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Today's Belize News: April 13, 2013 #462316
04/13/13 06:12 AM
04/13/13 06:12 AM
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

National News: Development discovered at Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone
On Saturday April 6th, a group of Belizeans, led by members of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), visited two areas along the Belize-Guatemala borderline. To the surprise of the Belizean public, the BTV found that development, both infrastructural and agricultural, are taking place along the borderline. It comes as a surprise because in accordance to a December 2008 compromise, signed between both countries and observed by the Organization of American States (OAS), no development should be allowed within one mile of the borderline, now referred to in the compromise as the Adjacency Zone. The group of about 70 Belizeans travelled west from Punta Gorda Town and hiked the thick and dense jungle along two areas from the villages of Otoxha and Dolores in the Toledo District. After a few hours of hiking, the group was met by representatives of the OAS who went to the general area to observe the BTV members on their mission to clear the borderline. But there was no real clearing to be done, since upon arrival on the borderline, it was observed that the area was cleared, giving way for road infrastructure and agricultural activities. While the development being done by the Guatemalans is directly along the borderline and definitely within the established Adjacency Zone, it is suspected that part of the agricultural activities falls within Belizean territory.

Eugene Anthony Lockwood shot to death in San Pedro
On April 11, 2013 at about 8:10PM, acting on information received, Police visited Glitter Street in the Bayside Area of San Pedro Town, where they saw the body of a male with dreadlocks lying bleeding from his stomach area from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Initial investigation revealed that Eugene Anthony Lockwood, also known as “Ras Cobra”, 39 years of age, Belizean Woodcarver of San Pedrito Area was socializing at the corner of Glitter and Swan Street with three other male persons when a single gunman unknown to them came and fired about 5- 10 gunshots which hit Eugene Lockwood on his left lower abdomen, and Derrick Samuels was hit to his left lower back. The gunman then made good his escape.

Poly Clinic receives final donation from the “Poly Dolly” Project
On Thursday April 11th a final donation was made to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II on behalf of the “Poly Dolly Project”. The Poly Dolly Project was presented at the Ladies Holiday Charity Luncheon that was hosted at Casa Picasso on December 4, 2012 and organized by Ti Southwell, Tina Hayden, Amy Knox, Tammy Peterson and Jackie Feldman. The “Poly Dolly Project” was made possible by Amy Oldham, Cara Thomas and Ti Southwell, who dedicated many, many hours of their time to create multi-colored and multi-ethnic cloth dolls, called the Poly Dollies. Filled with the classic ingredients in Belize’s national dish, rice and beans, these dolls were sold throughout the luncheon to the excited ladies who couldn’t help but fall in love with the cute characters. At the end of the fun event a grand total of $7,702 BZD was raised and with that money, a variety of equipment was purchased to be donated to the clinic.

No arrests in shooting death of Eugene “Ras Cobra” Lockwood
One man is dead and another was wounded in a shooting that occurred on Thursday, March 11th. The victims are 39-year-old Eugene Anthony Lockwood (deceased) and 19-year-old Derrick Samuels who was treated for a minor injury and released. The incident occurred at the corner of Swan and Glitter street in the Back-a-Town Area of San Pedro Town in the Eliot Subdivision. San Pedro Police have confirmed that they are looking for someone known to them. According to residents in the area several gunshots were heard shortly before 8PM. A witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said he observed when a boat with four males, three of dark complexion and a clear-skinned Hispanic person, approaching the general area, and saw one of them doing the shooting. “I saw the Spanish (Hispanic) and a dread one get off while the other two stayed on the boat. Shortly after that, I saw the dread one and the Spanish guy walking under where I stay. I saw the dread speaking to the Spanish guy; they were disguised so I already knew something was going to happen. One had a mask and the other had a fitted cap on. I saw the dread stay a distance behind while the Spanish guy ran and shortly after, I heard four gun shots. The dread guy ran leaving the Spanish person behind, and he jumped into the boat and it took off. The Spanish, when he came [back] to the lagoon, the boat had already left and he jumped into the lagoon and began swimming,” said the witness. The witness also told The San Pedro Sun that a few moments later; the boat came back and picked up the Hispanic person from out of the water.

Teenager in a critical condition after stabbing incident
A teenager is in a serious condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was stabbed in the early hours of Friday April 12th in San Pedro Town. He is 17-year-old Jason Chan, a construction worker and resident of Ambergris Caye. The stabbing incident occurred shortly before 1:30AM on Barrier Reef Drive. According to San Pedro Police, acting upon information received, they visited the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where they observed Chan bleeding from what appeared to be two stab wounds to the right upper chest. Police say that Chan was in front of an establishment at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street (corner of the Lions Den) when he and his friend Valerio Zetina got into an altercation with Alfredo Cowo and his brother. According to police, it is believed that during the altercation, Cowo and his brother inflicted the said injuries on Chan. Chan later ran westwards on Pelican Street but later collapsed on Pescador Drive.

Ambergris Today

Flying Copilot in Belize on Board Tropic Air
It is the best seat in the house! You can see the excitement on the faces of those tourists who are given the opportunity to fly on the copilot seat during their flights anywhere in Belize. It is not an opportunity you can get anywhere else in the world, but when the seat is available anyone can surely hop onto the copilot seat and enjoy one of the most magnificent flights of his life. Thank you Tropic Air! Why is it so magnificent? It’s Belize!!!! Whether you are island hopping or heading inland, the aerial views in Belize are always magnificent. And because most of the flights in and around Belize are along the coastline or above water, views of the beautiful, aquamarine, crystal clear Caribbean Sea, mangrove ecosystems, fringe islands and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are some of the most spectacular views you will ever see.

Progress at the San Pedro Sunset Board Walk & Water Taxi Terminal Project
The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal Project is well underway, the official ground breaking took place on June 21, 2012. The construction’s value is referenced at BZ$5.69 million and the construction timeframe is anticipated at 16 months. The San Pedro Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal project includes three main components: (i)The Fisherman’s Promenade and Sunset Boardwalk (ii)The Rehabilitation of the Old Football Field and (iii)The Water Taxi Terminal and Platform.

Murder in the “Back-a-Town” Area of San Pedro
On Thursday, April 11, 2013, at about 8:10 p.m., acting on information received San Pedro Police visited Glitter Street in west side of the island near the Airstrip Area, San Pedro Town where they saw the lifeless body of a male. The male person with dreadlocks was lying on the ground bleeding from the stomach area from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Initial investigation revealed that Eugene Anthony Lockwood Also known as “Ras Cobra”, 39 year-old, Belizean Woodcarver of San Pedrito Area was socializing at the corner of Glitter and Swan Street with three other male persons when a single gunman unknown to them came and fired about 5- 10 gunshots which hit Eugene Lockwood on his left lower abdomen. A second person known as Derrick Samuels was also hit on his left lower back. The gunman then fled the area. Police investigation continues.

Back to School
By Ryan Ancona It’s back to school and most likely a lot of people feel restless and tired because of staying up late and hanging with friends and family during the Easter vacation. So here are some tips to get back on track and be motivated for another good term of schoolwork. 1. Set a sleeping schedule – set a time in the night that you go to sleep and a time in the morning that you wake up if you don’t already have one. Try to keep this schedule and also try not to wake up and go back to sleep for “5” more minutes when it’s time to wake up because that will actually get you more tired than before.

