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Today's Belize News: April 30, 2013 #463398
04/30/13 06:12 AM
04/30/13 06:12 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Video short focuses on late conservationist Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia
Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia’s contributions to Belize’s conservation history are numerous. His passing on April 12, 2013 was a significant loss to Belize, as he impacted the country and the tourism industry in ways that are so far-reaching. Of special significance was his fight for the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve. There have been numerous accolades bestowed upon him, including the James Waight Conservation Award. In an effort to honor this conservation giant, Michael Desabrais has prepared a video short focusing on the Chocolate man himself. The short, part of a larger documentary on Caye Caulker, will be entered into the 2013 Belize International Film Festival to be held in July.

PolyClinic staff vent frustration about internal issues
Some staff members of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II have officially written to the Central Health Region expressing their discontent as it relates to the management of the clinic. The three-page letter, sent to Nurse Melinda Guerra, Manager of the Central Health Region, details the staff’s frustration at the way the clinic is being managed. The correspondence was sent on April 16th and was carbon copied to a number of people including the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Area Representative for Belize Rural South and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero.

National News: Guatemala backs out of October 6th Referendum
The government of the Republic of Guatemala officially confirmed on Tuesday April 23rd that they are backing out of a joint referendum that was agreed on with Belize and scheduled for October 6, 2013. The decision was announced after the legislative arm of the Guatemalan government presented a recommendation to pull out from the agreement citing three reasons. One of the three reasons has to do with the 60% threshold of voter turnout required by Belize law to make a referendum binding. The decision by the Guatemalan government has been communicated to the Organization of American State (OAS) who is serving as the mediator in the entire diplomatic negotiation on the Guatemalan territorial claim over a portion of Belize. According to the Guatemalan government, given the circumstances now, they do not foresee a positive result going forward with the joint referendum, thus taking the decision not to submit to a referendum. Fernando Carrera, Foreign Minister of Guatemala said that the government decided to suspend the referendum that was scheduled for October 6th as a way to settle the dispute with Belize. Carrera also told reporters that a letter was sent to the Legislature, informing them of the decision and for them to determine the legal path to follow, a decision that was also transmitted to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala has also been informed to suspend any further consultation with the public on the October 6th referendum.

Editorial: Who is responsible for the stories published in The San Pedro Sun?
Last week I was contacted by readers regarding two of our articles, complaining that our senior reporter Jorge Aldana had a hidden ‘agenda’ when penning the stories. Let me ask you this? Have you noticed when reading The San Pedro Sun there are no bylines? So how is it that some assume that an article is written by Mr. Aldana? Why no bylines? Because by the time a story goes through our editing process it belongs to The San Pedro Sun, not one specific writer, except for editorials such as this. And just for the record, editorials are written by the editor unless otherwise noted. Regardless of who writes a news article for The San Pedro Sun, the piece goes through tireless scrutiny. Often, before a story is even written the reporter discusses with the editors and colleagues what angle the story should take. Once that is determined, the article is proofed by Associate Editor Mary Gonzalez then returned to the reporter for corrections. After the corrections are made, each staff member proofs the story and I, Tamara Sniffin, Editor, make the final proof before giving it my approval for print. If you want to complain about a story in The San Pedro Sun then blame it on me, the editor, not the reporter.

Tropic Air announces service to Roatan, Honduras
Tropic Air announced that it will inaugurate non-stop service to Roatan, Honduras on November 20, 2013. With the launching of this service, Tropic will be the only airline to operate non-stop scheduled flights between Belize and the Bay Islands. Initially, Tropic will fly between Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Roatan Honduras (RTB) 3 times weekly, and tickets are now available for sale. This new service will not only serve to make travel to Roatan easier, but will allow for the expansion of trade and tourism between the two countries and serve to further grow the historical ties between Belize and the Bay Islands.

Italian Antonio Velardo and Swedish Levente Arangos denied stay in Belize
Two people did not get to enjoy their stay on Ambergris Caye and Belize after they were kicked out of the country by authorities over the weekend. Italian 35-year-old Antonio Velardo and Swedish boat captain 47-year-old Levente Arangos were escorted out of Belize via their vessel “La Aventura.” They were escorted by San Pedro Police on the afternoon of Sunday April 28th after the Belize Immigration Department executed a notice forbidding the captain and the lone passenger landing. The two arrived in Belize and docked at local marina in San Pedro Town on April 24th. After being in the country for 24 hours, the two had refused to declare funds and were later picked up by authorities on the island during a joint operation. During the operation, authorities found a total of US$22,000 inside La Aventura and as a result proceeded to detain the two foreigners.

Ambergris Today

Iconic Jet’s Bar Burns Down at Belize’s International Airport
With sadness, we report today that Jet’s Bar burned down over the weekend due to an electrical fault, according to reports. The fire reportedly occurred on April 27, 2013, at about eight in the evening; it was contained within the establishment and no other damages were reported at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Family, friends and fans of Jet’s Bar have expressed their sadness over the incident but the management of the place has stated that the airport will restore the bar, but details as to how long it will take have not been released. Travelers will miss the cozy spot with all of the paraphernalia and great decorations that Mr. Jet had collected throughout the years, but we are sure fans and friends will help Mr. Holland bring Jet’s Bar back to normal in no time.

Canadian Travel Agents, Journalists & Wholesalers Visit Belize!
The Canadian Market has been one of Belize’s growing markets in North America. The Belize Tourism Board has been aggressively working within this market; from successful trade shows to road shows and sales presentations. BTB was proud to welcome a large contingent of Canadian Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Travel Writers, on Monday, April 15th, 2013. The Belize Tourism Board organized a familiarization trip (FAM), to give 25 Canadian travel industry professionals an opportunity to learn about and experience Belize. The group of travel agents was in the country from April 15-22. The FAM Tour consisted of a series of site visits at various properties in inland Cayo, Mountain Pine Ridge Area, Placencia and San Pedro Ambergris Caye, as well as popular tours in the respective areas. The purpose of this initiative is to drive more Canadians to Belize. The group of journalists and tour operators were in the country from April 15-20 and their FAM Tour commenced in San Pedro Ambergris. They travelled to Hopkins Village, Mountain Pine Ridge Area and inland Cayo and participated in several inland activities. Belize is expected to get premium exposure in top Canadian news outlets.

Reef Week Activities Announced
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve has a week full of activities which will take place from May 20 – 26, 2013. Below is the schedule of activities for this year’s Reef Week.

The Many Faces of Daddy's Club
Daddy’ Rock is under new management by Ana Cal and somebody asked, “How long back does Daddy’s go?” Somebody said about 28 years, but she had no idea. Here’s a little of the history for my good friend Ana Cal Daddy’s Club is the brainchild of Mr. Gildardo “Daddy” Paz. He was one of the few Paz brothers that decided not to become a fisherman but to be a businessman. In the year 1950 or just about Mr. Daddy built the first bar right on the beach and also right in front of the great Blake House belonging to the most influential family in San Pedro. At Blake House there was a liquor store but liquor was not to be consumed on the premises, so you can know that Daddy’s Club became the most popular bar in San Pedro, except that it carried the name “Club” instead of “Bar”. It was a simple room with a counter and a few tables and chairs. Attached to the club Mr. Daddy had another business, Daddy’s Saloon, where folks could enjoy soft drinks called Lemonade, bottled chocolate drinks called Soldaditos, candies, pet milk, chocolates, natural milk in cans, pepitoes, peanuts, and the most famous refreshing shaved ice with syrup called ‘raspados’. These raspados were sold only once in a while when the cargo boat occasionally brought a block of ice from Belize City. This was the very beginning of your Club, Ana.

