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Today's Belize News: March 15, 2013 #460287
03/15/13 09:11 AM
03/15/13 09:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,111
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

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

The March 17th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Economy on the Rise! Navigating the Ship of State through Turbulent Waters:
    One year into the second term of his tenure as Prime Minister, the Honourable Dean Barrow last week read his Government’s 2013-2014 Budget Proposal. While it was presented without much pomp and circumstance, the 5.3 % GDP rate of growth for the closing fiscal year reported in this Budget is absolutely phenomenal, particularly when considered within the context of the region and the World. Our 5.3% GDP Growth rate is measurably much higher than the overall Global growth of 3.2% for 2012, which represented further slippage from the overall Global Growth rate of 3.9% recorded the previous year, 2011. As, the Prime Minister noted in his Budget Speech, Japan slipped into recession, the Euro area’s turmoil intensified, China’s economic pace decelerated, and in the ‘great’ United States of America, the measly 2.3% growth rate they recorded in 2012 had even exceeded expectations. It is amid this broad-based sluggishness in advanced economies that our Belize Economy registered a phenomenal growth rate of 5.3%.
  • National Security Challenged But Determined! Reviewing the Progress in 2012-2013:
    over command of the Ministry of National Security one year ago, it was with the full knowledge that this is the most challenging Ministry in these times. He, nevertheless, embraced it with the same enthusiasm he has always approached every mission. One year later, in the face of mounting challenges, we review the progress made, with the complete awareness that the mission is anything but complete. In fact, it has only just begun! 1. Successive annual increases in budgetary allocations for the Ministry of National Security to step up operations, purchase equipment and vehicles, last fiscal year and the new fiscal year. 2. Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar completes his countrywide tour of all Police formations formations in the Country finishing in Stann Creek District where he visited the Intermediate Southern Formation (ISF) led from Independence, the Placencia Sub-Formation which handles the Peninsula Area, and the Dangriga Formation which is the Headquarters for the entire District.
  • One Month in Charge Commander Discusses State of BDF:
    Local Press: What kind of challenges has the BDF been having since your taking over command? Brigadier General Jones: Today has marked exactly a month, because I took over the 1st, today is the 28th, the shortest month in the year. And what I have been doing so far is making checks on exactly what resources the BDF has, making checks on exactly what are the resources that we need, and looking at the structure of what the BDF currently has, and then revising, starting to revise towards creating the structure that we need. Because, with the current threats that we have, we don’t believe that we are structured the best way. So we are going to revise our structure and then look at either increasing the size of the force, or structuring it differently so that we can actually meet the threats that we are now facing. Local Press: But, in relation to budgetary confinement, sometimes the BDF officers don’t have the necessary equipment they need because of budgetary cuts. How do you address that? Brigadier General Jones: At the moment, with the budget exercise we went through, it seems that they (the Government) are NOT going to be really unkind to us this year. I think we might get even a little increase; there is always a need for more equipment. As you know the government and the country is not in the financial situation that we would like. We need to make the best of the budget that we get, and make the best of the resources that we have.
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Whither Goeth Thou? by Delroy Cuthkelvin:
    Amid the g o o d news of the Belize Economy making its way steadily across stormy regional and international seas, our communities remain in relative social turmoil, not too clear, it seems, about where we want to go. The Prime Minister and his Government were elected to reverse economic crisis and erosion of confidence in the management of our Nation’s affairs, a macro situation that was affecting every aspect of our lives and threatening our very existence as an independent state. The 2013-2014 Natonal Budget, recording a growth rate of 5.3 percent in the closing fiscal year, projecting continued growth in the year ahead, and keeping all national and human development programs intact, without adding any new taxes, is proof positive that the Prime Minister and his Government are delivering well on that mandate. That our Economy and the overall management of our Nation’s affairs are back on track and heading in the right direction, is a given. Where the waters remain murky is on the social front. In so many ways, over so many years, we seemed have lost our way as a people, having come loose of our moorings. No amount of Government policies and programs can completely fix that.
  • Crime Rate Goes Down in the South, Minister Presents February Awards:
    On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented certificates of award to officers commanding the Intermediate Southern Formation and Toledo Formation for their performance during the month of February in reducing major crimes within their respective jurisdictions. Comparative Crime Statistics for the month of February, 2013, show that both these formations, which are part of the Southern Zone, saw a 50% reduction in major crimes, as compared to the figures for the previous month. The awards, which are now a monthly feature, consist of a certificate of appreciation to the outstanding formation and a cash reward of $1,000 to the winning zone for the month in question, funds which are used as the Officer Commanding that zone and his team determine as they continue to step up efforts to provide better safety and security in their respective jurisdiction.
  • Potable Water Coming to Indian Church and San Carlos:
    Over 105 families in the northern villages of Indian Church and San Carlos in the Orange Walk District will soon bid farewell to old water hand pumps and hand-dug wells thanks to a Social Investment Fund project, which will supply quality, potable water to both villages. The project was officially launched last Friday, March 8th at 10 am in the village of Indian Church. Both Indian Church and San Carlos Villages are poor communities with 37% of their population living below the poverty level. The villagers have been relying on wells, hand pumps and the New River Lagoon as their main sources of water for over three decades. These water sources, however, are untreated and have continuously posed health treats for waterborne diseases to the residents. The SIF project, which will be financed by the Government of Belize at approximately $996,000 from a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), will address the water needs of both villages.
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill : Money & Power … Handle with Wisdom!:
    Mo n e y a n d Power are two resources that most people seem to be working up insatiable appetites for more… and more… and more of these days. Their pursuit is often disguised and promoted by the label - ‘ambition’, thus provoking feelings of discontent in a person who may be apathetic towards the desire to pursue wealth and power. This desire is legitimate when motivated by a genuine concern to satisfy needs, ease suffering and improve the standard of living of self and humanity. It is when the desire for money and power are aroused by selfish and vile motives that no measure of skillful caution can limit the resulting havoc. Even when the noblest of intentions abound, a person who obtains or is entrusted with wealth and absolute power to be used at his disposal can make grave blunders and become corrupted. Ironically, the possessor also becomes a casualty when money and power are not handled with wisdom.
  • Adding Flesh to the Word A Budget Belizeans Can “Feel”:
    This is, by my recollection, the sixth Budget I have had the honour of presenting to this Honourable House. It has always been a privilege to do so. But this one is occasion for a particular sense of accomplishment. And this is so not least because it comes almost exactly one year after the United Democratic Party won its historic consecutive second term as the national Government of our beloved Belize. Now, the details of our stewardship in this first twelve months of the new Administration will be set out in the body of the speech. But it is as well to strike two high notes right at the start. We have pretty much done what the sceptics said was impossible. The Superbond— that bane of our existence, that monster of our nightmare— has been tackled and tamed. Not vanquished, mind you, but put on a leash and confined to its lair. And as a direct consequence, but also as a result of adroit stewardship and unshakeable commitment to the welfare of this nation, this Budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts.
  • Police Change Of Command:
    National Police Training Academy, Belmopan, January 9, 2013, Price Barracks, Ladyville, Friday, February 1, 2013
  • Training The Team TO Tackle The Trade, Of Illegal Firearm, Ammunition and Explosives:
    UN Sponsored Course Graduates 44 Belizean Law-Enforcers. A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of representing Belize at a conference that was organized by the Latin American and Caribbean group of friends to look at a draft of arms trade treaty that was submitted by the president of the UN conference on the arms trade treaty, Ambassador Peter Walcott. The group of friends included representatives from Peru, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Australia Canada, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize. It was a two day conference that I attended and during those two days, there were several proposals that were made to refine a strategic plan and some terms of reference that was to be submitted to the next UN Conference some time later in this month in New York. There was a high degree of confidence among the various participants of that group. The intervention that we had over those two days will place a strong text at the UN conference on arms trade treaty that I spoke to earlier.
  • La Ruta Maya 2013: Gateway to Experiencing the Awesome Beauty of Belize’s Untold Natural Wealth:
    It was an early start to a long holiday weekend last Friday when the 15th paddling of the La Ruta Maya River Challenge got underway under the Hawksworth Bridge in the middle of the beautiful Twin-Town of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena. While every race is primarily, or ultimately, about winning (depending on whether you’re fast-forwarding or rewinding), La Ruta Maya is perhaps one of those sports that defies all the rules of the game. While everyone certainly would like to win, the paddling of the Ruta Maya and all the holiday activity (or lazy hangout) has, in itself, become such a thrilling (and relaxing) thing for those in the canoes and on the river-bank, it hardly matters at the end of the day (or any of the four days) who arrives first or who pulls up last. But before we continue, lest we be accused of disrespecting the winners, let us acknowledge that it was the Belize Bank Bull Dogs who came in first, for the second year consecutively, thereby winning their 9th title since the event originated fifteen year ago in 1998. We are speaking here, of course, only about the Elite Class; and there are so many other categories, including one that is most candidly dubbed the Pleasure Category, won this year by the Police, whose daytime (or nighttime) job is anything but pleasure. Yes, Belize Bank won overall this year again, although this time they were not the first to cross the finish line at the Belcan Bridge in the Old Capital of Belize City. That distinction belongs to Zip Rider, who incidentally was also the first to establish a commanding lead at an important juncture (Iguana Creek Bridge), where we first saw the race (although they were later overtook that same day by Belize Bank who finished first in the first leg ending at Banana Bank) As it eventually turned out, Zip Rider, favored from the start, along with Belize Bank, to be one of the two rival teams with a clear shot at the 2013 Championship, did not even finish second overall, but third.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Dmitri Fabro & Eddy Valencia of Valencia YWAM Roaring Creek (1) Ronald Orellana & Jairo Lopez of Celtic Las Flores

The San Pedro Sun

Mito Paz new Deputy Mayor
As of Thursday March 7th The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has a new Deputy Mayor. Councilor Mito Paz has been electedas Deputy Mayor by the other council members. According to Mito Paz the decision for electing a new deputy was in order to grant another council member some insight into the experience of a deputy to the Mayor. During the SPTC’s first year of office, the major priorities were infrastructure in particular streets and proper garbage disposal to promote healthy living under the portfolio of the previous deputy Severo Guerrero Jr. Since Town Council elections in 2012, major changes have been enacted in the areas of traffic, garbage disposal and infrastructure.

