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Today's Belize News: April 26, 2013 #463095
04/26/13 05:59 AM
04/26/13 05:59 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Italian Antonio Velardo fined for failure to declare funds
Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over US$22,000. On Wednesday April 24th, Customs and Immigration Officials and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained 35 year old Italian National Antonio Velardo, and 47 year old Swedish national Levente Arangos, onboard a catamaran. Apparently the men had arrived the night before and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration and thus proceeded to conduct an operation. That led authorities to some US $22,000 onboard the ‘Aventura.’ As a result, law enforcement agencies detained the two and took them to the San Pedro Police Station.

Studying the Marco Gonzalez Reserve’s Environmental Impact
Antonio-Velardo-JailAuthorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over US$22,000. On Wednesday April 24th, Customs and Immigration Officials and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained 35 year old Italian National Antonio Velardo, and 47 year old Swedish national Levente Arangos, onboard a catamaran. Apparently the men had arrived the night before and docked at a local docking facility on Ambergris Caye. Authorities later found out that while the men entered legally, they failed to make a declaration and thus proceeded to conduct an operation. That led authorities to some US $22,000 onboard the ‘Aventura.’ As a result, law enforcement agencies detained the two and took them to the San Pedro Police Station. Doctor Elizabeth Graham, Professor of Mesoamerican Archaeology at University College London, UK, is on Ambergris Caye analyzing the ancient artifacts that have been excavated from the site. A visitor to the island since 1976, Dr. Graham has grown very interested in the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site since the first excavation in 1986. Her main objective is to learn how the Mayas from the island lived, traded and how their daily activities impacted the environment on the island.

New fire hydrants installed around San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) is working on installing ten new fire hydrants across San Pedro Town. These fire hydrants are being placed in key locations where water is not easily accessible. Those areas include DFC, San Pedrito, San Marcos and locations in the town core. With the ten new hydrants that will be installed, and the other nine hydrants that were installed back in 2003, San Pedro Town will soon boast an available 19 hydrants in the case of a fire emergency. According to Jerome Garcia, Chief of the SPFD, the new hydrants were provided by the Government of Belize, and installed by Belize Water Services (BWS) upon request of the government. Pumping water from the sea or lagoon is a challenge for fire fighters since it is difficult for the fire truck to gain access to the water. Hydrants can now replace the need to obtain water from the sea or lagoon and have water readily available in case of emergencies. The hydrants were strategically placed in congested areas where fires would be more prone to occur.

Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize. The honourees included Senior Counsel, Mr. Denys A. Barrow, who was awarded the insignia for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his distinguished service to Belize and the field of law; Commissioner of the Supreme Court and Senior Justice of the Peace, Mr. Patrick Alexander Bernard, was bestowed with the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his dedication to the Public Service. Also receiving the insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire were Mr. Pen Cayetano for his wonderful and numerous contributions to music and art; and Senior Justice of the Peace, Ms. Crispina Hyde, for her selfless service to education and community.

Ambergris Today

Teens Belize Stages Miss Top Celebrity Pageant 2013
Teens Belize is delighted to present the 6th Annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant from April 22 – May 6, 2013. During this time span, you will have the opportunity to visit and vote your favorite candidate into the semi-finals. In addition, Miss Photogenic will be chosen via “Most Likes” on Facebook. The candidates vying for the crown this year are: Roxannie Bowman, Leilani Nah, Victoria Canul, Marilyn Lopez, Charlyn Flowers, Nikki Chan, Shanice Flowers, Ivorie Mendez, & Jenny Ramirez. We invite you to tune in during these two weeks and support the nine amazing young ladies vying for the coveted crown.

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report
The year 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s tourism industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are indicative of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month. In fact, the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October 2011- making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize. There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year’s month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. This is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. In summary, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year’s.

Vaccination Week Organized by Pan American Health Organization
I am pleased to send greetings to all those participating in commemorations of World Vaccination Week, a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the need to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus. Immunization is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to safeguard young lives. There is no greater gift than a healthy start in life. We can celebrate the fact that eighty percent of all children – more than at any time in history – are immunized. They are living and thriving. At the same time, we grieve for the millions who are still left behind simply because they live in poor, under-served, conflict-ridden or isolated communities. We have reached four out of five children worldwide. Now it is time to reach that fifth child wherever he or she may be. We must break down all barriers that stand in our way.

Misc Belizean Sources

Maurice Tomlinson: Belize and the Spelling Bee
Advocacy often takes a very heavy toll on the lives of human rights defenders. I have been spared the worst, as I am still alive, though I had to flee my homeland Jamaica because of persistent death threats which the police were clearly disinterested to do anything about. However, the cost to my family life has been more immediate and ongoing. With just the slightest bit of hyperbole, I proudly declare that I am the father of a wonderfully bright and exceptionally talented pre-teen. My son excels at school, particularly in reading and spelling, habits his mother and I nurtured out of our mutual love for education. Even after our separation and eventual divorce due to my inability to suppress my homosexuality, we both maintained a strong interest in our son’s education. A year ago, both of them moved to Belize, and this year our son’s exceptional spelling ability allowed him to win both his school and district regional Spelling Bees. He is now headed to the national finals. As a proud father, I would love to share this occasion with him. However, to do so, I would either have to break the laws of Belize, or engage in complicit support for the country’s homophobia. Section 5 of Belize’s Immigration Act bans the entry of homosexuals, as well as persons who are mentally challenged (described as “any idiot or any person who is insane or mentally deficient…”) and the physically disabled (described as “deaf and dumb or deaf and blind, or dumb and blind,…). Together, we are all considered “prohibited classes.”

Nutrition Rocks in Cayo
The Nutrition Rock Video series has a video that was shot mostly at the Cayo Saturday Market. The Santa Elena Primary School is in it too. "Hey guys, you've been asking for more submissions from our Nutrition Rocks Music Video Competition, here is Santa Elena in action."

Tapir Day Celebrations
The Belize Zoo is celebrating World Tapir Day today. It's a special party, because Belize's famous tapir, April, is celebrating her 30th birthday. Panerrifix Steel Band will be playing there, and the Belize Tumblers will also perform. It'll be a fun learning experience for the entire family. The festivities start at 10:00am.

SHC Auditorium Cement and Steel Drive
Sacred Heart College has completed the first 2 phases of their new auditorium, and it looks great. They are asking for help with phase 3, and are doing a cement and steel drive. If you can help in any way, please do. "Phase 3 of the project is the cement floor/slab, which will cost approximately $200,000 and we are anticipating that this will be completed by June 5, 2013, in time to hold our Graduation Ceremonies. To make this possible, we continue to rely on the support of the SHC family - our parents, staff members, the business community, alumi and other stake holders as we work to raise the necessary funds to complete this phase of the project. We are presently organizing a cement and steel drive to complete the cement slab/floor. If you would like to assist financially, please give us a call and we would be more than willing to pick up your contributions. We can be reached at 824-2102 or 824-2758. You can also contact Karim Juan at [email protected] or at 607-5619 or Mr. Julio Llinas at [email protected] or at 622-5986. Deposits can be made in our account at Atlantic Bank with Account Number 211133281. "

Caribbean Film Showcase in Benque
The Caribbean Film Showcase will be in Benque tonight, and they'll show 2 Venezuelan movies, Guardians of the Water, and Without You, With You. They'll be shown in Centennial Park at 7:00pm. "It is the 5th Annual Caribbean film showcase, coming this Friday April 26th, 2013 starting at 7:00 p.m. Featured films by Venezuelan Producers Guardianes del agua * animation Sin ti, contigo * documentary Make it a date at the Centennial Memorial Park, exceptional company and a magnificent full moon!"

Vaccination Week in Adjacency Zone
Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow was in Cayo yesterday, at the Adjacency Zone, to celebrate vaccination week. Polio has been almost irradicated due to vaccinations. "Vaccination: An Act Of Love! That's the theme for this year's vaccination week which was launched at the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone yesterday. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow was invited to give symbolic polio vaccinations to children from both countries along with the newly appointed PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne; Belize's Minister of Health, Pablo Marin; and Guatemala's Minister of Health, Dr. Jorge Villavicencio Alvarez. PAHO has been celebrating Vaccination Week in the Americas for over 10 years to raise awareness on vaccine-prevented diseases and the importance of vaccinations with a special focus on vulnerable populations."

BTB Reports Record 1Q Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board has released their tourism number for the first quarter, and they have broken by far previous records. The Cayo Tour Guide Association has the entire report on their site. This is great news for Cayo, as Cruz Cambranes explains: "If we recall 2012 saw an increase of tourism activity in Belize and most of us did not see a low season, those numbers show a substantial increase 2013. These records show a 7.58%, 6.0% and a 10.1% increase of tourist arrivals in the months of January, February and March compared to last years arrivals. If we look at the month of March alone which is spring break rush there was a growth which broke its own record by reaching 28,623. Well we certainly hope that this continues."

