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Government Awards 19 Days Amnesty For The Sale And Exportation of Precious Rosewood
With so many question marks, the Government of Belize decided to issue a press release late this evening announcing the sale and export of harvested Rosewood. The release does not say much and many questions are still left unanswered. It sates and we quote “The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, has determined that there is a supply of harvested Rosewood available which had been harvested during the moratorium period. The Ministry has decided to carefully ascertain such a supply and to allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood over the period 8th – 26th April, 2013 to avoid the complete loss of the value.
That’s it, plain and simple. Where the rosewood will be exported to, who the buyer is and for how much it will be sold is not mentioned in the release. Reports to CTV3 News are that at one point Government was looking at the possibility of becoming the agents of the rosewood and exporting the product to China. Now, here is the controversial part. Monies obtained from the sale would be split with the companies the precious wood was confiscated from including companies such as Kambokin that had two twenty foot containers confiscated from a compound near the customs department in January of this year. Again, this report has not been confirmed. The 19 day amnesty on rosewood exports will allow all those who have illegally extracted rosewood during the moratorium to bring out their fitches from hiding in order for them to be exported.
Family Of Eight Year Old Needs Financial Assistance
As parents we all wish for our children to be in the best of health at the same time realizing that they are exposed to various diseases which often at times are our closest neighbors. Meet 8 year old Owen Palma who was born on the 23rd of December 2004. He lives with his family at Joseyito Layout in Corozal Town. In April of 2012, he started experiencing pain on the right side of the back. A visit to the doctor confirmed what Owen’s mother feared the most, her son was suffering from kidney stones. Since the diagnosi,s the family has been battling with the sickness which often at times proves painful for little Owen. Today we spoke to Palma’s aunt, Suzanne Vasquez, who told us more about her nephew’s illness.
Suzanne Vasquez-Owen Palma’s Aunt
“Pues su problema de él es su riñón que tiene un ano que empezó, yo soy su tía de él, y ya tiene un ano que se quejaba de dolor de espalda y empezó a orinar sangre y entonces me hermana lo llevo en Corozal Hospital y le empezaron a dar tratamiento para el dolor y pues le calmaban el dolor y se le iba la calentura y después cuando le regresaba la calentura y el dolor lo mandaron a Orange Walk y le hicieron un ultra sonido, este que tengo, y allí vieron que tiene piedra en su riñón y después lo mandaron a Belice y lo chequearon que si está mal sus dos riñón, un pedazo estaba negro y se lo rasparon y cuando lo abrieron para quitarle la piedra corío la piedra en el otro riñón y es ese el problema el otro lado del riñón que esta la piedra porque siempre tiene dolor y le tengo que meter un tubo para que su sistema empiece a trabajar y empiece a trabajar bien.”
Orange Walkenos Head Out To Aguas Turbias
The Belize Territorial Volunteers is on the move again. Over the weekend leader of the group, Wil Maheia led an expedition to the Southern Border and tonight word is that the group will soon head out to the southern, western and northern part of the border where Belizean flags will be planted as sign of territorial ownership. The southern expedition will be led by Meheia, the western venture will be coordinated by Nancy Marin and the northern expedition will be headed by Orlando De la Fuente who will lead the willing to Aguas Turbias National Park specifically to the monument that marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. It’s Belize’s northernmost border with Guatemala and De la Fuente told us what the group hopes to accomplish with the expedition.
Orlando De La Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers
“The expedition is to commemorate the 1859 boundary treaty signed on April 30th between her majesty and the Republic of Guatemala, so we are taking an expedition there to mark that event.
Hipolito Novelo – Reporter
“And would this be the same effort as the last expedition?
Orlando De la Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers
“It is very much in line with what Wil Mejia is doing in the south and we are doing the same here in the north. It’s going be like an hour and a half to the Mexican border where it will be the staging area and the Mennonites from Blue Creek, some of them are joining us and they will be providing tractors and trailers and a very reasonable cost which will be billed for fifteen dollars per person, we will board the bus from Blue Creek to the Mexican border and then we are going on a trial ten kilometres to the Aguas Turbias monument. The activities will start off with a prayer, we are going to sing the National Anthem and we are going to plant the Belizean flag on the Belize side and we are also taking a plaque because the monuments is represented by three countries and only two have plaques on it Belize does not have a plaque so we have ordered two plaques actually because Belize has two sides of the monument and so we are taking one for sure and we are going to install there and we will do some clearing but will not demarcate the border and we will clear a survey line just eat of the border anywhere from two to ten meters inside Belize and we will clear all along the border with Guatemala.”