Belize’s April the Tapir Turns 30!
World Tapir Day is celebrated on April 27 and in Belize it is also considered National Tapir Day thanks to a very special Tapir named April. It is the oldest female tapir living in captivity in the world and her home is known to everyone as the Best Little Zoo in the World – The Belize Zoo. The grandeur that April has become in the Belizean culture was best displayed with a ceremonial unveiling of these two photographs which featured Claire Gibson who was only three years old when she first visited April in 1983 and one when Gibson returned this year to visit her again.

El Secreto Resort Glows as Night Falls, in Conde Nast Traveler's Best List
Ultra Modern and Luxury Resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize named as one of the Best New Hotels in 2013 by Conde Nast Traveler - As night falls onto El Secreto, the resort comes alive with ever-changing colors, from their pier to the reception area, restaurant, bar, coconut palms and private villas. The entire resort is wired with state of the art lighting system that brings color and a relaxing ambience to its environment. This week El Secreto received great recognition from Conde Nast Traveler by added the resort to its list of The 154 Best New Hotels in the World.

Misc Belizean Sources

Labour Day Open Day (April 30th 2013)
Warm greetings from the Department of Labour, please feel free to visit any of our Labour Department country-wide, today April 30th, 2013 for our Labour Day Open Day. There will be information displays, prizes and give aways; feel free to bring along questions and concerns as our labour officers will be sure to address them. SEE YOU THERE

Public Consultation for Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) would like to invite the public to presentations and discussions on the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan. This national Plan is mandated under the Coastal Zone Management Act, and determines the suitability of coastal land use for sustainable development along the entire coastal zone of Belize. The Plan has been under preparation for the past two years, with input from local residents, scientific experts, and government agencies. CZMAI would now like to offer the Plan for public review and receive your input in order to finalize the Plan. Please join us at the community meeting scheduled for your region between May 16, 2013-June 12, 2013. Meetings will start at 6 PM unless indicated otherwise. For more information contact us at Tel. 223-5739/0713 or check out our website: Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for all updates.

At his Quarterly Press Conference today 29 April 2013 - Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced he has ordered that with effect from midnight tomorrow 30th April, government-controlled Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) shall remove any and all restrictions on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) communications in Belize. BTL has been ordered to allow the use of all VOIP-based applications starting on 1st May 2013.

The Fight to Decriminalize Homosexuality in Belize: History Will Be Made May 7 -10
The most significant step in the long journey toward equality for LGBT persons in Belize will take place starting May 7, 2013, in the Supreme Court of Belize. The Chief Justice of Belize will hear a claim from Caleb Orozco that Belize’s “anti-sodomy” law is in violation of his nation’s constitution. Mr. Orozco, the executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is seeking to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years”. Belize (pop. 330,000) is a small ethnically and culturally diverse English-speaking nation in Central America. Best known for its spectacular natural tourist attractions, Belize only achieved independence from Great Britain in 1981. Section 53 of the Laws of Belize is a vestige from the country’s colonial past. Belize is the only nation in Central America that still criminalizes consensual same-sex activity but “anti-buggery” laws do still exist throughout the Caribbean and British Commonwealth.

Activist challenges Belize's church and state over anti-gay law
In a climate of anti-gay moral panic, Caleb Orozco leads a fight to force Belize to repeal its law punishing gay sex with up to ten years imprisonment. Caleb Orozco, an LGBT rights advocate is taking to court Belize’s government and an anti-gay religious lobby in an attempt to overturn the country’s anti-gay sex law. Mr. Orozco, chair of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is seeking to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states ‘every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ He will appear before the Supreme Court of Belize on 7 May, 2013 in a bid to repeal the country’s colonial based ‘anti-buggery’ law, the last country in Central America that maintains such a legislation.

Rotaract Literacy Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio went to Nazarene Primary school to do some storytelling during Book Week. Great way to get the kids interested in reading. Thanks, Rotaract! "Rotaract Club of San Ignacio was part of Literacy Week this week. Four of our Rotaractors visited Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio, and read along with a Standard III class stories written by Dr. Brown, a Rotarian. This literacy project is in relation to the Literacy Project of the Rotary E-Club of the Southwest USA, District 5510. The children learned, laughed and loved the stories! We all had a great time. 29-04-2013"

Henry's Small Engine Repair
There's a new small engine repair service in Cayo, and Henry Ayuso is the driving force behind it. He's one of the recent graduates from the Trades 4 Life program. It looks like he learned a lot. Best of luck, Henry!

Ministry of Labour Open Day
The Ministry of Labour is having their open day today. In Cayo, their office is located at the junction of West and Far West streets. If you want to learn more about labour laws, tomorrow is your chance.

Scarlet Macaw Health Checks
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic teamed up with the Scarlet Macaw researchers and FCD to do some Scarlet Macaw health checks in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Daniel Velazquez was there with camera in hand to get film for the documentary, and catch some great moments. Looks like they had some serious climbing to do. "An amazing and inspiring trip, for which the "real" pics will follow (sorry). We had several professionals documenting and hope to share some of their images soon. But suffice to say that Roni Martinez, Charles Britt, Friends for Conservation and Development and the 8 Rangers on the ground in Chiquibul are doing an incredible job to protect the Scarlet Macaw from extinction! Myself and BWRC and many others will do what we can to support the efforts."

BBIA Book Week(end) in Cayo
The Cayo Welcome Center was the venue for the Belize Book Industry Assocition's Book Week festivities Friday and Saturday. The BBIA, along with the San Ignacio Public Library and NICH, made the weekend all about reading. Tons of students came out for the Book Fair, and they got to see storytelling, a map reading quiz, a grafitti competition, a cultural night on Burns avenue, and much more. Thanks to all involved for getting the younger generation interested in books.

Channel 7

Mother Accused of Killing Her Three Small Children
Recently, there’s been so much violence that to some extent, we’ve all become numb. But this weekend when news went out that a 22 year old mother had killed three of her small children by drowning, it set this society reeling; the act is completely incomprehensible, and goes against everything, even the very order or nature. But, it did happen, and today Felicia Chen, a resident of mile eight community went to court for killing her three small children. We’ll tell you about her arraignment in court later, but first to that horrible, unspeakable event. It happened in the morning sometime after 9:00 at the Belizean Beach. Monica Bodden has the story:… Monica Bodden reporting The drowning happened here at Belizean Beach. Just after midday, police retrieved the tiny bodies of 3 young children - 4 year old Triana, 3 year old Thomas, and 1 year old Trinaya Teul. The bodies of the 3 siblings were discovered near these mangroves. Their mother 22 year old Felicia Chen was seen walking out to sea – It is a crime that is unthinkable for most people. But this deeply disturbed 22 year old mother drowned her 3 young children – including her one year old baby –and then was attempting to drown herself. The incident unfolded in front of Chen’s 6 year old daughter. Trina Tuel- who managed to escaped death from her own mother.The little girl reportedly ran away from what was happening and made her way to the highway to search for help. One neighbor noticed the 6 year old child walking alone on the road.

