar, when her ex common-law-husband Jose Santos Pineda entered and assaulted the customer. Galvez then ran outside and Pineda followed. According to the woman, he grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. Galvez told police that a man whom she recognized as Victor intervened - and when the fisticuffs were finished, Jose Pineda lay unconscious: suffering from injuries to his face and bleeding from the nose. Mariana Galvez's injuries were classified as harm and the patron at the bar who was cut n the back. Pineda injury was the most serious; he was transferred from the San Ignacio Community Hospital to the KHMH where he is now on life support in a critical condition. Galvez had a restraining order against Pineda which he violated when he came into her establishment. Police have detained Mariana Galvez and 38 year old Victor Perez of Santa Elena Town.

Triple Stabbing At Catherine's Fair, Four Charged For Public Terror
On Saturday night the grounds at the St Catherine Academy Valentine's fair, the crowd scattered as the fair turned into a battleground for a group of young men. The fight broke out just after 11 when four males got into a knife brawl. According to police 18 year old Trevor Brown, and two teenaged minors were associating at the fair when a fight started with another mane who allegedly stabbed all 3 young men. Brown was stabbed twice to the left upper back while one of the minors was stabbed once to the left arm and the other youth was stabbed once to the left side of his face. The fair reportedly had 25 police and 25 security guards on hand, so police were quick to seize 21 year old Gilbert Wade with a chrome knife. All three victims were treated and released from the hospital. Today, al four went to court: the two minors ages 15 and 17 along with 18-year-old Trevor Brown, unemployed of #69 Amara Avenue, and 21-year-old Gilbert Wade, a Mechanic of Ross Pen Road in Belize City. Today they appeared jointly before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart in court #5 this afternoon where they were jointly charge with one count each of disorderly conduct and one count each of causing public terror.

Man shot To Chin Survives
And a short time after that, at 11:30 on Saturday night, a 25 year old delivery man was shot. According to police 25 year old Trevor Hinds was at the corner of Hibiscus and Flamboyant Streets in the St Martins area- waiting on his girlfriend when a man rode up on a bicycle and fired several shots at him. One of the shots caught Hinds to the left side of his chin. He was rushed to the KHMH. A close call, but apparently only a graze as when we checked today he had already been released. Police retrieved 7 expended shells from the scene.

Teenager Drowns In San Ignacio
The family of 15 year-old Javan Rodney Guerra is preparing to bury him tonight after he drowned in Mopan River in Benque Vejo on Sunday afternoon. The young man, well loved by his family and friends, had just eaten his Sunday dinner, and he asked his family to go with his friends. He didn't get their permission to go swimming, so they were blind-sided by the news of the tragedy that he barely survived going under. They tried their best to get him to the nearest hospital, but it was too late because he swallowed too much water, and there was no one trained in first aid to try to resuscitate him. He died while being transported to the hospital. 7News caught up with his grieving family today. Here's how they explained what led to the tragedy: Gilberto Mendez, Uncle of deceased "My nephew jumped in the water and started to swim. The little boy from the neighbor cross the river and by the time he reach at the next side my nephew hollered 'come help me, I can't take it anymore, I am catching cramp, come help me.' The little boy turns back and got to him. My nephew held on to his shoulder but he slipped while the little boy was swimming. The little boy got tired because of the weight of my nephew. He slipped and went down into the water."

Ugly Collision In North
There was an accident on the northern highway on Saturday evening. It happened at 5:45 about a mile out of Orange Walk Town on the Yo Creek Road where Max Castro was driving a government vehicle and allegedly swerved into the lane of an oncoming vehicle driven by Dalia Marin Gonzalez, a teacher driving a minivan. Castro was stuck inside the vehicle as his leg were crushed while Dalia Marin Gonzalez was cut to the head and complained of pain to her left shoulder. Those on the scene say emergency responders were late, ill equipped and clueless; and eventually civilians had to remove the injured from the vehicle. Castro was issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution for the offence of 'Drove Motor Vehicle without Due Care and Attention.'

Canine Customs Officer Makes Major Ammo Bust
We know all about the police canine unit - but recently Customs got their own such unit - starting out with three dogs. They didn't make a big deal - because they wanted to make headlines as well with real news of a meaningful bust. Well, that happened this weekend when a canine customs officer made a spectacular find, in the dark night, at the western border. We found out more today: Jules Vasquez reporting She may look like just another Labrador eager to get out and play, but Jesse the dog is a customs officer. Now she may not have a stripe on her shoulder, and sure she plays around at work all day, but this Canine Customs Officer has earned her playtime - with a major seizure of high powered ammunition this weekend. She found these 45 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition and 17 rounds of 5.56 Calibre ammunition near the western border on Saturday night. That's when police and customs went down near the Mopan River after hearing the report of some gunshots:

Getting More Women Into Politics Begins With ...
The drive to get women into politics continues. The UNDP has teamed up with WIN Belize for a 4-day training in Gender and Elections. The training used what's known as the BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) program on electoral processes - and we found out today what the aim is:.. Carolyn Reynolds, WIN Belize "Yes Belize is at the lower end when you look at women in political leadership. However in Belize we also will be having village council elections. This is a stepping stone towards achieving our goals of ensuring that more women put themselves up for office. The purpose of this training is to build the capacity and so we've been looking at the electoral process and how even in Belize we can use some of the temporary special measures that Belize has agreed to do when we look at the convention in relation to all forms of discrimination against women." Participants include women from Village and City Councils, Tertiary Institutions, the Elections & Boundaries Department and mass parties.

Some In Cycling Community Say, "Move Out, Moreno!"
For months now - we've been reporting on the dispute in the Cycling Community. There's an power struggle in the Belize Cycling Association, where the old president Emil Moreno wants to be re-elected, but is encountering major resistance. Technically, the issue is whether the Cycling Association is a Federation: Moreno says it is and the international governing body for the sport agrees. But the Sports Council says it is not - and Moreno's former executive agrees. So, technically it's a mess, but really, the it's a personality problem. And that was clear on Saturday when some cyclists protested against their own president. 7news was there as they rode through the city:.. Jules Vasquez reporting It's not a race, it's not a preview for some major cycling event: Saturday's procession through the city was a protest - to make everyone know they want order restored to the cycling community. And as the chants suggest - that means the president Emil Moreno has to go. They gathered at the BTL Park - where the man who would be president Dion Leslie was there. They signed a petition - and if you want to know what the petition was about: the answer is blunt.