Izak Chan Back In Court For Retrial After Sentenced To Eight Years For Rape
Twenty one year old Izak Chan was charged for rape on September 30th 2010. One year an eight months after, on May 31st 2012 to be exact, the 21 year old was found guilty of rape by a jury of 12 and was sentenced to eight years in prison by Judge Dennis Hanomansingh.
Today Chan was back in the Supreme Court for retrial after the Courts of Appeal accepted his application to appeal the case.
Chan is now being represented by Attorney Dickie Bradley while the Crown Council is being represented by counsels Shanice Lovell and Sabita Majarah.
Even though Chan appeared before Justice Herbert Lord this morning, the retrial did not commence since Attorney Dickie Bradley requested that the case be adjourned to the Month of May 2013 in order for him to prepare for the case. Bradley also requested that Chan be granted bail since he was on bail for the first trial and abided by all the conditions imposed on him. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell objected to bail and after several arguments it was agreed that that the matter of whether Chan will receive bail or not will be determined on April 23rd 2013.
Movement Of Tons Of Confiscated Rosewood Raises Eyebrows
There is major and alarming news coming out of Belmopan tonight as it refers to the movement of tons and tons of confiscated Rosewood. Now, we all know that here in Belize the illegal exportation of Rosewood has become a lucrative business. Despite a moratorium set in place last year, it is believed that the attempts to smuggle the precious wood, has not seized and probably all that has changed is that the smugglers have become craftier. Yesterday alarms went off when the confiscated fitches were being moved despite the fact that Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla is out of the country and so is Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido.
Footage captured by Plus T.V in Belmopan shows the rosewood being uploaded on these trucks with Orange Walk License plates. Our investigations have revealed that both trucks are registered to one Wilbert A Valencia of Valencias Trucking located in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk.
CTV3 News understands that the trucking company was hired by one Raul Cawich, a Custom Broker whose office is located at the Northern Border. Reports suggest that Wilbert Valencia was contacted by Cawich who ordered that both trucks be sent to the Forest Department in Belmopan to pick up the rosewood.
P.U.P Weighs In On The Issue Of Guatamala's New Passports
On March 28th we reported that the Guatemalan government had issued tenders for the printing of new passports. But that was not the meat of the report. What was is the fact that the map to be used on the front cover of the four million passports, to be printed over the next ten years, will include Belize as part of Guatemala. The only distinction will be a dotted line with the wording, “territory under dispute.” As mentioned before, it would not be the first time that the offensive image of Belize forming part of Guatemala would appear in official publications.
Yesterday a Government representative spoke on the issue for the first time. According to C.E.O in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado, the ministry has notified the United Nations about Guatemala’s intentions. In an interview with Channel Five last night, Rosado stated and we quote “We spoke to the United Nations people and whereas they were in the process of discussing with Guatemalan officials the whole procurement procedures in order to help them, they were not aware at the time that there were any specifications. What has come to my attention is that there is a depiction of it somewhere in some of the documents. And it seems to show the Guatemalan map in bold and it has like a dotted line between Belize and Guatemala, but Belize is not included in bold as part of the whole Guatemalan territory” end of quote. Rosado went on to say that the Belizean Government is positive that the UN would never participate in something that would be offensive to one of its members, in this case Belize.
Butane Prices Reduced By $3.00
Tonight there is good news for consumers of Liquid Petroleum Gas as Government has approved a $3.00 decrease for the hundred pound cylinder.
The prices are as follows. In Orange Walk $114.00, Corozal $113.00, Belize City $113.00, Belmopan and San Ignacio $115.00, Benque $116.00, Dangriga $117.00 and Punta Gorda $118.00. The new prices come into effect tomorrow.
New Rosewood amnesty
There is a new amnesty period for Rosewood harvesters, more than one year after a moratorium had been declared on the almost depleted specie. It is very interesting timing considering that PlusTV reported yesterday on the movement of confiscated flitches from the Belmopan Forestry Department compound. PlusTV received information...
Bus driver fights off attacker
A bus driver in the old capital found himself fighting for his life and money. On Saturday, around 5:30pm, bus driver Eldon Chiac, driving a yellow mini bus belonging to one of the City’s bus companies, was on a run on Princess Margaret Drive where he stopped to let...
Man badly beaten in Belize City
PLUS News today happened on a strange occurrence in Belize City – a man who was thought to be dead, is alive! But it’s not quite how that sounds. 31 year old Leonel Ramos of Central American Boulevard was out socializing on Monday night at a local Chinese shop...