Belize Fashion Week Commences in San Pedro
Belize Fashion Week kicked of last night, Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Holiday Hotel’s Caprice Restaurant with an opening ceremony and cocktail social. The event allowed all the participants, such as the designers, models, invited guests and government officials the opportunity to meet in person. It was a fun-filled evening with lots energy and excitement that the fashion event will bring to San Pedro and Belize with local, regional and international models and designers. Fashion week continues through Sunday, April 14 with seminars, an expo and two nights of fashion runway shows at Fido’s courtyard from 8a.m. to 10p.m.

Misc Belizean Sources

Lionel "Chocolate" Heredia passes away
"Chocolate" Heredia, father of the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve, passed away this morning. Boy will he be missed. What a wonderful man, who fought for the creatures of this earth. Here's a lil about his life from the San Pedro Sun in July, 2007.... Born on the tiny island of San Pedro, Chocolate grew up enjoying his life by the Caribbean Sea. His nickname was earned when he displayed his negotiation skills by trading his mother's sweet bread, which he was assigned to sell, with chocolate candies. Although Chocolate did not receive a formal education, his adventures and life experiences have earned him whatever he's missed during school lectures. From a young age, he has loved nature and the environment; this love spurred his first actions as a conservationist. His first "save the environment" actions were when he kept a vigilant eye over the turtle hatchlings, keeping predatory birds away by hurling small coconuts at them.

Punta Gorda school hosts medical readiness training exercise
U.S. and Canadian medical professionals provided health care services for approximately 1,800 local residents during a medical readiness training exercise at the Punta Gorda Methodist School April 9 and 10. The medical exercises are part of a larger on-going exercise known as New Horizons and are designed to provide humanitarian assistance and medical care to people in multiple Belizean communities, while helping improve the skills of U.S. military medical forces. “We bring a team of doctors, nurses and technicians down and provide the care that was pre-coordinated by the Belize Ministry of Health and Air Force Southern Command based on the needs of the local villages,” said John Henry, team chief for the first medical exercise. The medical treatment provided consisted of general medicine, optometry, pediatrics, dermatology, dental, women’s health care, and pharmacist who filled almost 2,500 prescriptions on site. The team also provided close to 400 pairs of prescription glasses and extracted approximately 200 teeth.

Farcical Belize-Guatemala Referenda
The date for the referenda to be held simultaneously in Belize and Guatemala is October 6, 2013, as agreed to in the compromise signed in December 2008 at the Organisation of American States. It should be noted that Guatemala is attempting to get the government of Belize to change the threshold for elections from the 60 per cent enacted for referendums before the February 7 elections in Belize, unlike the change which Guatemala asserts happened after the signing of the compromise. I am glad to see that what is happening with Belize and Guatemala is being observed for what it is: a farce of a process neither the people of Belize nor Guatemala have been consulted on.

Fox News Features on Chaa Creek a Boon for Belize
Fox News’ recent pick of The Lodge at Chaa Creek as a one of the world’s most outstanding jungle and rainforest retreats marks the third time the Belize eco resort has been featured by the US news agency this year, and is further proof that the tiny Caribbean country is coming into its own as a premier travel destination, marketing administrator Larry Waight said today. “This is obviously great news for Chaa Creek, but more importantly, it’s a real boost to the entire Belizean tourism industry, as it highlights our growing acceptance as a world class travel destination,” Mr Waight said. “For years Belize has been struggling to gain recognition in a very competitive industry, where the more established players with larger marketing budgets and name recognition have traditionally dominated. For example, everyone knows where places like Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico and Costa Rica are, but until recently, most people would be hard pressed to tell you where Belize was, even though we have the second largest barrier reef and the largest atolls in the world, a plethora of Maya temples and archaeology sites, huge pristine rainforests and the Caribbean’s most culturally diverse population.

VIDEO: El Secreto - Belize
El Secreto is a unique barefoot luxury resort surrounded by tropical beauty and bathed by turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. El Secreto offers 13 exclusive individual villas with a smart combination of contemporary and traditional elements. The state of the art led lighting system paints with soft light the thatch, creating a warm romantic atmosphere.

VIDEO: Staghorn coral
From the back reef lagoon of 2nd Cut, Belize Barrier Reef.

Reef Beat - A Fish Tale
Once upon a time, Belizeans believed the sea could never run out of fish. But unless action is taken quickly there will not be a happy ending to this story. Produced by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative.

VIDEO: Scuba Diving Compilation from Honduras & Belize
I went backpacking and scuba diving through Central America and made extended stops in Utila, Honduras and Caye Caulker, Belize. This video is a compilation of some of my diving trips. Filmed on a GoPro Hero 2 with the dive housing. It could have used the red filter, but it still came out pretty good.

Pro World Belize Medical Clinics
Pro World Belize had a student group in that provided medical clinics around Cayo. They were able to screen more than 300 people. Thanks, Pro World Belize! "We were happy to have 10 students and 3 faculty members from the Delaware Technical Community College volunteer with us in Cayo, Belize for one week. Most of the students, who studied nursing or emergency medicine, assisted at three community medical clinics in nearby villages. They helped to screen more than 300 people and performed basic health screenings, which include blood pressure checks, blood sugar screenings, and basic health measurements. They also had a chance to enjoy Cayo's Easter Festival which happened the same week!" Comment Share

Tapir Town Pictures
Just over 2 weeks away from World Tapir Day, and April the tapir's birthday, which will be on March 27th. Tapir Town, the Belize Zoo's latest special attraction, is open. Roni Martinez went there to take some pictures of the attraction.

Channel 7

Security Forces Make Record Marijuana Destruction
24 BDF Soldiers and Police Officers destroyed a record quantity of marijuana plants this week – and it only took them two days! A release from the BDF says that over 61 thousand plants, along with 220 pounds of compressed marijuana and 10 pounds of marijuana seeds were destroyed. To put it in perspective, those 61 thousand plants destroyed in just 48 hours are two times the 30 thousand destroyed all of last year, and 50% more than the 41 thousand destroyed in 2011. The operation was concentrated on the southwestern Orange Walk District and the Cayo district. According to the BDF, the marijuana in various forms has a combined street value of 12.5 million Belize dollars. It is of significant note that they did it with significant air support from the US Southern Command. The release reports that Joint Task Force Bravo provided support – and in the video the BDF provided we see the presence of US soldiers in Chinook helicopters. The BDF says the success of the operation is also attributable to improved information sharing and enhanced intelligence gathering.

City-Style Island Killing
Last night there was a murder in San Pedro town. A 39 year old Woodcarver was fatally injured when a gunman opened fire on a group of men. Eugene Lockwood was the only one caught and he died on the spot. It’s an unusual and disturbing crime for the island town - and today 7news went to San Pedro looking for answers. Daniel Ortiz reporting 39 year-old Eugene "Ras Cobra" Lockwood, a well-known artisan residing on San Pedro, was gunned down last night. Sometime before 8, he was socializing with 3 other men in the San Pedrito Area at the corner of Glitter and Swan Streets, when a lone gunman ambushed them and fired a barrage of gunshots at the group and ran off. Lockwood was fatally injured in the lower abdomen area, and died on the spot, while his associate, Derrick Samuels, was injured in the lower back area. At this moment, no one understands what led to the assailant to execute Lockwood in such a cold and calculated manner; and no one is more confused than his friends who were with him earlier. Marlon Usher - Friend of Deceased "We saw him around, up to about an hour before he lost his life. I was surprised, I couldn't believe it - how a man can be right here and within the next minute he's just gone. It's just surprising to me. I mean he was a healthy man, hardworking brother. What touched me was the way he just laid there for all those hours. How comes the police couldn't just get there and deal with that they had to deal with and take him to the hospital or try and get him to Belize City."