Emmanuel Mangar Live at Mr. Greedy's
Emmanuel Mangar, one of Cayo's most talented guitarists, will be playing at Mr. Greedy's tomorrow night, Friday the 26th, from 8:00pm until midnight. If you haven't seen him play, you are in for a treat. "Looking for somewhere to chill on a friday night that does not involve a Dj blasting his selections through huge Speakers? Well come on down to Greedy's! Greedy's is bringing back live entertainment with San Ignacio's own Emmanuel Mangar! He will share his love for music and will rock your world with Jammin reggae, Fill your soul with the blues, Mellow you down with chill classics Blow you away with his own originals and for the ladies, he's got a lil somethin' somethin' for them too. ;) And while he's on break, not to fear, Perfect selection of music is here! Enjoy the greatest selection of music and just flow with the vibe of the night."

BHA Happy Hour at Midas
The Belize Hotel Association is having a happy hour at Midas today, Friday, April 26th, at 5:30pm. "Join us for Happy Hour and meet the BHA EU rep Sander Langeveld as well as learn more about what BHA has planned for the next year!!"

Book Fair at Cayo Welcome Center
The Belize Book Industry Association and the San Ignacio Public Library are having a book fair at the Cayo Welcome Center today, Friday the 26th, and Saturday the 27th. There will be tons of events for the family and the children. They'll have a book exchange, a map reading quiz, a culture night, a creative writing workshop, and a grafitti competition. Thanks, BBIA and SIPL! "Cayo welcome center will be hosting the annual book fair on Friday April 26th, 2013. Everyone is welcome to come and check it out! at 6:30pm, there will be storytelling and performances you dont want to miss. Bring out the children so they can have some great laughs and fun fun fun! Parents, immerse your child in the world of books!"

BNE Donates Football Gear
Feelgood news of the day. BNE and their employee outreach group, Energy for Life, donated football shoes and other accessories to the Tiger Town football club. Thanks, BNE! "Belize Natural Energy and Energy for Life (a BNE-employee charitable initiative) teamed up to donate 9 pairs of football boots and 16 pairs of shin guards to the Tiger Town under 15 football team presently competing in the Belmopan "Mundialito" Football Tournament."

Channel 7

Mayor: "Mistakes Have Been Made", Council Back-Pedals On Cemetery Issue
In January, the City Council was accused of meddling in “dead people’s business” – when it discontinued the practice of having undertakers build vaults and graves in the City Cemeteries and also re-open graves. The council took over the job itself and there was a great hue and cry – as missteps were made in the municipal administration and the execution of the new duties. Long-established undertaker David Coye went to court, to seek judicial review of the council’s policy decision – and he won. The council agreed to a settlement which will allow Coye and other undertakers revert to the prior position, and resume full cemetery services, including the building of vaults and graves and re-opening graves. A win for the undertakers and a loss for the council, which was pilloried in the press and consumed a great deal of political capital in opposing city residents who wanted to have the right to bury their dead with an undertaker of their choosing. Today the mayor told us it is a humbling experience and one that thought him about the importance of dialogue as an alternative to confrontation. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - BACK-PEDALS ON GRAVE POLICY "Basically what we have agreed is that we are going to permit them to return back into the Cemetery. We will set policies and guidelines, regulations and specifications as it relates to the construction of tombs. As long as they are prepared to work with us then we will work with them. We are not in the business of stopping anybody in engaging in any kind of trade or any kind of economic opportunity because that's their mainstay."

Mayor Confirms “Active Interest” In The Shores
And while the mayor had to back-pedal on that one, he is moving forward in Caribbean Shores. As we reported last night, credible reports say he intends to challenge Area Representative Santino Castillo for his seat as Standard Bearer. Today the mayor told us he definitely interested but shied away from saying he’s ready to play politics. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - "actively considering" CARIBBEAN SHORES CANDIDACY "Persons have approached me from Caribbean Shores, I'm talking about members of the Caribbean Shores Committee. That's an area that I have very close contacts with, I worked previously on Carlos Perdomo's campaign - I assisted him in public relations. I have very strong contacts and ties in that area. Persons had approached me for running in that area. I will say at this moment that is not something that I have ruled out and I am actively considering that as an option. But at this present moment, my total focus is directed at being an effective Mayor. The city has a lot of challenges and I am in no way thinking in any kind of elections."

24 Thousand Pounds Of Poultry Sent Back From Trinidad
Caribbean Chicken, that’s the name of a Belizean Poultry Producer that has hopes of capitalizing on its regional name by exporting poultry into the CARICOM Market. But, in what may be a prime example of what the experts call “barriers to regional trade”, tonight Caribbean Chicken is stuck with a twenty foot container loaded with twenty-four thousand pounds of chicken – after it was sent back from Trinidad. General Manager of Caribbean Chicken Isaac Bergen today told us that there was some miscommunication with the Trinidadian Health Authorities and they refused the shipment, even though it had all the required BAHA health certificates from Belize. This is the first time his company has tried exporting to the Caribbean. Bergen says that despite the unfortunate outcome, he thinks poultry trade with Trinidad “can still work” and he will have a meeting with BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture tomorrow to clear up the difficulties. He adds that Trinidadian authorities need to come and do site visits to Belize. The CEO in the Ministry of Trade Jose Alpuche told us that he’s also trying to trying to get a handle on what happened but from what he’s heard, the permit procured by the importer to get the chicken into the Trinidad market did not stand up once the product got there - so they had to re-export it to Belize.

Southside Meats Bacon Confiscated By BAHA, UDP Gets Ugly With Business Senator
And in an odd turn, that same sort of permit problem confronted a well-known Belizean meat shop – except it was importing bacon. As we reported last Friday, BAHA had put the brakes on six thousand pounds of bacon that Southside had imported. These documents show that the Hormel Griddlemaster Bacon valued at three thousand nine hundred US dollars was sold to Southside on April fifth along with boneless pork tenderloin. BAHA gave the permit for the tenderloin in March, but gave none for the bacon. Apparently, BAHA says it has a restriction on bacon, which can only be imported in bulk slabs and not already processed or sliced. So, the bacon arrived in Belize on April 15th and has been sitting at customs since – waiting for a ruling from BAHA. The ruling was that Southside had until today to re-export the bacon or it would be confiscated by BAHA for distribution to needy organizations. And, it seems that’s just what’s happened: the bacon has been forfeited and, pending customs approval, will be distributed for free to those needy organizations.

An International Man Of Mystery On San Pedro
Yesterday in San Pedro, Police customs and Immigration boarded a catamaran vessel called the Aventura which was docked at the Belize Yacht Club. On board they found, Italian Antonio Velardo, and Swede Leventa Arangos along with twenty two thousand US dollars. No customs declaration had been made for the money so it was confiscated and the two men were taken into custody. Today, 35 year old Velardo was taken to San Pedro Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez and charged for failure to declare funds, according to the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. Velardo – who was represented by attorney Godfrey Smith - pleaded guilty and told the court that he did not know that a regulation existed that he had to make such a declaration.

Jamil Paralysed After Shooting
30 year-old Jamil Richardson, a resident of Partridge Street, remains hospitalized at the KHMH after he was shot on March 28 – the Thursday before Easter. At 11:45 that night,., Richardson and 25 year-old Dennis Molins were on Partridge Street Extension when a gunman fired several shots at them. Molins was shot to the left leg, while Richardson was shot in both ankles, and to the left side of his back. Well it’s been almost a month now, and though we found him putting on the best face he could today, Richardson is still bedridden and unable to walk. His hospital bills continue to climb, and it is a huge burden on his family. Today, his sister spoke to 7News asking the public, and members of his neighborhood to support their efforts to raise money. Tanisha Chavez - Sister of Shooting Victim "Jamil Richardson got shot on March 29th which was Good Friday. Right now he is in a critical condition. He is paralyzed from the waist down. We are trying to do a fund-raising because he needs help right now. He needs therapy and it costs $75 per day. No surgery can be done on him right now so the best thing to do is to give him the therapy. His doctor, Dr. Cervantes, this is what he prefers. So we are doing this fund-raising to support a worthy cause for 'Cash' and I am begging the entire neighborhood for support right now.