All is not well with Belmopan market vendors
Market vendors are protesting the relocation of the Belmopan Farmers Market. Two weeks ago, we told you that the Belmopan City Council decided that the Tuesday and Friday market would be relocated from the Civic Center parking lot to the Agricultural and Trade Show grounds. This was after residents...
Placencia Village will soon open its pier and marina
Placencia Village will soon open its pier and marina to yachts and other sea vessels. The Village of Placencia is getting ready to make its mark in the tourism industry as one of the top destinations in Belize. Placencia can be accessed by air, land and sea; and with...
Nick Pollard Jr not in favour of ICJ
The effort to have Belize settle its territorial dispute with Guatemala at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) appears to be on life support after the Guatemalans continue to insist on postponing the October 6 referendum. But the public campaign goes on and today Nick Pollard Jr. spoke exclusively...
PUP state positions on new Guatemalan passport
The People’s United Party says it has had enough of Guatemala’s antics and is calling for severe action from the Belize Government. The Party’s National Executive met today, where among topics discussed was Guatemala’s recent proposal to include a map alluding that the country’s border with Belize’s border is...
Belize media under spotlight by visiting lecturer
The common complaint that local media, particularly television, overemphasize the blood and gore of daily murders and other incidents has galvanized efforts to regulate the content of news and other programs. Today the University of the West Indies Alumni Association Belize Chapter welcomed a lecturer, Dr. Leith Dunn, to...
Free surgery offered at Western Regional Hospital
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with New Horizon Mission Group, is looking for at least 50 patients to participate in pre-screening clinics. The group is catering to families from Belmopan and surrounding areas of Belmopan, with financial constraints unable to finance medical conditions relating to the ear, nose...
Thatched house accidently catches fire
A wooden thatched house in Bella Vista Village went up in flames yesterday morning. But it’s seems that the cause of the fire was accidental, as an empty lot two blocks away, adjacent to the house, was being cleaned and so bushes on the property were being burned. It...
WOMAN IN DANGRIGA, 71, “DIES TWICE”
Family and friends are mourning the passing of 71-year-old Mathri Gomez, who died on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Gomez’ death has captured the attention of the community in Dangriga Town because it’s not the first time that the family has had to announce her death.
It is a peculiar case — that of a woman being pronounced dead twice, but Gomez’ family said they call the first “resurrection” a miracle.
Gomez was admitted into the Southern Regional Hospital last week; her medical condition was degenerating and it was decided by the family and hospital that she would be transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, April 3.
Gomez was to be transported by airplane to Belize City. However, upon arriving at the Dangriga airstrip, she had no pulse and the doctor pronounced her dead. She was then taken back to the Southern Regional Hospital, the family told us.
One of her daughters, Vivian Gomez, who was present at the airstrip, said that the doctor had removed all machine connections from her mother’s body at the airstrip after she stopped breathing and covered her face. When they arrived at the hospital, the doctors tried once again to resuscitate Gomez, but to no avail. They then officially pronounced her dead.
GUATEMALAN PRESIDENT IN HOT WATER!
Otto Perez Molina is accused of human rights atrocities while commander of troops in Salquil Grande, Nebaj, Quiche.
During the first genocide trial in Guatemala’s history, in which former de facto ruler Jose Efrain Rios Montt (1982-1983) has been accused of human rights atrocities, Guatemala’s current president, Otto Perez Molina, was also named on Thursday, April 4, 2013, by Hugo Ramiro Leonardo Reyes, an ex-soldier, who alleged, via videoconference testimony, that Perez Molina had ordered soldiers to burn and loot villages, and execute indigenous tribes while he was commander of troops in Salquil Grande, Nebaj, Quiche.
Reuters reported that Pérez Molina has immunity from prosecution because of his high rank in Guatemala.
According to a posting on the website of the Guatemalan government, its defense minister, General Ulises Anzueto, has denied the allegations made in the hearing against Perez Molina by the protected witness in the genocide trial.
The allegations, which the general said were inconsistent and unsubstantiated, are intended to impact the image of the president and the armed forces, he told Notimex.
BTV EXPOSES OAS IN ADJACENCY ZONE
Guatemalans have no respect for their side of the “Adjacency Zone” – much development on their side of the border in the restricted Zone, and the OAS knows this.
“They are taking us for a joke,” says Wil Maheia.