Woman Says Cemetery Bones Are Her Son’s
Last night, 7News told you about the controversy over the grave in the Lord Ridge Cemetery which the Belize City Council had to break open so that they could exhume a body which they buried in the wrong plot. We also showed you a photograph taken by our colleague from Love News which depicts human remains inside a garbage bag which was reportedly left out in the sun. But as you saw last night, CitCo’s PR Officer, Kenny Morgan, is disputing that the photo depicted human remains, and he refused to accept that it is even in the realm of possibility. Well, the mother of the deceased whose grave had to be disturbed strongly believes that those remains were her son’s. She told 7News today that City Hall has been dodging the question. Sharon Middleton - Family Member’s Grave Disturbed By CitCo. "I went to watch the Holy Cross country race Saturday morning, coming back I decided to stop at the burial ground to visit my son's grave. When I went to my son's grave, I saw that it was broken and it was tampered with and someone else was in it. I went to the Belize City Council, they told me that they made an error. They just told me they made an error, they put the person in the wrong grave. That person should have been buried besides my son. Wednesday night they took me to the burial ground. I went up the burial ground to have them remove the body from there Wednesday night. Watching the news Thursday evening, I saw that they had a bag of human remains and I want to know if that is my son's remains that is going around in the cemetery there."

Mayan Leaders Issue Scathing Condemnation Of Rosewood Amnesty
Reports say that on Monday the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla will address the media on Government’s 19 day Rosewood Amnesty and the profit sharing scheme with exporters. But before she speaks, COLA, the PUP and now the Mayan Leaders Alliance have all had their say. The Mayan Leaders issued its statement this morning – and it is the most scathing so far. It says that the Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association are quote, “deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by the government’s decision to allow persons who illegally harvested rosewood in Toledo to now export the wood and share the illicit profit from these sales with the government.” It adds that by doing this, the government of Belize “is saying that it will allow so-called loggers to violate the laws and regulations, steal from legally recognized Maya lands and be rewarded and even embraced as business partners by our elected officials.” The release closes by saying that the Leaders Alliance and the Alcaldes are quote, “determining their further response to government’s unlawful and highly unethical conduct.”

Eight Year Old Loses Kidney On School Trip
Eight year old Malique Young is a student at Wesley primary school but he’s not gone returned to school after the Easter holidays – and that’s because he’s sick. But not in the way you might expect. Malique doesn’t have the flu or bad belly; he’s ruptured his kidney and had to remove it. It happened almost a month ago on March 15th - after he fell from a set of bleachers when he went on a class trip at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. His mother says he was unsupervised at the time – and was sent walking home. Today, asking to appear off camera, she told us that she saw him coming down the street in visible pain. Voice of Denique Arnold – Malique Young’s Mother "The afternoon I was at home and he was crying, pulling his bag through the street. I just asked him what the problem was and he said he was not feeling well. assumed he just had the stomach flu, so at 2:00 p. m. I got a call that he was in pain and he was urinating blood and blood clots,. We went to do the ultrasound. After the ultrasound it was requested that we do a CT Scan. After doing both of them, it was shown in the results that the Kidney was split in two so he had to go into an emergency surgery that same night. One of the kidneys had to be removed."

Finally, Hope For Highway to Hopkins
The seaside village of Hopkins is one of the top tourist destinations in Belize but the gravel road to coastal getaway is 4.5 miles of rough riding all the way. It’s been paved before but that was a bloated contract special and only a few chips of that pavement remain. But, now with over five million dollars in EU grant funding, Hopkins road should finally be getting a proper pavement. A launching ceremony to mark the start of work was held today – and Minister of State Santino Castillo underscored the importance of a good roadway to tourism and trade. Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr. – Minister of State, PM’s Office "There are approximately 90 tourism based businesses in Hopkins ranging from All-Inclusive hotel and villa properties to beach cabanas, small bars, restaurants, gift shops and rental services. Hopkins toursim, therefore, is incalculable. No tourism plan, however, can be effective if it doesn't have the necessary infrastructure to support it. The government is conscious of this fact and therefore today I am pleased to join the Minister of Works and Transport and his staff to formally launch the rehabilitation of 4.5 miles of the Hopkins Village Road project valued at $5.6m to be implemented over the span of one year. Today we have both Ravel and Rodeo with us and I will challenge them to finish it before the 12 months. This road project will not only contribute tremendously to the further development of toursim in this area but also to the development of Hopkins Village since transportation and access to the village will be easier, thus creating greater business opportunities for all of you."

Precinct Policing In Practice
5 weeks ago, we reported on the Police Department’s decision to adopt the precinct system as its new strategy to combat crime in Belize City. The emphasis in on the efficient use of resources by sectioning off the city into 4 zones. From there, they hope to respond more readily, and also to rebuild a relationship with the public. Well, that second aim is a daunting one because the department has been plagued by a minority of rogue officers who have damaged their public image, making the public very distrustful. Well today, we got a chance to see first-hand the intervention of Police Precinct #1 around Amara Avenue, which is one of the toughest areas to police because of the intersection of gang territories. Here’s what the Precinct Commander told us about the surprisingly favourable response from residents. Superintendent Alden Dawson - Commander, Police Precinct "Since coming over here the 27th of February, our objective was to reach out to the community in every form that we possibly could have. We started actually with the recruitment of the Cadet and we started on the first week of March. We had 16 cadets and these cadets are from the various areas and different kids of different behaviour -some are problem child and some are good children, it varies. After that recruitment we had 16 and to date we have 67 since first of March to now we have over 128-130 persons that are interested to come and work for the police in the neighborhood watch setting. Now we presently having the coordinator Mr. Pitts who is organizing that, like I've said we always welcome people to join in this kind of effort. It will make - it's our neighborhood, it's our community, they coming forward actually is helping the crime situation."

A Lion Of The Conservation Movement Passes
Tonight we note the passing of a giant in Belize’s conservation community. Leonel Heredia, known as “Chocolate” died this afternoon at 1:00 pm at his home in Caye Caulker. He had been troubled by an aneurysm for the past two weeks and that’s what took his life this afternoon. “Don Choc” as we affectionately called him, was 83. In his young days, he was a fisherman and later on became a founding member of the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association with his boat, “The Soledad.” But he was best known for his deep affinity for manatees and in 2002, he got the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary legally established. When it was established, the then 73 year old told us that he hoped to bequeath a legacy to coming generations yet unborn:…

Stabbing Follows San Pedro Shooting
At the top of the newscast we told you about a murder in San Pedro, but there was also a stabbing in the island early this morning and it has left a teenager is in a serious condition at the KHMH. According to the San Pedro Sun, 17-year-old Jason Chan was stabbed around 1:30AM on Barrier Reef Drive. San Pedro Police say Chan was stabbed twice to the chest. Chan and a friend were at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street when they got into a fight with Alfredo Cowo and his brother. Police are currently looking for the Cowo brothers.