Moreno Says It's Mischief Making
For the other side of the story, today we caught up with Moreno in Cayo. We asked him about the catalogue of complaints against him. He responded today calling it mischief-making and rumors being spread around: Daniel Ortiz "You were aware that there was a rally that is basically a campaign against having you being re-elected as president of the Cycling Association. The members of the cycling team we spoke to on Saturday are saying that they would rather you step aside and have a new president to run the organization. They are saying that you haven't done a good job for the 4 years that were elected. How do you respond to that?" Emil Moreno "That's their own opinion. Of course the last time we intended to have the election in Cayo riders came out here and the rumors were out that those riders were paid $50 to come out and protest the affair here. I don't know what the rally was all about in Belize City. I do know that I did get an email that Ms. Leticia Westby sent out with a notice that there will be a rally and what was the rally all about but over the social media you read a lot of stuff as well. In one of the letters sent to Mr. Pat Henry they want to re-elect the incumbent president, so I don't know what or who is behind all this mischief. Everybody knows what the financial position is. A main sponsor like Santino's used to sponsor events with the Belize Cycling Association but he has moved over to another league - the Weekend Warrior league. I have tried to have the Weekend Warrior come under the Belize Cycling Association's umbrella but they don't want."

Making Mahogany Municipal Fixtures
The Belize City Council will be planting a hundred more trees around the City. It's a part of the Council's tree planting project -which not only promotes a healthy environment but also aims at beautifying public spaces. The one hundred and ten mahogany trees were donated this afternoon by community activist Francis Gegg . 7news was invited to the small handing over ceremony. Francis Gegg, Donated Trees "It's in support of the City beautification project. City Council is doing a great job on improving the city and we have a supply of Mahogany trees at the little farm up the road and I wanted to contribute in a small way to that beautification process. One of the things I like about the Mahogany tree especially is the fact that it grows and straight and it creates a nice canopy eventually. Of course it's the tree that has made Belize famous over the years and for a long time was the primary source of our export wealth and we need to propagate more of them and give more attention to Mahogany."

Channel 5

2 Belizeans in Mexico drug bust
Two well-known Belizean businessmen from the north are in lockdown in Mexico City after what is considered the biggest drug raid in Chetumal on Thursday evening involving one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels. Both men were caught in an alleged drug transaction at the house of a reputed Mexican drug lord when a surprise [...]

Youth says Berry drove vehicle over his back
On Sunday night, a seventeen year old was injured when he was hit by a private vehicle in the west.  The seventeen year old was injured and released from the hospital but his family has been making allegations that the incident was politically motivated. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting Seventeen year [...]

Government vehicle in Saturday evening collision
There is another traffic incident under investigation which occurred on Saturday at around five forty-five in the evening which involves a government vehicle. According to reports, a teacher from Yo Creek Village, Dalia Marin Gonzalez, was driving her Mazda SUV from Orange Walk to Yo Creek when Just about one mile away from Orange Walk [...]

Superbond takes over House
Details of the Superbond restructuring between the Government of Belize and Greylock Capital is now going to be heard in the House of Representatives at a special sitting this Tuesday. The government intends to issue debt securities in the forms of new bonds and the transaction size is five hundred twenty-nine million nine hundred twenty-eight [...]

Will there be fireworks at Orange Walk B.N.T.U. meeting?
Leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union, Public Service Union and Association of Public Service Senior Manager are currently going across the country presenting their wider membership with a salary adjustment proposal. So far the union leaders have been in Belize District, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. The media hasn’t been allowed to sit in, but [...]

Foreign Affairs confident in a yes for the referendum
The Referendum is set for October sixth and government has announced that its official position in support of going to the International Court of Justice to resolve the dispute once and for all. At least to the sixty percent of the voting public h is required to validate the referendum and patriotic sentiment is already [...]

British Army coming back for a visit
In November of 2011, the British Army Training Support Unit closed up shop and headed home after citing financial constraints. But now, they might be coming back – or at least that’s what Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, stated during his address at a B.D.F. passing out ceremony a week ago. Now that’s big [...]

2 minors and 2 adults get in scuffle at school fair
  Three males, who were socializing at the St. Catherine Academy Valentine Fair on Saturday night, became embroiled in a fight during the outdoor celebration. Despite twenty-five security guards, twenty police officers and six private citizens attempt to secure the compound, the three teens claim they were injured by an male that was a stranger [...]

Youth drowns in Cayo
An afternoon outing ended tragically for a fifteen year old. On Sunday afternoon, Jevan Guerra joined friends for a swim in the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Guerra, who had ventured out without parental authorization, reportedly experienced cramps and could not make it across the river.  Despite efforts from friends and people in [...]

Women Issues Network trains leaders
The Women’s Issues Network is leading the charge to knock down stereotypes about the traditional roles of women. Win-Belize’s Executive Director, Carolyn Reynolds, says that getting women involved in electoral politics and roles of leadership are priorities of their recent workshop in which thirty two women and five women are participating. At the conclusion of [...]

Custom’s K-9 sniffs out border ammunition
The use of dogs is part of a push by the National Security Ministry to tract illegal drugs and ammunition at the different ports of entry. Over the weekend, the K-9 Unit and the Customs Department were on patrol along the western border. Several rounds of ammunition were found with the efforts of a special [...]

Cyclists protest for sport to move forward
The cycling community participated in a small demonstration over the weekend to show support to the sport and to highlight their displeasure with the current stalemate that has the association in limbo. The elections were postponed in November and January as there are two constitutions that the incumbent president and his competition are citing as [...]

Karate Kids fight across the border
The House of Shotokan on Princess Margaret drive, is only a stone’s throw or rather a karate chop across from this station. Our neighbors have been successful in different karate events in Quintana Roo. Shihan Ray Kelly says that on Saturday his ten students participated in the Eagle Park Taekwondo competition.   Shihan Ray Kelly, [...]

James Adderley and sporting highlights
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.     The turmoil inside the cycling community spilled on to the streets of Belize City as riders rallied against the continuing impasse between President Emil Moreno who is seeking a second term and the majority of the BCA members who are vehemently opposed to [...]


Renegotiated Superbond Is Expected To Be Taken To The House of Representatives on Tuesday; Opposition Expresses Concerns
The House of Representatives will meet tomorrow in Belmopan. It is expected that government will bring to the meeting a motion dealing with the renegotiated super bond. It is also expected that the motion will be taken through all its stages tomorrow so that it can go to th...

Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Training Ends
Training in connection with the Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program ended at the weekend in Placentia. ...

Police News
Police in Belize City are looking for twenty one year old Joshua Anderson in connection with an alleged robbery. A twenty year old man reported to police that on Saturday afternoon he was riding his bicycle on Oleander Street, when a man he recognized as Anderson, grabbed his bic...

Cayo Police Investigate Unauthorized Cashed Cheques for ProWorld
Police in San Ignacio town are investigating an incident which has been classified as a burglary at an office on the Benque Viejo road. The global project manager Pro World reported to authorities that on December twenty fourth of last year, someone cashed a cheque in the amount ...

Alleged Jealous Ex-Husband Lands Him On Life Support
Two people from Santa Elena town have been detained after an early Sunday morning incident in San Ignacio which has left a man on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Thirty three year old Mariana Galvez and thirty eight year old Victor Perez are in police detention pend...

Men Charged For Causing Public Terror Following Stabbing Incident At A Fair
A stabbing incident on Saturday has left three people injured. Police say they visited the KHMH on Saturday morning where they observed eighteen year old Trevor Brown suffering two apparent stab wounds to the back, a fifteen year old minor with a stab wound to the left arm and a sevent...