The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) headed west to the Belize-Guatemala border over the weekend, in their second activity to begin the on-the-ground clearing of the border, which they contend will serve not just to show where Guatemala ends and Belize begins, but which they believe should also mitigate escalating incursions inside Belizean territory by Guatemalans who venture over to hunt, log, farm, and cut xate palm for sale on local and foreign markets.
However, when the team of about 60 persons, ready with cutlasses to chop, arrived at the border, they found that the area had already been extensively developed for agriculture, with a road depicting where the border is located, so not much chopping was needed.
“We couldn’t clear anything. Everything was already cleared,” BTV founder, Wil Maheia, told Amandala.
Two officials of the Organization of American States (OAS) were there at the site, Maheia said. They had been asked to attend as observers.
BRITAIN’S FIRST WOMAN PM, MARGARET THATCHER, 87, DIES FROM STROKE
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the conservative peer who was prime minister when Belize got its Independence from Britain, is dead at age 87, a UK Parliament statement announced today.
Official reports say that Baroness Thatcher, elected to serve as Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979, died on Monday, April 8, 2013, after suffering a stroke.
She will receive a ceremonial funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral with military honors, said the British High Commission in Belize. After the service, she will be privately cremated.
“All the arrangements being put in place are in line with wishes of Lady Thatcher’s family,” the Commission said.
It also informed that a book of condolence will be open at the High Commission in Belmopan from Tuesday, April 9, until Friday, April 12, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
FATHER OF THREE SHOT IN THE BACK; MAY BE PARALYZED FROM WAIST DOWN
A father of three children, Jahmeel Richardson, also known as “Cash”, is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot in his back and legs at about 1:00 on Good Friday morning, in a yard on Partridge Street Extension.
His prognosis is grim. Doctors said that he may become paralyzed from his waist down. His family said that he is not moving and complains of pain.
Police said that Richardson and a friend of his were relaxing in their yard when gunmen entered the yard from the rear and opened fire on them, hitting Richardson. The gunmen then ran off.
Richardson’s friend rushed him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where it was determined that his spine had been damaged.
3 PEOPLE STILL MISSING
Three persons, reported missing, have not yet been found. They are Hilmar Cal, 15, of Libertad, who went missing on Thursday, January 31; Mamerto Castillo, 87, missing since February 13; and Conrad Jones, 64, a retired inspector of police, missing since September 13, 2012.
Hilmar Ical left home in Libertad to sell homemade bread in Corozal Town, and has failed to return home since, and no one seems to know where he is.
Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, with brown complexion; he is about 5 feet tall, of medium built and weighs about 85 pounds. Ical is now missing for 27 days.
Marmerto Castillo, also known as “Don Mito,” of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk, was last seen 14 days ago by his family, at about 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, when he left home to go for firewood in San Lazaro Village.
To date, his whereabouts are unknown. Castillo was last seen wearing a light pink long-sleeved shirt and khaki long pants. The family said that Castillo has problems with his hearing, and is offering a reward of $400 for information leading to his successful recovery.
FOUR STUDENTS AND A TEACHER CHARGED FOR HOWLER MONKEY DEATH
The brutal death of a Howler monkey in March this year stirred up some discontent among the Forest Department, animal lovers and citizens on a whole.
On Friday, April 5, four students and a teacher, Angel Carillo, who allegedly convinced them to torture the animal, appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. The four students, all minors, and Carillo were charged for illegal hunting. They were all granted bail of $1,000 each and are to reappear in court on June 26, 2013.
According to the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), hunting means “to kill, take or molest by any method and includes attempting to kill, take or molest by any method any species of wildlife.” Reports are that the accused teacher showed the monkey to some students and it was decided that the animal would be captured.
BANDITS TIGHTEN GRIP ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BERTH
After a flurry of mid-week games in two consecutive weeks, all of a sudden Week 11 is completed in the Premier League of Belize Closing Season, and only 3 weeks remain in the regular season, which will decide the coveted spot in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Belmopan Bandits are the defending champions, having won the Opening Season tournament by a 3-point margin over Belize Defense Force, their nearest rival in the current Closing Season. According to the standings in the present Closing Season at Week 11, the Bandits lead BDF by 6 points, giving them an aggregate lead of 9 points with only 3 games remaining. Theoretically, Bandits can clinch the Champions League berth this weekend.
