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Today's Belize News: February 16, 2013 #458155
02/16/13 09:34 AM
02/16/13 09:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,402
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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The San Pedro Sun

Equine Encephalomyelitis Outbreaks in Belize
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) strongly recommends to all horse owners throughout Belize, and especially in the Northern and Western Regions, to vaccinate their horses against Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis. BAHA has confirmation from the USDA laboratory in Iowa, USA that the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus is currently circulating in Belize. Outbreaks have been detected in the Corozal and Cayo Districts. The viral disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and alternate infection of birds or rodents and mosquitoes maintain the virus in nature. Equine Encephalomyelitis viruses can also cause infection in humans.

An Excellent Opportunity for Marco Gonzalez Project
An excellent opportunity has come along for the Marco Gonzalez Project – the designing of a Visitor/Educational Center by the 2013 graduate students at the University of Puerto Rico/School of Architecture. Nine students have been chosen by their Grad. Program Coordinator Ms. Anna Georas to undertake this design work as their final assignment before being able to graduate. These students may need an excellent grade to compliment work towards their Masters Degree or thesis for future Doctorate work. Whatever level of study is involved, they will put heart and soul into this work to achieve their level of excellence for future employment as well. This opportunity came about quite by surprise. Let me explain, please. Some of you in San Pedro in 2011 and 2012 had the pleasure to have one of BTB’s “Road Warriors” visit your business, experience what you had to offer the public and then the Warrior would blog about it – internationally. I, too, took several Warriors through the Marco Gonzalez Maya site. About a year after Mr. Figueroa had been to the site, completed his Belize adventure and gone home, I received an email from him.

Belize Rural South will be “neutral” in UDP National Convention
Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr says he will take a neutral position in the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) national convention scheduled to take place in Corozal Town on Sunday February 17. The main item on the agenda during the convention is the election of a Deputy leader of the UDP, Chairperson of the Party and vice Chairperson of the Party. Party members from all over Belize, including Belize Rural South, will be able to vote for one of two delegates that have decided to contest for the party’s position. The two candidates contesting the position for Deputy Leader of the UDP is the current Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Minister of Natural Resources and Area Representative for Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega and the current Chairman of the UDP, Minister of Education and Youth and Area Representative for the Collet division, Patrick Faber. Political observers in Belize say that the convention will be hotly contested, since the election amounts to a challenge of a sitting Deputy Prime Minister, something not often seen especially in modern politics. For that reason the two candidates have been canvassing the country to garner as much support from the delegates that will be voting from all 31 divisions.

Gambling charges against Peter Lawrence dropped
All three gambling charges have been dropped in the San Pedro Magistrate court against businessman Peter Lawrence. Two of the charges were dropped based on technicalities while the third was dropped due to the police prosecutor’s failure to appear in court. The charges brought against Lawrence were based on a police operation back in July of 2012 in which the Gambling Control Board of Belize had suspected that the businessman was conducting illegal gambling at Pedro’s Inn. According to Lawrence’s Attorney Aldo Reyes, his client was charged for two offences under the gambling prevention act and one under the gambling control act. “Two weeks ago, the two charges pursuant to the gambling prevention act were dismissed by the magistrate because the proper protocol was not followed by the police when initiating these proceedings.

Congratulations Etel & Luis
Aji Tapas Bar & Restaurant was the scene of a surprise wedding for Etel Meyer and Luis Soler. Witnessing the ceremony was Puri Soler, Alfredo Meyer, their adorable son Eloy and of course, Hugo and Victoria Meyer of Aji. Congratulations to the happy couple!!

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Library Writing Competition Announces Winners
The San Pedro Library held its writing competition where a total of 55 entries were submitted by students from Island Academy, San Pedro R. C. School, Ambergris Caye Elementary, Caye Caulker R. C School and Holy Cross Anglican School. Rules that were considered by the team of judges. 1. 150 - 200 words 2. At least 3 paragraphs 3. Understanding the writers writing 4. Story (composition) must have a Beginning - Middle - Ending 5. Indicates much as possible that it is the child's own idea and performance. (Teacher's encouragement accepted) 6. Plus all grading rules as given by the librarian of San Pedro Town Library. Winners 1st. Dianela Hancock - San Pedro R. C. School, Teacher- Roberto Gongora 2nd. Litzy Baeza - San Pedro R. C. School, Teacher - Roberto Gongora 3rd. Lizbeth Calix - San Pedro R. C. School, Teacher - Roberto Gongora 10 consolation prize winners

An Excellent Opprtunity For Marco Gonzalez Project
This out-of-the-blue suggestion was very exciting. A “non-profit” is always grateful for help where offered, especially when the cost to us is free and the value to the community would be tremendous. After conferring with the Board, NICH, Institute of Archaeology and Minister Heredia/BTB, we accepted their offer. The travel plans were made for a representative to visit San Pedro and Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve to get a feel for our past and present culture. Mr. Tom Marvel, Professor of the Grad Program/UPR/SA, was on island a short time, but the conversations were non-stop with meetings everywhere. Mr. Marvel’s trip ended with a working dinner with SP Mayor Guerrero, Culture Committee Chairman Paz, members of the MGMSAC, Ltd Board – at the expense of the Board, not the Mayor, by the way. Unfortunately, Minister Heredia was off island and could not attend.

Painting Party at San Pedro Carnaval
Every February on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, islanders and visitors celebrate Carnaval. There is much dancing and partying in a unique way. By unique I mean, going out on the town and painting one another. Painting at Carnaval is spread into three days. The first and second day is for the children and lastly is a mixture of children and adults. On the third day at approximately five-thirty in the evening is when everybody heads to the central park to get their paint on. This year I set a goal to get the best footage of our unique Carnaval for all of you to enjoy. “Painting and partying, genius combination!” stated a tourist. This unique tradition has been going for many years, back in the day powder and lipstick was used and now has evolved into waterproof paint. As a Sanpedrano I am a huge fanatic of painting. I enjoy watching tourists getting the chance to experience our tradition.

Misc Belizean Sources

Central Park Facelift
Central Park gets a facelift after all the paint madness from Carnaval.