The San Pedro Sun turns 22; Editor Tamara Sniffin reflects on the last nine years
On March 14, 1991 the first issue of The San Pedro Sun was printed. Founded by Bruce and Victoria Collins, the paper was created on a word processor and pages were cut and pasted together before being sent over to the mainland for printing. In 1996 the paper was purchased by Dan and Eileen Jamison who now own the popular DandE’s Frozen Custard Shop on Pescador Drive. Ron and Tamara Sniffin later purchased the paper from the Jamison’s in 2004 and according to The San Pedro Sun’s editor Tamara Sniffin, the paper has seen many changes over the years. In celebrating the 22nd birthday of The Sun this week, Sniffin took the time to reflect on the last nine years and the growth the paper has seen. “It’s hard to believe that when we first bought the paper we were still using a light-table to cut and paste the page layouts,” Sniffin recalls.

2013 Inter-Office Basketball Tournament
The Inter-Office Basketball Tournament is a competition between teams from local businesses of San Pedro and Caye Caulker, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Junior College (SPJC). The tournament, organized by Renison Crawford and Focion Riverol; takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at the R.A.Nuñez Auditorium showcasing the islands’ best ballers. A total of nine teams are competing for this year’s Inter-Office Basketball Championship. The tournament will see eleven games, and team’s scores will be tallied at the end of the tournament to decide the winners. The competition kicked off on Saturday March 2nd and saw a matchup of Latitudes Café vs. the Jaguars in game one and SPHS vs. SPJC in game two. It was an exciting night as many islanders made their way out to the games which started at 8PM. At the end of the first match, it was a tight 56-58 win for the Jaguars. SPJC took the second game against SPHS with a whopping 93-54 win.

Games of the World returns to San Pedro
Mike Spiller of “Games of the World” and the Physician of Phun is once again in Ambergris Caye. Spiller is a game enthusiast who travels through various countries seeking innovative and stimulating games from within the native cultures to implement in his summer camp programs in the United States of America (USA). Games of the World originated in Hawaii in 1984 when Spiller encouraged his campers to share games from their native countries. The campers that attended the summer camp were originally from the Philippines, Samoa and Hawaii. After this, Spiller’s interest in games from other countries grew and today he has traveled 42 countries in his quest for games. Spiller’s first visit to Belize was in 1993 where he met the students from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School in San Pedro Town and presented ten books containing international games to the school. He made a follow up visit in 2003, where he brought more of his acquired games from across the globe to the students of San Pedro. It has been ten years since Spiller’s last visit to the island, and he is back visiting the various islands’ primary schools. Scheduled to be on the island until March 20th, Spiller will be teaching the students various circus tricks while exchanging knowledge about games within the children’s communities. “Some of my best memories of my travels around the world (42 countries so far) have been right there in San Pedro Town before the bridge was there and I had to wade the river to come into some schools,” said Spiller in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Ambergris Today

Belize Rejoices in Selection of New Pope Francis I
Belize, who boasts a Catholic majority population, joins and rejoices with millions the world over with the selection of the new pope who is now the maximum leader of the Catholic community. There are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide and Belize counts with a 40 % Catholic population or 131,000 Roman Catholics of a population of 327,719. Belize also enjoys a Hispanic majority population. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the first non-European Pope in more than 1,000 years. He is from South America, making him a historic first Hispanic Cardinal to be elected as pope. Described as a conservative with "great compassion," the 76-year-old will be known as His Holiness Pope Francis I. He commands the Spanish language but of course speaks several other languages including Latin and Italian. He will be installed at the Vatican on Tuesday.

Belize To Face USA, Costa Rica and Cuba at Gold Cup
The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup schedule was announced on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, with the Belize’s National Football Team placed in the group alongside USA, Costa Rica and Cuba. Team Belize will face the Americans at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland on July 9 after which they will be traveling to Salt Lake City to take on Costa Rica on July 13 and they face Cuba on July 16 in East Hartford, Connecticut. The quarterfinals will take place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and M&T Bank Arena in Baltimore on July 21, while the semifinals will be held at Cowboys Stadium on July 24. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 28. Here are the groups for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup: GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique GROUP B: Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti GROUP C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba

Clean Up Campaign For San Pedrito Area
Once again the San Pedro Town Council has teamed up with UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund) to conduct a cleanup campaign for another area of our beautiful island. The cleanup campaign will take place at the San Pedrito Area on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Representative of UNICEF Dennise Robateau and Volunteer Heather Lesie were on the island to promote the cleanup campaign and invite the entire community to participate in this activity. An official opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, and the cleanup will follow immediately after the official ceremonies. Representatives of UNICEF will be on hand to do demonstrations and training on water sanitation.

Guat’s Up Today, Gerry? Guatemala
Guatemala a gorgeous city full of culture, spectacular views and talented people. I had always wanted to visit this country; 2013 was the year to do it. Here is a short story on why I wanted to go to Guatemala City. In 2010 I met a great friend by the name of Gabriela Asturias; she represented Guatemala at the International Miss Costa Maya Festival and won. In 2011 she came back to San Pedro to crown the new Miss Costa Maya and in 2012 she returned with her girl group called Divash. They entertained the crowd dancing to popular songs and showcasing their sexy dance moves. I had the honor giving Gabriela and her friends a great tour of my beautiful Isla Bonita and believe me, they fell in love.

Misc Belizean Sources

BTB's Customer Service and Museum Interpretation Training
We would like to extend an invitation to our upcoming training – Customer Service and Museum Interpretation – which will be facilitated by BTB trainer, Ms. Luz Hunter. This training was specifically organized for personnel working in the Museums, House of Cultures and Art Galleries and will incorporate key elements such as: - Customer Service Essentials - Attitude and Professionalism - Effective Communication - Handling Complaints - Teamwork - Museum Interpretation

SAGA & Kelly McGuire...Together Again
Kelly McGuire will be performing at Fido's Courtyard on March 19th to raise money for SAGA Humane Society. We are super excited. There will be an auction and a raffle with some really great prizes. Hope to see you all there dancing and enjoying some great music for a great cause.

SP Lions Host Annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny
With last years' Pancake Brunch a hopping success, the San Pedro Lions Club is excited to announce their second annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, March 30th at the Lions Den.

Belize ‘super bond’ saga soon at end
With the Belize debt default debacle almost behind him, Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is projecting greater economic growth prospects with a lower debt burden going forward. At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Barrow revealed that the restructured so-called ‘super bond’ has been 100% subscribed, and the bond offering will close either tomorrow (March 15) or next Monday Barrow projected that with some BZ $494 million less in debt servicing over the next 10 years, there was a possibility that, with the continuing level of growth recorded last year, Belize's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio could fall to 60% by 2017. “Remember that we didn't pay the coupon payment that had become due in august. We didn't pay the coupon payment that would have become due in February, and so that, all together, these are rolled up into the new bond and we thereby saved $76.4 million by way of these cash payments foregone,” said Barrow.

St. Andrews Visits the SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library hosted the Standard 1 students of St. Andrews primary school for Children's Month. "Saint andrews Standard I Visits SIPL 13th March 2013"

Rotaract Club of San Ignacio Unveils Logo
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio has their logo ready, just in time for World Rotartact Week. In it are the Rotaract symbol, Xunantunich, and the Hawkesworth Bridge. Frankie Montero did a great job. Rotaract turned 45 this week, and the San Ignacio club is having activities throughout the week. They're going to focus on Rotaract's Cover with Care program, so they'll be doing a clothing drive this weekend. Read more about it on their page.

Cayo Welcome Center Inauguration Video
Telenova has a video out from the inauguration of the Cayo Welcome Center. Orquidea Negra has a good deal of time in the spotlight on the video. "The residents of San Ignacio & Santa Elena can now enjoy the Cayo Welcome center which has been inaugurated."

