Today's Belize News: May 11, 2013
05/11/13 06:14 AM
05/11/13 06:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun
Belizean students on UK Pestalozzi Scholarship share their experience
Rudolph (17) and Daniel’s (18) decision to accept scholarships to study in the UK was primarily influenced by the financial difficulties they faced. They had been going to high school every day knowing that after its completion, despite all their efforts, it was almost impossible for them to continue their education in their home country. The scholarships, offered by Pestalozzi International Village Trust, enabled them to pursue their dreams. With The San Pedro Sun they shared their motivation to go abroad, their experience in the UK and hopes for the future.
Founded over 50 years ago, Pestalozzi is an international educational charity offering two year scholarships to academically bright, but economically disadvantaged 16-19 year old students from around the world, giving them the chance to realise their potential. In cooperation with Sussex Coast College Hastings (East Sussex, UK) Pestalozzi gives students the opportunity to take their International Baccalaureate. The charity currently hosts 50 students from seven different countries: Belize, India, Nepal, the Tibetan communities in exile, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The organization promotes holistic education, developing the person as a whole following the principles of ‘Head, Heart and Hands’.
Why are globally endangered great hammerhead sharks still being fished by locals?
In March of this year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to list five commercially fished species of sharks and three species of rays currently threatened with extinction. One of those species is the great hammerhead sharks. That means that the sale of fins or flesh for export is prohibited under the CITES Appendix II regulation, something Belize is forced to uphold. For that reason, the killing of a great hammerhead shark on Caye Caulker this week has been met with outrage by environmentalists and other concerned citizens in the area. That’s because great hammerhead sharks are considered globally endangered, and sightings of these creatures in Belizean waters is not common. Fishermen with a special shark fishing license claim to fish for shark to supply local markets where it is cooked in Belizean cuisine, specifically the traditional shark panades. The fins on the other hand are suspected to be illegally taken to Guatemala where it is later shipped to Asia where the demands are high and the market price is highly attractive – an activity that is all illegal and internationally banned. But even as various international organizations banned such activities, the Belize Fisheries Department continues to allow shark fishing in Belizean waters. In 2013 alone, 65 shark fishing license were issued – something that environmentalists claim goes contrary to regional and global efforts to protect endangered species such as the great hammerhead sharks. Even more so, it sets back the local effort done in Belize through the Belize Shark Project, which studies and documents the shark population in Belize.
Monitoring Unit of Gulf of Honduras Project to reactivate key stakeholders network
The monitoring unit of the Gulf of Honduras Project is looking to reactivate their network in the region. The Gulf of Honduras project was set up few years ago in Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to look at potential threats on the marine life and ecosystem as a result of maritime activities in the five ports within the Gulf of Honduras. It also set up a stakeholder’s network for prevention and pollution control of marine environment arising from maritime transportation within the Gulf of Honduras. Coordinators for the monitoring unit were in Belize for the first national Committee Key Stakeholders Network of Belize meeting. It took place at the Belize Coastal Zone Management office in Belize City on Thursday May 2nd and had the attendance of various government agencies as well as representation from the two ports in Belize. Otto Guillermo Noack, Executive Director for the Central American Commission for Maritime Transport (COCATRAM) said it is important to reactivate the stakeholder’s network so that Belize, like Guatemala and Honduras, can make good use of past research done as part of the Gulf of Honduras Project. “COCATRAM was the executing body of the Gulf of Honduras Project. What we are doing now is that we visited Belize to reactivate the stakeholder’s network that was used when the Gulf of Honduras project was active.
Have You Tried the Belizean Seaweed Drink?
Belize is to Seaweed and the US is to Gatorade! Ha! Well, kinda. Yeah, you might cringe at the thought of drinking seaweed, but as a matter of fact it is quite a delicious and refreshing drink – and it’s not green and slimy as many of you would think.