Chen Arraigned In Closed Court
Late this evening, 22 year-old Felicia Chen was taken to the Magistrate’s Court for her arraignment. She was escorted by police before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who read her 3 counts of murder. No one, including her family and the media, was allowed inside the courtroom. Due to the nature of the offences, she couldn’t be granted bail, and she was remanded into custody. Magistate Cayetano also gave an order for her mental state to be assessed to determine whether she will be remanded to prison, or to a mental health facility in the first instance. DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal appeared for the prosecution in the arraignment.

National Bank To Drive Down Interest Rates
The Prime Minister held his quarterly press conference this morning. These events are newsworthy both for the announcements he makes and for the topical issues raised by the media. Today, the agenda was loaded; the Prime Minister spoke for over an hour and made announcements on a broad range of issues. The most newsworthy was the opening of the National Bank of Belize Limited. It’s a government initiative to drive down interest rates at the commercial banks – and expand home ownership opportunities to middle and low-income persons. The board is Chaired by Minister Joy Grant and the Managing Director will be the former president of Provident Bank, Jose Karim Marin. The PM says they already have a motto. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I gather the Board of Director has now decided that the motto of the bank is 'Of the people for the people'. The mission of the bank is 'Principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available lower and middle income Belizeans and in particular public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. The truth is that the whole idea is to put downward pressure on the lending rates of the commercial bank. The bank expects to lend consumers at an interest rate of approximately 6.5% on average. Initially we are looking principally at mortgage financing. We're talking about the 6.5% on the reducing balance - contrary to what I understand to be the case in the commercial bank.

BTL Will No Longer Block VOIP
The other major announcement coming out of today’s meeting was that BTL will no longer be blocking Voice Over Internet Protocol services. That means that internet users will be able to use SKYPE, Net2phone and, presumably, Vonage to make their long distance calls for free. It’s the end of a blockage that’s been going on for more than a decade – and the PM said that, it’s about time:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "At the end of this month, tomorrow, BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. I want to recognize and pay tribute to the BTL Board of Directors - there are several members of the board present this morning; I have to single out the indefatigable 82 year old Chairman of BTL who is like the energizer bunny that keeps on going and going (Mr. Nestor Vasquez) and COO Mrs. Karen Bevans. This will mean the use of high speed internet services including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet and will mean that there won't be any restrictions whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. This of course will affect BTL's revenues from it's voice traffic tremendously. I think we're thinking something around $7m being lost in the first year. But the government needed to keep its commitment. Technology is moving so quickly that we would have been playing a loosing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP."

First Gun Murder In City In Four Weeks Targets Met Officer’s Son
There was a murder this evening in Belize city. It happened just before 6:00 pm on North Front Street in front of the Brown Sugar Compound, home of San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. 7news has confirmed that the victim is Rajiv Gonguez, the son of Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez. He was reportedly shot in the face. Many in the area say it may have been a robbery. Our information from the scene says he got killed between two vehicles – one of them being the property of Minister Manuel Junior Herredia. A grey pickup rushed him to the hospital immediately. This is the first shooting murder in the city since April first. We’ll have more on it tomorrow.

Italian Velardo Persona Non Grata
When we left you on Friday night, Italian Antonio Velardo was being questioned by authorities. As we reported, the Financial Intelligence Unit had gotten information that there was an international warrant for his arrest so he was given what is known as an RLL – refused leave to land – meaning he was not allowed to enter the country. And by Saturday morning the Immigration Department served him with an Order To Leave, an expulsion order. We understand that his catamaran vessel the Aventura was escorted out of Belize’s Territorial Waters – and he was sent on his way. International news reports implicate his business partner in money laundering for the Irish Republic Army – which is considered a terrorist organization.

The Road Less Travelled…to Aguas Turbias
The Belize Territorial Volunteers have already been to Jalacte and San Vicente. On Saturday they embarked on their third border clearing expedition when they went to Aguas Turbias – which is at the northwestern edge of Belize’s territory. It was a fascinating journey down a road not much travelled. Daniel Ortiz and cameraman Codie Norales left Belize city at 3:30 am on Saturday morning to accompany them – and here’s their report. Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 6:30 a.m., approximately 80 Belizeans arrived at Linda Vista Shopping Center in Blue Creek, the first real checkpoint on the journey to Aguas Turbias. They arrived in a convoy of about 10 vehicles and a bus. The passengers who arrived by bus quickly disembarked for a quick logistics meeting before they could truly start the journey. Those volunteers were ready and proud as ever to display the Belize flag, signaling that they moved with one purpose.

PM Confirms Referendum Off, Clings To Special Agreement
And while the volunteers are working the borderline – last week, the Prime Minister was working the diplomatic channels on the same border dispute. The Prime Minister went to New York to meet the UN Secretary General and he went to Haiti for the fifth meeting of the Association of Caribbean states where meetings were held with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. Today, the Prime Minister spoke about both sets of meetings, dealing first with the Secretary General. The issue there was the report of that offensive Guatemalan passport which annexes Belizean territory and separates it with only a dotted line. Well, it turns out that Guatemala gets its passports through the UN Office of Procurement and the PM wanted to urge Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon not to sanction the printing of that offensive version:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I wanted to reinforce the message myself to the UN Secretary General that we would expect that the UN Procurement Services office would not in fact facilitate the obtaining of any passports by Guatemala that would contain a map that purported to show Belize as part of the national territory of Guatemala. I also received the assurance from SG Ban Ki-moon that that would not happen and I said to him that we hoped that the he would particularly use his good offices to try to prevail the Guatemalans to act in a fashion that was not in consistent with and in fact reflect their respect for Belize's sovereignty and separate identity. I made clear that for us we needed to record our objection to the fact that the Guatemalans as it appeared were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreed date - the mutually agreed date for the holding of the referendum. I signaled that in our view that unilateral withdrawal quite possibly constituted a breach of the special agreement."

Multiple Problems In Maranco Oil Well
And staying on matters of public interest – the Prime Minister also gave an update on the “encouraging oil show” in the Orange Walk district. Maranco has been having lots of difficulties including salt water seepage, and oil turning into tar when acid was injected to get rid of the mud. That second event has stopped the oil from flowing – so samples have been sent to Panama to find a mud destroying acid that won’t turn the oil into tar. All very technical, and another delay. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "That happens then they will resume the pump testing to establish the daily pumping rate and from that information - the size of the pump will be to determine the long term production test and we will then be in a position to know for sure that this find is commercial. Mr. Marriott tells me that in his view, it is, but of course there is commercial and then there is commercial. So precisely how commercial it is we'll not be known now until these processes have been completed. That is going to take another couple of weeks including the ability to deliver our much beloved teachers and public officers." Public officers have been promised 50% of surplus revenues that may accrue from a commercial oil discovery.

PM Calls Legall Judgments “Egregiously Wrong”, “Aberrant”
The Prime Minister also spoke about two significant judgments coming out of the courtroom of Supreme Court justice Oswell Legall in the last two weeks. The first declared offshore oil contracts null and void. The Prime Minister minced no words in condemning that judgement. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The two instruments of appointment that were being quarreled over - the judges had already demitted office. Where the sting comes in is by way to what I consider to be dicta of the judge, talking generally, saying of course that our changing of the constitution to say where there are open instruments after the change, they last for a year - that is unconstitutional. He could only do that because he subscribes to this basic structure doctrine which I believe is rubbish. It is currently before the court of appeal for a ruling and which in my view; the judge ought to not have pronounced on again since the ruling of the case is finished. The ruling is imminent and i'm sure if we don't get it before then we'll get it by June when the court of appeal comes back. But he could only have done that because he subscribes to this basic structure doctrine. When he says 'Generally court of appeal judges' well to be consistent with security of tenure - the constitution doesn't say how long they should be given; he will reason by analogy and say it should be up by 75. Well certainly this government is not going to pay attention to that because as far as we are concerned that is Dicta. That is not to be found within the four corners of the constitution."