Only one Saturday night game was played in Week 11, and it was Belmopan Bandits hosting their nearest rivals Belize Defense Force and putting them down, 2-1, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Denmark Casey, Jr. (30’) gave the Bandits the first-half lead. Harrison Tasher (78’) got the equalizer for BDF, but the league’s hottest striker, Deon McCaulay (85’) broke the tie and gave the Bandits the victory with his 8th goal in the last 4 games.
SOUTHSIDE STATUS QUO Editorial
If you listen to the taped discourse of the Belize Black Summit of September 2003, you will realize that ten years ago Belize City (and its Southside in particular) was already experiencing catastrophic levels of criminal violence, homicide, and incarceration amongst young black men. Ten years later, the average age of the combatants has been lowered to the extent that it is possible to say that Belize City is actually experiencing the phenomenon known internationally as “child soldiers.”
We should point out that the young boys and young men who are the combatants in the Belize City gang wars grew up and live in specific neighborhoods of the old capital, and some of you readers may need to be reminded that there are young girls and young women who live in those same neighborhoods. Relatively few of those young girls and young women ever engage in actual gang combat, but they support and encourage the criminal violence of the young boys and young men in their neighborhoods, because they see that criminal violence as necessary for the defence and economic survival of their neighborhoods.
In our title for this editorial, we referred to a “Southside status quo” because we wanted to underline the fact that there is a state of affairs which exists and has been in existence for some time, and this state of affairs, for whatever the reason(s), is essentially satisfactory to some powerful elements, both in the city and in the nation entire.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
by Evan X Hyde.
“However, even though we arrived at stage three, AMANDALA insists on printing Guatemala’s human rights defects as chronicled in the foreign press many years ago like the U.S. Congressional Record of June 1961 showing Guatemala’s agents and lobbyists of 1955 and ‘Our Latin Vietnam’ of the WASHINGTON POST of February 1968.”
- Alejandro Vernon on page 26 in THE REPORTER of Sunday, March 24, 2013
“Thus it was, while visiting the northern Department of El Petén on April 16 (1958), General e Ingeniero Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes crossed over into Belize accompanied by the presidents of the Guatemalan Supreme Court and the Congress. Requesting that the sergeant on duty obtain permission from the British governor general for the party to proceed to the Belizean town of Cayo, some three miles away, he had his picture taken in front of the police barracks in Benque Viejo brandishing his ‘entry permit’ – a copy of the Guatemalan constitution. When permission to proceed further was denied, he calmly returned to the Guatemalan side of the border proclaiming, ‘Belize will be ours by right or might.’”
STILL NO JUSTICE FOR KAYLEE BURGESS
Police “fooling around”; they just don’t care about child’s death...
Two-year-old Kaylee Burgess was found dead in a bucket of water behind her grandmother’s house in Ladyville in September 2012. Since then, her parents, Kevin Burgess and Deidra Pratt, have been fighting to find answers to exactly what had happened to their baby girl.
The child’s mother, Pratt, has made it known publicly that she believes that her family members whom she left Kaylee in the care of on the day she went missing and was found dead, have information that they need to give to police.
The police, for their part, have informed the media that the investigation is still ongoing, but there wasn’t much to comment on. They did say, however, that the family is not cooperating with the investigation.
Today, Monday, Amandala visited Pratt, who said that she has made multiple calls and trips to the Ladyville Police Station, as well as to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP).
In response to the police remarks on the investigation, Pratt said that she doesn’t believe that the police are referring to her immediate family, because they have been more than cooperative with the police.
FAWDA HENRY ENGAGES KELLY STREET YOUTHS
A hundred and sixty youth, including the gang members of the crime-ridden Kelly Street community, on the North side of the city, were engaged in various sports and educational activities over the Easter holiday – possibly a reason that there were no incidents of violence in that part of the city over that weekend.
Philip “Fawda” Henry, the organizer of the event, said that they were able to create a friendly atmosphere filled with wholesome fun and competition for the young people of the area, ranging in age from 7 to 17, who did not get the opportunity to travel over the Easter holiday. The youth got the chance to choose a sport of their liking – for each of which a coach and a councilor were assigned.
Henry said that everything was provided free of cost for the youth, and he wants to thank the sponsors who donated to the cause. First place winners received a $50.00 cash prize and 3 DVD’s , while second place winners were given $25 along with 3 DVDs and third place winners received $20 and two DVDs. Henry said that it was a pleasure to see the parents watch their children participate in the competitions, in the safe environment they managed to create in the Kelly Street area. The youth were divided into teams, and names with positive meanings, such as “Love”, “Peace”, “Together”, “Free from Violence”, “Family”, and “Da Fu We Children” were given to the teams.