Re: Today's Belize News: March 15, 2013 [Re: Marty] #460288
03/15/13 09:12 AM
03/15/13 09:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,111
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 7

Guatemalans Press "Panic", Want Out Of October Referendum
October 6, 2013 - we all have it marked on our calendars as the date for the referendum on whether or not Belizeans will choose to go to the ICJ to settle our territorial dispute with Guatemala. But tonight, it looks like it may not happen - not on October the sixth, at least. And that's because the Guatemalans want to postpone it. According to a bulletin sent out yesterday from the office of the Guatemalan President, Otto Perez Molina, Guatemala proposes to change the date for the referendum. Now, this is no simple undertaking; it is a big deal, a very big deal - and it has forced an emergency meeting with the Secretary General of the OAS in Washington on Monday. That's because - according to the President, the Guatemalans don't want to unilaterally change the date, they want a joint decision. But, that's not going to be easy to get because the Belize side hasn't blinked, meaning it remains firmly committed to the process for October of this year. Half an hour ago, the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado gave us his reaction:

Belize Rosewood Listed On CITES
And moving unto another matter with regional implications, last night we told you about the CITES (Site-ease) meeting in Thailand - that's The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. News from the meeting says that Siam rosewood, Brazilian rosewood, and other rosewood species native to Central America were granted protection at the meeting. But it wasn't clear if that includes Belize. Today, we had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Forestry - as she was receiving a donation of equipment. She said that Belize's Rosewood is now included under CITES regulations: Hon. Lisell Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development "Yes, it includes the rosewood found in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. It is something that is important for the region, because what has been happening in regards to rosewood is happening in Nicaragua. It's happening in Mexico; Guatemala faced it a few years ago, and we, as you know, have been facing it in the past few years. This is an issue that is happening globally. That is why all the rose wood species; really across the world have been listed on appendix 2, because the demands especially from China for this valuable resources is contributing to high deforestation rates."

Alamilla Says Monkey Business At OW Agricultural Gives Belize Bad Image
And we also asked Minister Alamilla to comment on the recent incident with the howler monkey that was savagely beaten on the grounds of the Orange Walk Agricultural High School. As we've reported, the Monday was beaten on Monday and died on Friday after receiving major head trauma. A teacher and four students are under investigation and charges for illegal hunting could be brought by the Forestry Department by the end of this week. Minister Alamilla says that it's an incident which reflects poorly on Belize: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry "As a country; we really have to be concerned about acts that are inhumane. There's nothing wrong with hunting, but what transpired with the monkey in Orange Walk, as has been reported so far, is really not a good reflection on our society. That wasn't hunting; that was just incredible violence against an animal that poses no threat to society. Any kind of hunting requires a permit, and any commercialization of these species for example; Hicatee or any bush mate, if you're going to be trading in it or selling it at a restaurant, you really require to apply for a permit. They cost $2000." Under Belize's laws it is illegal to hunt Howler and Spider monkeys as well as crocodiles, manatees, tapirs, jaguars, and about 15 other animals.

Hideous Complaint Of Sex Abuse
Tonight, a 38 year-old Guatemalan national is at prison, and his common-law wife is detained by police after they received an awful report of sexual abuse of the wife's 8 year-old daughter. According to police, the 8-year-old child in the presence of her aunt, reported that on March 9, she started experiencing pain in the area of her genitals. When the aunt questioned her further, the child revealed that on February 23, and on that same date, her step-father had intercourse with her. As a result, police arrested and charged step-father with 2 counts of carnal knowledge, and one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. To protect the child, we can't give you a name, or show you perpetrator's face, but he was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where no plea was taken, and bail was denied. He was remanded to prison until May 3, 2013.

Accident Victim Critical
45 year old Salvadorean German Ubaldo Velasquez remains in a critical condition tonight at the KHMH. AS we reported he was knocked down on Saturday and suffered head injuries. Velasquez was only visiting Belize to buy a vehicle. He continues to have swelling and hemorrhaging in his brain.

Micah Tillet’s Attorney Says "Not So"
On Tuesday's Newscast, we told you about 18 year-old Micah Tillett, the man who police say was caught with money believed to be the proceeds of a robbery in Ladyville, which happened last week Friday. According to police, 3 armed men robbed a delivery man and his companion in Ladyville and fled in a vehicle, which they pursued all the way to Chetumal Street in Belize City. Again, according to police, when they finally cornered the vehicle, several men fled the vehicle and escaped, but they allegedly caught Tillett inside allegedly with some of the stolen money. Tillett was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, and he was arraigned on Tuesday. Tillett has kept his silence on the matter, but yesterday, his attorney spoke to 7News and told us that he wants to clear up a few things that he says the police are reporting erroneously. Here's what he had to say: Bryan Neal - Attorney for Micah Tillett "Well first of all he is a 6th form student, and I am instructed to say that he was not found with proceeds from any crime. In fact, he was found with $13 dollars - one, three, a 10 dollar and 3 dollar coins - in his pocket; there were no - there was no robbery money in his vehicle when he was found by the police. What he has said to me is that he was on the Northern Highway testing out his vehicle from a mechanic, when he was pulled over by the police.

Bill Lindo's Lavish Land Dealings
Last night, you heard the Prime Minister speak about the sweet deal that Bill Lindo came up on - when government was recently ordered to compensate him over 800 thousand dollars for land that he had bought not too many years ago for just 44 thousand dollars. That's about 20 times the original value. It's land where the Coast Guard is now headquarters which the then PUP Government acquired from Lindo. Now, Bill Lindo has been in the news before his lavish land holdings. In 2010, the Auditor General gave him special mention for a bunch of public land transactions finalized in the run-up to the 2008 election. We spoke to him at the time and he was unapologetic. For context into this latest compensation "come-up", we revisit sections of that story: Jules Vasquez Reporting These names fill three pages. Particularly outstanding is William Lindo, known as Bill Lindo, his companies and his children.

Fisheries Gets Connected
The Fisheries Department has to patrol the waters from Bacalar Chico on Northern Ambergris Caye at the border with Mexico right down to the Sapodilla Caye Range. It's a vast area where all kinds of red lights are being run day and night. And that's why the donation of a radio communication system by the OAK Foundation should prove beneficial. Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla accepted: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Fisheries "It will greatly enhance our work in enforcement. As I mentioned earlier we have a huge area - marine area, that we need to patrol and to effectively manage. So, this equipment is very valuable for the Ministry in achieving its mission of ensuring wise use of our natural resources. We manage, as you know, from Baccalar Chico as far up North to the Southern point, the Sapadilla Cayes, and so this will be used across to the different protected areas, and the different world heritage sites that income passes our marine protected areas system."

Social Security Bosses Meet In Belize
An organization named CISSCAD is having its 34th ordinary meeting in Belize. If you're wondering, CISSCAD is the membership body for all Social security Institutions in the region. Belize currently holds the rotating presidency and this country's CEO explained that it's all about sharing experiences and best practices: Richard Flowers - CEO, Belize Social Security "The theme this year is advancing social security for all through integration and calibration. Basically to break it down, what it's about is looking at best practices, what is working what isn't, and just breaking down the silos, because all we're here for is to serve our citizens." Gabriel Martinez - Secretary General, CISSCAD "For example, the issues of service to citizen, really - in countries like Canada, the US or Brazil, in small countries like Belize and El Salvador., they all pretty much face the same problem of learning about the families, about their needs, and we're al the same at the end. Health issues are the same"

Police Say Major Crimes Down, Most In South
Police have released the latest crime statistics for the first two months of 2013. They show that murder is up compared to the same period for 2012 - 21 homicides as compared to 16 for January and February 2012. Carnal knowledge reports are also up. But according to the figures, reports of all other major crime areas, rape, robbery, burglary and theft are down with robberies falling 33%. And in the new performance based appraisal system of the ministry of national security, the zone that had the best crime statistics for February has been awarded. That's the south, and Police Minister John Saldivar yesterday presented certificates of award to the officers commanding for the Intermediate Southern and Toledo Formations. According to the figures, both these formations saw a 50% reduction in major crimes.

"Z" Showing Sewing Machines
She's been absent from public life for some time but today former Mayor Zenaida Moya re-appeared, where else, but In the Mesopotamia Division! She donated 14 sewing machines to the vocation class of Maud Williams High School. Today at a small handing over ceremony, Moya congratulated the students, both male and female who are passionate about sewing, and pledged her continued support to the school. After the ceremony, she told the media how she was able to secure the donation: Zenaida Moya - Donor, Sewing Machines "This donation came about through the request of teacher Alice Williams, who teaches sewing right here at Maud Williams High School. She is a very dedicated teacher; she loves sewing and she has worked with me before, when it comes to sewing training for women. Now she asked me, she said it's for her students, which I must say are male and females, and as a matter of fact, even the shirt that the model wore, that was sewn by a male student and the clothes that were shown, male and female sewed them.

Profile... Gayla
Tonight's profile is about Gayla, an artist who found her love for drawing and painting as an escape from a sometimes difficult childhood, dominated by a hard drinking father. She tells the profile how that escape, became therapeutic later on when she contracted cancer:

Finally, Safety for The Western Highway
Today the government launched the Belize Road Safety Project - a long-term, multi-million dollar initiative which aims to cut down on traffic fatalities on the Western Highway. Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Santino Castillo spoke at the project launch and as an avid cyclist discussed the perils of the George Price Highway: Hon. Santino Castillo - Minister of State with Responsibility for Economic Development "You don't know a road until you've traveled it and to traverse it on a bicycle. Having been a sponsor in cycling for the past 34 years, and having ridden with my team all this while, and as recently as yesterday morning, I recognize the importance of that stretch of highway, the Western Highway which is the one most utilized by cyclist. I know how important it is to improve the highway, having been brushed many times by vehicles. The high death rate on our highway is a serious health concern, given the resulting lost in productivity, and increase venerability to poverty has significant social and economic repercussions. The launching of the road safety project is therefore with very good timing. The project represents the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative, of the Government of Belize to improve road safety in Belize. Its overall objective is to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. The project, as you know, will focus from the Belize City round about, at the junction of Cemetery Road and Central America Boulevard, to the junction of the Humming Bird and George Price Highway in Belmopan, and along the Humming Bird highway to its junction with Constitution Drive in Belmopan and around the entire Belmopan Ring road. The road safety project commenced in January this year will run initially for 39 months. It will be financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the CDB, along with counterpart financing from GOB."