On the hot summer days, it is nicer (and cheaper) to down a cold and refreshing seaweed drink rather than a Gatorade. It’s a local energy drink here in Belize, although many laugh when you talk about drinking it. You see, many say that the revitalizing drink is sort of an elixir that is said to be ‘good for the back’ (aka a good aphrodisiac and virility booster). There are those who add a bit of rum or brandy to give it that extra kick; but that is always optional.
Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met on May 8, 2013, with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6 October 2013.
The meeting proceeded in a constructive spirit, with both delegations reiterating the need to seek an early resolution to the age old dispute, despite the present obstacles to the holding of the referenda in October 2013. It was also agreed that essential to the expediting of the process was the need to enhance the confidence levels in both countries by strengthening Confidence Building Measures. The parties agreed that the prolongation of the dispute is not conducive to building stronger bilateral ties, nor does it contribute to furthering the regional integration process. Belize took the opportunity to emphasize that the existence of the dispute represented an unsustainable cost for Belize, from the environmental, economic and security perspectives.
Misc Belizean Sources
With OAS blessing, Belize acquiesces to Guatemala demands... as usual
By Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr., JP
Belizeans and true friends of Belize, in the ongoing saga concerning Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize’s sovereign territory, there is a new and deeply troubling development. On Wednesday, 8 May 2013, Belize’s foreign minister and his Guatemalan counterpart met, along with officials of the OAS in Washington, D.C. The fundamental topic of discussion involved the government of Guatemala’s breach of the agreement to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October of this year. Reports concerning the meeting come as no surprise to me, given Belize’s illogical and bereft foreign affairs policy (or better yet, lack thereof) which is steeped in: acceptance, accommodation and deference. In keeping with what the PM signaled and endorsed during his first quarterly press conference of a week ago, it appears as though the “brain trust” at Belize’s ministry of foreign affairs has opted to let Guatemala off the hook.
Yes, you heard correct. Despite their breach of the agreement to hold simultaneous referenda on the aforementioned date, and amid their numerous, other “bad faith” advances, the GOB’s ‘Plan B’ is, in effect, to resort to their ‘Plan A’, despite it already being proven as bankrupt and basically a zero-sum (for some), harebrained approach to addressing Guatemala’s unfounded claim on our sovereign territory. Now that it is clear the GOB intends to continue down this ill-conceived and destructive path, civil society must rise up and stand resolute.
BNYCF 2013 Chess Olympiad
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation's 2013 Chess Olympiad is tomorrow at the UB gymnasium. Best of luck to all the bright minds that play!
"Since all the chess players are trained thru chess to become the leaders of the communities, this is the message that we, as chess community, send out: 'Leave wildlife free, Capture Only in Chess!'"
Cahal Pech Tour Video
The Cahal Pech Archaeological site is featured on this video. It's narrated and edited well, and shows most of the site, including the museum, and the recent improvements.
"Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins in San Ignacio, Belize are a great set of ruins to visit. Cahal Pech sits on the top of the hill overlooking the town of San Ignacio. From pretty much anywhere in town you can see the cell phone tower that dominates the skyline .. the ruins sit below it well to the north a little. Its a medium hike up the hill from town to the site but it can be done. Or like us you can stay at the Cahal Pech Resort which is also below the tower. This is a great site, having many halls and staircases worth exploring. When you come to Belize I would come here again its a really cool place."
Chocolate Stout Tastings
Belikin will be having free tastings of their Chocolate Stout this weekend. Tonight, it'll be at Piache and E and L Sports Bar, and during the day, Lin's Supermarket. They are rolling it out again in honor of the Chocolate Festival of Belize, which will be down in Toledo the last weekend of this month.
Feed the Children Runway Call
The Cornerstone Foundation is gearing up for the next Feed the Children Fashion Show, and they are looking for runway models. If you are interested, email them at email@example.com. They are accepting applications through May 24th.
Photos: Belize Agriculture Fair 2013
More great pictures from Agric, courtesy of Barry Cuthbertson.