Belize City Recovering From Gunshot
A shooting incident on Saturday night has left one person injured. Police say that around eleven thirty on Saturday night, they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they say twenty five year old Trevor Hinds suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of...

Aspiring Women Politicians Engage In Forum
Since the 1960’s, women have been making their presence known in the House of Representatives. But the scale at which they are elected has not been on the same level as is desired by groups that promote women participation at the National level. So today, 31 of Belize...

Teenager Drowns In The Mopan River
A teenage boy is reported to have drowned in Benque Viejo del Carmen on Sunday afternoon. According to reports, Rodney Javan Guerra was swimming in the Mopan River yesterday afternoon when he went under the water. His friends reportedly took him out of the water and adminis...

Weekend Traffic Mishap Involving Government Vehicle Leaves Two Injured
Two people were injured in a traffic mishap on the Yo Creek road on Saturday evening. According to police reports, thirty six year old Dalia Marin Gonzalez was heading towards Yo Creek village around five forty five on Saturday evening, when a vehicle, traveling in the opposite d...

A Minor and Three Men Charged Following Burglary In Buttonwood Bay
Three men and a 16 year old boy were charged with a burglary in which money and items amounting to over $18,000.00 when they appeared in court today. The adults are Cilo Cherrington, Lloyd Parchue and Kareem Yorke. They and the minor were also charged with handling stolen goods. Cherri...

Judge Gives Inmate Another Year After Being Busted With Marijuana In His Cell
Prison inmate Danny Urbina, who was charged with the possession of 34 grams of cannabis that was found in his cell, was sentenced to one year today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charge. Urbina was busted on Thursday, February 7. Prison officer Sylvano C...

Young Woman Hides Cannabis In Baby's Pocket
Twenty year old Maria Reyes, a resident of St. Margaret Village, located on the Hummingbird Highway, was charged with possession of a controlled drug for five grams of cannabis seeds were found in the back pocket of the pants of her one year old baby boy when she went to Belize Central...


Two Belizeans Involve In Million Dollar Drug Bust In Mexico
Two Belizean Nationals and 6 Mexicans including two females are tonight enjoying the confines of Mexican Prison after they were arrested by the Mexican Navy during a major drug bust which yielded 45 kilograms of the synthetic drug known as crystal meth valued at one million U.S dollars. On Thursday February 8th well known Orange Walk businessman Ermelindo Vasquez aka Melin and Hugo Cassanova from Calcutta, Corozal were detained along with six other individuals including the Mexican drug lord of The Pelones in Chetumal, Carlos Cabañas Catzin AKA “El Monstruo.” Mexican Newspapers suggest that a few days before the raid the Mexican Navy received reports that a shipment of crystal meth and precursors to manufacture methamphetamine would be shipped into Mexico from Belize. Here is that story. On the afternoon of February 7th the Mexican Navy along with other federal agencies carried out their planned raid which led them to a major drug bust and to the arrest of 8 persons including Belizean Nationals Ermelindo Vasquez better known as Melin from Orange Walk and Hugo Cassanova from Calcutta, Corozal. Just minutes before 6:00pm, two vans filled with Navel members belonging to the 25th Battalion Marines descended on Avenida Benito Juarez between Camelias and Justo Sierra, Colonia Jesus Martinez Ross with one aim, to raid the house of Carlos Cabanas Catzin Alias “El Monstrou”, the Mexican Drug Lord of the Pelones in Chetumal Quintana Roo. The marines, all dressed in civilian clothing, approached the house which was signal for their companions to begin deploying throughout the next two blocks and stopping traffic from entering Avenida Benito Juarez. Tenants renting apartments in a building adjacent to Catzin’s residence were evicted in order to prevent any civilian casualties.

Ministry Of Agriculture Vehicle Involve In Traffic Accident
A serious traffic accident involving a government vehicle occurred at around 5:45 on February 9th just a mile into the road leading to Yo Creek Village. Thirty six year old Dalia Marin, a Belizean teacher from Yo Creek Village was driving a Grey Mazda Tribute heading to Orange Walk Town when a 2000 Blue Isuzu Pickup Truck with licence plate CY-B-949 belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture in Belmopan travelling in the opposite direction, swerved into Marin’s lane and collided into the left front side of her vehicle. Driving the Isuzu pickup at the time was 31 year old Max Castro from Santa Rita Layout Corozal Town. As a result of the collision Marin sustained a cut wound to her head and complained of pain on her left shoulder while Castro sustained a fractured left foot and a cut wound to the right foot. As you can observe in the footage, both vehicles received extensive damage to the entire left front portion. After police investigations Castro was issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution for the offence of “Drove Motor Vehicle without Due Care and Attention.

Home Invasion Leaves 22 Year Old Terrified
A home invasion over the weekend has left a minor and a 22 year old mother and student from Orange Walk Town terrified. On Saturday afternoon around 1:30 Reina Reyes was inside her residence located on Cypress Street when two armed male individuals barged into the house. Once inside the house one of the individuals covered the mouth of the minor while the second proceeded to rob Reyes of her belongings including a laptop which she was using at the time of the home invasion. CTV3 News understands that the men made good their escape with $40.00 and more than $3,000 worth in items including a cell phone and laptop. According to the family police were called to the scene but by the time they arrived, which was in a timely manner, the assailants had already disappeared into the night. Police investigations continue.

Corozal Police Charges Two For Drug Related Crimes
Corozal Police have arrested 21 year old Israel Rancharan and charged him for the crime of Drug Trafficking after 100 grams of marijuana was found inside his home. On February 10th cops were set to search Rancharan’s residence located on Venezuelan Site in Corozal Town. But even before the search began, Rancharan, who was hiding in some bushes bolted away managing to escape from police. A search of Rancharan’s hiding area led police to the discovery of a yellow plastic bag containing 100 grams of suspected marijuana, a silver and black gram scale, a black scissors and a pack of plastic bags. Apparently, before the end of the day, Rancharan became tired of running from the law and handed himself over to the cops who charged him for drug trafficking. Also on February 10th Corozal Police made a second arrest for drug trafficking. This time police were on mobile patrol on 5th Street South Corozal Town when they stopped and searched 37 year old Rafael Garrido of San Antonio Village who was on bicycle. Inside Garrido’s mouth police found two transparent bags containing two grams of suspected marijuana. Garrido has been charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs.

OW South Rep. Says Sugar Roads Need To Be Upgraded
In last year’s general election, PUP Representative Jose Abelardo Mai won over the Orange Walk South Constituency. Since then, Mai has been lobbying to get the road leading to San Felipe, Indian Church and San Carlos upgraded. It the past, Mai joined efforts with the Mennonite Community to upgrade a portion of the road leading to San Carlos. That proved to be good news for residents of the area especially those involved in the agricultural sector. Today when we spoke to Mai he demanded that the remainder of the road be fixed since, according to him, over half a million dollars has been paid out to Demar’s Stone Company for the upgrading of the road from San Felipe to Indian Church to San Carlos. According Mai the half a million dollar contract was awarded to Denny Grijalva last year December and nearly two months after works are yet to commence.