Missing Girl Was With Aunt
On Friday, 7News told you about 14 year-old Anna Aguilar, the girl who went missing on Tuesday. Well, tonight, she’s safely back with her family. Apparently, her family doesn’t have telephones to keep in communication, so they didn’t know that she was with her aunt the entire time. So, she’s now safe with her mother, but it was an extremely stressful and scary experience for the family because it was the first time that she went missing. The mother came back today to tell us that she almost had a mental breakdown because a member of the public made a terrible prank call to her, apparently attempting to extort her for money. She explained how the person called in claiming to have her daughter, and that he would kill her if she didn’t pay a substantial amount of money:

How Could She Do It?
At the top our newscast, we told you about 22 year-old Felicia Chen, the woman who tonight is remanded for the murder of her 3 small children. She’s remains in custody until tomorrow, when an assessment will be conducted by the Ministry of Health to see if she is best housed at a Belize Central Prison, or at a mental health facility. The public is left with a lot of questions about what could lead a mother to take the lives of not 1, but 3 of her children. Today, 7News got a chance to speak with clinical psychologist, Dr. Elma Augustine, and she told us about the factors that could have led this terrible, unspeakable tragedy: Dr. Elma Augustine - Clinical Psychologist "It's difficult to say because I have not met the lady and I'm not familiar with whom she is but there are many factors that could contribute to something like that. One could be clinical depression where she would feel so down, hopeless, helpless, and worthless and there is no hope for anything and then decides that I need to take my children and myself out because it's combination. It's a murder suicide that we're talking about - it is not just a suicidal attempt. Another could be that she could have been a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Another could be what we call in psychology - 'Perverted Revenge' that is when you are angry at somebody and you try to get back at them in a kind of perverted way, taking the anger out. It could be an impulsive act. Sometime in some cases - as I don't know the woman in question - it could be substances are involved. So there are so many factors that could be involved that it’s kind of hard to pinpoint. I think the bottom line is that this is such an unfortunate tragedy."

Beltraide Bonds With Entrepreneurs
Today, representatives from the international organization, People. Profit. Planet, or P3 Ventures, were in Belize to provide training to entrepreneurs. It is a 3-part training to help BELTRAIDE build capacity, today, 7News stopped by. We got a chance to speak with the coordinators about the importance of the workshop, and what is unique about this one. Here’s what they told us. Mario Reyes - Workshop Facilitator "This workshop's purpose is to build capacities and train in the skills for assisting entrepreneurs in Belize. We are building skills of how to improve the conditions for entrepreneurs and build a stronger entrepreneurial community in this country." Christine Smith - Local Project Coordinator "We're having an entrepreneurship development training, it's for consultants and experts. We have the hope of getting together a group of mentors who will work with persons who will then be going through the process of accessing seed fund."

Party Leader Barrow Says Mayor Bradley Should Not Challenge Hon. Santi
Last week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley made headlines when he confirmed that he is “actively considering” a candidacy in Caribbean Shores. That would mean challenging with the intent to unseat a sitting area representative and Minister of State, Santino Castillo. It’s not the done thing, but Bradley has the support of key player son the Caribbean Shores Committee who are disgruntled with Castillo. Today, the Prime Minister said it would be a waste for him to challenge Santino. Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize "I think that would be unfortunate. I think the Mayor is doing such magnificent work in Belize City that he could win pretty much any division in the Old Capital. I believe that Minister Castillo, who admittedly, has been missing in action in the constituency and who has said this to me quite freely because he was concentrating on the Ministry and Belmopan and that wonderful past time of his; I gather he was in Cozumel riding.

PM Says Chamber, Unions Will Join BIL
The prime Minister also gave the media an update on BIL – that’s Belize Infrastructure Limited, the super-ministerial special purpose vehicle that’s going to be investing 60 million dollars in sports infrastructure across the country. It’s been widely criticized, but the Prime Minister says he’s reloading it for greater transparency – so that no one can even suggest – as the Leader of the Opposition has – that it is a “UDP hustle vehicle”. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "BIL has been described as a 'Hustle Vehicle' for the UDP. First of all, you should know that anything I come up with, I am not a part of that. Don't associate me with that kind of thing. As much as I might feel that my creditability is still good with the Belizean people, again I take no chances, so we've extended an invitation to the Chamber of Commerce and to the National Trade Union Commerce of Belize to appoint one member each to serve on the BIL board. So we will go from 7 - 9. Remember there are already two private sector persons but admittedly persons that we chose. But these two persons Paul Thompson and Alan Sharp - any of you who know them will know that they don't mess around

PM Speaks On Rosewood Amnesty
And finally tonight, we have the Prime Minister speaking on the controversial Rosewood Amnesty. It finished on Friday and the Forestry Department is now tallying all that will be stamped and approved for export. The amnesty ahs been roundly, almost universally condemned, and the PM says, he hears it well enough. Hon. Dean Barrow "I cannot be disrespectful of public opinion but I still think that that was a legitimate, simple and practical way to go. Look there's talk of principals that were involved and connection to the UDP. While those that do the actual exports are limited in number - the people who cut the rosewood and sell to the brokers and exporters are regular folk in Toledo. That is why I said according maximum respect to those that almost violently disagree with the government's position - I would appeal for them to join us in drawing a line in the past. And we’re saying freely to this issue and moving forward now in a sustainable way with respect to the harvesting of this most precious natural resource."

Taiwanese Navy Visits
Tonight, the Taiwanese Navy Mid Shipment Cruising and Training Squadron is in Belize for a diplomatic mission as of their goodwill tour throughout the Central America and the Caribbean. It’s their 3rd trip to Belize, and today at the MCC Grounds, they put on an impressive show for the Ministry officials, members of the security forces and the diplomatic corps. 7News was there for the ceremony, hosted by the Governor General of Belize, and here’s what the Mayor, and the Taiwanese Ambassador told the gathering: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "It is indeed an honor for me to address you on the occassion of the visit of the 2013 Mid Shipment Cruising and Training Squadron. I first want to greet the mayor admiral and the 841 members of his command on the occassion of their visit to Belize. I say to you 'Huan e-lee tow Belize'. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our shores and to extend to you our warm Belizean hospitality. I trust that your stay here will be marked with warm memories and extensions of well wishes."

Re: Today's Belize News: April 30, 2013 [Re: Marty] #463399
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Channel 5

Young mother kills 3 children, 6 year old escapes death
Tonight we start our newscast with a heart-wrenching story of the death of three young siblings. From our records, it is first case of infanticide and filicide in Belize. A mother took her children to Belizean Beach and walked them into the water, drowning three of them. The closest we have found to such horrific [...]

Breaking News, murder near Water Taxi
There is a late evening shooting that ended fatally near the tourism village in front of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Terminal. The person who died was shot in the face and chest and no one has been detained at this time. It happened just before six this evening and our news team [...]