Belize Travel and Trade Show 2013
The Belize Diaspora Network, LLC (BDN), Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and BELTRAIDE, is pleased to have the opportunity to present Belize’s first, and very own Travel & Trade Show in a priority geographical market, i.e. Miami & the greater South Florida area.
No More Noh Mul? Contractor Bulldozes Mayan Temple
Today we learned that a major Mayan Monument had been bulldozed for roadfill aggregate. 7news went to Orange Walk District, near the northern district boundary to find out that Noh Mul – or at least a large part of it – is no more. It’s a stunning development – and Jules Vasquez reports.
Jules Vasquez reporting
Noh Mul. it’s name means the Big Hill but it’s not so big any more, this once towering and stout ceremonial center in San Jose/San Pablo has been whittled down to a narrow core by excavators and bulldozers. Whodunnit? Contractors who’re using the rich gravel and limestone content to fill roads in nearby Douglas Village.
Now, this was the main temple, the ceremonial center for Noh Mul, at about 20 metres among the tallest buildings in Northern Belize - and it’s not centuries old, it’s millennia, thousands of years old and the thought that it’s rich limestone bricks cut with stone tools in the BC era, the thought that this could be used for road fill is a manifest outrage and a particularly painful one for these Archeologists who were called out to the area today. We were there when they first arrived and got their initial emotional reaction:
Dr. Allan Moore - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology
"This is one of the largest bulding in Norther Belize. I am appalled! I was hoping that when I was driving up from the main San Juan road that it would not be this one but when I got closer I couldn't believe it when I saw all the trucks. This is an incredible destruction."
PG Police Kill Escaped Prisoner
PG Police shot and killed a man today. Rahseed Eligio was arrested for having several sexual encounters with a 15 year old girl. That was two days ago, and this morning at 5:00 am, he was being escorted to prison, by James Bus. Eligio was handcuffed to and another prisoner, Brian Garcia – who is accused of the same crime in Punta Gorda Town. They were both remanded to prison, but police say Eligio and Garcia bolted and escaped. A police report says that 3 hours later at 8:30 am, Constable David Griffith called the police station to say that they had caught Eligio but shot him in the process. Apparently police tracked them down in the Carib Reserve Area. Police say they fled, and they fired shots – one of them caught Eligio in the left side. He was taken to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A internal investigation has been launched into the shooting Elijio’s death.
Arguments Close In UNIBAM Case
After 3 years of anticipation, and 4 long days of legal back and forth, the Caleb Orozco challenge to Section 53 of the criminal code has finally been argued to completion, and tonight, it is in the hands of the Chief Justice to make a decision.
Eamon Courtney, the lead attorney for the Churches, finished his presentation this morning. His argument explained why the Orozco challenge should be struck out of court.
After a 5 hour presentation, Courtenay briefly explained that thrust of his argument: that Orozco could not prove that any of his constitutional rights were violated because he’s never been prosecuted, and will likely never be prosecuted for his sexual preference.
Eamon Courtenay - SC - Attorney for the Churches
"Once UNIBAM was struck out as a claimant then it left Mr. Orozco's affidavit with very little evidence about a personal prejudice that he was being affected by and in the absence of that - the cases are very clear that you cannot bring a claim under the constitution. We relied on cases and I heard Mr. Hamel-Smith in reply criticizing me for the submission for making it late but I think he will understand that that is the law. Whether I make it now or yesterday - that is the law. He has no standing in this claim. I don't want the impression to be given as I understand it has been given in some quarters of the media that the church is insensitive or intolerance to the rights of gay people, lesbians or transgender people. I submitted quite carefully and clearly to the court that in face one of the most tolerant entities in our democracy is in fact, the church.
Budna Could Get Major Years In Guatemala Jail
In September of last year we told you about the kidnapping charges against Belizean Joseph Budna in Guatemala. Guatemalan Police charged him for kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals.