Carnaval Painting Party San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Every February on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, islanders and visitors celebrate Carnaval. There is much dancing and partying in a unique way. By unique I mean, going out on the town and painting one another. Painting at Carnaval is spread into three days. The first and second day is for the children and lastly is a mixture of children and adults. On the third day at approximately five-thirty in the evening is when everybody heads to the central park to get their paint on. This year I set a goal to get the best footage of our unique Carnaval for all of you to enjoy.

Oil, for frying 2 green plantains, peeled 2 limes, zested and juiced Salt Preheat 1-inch of oil in a deep sided skillet over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F. slice plantains into 1/8-inch thick ovals on the diagonal. Carefully add plantains to the oil in batches and fry about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with lime zest, lime juice and salt. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Rotaract's Red Carpet Affair

Motivational Missionaries Tour @ SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel hosted the Motivational Missionaries Tour when they were in Cayo. "'Make it Happen, I am Belize' was the mantra shouted by the students of San Ignacio who attended the finale of the Motivational Missionaries Tour 2013. The children were motivated and inspired to follow their dreams by using unconventional team building methods, the speaker Bert of the Potentialist’s, called breakthroughs. These breakthroughs included, bending 3/8 steel with your throat, swallowing fire and walking across broken pieces of glass."

SHC Honor Roll Awards
Sacred Heart College had its first semester honor roll awards. Mssrs Juan and Canto awarded a lot of bright students. Congratulations to all.

Channel 7

Alleged Gang Boss Killer, Nikolai Rhys, NOT GUILTY!
On January 29th Nikolai Rhys became the second person to be tried without a jury. And today, 18 days after his trial started, it ended. He was pronounced not guilty of the murder of Andree Trapp. And so after more than two and a half years on remand, he was set free. 7news was at the courthouse and here's the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting 22 year-old Nicholi Rhys stood before the Chief Justice, in a case prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and was still acquitted today of one of the biggest murder trials in Belize's history. His mother, a senior police officer, was no doubt happy to see his son freed, and to have her family's reputation remain untarnished. For the first time in more than 2 years and 8 months, Rhys was able to leave the court house, and go home with his family a free man. And they took advantage of that freedom in its fullest and vacated as quickly as possible to get away from the cameras. But the road to that freedom today was a tedious one in which Rhys and his attorney, Simeon Sampson, had to defend against all the evidence put forward to the court by DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. After all, he was accused of the sensational street execution of Reputed SSG Leader, Andre Trap on June 10, 2010.

Younger Brother of Slain Gang Boss Shot
And tonight, the man who was originally charged with Rhys in 2010, Alton Buju Roaches is in a critical condition after he was shot today. It happened this afternoon, and it could have implications in the gang underworld. Roaches was along with Kenroy Tillett, the younger brother of slain gang leader Shelton Pinky Tillett. It happened at about 3:45 as they pulled up at Pinky Tillett's former home at the corner of Neal's Pen Road and Monroe Street. According to reports, a shooter drove by in a car and opened fire on the white Ford Ranger Roaches was driving. That is the same Ranger that Pinky Tillett was driving when he was killed last year. Today, the younger Kenroy Tillett was shot inside while Roches tried to make a dash for the house but he was shot and collapsed on the street before he made it. One bystander told us off camera what he saw: Voice of: Eyewitness "I heard like dynamite was bursting. I saw thw man ran out of the car and he got 4 shot. He was shot in his stomach. Three ran roll up and he got frighten because he recognizes one of the men. That is all I know."

BWS Fires Another for Talking to 7news?
Today, Belize Water Services fired another employee in its ongoing purge. This particular employee had 24 years working at the utility. Just like the others, his letter said he was being released because restructuring had found him redundant. But behind closed doors he told us he was accused of feeding 7news information about the terminations. IF that is so, we can assure you he did not - and in fact - this newsroom has not been in contact with any staff of BWSL. But in the past 9 days, six have been fired and one more was reportedly forced to resign a month earlier. According to the CEO in a memo to all staff- it's because they breached the company's confidentiality and failed to cooperate in an investigation into the source of three scandal sheets that have made broad allegations of wrongdoing and improper behavior against BWSL staff. We have been informed that a number of the staffers - who were all told they were being made redundant - have now retained an attorney. Two of them wer eon the union executive.

Police and BDF In Serious Brawl
There is a criminal story that didn't make the police press release this week. It involved a police officer and two Belize Defense Force soldiers. The incident happened at a club in Ladyville early Thursday morning. From what we have gathered so far is that two off duty BDF soldiers were socializing at the Blue Club in Ladyville along with a police officer who is on long leave. The two soldiers got into an exchange with the police officer and shortly after they left the bar. It is alleged that the 2 off duty BDF soldiers drove off in an army vehicle -while the police rode off on a bicycle. While the police officer was riding his bicycle on the Old Airport Road that leads to Price Barracks, the BDF soldiers followed and intercepted him near to the BTL's substation on the Old Airport Road.

Putting his Money Where his Mouth is: Shyne Returns with $$$$
We haven't heard from Belize's Cultural Ambassador Moses Leviy, better known as Shyne in a while! In fact, after he gave us an extended interview in August of last year, he took off for Europe. Well, now he's returned home and this time, it's with a substantial donation. At a ceremony at the House of Culture this morning Shyne handed over a check for $100,000 dollars. It's a donation from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein foundation which Shyne secured for three youth oriented programmes: the Belize National Youth Orchestra; the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence Youth Programme and the Belize Youth Apprenticeship Programme. He explained this morning that it's all about the kids:.. Moses Leviy "This is something that I've always wanted to do as far as handing over these funds. I've been working for the last couple of years since put in a position to do - handing over. I am just grateful to be here because the kids are just like me. A lot of the kids feel that there is no hope, they feel 'what am I going to do,' they feel that they are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth if they don't have the financial means by which to attain the dream life that that's it. That is not the case. It really isn't and I am here to represent that and to champion that - all the kids in the audience, all the kids in Belize and all the kids in the world you guys can accomplish any and everything that you imagine. Gang banging and a life of violence and a life of dormant is not the only option. They are people like me and even greater than me those are here to see you through, here to assist you and here to help you. I believe in you, I believe in Belize and I believe in the kids in Belize and this is why I have done everything I can and could to raise the funds."