Lady Bar Owners In Court
Viewers may remember Yolanda Garcia. She became the second woman to be convicted of human trafficking. Well today, she was back before the Magistrate’s Court for employing illegal immigrant workers. According to the Immigration Department, they visited Garcia’s establishment, Red Angels Bar – formerly known as La Serenta Bar – on Regent Street West, when they discovered a waitress, Condi Gomez, who could not produce a valid working permit. Gomez identified Garcia as her boss, so as a result, Garcia was charged with employing persons not in possession of a working permit. She was arraigned this afternoon, where she pleaded guilty to the charge. Because this is her first offence for this particular charge, Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced her to pay a fine of $1,000 by August 31, 2013, or 6 months in default. Today’s conviction came only 2 months after her release from prison. 37 year-old Vilma Rutilia Chip, the owner of Chica’s Picante Lounge, located on Mosul Street, was also arraigned before Magistrate Cayetano for 2 counts of employing persons not in possession of valid working permit.

Gladden Free Of Attempted Murder
After more than 5 years of the charge hanging over his head, 23 Year-old Michael Gladden is a free man tonight after he was acquitted of attempted murder today in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The man he was accused of attempting to stab to death, Leon Young, took the stand yesterday and told the court that he remembers that on November 2008, 6 people got into his taxi and when he took them to Dolphin Park they stabbed him multiple times to the chest, face and back. They left him to die, but police were in the area and saved him. His attackers stole his taxi and stole cellphone and other items. Young identified Gladden as one of attackers in a police statement. However, when Crown Counsel Leroy Banner tried to press for an identification, he couldn’t positively identify Gladden on the stand. When Young was asked why he couldn’t do so, he said that 5 years had elapsed, and that this was a very long time.

Bhojwani Bandstands “Rubbished”
The Bhojwani Bandstands donated to the Battlefield and BTL Parks in 2010 and 2011 have been demolished – and Hans Bhojawani today told us no one even bothered to drop him a line. Speaking to us today from Miami he told us, quote, “what is happening in (the) city council is unbelievable: they don’t notify, don’t listen don’t (respond to) our inquiries…” Bhojwani explained that those bandstands were donated by the Hans and Nandini Bhojwani Foundation which requires that they account for their donations. He says that since this one has been demolished without even a word of notice, he thinks the foundation should be refunded. We asked the Mayor about it today. Jules Vasquez "He said that he should have been written and should have been told as a courtesy. He thinks as a principle that his foundation should get back its money because they invested in that in good faith."

Mayor Has Issues With Seaside Fence
And while the mayor went right ahead with the demolition of the bandstands, he’s being more circumspect about a fenced area that’s appeared along Seashore Drive at the junction with Buttonwood Bay Drive. Workers have fenced in a same-front area which the Council had hoped to designate as a public space. Today, he told us why he is concerned. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - Opposes Buttonwood Bay Fence Structure "The city doesn't have any knowledge of that. We of course are all about promoting public spaces and we are vehemently acquiring those properties for private use because it is a very good public space and we lack public space in the city. Particularly along that drive which is a beautiful drive in the city. I am currently unaware of any titles being granted to any person in that area. We just saw these fences being erected because we went out there because we had gotten concerns. That is something that we are asking questions to see what is really happening out there. That would impede what we had for our planning in that area."

AIDS Summit Underway
Last night, we told you about the first National HIV Prevention Summit being held by the National AIDS Commission. It is a 3 day event where health professionals and advocates come together in a forum to figure design effective interventions for at risk populations. Today, 7News stopped in for day 1 of the summit, and we asked about the current effectiveness of the message from the organization, if it is really reaching the targeted population. We also spoke with one of the Commission’s international consultants who says that research points to a link between a higher percentage of HIV infections and the existence of sodomy laws. Kent Klindera - Director, Foundation for Aids Research “My organization takes research and applies that to advocacy record, to our investing in programs that are effective which we did a global study in eight countries. Guyana was the country that we used in this region actually to investigate and it was quite clear that with these laws like of same sex behavior; making it illegal, you see a much higher rate of HIV across the world. Where that actually that is an contributing factor because if you're encouraging people to get tested it is very hard for them to go get tested if they have to disclose to their doctor their sexual behavior and they may fear that the doctor may tell them, tell that to the police."

George Street: “I love my life.”
George Street is what the experts would call a vulnerable community because of the risk factors such as poverty, police harassment, gang violence and the stigma of calling the “George’s” home. But, despite all that, the residents of George Street say they are keeping things positive in their neighborhood. On Saturday the community is coming together to host a Health Fair under the theme, “I love my life.” The fair will be held on Dean Street and they are inviting everyone to come on out and get a series of tests done for free. Community Organizer Dorla Vaughan told us more. Dorla Vaughn - Organizer "This April 27th we are doing a 'I love my life' Health Fair. It will begin 6:00 a.m with a bike ride from Dean Street bridge to Leslie's import and back. At 10:00 a.m we are having a Health Fair right here on Dean St. Eight of the Health Organizations confirmed with me that they will be out here with me on Saturday and give free tests and to give information to the community."

Mayor Supports Okeke
Last night on 7news, you saw Sculptor Stephen Okeke make his pitch for the Soberanis bust he has designed to be put in a place of prominence in Battlefield Park – replacing the previous one – which he says doesn’t do justice to the great labour leader. Today the Mayor told us he has time for Okeke. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - WILL SPEAK TO OKEKE ABOUT SCULPTURES "That statue of Anotonio Soberanis has been there for a reasonable amount of time. We don't have any plans to remove that statue. We have been doing advertisements about the park and one of the things we put in the advertisements is that Antonio Soberanis will remain in the park and will be more prominently featured. I did see something and I do intend to have a conversation with Mr. Okeke in terms of seeing his availability and what he has. We do want to ensure that we pay honor and homage to our political heroes. I think that Battlefield Park is an area particularly because it is in the center of Belize City and it is in front of the Court - that we could have this and it will elicit more pride and a good value and feeling in the downtown area."

Ras Indio In Adis Ababa
The well-travelled Ras Indio has recently been out of the country performing around the world, and most recently, he took a trip to several different countries on the African continent. And he’s featuring some of those trips in a photo-collage put together in a calendar for 2013. Now, you might be wondering, like us, about why he’s promoting a calendar for 2013, when we’re already into the second quarter of the year. He explained why it’s late, and why you should support him by buying one of his calendars. Ras lndio - Artist "The Calendars are a little late this year. This is the first year that we've ever had a calendar. This is why we continue with the idea of going through with this. It is ready from August last year but the orders we made were only in a quantities of a hundred, we didn't get a bulk. What happened then I went to Africa, Ethiopia and Egypt to rejuvenate myself.

An HIV Awareness Video
The Belize Aids Commission has collaborated with some of its partner agencies and a group of Belizean artists to create a music video focusing on the importance of safe sex. The project has been in the making for some months now and was recently completed. It’s all part of giving the prevention message some public awareness with mass appeal. The video is called “ Da You Ah Want” and we spoke to some of the artists. Martin Cuellar, Director of the National Aids Commission "The message of the song is very cruel, its very strong, its very simple and that is one of always protecting yourself with sexual relations but doing so in a way that uplifts you and your partner in a very hunmanistic manner; so it's about love really, at the end of the day it's about love to self respect and love for those that you are partnering with and it does it in a beautiful way because it speaks of a very clear message that repeats and is resounding throughout the video and through the lyrics of the song for one to enjoy life but in a positive way which is filled with respect and love."

Mayor OK With Drag Racing
And in our final news item with the mayor tonight, we asked him about Sunday’s drag racing event organized by Westrac on Chetumal Boulevard. It caught our attention earlier this week when City Councillor Dion Leslie posted a sort of rant on Facebook. He said, quote, “The Belize City Council has invested millions of TAX PAYERS dollars into the upgrading of our city's infrastructure, and trust me when I say that we didn't do it for people to race on.” So, we asked the mayor, who gave the order, and is it ok? MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY - SAYS WESTRAC WILL RESTORE CHETUMAL BLVD "They have indicated to us that whatever problems that we have identified regarding streets they will restore 100%. After the event, Monday I think you had asked me a question about it and I saw out there that by the entrance of Chetumal Street there are skid marks. Those kinds of things could be cleaned and we will ensure and we are working with them and they have expressed to us that they are prepared to ensure that all the surface wears that have been done to the street; they will restore one hundred percent and I have no problems in trusting that Westrac, as a responsible corporate citizen, will do that and that will be done in the very near future."

Channel 5

Don’t hate me for being wealthy, Italian busted for excess cash
Authorities in San Pedro Town temporarily detained, charged and then fined a European national after he failed to declare over twenty-two thousand U.S. dollars in cash.  On Wednesday, Customs Officials, Immigration and San Pedro Police carried out a joint operation and detained thirty-five year old Antonio Velardo, an Italian national and forty-seven year old Levente [...]

Dredging on Ambergris Caye stopped
An unsanctioned development project that threatens the environment on Little Iguana Caye in the Bacalar Chico area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has been discovered by authorities. The Department of the Environment and other government agencies have moved swiftly to halt that project by U.S. investors because the requirement process in respect of EIAs and [...]