Family Store Robbed At Gun Point
Five hours after the home invasion on Cypress Street there was a robbery on Saint Peters Street here in Orange Walk Town. According to the proprietor of the Family Store, Taiwanese National, Ken Fu Weh, at about 6:50pm two masked men rode up in front of the store on bicycles, entered the establishment and robbed Weh at gun point. Weh recalls that while one of the men pointed a gun to his head, the other jumped over the counter and began taking out the money from the cash register. The men who are of dark complexion were dressed in black long sleeves shirt, black jeans pants and wore black rag over their faces. In total, the thieves escaped with over $900 in cash and one cell phone. The Family Store has been opened for five years and this is the first robbery the proprietor has experience. Luckily no one was hurt and police investigations continue.

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Arrives In Orange Walk
And while Pope Benedict announced his sudden resignation, the presence of Our Lady of Fatima was more than visible here in Orange Walk Town as hundreds of Catholics marched through out the principle streets of town in the name of peace. Our Lady of Fatima has been crowned as the Queen of the World and every year the statue travels all around the world. The legend of Our Lady of Fatima dates back to 1917 when Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto saw what they described as a woman who is brighter than the sun. Through her apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe exhorted the children to do penance and Acts of Reparation as well as making personal sacrifices to save sinners. According to Lúcia's account, in the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima. And today for the second year in a row, the statue of the Queen of the World appeared in Orange Walk Town this morning as hundreds of students and catholic based community members marched to La Inmaculada Parish for the crowning ceremony. CTV3 News was there and we asked Father Francisco Javier about the purpose of the Virgin’s visit to Belize.

Pope Benedict To Step Down On February 28th
The Roman Catholic World has been plunged into intense speculation and is stunned after Pope Benedict the XVI announced today that he would resign on February 28th after less than 8 years in office becoming the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. In a statement that reverberated around the world on the social media, the 85 year old Pope announced his resignation at the end of a meeting of Cardinals at the Vatican this morning stating that his health is the reason for the surprise announcement. While the pope made his announcement in Latin the statement was translated in seven languages Italian, French, English, German, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The last pontiff to quit in office was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope.

Unemployment Rate Is Sky High
The Statistic Institute of Belize has released its summary findings on Belize’s Labour Force Survey. According to the findings, the unemployment rate has increased from 14.4% in April 2012 to 16.1% in September 2012. That means that over 24,000 capable persons in the country don’t have a job. Cayo remains as the district with the highest unemployment rate at 18.6%. Not far behind is Corozal with 18.3%. On the other hand, the Orange Walk District has the lowest unemployment rate which is at 13.6%. The survey says that the hike is mostly attributable to downturns in the tourism, citrus and sugar industries as well as to an influx of recent graduates into the labour market. When it comes to Ethnicity, the findings show that the Mayas have the highest unemployment rate of 19.3%. If we take a look at the situation by gender base the unemployment rate for men is at 11.9% while females have a jaw dropping unemployment rate of 22.4%. The survey also found that youths between the ages of 14 and 24 years are the ones most critically affected by unemployment, they stand at 30%. The survey targeted 2,550 randomly chosen households throughout Belize and completed responses were obtained from 2,225 households, giving a household response rate of 87 percent.

Super Bond Reaches House Of Representative
Tomorrow there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan where the main order of the day will be the new terms and conditions of Belize’s five hundred and fifty-four million US dollar super bond which the Prime Minister has been so tight lipped about. What we know tonight is that the Maximum Transaction Size is of five hundred and twenty nine million nine hundred and twenty eight thousand eight hundred dollars. The new bonds ill attract interest, payable semi-annually in arrears at the interest rates of five percent per annum from March 2013 to August 2017 and 6.767% from 20th August 2017 to 20 February 2038. The new bonds are expected to be issued by 31st march 2013. He new bonds shall be repaid in equal semi-annual installments commencing 20 August 2019 and the final maturity date is expected to be February 2038. More details on the new terms will be reveled tomorrow. But the PUP is up in arms tonight since it was not until late this evening that PUP Members of the House of Representatives and Senate received the text of the motion.

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Fire guts building at Youth Cadet Corps compound
The National Cadet Service Corps located across from the Youth Hostel off the George Price Boulevard at mile 22 has been offering, for the past 14 years, remedial services to youths considered to be at risk. But on Thursday night the management of the institution found itself fighting much more than just attitudinal problems when one of its wooden buildings was discovered on fire. The preliminary report, given by the Manager of the Youth Cadet Service Corps, William Swan, is that when the fire occurred he was in Punta Gorda and that is could likely be a case of arson. Fire at Youth Cadet Corps: While the police have begun their investigations to determine if someone was criminally responsible for the blaze, the Fire Department has not yet determined what caused the fire, according to their Operations Ofifcer, Beresford Matura. The National Youth Cadet Service Corps is separate from the Youth Hostel, which is located across the street and which deals with youths who have been through the court system. The Cadet Service offers assistance to families who ask the government to intervene with the disciplining of their troubled teens and it offers them military type training on weekends as BDF volunteer soldiers. The estimated tally of the loss has not yet been worked out, but the contents included mainly kitchen appliances.

Motorcycles donation for the police department
The Belize Police Department today received a donation of over eighty thousand dollars worth of motorcycle equipment. The donation was handed over this morning to the officer commanding eastern division, Assistant Commissioner of police Miguel Segura, who told Love News how the cycles will be deployed. Love News spoke with CARSI’s program specialist Barry Cuthbertson who is stationed at the US embassy in Belmopan. The motorcycles were handed over during a brief ceremony this morning at the Queen Street police station.

Foreign Affairs CEO says Guatemala has apologized for erroneous map
The rift between Belize and Guatemala over a claim that country has to more than half of our country proved to still be very much predominant even as was evident during a Permanent Council Meeting at the office of the Organization of American States in Washing, D.C. on Wednesday. It occurred when Guatemalan Ambassador to the OAS, Jose Vielmann De Leon, during a presentation, used a map of Guatemala that included everything south of the George Price Highway as part of that country. In sharp protest, Belize’s OAS Ambassador, Nestor Mendez, said and we quote, “The use of this video and this image puts in serious jeopardy the process that we have undergoing with the good offices of the General Secretariat of the OAS and Belize cannot accept the use of that video. We protested it at the General Assembly and we once again protest it”, end of quote. Today Love News met Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, who said that the Guatemalan representative explained the error made and apologized for it. But the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA would have none of it, and today COLA fired off a strongly-worded press release, condemning quote “the use, intentional or otherwise, of any material purporting to show Belize as part of the Republic of Guatemala”, unquote. The COLA release states that the organization wholeheartedly agrees with the position and actions of the Belizean Ambassador and applauds his courage for standing up. In addition, COLA makes reference to the fact that the map was used twice and that this second time it was in the chambers of the same organization, the OAS, that is assisting in mediating talks towards a possible settlement between the two countries. COLA says that it now looks to see how the OAS will respond to the incident. COLA says it expects a retraction of the error and ends by stating that it intends to register, in writing, its concerns to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the OAS.