Most Major Crimes Down
The national crime statistics for January 2013 have been released and it shows that apart from murder - which went up by 300% in the first month of the year - other major crimes were down. Rape, robbery, burglary and theft all went down - while carnal knowledge went up - almost by 300%.

Destination Belize, Edition 17
The Belize Tourism Industry Association today launched the 2013 edition of the Destination Belize Magazine. As the official visitor magazine for the past 16 years, Destination Belize Magazine is a big deal in tourism circles because it's a major part of how potential visitors find out about Belize. The publisher told us about what's included in the 2013 edition. Demian Solano, Publisher "When this concept came about I said they are perfect and it took several months trying to coordinate but we finally did it. I will show you how this cover is done; basically they had a bit of a two-step dance about 100 times. That's what it took. I want to thank them for their patience in working with me on the cover and I think that it does bring this message across. We presented it to all the key stakeholders and the decision makers and I think that it was agreed that - two things; never before was the cover shoot - it was always trying to compile data like trying to come up with something. Starting last year we said that the cover requires attention, it's the most important piece in the book and decide to shoot. This year I think that everybody agreed that this is what we've been trying to do for a very long time - finally it's something that works well and it has good acceptance, so we are very happy about this."

UB Monitoring The Seas
Today, the University of Belize invited the press out to its Environmental Research Institute at the Calabash Caye Field Station in the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. That's 33 miles southeast of Belize City and it's a place where important marine study occurs - including checking up on lobster populations. Dr. Leandra Cho Ricketts explains:.. Dr. Leandro Cho Ricketts, Admin/Science marine Director "We've been monitoring the eco-systems and their health for the last three years and that information allows us to know what's happening, so we know what happening with the reefs, we know the state and the health of the reefs. We always monitor for coral bleaching. We can detect and note when corals are bleaching when they are being stressed by high temperature. We are monitoring lobster and conch populations." Hani Salazar, Field Technician "This survey is done twice at the beginning of the lobster season and at the end. Last year we conducted the survey right before the beginning and we found that the lobsters - we are starting to find them in deeper waters. Throughout the year while we are conducting different studies for instance coral bleaching and different fish surveys. Again it's been observe that we are finding them in deeper waters. From what I've personally observed where we find a lot of lobsters are actually at the northern side of the atoll along the patch reefs. It looks like there is a high abundance in the high end of the atoll." Reporter "What does that mean ecologically for that species?" Hani Salazar, Field Technician "It probably means that the area is better suited for the species. What I am noticing from other data is that a lot of fish are out here right now."

The Cathedral Of History
St, John's Cathedral in Belize City is entering its third century and one devoted Anglican, who's been a member of the church for over 70 years is seeking to put it in historical perspective. Marlene Leslie has written her second book. It's called, "The Cathedral Church of St. John The Baptist Through the Ages, 1812-2012." She says that the importance of the book is that in the history of the Church, we will find the history of the nation. It's a grand claim, but this proud Anglican gave an ample defence of it:.. Marlene Leslie, Author "This Cathedral is Belize's history. I would like everyone who reads the book or who attends the launching remember and I should say all of Belize needs to remember that this is about Belize, not the Anglican Diocese or the Anglican Church. Our history starts here."

Fort Barlee's History
And another structure which may share an odd historical tie with St. John's is Fort Barlee in Corozal. As we told you last night, that was one of the forts erected in the mid 1800's to fend off the attacking Maya Indians from Santa Cruz, Mexico. Well, just like St. John's it was built of bricks brought to what was then the settlement of Belize as the ballast for ships. Now, what left of those brick forts is being restored. IT'S part of the same effort that's being put into the Mayan site at Santa Rita Corozal. This is from another era in history, but as we found out it is equally fascinating. Dr. Awe explains:.. Dr. Jaime Awe, Director, Institute of Archaeology "You can see here on the tower these are some gun slits where the people inside could have put their guns to look and shoot at anyone attacking the Fort." Jules Vasquez reporting Looking through the gun slits in Fort Barlee today you might only see a pair of school children walking down First Street North in Corozal town - but 150 years ago you might have seen an attacking whorde: Dr. Jaime Awe, Director, Institute of Archaeology "There were several forts like this one that was constructed in northern Belize for the purpose of defending the colony against some of the Maya who were moving in from the Yucatan during the Cast Wars. We know that the Cast War was probably at its peak around the late 1840s to 1850s. The forts were built a little bit after that. Today all that remains of Fort Barlee in Corozal like I said are the 4 corner towers."

World Class Athlete In Belize
Author, motivational speaker, and Decathlon champion Corey Hicks is in Belize for the next 2 days. Hicks who is also a motivational speaker and a coach in the US will be meeting with sport coordinators and track athletes over the weekend. His trip is to help develop the athletic program for Belize which he plans to work closely with the Belize Sports Council. Today a press briefing was held and 7news was there. Corey Hicks "First of all I would just like to thank you. This is an excellent opportunity to be able to come here first of all just to access and see just the many opportunities you have here in the City of Belize. One of the things that I really and truly like is that we had the opportunity to go by the track and the track is definite top-notch track. I was sharing with the Minister that that particular track was the same track that Flo Joe set the world wide record on it in Indiana. It's a very fact track. It opens up the door for many opportunities. I am very excited to be here just to see the many talented youth that I see walking around. The key thing is about putting individuals in a position to be successful and when you put then in a position to be successful it opens up many doors of opportunities whether it is the opportunity to go to the states or go to a school. We don't necessarily know what those opportunities are but the resource and the foundation has to be established before any of that can occur."

Playing Games With Immigration Identity
In the last few months, the Immigration Department has been trying to crack down on violations, and tonight, 2 men stand convicted due to their efforts. 37 year-old Jamaican National Lawrence Walcott was caught in an identity theft scam, in which he was aided by a Belizean national. According to Immigration officers, in January of this year, Walcott came to the Immigration Office to apply for a passport in the name of Jamal Walton with the help of 36 year-old Belizean Nigel Flowers. But as with the routine procedure with the department, a thorough check was launched into the particular information given on the documents and that's when officers saw some discrepancies.