Family troubled by death of drowned loved one
A Ladyville family is having trouble accepting the death of their loved one, Crecencio Mai. The fifty seven year old Mai was found dead in a pond on Tuesday at his work place on the Old Northern Highway. The pain of the family is compounded by lingering questions they have about the results of an [...]

The senator’s bacon
It was reported last Friday that a shipment of six thousand pounds of bacon, imported by Senator Mark Lizarraga for the Southside Group, had been seized by the Customs and Excise Department for being brought into the country without the required permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.  In today’s issue, the government’s mouthpiece went [...]

Undertakers take back control of graveyards
The Belize City Council has lost a battle with one of the city’s well known undertakers.  Back in January, City council decided to take over undertaking services from the private companies engaged in the business. Well David Coye, the most established undertaker, sought judicial review of City Hall’s decision to bar private undertakers from constructing [...]

Removing unsightly bandstands for city’s major renovation
City Hall has lost a major battle to the undertakers. But Mayor Darrell Bradley is still facing other challenges. He has been praised for his municipal projects every bit as much as he has been criticized for the endless congestion, blocked streets and what seems at times to be chaotic development. And now the Mayor [...]

Environmental Coalition says Government made major offshore error
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has issued a press release on claims made by representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities in regards to offshore zoning. The Ministry representatives appeared on our morning show last week. The coalition is taking issue with statements made by the ministry that [...]

UNIBAM cautiously optimistic about constitutional case
The church state system that many Belizeans have grown accustomed to is being challenged by the homosexual advocacy group UNIBAM. UNIBAM is challenging a portion of the constitution that makes it a crime to have same sex relations. The church and the government are both defending section fifty three of Belize’s criminal code.  The case [...]

HIV conference shows that drug users have higher rate of infection
Stigma and discrimination against persons affected by HIV/AIDS are high on the agenda of the National AIDS Commission. But there are other pressing problems facing persons vulnerable to the virus. At a national three-day conference, which opened this morning, disconcerting information was revealed on who are the most affected in the population. News Five’s Jose [...]

Victim could not identify attacker, attempted murder case ends
The last of four men, who had been on trial for attempted murder, was today declared free to go after the case fell apart.  Michael Gladden, Kenroy Caine, Alex Smith and Michael Saldivar were charged for attempted murder in the stabbing of taxi-driver Leon Young in November 2008. Young was beaten savagely, stabbed and left [...]

Guatemala still using old passport design; president accused of atrocities
Guatemala has proposed to open bids for the printing of four million new passports over the next ten years. Here in Belize, there has been a huge hue and cry because the passport would retain only a dotted line demarcating Belizean borders and carrying the words “territory under dispute.” The reports in Guatemala say that [...]

Healthy Living gets clogged by cholesterol
Like diabetes and hypertension, medical statistics show that there is another health condition that is growing leaps and bounds locally. It creeps in silently and increases the risk of heart diseases. Now, high cholesterol can be inherited but it frequently results from an unhealthy lifestyle. But a healthy diet and exercise can go a long [...]


Border Line On Guatemala's Caricom Passport Offends Some Belizeans We begin this evening’s newscast with a closer look at the new Guatemalan passport, which shows the border with that country as a jagged line. The new Guatemalan passport, captured here by’s Facebook page, is the Central American travel document similar to the one...

Junior College Upgrades Park In Esperanza Village A new park has been inaugurated in Esperanza Village in the Cayo District. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY “The class of health and standardize education of the Sacred Heart Junior College held an inauguration of a swing set next to the Esperanza Prescho...

Pathologist Says Farm Worker Died of Immersion Syndrome Yesterday Love News reported that the body fifty seven year old Crecencio Mai, a laborer of the Old Northern Highway, was retrieved from a pond at a farm located on the Old Northern Highway. A post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of Mai revealed that he die...

Woman Faces Second Conviction For Employing Immigrants Without Permits Thirty-seven year old Vilma Chip, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was fined a total of eight thousand dollars when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, after she pled guilty to 2 counts of employing persons not In possession of employment permit.Chip was given until Aug...

Bar Owner Fined For Employing Without Proper Permit Forty-eight year old Yolanda Garcia, the owner of Red angels Bar on Regent Street West, formerly La Serenita Bar, who was convicted of trafficking in persons and was sentenced to 1 year in 2011, was fined $1,000. Today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to employing a person not In...

Judge Directs Jury To Return Not Guilty Verdict For Alleged Murderer and Robber Twenty-Three year old Michael Gladden, charged with attempted murder and robbery, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. Because Gladden was not represented by any attorney, Justice Gonzalez instigated a no case to answer and asked the Crown counsel, Leroy ...

Belizeans In California Makes Contribution To Belize Territorial Volunteers Support continues to be outpoured for the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they continue to trek to the clear the Belize-Guatemalan borders in patriotic fashion. This time they have received a donation of footwear from California, U.S.A. Member of the BTV, Wil Maheia says the donation comes...


5th Annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase Arrives In The North
Films from across the region are being featured in a week of screenings as the fifth annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is hosted in Belize. This year the event kicked off on April 16th at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts. The show is presently on the road, offering Belizeans and opportunity to view the work of Caribbean film maker’s who either live in the Caribbean Region or in the Diaspora free of cost. Forty films are being shown this year which speak about the challenges faced by immigrants worldwide. Tomorrow two films will be shown at the Corozal House of Culture, which is participating this year in the film showcase. According to Suzette Zayden, Coordinator of Film and Media Arts Unit at the Institute of Creative Arts the showcase is a family event that brings to light the reality of life yet the main objective is to break down the language barriers.

Newly Paved Street Destroyed By Reckless Driver
The Orange Walk Town Council has embarked in a major project that will see the paving of 13 streets in Orange Walk Town. Now, usually the paving of streets takes place close to election time serving as a pre election gift for voters. This time; however, it’s a different scenario as we are more than two years away from Municipal Elections so we can say that the Orange Walk Town Council is actually keeping up with their manifesto. But there are certain individuals that are not making the work easy for the town council because instead of the recently paved streets being taken care of, they are being destroyed. A few days ago it was Staines Alley and a portion of Gravel Lane and today Belize Street and San Pedro Street were ruined. The blame is being placed on a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Works which was loaded with white marl and traveled through the area. Today when we spoke to Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard, he expressed his frustration and told us that he is appalled that in the case of Belize Street, it was allegedly destroyed by a Government vehicle. We were unable to get an interview with Mayor Bernard today since he was in an out of meetings. We’ll get his comments tomorrow.

Referendum Unit To Make Presentation In Orange Walk
An expedition to Aguas Turbias National Park, specifically to the monument that marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala, is set to take place this coming Saturday as a group of Orange Walkeños, led by Belize Territorial Volunteer Orlando De La Fuente, visit the area. The intention is to install the Belizean Flag and a plague bearing the name Belize on it, in order to mark the area as part of Belize’s territory. The aim is also to familiarize Belizeans of not only their borders but also their history. As we know, the Belize Guatemala Territorial dispute is presently walking on shaky grounds. With so much information divulged by the Guatemalan press, it seems that Belize is slow on their educational campaign when it comes to the long standing dispute. With that in mind, BTV invited the Referendum Unit in charge of sensitizing the public on the issue of the unfounded Guatemala Claim, to make a presentation here in Orange Walk. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm sharp at the El Gran Mestizo Resort located in the Louisiana Area near the Nature Park.

Mexico Offers 15 Scholarships To Belizean Students
he jewel’s northern neighbor Mexico is extending an opportunity to Belizeans to higher their education by offering fifteen scholarships at the various campuses of CONALEP University. The opportunity comes under the Belize-Mexico Bi-lateral Agreement. The scholarships will allow qualifying Belizean students to enter the Colegio Nacional de Educacion Profesional Tecnica, to obtain a Bachelors Degree. The Scholarship is normally for the duration of the programme of studies. Scholarship recipients must maintain above average passing grades at the university. Eligible applicants must be a minimum of 17 years old, be of Belizean nationality and living in Belize, have adequate intermediary knowledge of Spanish both in oral and written communication and needs to have completed a minimum of a Second Form level of studies. The scholarship programmes include: Career Areas, Faculty of Industrial Studies, Electricity and Electronics, Information technology, Production processes and physical transformation, Chemistry-Biological production and transformation processes and Tourism Services.