PM says no Referendum on ICJ
Turning to other main stories for the day… There will be no Belize/Guatemala referendum on October sixth, 2013. That revelation, and comments on various other issues, was made during a media brief by Prime Minister Dean Barrow which lasted almost an hour and a half. The forum was his quarterly press conference, and during the [...]

PM discuss Guatemala passport with UN Secretary-General
The backdrop for the referendum discussions was a bilateral meeting held between Belize and Guatemala in Haiti on Thursday, but even before that, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he presented Belize’s case to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon during a meeting in New York. Chief on the agenda of that discussion were [...]

PM talks about Rosewood sale to Vega
German Ignacio Vega has been in the news lately much more than his brother, the high-profile Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. That’s because German Vega is the principal for GIV Enterprises, which has been linked to illegal rosewood harvesting in the past, and most recently has been named the exporter of choice for all of [...]

Four Santa Familia men stabbed by Calle Trece
Four men were stabbed on Sunday afternoon in Santa Familia, Cayo; one is in critical condition at the Western Regional Hospital, while the others were treated and released. The group claims they were attacked as they headed to a store. Their attackers are known to be members of Calle Trece, a well known gang with [...]

VOIP now a reality for Belize
The legalization of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has made the rounds from fiery debate topic to political promise at election time. VOIP allows internet users to access web-based phone services like SKYPE and Vonage to make international calls at little or no cost. It’s no wonder why telecommunications provider Belize Telemedia Limited has avoided [...]

Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall to leave the bench
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall handed down two landmark rulings in the past two weeks, and both were against the government of Belize. In the first, he found that six production sharing agreements were null and void because no Environmental Impact Assessments were carried out previous to the awarding of contracts. He also ruled that [...]

She stole his heart, but she was about to burglarize his home too
Thirty-four year old Lisa Smith was arraigned on a count of burglary when she appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today.  It is alleged that sometime over the weekend, Smith, a resident of Set Site, illegally entered the home of her boyfriend, Robert Mejia, with the intent to steal.  Hattieville police report that on Sunday morning, [...]

City Hall and Undertaker still at odds despite court ruling
The dead will sleep, but it seems that the fight between undertakers and Belize City Council will not rest anytime soon. Earlier in the year, City Hall attempted to streamline its services at the Lord Ridge and Eternal Garden cemeteries but that meant that undertakers would lose some of the services they offered. David Coye, [...]

K.H.M.H. says former security guards claims are questionable
Several former Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Security Guards have alleged that the institution owes them for overtime. The K.H.M.H. sent out a press release late this evening stating that all legitimate outstanding claims by former employees were settled at the time of their redundancy in March, 2013. The release goes on to say that in [...]

Who does PM want for Caribbean Shores?
By now it’s no secret that Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has his eyes set on the Caribbean Shores political division, and he wants in sooner rather than later. It’s not a stretch to say that the Mayor has gotten more done in a little over a year than any of his predecessors; and it [...]

Football Federation’s telethon and trained coaches
The Football Federation of Belize has been very active in recent times. For the first time, the F.F.B. has a group of Belizeans that are licensed coaches. Eighteen participants from the southern region have been certified after completing the three week course and soon there will be even more licensed coaches. According to Luis Pena, [...]

Football and basketball highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday     The PLB completed regular season play in the 2013 football competition by staging four matches across the nation. With defending champion Bandits, BDF and FC Belize already assured of appearing in the post season Police went into the MCC grounds Saturday night needing [...]


No Salary Deposits for Primary School Teachers Under Catholic Mission
Primary school teachers employed under the Catholic Mission faced inconvenience last week Friday as their monthly salary was not deposited in their bank account as per usual. Over the course of the weekend, our newsroom received a number of complaints from teachers across th...

PM and Ambassador Espat Travel To New York On Super Bond 2 Business; Guatemala Calls Off Referendum
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held his first quarterly press conference today and there was a lot of ground to cover. The Prime Minister who recently returned from attending meetings spoke first of his visit to New York at which he was accompanied by Ambassador Mark Espat. DEAN ...

Orange Walk Farmer Dies Following Road Accident
Nineteen year old Josue Mojica, a Farmer of San Felipe Village in Orange Walk is dead following a road traffic accident. Initial investigations by ppolice revealed that Mojica was driving a black Sunny motorcycle around 5:15 yesterday morning at the entrance of the main street, t...

Road Accident Leaves Man Injured In Western Belize
A road traffic accident in Spanish Lookout has left one man injured. According to Edward Wallace, a thirty two year old Supervisor of Spanish Lookout, around 6:36 pm yesterday he was driving his 2003 Burgundy Ford Escape en route to Twenty West on Central Road. When he reac...

Men Report Gang Attack In A Western Village
Four men, twenty nine year old Abelio Majil, seventeen year old Milton Moh thirty two year old Cain Quewell and Abelio Cab, from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District were allegedly attacked and wounded by a gang in the village. Reports are that the four men were walking on the ma...

Hit and Run Reported In Northern Belize
Police are looking for one man after he allegedly knocked down and killed a nineteen year old boy. Orange Walk police responded to a call at around five fifteen Sunday morning. Police visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they found the motionless body of nineteen year old Jose ...

Undertaker Says City Council Is Blocking Works at The Cemetery Despite Court Judgement
Love News has been closely following the back and forth between the undertakers and the Belize City Council. The City Council had announced that it would be providing a number of services that had been carried out by undertakers throughout the years. These services include buildi...

Prime Minister Announces National Bank Aimed At Expanding the Home Owning Class In Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the formation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant. The bank’s motto is “Of the people for the people and according to the Prime Minister is expected to expand th...

Prime Minister Announces Full Access To VOIP; Oil Find Explained by PM
At today’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that at the end of this month BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE "And so this will mean the use of BTL's...

BREAKING NEWS - Teenage Boy Reportedly Dies Following Shooting Incident In Belize City
Earlier today in a press conference, Prime Minister Barrow boasted of the decrease in crime particularly in Belize City. He stated that for the month of April 2013, only one murder was reported barring that of the recent incident involving the mother and her children. This, he said wa...

Abused Mother Arraigned For The Murder of Her Three Children
One year old Trinaya Teul and her big brother, three year old Tomas Teul and five year old Triana Teul perished in the Caribbean Sea, allegedly at the hands of their mother, 22 year old mother, Felecia Chen, who reportedly attempted to drown herself after taking her children’s li...

Author Documents Personal Experiences With Judiciary and Land Systems In Belize
This morning long time author Olatunji Balogun launched his brand new book at the Leo Bradley Library. It’s Balogun’s 19th publication and is entitled “A Victim of My Wealth”. The book, Balogun says, is based on his personal experiences with the judiciary and la...

Mother Relieved To Have Teenage Daughter Returned Home
Last week Love News spoke to Christina Quinote who appeared on the news pleading for the public’s assistance in locating her 14 year old daughter Ana Aguilar. Quinote was worried about her daughter’s safety but there is good news tonight. Quinote stopped by our studio t...

Investigations Into Fish Kill Continues
At the beginning of the month residents on the New River Bank and those who depend on the river for a living reported dead fishes floating on the water. Subsequent to that report, LOVE NEWS visited the river and confirmed the reports. By mid month ...

BREAKING NEWS - Referendum Called Off
Earlier this month, Love News reported of an article prininted in a Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre stating that the Government of Guatemala will not be participating in the referendum scheduled for October sixth, 2013. According to the report, President Otto Perez Molina has said that Fo...