Parents blame Northern Regional hospital in baby’s death
The pain of losing a loved one is a traumatic event for any person to bear. But when that death is believed to have been avoidable, the tragedy is magnified. And that is just where an Orange Walk couple finds themselves. The loss of a baby … and the full fury of their anger is aimed squarely at doctors and nurses at the Northern Regional Hospital. Dalila Ical from our Orange Bureau has the story.

Minister of State Herman Longsworth’s countrywide tour arrives in PG
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Herman Longsworth was on a working visit yesterday to Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Visiting doctors wrap up surgeries in Belize
A team of visiting doctors is currently performing spine surgeries for children at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The partnership involves the United States-based Belize Spine team. CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen explains. Dr. Allen says other partnership initiatives will be continuing in the coming weeks which will benefit thousands of Belizeans.

Health Information System gets a huge boost
The Ministry of Health has started a project to expand the health information system in the western and northern parts of the country. A contract was signed on Thursday with the Belize City-based company Fultec for the provision of just under sixty thousand dollars worth of computer hardware and software to facilitate the expansion. The money for the H.I.S. expansion was secured through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is funding a project called Salud Mesoamericana. The goal is to help countries achieve their millennium development goals, particularly as they relate to maternal and child health as well and infant mortality and morbidity. Dr. Peter Allen is the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health. Dr. Allen says the hope is that the entire network of computers will be fully functional within the next six weeks.

School gets a helping hand from Scotia Bank
Living Hope Preparatory School, today accepted a cheque of twenty thousand dollars from Scotiabank. The donation which is covered by the Bank’s “Bright Future Program” is the second of three installments that the bank has agreed to give the school, toward their feeding program, to a total of sixty thousand dollars. Karen Lewis, Director of Retail banking for Scotiabank told us more about the donation. And while Scotiabank is fond of giving the donation, the happier ones are the teachers and students of the school. Love News spoke with the Manager, Natalie Bowen Westby and the Principal, Francisca Lacayo, who expressed their gratitude and gave us further details on the feeding program. According to the principal, the school which is located in the Collet Area of Belize City offers a second chance to students with literacy problems, primary or high school dropouts, or those who fail their PSE.

Miracle Mission says ‘thank you’
The Embassy of Venezuela today held a luncheon to honor those who have collaborated or participated with Mision Milagro, or Miracle Mission, a group that has been assisting with eye treatment and surgery. Chargè d’affaires for the Venezuelan Embassy, Gabriel Sanchez, told us more about the Mission. Among those being honored today were several mayors and coordinators for the program in Belize. Mision Milagro originated in 2004 in Venezuela but internationalized in 2005. At this point there are over twelve countries covered by the Mission, including Belize. Sanchez says there are hopes for the program to strengthen. The Luncheon took place at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. And while in the topic of Venezuela, Sanchez gave us an update onto the health of President Hugo Chavez who as we know has been putting up an ongoing battle with cancer. Chargè d’affaires for the Venezuelan Embassy, Gabriel Sanchez.

Verdict in first murder trial without a jury to be delivered next week
Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, has set February 15 as the date when he will sum up the case and give his verdict in the trial of 22 year old Nicoli Rhys, charged with the murder of Andre Trapp. It is the first murder trial that is being held without a jury. Trapp was gunned down shortly after 10 a.m. on July 10, 2010, in the parking lot outside of the magistrate Court building on Regent Street. He had just exited the courtroom and was walking to his vehicle when his assailant shot him several times. Rhys was detained by the police shortly after the shooting. Three police officers found him in a stooping position at the back of a yard on Prince Street. There was no eye witness and the evidence was purely circumstantial. One police officer testified to seeing Rhys running from the scene. On Wednesday, February 6, Rhys took the witness stand and testified that he was walking on Southern Foreshore when he heard about five to six gunshots. Rhys said that he walked into Prince Street and entered a yard and stooped down. He said that nobody was in the yard at the time. Rhys testified that while he was stooping down he saw three police officers and one of them said, “freeze”, and he put his hands in the air. He said one of the officers asked him about two guns and he replied that he did not know what the officer was talking about. Rhys said that the police officers took him on Regent Street and they put him in a vehicle when they reached in front of the Supreme Court Building and they took him to Queen Street Police Station. Rhys is being represented by attorney Simeon Sampson. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, is representing the prosecution.

Easter Division boss gives update on quadruple murders investigation
One month after the quadruple murders of four men on south-side Belize City, the incident has faded from the headlines. But the investigation continues. Today, while at the Queen Street police station, Love News asked the officer commanding Eastern Division Miguel Segura if there is any progress in the investigation. That was the Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner Miguel Segura.

BTB says 2012 was big for tourism in Belize
Over the course of the last two weeks, Love News has been reporting on the good reviews Belize has been getting on the international media. Among these were the feature on United Airlines in flight Magazine “Hemispheres” and a feature on CNN. Today the Belize Tourism Board issued a couple of statistics that show how Belize is doing in the tourism market. It is best to start with the good news and that is, Belize is doing well in comparison with regional competitors in the area of overnight tourism. Laura Esquivel Frampton is the Director of Tourism at the BTB. Frampton commented on what might have contributed to two hundred and seventy seven thousand one hundred and thirty five overnight arrival increase. The not so good news is that Cruise arrivals have decreased by twelve percent, but if it serves as consolation it is good to note that decrease in Cruise arrivals are also a concern for regional competitors, with the exception of the Cayman Islands who saw a seven point six percent increase. Frampton says that the overall picture for these records show that our tourism industry continues to be strong and vibrant and the BTB continues to push for GDP in the country and also continues to support employment and the growth of the country.

AIDS statistics indicate higher number of male infections over female
The figures for the new cases of HIV infections won’t be out for another two weeks, but early indicators are that there is a higher number of male infections over female. Love News got a preliminary report today from the Director of the Ministry of Health’s Director the HIV Program, Doctor Marvin Manzanero. According to Manzanero, based on the numbers of infections, he would hazard to guess that the majority of those infections have occurred among men who have sexual relations with men.

Human Rights forum held in Belmopan
The human rights of people has made it to many a roundtable and increasingly so over recent years. Many groups rely heavily on the argument of their human rights to state their case or make their claim, whether it is the indigenous of the south, immigrants and refugees, or the gay community, among others. Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the first of what will be a series of countrywide public consultations to gauge two things. They want to see how much they have accomplished in the last 4 ½ years since Belize submitted its last report to the United Nations on the implementations of Belize’s human rights obligations and two, to get inputs from the public. Love News checked in at the event at the George Price Centre today and found out for ourselves from Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado. Rosado says that the Ministry will hold similar meetings across the country in the coming months.