Fourth Estimated Price Sweeter Than Sugar
For several weeks now we have been airing our weekly review for the 2012/2013 crop season based on figures released by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. Sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industry’s Tower Hill Factory has increased considerably when compared to last year’s crop. The current yield is exceptional, resulting in a greater output of sugar during this season and an increase in the fourth cane price estimate which was recently released and stands at $60.68. The fourth cane price estimate is based on several components including the milling of one million fifty thousand tons of cane, expected to produce one hundred and ten tons of sugar and thirty thousand tons of molasses. Out of this amount, 15, 800 tons of sugar and 8,400 tons of molasses will be for local consumption. The current price estimate is also based on a TCTS of 9.55 which is above the actual level achieved last crop of 9.34. The recent estimate translates to good news for cane farmers, but in order to keep it on the rise, the delivery of quality cane to the factory must persist.

Corozal Police Presents Performance Report
The Corozal Police Formation held its quarterly town meeting last night where they presented their report card for the last three months to the few in attendance at the Andres Campos Civic Centre in Corozal. Among those present at the meeting was Regional Commander Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, Officer in Charge of the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez and Station Manager Alison McLaughlin. Superintendent Ramirez began his report by giving a detailed account of crimes committed in Corozal under his command. From October to December 2012 no murder was recorded. The month of October saw six robberies while two were reported in November and one in December of last year. From October to December there were 24 reports of thefts and 27 burglaries. If we take a look at the crimes of rape and carnal knowledge, there were two and one respectively. Entering 2013 statistics changed significantly when it comes to murder, robbery, rape and carnal knowledge. One murder was committed for the first three months while 17 robberies, 19 thefts, 9 burglaries, 10 rapes and three cases of carnal knowledge were recorded.

Talent Comes Alive At Annual Showdown
Tomorrow the Louisiana Government School will hold their annual showdown which serves as a form of revenue earner. The event is scheduled to commence at 6:00pm and according to coordinator of the showdown Enrique Ayuso, there will be 29 performances that will surely delight the audience. Enrique Ayuso Junior- Coordinator “Tomorrow is the annual Louisiana government school show down 2013; it takes place tomorrow at the Louisiana government school field starting at 6pm in the evening. We have 29 performances from infant I all the way to standard six it includes dance, music and drama and poetry and it is a family affair. The show will run from 6pm and it will finish around 9:30pm. Now around 9pm will kick down a big disco and it will go until midnight more or less and it will be there for kids who would normally go to these functions and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.” The show has gained recognition over the years since it discovers the many talents that the students of the school posses.

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Border Line On Guatemala’s Caricom Passport Offends Some Belizeans
We begin this evening’s newscast with a closer look at the new Guatemalan passport, which shows the border with that country as a jagged line. The new Guatemalan passport, captured here by’s Facebook page, is the Central American travel document similar to the one that CARICOM member countries use for travel throughout the Caribbean. The map shows Belize annexed to Guatemala and the jagged line marking our two countries. The map has raised the ire of many Belizeans who say that the perforated line, as opposed to a bold one, is offensive to our territorial sovereignty. An accompanying script on’s Facebook pagestates that Guatemala is now the first country to issue the Central American Passport, and that it did so with the arrival of the first batch of 20 thousand copies today in that country. The script continues that everyday 20 thousand copies of the passport will be distributed until 500 thousand copies are disseminated. The new Guatemalan passport is the first such Central American passport to be printed under an accord reached in 2005 among the presidents of Central America to achieve regional integration and ease of travel within the region.The image and text have drawn a few comments from some Belizeans, most of whom view it as offensive.

Belizeans In California Make Contribution To Belize Territorial Volunteers
Support continues to be outpoured for the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they continue to trek to the clear the Belize-Guatemalan borders in patriotic fashion. This time they have received a donation of footwear from California, U.S.A. Member of the BTV, Wil Maheia says the donation comes at the perfect time. WIL MAHEIA “We call it the boots for the border because these are the boots that will be tracking along the Belize borderline and to be clear not the adjacency zone; it will be on the borderline itself and this is the group of friends of the territorial volunteers, Belize territorial volunteers from California and it shows that Belizeans abroad are concerned about what is happening in the country and this is a way of showing the people who are on the ground, the foot that’s on the ground, the boots that are on the ground. As you know a lot of people going, volunteering to do the chopping, the clearing of the line are the people from the villages. You know, things out there are rough so this is welcomed help and will motivate them even more to go out and do their part for this country.” Maheia says the BTV has been venturing into border clearing with limited equipment.

Judge Directs Jury To Return Not Guilty Verdict For
Twenty-Three year old Michael Gladden, charged with attempted murder and robbery, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. Because Gladden was not represented by any attorney, Justice Gonzalez instigated a no case to answer and asked the Crown counsel, Leroy Banner to reply to it after the prosecution closed its case. Justice Gonzalez ruled that Gladden did not have a case to answer to after he heard banner’s reply. He then directed the jury of 9 to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Gladden was charged with the attempted murder and robbery of 29 year old taxi driver Leon Young, which occurred around3 a.m. on November 16, 2008 at Dolphin Park, located in West Landivar. Six persons, 4 men and 2 women, stopped Young’s taxi on princess Margaret Drive and requested that he take them to Dolphin Park. When they arrived at the park, the person who was seated behind Young began to choke him and stab him. Young was stabbed in his chest, the left side of his back, his left shoulder and his lower right arm. His assailant took off his pants and stole $165. , his cell phone and his wrist watch. Young said that he cannot remember what happened when he took the witness stand. As a result, he was deemed a hostile witness. The statement he gave to the police did not help the prosecution’s case because he did not properly identify the accused. His description of his assailant was that he was a person of dark complexion who had braids. The trial began on Tuesday, April 23.

Bar Owner Fined For Employing Without Proper Permit
Forty-eight year old Yolanda Garcia, the owner of Red angels Bar on Regent Street West, formerly La Serenita Bar, who was convicted of trafficking in persons and was sentenced to 1 year in 2011, was fined $1,000. Today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to employing a person not In possession of an employment permit. She was given until August 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 1 year. The incident occurred yesterday. Three immigration officers- Iglesias, Munnings and Amaya-were on routine inspection of bars when they went to Red Angels and saw a woman there who did not have any employment permit but said that she was working for Garcia. As a result, the woman and Garcia were taken to immigration office and interviewed. After the interview, Garcia was charged.

Woman Faces Second Conviction For Employing Immigrants Without Permits
Thirty-seven year old Vilma Chip, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was fined a total of eight thousand dollars when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, after she pled guilty to 2 counts of employing persons not In possession of employment permit.Chip was given until August 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 2 years for each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.The incident occurred around 5 p.m. yesterday where like in the case reported previously, three immigration officers were conducting routine checks at bars when they visited Chica’s Picante Lounge, which is owned by Chip and located at 4 Mosul Street. There they saw 2 women who when interviewed admitted that they did not have any employment permit.The women said that they were employed by Chip.As a result, the women and Chip were taken to immigration office where they were further interviewed. After which Chip was charged.It is the second time Chip is convicted of employing persons not in possession of employment permit. In November last year she was convicted of 2 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permit.

Pathologist Says Farm Worker Died of Immersion Syndrome
Yesterday Love News reported that the body fifty seven year old Crecencio Mai, a laborer of the Old Northern Highway, was retrieved from a pond at a farm located on the Old Northern Highway. A post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of Mai revealed that he died due to Immersion Syndrome. Love News has still not been able to clarify what Immersion Syndrome means and police have not confirmed whether foul play is suspected. Mai was found partially submerged in the pond by a co-worker. At the time time Mai’s body was fully clothed and was wearing sunglasses.


Armenia Village Chairman says his efforts to get water for the community are thwarted
The Village of Armenia is located about 15 minutes outside the City of Belmopan and is within the Cayo District. With a population of just over 1000 persons the community has the unique privilege of many chiefs and no Indians. What do we mean? Well the Hon. Julius Espat...

National HIV Prevention Summit convenes in Belize City
Today in Belize City the first ever National HIV Prevention Summit was hosted at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. For the next three days, workers in the fight against HIV/AIDS will be strategizing on common issues including stigma and discrimination and reaching vulnerable populations. Executive Director of the National AIDS...

Belize City Council prepares for hurricane season
Belizeans are gearing up for the hurricane season and today the Belize City Council called planners to its Emergency Operations Center for major disasters located on the top floor of the Channel 5 (formerly NDFB) Building on Coney Drive. Councilor responsible for disaster management for City Hall, Philip Willoughby,...

Former Ombudsman shares views on constitutional challenge
The discourse on the constitutional challenge against the Government of Belize has picked up wind again, since the trial starts in the next few weeks. And that was the topic on this morning’s Rise and Shine. Pastor Scott Stirm, of Belize Action, an organization that has been vocal on...

Fundraiser for gunshot victim’s therapy
Early on Good Friday March 29, two men were shot while at their hangout spot in a yard on Partridge Street extension. Jamille “Cash Money” Richardson, 30, and 25 year old Dennis Molina, visiting from the United States, were caught unawares by a lone gunman who came at them...