Traffic Accident Leaves One Man Dead
Orange Walk Police are tonight looking for one Andres Cruz after he allegedly knocked down and killed 19 year old Josue Mojica, Belizean Farmer of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News understands that around four on Sunday morning, Mojica was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village when a gold Chevy pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction, collided right into him. Mojica sustained injuries to the right foot, right leg and abdomen area. Mojica succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Northern Regional Hospital. Police are now looking for Cruz for questioning.

Guatemalan Passports Not To Include Belize As Part of Its Territory
As mentioned at the top of the newscast, on Monday, 22nd April, the Prime Minister of Belize met with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, in New York, to update him on the territorial dispute and other issues concerning Guatemala including the country’s decision to back out of the October 6th referendum. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize “I made clear to the Secretary General that Belize is particularly concern over this series of developments we especially needed to be sure that the UN would understand Belize’s [position in certainly one context the Guatemalans it appears that it employs the services the offices of the UN office of procurement in terms of sourcing the new passports that they are about to issue and we wanted to be quite clear to the secretary general the ministry of foreign affairs has already spoken to UN personnel in Belize and in New York but I wanted to reinforce the message myself to the UN secretary general that we would expect that the UN procurement services office would not in fact facilitate the obtaining of any passport by Guatemala that would contain a map that purported to show Belize as part of Guatemala. I also made clear to him that we reserve the right to ask the UN to play a more active role in terms of the way forward. I made clear that for us we needed to record our objection to the fact that the Guatemalan as it would appears were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreed date for the holding of the referendums. I signal that in our view that unilateral withdrawal quite possible constituted a breach of breach of special agreement.”

Mother Of Four Drowns Three of Her Children
The entire country of Belize is tonight in shock after hearing the news that on Saturday morning a mother of four drowned three of her young children ages one, three and four. The unbelievable story soon populated the pages of the social media that same morning and the mix emotions are quite shocking. The horrendous incident played out shortly after midday on Saturday at the Belizean Beach situated at mile five on the George Price Highway. Reports are that between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00am, 22 year old Felicia Chen, a resident of mile 8 on the George Price Highway, boarded a bus with her four children namely Trina Teul 6 years old, Triana Elica Teul 4 years old, Thomas Edilberto Teul 3 years old and Trinaya Felicia Teul 1 year old and headed to the Belizean Beach. While there, Chen reportedly walked with her four children into the sea and she continued walking along with them until three of them drowned. As for six year old Trinaya Felicia Teul, who along with her mother survived a bus accident in 2009, she obviously knew she was in danger and hurriedly made it out of the water and ran for help.

Knowing Our Border Lines
On Saturday more than 50 patriotic Belizeans from the North, led by Belize Territorial Volunteers’ Orlando De La Fuente and Wil Mehia, took the long trip to the boundary marker at Augas Turbias, Belize’s northernmost boundary with Guatemala and where the border line with Mexico commences. In the past, the monument that marks the three boundaries only carried plaques of Mexico and Guatemala, but none of Belize. That changed on Saturday; however when a brass plate bearing the name Belize was installed onto the monument. For those who took part in the expedition it was a historic moment as their aim was to verify if a borderline does exist or if it is just and imaginary line as described by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Wilfred Elringhton. CTV3 News’ Carmelita Perez and Cameraman Fernando Sanchez joined the expedition and filed the following report.

Fertilizing The Soil Means Increase In Cane Production and Quality
In the month of March we told you about the two ferti rastra machines that were purchased by the Patchakan and Corozal branches of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association with Fair Trade funding under the frog hopper program. The machine, which is used to spread fertilizer on the cane field thus increasing cane production and quality, has been put to the test and from what we found out it will even help minimize the infestation of the frog hopper pest which we can safely say is one of the Sugar Industries worst enemy. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting Cane farmers in the north have put up a battle against an insect known as the Frog Hopper in order to control its infestation. While frog hoppers attack corn and rice, their main target over the years in northern Belize has been sugar cane plantations thus posing a serious threat to the Sugar Industry. These tiny insects called Mosca Pinta in Spanish, can wipe out the Sugar Industry if not controlled in time. In fact, in one cane field alone it can affect 60% of the product. Based on these and other factors, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association purchased two of these machines called Ferti Rastra with Fair Trade funds. The machine which is attached to a tractor is used to spread the various types of fertilisers on sugar cane fields but most importantly to perforate the soil deep enough for it to be well fertilized.

Referendum Unit Holds Talks In Orange Walk
As we mentioned earlier, the Prime Minister of Belize has stated that there will no longer be a referendum on October 6th, however, the education campaign continues. On Friday April 26th, an informative and educative session was held by the Referendum Commission here in Orange Walk Town. The “Belize Territorial Volunteers” were the ones on the fore-front in planning the event and those traveling to Aguas Turbias were among the invited guests. Leading the session were Ambassador James Murphy and Ambassador Stewart Leslie of the referendum unit. Ambassador James Murphy- Referendum Commission “We have been asked whether Guatemala can question the sovereignty of Belize over the whole or any part of it territory, we can state our conclusion immediately and without qualification and the answer is no, Belize possess a good title to the whole of the territory including the island that it presently administers within the limit set by the convention of 30th April 1859 between Britain and Guatemala relative to the boundary of British Honduras in the 1859 convention.

PM Says Simultaneous Referendum Is Off
Recently back after meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, in New York and after his visit in Haiti for the meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, the Prime Minister of Belize held his first quarterly press conference this morning in Belize City where he spoke on a number of issues. As we know, Guatemala has officially declared that they are backing out of the October 6th simultaneous referendum due to a number of reasons, primarily, because of the sixty percent voter turnout required by Belize’s referendum laws. This morning the Prime Minister of Belize announced that cabinet has decided that Belize will not hold a referendum on the date agreed. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize “As far as we are concerned the special agreement which was signed and promulgated under the edges of the OAS required in order to for action under that special agreement to be consistent with it required in the case of changed that the Guatemalans were proposing or in the case of better describe it as this unilateral withdrawal of the October date that they should formally communicate this to the OAS secretary general and that we would not accept this as official until in fact, the communication was made by Guatemala to the Organization of American States, but clearly that is going to happen the Guatemalan said they would do this fairly quickly and so just as clearly there will be no referendum on October 6th there has been a suggestion in some quarters that Belize could still proceed to hold its referendum that is not on and the cabinet has rejected that suggestion so that the referendum is off in both countries. The pressure is on Guatemala and clearly is going to be a good deal of diplomatic fallout that they will experience in consequence of the withdrawal.”


Mother kills three of her children
The news of what allegedly took place at Belizean Beach off the George Price Highway on Saturday afternoon has shocked the nation. The police report is simple. Felicia Chen, 22, unemployed resident of Mile 8 George Price Highway apparently left home between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. with her children,...

PUP Leader discusses oil contracts on Rise & Shine
Justice Oswell Legall last week issued two major rulings against the Government, quashing six offshore oil agreements granted between 2004 and 2007 and ruling that GOB should guarantee security of tenure for judges. Today the Prime Minister announced that GOB will appeal. On the matter of the oil contracts...

Residents of Placencia Peninsula to get water and sewer system
For some time now, the residents of the Placencia Peninsula have been haggling with Government over an IDB-funded integrated water and sewer system to be built in the community. Among their many concerns are two supposed “deal breakers” – how to replace the “financial vacuum” that will ensue from...