Section of North Front Street to close next week
The infrastructural work on Freetown Road has taken quite a few weeks complete and it has caused a few street closures on other arteries leading to and from that thoroughfare. Before we can all enjoy a fully resurfaced Freetown Road and surrounding streets, motorists will have to endure another bit of inconvenience. That section of North Front Street, from its junction at Mapp Street to Douglas Jones Street will be closed as of Monday. This means if you need to get to the Farm Centre, Quality Poultry Chicken or anywhere along that stretch on Monday, its best you park on Mapp Street or anywhere past the Belchina Bridge and walk. The Belize City Council will publicize when that portion of North Front Street will be open again to vehicular traffic.


Teenager run down by Area Rep’s car
It was reported by one media house over the weekend that Cayo North Area Representative Hon. Joseph Mahmud was involved in an incident where his vehicle was used to purposefully knock down a minor. Plus news learned today though that the report was only half true. While a minor...

Stabbing at school fair
Police have arrested and charged four men in connection with a stabbing which took place during the annual Valentine Fair hosted by St. Catherine Academy over the weekend that left three person’s injured. We are told that the event was well-secured with the presence of both police – as...

Cyclists disappointed with leadership of BCA President Emil Moreno
The Belize Cycling Association has been in a state of flux. Elections due since November have been postponed pending the intervention of the regional cycling body COPACI and the International Cycling Union (UCI). The postponement comes after incumbent President Emil Moreno intended to introduce federation-style voting for the election...

Teachers discuss Government’s proposal
Teachers are gathered at the University of Belize’s gymnasium at this moment, discussing Government’s proposal to the union’s regarding the requested raise of pay. The meeting got on the way at about 6 pm and at that time, some 200 persons were in attendance. According to one union leader,...

Shooting in Belize City
There was a shooting in Belize City on Saturday. On February 9th at about 11:30pm, 25 year old TREVOR HINDS, of Belize City was shot to the left side of the chin. According to police reports, Trevor Hinds was at the corner of Hibiscus Street and Flamboyant Street when...

Two Belizeans arrested in Chetumal for Crystal Meth possession
Two Belizeans were arrested in Chetumal along with six Mexicans for Crystal Meth possession. On Thursday afternoon, BZ PIC – Belizeans Hugo Casanova of Calcutta, Corozal and Ermelindo Vázquez of Orange Walk were arrested after the Mexican Navy along with other federal agencies carried out a raid on Thursday...

Drug Trafficking and Possession of Controlled Drugs reported in Corozal Town
There are reports of Drug Trafficking and Possession of Controlled Drugs coming out of the north. On Sunday February, 10th at about 10:00am, a search was conducted at the home of 21 year old Israel Rancharan of Venezuelan Site, Corozal Town. Upon arrival, Police observed Rancharan bending down by...

Drugs discovered in Alta Vista Village and Dangriga
Special Branch, Anti Drug Unit and K9 Unit have been conducting a series of joint anti drug operations in the Southas well over the past couple weeks. Over the weekend the operational team launched a search in an overgrown farmland within Alta Vista Village, and in an open lot...

Fire at Galen University Campus in Central Farm
There was a fire at Galen University Campus in Central Farm morning. The watchman of the campus told police that at about 11:39 am, he was on patrol on campus, when he heard the sound of glass breaking. When he went to make checks, he saw fire coming from...

Man on life support after violating a restraining order
A man is on life support after violating a restraining order. 33 year old Mariana Galvez, a Guatemalan, owner of Mariana’s Bar in San Ignacio Town visited the San Ignacio police Station on Sunday Feb 10th to make a report. Galvez said that between 2:00 and 2:30am, she was...

Women meet to discuss gender and politics
Women met to strategize over gender and politics today. After last March’s general and municipal elections, the Organization of American States (OAS), which had observed the process, had many nice things to say. But one thing they did not like was the lack of women participating – just 3...

San Ignacio Police investigate a Burglary
San Ignacio Police are investigating a report of Burglary. A manager for PROWORLD office reported to Police that she is the only one authorized to sign cheques for the organization and that she had signed several cheques as requested by PROWORLD director. She stated that between the 19th and...

Local Chinese celebrate New Year
Local Chinese celebrated a New Year this weekend. The Belize Chinese community has in a short time become an important part of the national identity and they continue to observe their traditions. This weekend was the Chinese New Year and it is the Year of the Snake. Belize’s local...

Pope Benedict the Sixteenth has resigned
Pope Benedict the XVI (Sixteenth) has announced his resigned. Pope Benedict shocked the Roman Catholic Church including his closest advisers this morning when he announced he will step down officially as of Thursday February 28th. In announcing his abdication, the 85-year-old pope wrote that his age and failing health...

The Reporter

Ombudsman office gets new attorney
Newly sworn in attorney Oscar Segaldo has been appointed as the in-house attorney for the office of the Ombudsman. Segaldo was called to the Bar on Friday, February 1, and officially took up his post at the Ombudsman’s office on Monday.

Father killed on his way to pick up son for school
An apparent minor misunderstanding triggered this year’s thirteenth murder on Monday, when a gunman fatally shot Gary Andrew Bowen Sr., as he rode his bicycle at the junction of Partridge and Banak Streets.

You’re aging your skin
Do you hop into bed still wearing your mascara? Try out every new skin product to hit the shelves? These common mistakes may not seem like a big deal, but over time they can take a toll on your skin and leave you looking prematurely aged. Don’t worry: It’s not too late. Here, we break down your bad skin habits and show you how to avoid them—and look 10 years younger.

Good posture helps reduce back pain
Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricate structures in the back and spine healthy. It is much more than cosmetic—good posture and back support are critical to reducing the incidence and levels of back pain and neck pain. Back support is especially important for patients who spend many hours sitting in an office chair or standing throughout the day. Not maintaining good posture and adequate back support can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. Over time, the stress of poor posture can change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and nerves, as well as problems with muscles, discs and joints.

SJC & Wesley boys win in high schools football playoffs
The five-game winning streak of Excelsior High’s “green machine” came to a screeching halt by a surprise upset at the hands (or rather feet) of the boys of St. John’s College in the first game of playoffs of the Belize District High Schools Football Competition at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday night, February 1, while Wesley College boys outlasted Anglican Cathedral College 2-1 on Saturday, February 2. Excelsior boys entered the playoffs as the top seed with 15 pts after their fifth victory: 1-0 against the boys of Ladyville Technical High School last Tuesday.

Belize Bank wins annual Haulover to Boom canoe race
Ruta Maya veterans Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz of the Belize Bank Bulldogs won the annual Haulover to Burrell Boom canoe race on Saturday, February 12, the second of three races the Belize Canoe Association has organized in preparation for the 14th annual Ruta Maya River Challenge.

Needed: serious cost cutting
The general political perception in Belize has always been that the PUP always fielded a wider selection of business people within their leadership and administrative management that the UDP. In other words, the PUP seemed more keen to get business people to run for elected office and hence become part of their upper leadership.