Southside Group claim unjustified attack by Guardian newspaper
Southside Group which consists of Southside Distributors, Southside Meats, and Southside Mini Mart is claiming in a Press release this evening that the Guardian newspaper, the UDP political media organ, has embarked on a “malicious, defamatory and unjustifiable attack on the person of Senator Mark Lizarraga.” Lizarraga is...

A Call To Worship this weekend in Belize City
“A Call To Worship” is a large gathering of corporate praise and worship. It is a time when people across denominations unite with one purpose – to experience God. And this weekend, they assemble in Belize City. Althea Garbutt is one of the coordinators of the event. Althea Garbutt...

BTV to plant trees and plaques at the Guatemalan Border
This weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers will continue to demarcate the Belize border from Guatemala’s. On Saturday, the group will be going up north to Aguas Turbias and on Sunday to Garbutt Falls. Then on Tuesday, they head to Gracios Adios to visit and examine the present markers. Also...

Stamps celebrate 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation
The General Post Office has issued its latest series of commemorative stamps celebrating the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of Belize and 16 other territories. Having taken over after the death of her father, King George VI, Elizabeth was formally...

Belmopan Primary School Basketball Players battle for places in Regional Tournament
The happenings of senior league basketball are always spotlighted, so tonight we want to shift that spotlight on some younger ballers. Yesterday the Belmopan Primary School Zone finals got underway, where primary schoolers from within the Belmopan area battled it out to move on to the regional tournament. In...

BDF forces guard morgue during Post Mortem examinations
Post Mortem examinations for the persons who were brutally murdered were conducted yesterday in Belize City. As the Post Mortem was being carried out, BDF forces and heavily armed policemen stood on guard outside the morgue. Keino Quallo’s examination started at On 7:55am and was completed at 10:00am. At...

The Guardian

Bacon Senator - Southside Meats attempts to import 6000 Lbs of Bacon illegally
A business house that Senator Mark Lizarraga, who represents the business community, is related, to has some explanation to do after a container was busted at customs with six thousand pounds of bacon. The bust took place in the middle of last week and since then The Guardian has been able to verify that Southside Distributors, listed as having its operations at #23 Albert Street, was attempting to import six thousand pounds of Griddlemaster Wide Shingle Bacon in 400 boxes. The bacon was found inside a container that also brought in 24 boxes of Vacuum Packed Pork Tenderloin. The company from whom the bacon was bought was Hormel Foods out of Chicago, U.S.A. The company had received a permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) to import the tenderloin but there was no permit issued to import the bacon. There is local production of bacon in Belize and for that, it is a controlled good which needs a permit.

Guatemala Afraid to go to ICJ
Guatemala has a very low chance of success in court on its claim for Belizean territory and the country appears to have finally realized that fact. The Guatemalan Government recently announced that it will not proceed with its national referendum on October 6th to decide if the two countries should take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This was after weeks of trying to upset the process. They first complained about Belize’s Referendum Act which requires that sixty percent of the voting population participate in a referendum for it to be valid. This requirement was introduced in the laws of Belize before the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala was signed. Therefore, they were well aware of the sixty percent threshold, or they should have been. They then complained about the cost of a national referendum in their country compared to one in Belize. Another bogus concern because it was on the table to hold the referendum during their General Elections in order to minimize the cost. They then proposed that Belize go ahead and hold its referendum first and Guatemala would follow depending on the results. Prime Minister Barrow publicly rejected that proposal at a House of Representatives meeting. Now, they have decided to breach the Special Agreement by not holding their referendum. The international community can now clearly see that Guatemala is not serious about bringing an end to the territorial dispute.

Police Officer Commits Suicide
Officers of the Belize Police Department are mourning the loss of one of their brothers. Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23rd, Police Constable Jose Pam placed a .38 revolver to the right side of his head and squeezed the trigger. His wife, Simeona Pam, told police that the officer left the living quarters of the Gales Point Police Sub-Station at about 11 a.m. that morning and went into the village. He returned at 5 p.m. and was under the influence of alcohol. She said her husband expressed his frustration about his job, among other things, and proceeded to lie down on the floor. She then went to bathe their 2-year-old son and ten minutes later she heard a loud bang. She rushed to check on her husband and found him lying on the floor face up in a pool of blood. Dangriga police was called to the scene. They found the officer’s .38 revolver next to his body. It was loaded with five live rounds and one expended shell in the cylinder. P.C. Pam was pronounced dead at the Southern Regional Hospital at 10:35 p.m.

Water for the River Valley Communities
Hon. Edmund Castro, Hon. Godwin Hulse and BWSL’s Chairman, Alberto August broke ground. On Wednesday, April 24th Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North along with Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Rural Development and Chairman of the Belize Water Services Limited broke ground on a 7.8 million dollar water project in the Belize River Valley area.

Pushing on 70 concreted streets
It was once a practice that when a street was paved it would have been featured in the local television news as a major accomplishment in Belize City. Chip and seal being placed on the streets to improve them would feature at the beginning of the paving and a recap at the end. Now streets are being paved with concrete, sometimes 10 at a time, simultaneously and there is not even a peep from the major news stations. We guess that it goes with the territory, when you have done so much it is expected that you do much more without even being recognized.

Cayo now has New Evidence Room
L-R Albert Moore, Joseph Boski and Superintendent Ralf Moody look on as the ribbon is cut. Political and Economic Section Chief Joseph Boski, from the United States Embassy in Belmopan officially delivered the keys of a new evidence room in San Ignacio Town to Superintendent of Police Ralph Moody on April 18th, 2013. The fully air conditioned room is adjacent to the San Ignacio Police Station.

Auditor General’s Review
The Auditor General’s 2010/2011 report was released with its usual sensational thrust. However a real close review has exposed the true and cold facts. The truth is, it is nothing but a glorified gossip column. It was downright disappointing.

Contracts signed to begin Road Project in Santa Elena/San Ignacio Area
On Monday April 22nd, in a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Works Conference Room, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project to begin works for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project, which includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road.

Sport Facilities being upgraded in Cayo Central
Several teams of basketball players had the opportunity to use for the first time the newly renovated basketball court of Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District this past Friday. Eight teams will now participate in the Santa Elena Basketball Tournament, with players becoming actively involved each Friday and Saturday starting at 6:00 pm, for the next two months, in what promises to be an annual event.

Crying after the Fact!
The golden rule in journalism and the media has always been this: you don't write it, say it or comment on it if you cannot prove it. It is a mantra that is upheld across the world and for media organizations, it is the single guiding principle and light which prevents us from running amuck with wild allegations and fantasies. These would in turn lead to the rocky shoals of libel and slander lawsuits.

PUP Develops a Conscience on Offshore Drilling
Under the People's United Party government offshore oil exploration contracts were given out to 6 companies in 2004 and 2007. The Supreme Court has ruled that these contracts were improperly awarded and have declared them null and void. Now the People's United Party, in the persons of some of the very people who were actually in government in their last administration have grown a conscience. They issued a release in which they claim that they will "not issue any Oil exploration licenses which are not in full compliance with the Laws of Belize inclusive of the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and no licenses will be issued to a company which clearly lacks the capacity to carry out oil exploration." HELLO.... that is exactly what they did. Now they are backpedaling on their decision and are pretending to be holier than thou. The fact is that by their issuing of a statement they are admitting that they in fact were the ones who issued the contracts illegally.

PM Departs to New York and Haiti
Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow left the country today on official business to New York and Haiti.

Prosecutors’ Course conducted at National Police Training Academy
In order to improve the effectiveness of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Belize, a Prosecutors’ Course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

Santi launches Drainage Project for Buttonwood Bay
Daniel Cano and Hon. Santiago Castillo inspect the progress of the project. When he was on the campaign trail to secure the United Democratic Party’s nomination for Caribbean Shores in late 2011, Santiago 'Santino' Castillo listened to residents about community based projects they would like to see accomplished. He said, “The two most common concerns are street infrastructure and drainage.” He pledged that on day one upon being elected Area Representative for the Caribbean Shores constituency he would lobby tirelessly to see that the infrastructure is improved. Mayor Darrell Bradley has been very instrumental in helping him to keep that promise with the City Council’s extensive street rehabilitation program and on Monday, April 22nd, Castillo launched a million dollar comprehensive drainage project for the Buttonwood Bay area.

Showing Him the way
Francis Fonseca was all smiles as he cut the ribbon to Chetumal Boulevard when it was officially declared opened on Tuesday, April 16th. He went to great lengths at highlighting the new politicians that go past party lines to develop the country; he even claimed Mayor Darrell Bradley as his Mayor.