According the Guatemalan press, Budna was the leader of a ring of criminals specializing in international kidnappings in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
Well, today’s edition of the Amandala newspaper reports that Budna is in a maximum security prison in Zacapa, located near the Guatemala/Honduras border, while he awaits trial on the kidnapping charge in the Supreme Court in that country.
Budna is reportedly being accused of kidnapping 19 year-old US National Luis Bryon Reyes Onofre in a scheme to solicit one million quetzals from Reyes’s father, Luis August Reyes Salazar.
Budna’s defense before the court is supposed to be that Reyes Onofre pretended to be kidnapped so that they his father would pay the money, but he changed his story afterwards and claimed to be abducted, taken to Honduras, and held hostage on a farm.
The Humble Wisdom Of “Don Choc”
Leonel “Chocolate” Heredia passed away a month ago at the age of 83. In July, to coincide with his birthday, his family plans to take his remains to scatter them in the Noh Mul reserve.
As we told you at the time of his passing, Chocolate Heredia was a giant of the conservation movement, and a hero and inspiration to many, all this from a man who never went to school. Before his death, the old fisherman told Sundog Films about what he thought to be an incredible life.
Leonel “Chocolate” Heredia
"In 2002 I declared nine thousand acres of wildlife of the manatees; I don't know how I did it but here I am in places that I never believed one day I would be. Every time I remember that what I did - its a little history in my life that maybe even the last hours of my life I will remember as the time when I found Swallow Caye and when I found it I was a fisherman and I saw one twisting up and then I took the dowry and I went close and I saw this thing coming out from the manatee and inside the bag I saw the little manatee and she turned around and hit it and brought it to her breast;
Belize Rural Primary: An Interesting Experiment
The Belize Rural Primary School is an interesting experiment: it amalgamates 6 schools, both Catholic and Anglican into one large school to serve the Belize River Valley. It’s a major integration of resources requiring major machinery: there’s free transport along the valley for all the students and free lunches for all of them as well – as part of the meals programme. Yesterday, as part of education showcase week, Ministry officials visited the facility in Double Head Cabbage. Education Minister Faber outlined what makes the amalgam work.
Hon. Patrick Faber – Minister of Education
"There were six schools that were acclimated to become the Belize Rural Primary School - three of them were Roman Catholic and three of them were Anglican and they're now being managed by a community board made up of representatives made up of the various stakeholder bodies that have an interest. The children also are now able to sit in full size classrooms and the multi-grade teaching is no more. It is a wonderful success story. It is a work in progress and we hope that our continued push along with the support with our stakeholders - particularly the community in this regard will come and we will continue to move from strength to strength in terms of the quality that comes out of the Belize Rural Primary School."
Giga Councilor Threatened?
In Dangriga, police are reporting that a councilor at Dangriga Town Council was threatened at gunpoint. She reported to police that on Monday night at 11:00, she was driving in the town when she noticed that a a dark blue Ford SUV with Belmopan plates was following her. When she reached a speedbump on Ecumenical Drive, the SUV pulled up beside her and a clear complexioned man rolled down his wind and pointed a firearm at her. She drove directly to the Dangriga Police Station and reported it. No one has been arrested.
We asked the Mayor about the incident today – and he said he had not heard of it.
Red Cross Celebrates Globally, Locally
On Wednesday Red Cross volunteers from around the world joined to celebrate World Red Cross Crescent Day. As a part of the local observance, today the Belize Red Cross held an Open Day inside the Bliss Parking lot – to showcase and educate the public on the purpose they serve. It was all demonstrated by youngsters themselves who played a major role in today's Open Day.
Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross
"Today we are having an awareness fair and it is in celebration of the day that we set aside for World Red Cross day which was Wednesday, 8th May. That day is celebrated all over the world and by all the 188 national societies. It is also the birthday of our founder, Henri Dunant, and so on that day we take the opportunity to let everybody know about the work we do; to invite people to come and join this happy family; to become volunteers and to share in the successes and to also listen to our needs and make a little contribution or to sign up as a volunteer. We also take the opportunity to bring out the school children and teach them a little bit about all the different areas we work in. We have today, the first aid sector, doing some practical techniques, teaching about CPR and first-aid and we also have the HIV and Aids program out here giving good solid facts about HIV and aids to the children; we also have the disaster risk reduction here, of course, very very significant being the month before the season opens; we have games which we are teaching children facts about disaster preparedness and of course we have a little section selling some pastries just to raise a few little coins for our operations and basically just letting everybody know what we do every single day in disaster, out of disaster, in preparedness, in health. We also started working with our youths in violence prevention; that is a new area so we are telling them about all these good things that we do"
Prolific Poet Norman
A new book called Expressions was launched today. It is a collection of poems celebrating motherhood penned by the prolific Norman Rodriquez. It is his 3rd major collection of poems and he launched it today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.
And even though the book is launched right before Mother’s Day- Rodriquez clarified that it is not a mother’s day book, per se. He explained that these poems are not just for a day, they are for all time:
Norman Rodriquez - Poet
"It's a collection of poems celebrating Motherhood and I take this opportunity to use it as a way to wish all Mothers in Belize and the world a Happy Mother's Day. There are 45 poems celebrating Motherhood eventhough the book is being launched near to Mother's day it is not a Mother's Day book. It is a collection of poems celebrating motherhood, different aspects of motherhood".
"Any particular poem that stood out for you?"
Conviction In OW Court
There are 2 major judgments coming out of the Northern Sessions of the Supreme Court. In the first, Justice Herbert Lord delivered his verdict yesterday in the case of Kenroy Foreman, who was charged with attempted murder.
Justice Lord heard the matter in a trial without jury, and yesterday, he delivered his judgment that Foreman was guilty of cutting his former common-law wife’s throat 3 times in April of 2009, which almost caused her death.
In the other case, Justice Herbert Lord heard the matter of Santiago Coc, who was charged with rape. He sent the case to the jury yesterday who found him not guilty of rape, but guilty of the alternative charge of carnally knowing a mentally challenged woman contrary to Section 47(2) of the Criminal Code.
Both men will be given a mitigation hearing at a later date.
A Last Gasp Of Protest
In our last segment, we told you about day 4 of Caleb Orozco’s challenge in the Supreme Court. Well, while the attorneys were inside finishing up their legal arguments, John Brackett, the leader of CIFOS, Citizens for Safety, was engaging in a 1-man protest.
In the interest and fairness of freedom of expression, we spoke to Brackett about why he’s decided that he must voice his disapproval of this court case so loudly.
He told us that Belizean citizens should not accept it because it is a Christian state.
John Brackett - Leader, CIFOS
"After Independence we have received this constitution and it is good for us and vital for us in this manner and I beleive that any changes would be a plus to the homosexual world and this is what we don't want. Giovannie, Orosco has already had a lot of rights; he has the right to move around freely; the right to associate; the right to have a job; he has the right to be paid for the job that he has done; he has the right to associate with anyone he wants; he has the right to live; I mean, we don't want any changes to the constitution especially to section fifty three (53). As a nation we need to look at the Bible; the truth; the word of God; Leviticus 20:13 Giovannie, the year we are living in; look at it, if a man also lies with mankind as he lieth with a woman both of them have committed abomination"
Free Plastic Surgeries By US Army
The US Military’s New Horizon Operation si providing specialized plastic surgeries to persons in southern Belize. One case is 4 year old Isai Carrillo, who underwent surgery last week Thursday to correct a condition known as syndactyly, or hand fusion, in his right hand. A US Army plastic surgeon explained.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Talarezyk, Plastic Surgeon
"Syndactyly is the most common congenital hand abnormality in the United States with an incidence of one in one hundred thousand, one in two hundred thousand children. It is more common in males; this child has what is called Apert Syndrome which is an extremely rare condition which is an incidence of one in two hundred thousand children but the syndactyly is very common in the Apert's child and so our goal today; he has syndactyly in both hands and we are going to release one hand Syndactyly"
After the surgery, his hand that was once fused has three fingers.