Channel 5

Acquittal for murdered south side gangster boss
Tonight, two well-known street figures are in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they were sprayed with bullets at a home on the corner of Kraal Road and Benbow Street in Belize City. The shooting shatters the fragile peace on city streets since the two murders last week of Gary Bowen and [...]

Gangland shooting in late afternoon
And that brings us to today’s brazen broad daylight shooting on the corner of Benbow Street and Kraal Road. At about three-thirty this afternoon, shots rang out and shortly after residents saw two men stagger out of a house pouring blood. News Five was on the scene and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has this story. [...]

Attorney believes Foreign Minister erred on Guatemala statement
In the next eight months, Belizeans are expected to take the most important national decision on whether the International Court of Justice will be called upon to define Belize’s borders. The national psyche is now focusing on the October referendum. On Monday, the Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington told News [...]

2 B.D.F. and 1 police brawl in Ladyville
Police are investigating an incident in Ladyville in which it is alleged that two soldiers of the Belize Defence Force assaulted an off-duty police officer attached to the Special Patrol Branch of the department. The incident happened just after one a.m. on Thursday when the bar was forced to close by Ladyville police. Police officer [...]

Stalwart party hopefuls compete for deputy
The leadership of the United Democratic Party will be realigned in the next forty-eight hours. At the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town on Sunday, the party will hold an election for the next Party Chairman and Deputy Party Leader. The incumbent Chairman is Minister of Education, Patrick Faber; he is vacating that post [...]

U.D.P. Sunday convention brings changes to party
With Faber leaving the post, the chairmanship is up for grabs. Roosevelt Blades and Alberto August are throwing in their hat. Blades, a stalwart supporter and a former senator of his party is from the north of the country and he has aligned himself with Faber. They both travelled the country in a bid to [...]

Crime stats for January 2013
The police department has released the crime statistics for January 2013. The most startling figure in the district comparison to 2012 is that there were three murders for Belize City in 2012 and that skyrocketed to eleven in 2013. There was only one other murder in the entire country outside of the Belize District. Only [...]

Accused robber hops into court
There was a brazen robbery of a local Chinese businessman, Jian Guang Li, and his wife by six men on January twelfth at their store on the corner of Mahogany and Mopan Streets. It ended with a shootout with the police. Five suspects were arrested following the crime and today the last of six suspects [...]

Harmonyville group ready for land protest
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) which organized the formation of Harmonyville, a community at mile forty one on the George Price Highway, has been constantly on the airwaves regarding the issuance of titles for its members. Recently they claimed that there was at an impasse with the Lands Department. Earlier in the week, [...]

Guatemala demands, but no changes to Referendum Act
As we reported on Thursday, the president of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina has come out publicly to say that Guatemala is asking Belize for a reversal of the referendum act to where it was in 2008 thereby removing the sixty percent requirement of voter participation to give the poll validity. Guatemala only requires a simple [...]

U.S. Olympiad meets with local athletes
The Ministry of Sports is conducting a track clinic at the incomplete Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. Track and field athletes between the ages of fourteen and seventeen from the Belize Amateur Athletics Association, the National Secondary Schools Sports Association as well as individual track athletes are invited to the two-day clinic by former [...]

Outbreak of Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis
There is an outbreak of the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis which is a mosquito borne viral disease that can affect humans and equines. VEE is also known to be severely debilitating and can be fatal. The virus that causes VEE is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes that bite an infected animal and then feed on another animal [...]

No looking at the tail as lobster season closes today
The Belize Fisheries Department reminds fisher-folk that the lobster season closes today and continues through to June fourteenth. According to fisheries, the law states that no person shall catch, buy, sell or have in their possession the spiny lobster. To do so would be an offense that is liable on summary conviction. The department also [...]

Destination Belize, the tourism guide for 2013, launched
It was a big day for tourism today as the seventeenth edition of Destination Belize was officially launched. The magazine is the official visitor publication of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and is considered one of the best marketing tools on travel to the country. Destination Belize 2013 was launched under the theme – an [...]


Alleged gunman in the murder of Southside leader acquitted
The allege gunman in the 2010 murder of Southside leader Andre Trapp walks free. Nicoli Rhys, accused of pulling the trigger that took the life of the notorious gang leader was acquitted of murder today in the Supreme Court. From the start of the trial, which began on February...

UBFSA members organizing sick-out day from University
The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association is currently at odds with the University’s Board of Trustees. For the past week, the association has voiced its unease with the UB payroll audit report, that they claim contains financial and managerial irregularities. The association says that despite taking their...

Citrus Growers Association is building the largest green house in the country
This year, the citrus industry in Belize celebrates a hundred years in existence. The industry is a major part of the country’s economy, as it represents 22% of major export earnings and 4% of GDP. It is no question then, that the country relies heavily on the performance of...

Cayo Students March for Peace
The Cayo District has earned the reputation of being a no-nonsense municipality when it comes to crime and violence. Its people have held countless demonstrations, marches, community meetings and they have organized the most neighborhood watch programs in the entire country. And today, they continued their fight against crime...

BGYEA will hold demonstration in Belmopan
We’ve all heard the saying, “Land is wealth,” – and, while that may be true, acquiring a piece of land is not always easy, just ask the folks at BYGEA. Since acquiring over a thousand acre parcel of land in 2010, to distribute to first time land owners in...

Two charged for hiring persons without a work permit
Two naturalized Belizeans are charged, in separate incidences, for hiring persons without a work permit. Both cases were heard by Magistrate Adolph Lucas. The first, fifty three year old Dora Licia de Maria Prado, the owner of Dora Noa Noa Bar in the Ladyville area, reportedly employed three Guatemalan...

Community Care Center unveiled in Dangriga
A Community Care Center was unveiled today in Dangriga. The care center will cater to vulnerable children and is also geared at addressing poverty alleviation and social wellbeing. A well furnished single-storey concrete building was handed over by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the residents of Dangriga....

Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development receive 3 vehicles
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, today was the recipient of three vehicles via the UNDP. The initiative is a part of the Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change Project. The project is aimed at ensuring that the Government of Belize is...

Police destroy a marijuana field in Arenal
Police destroy a marijuana field in Arenal. Yesterday morning, the Mobile Interdiction Team conducted a search in the Arenal area of Benque Viejo, where they found a marijuana plantation consisting of over 2,000 plants. The plants which measured some six feet in height were then set on fire by...

Young Belizean ballers will get a chance to showcase their skills
The King James Amateur Athletic Union Classic is here again and like last year, young Belizean ballers will get a chance to showcase their skills at the annual event hosted by Miami Heat NBA star Lebron James. Tryouts began last week Thursday and so far high school students from...

Re: Today's Belize News: February 16, 2013 [Re: Marty] #458156
02/16/13 09:34 AM
02/16/13 09:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,402
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here


Presently, there is a major storm brewing in the sport of cycling; many people do not understand the components that make up this storm. Hopefully, after they have read this article, they will be left with a clearer picture before the eye of the storm is upon us. It all began in November, 2012, when the President of the Belize Cycling Association (BCA) called elections. These elections have, from time immemorial, been conducted with the registered Belizean cyclists, team managers and team personnel and other members casting their individual vote for either a slate or an individual, resulting in the election of a President and the executive. However, for the first time ever, the members were not allowed to enter the election venue, as they were informed that this election would be by pre-determined delegates. They were shocked to learn that the elections were being conducted as a federation, and not that of an association. That meant that delegates, and not cyclists etc., would be voting to decide who would be responsible to lead cycling for the next two years. The question then was, when did the Association become a federation? To date that question remains unanswered. There is no documentation to reflect a change in name from Belize Cycling Association to Belize Cycling Federation, and there is no documentation, i.e. minutes, to a General Meeting or Special General Meeting to reflect any other change.

On Saturday, February 9, at Buttonwood Bay, the young sailors in the Optimist program of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) set sail in their first Regatta of the 2013 season. Under bright sunny skies with the wind in their sails, the competition was tough and challenging for all. In each race the top 4 sailors battled it out, and the sailors, instructors and spectators waited anxiously for the umpire’s results. The scoring system is “low point score,” and the results show just how little separates some of the participants. All scores will be accumulated throughout the year to determine who will participate in the Nationals in December. In first place, gold medalist is Antonio Ricardez, Jr. of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene public school. Antonio placed first in all five races. What a thrilling start for the season for Antonio! In second place and silver medalist, with a 7-point difference, is Carlos Villatoro from the Placencia Sailing Club. Carlos showed that hard work and dedication brings forth the just rewards.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth held a press conference at the Sports Council conference room upstairs of the building at Rogers Stadium this afternoon at 4:30 where the Minister reported on his meeting earlier in the day with COPACI President, Jose Manuel Peleaz Rodriguez, to try and put an end to the constitutionala and leadership crisis presently crippling the sport of cycling in Belize. In his address to the media present, the Minister revealed that he was unable to get the visiting official to agree on a critical matter – the constitution under which the Belize Cycling Association should hold its elections, which are now overdue. According to the Minister, “the question is not the contents of the constitution, but the legitimacy of the constitution” that is the impasse between the National Sports Council of Belize and the UCI, whose delegate insists that it only recognizes the last constitution lodged with it in 2006 by past President Emil Moreno. That constitution speaks to a Belize Cycling Federation, but the Minister maintained that it was never lodged with the Sports Council, and up to the present, no one has been able to present the “minutes of any meeting where that constitution was brought to the membership for ratification.” And that has been the contention of most members of the cycling family, who would be barred from voting under the “federation” constitution.

Our sense at this newspaper is that many Belizean people are becoming almost intransigent where negotiations with the Guatemalans are concerned. Belize achieved political independence in 1981 without yielding any of our traditional lands and seas, and despite the controversy of the Maritime Areas Act in 1992, the 1981 status quo remains the status quo in 2013. At this newspaper, we are not lawyers, politicians or diplomats. In fact, outside of the borders of Belize, we do not exist. The power structure in Belize here has made sure of that. The Belizean media is represented abroad in regional and international organizations, and at regional and international conferences, by many different practitioners, but never by Amandala. Yet, there is no doubt that this is the leading newspaper in the nation-state of Belize, and it has been so for more than three decades. We do not normally approach issues cautiously at this newspaper. We are usually forthright and decisive. On the matter of the referendum on whether to submit the Guatemala/Belize differendum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), however, we have been almost circumspect. This is because the matter is a very large matter indeed, loaded with gravitas, as the attorneys might say, and we appreciate the responsibility which accrues to us. In this issue of Amandala, two of our weekly columnists have taken different positions on whether to go to the ICJ. Editorially, we will not submit our opinion until September. This is a discussion which requires the widest possible airing. It is serious business.

Belizeans in the Diaspora have been controlled by the two major political parties all these decades since the nationalist uprising in 1950. That is the way it used to be in The Jewel itself, but that ain’t the way it is here any more. In Belize, we have several “third” parties, multiple activist organizations, and a powerful, sophisticated media. We laugh at the petty histrionics of PUDP politicians in Belize today. Out there in the Diaspora, some of you are living in the past. The Jewel is different from British Honduras. At the same time, Diaspora Belize has this macro potential power where The Jewel’s future is concerned. There is a need for a data base to be compiled on Diaspora Belize, so that Diaspora Belize can be organized and mobilized. The problem was always how to deal with those of our people abroad who are not documented. But, the bigger problem was always the PUDP politics: the major party politicians have put their party ahead of their country time and time again. Today in The Jewel, we are bigger than that. There were some rights Diaspora Belizeans were seeking a few years ago, but like most things, the issue got caught up in party politics. The UDP were supporting, and the PUP were opposing. The matter of respect and rights for Diaspora Belizeans never got past the quarrel stage. This matter needs to have another and serious airing.