Vaccination Week in the Americas: A Shared Responsibility
Hon. Pablo Marin witnessing oral administration of vaccine The health of Belize and Guatemala as wells as the rest of the Americas turned for better prospects on Wednesday with the launch of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) in the Adjacency Zone between Benque Viejo and Melchor de Mencos. It comes as the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in the eleventh celebration of VWA joined forces with Governments and organizations in a widely anticipated and all encompassing effort to immunize citizens against a host of life threatening diseases.

Burglar shot Dead by Police
The family of 23-year-old Ryan Lozano has requested that an investigation be launched into the shooting that led to his death on Thursday, April 18th. According to police, at approximately 12:20 on Thursday afternoon, police responded to a burglary in progress in the Los Lagos area of the Belize District. Upon arrival, they came across 33-year-old Lenny Benguche who was hiding behind the house. Police approached and apprehended Benguche. Police say that Lozano then came from out of the house armed with a knife and crowbar. He was warned by officers but according to the report he “continued to approach the police in a threatening manner”. As a result, police opened fire hitting him once in the abdomen. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment but died on Friday morning, April 19th.

Guilty of a 10-year-old crime of Aggravated Assault Upon Infant Child
On Monday evening, April 22nd, a jury of nine found 38-year-old John Baptist, Sr. guilty on two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 6-year-old child. Baptist was charged with one count of unlawful carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature in 2003. The child, who is now 15-years-old, testified in court that Baptist had sex with her in 2003 and on three separate occasions, he molested her by touching her private parts and even performing oral sex on one occasion. Baptist, who was unrepresented in court, denied the allegations. It was left up to the jury to determine if Prosecutor Leroy Banner provided sufficient evidence to prove that Baptist was guilty. The jury began deliberating at 11:28 a.m. on Monday and returned at 4 p.m. with a guilty verdict on two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. They did not reach a verdict on the charge of carnal knowledge and one count of aggravated assault. Justice Traodio Gonzalez has reserved sentencing for May 3rd when mitigation pleas will be heard on Baptist’s behalf.

Pleads Guilty to Wounding
On Thursday, April 19th, 24-year-old Michael Cowo pleaded guilty to wounding a 65-year-old man. The incident occurred on December 23rd, 2012, but it was not until Monday, April 8th, 2013 that the escaped prisoner was caught and charged with wounding and escape. Police allegations are that Cowo, a Fisherman and resident of Louise Street threw a stone at 65-year-old Christopher Lamb, hitting him to the right hand causing swelling and pain. For that offense, Cowo was detained and charged with wounding. Police say that whilst Cowo was detained at the station he managed to escape by running though the main door. For that offense, he was charged with escape.

Libertad Murder Suspect surrenders to Police
According to reports, 58-year-old Marciano Correa was on the run after 43-year-old Sisto Victorio Osorio was killed on Friday, April 19th. Police found the lifeless body of Osorio lying face down on a pavement in Libertad Village around noon on Friday. Police have not shared any motive for the murder as yet; however, sources say that it may have been the result of a family dispute in which alcohol was involved. Osorio reportedly was in a relationship with Correa’s sister and the two had a fight. That caused Correa to attack Osorio, hitting him over the head with a blunt object. Osorio died as a result of the injury. On Saturday, April 20th, Correa turned himself into police and was charged with murder on Monday, April 22nd. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and he will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison.

Convicted of Attempted Murder
On Friday, April 19th, a jury of 9 stepped into the deliberating room at 3:25p.m. and emerged at around 4:43 p.m., to find 28-year-old Leroy Ramsey guilty of two counts of attempted murder. Ramsey was unrepresented when he appeared before Justice Troadio Gonzalez who deferred sentencing to Friday, April 26th when he will hear mitigation pleas. Ramsey was accused of the February 19th, 2008 attempted murder of Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill, who were both shot at whilst on Raccoon Street in Belize City. On that night, Broaster, Madrill and Robert Wagner were together on the street side, when according to Wagner’s testimony, he saw Ramsey approached them and opened fire. According to Wagner, he saw when Ramsey pulled out a gun and fired shots in the direction of Broaster and Madrill. He explained that he saw when Broaster was shot at twice and Madrill three times. Broaster received gunshots to the left chest while Madrill escaped unhurt.

Tibruce Street Youths Charged with Wounding
Three young men from Tibruce Street appeared in court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, April 22nd, to face a charge of wounding upon Kadeem Babb. According to reports, Babb was on Tibruce Street on Saturday, April 20th, when he was confronted by 21-year-old Kenyon McCauley and 19-year-old Jamal Neal and 19-year-old Sair Neal. He was then attacked, beaten with sticks and kicked all over the body. Babb managed to escape his attackers and ran straight to the police station to report the incident. In court, the trio pleaded not guilty to the charge. They were each offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. They must also report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The case was adjourned until May 27th.

Charged for Love Mark
On Monday, April 22nd, Daniel Zetina, 42, a taxi driver and resident of a Madam Liza Avenue appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after being accused over the weekend of sexually assaulting a 46-year-old woman. He pleaded not guilty to the offense of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and was offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. He was ordered to stay away from the victim and or any of her family members. She also ordered him to surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court and that he report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday effective April 29th, 2013 until his case is disposed of. Zetina met his bail and is due back in court on May 28th, 2013. According to the 46-year-old woman, on Saturday, April 20th, Zetina touched her private parts and then placed a love mark or 'hicky' on her neck. She became annoyed with his behavior and reported the matter requesting court action. In court, Zetina was unrepresented.

Camalote United leads in the Miley Garcia Softball Competition
The 2013 Miley Garcia Softball Competition for the Cayo Softball Association continued on Sunday, April 21st, at the Softball Field in Ontario Village, Cayo District. In the first game played, the defending champions Camalote United defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 27-1. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. In game two, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated Belmopan United by the score of 15-5. The winning pitcher was Ayannah Smith and the losing pitcher was Dana Mae King. In the final game of the day, Ontario Rebels won over Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 13 to 5. The winning pitcher was Kenreen Gillett and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis. The competition will continue this Sunday at 12:00 midday at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village. In the first game at 12:00 pm Belmopan Capital City Emeralds will see action against Ontario Rebels. In game two, it will be Esperanza Wolverines against Las Flores Shooting Stars, and in the final game of the day, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy will see action against the host team Camalote United.

Muslim Community School wins in Primary Schools Basketball
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City with a number of games in the girls’ and boys’ competition. On Tuesday, April 23rd, in the only girls game played, Muslim Community School won over St. John Vianney School by the score of 6-4. The top scorer for Muslim Community was Shala Smith with 6 points, while the top scorers for St. John Vianney School were Princella Samuels and Jasmine Sanchez with 2 points each. In the first of three boys games played, St. Ignatius School defeated St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 23-21. The top scorer for St. Ignatius School was Malique rose with 18 points, while the top scorers for St. Martin De Porres School were Glen Arzu and Derrick Menzies with 5 points each. In the second game, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 20-9. The top scorer for Ephesus SDA was Antawn Palacio with 10 points while Jason Ellis top scored for Trinity Methodist with 3 points. In the final game of the day, New Horizon won via the default route over St. Mary’s School.

Belmopan Bandits Number One Seed into The Playoffs
The regular season for the Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament will come to an end over this coming weekend with a number of games on the schedule. However, the tournament continued over the last weekend with four games on the schedule. On Saturday, April 20th, out at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the home team Verdes FC blanked FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Julio Ayala in the 76th minute of play to give his team the big victory and some hope of making it to the next round of the competition. On Sunday, April 21st, at the MCC Grounds, FC Belize shut out San Ignacio United FC by the score of 4-0. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Stephen Baizar in the 25th, 31st, and 57th minutes of play and Avian Crawford in the 68th minute of play. At the Placencia Football Field in Placencia, the home team Placencia Assassins FC edged the defending champions and current leaders in this Closing Season Tournament by the score of 2-1. The home team Placencia Assassins were the first to get on the scoreboard when Ashley Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 44th minute of play to give his team an early lead. That lead was further extended when Kareem Haylock scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 71st minute of play for a 2-1 lead. In fact, that goal proved to be the margin of victory for the Placencia Assassins.

Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta This weekend
The general public and all sail boat enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta on the weekend of April 27th and 28th. The series of sailboat races will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning featuring up to 5 races with the youth sailboat Optimist. The regatta committee is able to add several more races for those wishing to bring their “one design” sailboat and participate to international standards races at this venue. The lagoon has no tides or currents, and the small waves and sudden strong gusty seasonal winds make ideal for novices and experienced sailors. Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Administrative Instructions are availanle on request from [email protected] .