Channel 5

Guatemala wants to postpone referendum

The October referendum is in big trouble and Belize will be heading to the headquarters of the OAS in Washington this weekend to try to save it.  An announcement was made on Wednesday by Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina that Guatemala will seek to delay the referendum scheduled for October sixth. On Wednesday Perez Molina [...]

Family of basket-baller shot in face preparing for the worst

Tour guide, Ronald Rivers, who was shot once to the face by a gunman on March fourth is being kept alive through a ventilator and his family is now preparing for the worst. Rivers has undergone multiple rounds of surgery at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but his condition has deteriorated to the point that [...]

Attorney Dickie Bradley says the AG has hidden motives in attacking the Bar

Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington has announced that he will be pushing through legislation to amend the Legal Profession Act. Elrington wants to remove the requirement that attorneys will have to join the Bar Association to practice. The proposal has come as a surprise and came to light when the Solicitor General recently wrote to the Chief [...]

Government’s legal fees; millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent

On Wednesday the Prime Minister did not give a specific figure on the money spent on the restructuring of the Belize Bond 2038 but he did admit it is “astronomical.” Because the super bond as it was called, has been on the books for some time, we checked the 2013/2014 estimates to see if there [...]

Minister of Forest condemns beating of monkey to death

The investigation by the Forest Department into the beating of a black howler monkey and its subsequent death from injuries sustained has concluded. It is believed that charges will be levied against four third form students and a teacher who were involved in the incident. The fine for the offense is one thousand dollars each [...]

Minister cracking down on illegal extraction of precious wood

In January and early February it seemed that rosewood was in the news nightly, with somebody either harvesting it illegally, burning it, sneaking it out of the country or discovering it by the container-load. But since then there’s barely been a murmur about rosewood. Now is that because the smugglers have gotten craftier or because [...]

P.M. confident of IDB approval of a budget support loan

In November of 2012 there was a major blow up between GOB and the IDB after Belize’s application for policy-based loans was blocked by the US Treasury. Prime Minister Barrow was infuriated…so much so that he attacked IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and called him a coward for bowing to the wishes of the US [...]

Escapee, Abbas Khan, ComPol launches investigation

Tonight, after almost two weeks, there is finally official police word on thirty-eight year old Abbas Khan, even if it is only to confirm what the media has been reporting. On March third, Corozal Police searched the house of businessman Khan where they found five Indian passports. When Khan was questioned he claimed that none [...]

Crime Stats: murders are up in the first two months of the year

2012 ended as the most murderous year in Belize with a hundred and forty-five murders recorded. The statistics for the first two months of this year have been released and while some crimes have decreased, the murder rate continues to paint a grim picture in particular in Belize City. In January 2012 the number of [...]

Man arraigned for the carnal knowledge of his stepdaughter

The reported cases of carnal knowledge are on an upward trend and tonight there is another case that is most alarming. The Guatemalan stepfather of an eight year old child was arraigned in court today for carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of his eight year old stepdaughter. The case is most disturbing because the mother [...]

Mistrial in murder case against 2 accused; juror prejudicial remark

It’s been three weeks since the murder trial of twenty-four year old Cordel Flores and twenty-one year old Warren Lewis began before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez for the August eighteenth 2009 murder of Alberto Travis Allen. But the case today came to a screeching halt due to a most unusual turn of events. A prejudicial [...]

Belizean athletes medal in 2013 Central American Games

Several of our athletes are in Costa Rica competing in the 2013 Central American Games. Seven countries are participating in the sporting event that occurs every four years and this time around Belize is making its mark. Last week Friday, the female softball team returned to the country as bronze medalists and the jewel continues [...]

Belize City Center to get much needed facelift

The Belize City Center served as the city’s premier sports auditorium, but it has been closed for more than two years, ever since government engineers pronounced it unsafe. Since that time the building has been left to rot as GOB searched for funding for a new facility, reported to be coming from Mexico. That financing [...]


Orange Walk Town Has New Deputy Mayor
The Orange Walk Town Council has made some changes in portfolios and announced a new Deputy Mayor. Last year at the first meeting after elections, the new town council decided that they would choose a deputy mayor for each year during their term in office. In the first year, JosueCarba...

Oak Foundation Donates Equipment to Ministry
Over eighty one thousand dollars worth of Communication equipment was donated to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development by the Oak Foundation this morning. To receive the equipment on behalf of the Ministry was Minister Lisel Alamilla who says that the eq...

US Embassy Takes Journalists On Tour of Southern Command
On Wednesday four Belizean television journalists toured the United States Southern Command headquarters in Miami Florida. The tour was part of an invitation that the US Embassy extended to the reporters in order to better understand the operations and exercises that the US South...

Belize High School Represents Belize At Conference of Americas
A group of ten students from Belize High School left the country today to participate in an event in the Dominican Republic. Love News was at the Philip Goldson Airport and spoke with Principal Leticia Eck. ECK “Students from Belize High School are attending for the...

Belize Granted Protection on Rosewood Via Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species
At a meeting held in Bangkok Thailand this week, it was learned that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, granted protection to many species of Rosewood and Ebony from Southeast Asia, Madagascar and Latin America. Today Love News spoke with Minister...

NAVCO Members Blames President and Ministry for Dysfunction In Association
Members of the National Association of Village Councils fired off a release yesterday highlighting several issues. According to the members the Association has been going through a number of internal issues over the past two years and they put the blame squarely on the shoulders ...

Government Minister Comments On Cruel Capture of Howler Monkey
The subsequent death of a howler monkey after having been allegedly captured by students and a teacher at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District has sparked much controversy, not only because the species is protected in Belize but because of the inhumane cond...

Special Olympics Holds Fun Run in Belmopan
Belmopan Special Olympics will be holding its fun run tomorrow morning. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “Every year around this time Special Olympics host a fun run for the children with special needs. Well tomorrow morning Special Olympics Belmopan B...


Minister Of Forestry Weighs In Monkey's Death
The news of the monkey’s death after being brutalized by the students, has stirred angry emotions from several individuals, governmental departments and non-governmental organizations. The Forest Department has condemned the act described as animal cruelty. Apart from them, the management of the Community Baboon Sanctuary has also expressed their frustration towards the incident. And, apart from the hundreds who have expressed their bitter sentiments via several social networks, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla weighed in on the issue today. Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "As a country; we really have to be concerned about acts that are inhumane. There's nothing wrong with hunting, but what transpired with the monkey in Orange Walk, as has been reported so far, is really not a good reflection on our society. That wasn't hunting; that was just incredible violence against an animal that poses no threat to society. Any kind of hunting requires a permit, and any commercialization of these species for example; Hicatee or any bush mate, if you're going to be trading in it or selling it at a restaurant, you really require to apply for a permit. They cost $2000." It is expected that the Forest Department will be filing charges against those found responsible for the monkey’s death, by tomorrow.

Guatemala Wants To Postpone Referendum
Tonight the October 6th Referendum to take the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ is in limbo and there is no telling if it will actually take place. News coming out of Guatemala tonight is that the country is seeking to postpone the territorial referendum since, according to President Otto Perez; this will prevent the consultation from becoming invalid due to the changes in Belize’s Referendum Laws. Although the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal continue organizing the consultative process stipulated for October 6th, the Guatemalan President has stated that the case will be exposed to the Organization of American States with the hope of obtaining the reform in the Belizean Law which was changed in 2008, or holding the referendum in 2014. Under Belize’s referendum law, sixty percent of the electorate will have to participate in the poll to give it validity and fifty one percent will have to say yes to go to the ICJ. In Guatemala, however, the referendum laws provide for a simple majority to decide if the claim will be taken to The Hague. In the month of February, the President of Guatemala requested that Belize change its referendum law to level the playing field in respect to the October 6th Referendum. At that time, Otto Perez Molina told the Associated Press that Guatemala will not spend 240 million quetzals or $40 million in a referendum to be lost due to the high voting percentage level in Belize.

Business Establishment Gets Trade Licence Revoked By OWTC After False Pretenses
Yesterday afternoon our newsroom was flooded with calls from concerned citizens requesting information on a number of gaming machines being unloaded off a container parked in front of the D Star Victoria Hotel located on the Belize Corozal Road. Now, when we hear about gaming machines, and we are not talking about one or two, the first thing that comes to mind is (casino). With rumors going around that a casino will be opened in Orange Walk sometime in the near future, we contacted Mayor Kevin Bernard and asked him if the Town Council had issued a Trade License for the operation of a casino recently. His answer was, quote unquote “definitely not”. But what about the more than 40 gaming machines that was taken into the lower flat of the D Victoria Hotel? Well, according to the Mayor, someone is trying to defy the Town Councils decision. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “I too received that same concern and that call and what we did is that I immediately sent out my evaluation team to go and inspect the building which is located downstairs of D-Star Victory Hotel and from my records that I have, there is this one Jian Xing Cheng that had applied for a sports bar to operate on that location. Now when we heard that there was an amount of about 40 plus machines that were taken into that establishment which immediately raise alarm. So our evaluators went there and took pictures, got evidence that there are gaming machines in that quantity and from what I am looking at, these individuals never did apply to operate any gaming establishments. They applied to operate a sports bar. And so we have issued, today, a revocation of their trade license application and the chairman liquor license and myself as the secondary signature, have also issued a revocation of their liquor licenses application. And thus a stop order has also been issued for them to cease and desist from any alteration to that establishment that they are doing.”