Arguments wrap up in openly gay case
Arguments in the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize wrapped up today in the chambers of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The trial started on Tuesday and a total of fifteen lawyers—local, regional and international—argued the case in which Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of section fifty-three of the criminal code which [...]
UNIBAM says it wants same sex activity legalized
But even as the case wraps up, there is still confusion in many quarters on what exactly the claimant wants done to section fifty-three which penalizes persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature with a ten year prison term. According to propaganda and ads from the churches and other groups, Orozco [...]
Clifton Hyde charged for human trafficking of Indian nationals
The arraignment of a group of eleven Indian nationals, who entered Belize illegally from Guatemala on Wednesday night, has been deferred to Monday in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The men have been in police custody since being caught by officers attached to the Mobile Interdiction Team near Billy White, in the vicinity of the Spanish [...]
Poll generates more votes than possible in elections
At news time tonight, there have been more votes cast in this week’s online poll than were cast in the last general elections in Belize. The question which was asked on Tuesday is: Do you support the decriminalization of sodomy? And at last check at six o’clock this evening, two hundred and five thousand four [...]
If found guilty, Belizean faces 38 years in Guatemalan prison
According to a report coming from Guatemala, a Belizean may face thirty-eight years in prison if he is found guilty of kidnapping. Thirty-three year old Joseph Budna was charged along with three other individuals of kidnapping nineteen year old U.S. national, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre through which they hoped to obtain one million quetzales from [...]
Shooting death of young escapee charged with carnal knowledge
A young man has been shot and killed in Punta Gorda by the police. The cop who pulled the trigger has been named in a previous shooting death, but was never charged. An internal investigation has been launched, following the shooting of eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio just after eight this morning. According to a [...]
UB students robbed by Hispanic gang in facility leased by Chinese
On Wednesday night, a gang of six armed robbers hit the University of Belize dormitory in Belmopan, stealing an array of personal items, including laptops, cell phones, cash and jewelry, among other effects totaling an estimated forty-one thousand dollars. It was a brazen heist carefully orchestrated by individuals believed to be members of a Hispanic [...]
$43 million BCB and Belize Bank case at Caribbean Court
It might appear that national matters have come to a standstill as all eyes and ears focused this week on Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney-General. But the wheels of state are still turning, and so are the wheels of those with grievances against the state. A very significant appeal case is currently before the Caribbean [...]
Gideon charged with burglary at Victoria Street home
Eighteen year old Jonathan Gideon, accused of breaking into a residence on Victoria Street, appeared in court today, where he was charged with burglary. Reports are that on March twenty-third, Gideon, an unemployed of a Hensley Street address, entered the home of Elsworth Staine and stole a laptop and a personal computer, at a combined [...]
Court fixes a mechanic and his marijuana
Twenty-three year old Victor Seaman, a mechanic of McKay Boulevard in Belize City, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday evening, where he was arraigned on two drug-related charges stemming from a GSU raid on his home. On Wednesday, GSU personnel visited Seaman’s residence, where a search led to the discovery of separate [...]
Medical Tourism between Belize and Mexico
Medical Tourism is in its development stage in Belize. In August 2012, a workshop was executed to create awareness of the industry and to gauge the receptiveness of stakeholders in the healthcare profession. The initiative was started by BELTRAIDE because of the potential for employment in Belize which could possibly increase foreign direct investment. While [...]
Amalgamated schools functioning as Rural Primary
Earlier in the week, the official launch of the South-side School Feeding program was held at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road. The project does not only feed needy students selected from participating schools in the city but also includes rural areas of the Belize District and some schools in Stann Creek. However, the [...]