Hon. Mark King gets bail
Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation with responsibility for gangs, Mark King, was arraigned on three criminal charges in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court, on Thursday. He appeared before Corozal Magistrate, Clive Lino, who offered him bail in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety. His case was adjourned to April 16. According to reports, King, the area representative for the Lake Independence area, was involved in a Tuesday morning altercation at the Princess Casino at the Corozal Free Zone, where he allegedly assaulted a police officer. Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, after being briefed on the situation during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, placed King on a three-month suspension without pay from Cabinet. In the government press release, Barrow described the allegations against King as “unbecoming conduct.” Following his suspension, King sent out his own press release in which he did not admit to any wrong doing, but said that he “regretted that the incident occurred.”

Union members weigh GOB’s proposal for salary adjustment
The Belize City memberships of the three public sector unions that have been demanding a ‘salary adjustment’ from the Government of Belize are yet to vote on whether or not they accept GoB’s proposals. President of the Public Service Union (PSU) Marvin Blades said to the media on Monday that the proposal coming out of last Friday’s meeting between Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and the presidents of the Belize National Teachers Union, PSU and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) is based on the revenue out-turn for base-year 2012-2013. Blades said, “[This means that] whatever is the difference between 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 base year, the government will give 50% to the unions for the salary adjustment, assuming that there is a surplus.” The unions, therefore, met with their membership on Wednesday at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall to analyse and vote on the proposed compromise; however, the Reporter has been informed that no vote was taken on the basis of two “grey areas”.

Jose Castellanos’ fear of victimization is “a bit off,” P.M. Barrow says
Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) president Jose Castellanos cited victimization as his reason for retiring from the ‘salary adjustment’ negotiations; but Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that wasn’t the case at all. Barrow told reporters on Wednesday that he finds Castellanos’ claim as to why he pulled out of the negotiation between government and the unions last Friday, “a bit off.” Barrow explained that last August – prior to Castellanos’ tenure as APSSM’s president-he had applied for early retirement from the public service on medical grounds, so that he could get all his benefits. “He had discussed his request with this CEO, who said, ‘Fine, then the ministry will support it.’ And the ministry formally did that in September of last year,” Barrow revealed. Barrow elucidated that Castellanos became APSSM’s president around last October, “when he knew that his request to be medically boarded – if you can call it that – was already in train.”

New rules for new Belize passports
The Belizean public will learn the ins and outs of getting a new passport through an education campaign that the Department of Immigration and Nationality will be conducting throughout the country. This campaign will familiarize Belizeans with the changes in the new application form, and the ways in which the application process has been improved. It is expected that the new procedures to acquire a new Belize passport will make it more difficult for non-Belizean citizens to get a passport to which they are not entitled. The minister responsible for Immigration, Minister of Labor, Local Government, and Rural Development Senator Godwin Hulse, signed Statutory Instrument No. 16 on January 17, and it was published in the Government Gazette on January 19. The ministry will announce the timeline for this campaign later, but the new rules take effect on Friday, March 1.

Why the Government Is Suing Standard & Poor’s
By Rick Newman As a legal drama, it has gone on way longer than most people’s attention span can tolerate. But the plot continues to thicken in the quest for villains responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown. The Obama administration and several states are now poised to sue credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s for insisting that billions of dollars’ worth of securities were far safer than they turned out to be. If the government wins, it would mark a rare moment of accountability for a scandal in which hardly anybody has been punished—even though the wipeout zapped trillions of dollars of wealth and threw nearly 10 million people out of work. The problem: subprime mortgages For two decades, it had been typical practice to bundle mortgages into tradable securities to optimize their value. The process worked fine as long as the mortgages themselves remained in good standing, even pushing down interest rates and freeing more cash that banks could lend to worthy homeowners. The problem developed when mortgage lenders began granting loans to unqualified borrowers who should not have gotten them. When home values started to fall, the home equity many of those borrowers had been counting on evaporated, and default rates skyrocketed.


A Tale of Five Cities: Route Reversal (Part 2)
This was not the best morning of the trip. In fact, it was the worst, for me anyway. I woke up feeling a little nauseous. Barry thought maybe it was because I didn't sleep well, but I wasn't so sure. I had only had one cervasa at the pizza place the night before, so it certainly wasn't a hangover. And Barry had had the same pizza and felt fine, so it wasn't the pizza. When we were waiting on our breakfast to be served at the Hotel Xibalba in Palenque, I started feeling worse. After a couple of bites of plain toast, I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep it down. I bolted to our room and to the bathroom, where I lost my previous night's dinner along with the small amount of breakfast I'd eaten. (I hope that's not too much information!) We had to catch a bus leaving in less than an hour, and it was hard to even imagine traveling as all I wanted to do was lie down and rest. Somehow I got myself together, got back down to the table, and paid for our breakfast. We checked out and made it onto the bus just in the nick of time. I was still feeling a bit queasy and weak, but better than before my run for the porcelain god. After analyzing what we'd both eaten over the past couple of days, Barry suggested that it might have been the salad I'd eaten at Entropia in San Cristobal de las Casas the night before last. That's something he didn't eat, and you know what they say about raw foods and Montezuma's Revenge. I figured the law of averages had finally caught up to me. Fortunately, I was feeling better from then on out, just a little weak. I had no appetite and ate nothing at all until dinnertime that day. But, back to the story.

Carnaval Comparsas and Painted People
Last night Dennis and I decided we needed more Eileen time after crashing her table at Estel’s for brunch so we headed to DandE’s for some of that delicious frozen custard. I decided on mint chocolate chip and a hot fudge bulls eye with a sugar cone. He opted for a cup with 2 scoops, chocolate and rum raisin with special gravy. I brought my camera along as I wanted to get some pictures of the Carnival party and people painting. It was late enough that we were safe from being painted and egged. Carnaval is definitely an event to put on your Belize celebration bucket list, this annual event happens on the week before Ash Wednesday. It is a colorful, fun time, for some too colorful as the kids honor the tradition of painting each other and the town. For the most part if you don’t want to be painted you’ll be left alone, but it does not hurt to wear old clothes that night just in case.

Tiny insect discovered in wilds of Belize
U.S. entomologists say they’ve discovered a tiny grasshopper-like insect in Belize and named it in commemoration of a Mayan people who once lived there. Researchers have dubbed the tiny hopper Ripipteryx mopana after the Mopan people, a Mayan group native to the Central American region. Scientists from the University of Illinois discovered the new species in the tropical rainforests of the Toledo District in southern Belize, which is bordered by Guatemala. “Belize is famous for its biodiversity, although very little is known about the insect fauna of the southern part of the country. This is particularly true of the Orthoptera — the grasshoppers, crickets and katydids,” entomologist Sam Heads said in a university release Wednesday. The tiny black, white and orange colored grasshopper-like species — less than a quarter inch long — uses its large jumping hind legs to escape predators, the researchers said.

Belizestagram! The Best Photos Of The Week
Here’s another weekly mashup (February 04 – 10) of the best Belize Instagram photos. All these photos are personally taken by the individuals in Belize. If you want your photos to be included, remember to tag them using the hashtag #Belize.