Latest Crime Statistics For 2013
Today the Belize Police Department issued out its latest statistics for the year 2013 compared to the year 2012. In an overall view, crime has reduced, according to the department. Statistics show that between January and February of this year 408 crimes were committed. That’s a reduction, compared to last year when 460 crimes were registered. But while the overall report is showing a decrease in crime, the number of murders has seen a drastic increase. For the months of January and February 2013 alone, 21 murders have been recorded, that’s five more compared to last year during the same time frame. This year there has also been more reported cases of carnal knowledge as 19 cases have been reported for the months of January and February so far. Last year 13 cases were reported. Taking a closer look at the north, statistics show that there were 14 burglaries committed in Corozal between the months of January and February while 22 were reported in Orange Walk. When it comes to Carnal Knowledge, four cases were reported in Corozal and 2 in Orange Walk. So far six robberies have been committed in Corozal and seven in Orange Walk. The count rate for the crime of theft stands at 10 and 13 respectively. Fortunately, there has not been a murder in the north so far.

Super Bond Now Belize Bond 2038
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with the Debt Superbond Renegotiation Committee held a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza to lay down the details of the now Belize Bond 2038. According to PM Barrow, Belize will see a debt relief of 494 million dollars between 2013 and 2022. With the new bond in place Belize’s debt GDP ratio is also expected to fall to 60% in 2017, that is, if the country is as successful as last year. Of note is that Belize did not make good on its coupon payment that was due on August 2012 and the coupon payment that would have become due in February. But PM Barrow says those payments were rolled up into a new bond in which Belize saved $76.4 million by way of cash payments. If Belize would have made the payments, Barrow noted that the $76.4 million would have then been added to the $84 million financial gap for the present fiscal year which would have in turn sent the country over the fiscal cliff.

Women's Art Show
By now you may already know that the Month of March is celebrated as Women’s Month. Across the world activities are taking place in honor of women as the month is commemorated under the theme “Gender Agenda Gaining Momentum”. Here in Orange Walk the Banquitas House of Culture will be hosting a Women’s Art Show in celebration of the month. The event will be held tomorrow and will feature the many talents of over 30 women from across the district. According to the Coordinator of the Banquitas House of Culture, Yvette Torres, there will be dancing, craftworks, makeup artist and all sorts of entertainment for those who are planning to be part of the event. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “We will be having different booths and different artist will be coming in. We will have in the different disciplines whereby there will be dancing, singing, poem recitation and also we will be having women groups that will be coming to show case what they are producing. And also single women who will be doing craftworks like painting. We will be having some young makeup artist, rising stars like how we would like to call them. We will be having cultural and contemporary modern dancing. We will be having jewelry, embroider and we will also be having Miss Urbina who does flower arrangements. We will also be having persons who do pastries so it is different types of work that we are doing manually so that they will be displaying those that day. This invitation is for everyone to come and appreciate. We want to stimulate appreciation to what we can contribute positively and we want to encourage other women who are out there that they can also do their share by doing something that is very positive for them. This will also help them meet economically their homes and in those sorts of areas. It is an invitation for everyone out there.”


Minister Lisell Alamilla comments on CITES regulations
The illegal trade and export of rosewood has been a headache for the Forestry Department. After multiple busts and a public burning of several hundred board feet of confiscated rosewood, the trade seems to have quieted down. And soon it will get even tougher for those determined to engage...

33 year old man charged for raping his 8 year old stepdaughter
A man has been charged for the rape of his 8 year old stepdaughter. He is a 32-year-old Guatemalan national who has residency in Belize. Late this evening, the step-father of the child appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he...

Police crime statistics for the start of 2013
Tonight we revisit the Police crime statistics for the start of 2013. According to the stats, for the months of January and February – when compared to January and February of last year, four of the six districts saw a decrease in murders. The districts of Corozal, Orange Walk...

PM speaks of success of negotiations on the Superbond
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Hon. Dean Barrow spoke at a press conference on Wednesday concerning the success of the negotiations on the more than $500 million Superbond concluded in February. As of Friday, some 86% of bondholders had voluntarily subscribed to the new package and the others...

Minister Alamilla comments on the black howler monkey incident
Four minors, students of an Orange Walk high school, and their teacher face criminal charges of illegally hunting a black howler monkey found near their school last week. The monkey was apparently severely beaten and died of its injuries days later. Today, Minister Alamilla commented on the incident, saying...

Government contemplates new legislation to deal with public debt management
The Barrow administration is contemplating new legislation to deal with public debt management. During yesterday’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow hinted at what is to come. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister: We did speak to the IMF about wanting to do this, and their technical people have...

PM hopes to continue with PetroCaribe deal
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, who died last Tuesday, has been described as a friend of Belize under the government of both major political parties. One of his initiatives from which Belize has benefited the most is the PetroCaribe deal to sell oil at concessionary rates and use profits...

Prime Minister hopes to meet with Unions before Budget Debate
Another pressing issue addressed yesterday, was the asked-for salary adjustment by three powerful trade unions, the BNTU, PSU and APSSM. The unions submitted their counter-proposal for the Government last Wednesday and sought a meeting between now and next’s week’s budget debate. Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s response was “no can...

Fisheries Department receives donated communications equipment
Today the Fisheries Department received $81,335 of donated communications equipment for use along with other partners involved in communications and enforcement activities in marine protected areas. The Oak Foundation sourced the donation through Tenchtronics Communications in Belize City which also held training today in Belize City for how to...

Belize Road safety project launched
Road Traffic accident is listed as the fourth leading cause of death in the country of Belize. Belize recorded 68 road deaths in 2006 according to the World Health Organization’s Global Status report. That is approximately 31.1 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants – the highest fatality rate amongst the...

4 car pile up in the West
Four vehicles were involved in an accident today in San Ignacio. Details are not forthcoming at this time, but PlusNews understands that a pickup truck was travelling down the Buena Vista Road when its brakes apparently failed which caused the vehicle to run into a car and then into...

19 year old freed of attempted murder charge, but remains on remand for murder
A 19 year old has been freed of an attempted murder charge, but remains on remand for murder. Yesterday Ibrahim Smith was freed of charges that stemmed from a shooting incident in August of 2012 – those charges are attempted murder, deadly means of harm and wounding. The incident...

12 years old Ronaldo Pop needs surgical proceedure
Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine and causes various complications for those suffering from the condition. One San Roman boy is in need of surgery due to this condition. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: 12 years old Ronaldo Pop is a...

Shooting victim Ronald Rivers on life support
PLUS News has learned that the condition of shooting victim Ronald Rivers has taken a turn for the worse. Rivers’ kidneys have completely failed and he is now on life support. His family, we are told, continue to deliberate over whether to remove him from that life support. Rivers...

44 participants receive certificates after course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms
44 participants have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives. Thoses who attended came from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize. The training over the two weeks was to impart knowledge on the various firearm activities and...

Special Olympics hosts fun run in Belmopan
The Special Olympics will be hosting a fun run in Belmopan tomorrow and is inviting all residents to come out and support this healthy living initiative. PlusNews spoke to Johnny Ramirez from the Special Olympics Belmopan today. Johnny Ramirez – Special Olympics Belmopan: Tomorrow we will be having our...

YC Belize 2013 scheduled for next weekend
YC Belize 2013 is scheduled for next weekend, but the early bird discount ends tomorrow. For those wishing to pay only $35 per ticket, the deadline is tomorrow Friday March 15th. After tomorrow, the price is $50. YC Belize is in its 7th year and features big ticket international...

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The Guardian

Home Free
On Friday of last week, the Government announced that it had secured 86% subscription to trade the Superbond for the reissuance of a new bond by the Government of Belize. Belize had needed a 75% subscription in order for the deal to be completed. During a press conference held on Wednesday, March 13th, the Prime Minister announced that Belize is basically 'Home Free'. Because of the dynamics of the bond offering, the remaining 14% of holders of the Superbond will now automatically be considered in the reissuance. According to financial observers, the closing of the deal, which is anticipated to be done by Friday of this week or at latest Monday of next week, Belize has been able to achieve what many nations have not been able to do in their restructuring bid. That achievement includes the renegotiation of the largest debt in the country without the assistance of IFI's, in particular the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), which had earlier on rescinded on a commitment to partially guarantee the new bond, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had also been looking at Belize's Financial maneuvering and which had been advising to wage cuts, tax increases and cuts in public expenditure.

Two Robbers shot Dead in Cayo
Police are investigating the sequence of events that took place on Tuesday, March 12th, that ended in a shootout between officers of the San Ignacio Police Station and two alleged robbers. According to official police reports, San Ignacio police responded to information about a robbery in progress at Rose’s Restaurant Store located on Benque Viejo Road in San Ignacio Town at 1:05 p.m. Upon responding to the area, they came in contact with two men; one of them was wearing a blue rag tied over his face, while the other had a black stocking over his face and was armed with a sawed off shot gun. Police ordered the men to freeze. That was when the man armed with the shotgun fired at the officers. The officers returned fire and as a result both robbers were fatally injured. The men have been identified as 21-year-old Rony Garcia of Flamingo Street and 18-year-old Jose Garcia of 5th Street in San Ignacio Town. Police have not released details on their injuries but they were pronounced dead at the San Ignacio Hospital. According to police, Ming Feng Chen, owner of the store, reported that while inside the store the two men entered and pointed the shotgun at him. They ordered him to lie down on the floor and demanded money. The gun man then approached an employee of the store and took away her cell phone. The other man went behind the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money and other items before exiting the store. Police recovered a total of $342.85 in cash in different denomination inside a black knapsack along with two packs of Benson and Hedges cigarettes, one pack of Independence cigarettes, five Milport cigarettes, twelve Phillies, one blue flip phone and one black Kyocera flip phone. All items found have been identified as property stolen from the store. The gunman was found with a 16 gauge sawed off shotgun and a blue 16-gauge cartridge in his pants pocket.