Kidney Health Means Knowing Your Numbers
Today, the Kidney Association held its 3rd Annual Health fair in the parking lot of the KHMH, as part of the campaign to raise awareness about kidney health. Because kidney health is closely linked to the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the association hosted different tests to help members of the public to “know their numbers” in relation to their blood pressure and blood-sugar levels. Our Daniel Ortiz stopped in at the fair to find out more about the importance of the campaign, as well as to find out about his own numbers. Here’s what the Association’s PR Officer discussed with him on this topic. Therese Diego-Blease - PR Officer, Kidney Association of Belize "This year we've had partners such as Ministry of Health and PAHO who are working with us, they have joined forces with us and brought in their medical expertise as well to encompass health on a wide basis." Daniel Ortiz "So what has been the response?" Therese Diego-Blease "We've had very good turn out, so far we've had about 200 indivduals since morning that have been tested and we're expecting another crowd for this afternoon."

Training For Cancer In Children
Yesterday the Belize Cancer Society held a one-day training and sensitization session inside the ITVET conference room in Belize City. The session was focused on children living with cancer and their families. A number of primary school teachers and principals involved in the care of these children were also invited to attend. The session provided information on cancer and deepened the level of awareness for the caregivers. Ivorine Bulwer - Clinical Director, Belize Cancer Society "Today we're having a sensitization session for our children with cancer and their families. We are creating this level for awareness because as you know cancer affect children. We have quite a number of our children in schools that are affected with cancer. So today we have brought the teachers and the principals of those respective children and HFLA Officers countrywide. We have a doctor, pediatrician on board, a social worker as the psychiatric nurse practitioner, the nutritionist. We also have the president of the Belize Cancer Society and myself - we are all facilitators for this one day session. We are persons who are all involved in the care of the children living with cancer. So we are here to provide that information, create the level of awareness, identify the needs of these children and bringing all the stakeholders together to better serve our children who are affected with cancer. Not only to serve the children but the families are also affected."

Wallace Matura’s Alleged Killer Remanded
22 year-old Dean Dawson Jr., a resident of Armadillo Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for murder. As we reported, 48 year-old Wallace Donald Matura was shot on February 15 in front of VIP Wireless, and succumbed a month and a half later. Matura was trying to keep the peace when he intervened to stop an older male from harassing a young female child that he knew. The man later returned in the company of another male and they fired indiscriminately - seriously injuring Matura and grazing two passers-by. He suffered eight gunshot injuries to left leg and in both arms, and succumbed after a five week battle.

Busted With A Bucket Of Belizean Breeze
At the top of the news we told you about the massive marijuana plant destruction that the security forces pulled off in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts. Well, Orange Walk Police made a more modest bust two days ago. It happened in an Orange Walk Town restaurant where they searched four fishermen from Sarteneja Village and found a bucket stuffed with more than five pounds of marijuana. 20 year old Christian Flores, 24 year old Amaro Flores, 50 year old Salvador Flores and 26 year old Pedro Quirora all pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking in Orange Walk Magistrate’s court yesterday. They were remanded into custody until Monday April 15th.

Finnegan the Cricket Man
Michael Finnegan is not the minister of sports, but he is an avid sports fan, and today the Mesopotamia Area Representative handed over a much needed donation to a Belize Rural cricket team. Members of the Sandhill Bright Star Cricket team all received brand-new uniforms – imported from the USA. Today Finnegan told us why he made the donation. Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "These are member of the Sandhill Cricket team. The name of the team is Sandhill Bright Star - you are the captain. Is that correct?. We are here today to receive some playing uniform that I am giving to them as a gift for their dedication to cricket in Sandhill and in Belize rural." Monica Bodden "Why did you decide to that for this team?" Hon. Michael Finnegan "Because I went to Bermudan Landing one saturday afternoon and I happened to stop in at the cricket pitch with no intention to stop there. I saw them playing against Bermudan Landing but to me there appearance was not hellified. So I called the captain and I asked him if he would be pleased if I would donate to him a set of jersey for the team and he said Yes. I ordered them through United States to a friend in El Paso, Texas and he had sent down to me to be delivered to the guys."

Melonie’s Epic New Vid
Not too long ago, locally produced music videos used to be a big deal: they were costly to produce and only a few people could do it. But nowadays, it seems anyone with a cell phone camera and a PC Laptop can get their video on. But even amidst all that rush of content songstress Melonie Gillett has remained above the fray of the everyday music video. She’s earned a reputation for producing epic music videos with world class visuals, comparable to anything you’d see on VH1 or MTV. Two days ago she released her latest, called ““LO QUE SIENTO POR TI”. It’s her first Spanish recording and she did it with an accomplished reggaeton artist, Chami-Ka. They told us about the song and the video today. Melonie Gillette, Singer, Music Video Director "I called it my introduction into the Spanish - the Latin market and so we are now moving from Belize outside into Honduras. Actually the video is being played in Honduras on TeleCeiba as we speak and they are working on other television stations. We are getting - bookings interviews in Mexico, Chetumal initially and then we move out from there and of course El Salvador and every other Latin country we're going to try - mainly Central American countries we'll start with and move up from there."

Channel 5

Ras Cobra shot dead, shooter escapes in boat
There has not been a murder since April third when police constable Bertchel Ramirez was executed in Roaring Creek…but it got deadly in San Pedro on Thursday night.  The community today is reeling from the murder of Rastafarian woodcarver, Eugene Lockwood also known as Ras Cobra, who was shot to death by masked men who [...]

Islander stabbed on Barrier Reef Drive
There was another violent incident at La Isla Bonita on Thursday night in which a teenager was injured and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a serious condition.  Seventeen year old Jason Chan, a construction worker and resident of Ambergris Caye, was stabbed shortly before one-thirty this morning on Barrier Reef Drive. According [...]

Maya Leaders and Alcaldes deeply disturbed by Rosewood sale
Forest Minister Lisel Alamilla returned to the country on Thursday from her trip to Turkey, but up to news-time there has been no official word from her Ministry on the controversial sale of harvested rosewood. But there is plenty of word coming in from other areas as public outrage continues to grow since the two-week [...]

Maya Leaders will respond to GOB’s ‘unlawful’ conduct
The joint release from the MLA and the TAA also states that, “the decision by government ranks among the worst of the many recent improprieties and injustices surrounding the rosewood and larger logging industry, and they call government’s conduct intolerable.” But notwithstanding that, the Mayan leaders are still committing their assistance with the possible fallout [...]

Twelve and a half million dollars of drugs up in smoke
There is big news to report tonight in anti-narcotics efforts. Law enforcement officers can proudly brag about locating and destroying drugs worth twelve and a half million dollars. That’s the estimated street value of the marijuana which was uprooted and burned earlier this week. A unit of the Belize Police Department with the support of [...]

Finnegan, the Philanthropist, gives to cricket team
Basketball and soccer are the preeminent sports that can turn foes to friends for the length of a game and the celebration of a win. But there are other sports that don’t have national support. Cricket is celebrated in the Caribbean, but it doesn’t get the love afforded to basketball and soccer in Belize. Perhaps [...]