Last week I heard someone on one of the political radio stations saying that the British were “coming back.” When I checked with Bill Lindo over the weekend, he said that David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, had said words more or less to that effect. Then, this week when I checked the Channel 5 website, there was a news story “more or less to that effect.” The first thing I would say is that it is a testament to the increased political maturity, perhaps even cynicism, of the Belizean people that I have not heard many “hip, hip, hoorays” being shouted from the rooftops. The British, who are a nuclear power, have been playing games with our Belizean heads for many years, because they know we are weak compared to Guatemala, and that Belizeans have traditionally considered them to be our protectors. Normally, it is in direct proportion to the extent of Guatemalan saber rattling that Belizeans embrace British military presence here, or a reinforcement thereof. The classic example of this was in 1974, if I remember correctly, when the British dramatically flew in the high-tech Harrier jets to send a message to the Guatemalan generals and to comfort Belizean hearts. The resonant words of the then British Governor, the late Richard Posnett, to Belizeans on Radio Belize were: “Rest easy, and sleep well.” (Posnett, incidentally, is my favorite Britisher. He was a proponent of decolonization.)

Dear Editor, The GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods involve man experimenting with the genetic makeup of plants and animals. However, man’s wanting to experiment with living matter has and will bring devastating results because he is interfering with what the Almighty has perfectly designed. The results of some of these studies concerning GMO foods made by the Institute for Responsible Technology, Your Consumer Safety Partner — May 20, 2009 are: 1 – There are serious health risks, including infertility, immune system problems, accelerated aging; insulin regulation, changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. 2 — World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava has reviewed over 600 scientific journals, and concludes that GMOs are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans. 3 — David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that children can be adversely affected by toxins and dietary problems.

Dear Editor, On the Channel 5 newscast for February 11, 2012, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, gave an interview in which he once again acted completely contrary to the national interests of Belize. Mr. Elrington said: “But because the land border is already defined and the southern border is already defined, I am confident that nothing untoward can happen with respect to those two. The only place I think there is room for some surprise would have to be in the sea area or perhaps in the insular area, because those are not yet defined.” It is only the Government and people of Guatemala who can draw any comfort from this amazing statement by the official spokesperson of Belize. We are in the midst of a campaign that could lead to the unfounded Guatemalan Claim being submitted to the International Court of Justice. So is Guatemala. And yet, the Foreign Minister has publicly stated that Belize is vulnerable with respect to the maritime and island areas.

Dear Editor, Discounts for the payment of property taxes were established last month (Statutory Instruments 8-15 of 2013) giving 10 to 30% discounts. The only condition is that payment must be made no later than 31 March 2013. Sounds good, right? WRONG. The law does not go into effect until 1 April 2013. Was it an error or a Fool’s Day joke?

Dear Editor, As time passes and I get older, away from my beautiful Belize, I realize how precious The Jewel is. I want to say thank you for being there and for keeping me informed. I’m loving your editorials. Please keep up the good work, especially under the current environment.

Dear Editor, Attached please find a photo of a homeless man who has recently taken up residence on the main street of Dangriga. I am informed that he was recently deported from the U.S. and has family here, but they don’t want to have anything to do with him. He lives on coconuts and fruit which he steals, and , as you can see, leaves all his trash by the side of the road. Numerous requests to the police and other officials have had no effect. All the police say is, “He is not right.” An email to the Town Council received no reply. Everybody I have spoken to agrees that this is a disgrace to our town, but nobody seems to know what can be done about it.

Dear Editor, In a news item this week, an immigrant illegally entered Belize, apparently, not for the first time. He was intent on using Belize’s unmarked, unguarded borders as a stepping stone to Mexico, and on to the United States. Found guilty, he was sentenced to a fine of $1,000, or if not paid (which he can’t), 12 months in jail. That is 12 months (365 days) food and lodging, Bible studies, computer classes, recreation, English lessons, and the rest. All this at our Belizean taxpayers’ expense. No! He should be put to work, with a few others of his kind, under armed guard, and with machete in hand, made to clear the bush along the national border (or adjacency zone), for a distance of 500m on the Belize side of the official boundary, determined by GPS measurements, agreed to, if necessary, by the other side’s officials.

Open Letter To Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia Dear Hon. Balderamos-Garcia, I write to you as a voter in the Belize Rural Central constituency to ask you to declare to me (and indeed all the voters of the Division) what is your position on the referendum being called by the Government of Belize relating to the ICJ. I simply require to know if you support going to the ICJ, or if you do not. I feel it necessary to inform you that out of loyalty to Belize, I cannot vote for an area representative who supports going to the ICJ.

The Government of Belize presented the new Superbond agreement at a meeting of the House of Representatives today, Tuesday, in the National Assembly Building in Belmopan. The new bond motion, called the “Government of Belize External Debt Restructuring Motion, 2013,” encompasses in its payment schedule over BZ$1 billion and features lower interest rates and a longer maturity period than the current bond. The new bonds are expected to be issued by March 31, 2013. The maximum transaction size of the Superbond is US$529,928,800. There are two set interest rates for the new Superbond. For March 20, 2013, to August 20, 2017, the interest rate will be 5.000 percent per annum and for August 20, 2017, to February 20, 2038, it will be set at 6.767 percent per annum. The new bonds will be repaid in equal semi-annual installments starting August 20, 2019. The final maturity date is expected to be on February 20, 2038. The first interest payment will be due approximately five months after the issuance date. The payments will be done semi-annually – at six months interval. The PM said that the restructured Superbond has three key features; the first is that there is a 25-year maturity period which will expire in 2038. That constitutes an addition of nine years to the period of repayment that was set out for the current maturity bond, which was to expire in 2029. The second feature is that there is a 10 percent discount off the principal, which means that $108 million will be removed from the current Superbond debt. The third feature is that the initial interest rate coupon is for five percent lasting for four and a half years; stepping up then to 6.788 percent for the remaining life of the new bonds.