Francis I: First Pope from the Americas
It took five ballots for 115 cardinals to shock the world as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday afternoon. The Argentinean is the first Pope from outside of Europe in 1300 years and the first from the Americas. He has chosen to assume the name Francis I. In his remarks to thousands of Catholics gathered in the square of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis said, “You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome." Bergoglio’s election came as a surprise to many observers since his name was never mentioned among the list of front runners. That list included Brazilian Odilo Scherer and Italy's Angelo Scola. The names of U.S. cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean O'Malley, Canada's Marc Ouellet and Argentina's Leonardo Sandri were also mentioned among likely prospects. Though Bergoglio’s election came as a surprise to everyone outside the secret conclave, it only took five ballots for him to receive more than the required two-third majority of the 115 cardinal electors. Seven ballots have been required on average for the last nine Popes. Pope Benedict XVI went into the conclave as the clear front runner in 2005 and needed 4 ballots to be elected.

Coin Toss decided UDP Candidate in Arenal
As the United Democratic Party (UDP) continues to select only the best candidates to represent the Party in the upcoming round of village council elections, another inter-party convention was held today in the westernmost village of Arenal in the Cayo West Constituency of the Hon. Erwin Contreras.

Bar Association: A Thing of the Past
The Attorney General of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, intends to introduce a Bill at the National Assembly that will amend the Legal Profession Act in an effort to grant freedom of association to members of the legal profession in Belize. The Bill has been in the pipeline for over three years and once passed, it will cause the Bar Association of Belize to lose its monopoly on legal services in the country and allow for the establishment of a more accountable General Legal Counsel.

Belizean appointed Chairman of BSI
On March 5th, the Belize Sugar Industry Limited held its Annual General Meeting during which, for the first time a Belizean was appointed as chairman of the BSI Board. Arsenio Burgos, who has served on the board of the company, was appointed as chairman, while ESH Barbados, SRL, which is a member of the ASR group appointed Jonathan Bamberger, Ricardo Lima and Celestino Tabernilla to the board. Sir Manuel Esquivel was nominated by the Government of Belize to the Board.

Northern Villages of Indian Church and San Carlos to get Potable Water
Over 105 families in the northern villages of Indian Church and San Carlos in the Orange Walk District will soon bid farewell to old water hand pumps and hand-dug wells thanks to a Social Investment Fund project, which will supply quality, potable water to both villages.

Decrease in Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Prices
The Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Private sector Development and Consumer Protection is hereby informing the general public that effective March 9, 2013 the Government of Belize has approved a decrease in the controlled price of LPG. Accordingly the new controlled price for LPG is as follows:

The oppressive PUP Superbond has NOW been successfully renegotiated. The oppressors who created it said that it could never be renegotiated. They did all they could do to block the effort. Prime Minister Dean Barrow proved them wrong again. Another campaign promise fulfilled. The nation salutes and thanks our Prime Minister for the many long hours he expended in fulfilling this promise to all of us. ********** Please Mr. Speaker, let them stop calling us thieves, says Dullo from Rural Central and please, I beg you Mr. Speaker, let them stop blaming us for our Superbond. ********** But Mr. Speaker, what else can they be called when the nation knows them by no other name. As for their Superbond, Mr. Speaker, they are going to hear about it until they die, rightfully remarked the Honourable member for Mesopotamia. ********** A Bar-B-Q fundraising event for G. Michael Reid!!! Oh you heartless opposition users. With all your ill gotten millions you see and feel it not in your hearts to reach out and help one of your own in these times of dire need. At $6.00 a plate, how much can a B-B-Q sale net for a sick man with so much medical needs? ********** For ten long years, Reid faithfully did the biddings of the oppressors. Today, he is a man in need and the oppressors look not upon him. They NOW turn their evil backs on him while leaving the poor soul out in the cold. **********

Biography of Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson: 1923 - 2001 Occasion - National Heroes & Benefactors Day
He meant many things to many people, for many reasons for many years. He’s no other than Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson. The man, former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel dubbed the Father of Belize’s democracy.

44 Participants Graduate from Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
44 participants from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

$14.4 Millon for Road Safety
The Government of Belize has received U.S. $7,248,000 as a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank for the improvement of Road Safety in Belize. The financing will be used to improve safety features at specfic areas along the George Price Hihgway to its junction with the Hummingbird Highway and around the Belmopan Ring Road. Already the broadening of the highway’s shoulders in specific areas has already commenced. It will also have components which will see education and awareness campaigns to change road user behaviors for improved safety. It will also offer support to the Police and the Transport Departments in areas of law enforcement. Capacity building for personnell from institutions invovled in road safety managment will also be supported.

San Narciso Villagers honor Their Loved Ones
On Saturday, March 9th, a group of about 50 villagers took the bold decision of cleaning the central burial ground as a sign of respect and love for their dead relatives and friends. The group was led by aspiring chairman for the upcoming village council elections, Emair ‘Buggy’ Correa along with his six councillors to be.

12 year old Pregnant, and Special Constable, charged
On Tuesday, March 12th a Special Constable appeared in Magistrate's Court in Belize City before Chief Magistarte Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with having sexual intercourse with an 11-year-old girl. 50-year-old Santos Carvajal, a resident of #33 Fairweather Street in Belize City, appeared before the Chief Magistrate, where he was charged with a single count of unlawful carnal knowledge. No plea was taken from Carvajal since the matter is an indictable offense. Through his attorney, Brian Neal, Carvajal requested bail but it was denied since bail cannot be offered on offenses such as carnal knowledge. He was then remanded to prison until April 25th, 2013. The child told police that sometime in March of last year, she visited Carvajal’s home in Belize City to learn to play chess and that’s when he had sexual intercourse with her.

Step-Father and Mother Arrested for Carnally Known 8-Year-Old
Police have detained the step-father and mother of an 8-year-old girl after the child revealed to police that her step-father had sexual intercourse with her. On Monday, March 11th, the 8-year-old student of Belize City was accompanied by her aunt when they visited the police station and made a report. The aunt told police that the child complained to her about pain in her stomach and vagina and when questioned she said her step-father has had sexual intercourse with her. The child was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where a medical examination was conducted which certified that she was carnally known. The injuries were classified as Dangerous Harm and the child had to be admitted the hospital for further attention. Police later arrested the step-father and charged him for the crime of Carnal Knowledge, while the mother was charged with Abetment to Carnal Knowledge.

Drug Plane crashes in Northern Belize
A suspected drug plane was detected in Northern Belize after it apparently crash landed near the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District. Responding to reports, on Friday, March 8th, Corozal police along with the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) visited an area one mile south of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry where they found a white CESSNA 200 single- engine plane with blue and gold stripes. The aircraft was labeled XB-LGX and is a 5 seater. It is suspected that it is a drug plane but no one or any drugs were found in the area.

Free of Murder Charges
On Thursday, March 7th, a jury of 12 people found 22-year-old Dwayne Evelyn not guilty of the February 17th, 2010 murder of Peter Myvett. Myvett had been shot and killed at the corner of Kut Avenue and West Street in broad daylight. The jury stepped into the deliberating room at 18 minutes to noon and by 4:16p.m. emerged with a unanimous verdict of not guilty. After hearing the verdict, Evelyn wasted no time and ran out of the court room and disappeared. Myvett met his untimely death at around 12:00 noon in broad daylight whilst at the corner of Kut Avenue and West Street as he was washing a bus. He was shot multiple times to the body. He had four gunshot injuries to the left side of the neck, right upper arm, right rib cage and right upper back.

17-year-old remanded for murder
On Friday, March 8th, a 17-year-old was escorted to the Belize City Family Court where he was read a single charge of murder for the killing of Frank Neal, 36, stevedore of Port of Belize, in Belize City. The minor, who is a resident of Cemetery Road was captured by police on Tuesday following the execution of Neal. He appeared before a magistrate at the Belize Family Court in the company of a relative where the charge of murder was read to him. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and since he is a minor he was remanded to the Wagner’s Facility located on the Compound of the Kolbe Foundation. He is due back in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on April 30th. On Tuesday evening, March 5th, 2013, Neal, who is a frequent customer of a local journey cake shop on Glynn Street, was met by a lone gunman who fired a single shot causing his fatal injury. He fell into a nearby drain and died shortly after.

Charged with Attempted Murder
On Tuesday, March 12th, 24-year-old Karl Reneau appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with the shooting of 15 -year-old Robert Hower. Reneau appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with one count of use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm, two counts of aggravated assault upon Dion Tillett and Jason Alvarez and one count of wounding upon Jason Alvarez. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offences bail was denied and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30th. In a report to police, 15-year- old Rober Hower, a student of an Antelope Street address told police that at about 7:30p.m. on Saturday, March 9th, he was walking on Antelope Street when he was approached by a man wearing a red shirt and long brown pants. He said that the man then proceeded to stab him for no reason. There is no information about the exchange between Dion Tillett and Jason Alvarez.