The Beat Goes On
Started the day early at 4 am on the veranda with a coffee selecting the photos I am going to enclose with the letter I am sending to Mayor Danny Guerrero and then surfing the web looking at hotels in Austin and San Antonio for our upcoming trip that starts off in Dallas to look at fixtures and fittings for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. With the research completed I got ready and went for an early morning breakfast at Estel’s (yes, that place again) and then went home to collect Rose for our visit to the Immigration Department to get our 30 day Visas. Not a straightforward visit this time because we should have taken care of this last Friday (our Visas expired on Saturday but the office is closed) but we got captivated by progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.Inexcusable really and just plain sloppy on our part (could try to blame Rose but …). En route we agreed that Rose would do the talking and if challenged about being late she would just act dumb ( limited acting required which is why she got the part – when she reads this I am in deep trouble). It worked a treat and we got off without any fines. I have now diarised the date when we need to renew (should have done this in the first place) and I will get an email notification.

The Guatemalan Claim is being legitimized with the help of Belize
It seems to me that Belize got Set up, Swindled and Hoodwinked, …before the suggestion to take Guatemalan’s claim to the ICJ , it seemed to be going well for Belize Internationally. We had our issues but we were developing…Guatemala for the most part was not an issue for us and the Guatemalan claim for Belize was dying a natural death; I would argue that any claim by Guatemala in the world arena would be seen ridiculous as the world has given Belize LEGITIMACY in every world organization…. Lo and Behold, enter the brilliant yet inept legal minds in Belize, the ones who bill our taxpayers for self benefiting pursuits, the same brilliant legal minds who have yet to effectively address or solve our internal failing justice systems, decides to become legal super heroes and take up a centuries old issue and solve a claim already settled with our induction into the U.N. They agreed and signed a contract, without any previous consultation with the Belizean people, to risk our sovereignty. They ask Belizeans NOW to trust them, and vote yes for our future to be determined by Judges who could care less how their vote affect us. A vote where ONLY Belize stands to lose.

Who Will Improve Our schools?
We don’t have the best possible Education System in Belize today to prepare our children to live in this era of advanced technology. Before we can create one, though, we must first “want it”! Sadly, Education Systems in Belize have not been developed due to the overwhelming apathy from parents, educators, and the government towards constantly improving our schools. As in most third-world countries, the Education we provide our children in Belize today is what it was 50+ years ago. But my grandchildren should not have to study the same curriculum that I studied in high school in the mid 1960’s, or take the same non-Belizean-made exams that I had to take. We cannot continue educating our young people the same way we have always done it. In Colonial times many foreigners (Catholic nuns, priest, scholastics, and volunteers from abroad) helped to educate our people. Now, though, we are independent. We must discard that old Colonial mentality under which our parents and grandparents lived: “what worked for us will work for you”. 21st Century Belize is no longer “if the world had any ends, Belize would be one”. We are living in a new millennium, and we must adapt to a new way of living! We now live with several television and radio stations, computers, cell phones, internet, and a thousand new inventions that did not exist when I attended school.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Creemed Halibut
4 – 6 ounce halibut fillets (froze and thawed) salt and peppr 2 tablespoons buttr 1 lemon 4 gree onyuns 1 red bell peppr 3 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups sliced butt'n mushrooms 8 – 10 stalks asparagus 4 cups youngn spinach (keep one cup fer garnish undr t'halibut) 1 cup halved cherry maters 1 teespoon crushed chili flakes (optyunal) 1/2 cup white wine (er chicke broth) 1 cup creem cooked Pasta uf yer choic

International Sources

Dike injury leaves Porter, Timbers looking at new trialist
The Portland Timbers resumed training Monday after the team’s two-week stint in Arizona, and they had a new trialist in tow. Deon McCaulay, a Belizean international forward, is being evaluated as a possible replacement for Bright Dike, the third-year striker who will be out until at least August after he tore his left ACL in Tuesday’s preseason game against Seattle. The Timbers’ director of medicine, Dr. Richard Edelson, performed successful surgery on Dike, who was expected to compete for a starting job after scoring five goals in the Timbers’ final 11 games last season, according to the team. “It’s too bad,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said after Monday’s session at JELD-WEN Field. “We feel for Bright. He was going to be a key piece for us this year. But that’s football, it happens and guys get injured. … He’s a tough kid, he’s a great kid, he’s a good kid. We’ll miss him, but he’ll overcome this.”

Corin Nemec Injured While Filming in Belize, Told Dont Sue or Else
Following a major injury during filming in Belize, actor Corin Nemec, 41, had to be rushed to the hospital, but it seems his problems are not over just yet. While working on the movie Poseidon Rex, the former “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” star was aboard a Coast Guard vessel when it crashed into a semi-submerged barge. Nemec’s leg was shattered, his femur broken in at least three places, and he lost nearly half of his blood. Now, after surgery to repair his leg (see photo here), his insurance company is refusing to pay his hospital bills unless he signs a contract saying he will not sue. According to Nemec, he is being pressured to sign a contract stating he releases both the insurance company and the production company from any liability in the accident in Belize. The incident occurred on January 19. Nemec told TMZ he has yet to make a decision.

A Perfect Day at Francis Ford Coppola's Little Beach Shack
Wake up at Turtle Inn, the Francis Ford Coppola resort in Placencia, a sleepy Creole fishing village in the Stann Creek District of Belize, at the southernmost tip of a narrow, 26-mile peninsula. You’re nowhere, and you have a busy day in the sunshine ahead of you. Sunrise: Mornings here are quiet and peaceful. Request a wake-up call just so you can use the shell phone, then walk out your seafront Balinese-style cottage (Villa One) a few steps into the Caribbean for a morning swim. Rinse off in the outdoor shower in your private garden before stopping by The Mare restaurant for warm coffee, fresh fruits, and beignets.

New World chief Kelleher still confident of Belize oil discovery
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) chief executive Bill Kelleher remains confident that the company will discover oil within its Belize acreage. The shares plummeted last week as the Blue Creek 2 well was determined to be non-commercial. The well did, however, confirm that an active hydrocarbon system exists within the acreage, and live oil shows were measured in both the Y3 and Hillbank reservoir targets. This was not enough to prevent a sharp drop for the New World shares, which at one stage had halved in value, but Kelleher remains undeterred. “I’m not hanging my head, in fact I’m encouraged,” he said in a call with Proactive Investors. “I’m incredibly positive [about the project]. We now know that oil has moved through this area, and we know it has accumulated in massive amounts – I’m talking about hundreds of millions of barrels. “And I believe it is just a matter of time before we crack the code on locating traps, and identifying the differences [in our data] between the sealed and the breached traps. “We’ve learned a lot, and the key thing to take away from this result is that we will make a discovery and we will be producing oil - so sit tight.” The problem with the Blue Creek prospect was that the ‘trap’ - the geological structure that would have contained the hydrocarbons was breached, likely as a result of late tectonic activity.

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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