Students and lecturers register discontent with inaction about Payroll Audit Report, which reveals a number of “financial and managerial irregularities” Two weeks ago it was the students of the University of Belize who were protesting in Belmopan what they consider to be an unwarranted increase in their fees. Today it was the lecturers and staff members of the national university who felt they had reason to protest. Sixty of them today expressed their discontent on the university’s central campus in Belmopan, carrying placards that read “Vote of no confidence in the UB Board of Trustees” and “Mr. President, join us in the call for an Independent Commission.” At issue is what is called a Payroll Audit Report, commissioned by the president of the university, Dr. Cary Fraser, and done by the auditing firm of Castillo, Sanchez and Burrell. The audit was commissioned sometime last year, and was to cover the period 2010 to 2011.

Guatemalan president says their required percentage for sparking referendum is “around 25,” while Belize’s is 60 percent. He wants Belize law changed. Guatemala president Otto Perez Molina is advising Belize to amend its Referendum Act because he believes it serves as a disadvantage for Guatemala in the referendums in Belize and Guatemala, on whether the countries should take Guatemala’s claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice, which are scheduled to take place in October. Guatemala’s law does not require a minimum percentage of their voting population to participate in a referendum, contrary to Belize’s Referendum Act, which was amended in 2008, that requires that for any referendum to be recognized in Belize, 60 percent of the registered voters must participate. Guatemalan online newspaper Prensa Libre reported on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, that President Perez Molina said in an interview with The Associated Press in Madrid that Guatemala is not going to spend money on a referendum that they find unreasonable. The president added that Guatemala is asking Belize “to reconsider changes to its law with actual levels of participation.”

2 Belizeans and a Mexican walk; police refuse to say what exactly the “powder” substance was... Two Belizeans and a Mexican walked out of the Corozal Magistrate’s Court today as free men after the cocaine drug trafficking case against them fell apart when the police’s National Forensics found that the supposed cocaine was not cocaine at all, but an unspecified powder. The men were charged with trafficking 400 grams of cocaine. The police said that it “was not an illicit substance,” and when contacted by Amandala as to exactly what the powder substance was determined to be, Amandala was told by a high official that no further comment would be made on the matter. The magistrate immediately struck out the case, and Alfonso Iglesias, 51, of Consejo Road Corozal; Jose Nunez, 51, businessman of San Pedro Town; and Mexican National Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed, 52, were free to go.

Well-known student activist Moses Sulph, 36, has been charged with rape. He was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this afternoon, where the charge was read to him. The prosecution did not object to bail, which was offered in the sum of $5,000. He is to return to court on Friday, May 10. The Magistrate granted him bail amounting to two sureties of $2,500; the sureties are to ensure that he attends court. Sulph is not to interfere with the complainant, and he is to appear at the Queen Street Police Station every Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, he is not to appear before the court for any other criminal offences while on bail. Sulph was unrepresented in court today, but did signal to reporters present outside the Belmopan courthouse that he will consult with an attorney before making a public statement, by way of a press release.

Fisherman has a previous conviction for the same offence Samir Rodriguez, a 32-year old fisherman of Trial Farm Village, was charged with possession of undersized conch today, Thursday, in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas, Jr. Fishery Officer Hector Cunningham found Rodriguez with 563 undersized conchs at the Northern Fishermen Cooperative yesterday, Wednesday, around 7:15 a.m. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $500 for the offense, plus $5 cost of court. Rodriguez was told to pay $20 for each conch, which totaled to$11,260. Those three fines amounted to $11,765. He was given until February 14, 2014, to pay that penalty. Rodriguez was not allowed to leave the court today, however, until he made a payment toward a sum of $1,035 which he owed the court since 2011 for possession of undersized conch. He told the court that he was unable to pay that penalty before because he has a family to take care of and he had a surgery that he needed to pay for.


Belize is a birder’s paradise, including on Ambergris Caye.
Belize is a birder’s paradise with hundreds of local and seasonal migratory species. The jungle areas of the interior are popular amongst those who are serious about birding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience some of this nature-loving activity on Ambergris Caye. Over the past 11 years guests from Portofino Beach Resort not only have been enjoying their vacation including diving, sailing, caving and much more. But every day our guests are amazed with all the different tropical birds onsite. Waking up by the sounds of a group of wild red-throated parakeets is a daily happening here at the resort. Located at Portofino’s Restaurant you will find a Zericote, Scarlet Cordia which is a native slow-growing tree that breaks out in blazing orange clusters of flowers, which are very attractive to Hummingbirds. So when our guests enjoy their meals outside the balcony, overlooking the sparkling blue Ocean, they will see very often a Hummingbird.

She came to Belize for a wedding and stayed to volunteer
Hi, my name is Caroline. I came to Belize for a wedding, stayed to volunteer with Central Americas only manatee rehabilitation center (which also happens to have Belize’s only monkey rehabilitation center) and now have come to San Pedro to raise funds to help pay for the increasing food costs for each manatee (2) and monkey (25). Each species is endangered (West Indian Manatee, Spider and Howler Monkeys. (It is on the Corozal Bay.) I would like to invite you to join us for an information talk on Friday night at Wayo’s Beach Bar at 5:00pm (tonight). The organization runs entirely on volunteers. Right now we have about 13 volunteers who live at the center for between 1-4 months working for free from 6am – 7pm each day. The food costs are tough to meet each month, some come from volunteer donations, and the founders do there best to make ends meet.

8 Most Incredible Caves in Belize
Millions of years ago, the majority of the landmass of Belize was covered by an extensive and shallow tropical sea. Limestone, a rock formed of calcium carbonate was one of the major rock types deposited in the sea. This limestone can be origin either from biological materials like dead corals and mollusks, or in some cases the limestone can be precipitated directly from the seawater. Like the modern Gulf of Mexico, this shallow Cretaceous sea was occasionally subject to violent storms that disturbed the floor of the sea. These storms created a distinctive type of limestone rock called a breccia. Breccia is a rock that is made up of angular pieces of other rocks. In Caves Branch Cave for example, angular pieces of rock can be found that are called ìrip up clastsî. These are pieces of rock several inches on a side that were torn up and jumbled about before the clasts or pieces had a chance to harden.