Dean Dawson Jr. charged for Matura murder
It made the headlines on February fifteenth, when Good Samaritan Wallace Donald Matura was shot multiple times in Belize City while trying to intervene when somebody was harassing a child. Against all odds, Matura survived the initial assault, but succumbed to complications arising from his injuries nearly six weeks, on March twenty-seventh. Police say that [...]

Father and son busted for weed
A midday raid at a tire shop on Central American Boulevard in Belize City on Thursday led to the arrest of a father and son on narcotics charges. Sixty-seven year old Generio Gallego was at the tire shop when Police searched and found two hundred and thirteen grams of marijuana hidden inside a tire. His [...]

Stealing from mixed martial arts school; really?
It would be a foolish thing to try to burglarize the police or the Belize Defense Force, but we know that forty two weapons were successfully stolen from the B.D.F. Headquarters at Price Barracks in 2011. Perhaps bold acts such as that inspired a theft in Belize City on Thursday night on Princess Margaret Drive. [...]

World Health Day celebrated at K.H.M.H.
The temperatures soared to one hundred and three degrees Fahrenheit today, but over at the parking lot of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, a health fair was in full swing. The event, the third to be held, provided the opportunity to disseminate information, screening and testing on a number of prevalent conditions from diabetes to [...]

Stormy weather, active hurricane season ahead
The 2013 hurricane season for the Atlantic will be a busy one…that’s the official predictions coming out from Doctor William Gray and his colleagues at the Colorado State University. They predict that there will be more activity than the median from 1981-2010 season. From eighteen named storms, nine are expected to become hurricanes of which [...]

Advice from MET office on the heat wave
Over the course of this week and particularly today, the heat has been unbearable. While at the Met, we took the opportunity to ask, meteorologist, Ronald Gordon, about the cause of the sweltering heat. Gordon says that it is normal during the dry season and gave some recommendations in adapting to the hot temperatures.   [...]

“See I rise” artist releases new music video
Since releasing the hit single ‘See I Rise’ in mid-2008 Belizean dancehall/reggae artist Mr. Program has remained below the radar.  During his extended leave of absence from the music scene he has been doing a lot of soul searching, looking deep within to find the true purpose of his vocation.  After numerous encounters with fans [...]

Chami-ka and Melonie Gillet’s new music video
Chami-ka, the Reggaeton artist from Las Flores, Belmopan has been producing excellent music for the past few years. In 2010 he collaborated with a Grammy nominated musician from Florida, Shadowyze. This time around, Chami-ka teamed up with local talent Melonie Gillett for their duet called “Lo Que Siento Por Ti.” The video’s location shoots included [...]

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Mexico Enforces Bus Laws; Belizean Buses Evicted From Parking Spaces
Belizean bus operators have been going through some changes when they go to Chetumal. Reporter Dalila Ical. DALILA ICAL Belizean buses have been parking at the Mercado Nuevo or new market for years; they have now been booted out. The Market Administrator, Marco Rene Gutie...

Shooting In San Pedro Leaves One Dead and Another Injured
A man was shot and killed last night in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Reporter Marion Ali is in San Pedro and filed this report. MARION ALI “The stained sand on an open lot on Glitter Street in San Pedro shows where two men were shot – one fatally and another les...


Toledo community leaders unhappy with amnesty program for Rosewood
On Monday of this week Plus TV broke the news that the confiscated rosewood flitches which were located at the Forestry compound in Belmopan, were being moved. That report triggered a press release from the Ministry who informed of a new amnesty period for Rosewood harvesters. Well today The...

Twelve and a half million dollars worth of marijuana goes up in flames
The Belize Defence Force has issued details on a major two-day anti-drug operation. Earlier this week, the Belize Police department with the support of the Belize Defence Force conducted an anti-drug operation in the Southwest Orange Walk District and Southwest Cayo District. In those operations, Police discovered over sixty-one...

Man murdered in Ambergris Caye
There was a murder on Ambergris Caye on Thursday night. Eugene Anthony Lockwood, 39, is a woodcarver originally from Sandhill, Belize District but at the time of his death was living in the San Pedrito area, of the island. Lockwood was shot dead when a lone gunman released a...

George Fraser concerned about students’ boat ride to school
Earlier this week, we brought you a story about boat transportation for students in Independence Village. Concern has been growing regarding a need for safer transportation for the students of the Independence High School. Now the problem isn’t necessarily that the students travel by water, but as you can...

Citco admits error at cemetery
The Belize City Council made a grave error – literally – this week. It buried someone in the wrong grave at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery due to bad information, and then had to exhume the body in a late night operation witnessed by various personnel including family. The matter...

Public advised to take extreme care when lighting fires
With the dry season upon us, there have been numerous reports of house fires since the start of April. Today, three more similar type fires have been reported. In light of these incidences, the Police Department is advising the public to take extreme care when lighting fires, especially in...

Man on rape charge released when victim fails to testify
23 Year-old Jesus Manuel Moroy, has been on remand for almost 2yrs now for a rape charge, but yesterday he was able to go home a free man. Moroy, was about to stand trial when the victim was called to testify for the prosecution, but she dropped a bombshell....

Vehicles impounded with smuggled goods
Customs and excise department has impounded a Freightliner Cargo Truck and a van belonging to a local Orange Walk business. According to reports, Customs received intelligence yesterday that both vehicles contained smuggled goods. Acting on that information, they followed the vehicles from Orange Walk to San Antonio Village, Corozal...

Day of healing in Belize City
Shockwaves were felt throughout the country in January when four men from the George Street area were ruthlessly murdered, in a case that remains unsolved. Residents of that community were initially shaken, but picked themselves up and started the healing process with a candlelight vigil and community day shortly...

Crime reduced in Belize City Precinct One
A little over a month ago the Police Department announced its plans to zone the city off into four precincts roughly covering the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast sections. Each precinct would be somewhat self-contained, with its own commanders, police stations and branches of the national Police Department from...

Foggy day in Belize City
Belize City woke up to a foggier Friday morning than usual even for the height of the dry season. At seven this morning the Old Capital was completely shrouded in fog, a gray smoky mess that made it difficult for commuters to see. We are not sure where it...

World Health Day celebrated with Health Fair at KHMH
World Health Day, the annual celebration of the foundation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, this year fell on a Sunday, April 7. Today the Ministry of Health, local branch of the WHO the Pan American Health Organization, and other health-related organizations marked the day with the...

New Horizon conducts free health clinic in PG
The Punta Gorda Methodist School was the venue for a broad-spectrum free health center. The clinic was provided by the US Military Mission – New Horizon, where a team of US and Canadian medical professionals conducted general services such as pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, women’s health and dentistry. The group...

Nicole C Mullen plans more visits to Belize
Many of you may know her the singer, song writer, choreographer, who recently extended her ministry to Belize. Some of you may be wondering who really is Nicole C. Mullen’s, the person. Well, we sat down with the world renowned Gospel superstar and found out who is behind that...

Toledo man accused of having sex with a 13 year old.
A Toledo man is tonight in Police Custody after he was accused of having sex with a 13 year old. The minor, told Police that around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, she was walking home after doing laundry at a creek in her village, when she was approached by the...