Belize Lupus Association plan Awareness Month activities
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Lupus may strike without warning, and its symptoms are often distinct from person to person. Though doctors have not certified what causes lupus, most believe that lupus results from genetic or environmental...

Prosperous year for Holy Redeemer Credit Union
Nearly 50,000 members, almost half a billion dollars in total assets,and a net profit of nearly 27 million dollars; all in all, 2012-13 was another great year for the member-owners of the Holy Redeemer Credit Union (HRCU), who gathered in Belize City at the SJC gymnasium on Saturday to...

Ministry of Labour hosts second annual Open Day
Labour Day is celebrated May 1st worldwide, and in conjunction with Labour Day, the Ministry of Labour will be hosting its second annual open day. PlusNews caught up with the Persons Relations Officer of the Labour Department, Genee Neal, who shared with us the importance of having the open...

Open access to VOIP-based services will decrease BTL revenue
There is good news for persons in need of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). The technique long blocked by national phone company BTL will now be unrestricted beginning tomorrow, Tuesday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow breaks the news and explains how the technology will be used. Prime Minister Dean Barrow;...

Community health fair in Belize City
The residents of the Dean and George Street area came together on Saturday for a community health fair under the theme “I love my life.” Plus news spoke with community activist Dorla Vaughan about the objectives of the fair. Dorla Vaughan – Community Activist: The initiative is to bring...

Belize Action hosts awareness rallies ahead of Supreme Court Constitutional Challenge
The Supreme Court will be hearing a constitutional challenge from Caleb Orozco, the Executive Director of UNIBAM who is advocating for homosexuality through the requested removal of the criminal code that makes it a crime to have same sex relations; being section 53 of Belize’s criminal code. The Chief...

19 year old, Josue Mojica dies in traffic collission
A traffic accident in the north has claimed the life of a 19 year old. According to Police report, around 4 on Sunday morning, 19 year old Josue Mojica was driving a motorcycle at the entrance of the main street, heading north. When he turned into a road, a...

Shooting this evening in Belize City
There was a shooting late this evening in Belize City. Reports are still sketchy at this time, but what we can tell you is that one man was shot some four times after he got off a boat at the San Pedro Water Taxi Terminal on Gabriel Lane. He...

Four persons have been hospitalized after attack
Four persons have been hospitalized after they were attacked in Santa Familia Village. The victims; 32 year old Cain Quewell, 29 year old Abelio Majil, 17 year old Milton Moh and Abelio Cab say they were on their way to a store when a group of men jumped them....

Edward Wallace served with notice of intended prosecution after hitting pedestrian
32 year old Edward Wallace has been served with a notice of intended prosecution after he hit a pedestrian in Spanish Lookout. Wallace told Police that last night, shortly after 6:30, he was driving his vehicle on Central Road. He says that when he came to a junction, he...

The April 28th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Neal Surrenders - Lamb Remains On The Lam:
    Today marks exactly three months since the January 25, 2013 murder of Steven Valencia which occurred in his Loma Luz Boulevard home in Santa Elena, one of two men suspected to have collaborated in the home invasion turned murder was today accordingly charged. In the wake of the murder of Steven Valencia, police launched a nationwide manhunt for Marvin “Bombo” Neal, 20, of an Eve Street address in Santa Elena Town, Cayo, and Jarod “Steal Bob” Lamb of an Ontario Village address also in the Cayo District both wanted for questioning in connection with Valencia’s murder.
  • A False Sense Of Safety:
    As the none-public reporting of crimes in the community continues, deceptively leading residents to believe that they can let down their guards as all seems to be well; there are two reported burglaries reaching us this week. In the first incident, we were reliably informed that the San Ignacio home of Dr. Miguel Depaz, Director, Animal Health Department, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), was burglarized/invaded as his mother in law and son lay asleep in their rooms.
  • BWS Water Finally Coming To The Belize River Valley:
    The old promise to provide reliable, constant and safe potable water to the chain of nine communities in the Belize River Valley is now well on the way to finally becoming a reality. Ground was today broken in Double Head Cabbage, following a 2:00 pm ceremony signaling the commencement of this long awaited project. The 7.78 million dollar project will be funded by way of a loan to the Government of Belize by the Caribbean Development Bank with over eight hundred thousand dollars coming by way of counterpart funding through the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).
  • Sports -An Alternative To Crime:
    As he continues to fullfill his manifesto promises to constituents of Cayo Central, Area Representative Hon. Rene Montero, today officially declared open the extensively renovated Carmen Street basketball court in Santa Elena. The Minister of Works and Transport, has again fulfilled another of his manifesto promises to bring back social activities to the youths of Cayo Central. The project which included the installation of new bathroom fixtures, electrical and water facilities as well as extensive works on the perimeter fence, bleachers, court surface, backboards, entrance gate, and landscaping of the grounds, was implemented by the Ministry of Works at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars.
  • Calling On SHC Alumni, Family & Friends:
    Sacred Heart College embarked on a very ambitious project in 2006 to raise funds to build an auditorium that would serve our institution, as well as the community of the western Cayo District. With the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, parents, community and other stakeholders, we are proud to say that the project commenced in January 2013 with Phase 1 and Phase 2. These two phases includes the cement foundation, the purchase and erection of the steel structure and the back fill. SHC has invested over $430,000 for these two phases, which are monies that were attained via multiple fund raising projects over a 7 year fundraising period. 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.
  • My Body is Precious:
    The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, my office partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, we were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide. “My Body is Precious” is part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and follows successful symposiums hosted by my Office in August 2010 and October 2011.
  • Tropigas Contributes To Early Childhood Education:
    The Santa Elena Community Preschool on Carillo Puerto Avenue today received a much needed recreational facility generously donated by Tropigas Santa Elena Branch resulting from a competition organized and executed by Tropigas staff with assistance from the community. The award valued at $2,500 includes a swing set with attached slide. Competing preschools were asked to explain why their school was deserving of the award. In accepting the generous award, Santa Elena Community Preschool’s head teacher Mrs. Lorena Rancheran expressed heartfelt appreciation to the management and staff of Tropigas as well as to parents and the community for their support in recommending Santa Elena Community as deserving of the award. The new facility came at an appropriate time explained Mrs. Rancheran, since the current recreational facilities at the school are inadequate.
  • New Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives:
    The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director, Mr. Valdemar Andrade. Mr. Andrade has been in the Tourism Tndustry for the past two years as the Technical Advisor/Project Liaison-Sustainable Tourism Program, for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He has several years of experience in conservation and other environmental areas, through his work experience with Protected Areas Conservation Trust, Ministry of Natural Resource and the Environment, and the Belize Audubon Society. “As we embark this year to grow cruise tourism numbers and strengthen Belize’s position in that market, the skills and experience that Valdemar Andrade possesses will augment our goal. The BTB is confident in Mr. Andrade’s abilities, and happy to welcome him to our team,” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton.
  • The Belize Logo Is A Finalist:
    The Belize logo has been chosen as a finalist for the "One Show Design" 2013 awards, in the category of "Brand Identity - Logo Design." The Belize Tourism Board and its Advertising and Online Agency, Olson, created the Belize logo as a part of a re-branding of Belize's identity. When creating the new logo, Olson made several trips to Belize to capture the essence of Belize's authenticity and incorporate it in the creative behind the new logo. The BTB and OLSON used the old logo as an inspiration, while the new look of the logo is expected to make Belize more recognizable and to better position the destination in terms
  • Mexican 'Drug Queen' Pleads Guilty In Us:
    A Mexican woman on trial in the US has pleaded guilty to helping the former head of the powerful Norte del Valle cartel evade justice between 2002- 04. Sandra Avila Beltran, 52, dubbed Queen of the Pacific, admitted to "hindering the arrest" of Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez, her boyfriend at the time. Avila, who has been in jail since 2007, was extradited to Miami last August. She faces a prison sentence of 15 years after accepting a plea bargain. She previously denied any wrongdoing.
  • Four 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.
  • Free Hearing Test in Belmopan:
    There will be free hearing tests available at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan from April 24 to May 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the New Horizons exercise. If you are experiencing ringing or pain in your ears, difficulty hearing, or drainage from your ears, you are invited to the clinic to be evaluated. Depending on your symptoms, you may be eligible for free hearing aids or a surgical procedure. These services are provided by a team of U.S. medical professionals.
  • US 'spy' Timothy Hallet Tracy detained in Venezuela:
    The authorities in Venezuela have detained a United States citizen they accuse of being an intelligence agent. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said Timothy Hallet Tracy had directed funds towards student protests after the disputed presidential elections earlier this month. He said Mr Tracy was trying to destabilise the country with the goal of starting a civil war. The US has not commented, but Mr Tracey's family say he is innocent.
  • Guatemalan Gold Panners Convicted:
    Three Guatemalans were today remanded to the Hattieville prison after being apprehended in the Ceibo Chico Reserve, allegedly mining for gold in a protected area. According to a release issued by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the incident occurred on Friday, April 19, 2013. The release states that the Joint Forces Unit, stationed at the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post, in South Chiquibul came upon a group of three Guatemalans reportedly panning for gold. The men were later identified as Mario Rolando Xol Caal, Marcos Domingo Pana Chiquin and Esteban Putul Mai all residing in the Village of El Naranjon, near San Luis, Peten, Guatemala.
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The Jig is Up
Yesterday was Cowboy’s surprise party and we had to try and keep him out of the way so we could decorate, get the band and the bar set up. It was not long before he started getting suspicious and asking questions, the other day he heard Corry ask Ricardo about the party Tim was throwing for one of his partners and that started the whole thing off. Only Cowboy thought it was for Will who was also having a birthday and kept asking me if Will was on the island and what was going on.