BEL PROPOSES 2% RATE REDUCTION
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced today that it has filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), requesting a slight decrease in electricity rates.
As is customary, the PUC will review the application, issue an initial decision, and then a final decision after consulting with interested parties.
In January, consumers were hit with a 17% rate increase, as the approved electricity rate was increased from 41.81 cents per kilowatt hour to 48.86 cents.
In a press release issued today, BEL informed that it has asked the PUC to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) to reflect the actual cost of power since January 2013, compared to the projected cost submitted to the PUC in December 2012. The proposed reduction would amount to a 2% savings.
FOUR MEN CHARGED FOR THE MURDER OF PC BERTCHEL RAMIREZ
The men are all from Roaring Creek...
Police Constable Bertchel Ramirez was murdered in Roaring Creek Village on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Later that same day, police arrested Juvencio Herrera, 34; Gregory Martinez, 26; Elilo Herrera, 41, and Steven Garbutt, 28, all residents of Roaring Creek Village, and charged them with murder.
The four men were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Friday, April 5, where they appeared before Senior Magistrate Lindsbert Willis. They have been remanded to the Hattieville Prison and will reappear in court on July 19, 2013.
PC Ramirez was reported to have been visiting his girlfriend in the Another World area of Roaring Creek Village. He left the house to respond to a shooting he had heard nearby when he was attacked by the four men who opened fire at him inside his vehicle. Ramirez was shot once in his shoulder and once in the head.
If you are looking for fun and want to help support some great causes go to Bingo at Feliz bar and Grill across the bridge Wednesday afternoon at 4:00pm. Part of the bingo proceeds go to a different charity each week. They do $5 shots with the entire profit going to the sponsored organization. In the past they have done San Pedro Sailing Club and Saga Humane Society both great organizations.
This week Feliz is fundraising for the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross. The Proceeds from Wednesday will go specifically to the sponsorship division of the Belize Red Cross First Aid training program.
Reminder the next first Aid Course is April 29th at Black Orchid Restaurant from 9:00am – 4:30 pm. So far Victoria House Resort, The Phoenix Resort, Elvi’s Kitchen, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch and Caribbean Villas Hotel are all sending staff. If you would like more information or to sign up staff from your business please contact or San Pedro Branch Coordinators Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shirlee at email@example.com.
A Shady Place…The Guatemala/Belize Border: Drinking Beers at Champon
I’d been there before. A place called Champon, a sort of no man’s land after you cross the border from Belize and before the border entry of Guatemala. Shady? Very. Interesting? Always. The reason to visit this place? Here it is…
Driving out of San Ignacio town at dusk along the river towards the Guatemalan border is beyond beautiful. Entrances to resorts, a few small villages, kids splashing in the wide green river, the hand ferry to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich and about 15 minutes later, you arrive in the last Belizean town. Benque Viejo.
Benque is a good sized town and as you head out, the jungled landscape has been totally cleared and is seriously illuminated with huge flood lights, chain link fence, giant warehouses, and a good amount of razor wire. Standard border I guess.
Passports and ID cards are needed for immigration. Park your car on the Belize side and proceed through.
This picture is horribly fuzzy but there is a new large duty free shop for non-Belizeans. No time for that. It was almost 7pm and the border closes at 9pm. I DEFINITELY do not want to spend the night in Champon.
There are three bars clinging to the side of the hill as you pass through. These are not nice places…dim lighting, concrete floors, plastic lawn furniture, a bathroom that I deemed unusable (and I have a high toilet tolerance) and well…the reason people make this journey…non-Belizean beer. Coronas, Budweisers, Sol, lots of Guatemalan stuff, even contraband Pepsis. The excitement! The danger!
And oh so cheap…
People’s United Party's Statement Against Guatemala's Unfounded Claim
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) of Belize today issued a statement saying that its national executive at a meeting rejected Guatemala’s use of a map on that country’s passport which shows Belize as a part of its territory.
The official statement says that a future PUP government will deny entry to Belize for any person bearing a Guatemala passport with a map showing Belize as a part of Guatemala. “The Party also urges the present UDP Government to do the same”.
But the People’s United Party goes further saying that if Guatemala insists on using a map on its passport showing Belize as a part of its territory “then Belize should boycott the meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) to be held in Guatemala later this year.” And lastly, the PUP says Belize should start looking to friendly nations, especially those in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to stand in solidarity with Belize against this latest affront to our national sovereignty by Guatemala.