Ombudsman says he tasked prison CEO, Earl Jones, to do internal investigation, but Jones told us he has no such assignment! Jones asks Courtenay and Coye LLP to sue ex-workers on allegations of defamation against Kolbe and CEO John Woods Kolbe’s Chief Executive Officer, retired magistrate Earl Jones, has confirmed to Amandala that he has asked Courtenay Coye LLP, the firm representing the NGO which manages Belize Central Prison via contract, to file a law suit “as quickly as possible” against a group of ex-workers who produced a short documentary on Kolbe and the prison, which calls on the government to rescind the privatization effected 11 years ago, in 2002. Kolbe contends that the video’s contents are defamatory; however, the group responsible for its production and online publication insists that it will not retract, because it can prove each of the 25 points made in the release. They have gone further to present that documentary, along with a letter of complaint, to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu; and the group is, through the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), trying to get an audience with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, chairman of the National Security Council, as soon as possible. NTUCB president Dylan Reneau has previously told our newspaper that the effects of the prison’s privatization on the crime situation should be seriously analyzed. Reneau confirmed to our newspaper today that they are in the process of arranging a meeting with the Prime Minister. He said that they are also trying to get labor officials to be included in that meeting.

Next-door Peten included in target area. Guatemala’s military is acquiring six state-of-the-art, light attack planes from Brazil. Guatemalan officials have indicated that the planes would be used in anti-narcotics operations, as well as in efforts to combat deforestation caused by illegal logging and other unsustainable activities. The US$133 million purchase is being financed by the Bank of Brazil. The project dates back to 2008, under the regime of Álvaro Colom. Embraer Defense & Security, a division of Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, S. A., a Brazilian company which provides armed forces internationally with defense and security systems and aids, announced this week the signing of the contract to implement a surveillance and protection system for the Maya Biosphere Reserve, in Petén, Guatemala, next-door to western Belize. The reserve is said to be the largest tropical forest area in Central America, covering more than 20,000 square kilometers. The company said, “The project for ‘Constructing the Surveillance and Protection System of the Maya Biosphere’ provides for the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano airplanes; a command and control system; and three primary three-dimensional radars.”

The talk show hosts said that 8 lawyers’ opinions were that the comments were “not libelous” Minister of National Security and Belmopan area representative for the United Democratic Party, Hon. John Saldivar, has filed a lawsuit against Plus TV, after he accused Rise and Shine talk show co-host Patrick Jason Andrews of making libelous comments against him. The comments in question were made on a show that aired on January 10, 2013. Andrews was discussing the pre-election Christmas pro-poor distribution of goods with that day’s guest, Hon. Patrick Faber. During the discussion, Minister Faber asked Andrews what were his views on the way the money was distributed in Belmopan. While we were not able to ascertain the exact wording of Andrews’ response, the gist of his comment, we were told, is that the money, reportedly $50,000, was badly wasted. Co-host of Rise and Shine and co-owner of Plus TV, Louis Wade, Jr., told Amandala that while it was made clear that the comments Andrews made were only Andrews’ opinion and not based on facts, there were no comments made directly against Minister Saldivar.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said on Love FM this morning that the United Democratic Party (UDP) members on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would support having public sessions, but, he added, there is no way that the review of audit reports will begin in 2012, as the current committee chairman, Julius Espat, has proposed. Barrow suggested that the reports reviewing the performance of Government while under the administration of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) would not be “water under the bridge,” but the committee would have to probe into those reports as well. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Espat, Cayo South area rep for the PUP, said that the committee, which was constituted after the February 2012 general elections and which held its first meeting in October, only has a mandate to look at what is presented to them under their tenure. Espat had particularly proposed a review of the 2010-2011 report of the Auditor General, which, he said, is the only such report tabled during the tenure of the present Public Accounts Committee.

On Sunday, April 7, the Belize Cycling Association’s (BCA) Interim Committee sent out a revised Final Classification list of participants and finishers in the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic on Sunday, April 7. Most notable among the changes are the name of Mexican Carlos Lopez (Benny’s Megabytes), which had been missing from the previous list provided by the BCA, and has now been inserted into the 12th position on the revised list we received. Aside from a few other position changes, also missing from our previously published list were 3 others that completed the race OTL (outside the 30-minute time limit after the winner). We therefore offer below the revised Finishers list for this year’s Cross Country, as provided by the BCA. After reviewing the latest BCA revised list and conferring with official Melvin Torres, we are satisfied that of the 88 riders registered, 87 actually started the Cross Country on Holy Saturday, 41 finished within the time limit, and 5 finished OTL, for a total of 46 who completed the journey. 41 cyclists did not finish the race. Below is the revised list of finishers:

Amandala sports desk extends condolences to the relatives and friends of former boxer Randolph “Kid B” Bowers who passed away on Saturday, April 6. We were informed of his passing today by one of his sons, Lincoln. Born on November 12, 1930, Kid B’s boxing career coincided with the glory days of boxing in Belize during the late 1940’s and 1950’s. After spending some time in the USA, Kid B had returned home to settle down in Silk Grass Village in the Stann Creek District. Kid B is a distant relative of former welterweight champion Carlton Bowers of Belize City. Funeral services will be held tomorrow, Friday, at 2:00 p.m. at the Christian Advance Tabernacle Church in Silk Grass. R.I.P. Randolph “Kid B” Bowers.

Crises are not things you can really plan for, and crises are not things you can really control. This is why they are crises: they happen. There is presently a crisis in the Government of Belize, and it is because of greed. There is a demand for rosewood in the People’s Republic of China which has become almost obsessive. The price for Belizean rosewood became very high in China, and there are greedy Belizean elected officials and their cronies who decided, in the first instance, to break the law, and, in the second instance, to circumvent it. The money was there to be made, and they had to have it. For us, this is a situation quite similar to the passport scandals of the eighties and the nineties. There was a demand for Belizean passports, especially in China and Taiwan, and Belizean officials and their cronies could not resist the money, even though the people of Belize made it clear to government after government, UDP and PUP, that they considered the sale of Belizean passports to be an unacceptable insult to our national dignity. Because of the sale of passports by government after government, UDP and PUP, the people of Belize first became skeptical of our politicians’ integrity and honesty, and eventually we became contemptuous of our politicians, their cronies, and their attorneys. We saw that if it were left up to them, they would sell out Belize and Belizeans for whatever was the market price.

Kirk Nicholas is the son of one of Belize’s greatest musicians, saxophonist Bert Nicholas, the founder of the famous Harmonettes. Both of Kirk’s parents (Mr. Bert and his wife, Eva Lodge Nicholas) are dead, and Kirkie has been mentally challenged for some years now. Kirk moves in the Regent Street West area where we sell this newspaper on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So, we see him often. The television news reported on Wednesday night that Kirkie had been sentenced to two years in jail by a magistrate after he had been declared competent to stand trial by a psychiatrist. A society lady of substance had accused Kirk of assault. Please understand, we are not blaming the complainant. Mentally challenged people can be frightening. We’re not even blaming the psychiatrist. And, we’re not blaming Belize. We are a poor country, and poor countries have all kinds of problems dealing adequately with the mentally challenged. We just feel so sad, because Kirk Nicholas does not belong in jail. And, mentally challenged people make the job harder for people who run Kolbe. This is a no-win situation, from beginning to end. Having a mentally challenged person in the family adds greatly to the pressures of life on those Belizean families who are so afflicted. In the larger sense of the community, it is some of our most brilliant and sensitive citizens who become mentally challenged. This is sad.