The Highlight of Our Belize Trip
I have been wanting to write this letter for a long time. We stayed at Chaa Creek from March 1 to March 6, 2013, so I apologize for taking so long. Our stay was not only the highlight of our trip to Belize but one of our most memorable stays anywhere! The restaurant was superb. We are admitted “foodies” and Chaa Creek did not disappoint us. We looked forward to meals in the same way some people are excited about clothing or a new car. The flavors, the presentation, and the variety…Oh my, I wish I could come back today! And, all of this is such a beautiful, relaxing setting. I loved the beautiful and variety table settings and flowers. The staff in the restaurant were beyond wonderful. Just writing thinking about them brings a big smile to my face. Their knowledge about the food, their patience with my attempts to practice Spanish, their heart-warming smiles, and their professionalism were superlative. The fact that so much of the food was grown on site and organic has huge importance to us. I talked with Mr. Mick on March 6, and he said it was hard. As a gardener, I know it is but the importance for our health and the planet is essential.

Just You Two and the Clear Blue – Belize Weddings
A private, intimate and secret wedding location is something many couples dream of. No drama, no fuss, no stress. But getting to that location can be a bit of an adventure. Can we get the bride to dry land without ruining the dress?

Entrepreneurship Program – Training of Experts, Consultants and Government Agencies
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with P3 Ventures, a Chilean group that has extensive experience in the development of entrepreneurial eco-systems, invite members from the private sector and public sector to the Entrepreneurship Training of Experts and Consultants. It will be held Today Monday, April 29, 2013 from 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., at the UB Doctorial Room, College Street West Landivar, Belize City. The training includes sessions on market segmentation which includes selection of national strategic segments as well as value chain that includes segments and services and finally a session on the development of community based entrepreneurial system.

“P.S. I Love You” in Ambergris Caye
On Sunday the morning was spent getting ready for the Arsenal v Manchester United game. We dominated the first half, scored a goal (OK it was from an offside position) but then gave away a stupid penalty to let them back in to the game. The second half was more a case of us making sure that they did not score again and we achieved this objective. Two points dropped but, given the opposition, I consider it more like one point gained. Three games to go and we cannot afford to drop any more points. At lunchtime we popped next door to the Seahorse Bar (located at Coconuts Caribbean Hotel) to support the fundraiser barbecue for the San Pedro Sailing Club. A really good turnout and, as I understand, over BZ$ 1,000 raised. We did our bit by having barbecued chicken for lunch! This morning Rose and I focused on tile selection and I fired off an email asking for information (price, dimensions and availability) to The Tile & Stone Center and another one to Benny’s regarding the light fittings that we have chosen. Nearly there now with our selections having made our decisions regarding choice of wood colour for the stairs, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and the doors.

International Sources

Prime Minister Announces National Bank Aimed At Expanding the Home Owning Class In Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the formation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant. The bank’s motto is “Of the people for the people and according to the Prime Minister is expected to expand the home owning class in the country and provide cheaper access to credit. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE "And of course the mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans and in particular, public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. Now the point is being made this is fiscal policy in action; government is directly intervening in the market to cut down cost in a sector that has far too long given too little back to those on whose back to profits that are made in the first place; ( somebody wrote that for me I am not quite sure I would have framed it in as provocative manner as that) but the truth is that the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure on the lending rates of the commercial banks. So while the phrasing here is, I would have nuanced it a little more; it’s not saying anything that is not true. We’ve indicated that the startup capital will be provided by the government of Belize from the proceeds of the Petro Caribe funds which we borrow at one percent over twenty years. We’re putting twenty million dollars and we’re prepared to inject more over the short term depending on how the Petro Caribe program continues to develop. The bank expects to lend to consumers at an interest rate of approximately six and half percent on average."

Ear, nose, throat surgery expands New Horizons for Belize
U.S. military medical personnel partnered with the Western Regional hospital here to conduct an ear, nose and throat surgery medical readiness training exercise from April 18 through April 30. The 13-day medical exercise, called New Horizons, provides ear, nose and throat surgical procedures and hearing aids to patients who are most in need and meet the criteria for these services. ENT surgery is the surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, or deformations of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck areas. The purpose of this type of surgery is to treat an abnormality or defect to those affected areas. U.S. Air Force Capt. Quintin Hecht, audiologist from the 59th Surgical Specialty Squadron, Joint-Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to help the local community and learn from the Belizean staff.

Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch, a sea snail that's known for its delectable meat and large shell. The research is spearheaded by one of the managers of Turneffe Flats Resort who is working on his master's degree in fish and wildlife management at MSU and could someday - if his fans are right - become prime minister of his country, Belize. Alex Anderson, 27, not only served two years as student body president at the University of Belize, but he helped drive two major projects that promote conservation in this country along the Caribbean Sea. One created Belize's largest marine reserve. The other led to the protection of bonefish, permit and tarpon as catch-and-release species in Belize. Anderson comes from a family of fly fishing guides and worked seven years at the internationally known Turneffe Flats Resort. Although he grew up in Cotton Tree, a town of 600 people and three streets, he is known all over Belize.

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Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
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