Charged for Conspiracy to Commit robbery
On Tuesday, March 12th, 18-year-old student, Micah Tillett, of #6396 Croton Lane, Belize City appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His case was then adjourned to April 30th. In a report to police, John Penner, a businessman, told police that he was making a delivery at Mile 9 in the Ladyville area, when 3 men of dark complexion approached him and two others who were in his company. According to Penner, two of the men were armed with firearms while the third was unarmed. The men then proceeded to rob him of some cheques, cell phones and other personal items. Gerhard Penner, who was also with John Penner, was robbed of $1,780 in cash. After the robbery the three men ran and jumped into a vehicle which was parked in the area. Police, who responded to the robbery, set chase after the vehicle where they caught up with it on Chetumal Street in the Belama area. Police say three men ran out of it and managed to escape, while they found Tillett inside the vehicle. He was found sitting in the driver’s seat.

Kenneth Medwood captures Gold in Central American Games
Kenneth Medwood walked into the history books of the Central American Sports Organisation (ORDECA) when he captured his first Gold Medal in his first appearance in the Central American Games on Saturday March 9th, 2013, in the 100m Hurdles. On Sunday March 10th, Katy Sealy captured the Silver Medal in the Women’s Heptathlon. Sealy’s total points for the Heptathlon Competition were 4,398. In the men’s 4 x 100m relay, the team was in the medal hunt in the third position but was caught and ended up in the fourth place just outside of the medal ceremonies. As we go to press today, no other information has been received concerning our athletes in Costa Rica.

Marlon Castillo is the Smart Belmopan Cycling Champion
The Belize Cycling Association with sponsorship from Smart Telephone Company held its 32nd Annual Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday March 10th, 2013. The race which started from in front of Smart Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway travelled to the City of Belmopan around the Ring Road and then back to the Smart Headquarters for the finish in the Elite/Open category. The 100+ miles event commenced at 8:00 am and after 4:29:08 it was Marlon Castillo of Team Santino’s to cross the finish line to capture the 2nd major event in cycling after the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. The second cyclist to cross the finish line was Ron Vasquez of Belikin Western Spirit. The third cyclist to cross the finish line was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling. In the Master’s category, first place went to Quinton Hamilton of Team SMART, second place went to Scottie Weisse of Veloshine and third place went to Ernest Meighan of Team Santino’s. The female, junior and youth categories all started at the Smart Headquarters and travelled the George Price Highway to La Democracia and then back to the Smart Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway for the finish.

Belize Defence Force New Leaders in the Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Closing Season Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, the visiting Police United defeated Verdes FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Evan Mariano in the 65th minute of play to give Police the big win. The competition then continued on Sunday, March 10th, with three more games on the schedule. In the game played at the MCC Grounds between FC Belize and the defending national champions the Belmopan Bandits, that game ended in a 0-0 draw. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Belize Defence Force defeated FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 3-1. The Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Byrone Usher scored the 1st goal of the game in the 36th minute of play to give his team the 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Vallan Symms scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 69th minute of play via a penalty kick for a 2-0 lead. The offence of the Belize Defence Force struck once more when Shane Flores scored the 3rd goal of the game in the 87th minute of play for the 3-0 lead. For the visiting FC San Felipe Barcelona, it was not until the closing minutes of the game that Oscar Acevedo scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 90th minute to cut the deficit to 2 goals. At the sound of the long whistle it was a 3-1 victory for the Belize Defence Force and the lead in this year’s competition. And in the final game of the day played out at the Placencia Football Field in Placencia, the visiting San Ignacio United FC and Placencia Assassins played to a 1-1 draw. The home team Placencia Assassins scored the 1st goal of the game in the 17th minute of play to give his team an early lead 1-0 lead. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the Placencia Assassins. In the second half of the game, the visiting San Ignacio United was able to get onto the scoreboard when Carlos Vasquez scored the equalising goal for his team in the 70th minute of play. At the end of the long whistle it was indeed a 1-1 draw.

Independence Primary School Girls and St. Jude Primary School Boys are National Softball Champions
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Softball Championship came to an end on Friday, March 8th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City with the National Softball Championship. In the girls’ championship game, Independence Primary School (representing the Stann Creek District) defeated Biscayne Government School (representing the Belize District) by the score of 7-3. The winning pitcher was Thalia Interiano and the losing pitcher was Ashley Robinson. In the third place game, St. Francis Xavier (representing the Cayo District) defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School (representing the Toledo District) by the score of 23-6 to capture the Bronze Medal. The winning pitcher was Ronica Vernon and the losing pitcher was Cherissa Cucul. In game one of the semi-final round, Independence Primary School defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School by the score of 19-0. The winning pitcher was Thalia Interiano and the losing pitcher was Cherissa Cucul. In the second game, Biscayne Government School defeated St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School by the score of 3-0. The winning pitcher was Ashley Robinson and the losing pitcher was Ronica Vernon.

Softball picks up Bronze again in Central American Games
The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize returned home on Friday, March 8th, 2013, from the 10th Central American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica where it captured its third Bronze Medals in as many outings to the Central American Games. Team Belize went into the Page System Playoffs as the number two team and was assured of a medal. In the second semi-final game of the Page System played between Guatemala (number one seed) and Belize (number two seed) both had identical win-loss record (4-1) Guatemala blanked the Belize Team again by the score of 2-0. Unfortunately for Team Belize, it was able to load the bases on two occasions without any outs and was not able to score a run. The winning pitcher for Guatemala was Valquiria Garzo and the losing pitcher was Francine Hoare. With that loss to Guatemala, Team Belize had to play from the losers’ bracket again El Salvador who had earlier eliminated Panama. In the Final game against El Salvador, the game ended up 14-4 in favour of El Salvador.

Wesley College to host National High Schools Softball Championship
Wesley College, the perennial Secondary Schools Softball Champions (1970-1974) will be playing host to the National Secondary Schools Sports Association national softball championship on Friday and Saturday, March 15th and 16th, 2013 at Rogers Stadium the MECCA of softball in the country. The schools that have earned the rights to represent their various regions are from the North in female softball Belize Rural High School and male San Pedro High School. From the West in female Belmopan Comprehensive High School and male Belmopan Comprehensive School from the South in female Georgetown Technical High School and male Independence High School and from the Central Region in both female and male Nazarene High School. Nazarene High School girls like the host of this year’s competition were the perennial champions of high school softball (1975-1977) when the competition used to be played under the auspices of the then Belize Amateur Softball Association the forerunner to the Belize Softball Federation and over the years have produced a number of players who have played for the National Women’s Softball Team of Belize. While it’s male team in 1982 won the inaugural male competition at the high school level with a perfect 7-0 record.

Belize Bank Bulldogs Repeat as Ruta Maya Champs
Three seconds is what separated the Belize Bank “Bulldogs” from its closest competitors as the 16th Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge concluded at the Belcan Bridge on Monday, March 11th.

Kite Festival in Belize City
Those in attendance got a chance to make their own kites The air in the Marine Parade area of Belize City was studded on Sunday, March 10th with all manner of kites. There were moon kites, box kites, star kites, large kites, small kites, and even kites which did not fit into any category. The occasion was the annual Kite Festival, which this year was sponsored by Bowen and Bowen and Benny's.

Case studies on flyingfish and large pelagic to be discussed in Dominica
The Second Joint Meeting of the CRFM/CLME Flyingfish (FF) and Large Pelagic Fisheries (LP) Case Studies Steering Committees will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 11, 2013, at the Garraway Hotel in Roseau, Dominica. The maximum total annual landings of flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean is 4700 metric tonnes, according to information published by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) project, one of the organizers of the event. “The flyingfish fishery of the Eastern Caribbean is a shared resource which is exploited by seven countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica and France (Martinique). For these countries, there is a high social and economic dependence on the fishery,” the CLME added. Speaking of the large pelagic fishery, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), which is coordinating the Dominica workshop, noted that, “The region’s highly migratory tuna and billfish resources are exploited by countries from within the region, as well as by foreign nations. In the Insular Caribbean, the fishing of large pelagics is a major tourist and recreational activity although reporting data on this fishery is lacking.” It added that the case study aims “to develop the information base for improving understanding of selected major large pelagic fisheries, including information on the nature and importance of recreational fishing activities, and to develop recommendations for promoting EAF [Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries] management and governance in respect of large pelagic fisheries.” Honourable Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Dominica’s Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, his Permanent Secretary – Samuel Carrette, and Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM Secretariat, will address the gathering during the opening ceremonies.


Walking North Ambergris Caye from Costa Maya to Grand Caribe, Part Three
This walk is taking longer to blog about than it was to walk but I took SO many pictures since I have been such an infrequent visitor to these foreign climes. Part One, I barely budged traveling from Costa Maya Resort (Mile 6.5) to Portofino (Mile 6 North). Part Two took me from Portofino to Rojo to Los Encantos (Mile 4.5). Let’s get moving. I passed a very active little dive shop but I didn’t see a name a the resort. Just down the beach is Rendezvous Restaurant and Winery. The only one on the island. A bit further is Belizean Shores. And then in the lot is a turbo sized construction project teaming with workers. All of the rebar is almost like a sculpture…almost. And I would imagine this is only the beginning…the pool at the Venezia will be quite impressive. Huge. A bit of Venice right here in Belize. Next up is Coco Beach with some very impressive pools of their own. Complete with a rock formation water slide and swim up bar.