Middleton was accused of having sex with a girl, 14. This evening a jury of nine men and women deliberated for just over three hours before finding Arden Middleton, 39, guilty of carnal knowledge of a then 14-year-old female student. According to the minor, on July 13, 2011, she was supposed to have gone to summer school, but instead, she decided to “play hooky” and went about her own business. According to her testimony, she wandered about aimlessly until she arrived at Little Wilt’s shop on Caesar Ridge Road. She testified that she was sitting outside the shop and asked to use the bathroom some time afterward. She said that, as she was going to the bathroom, which is located at the back of the shop, Middleton followed her, and she never made it to the bathroom. Instead, she says, Middleton guided her to a bed and had sex with her. The minor, who said she was a virgin when the incident occurred, told police that the entire act lasted just about one minute. She said that she pushed Middleton off of her because she was in pain, and after doing so, she left and went to a mechanic shop she normally frequents when she is truant.

Virginia Echols, host of the Women at Work talk show on KREM Radio/TV, was one of the 19 women awarded by the Women’s Department at the Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony on March 27, 2013. The ceremony was a part of the International Women’s Month activities. The Women’s Department chose to honor women from each district and invited agencies to choose women from their organizations to be honored for their outstanding work and contribution to their organization or communities. Echols was chosen by the Mattie Roter Outreach Women’s Group, which visits the women who are in the Belize Central Prison. She founded the group in the early 2000s. Echols said she doesn’t do her work for recognition but felt honored to have been recognized by others. “I don’t look for praise; I don’t look to be recognized, but when you are recognized you can’t help but feel honored and proud that people recognize what you do for the community,” she told Amandala. “I felt overwhelmed with the nomination. Even though I got the group together, doesn’t mean that I want recognition for doing it.”

A family is in an uproar after they found out that their loved one’s grave at the Lord Ridge Cemetery, had been opened without their consent, for another person to be buried in it. Beatrice Flowers said her daughter, Lydia, was buried in 1982. Her family visits the grave on special occasions. Lydia’s birthday was on March 20, but Flowers said she wasn’t able to visit her daughter’s grave until March 28. Flowers said she was shocked, and practically ran out of the cemetery when she realized that someone else has been buried in her daughter’s grave. She said she is not sure who is buried in the grave or when it occurred, as her last visit to the grave was in September 2012. She told us that she contacted the City Council twice last week, but her questions are still unanswered.

“..if Belize does not improve the conditions or accept the alternatives that Guatemala has offered, they are not going to have a referendum.” Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina continues to insist that the date of the simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala, to ask whether voters agree to put the territorial differendum before the International Court of Justice, should be changed from the previously agreed date of Sunday, October 6, 2013. In statements Perez Molina made this week, he again cited concerns over amendments Belize made to its Referendum Act—a change made months before the parties penned the special agreement in December 2008, to settle the dispute at the ICJ, pending voter approval. Guatemala has complained that Belize’s law requires a 60% threshold of voter participation in order for the vote to be deemed valid, whereas Guatemala’s law has no such requirement. Perez Molina takes the view that conditions on both sides of the border ought to be equal.

The Reporter

“We’ve been hacked!” In our increasingly interconnected world, it is the scenario every organisation fears. Even after you get over the initial panic, distress, confusion, embarrassment and anger of being hacked, it is not always easy to know what to do, or where to begin.

Rosewood ‘pays’ when minister’s away
The government of Belize announced Tuesday that it has put in effect a 19-day amnesty on the sale or export of the rosewood that were illegally harvested. The government, via press release, said, “The Ministry [of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development] has decided … to allow the sale/export of the [...]

Hon. John Saldivar sues Plus TV
Minister of National Security and Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar is suing Plus Television Managing Director Lewis Wade, and co-host of the Rise and Shine morning talk show Patrick Andrews for defamation and libel.

Citco corrects grave mistake!
The Belize City Council on Wednesday night rectified what its Public Relations Officer, Kenny Morgan, said was a mistake when it assigned the wrong corpse to the wrong grave for burial a few months ago.

COLA to GOB: boycott ICJ referendum process
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has called on Belizeans to boycott the International Court of Justice referendum process, in view of Guatemala’s move to print new passports with a map depicting Belize as a disputed territory.

BTV finds Guatemalan farms on Belizean territory
While travelling to the Gracias Adios border marker on Saturday, the Belize Territorial Volunteers found several farms worked by Guatemalans on Belizean territory.

BCA elections spark controversy
More controversy and protests have arisen from the Belize Cycling Association’s Western Zone elections held at Cahal Pech Resort in San Ignacio last Sunday morning, April 7, although the associations’ southern zone elections at the Sentor Building in Independence Village reportedly went without incident last Saturday morning, April 6.

Teacher and students charged for illegal hunting
A Teacher and four students, two of them minors, who allegedly captured and brutalized a howler monkey, were charged for gruesome and senseless act in Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court last Thursday. According to reports, the students used a sling shots to shoot the animal down from a tree; and at [...]

BTL Park undergoes serious makeover
A major project to reclaim land, construct a sea wall, and give a face lift to the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks, costing roughly $1 million, is expected to be completed by the end of June, just in time for the summer holidays.

WHO issues new guidance on dietary salt and potassium
Adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, or 5 grams of salt, and at least 3,510 mg of potassium per day, according to new guidelines issued by the WHO. A person with either elevated sodium levels or low potassium levels could be at risk of raised blood pressure [...]

HYPERTENSION – know your numbers
Hypertension is the theme for World Health Day 2013, which is celebrated every April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. Each year we choose a theme for the day that highlights a priority area of ​​concern for global public health.

Police blast San Ignacio United 4-1
The Police United have fallen to the bottom of the standings of the Premier League of Belize, even though they recovered from two consecutive losses last week to post their third victory 4-1 over San Ignacio United in the 11th week competition at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio [...]

Camalote United wins Cayo Softball Marathon
The Camalote softball girls won the two-day marathon which kicked off the Cayo Softball Association’s 2013 competition at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7. Camalote’s winning pitcher, Francine Salazar, allowed only one run as she led Camalote to an 8-1 victory over the [...]

Thatcher’s legacy in focus as UK plans funeral
A day after the death of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, preparations got under way for a funeral to rival those given to royalty — a farewell welcomed by some in Britain but questioned by others.

Pope to Vatican: ‘Act decisively’ on sex abuse cases
Pope Francis has told a senior Vatican official to “act decisively” against sexual abuse and carry out “due proceedings against the guilty,” the Vatican announced Friday.


Land rush in Caye Caulker!!!!
In all my years being here I cannot think of one that will be so pivotal for Caye Caulker’s future. Today the Hon Manuel Heredia (along with our local Caye Caulker Village Council) will give away 150 lots of land to the good honest people of Caye Caulker – all of them located on the North side of Caye Caulker!! It’s times like this that make you proud of nominating the good people into office in our Village Council as it looks like the very difficult process of selecting the lucky 150 new land owners has been done objectively, honestly and to the benefit of our community! It is the youth of our village that will today have their lives changed for the better – those who have not had the benefit of been given land before, persons who have lived here for more than 15 years or so and those not likely to sell it for mere profit!!!