Vehicle flips in Cayo killing a Student
The body of sixteen year old Michael Masariego awaits a post-mortem examination after being killed at about 6:30 on Saturday morning on the Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. In a version of the incident, the mother Joy Johnson, says that Masariego had taken a hitchhike and was travelling in the pan of a vehicle towards Santa Elena when the vehicle he was riding in turned over. Michael Masariego, also known as “Georgy,” loved to play football and had gone to Cristo Rey Village last Friday evening. He was heading to another game in Benque Viejo when the accident happened. “…He loved sports, that was his aim, everything was sports, as soon as he got home [he would say] mom I want to practice and need to keep fit,” said Joy Johnson. “He always wanted to go away, maybe get a scholarship to go to the United States and play ball there.”

Humane Society Combating Epidemic Affecting Local Dogs
The Belize Humane Society is concerned about two diseases that are targeting the canine population of Belize. Those are the Transmissible Venereal Tumour (TVT) and Canine Distemper. TVT is one of only three known transmissible cancers and its target is the canine population. It is a sexually transmitted disease which causes a tumor to grow on the external sexual organs of dogs. The recommended treatment for TVT is chemotherapy. Since treatment is expensive, the Belize Humane Society recommends that the focus be on prevention. The Humane Society advises the public to take advantage of its “Project Snip” which subsidises fifty percent of the cost to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Project Snip was launched by the Humane Society in an effort to limit the impact of unwanted breeding on the population of dogs and cats in the streets of Belize City and to try cut the population of unwanted dogs and cats by half. It is also effective in preventing the spread of TVT since male dogs are less sexually motivated after the procedure. Individuals interested in taking advantage of the subsidised spay and neuter program can call the Animal Medical Centre (AMC), located at the corner of Castle & Lancaster Streets (off Victoria Street), at telephone number 223-3781. Residents on the Southside of Belize City can call the Lake View Animal Clinic (LVAC) which is located on Lakeview Street (between Vernon Street and Cemetery Road) at 605-5822.

Tinking Outside of the Box
If exhortations and moral persuasion alone were sufficient to deter destructive behaviour there would be much less of it around. Education is also very important if people are to be persuaded to stop doing things that they like to do but by itself it has very little effect. Experience shows that changing behaviour is a very complex and difficult process requiring education, innovative, non judgemental thinking, some trial and error and a willingness to learn from evidence. Some examples show what can be achieved when these ideas are put into practice. For more than 60 years there has been evidence that the use of seat belts in cars can save thousands of lives but even after governments legislated their installation in new cars most people refused to use them. Exhortations to “click it” had very little effect. Education campaigns had some effect but it was not until governments introduced and enforced legislation making wearing seatbelts compulsory that it became widespread. After a few years of compliance enforced by law the wearing of seat belts has become automatic and socially acceptable, thus saving thousands of lives. Airbags are even more effective and luckily for the authorities once introduced and installed in cars they deploy automatically in accidents. Do some people still refuse to wear seat belts even when the law is enforced? Of course. But the vast majority of drivers do wear seat belts. Drunk driving is another destructive behaviour that took thousands of lives every year in developed countries and continues to take lives elsewhere including in Belize. Countries that have significantly reduced its incidence found that exhortations and tearful pleas from bereft family members did little to change behaviour. Change in the US only began to gain momentum when Mothers Against Drunk Driving decided that visiting High Schools to educate teenagers about the consequences of drunk driving was not having a significant effect and instead turned their attention to changing legislation and ensuring enforcement. In many US States and other countries this was followed by sharing responsibility so that bartenders are held liable if they allow an intoxicated patron to drive. Do some people in countries where strict laws are enforced still drink and drive? Of course. But the numbers of people doing so has been reduced significantly.

Life After Sexual Abuse
My name is Simone, I am from Belmopan, and I am 24 years old. In August of 2010, I wrote an article about my sexual abuse. If you have not read my story as yet you can go to Google and search for “A Sexual Abuse Survivor Tale in Belize”. It has been a difficult yet interesting two years since my last article. I was amazed by the feedback; I honestly thought I was all alone suffering with the effects of sexual abuse. It was difficult to reflect on what was done to me. I never thought sexual abuse would have ruined my life but it had. After hearing other survivor’s stories, I asked for some of them to meet so we could share and find ways to assist each other in the recovery. A few of us met and were working together for a few weeks along with a Psychotherapist. Facing the trauma is a long journey, it’s nothing easy to acknowledge the effects, remind yourself it’s not your fault and recreate your understanding about sexuality, spirituality, intimacy, society and actively practicing healthy patterns. As a group we were slowly opening up layers of pain, but it wasn’t long until survivor’s daily activities and priorities seemed more important to them than going back to childhood trauma. The reason for this is that some of us are constantly told “The past is the past”, “Move on”, “Get over it”, “if you go back, you’re wasting your time”. We tend to believe all of this and deny we have problems. Even if we recognize some of the effects of abuse we don’t want to deal with it, also even if we want to, we are fearful. Some of us honestly believe ignoring our issues will automatically erase them; it doesn’t work that way no matter how hard we try. Sexual abuse consciously or unconsciously affects the way we interact with people, our decision making, self esteem, emotions, anger and sexual life; our entire life.


Anything can be done underwater!!
With the ocean beside us and indeed all around us here in Caye Caulker the local boys become adventurous as to what activities they can undertake both above and underneath the water – this video shows exactly how creative a Sunday afternoon can be with a group of boys attempting and indeed succeeding at biking underwater – well done boys!!

BELTRAIDE partners with YWCA to serve Southern Districts
BELTRAIDE’s mission includes enhancing Belize’s prosperity by fostering entrepreneurship and business growth. The SBDCBelize unit of BELTRAIDE is tasked with achieving this part of the mission. Through the SBDCBelize unit (Small Business Development Centre), BELTRAIDE has partnered with the YWCA’s project known as “Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship & Market Development” (EEOEM) for a 12 weeks business skills certification program. Through this project participants are receiving business and skills training, assistance in improving their business and access to outlets to market their products and/or services. Officers from BELTRAIDE have developed and are facilitating the courses as well as providing personalized business advisory services to the participant.

Kinglsey Cooper, the chairman and CEO of Pulse Model Agency was visiting Belize from April 13th to April 18th, 2013 accompanied by his partner and wife, Ms. Romae Gordon who is also the fashion director of Pulse Model Agency. Pulse Model Agency is credited with launching the careers of several internationally known models, including Jamaican- born models Jaunel McKenzie and Carla Campbell, over the past thirty-three years, and its Caribbean Fashion Week has been regarded as the leading fashion event in the Caribbean since its inception in 2001. This event has been a major catalyst for the development of the Caribbean fashion industry, and brings together the best designers and stylists from the region and designers from all over the world. Mr. Cooper’s work has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Caribbean Fashion Rocks!, New York’s signature event for Caribbean fashion and models. Mr. Cooper’s visit to Belize was an opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful Belizean women and men. During his five day visit, he and Ms. Gordon hosted a press conference, met with Belize’s most promising young models and designers, and attended a cocktail and fashion show in his honor on April 17th, presented by Fashion Forward, an exciting new collaboration of Belizean women interested in developing the fashion and modeling industries in Belize.

International Sources

Ancient Maya discovery sheds new light on the origins of civilization
Over 3,000 years ago, in the warm, fertile lands that are now Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, the great Maya civilization arose — its vast pyramid temples appearing to come out of nowhere. But new evidence suggests a fascinating origin for this ancient, advanced culture. Just as the Inca once dominated South America, the Maya dominated large parts of Central America and Mexico. But we know far less about Maya civilization. Now, after seven years of careful excavation at the famous Maya cultural center of Ceibal in Guatemala, University of Arizona anthropologists Daniela Triadan and Takeshi Inomata believe they have settled one of the greatest debates in their field: where the Maya came from. They published their work today in Science.

New World Oil and Gas plummets on Belize well abandonment
Shares in New World Oil and Gas (NEW) plunged almost 30% on Friday after it announced it had plugged and abandoned its Rio Bravo well in north-west Belize. The well was deemed non-commercial. Separately, the company revealed samples showed the existence of an active hydrocarbon system and live oil shows were measured in the Belize Y3 and Hill Bank formations. The company insisted that the technical data produced by the Rio Bravo well demonstrated that the New World acreage would "likely contain" productive reservoirs.

New World Oil and Gas dips after deeming Rio Bravo well 'non-commercial'
Shares in New World Oil and Gas dipped on Friday morning after the oil and gas exploration company reported that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons had been found at the Rio Bravo well in Northwest Belize. The company, which is focused on Belize and Denmark, said that the well, which is located in the Petén Basin, had been drilled to a measured depth of 9,010 ft on April 21st. Following analysis, and in consultation with New World's partners, Blue Creek Exploration, and the government of Belize, the company said it had been determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present to economically justify running casing and well testing operations. As a result, the company said it had deemed the well non-commercial and decided to plug and abandon Rio Bravo.

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