Nothing left to do but leave
I went on an artist date to the Belize Zoo today and, on the bus ride back, saw this adorable little girl who seemed to love gazing out the window as much as I did. I have one day left in Cayo. The next day, I take the bus to Belize City; the next, I take the plane home to Durham. I don’t really say goodbye. I don’t know how. I just leave what I love, and then see if what feels beloved stays beloved. Which is to say, I won’t know if Cayo is my heart’s country unless I leave it for a time. On the bus ride today I tried to think of all the things I’d miss about Belize. And there are far too many…like trying to gather up too many Christmas packages in my arms, and as soon as I pick up one, another slips out. But for some reason I keep thinking of the streams of schoolchildren going home in the afternoon, hundreds of them, all in uniforms that identify their school: pink-and-brown, or grey-and-yellow, or green-and-white. Like I grew up in Annville, they’re growing up in Cayo—but is it their heart’s country? Are we ever born in our heart’s country? Or do some of us have to spend our whole lives searching for the most resonant geography? What if I come back to Durham and find that I’m a dissonant body? What if I come back to Cayo, someday, and find the same? The schoolchildren will always stream home, picking up snacks along the way.

Bits and Pieces
Spent the early (from 5.15 am) part of the morning as I do most days on the veranda with a cup of coffee and my iPad catching up on the news via my subscription to The Times. That done I then switched to looking at the blogs that I read. Started off with Bebelize and then moved on to Tacogirl. It’s good to know what other bloggers are writing about/covering. To finish off my local news intake I visited the Ambergris Caye message board. Fully blogged-up I then moved on to researching hotels in San Antonio for the up-coming trip that Rose and I going to make to Texas. Only now need to draw up the short-list (we will book the accommodation when we get there) for San Antonio and Austin and we are ‘good to go’. Only a couple of chores for me today and got the first one – advising the credit card customer service people of our impending trip to Dallas- out of the way fairly quickly. Don’t want them putting a ‘hold’ on my cards when I need them the most! The second one was even easier ( I like these kind of chores). Just had to put some gas (have given up calling it petrol because too many people look at me strangely) in the golf cart. With a BZ$50 spend (@BZ$11.43 a gallon pump price) I got just over 4 gallons. That should last a few weeks even with the daily trip to our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize.

Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge – Bird’s Eye View
Aerial photos of the Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge and surrounding jungle

Explore The Beautiful Islands Of Belize
Belize has roughly 386 km of coastline and approximately 450 islands and islets that stud the Belize barrier reef – the largest in the western hemisphere. The islands are known as cayes, pronounced “keys” and the most popular ones are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. If you are looking for a soul-stirring experience, below are eight exquisite and picturesque islands of Belize:

Mah Heert's Dee-Lite: Amish Heritage Recipes
*Preheet ove t'450 Crust: 1/3 C margarine er buttr 1/3 C sugar 1 egg 1 1/4 C flour Creem margarine er buttr with sugar until lite and fluffy. Blend n' egg. Add flour n' small amounts until blended. Pastry dough will be soft. With rubbr r silikune spatula, spred mixture on bott'm and 1 1/2 inches up t'sides uf a 9 1/2 inch springferm pun. Place n' 450 degree ove fer 5 minutes. Set aside. *Lowr ove temperchur t'250.

International Sources

Local woman travels to Belize
At 21 years old, Logan resident Erin DeLong has an impressive resume which not only includes her employment history and accomplishments, but also outlines other aspects of her life. A senior at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, she is majoring in marketing and looking forward to graduating in May. But lately, it’s not so much the future she has been focused on because she just returned from a three-week trip to Belize. She recently returned to Ohio after a unique experience that involved learning the culture while participating in service-learning projects and economic development in the country. “After going there, I think of myself as being selfish and spoiled,” DeLong said. “It’s a most humbling experience. Their culture — everything about their country is so different. Here we are more focused on the fast pace of every day, our appearance and social network.” “They are more laid back, more focused on family. They don’t care if their clothes are dirty or anything like that,” she continued. DeLong traveled to Belize teaching Bead O’ Nomics to more than 200 students and worked on the Clean Water Coalition Project in four villages through a program called Entrepreneurship in Action (ENACTUS).

Belize central bank says launches debt exchange offer
Belize's central bank on Friday launched an offer to restructure a $550 million superbond, and said it would not close it unless bondholders agreed to tender at least 75 percent of the outstanding 2029 bonds. Belize said this week it was confident creditors would accept a restructuring of the superbond, which will mean a longer maturity and lower interest payments. Under the offer, the maturity will be extended by nine years to 2038 and the interest rate will be set initially at 5 percent for 4.5 years, stepping up to 6.767 percent for the remaining term - a reduction from the current 8.5 percent rate.

Equipment scheduled to arrive for joint US-Belizean exercise
Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy and the government and defense forces of Belize, will conduct an event called New Horizons in the spring. The exercise is an annual event conducted to train military civil engineers and medical professionals to deploy and conduct joint operations. Construction equipment and materials for a joint U.S. - Belizean exercise is scheduled to begin arriving into ports in Belize in the spring for New Horizons 2013, a major event that will test U.S. military members' ability to deploy while building partnerships with host-nation medical and civil engineering experts. The exercise itself, overseen by U.S. Southern Command and planned by Air Forces Southern, is slated to last approximately 90 days with several construction projects to add new classrooms and buildings to existing schools with manpower provided by both U.S. and Belizean military engineers. In addition, combined U.S. and Belizean medical teams will conduct multiple medical events to provide medical services to Belizeans.

A spotted history of Belize
Jaguars lurk near a luxurious forest retreat. Brilliant birds fill the sky above. But which species will Ben Ross add to his Life List? "Calvin Klein's Obsession," said Roni, leaning round from the front seat of the 4x4. "That's what they use in Guatemala. They put it on a tampon and leave it near the camera traps." The car lurched over the pitted, clay-red road and he turned back to squint through the dust-caked windscreen. Scattered pines spiked to the left and right, flame-blackened survivors of forest fires and southern pine beetle plague. Above us, vultures circled. "Seriously?" I asked. "Seriously," he replied. "But I don't know if it works."

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