VIDEO: Polar Pro Filters, GoPro Hero, Scuba Divng Belize
Polar Pro Filters and GoPro Hero scuba diving The Belize Barrier Reef from Trip Advisor's #1 island vacation destination in the world, Ambergris Caye.
“It’s Getting Better” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
My time on the veranda yesterday morning was very pleasant. The good, strong breeze made it very enjoyable
I spent a fair bit longer reading The Times than I usually do. Lots of coverage about Margaret Thatcher who sadly passed away on Monday.
She had her ‘lovers’ and her ‘haters’ and I am decidedly one of the former. Through her policies I and many of my ex-colleagues enjoyed some of our most enjoyable times working in the UK press industry.
Rose and I spent the greater part of the morning ploughing on with our searches on the Internet to make selections for the fixtures and fittings for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It has been a laborious task but we are getting there. We now only have the light fittings to choose but we have narrowed this down and just need the advice of Daniel Camal, our building contractor, to make the final choices.
With the list drawn up – model number and price- and screen grabs for every item I took time out to reacquaint myself with The Litigators by John Grisham that I had started reading last week. For those of you who are fans of his but have not read this book yet it is up to his normal standards.
EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant.
In previous articles I pointed out that presently many of our people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, to survive ever-increasing hard times. However, as pitiful and miserable as our current violent situations may be, positive change for the better is always within our control. We will improve on any out-of-hand or dangerous situations in which we live today once we choose to cease living in pathetic, but comfortable, conditions of “learned helplessness”. (See belizeguidance.blogspot.com for definition.) It is sad that many of us choose to live under such negative conditions, and prefer to firmly insist that everything is beyond our control, and that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. However, in direct contrast, I encourage you to look closely at teachers and educators to see how they deal with the problem of learned helplessness. On a daily basis they give students (our children) the “boost” which they very often desperately need in order to bounce back from total burnout situations where/when everything may be going wrong for them, either academically, morally, or otherwise.
Educators (teachers, principals and administrators, school counselors, assistants and anyone who works within a school system) are often misunderstood by students, parents, and by the community. Actually, some educators themselves often misunderstand their own purpose or disregard the reason why they chose to work in Education as a profession. There is no doubt that, despite any lofty ideals they may have, all educators need to earn a living just like everyone else. So, yes, educators work everyday for a salary. However, above and beyond earning a living, educators’ ultimate goal is to prepare young people to live productively in our society. To fulfill this goal, educators willingly take on tremendous social responsibilities which, sad to say, too often are misunderstood and not at all appreciated by many in our society, beginning with the very students whom educators try to help everyday. Consequently some educators, after repeatedly being misunderstood, become disheartened enough to work in the field of Education each day merely to earn a living, nothing else.
Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cokunut Lemon Muffins
These muffins loded with cokunut and lemony goodness is jes t'rite thang t'celebrate sprin'! It is sprin' altho it shure doesn’t look er feel like it here! Fer a more decadent muffin drizzle with lemon glaze wile muffins air still warm.
1/4 cup buttr, softened
2/3 cup sugar
Zest uf 2 medium sized lemons, finelee grated
1 1/2 cups sour creem
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cokunut, flaked
1 tablespoon bakin' powdr
1/2 teespoon salt
1/2 cup xtrey cokunut fer toppin'
Wikileaks Releases 1,200 new cables on Belize
... and 1.7 new Million cables total.
This is in addition to the ones previously released.
Belize's Homophobic Laws Go Against Treaty Obligations
In mid-March 2013, the UN Human Rights Committee issued its concluding observations on Belize. The Committee, which is charged with reviewing states’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), issued its concluding observations on Belize. Belize acceded to the binding human rights treaty in 1996. Two years earlier, the Committee had ruled that discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation violated the treaty’s anti-discrimination provisions.
It was therefore no surprise when the Committee concluded that Belize’s patent discrimination against gays (as found in the country’s anti-sodomy law, as well as the Immigration Act, which bans the entry of homosexuals) is irreconcilable with the country’s treaty obligations. AIDS-Free World is supporting a domestic challenge to the anti-sodomy law, and has also launched a case before the highest regional court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, seeking a repeal of the homophobic provisions in the Immigration Act.
The Committee’s observation on these cases and Belize’s treatment of homosexuals is found below:
New World reports intital shows at Gallon Jug
Oil and gas explorer New World Oil and Gas revealed encouraging initial drilling at its first well at the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect in Belize.