Spanish Lookout, Cayo, Belize: Mennonites and Well…Just Odd…
There are many places that surprise me in Belize. I mean constantly. Belize City is so much more beautiful than you expected. Cayo, only a few hours away, is bursting with all sorts of crazy wild life. I won’t get too corny… But Spanish Lookout is the town that, in my three visits, is just plain nutty. It is one of the largest Mennonite communities in Belize. And I’m always expecting horse and buggies…simple things for simple folks and instead? To me, it looks like the most modern place in Belize. Between San Ignacio and Belmopan, there is a turn… (According to the friend that I was travelling with…20 years ago, the Institute for the Deaf used to be the home for wayward boys…a sort of juvenile facility. I can only imagine the stories.) It’s REALLY BEAUTIFUL out here. Huge gorgeous old trees…pretty farmland…bulls looking like they want to gauge my eyes out…

“I Love This Bar” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Yesterday evening when Rose and I were driving back from our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we ‘bumped’ in to Carlo Segura. Carlo is one half of the (deadly) duo that is opening a bar & restaurant on the opposite side of the road to TMM. I broke (sounds dramatic doesn’t it) this news exclusively with a ‘teaser’ in last Tuesday’s edition and followed this up with further information in last Wednesday’s edition. Yes, you read it here first! We complimented Carlo on the speed of the build and how good it looked and he very kindly asked us if we would like to have a closer look and we accepted with pleasure. It really is a very impressive layout. And all designed by Carlo (obviously with professional help for the plans that need to be submitted for approval to build). He appears to have thought of everything. And a bit more! A covered seating area at ground level with ten picnic style tables. Great for eating a meal and having a drink while you watch and listen to whoever is performing on the stage that will be in the corner.

The 2013 Chocolate Festival of Belize
Chocolate lovers have an even sweeter excuse to discover Belize, as the annual “Chocolate Festival of Belize” provides 3-days of indulgence starting May 24 – 26, 2013! With rooted Maya history in cacao production, this anticipated event captures the traditional and modern chocolate making procedures, fun activities, chocolate inspired dishes and beverages, along with great cultural entertainment!

International Sources

NASA reports many fires on the ground in and around Belize
Dozens of red hot spots cluster at the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. To the south, fires also speckle the neck of the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize. Each hot spot, which appears as a red mark, is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire. April is in the middle of the dry season, which runs from January through May in this region. It is also fire season. Many of these fires may have been deliberately set to manage land for agriculture, especially in forest clearing, working cropland, and renewing pastures. Some also may be wildfires, with natural (lightning) or accidental sources. As the dry season progresses, the number of fires tend to grow, as does the pall of smoke which settles over the land. Although haze and smoke cover the region and pours northward over the Gulf of Mexico, the shiny, silver-toned band aligned in a north-to-south direction is not smoke. It is sunglint – the mirror-like reflection of the Sun off the water surface.

Drought blamed for demise of Mayans
The Mayan apocalypse may have been a bust, but a century-old understanding of the calendar that spawned the doomsday rumors appears to be right on. In a new study, scientists used modern methods to double-check the match between the Mayan Long Count calendar and the modern European calendar. Understanding how the two coincide is important, because research on the rise and fall of the Maya suggests that climate change spelled their doom. To be certain of that link, however, researchers have to be able to match carved Maya historical records with dates in the modern calendar. Linking the two calendars is no picnic. The Long Count calendar is essentially a cyclical count of days, known as k'in. The k'in are counted in 20-day cycles called winal or uinal, which in turn are catalogd in 360-day cycles called tuns. Twenty tuns make a 7,200-day k'atun (about 20 years), and 20 k'atuns then make a b'ak'tun. [Images: Mayan Calendar Carvings]

Legacies of British Slave-ownership
Legacies of British Slave-ownership is the umbrella for two projects based at UCLtracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: theESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, now complete, and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833, running from 2013-2015. Colonial slavery shaped modern Britain and we all still live with its legacies. The slave-owners were one very important means by which the fruits of slavery were transmitted to metropolitan Britain. We believe that research and analysis of this group are key to understanding the extent and the limits of slavery's role in shaping British history and leaving lasting legacies that reach into the present. The stories of enslaved men and women, however, are no less important than those of slave-owners, and we hope that the encyclopaedia produced in the first phase of the project, while at present primarily a resource for studying slave-owners, will also provide information of value to those researching enslaved people.

The case for compensating the Caribbean
In 1838, British slave owners in the English-speaking Caribbean received £11.6 billion (US$17.8 billion) in today’s value as compensation for the emancipation of their “property” – 655,780 human beings of African descent that they had enslaved, brutalised and exploited. The freed slaves, by comparison, received nothing in recompense for their dehumanisation, their cruel treatment, the abuse of their labour and the plain injustice of their enslavement. The monies paid to slaves owners have been studied and assembled by a team of Academics from University College London, including Dr Nick Draper, who spent three years pulling together 46,000 records which they have now launched as an internet database. The website is: The benefits of those monies still exist in Britain today. For example, they are the foundations of Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. But they are also the basis of wealth for many leading British and Scottish families among them the Hogg family – two of whom became Lord Chancellors in British governments. Dr Draper is reported as saying of the Hogg family: “To have two Lord Chancellors in Britain in the 20th century bearing the name of a slave-owner from British Guiana (now Guyana), who went penniless to British Guiana, came back a very wealthy man and contributed to the formation of this political dynasty, which incorporated his name into their children in recognition – it seems to me to be an illuminating story and a potent example."

11 Ways Airlines Are Cramming People Onto Planes And Saving Money
Profit margins in the airline industry are thin, and one of the key culprits is the cost of jet fuel. Filling aircraft tanks cost the global airline industry $207 billion in 2012 — 33 percent of its operating costs, according to the International Air Transport Association. Airlines can't control the price of fuel, but they can work to reduce how much much they use. There are two basic approaches: Reduce the number of flights by packing each plane to the gills, and make each flight more efficient by cutting weight wherever possible. Here are eleven ways to do just that. Some are already in place, others are on the way, and the rest are likely to appear in the next few years — no matter how uncomfortable they make passengers.

Danny Michel brings along his buddies from Belize for Ottawa-area shows
Fans who missed Danny Michel’s recent show at the National Arts Centre will have another chance to see this quirky Canadian singer-songwriter in May, this time with the Garifuna Collective, musicians from Belize, who appear on his new album. They play two shows at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Que. on June 27 and 28, and another pair at the Neat Café in Burnstown on June 29 and June 30. The album, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, has been nominated for a Juno in the world music category. The Citizen’s Lynn Saxberg called Black Birds “an inspired work, full of dazzling guitar, tropical percussion and truthful lyrics.” She also loved Michel’s show at the NAC last month. “His lightly husky singing voice was full of character while his guitar-playing ability made jaws drop with its inventiveness.”

New initiative aims to lower road deaths in the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) have joined forces with Jamaica and the United Kingdom to promote the implementation of best practices in road safety data collection. A key component of the IDB’s Road Safety Strategy for LAC is to support countries in the strengthening of their institutional and technical capacities in road safety via knowledge sharing. The goal of this effort, referred to as twinning, is to help Jamaica align its road safety data collection to international standards. This is an important step towards the development and implementation of effective road safety policies, recommended by ITF’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD). Currently, road deaths in the Caribbean are high, with 20 per 100,000 habitants compared to the rest of the region, which is on average 17 deaths per 100,000 habitants.

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