Happy Pi Day!
Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant (pi) and is observed on March 14 or 3/14 in month/day date format since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of in the decimal form. Pi (Greek letter ” π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter – which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits. There are many ways of observing Pi Day – these include eating pie, discussing the significance of the number and more recently watching Life Of Pi.

Bye Bye Beautiful Belize!
So today we announce, with bittersweet feelings, that we have just sold our condo in Ambergris Caye and moved back to the United States. Because of Paisley, we aren't going to become world travelers at this time, but we do plan to do a lot of traveling in the US and some of Canada as well. We're thinking about a motorhome. There is still so much we haven't seen in our own country, especially out west, and we want to see as much of it as we can while we're still healthy and fit enough to enjoy it. But that's not to say we won't miss many things about Ambergris Caye and indeed, the entire country of Belize.

Congratulations and a big round of applause
Congratulations goes out to Toledo, Stan Creek, Corozal and Orange Walk all have newly elected Branch Boards and San Pedro is looking forward to holding our upcoming election and becoming a vibrant active branch and a leader of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety Program. Yesterday Red Cross Director General Lily Bowman came out to oversee the Elections of the San Pedro Branch Board and guide us through the next stages of getting our board in order and building a solid branch foundation. We are pleased to announce a strong board who are all ready to help grow the San Pedro Branch and serve the community. All positions were filled by unanimous vote. Chairperson Eiden Salazar Vice Chair Anthony Anderson Secretary Phillip Ramsey Treasurer Carolyn Kumar Ordinary Member Cheryl Bowen Ordinary Member Sandro Cob Ordinary Member Frank Pantone Youth Member Swunie Diego

Caye Caulker’s cave is possibly the largest in the world!!!
Caye Caulker could possibly be sitting on the LARGEST MARINE CAVE IN THE WORLD!!! It’s a big statement but something that the well regarded National Geographic will take their time to explore in 2014, along with the elite in the dive world, lead by James Petersen or ‘Chip’ from Belize Dive Service and his team of researchers!! Although many of us have been unwittingly sitting on this cave for most of our lives, the recent developments for the cave will prove monumental for the Caye – the increase in visibility on the dive map as experts and tourists alike will flock to see this unique natural beauty. Not forgetting the impact this will have on the earth science world (biologists, hydrologists, archaeologists etc) as this cave acts as a time capsule preserving life forms and conditions of a more ancient earth. And finally giving Caye Caulker global recognition for a truly magnificent natural marine creation as unparalleled as say Niagra Falls or the Grand Canyon!!

Top 13 Places to Visit in Cayo
Here's a top 13 list of places to visit in Cayo, courtesy of Chaa Creek. ATM, Xunantunich, Rio Frio Cave, Big Rock Falls, and many more are on there. Taking a pontoon boat on Vaca Lake is a new one. "The Vaca Lake is a man-made reservoir in the upper Macal River Valley a few miles upstream from Chaa Creek Lodge. When the lake swelled into a 6 mile long waterhole, Lazaro Martinez who grew up in the area decided it was time to invite adventurers to his childhood backyard. Join him on a hilly jungle trek to his pontoon, La Capitana for a tamed loop around the lake. The gentle drift offers a unique opportunity to spot myriad creatures including, Tapirs, Spider Monkeys, Ocelots and a plethora of Birds conveying at this biospheric junction. La Capitana docks at one of three pristine waterfalls for an exploratory hike and optional swimming. Relax at the water’s edge and enjoy your picnic lunch."

Simple Meatloaf
I love ground beef, so meatloaf is clearly one of my favorite meals. This recipe is very simple to create while still being very delicious

Belize Key Economic Statistics 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) just released an infographic on the key economic statistics of Belize for the year 2012. This neat infographic displays information on the Gross Domestic Product, External Trade, and Consumer Price Index Data for Belize on that year.

See BELTRAIDE / SBDCBelize at The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Finance Expo 2013, this Friday and Saturday.

Tips on Creating a Logo
A logo is the visual representation of your company. It graphically imparts information to everyone who views it, subtlety informing them if your organization is creative or conservative, playful or serious. Coming up with the perfect logo for an organization is not always easy. It takes creativity and diligence to develop a design that captures the essence of your company with just a momentary glance.

The much condemned and now newly minted super-bond is now the Belize Bond 2038, a done deal with a majority of bondholders signing on and the balance will follow suit under a collective action clause. The numbers have been thrown about since last week, but today Prime Minister Dean Barrow was all smiles as he called the occasion reason for celebration. The stakeholders in the restructuring process were on hand for that celebration and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story from the Biltmore Plaza.

“Lone Star State of Mind” for Ambergris Caye, Belize
The body clock is nearly back in sync. Awake and up by 5.30 am this morning. Pleased that my time clock is virtually back to normal but getting up that early when you are in a hotel is not always great. What do you do at that time in the morning apart from going to breakfast? So I showered, shaved, got dressed and played around on the web until Rose was ready and then we went for breakfast together. The fare on offer wasn’t great but good enough to set us up for our tour of Downtown San Antonio so we put on some comfortable shoes, grabbed the camera and set off. We had seen parts of Downtown San Antonio yesterday but it was evening and our minds (and stomachs I suppose) were more on getting something to eat than take in the sights. Today we tried to make amends for that. There are loads of very attractive buildings and when you get away from the crowds the Riverwalk is really tranquil. The following photos provide just a snapshot of the nine mile walk that Rose and I did (OK so we took time out for some refreshment stops).

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Meyr Lemon Loaf
Preheet ove t'350 °F. Greese acoupla loaf pans (abvout 4 x 8 inches each). Creem buttr and sugar with mixr until until lite and fluffy. Add aigs, one at a time, a'beatin well aftr each addishun. Combine flour, bakin' powdr, bakin' sody and salt n' a medium sized bowl. N' a small bowl, combine buttarmilk, lemon juice and zest. With mixr on loe, add flour mixture and liquids alternatelee n' three addityuns.

Stone Crab, One Of The Most Interesting Characters Of Belize
There are persons that you meet when traveling that make your experience unforgettable, Stone Crab is one of those people of Belize. He has to be one of the most interesting characters in Caye Caulker, if not also in the entire country. Let me tell you a little about how I met him. I crossed paths with Stone Crab at The Split when he came to say hello to my friends, they knew him from previous visits to Caye Caulker; now that I look back, I don’t know how I hadn’t met him before, in my teens I had spent an entire summer on the island.

International Sources

Belize for Cruise Visitors
I’ll be honest: you will not get the full picture of just how spectacular and unique Belize is, from a cruise visit and a day’s excursion, particularly being docked in Belize City. And Belize is just too unique of a destination not to stay overnight and explore its many facets, from rainforests to seas, wildlife, and diverse cultures. Moreover, as a writer and traveler who supports responsible travel, I have to mention the fact that cruise ship tourism is damaging to the environment, and does not benefit the local communities you are visiting. That said, many are only able to visit here as part of a cruise package, and I realize there are financial limitations for many folks. So if you do visit here on cruise, and don’t have the option to vacation and overnight here for a few days, there are several tours and shore excursions to consider. Here are the ones I recommend:

Retire in Ambergris Caye
Belize, situated on the Caribbean Sea, is located in Central America. Its mild temperatures and beautiful vistas have attracted many to this retirement haven. Although its official language is English it comprises a diverse society of many cultures and languages. Over 60% of Belize is covered by forest and its terrestrial and marine biodiversity is rich in flora and fauna. There are several thousand species of flowering plants and over 500 species of trees and birds. Belize is a leader in protecting its natural resources and biodiversity. Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island is approximately 25 miles long and 1 mile wide. It is a quiet island with beautiful beaches, fishing and water sports including scuba diving along the stunning Belize Barrier Reef. San Pedro is the only town on the island and there are several smaller villages and some resorts. There are some upscale areas but living here can be much cheaper than in the States. There is a growing ex-pat community in Belize and on Ambergris Caye. Reasons to retire here: Weather, Beaches, Outdoor recreation (sailing, kayaking, scuba, fishing, diving, cycling, hiking, etc.), Rainforest exploration, Historic/Archaeological sites, Nightlife, Festivals

Warriors to visit Belize for football friendly
THE TRINIDAD and Tobago football team will be visiting Belize to play their forthcoming friendly international on March 23. Both teams were originally due to square off at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on March 22 but, according to a media release from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), the switch of dates and venues arose following discussions between officials of the TTFF and the Belize Football Federation in Chicago (United States) on Wednesday. “It has been communicated that the reason for the change in venue has resulted due to logistical challenges associated with travel arrangements for the Belize team.”

Renton gran's appeal for Belize charity
A Renton gran who adopted four Central American children is set to return to the place she calls her second home to help more youngsters. Shona Hodgson is flying out to Belize in June and is determined to have a suitcase full of clothes, shoes and essentials for the children there. She is appealing for footwear, particularly football boots, to help young people involved with Belize charity the Youth Support Network. Shona, who will be joined on her travels by 17-year-old daughter Siera whom she adopted from Belize in 2010, said: “The founder of the charity wrote to me and included photographs of some of the kids they are working with. “The first thing that struck me was that they didn’t have any shoes on. They have formed football teams but as well as not having strips, they don’t have football boots either. “I want to able to take some boots out there for them and I’m hoping that maybe one of the football teams out there would be willing to donate boots or strips they have outgrown. “Any footwear anyone can donate would be gratefully received.”

And Man Created Dog - a National Geographic presentation
This film explores the greatest inter-species friendship on Earth over the course of 40,000 years.

Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions
Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.” But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
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Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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