The junior oil outfit said it has recorded a number of hydrocarbon shows and that drilling operations had so far been in line with its geologic expectations, while also pointing to news of an oil discovery at a neighbouring project.
New World acknowledged that, having reached 7,700 metres of the estimated total depth of 8,800 metres at the Rio Bravo no.1 well, the ‘commerciality’ of the initial hydrocarbon shows would only be determined once the well was drilled to total depth and testing results interpreted.
Confirming that drilling operations at the well had so far been in line with the company’s geologic expectations, the company added that ongoing operations were continuing ‘without incident, on schedule and under budget’.
New World dips on Belize drilling update
Shares in New World Oil & Gas (NEW) dropped more than 6% on Wednesday after it announced updates on the drilling of its Rio Bravo #1 Well on the West Gallon Jug Crest (WGJC) prospect in Belize.
The well was drilling at approximately 7,700 feet while the company estimated the total depth of the drill would be 8,800 feet.
While a number of hydrocarbon shows had been recorded, New World said the commerciality of these shows could only be determined once the well was drilled to its total depth.
The firm stressed ongoing operations were on schedule and under budget, while drilling operations at WGJC were in line with the company's geologic expectations.
The prospect showed proved probable (P50) unrisked prospective resources of 113 million barrels of oil with a P50 net present value of $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) on a 100% working interest basis.
"Drilling at our WGJC prospect is progressing well with approximately 1,000 feet remaining until we reach total depth," commented chief executive officer William Kelleher.
New World says Rio Bravo #1 well drilling at 7,700ft
New World Oil & Gas Plc said its Rio Bravo #1 Well, on the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect in Belize, was drilling at about 7,700 feet but commerciality had yet to be determined.
"Whilst a number of hydrocarbon shows have been recorded, the commerciality of these shows can only be determined once the well is drilled to total depth, open hole logs are run and interpreted, and well testing results are available," the company said.
The well has a target depth of about 8,800 feet. On-going operations are continuing to proceed without incident, are on schedule and under budget.
As reported in the Company's Re-Admission Document dated 3 July 2012, the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect shows P50 un-risked prospective resources of 113 million barrels of oil ('MMbo'), with a P50 Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.6 billion on a 100% working interest basis.
Air pollution can stunt coral reef growth
Coral reefs are at risk from global warming, but regional aerosol emissions may also be a significant factor in how corals grow, according to a new study by scientists with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
The research linked airborne particles caused by volcanic activity and air pollution to episodes of slow coral-reef growth. The findings came as part of an effort to to better predict the effects of climate change and human disturbance on reefs.
The data came from several coral cores drilled in reefs near the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal formed by the coral species Siderastrea siderea between 1880 and 1989, whereas samples from the Turneffe atoll in Belize showed growth fluctuations in the coral species Montastrea faveolata from 1905 to 1998.
Research holds revelations about an ancient society's water conservation, purification
University of Cincinnati research at the ancient Maya site of Medicinal Trail in northwestern Belize is revealing how populations in more remote areas -- the hinterland societies -- built reservoirs to conserve water and turned to nature to purify their water supply. Jeffrey Brewer, a doctoral student in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Geography, will present his findings on April 11, at the Association of American Geographers' annual meeting in Los Angeles. Brewer's research, titled "Hinterland Hydrology: Mapping the Medicinal Trail Community, Northwest Belize," continues a UC exploration of the ancient Maya civilization that has spanned decades. The site for Brewer's research, which was primarily occupied during the Classic Period (AD 250-900), functioned as a rural architectural community on the periphery of the major ancient Maya site of La Milpa.
Brewer says this smaller, remote settlement lacks the monumental architecture and population density typically associated with the major Maya sites, but shows similar, smaller-scale slopes, artificial terraces and water reservoirs that would have been utilized for farming and water management.
Belize firms to benefit from Caribbean Exports
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) will be delivering a workshop on its direct assistance grant scheme on Wednesday in Belize. The workshop forms part of a wider mission of the agency to Belize as it under takes the execution of the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
The direct assistance grant scheme workshop is brought to Belize in partnership with Beltraide and will be attended by Belizean firms and business support organisations (BSOs). The workshop will increase the schemes awareness with the Belizean private sector and those attending the information and training sessions will gain a greater understanding of the process for applying for grant funding.
Ultimately, the workshop’s aim is to not only increase the number of applicants from Belize but also the number of successful applications of the direct assistance grant scheme. In addition through delivering the training to BSOs it is anticipated that their capacity is increased to support and provide assistance to local firms when preparing applications for upcoming call for proposals.