Former Guatemalan president gets 80 years in prison for crimes against humanity
While the case of Caleb Orozco was being argued all week in court, across the border, the courts in Guatemala were also hearing the case against Efrain Rios Montt, the former president who was being tried for genocide and crimes against humanity. This afternoon, the tribunal found the eighty-six year old Rios Montt guilty and [...]
World Red Cross Day celebrated downtown
May eighth is celebrated worldwide as World Red Cross Day. In Belize, the Red Cross organized a fair at the Bliss Parking Lot in downtown Belize City to highlight the wide range of services provided by the organization. The Belize chapter of the Red Cross is one of a hundred and eighty-eight national societies and [...]
Norman Rodriguez’s poetic “Expressions” launched
Earlier this week, two books; Moments in Time Volumes one and two, penned by Doctor Corinth Morter Lewis were officially launched. There is another book to add to your collection of books. Expressions; A collection of poems celebrating motherhood was launched today at a Bliss Center for the Performing Arts by its author, Norman Rodriguez. [...]
Arguments Wrap Up Today In Orozco vs Attorney General; Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin To Render Decision
Caleb versus the Attorney General of Belize, the most talked about case for this week came to an end today in the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. This morning the courtroom was once again packed to capacity as it was on day one of the case with supporters for UNIBAM and t...
Pathology Lab Displayed During Public Service Awareness Day
The Pathology Lab’s display at the Public Service Awareness Day on Thursday included a portion of the human body that forensic experts rely on after a body has decomposed. According to Dr Mario Estradabran, aside from the teeth, skull and bones, which can be used to help id...
Red Cross Belize Holds Awareness Fair
On Wednesday May 8, Belize joined the world in celebrating “World Red Cross Day”. One hundred and eighty eight Red Cross National Societies, around the world celebrated the birthday of the Founder of the Red Cross Movement, Henry Dunant. This year’s Red Cross day is b...
Belizean Literary Work Launched
This morning writer and poet, Norman C. Rodriguez launched his new literary art work entitled ‘Expressions” which is a collections of poems celebrating motherhood. The launch was held at the Bliss for the performing arts and Love News was there and we got a chance to speak ...
National Chess Olympiad Takes Place At The Weekend
At this time of year the youths are engaged in a number of academic exercises. Some just recently completed part two of the Primary School Exams while others were in the district finals of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee competition. And on Saturday, others will compete...
Police Fataly Shoots Escaped Prisoner; Another Remains On The Run
A man was fatally shot by police in Punta Gorda earlier today. Investigations continue into the circumstances in which 18-year-old Rasheed Elijio was shot. Elijio was in the news earlier this week when he was charged with the carnal knowledge of a 14 year old gir...
Three Prison Inmates Charged With Wounding Following Stabbing Incident
Three prison inmates, one of them a 17 year old boy, were charged with wounding another inmate when they were brought to court today. The adults are 25 year old Harry Jacobs and 19 year old Anthony Carballo Jr. Carballo wanted to plead guilty to the charge but he changed his plea to no...
Two Orange Walk Resident's Found Guilty Of Their Crime At The Supreme Court
A man from the Orange Walk District who slit his common-law wife’s throat three times back in April of 2009 was found guilty of attempted murder at the Northern Session of Supreme Court. Today, Justice Herbert Lord found Kenroy Foreman, who stood trail by judge alone, guilty for the attempted murder of Lilian Lorena Hernandez who was 30 years of age at the time the incident. The crime was committed in the Village of Trail Farm on April 8th 2009. At that time Hernandez reported to police that at around 11:45pm whilst at Paraiso Bar located in the Village of Trail Farm, she was approached by an infuriated Foreman who for no reason started an argument with her, took out a knife and slit her throat three times. Luckily for Hernandez she was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and received treatment in time. Sentencing is set for May 23rd 2013. The case was prosecuted by Crown Councils Shanice Lovell and Sabita Maharaj.
Corozal Taxi Driver Held Up At Gun Point
Today, a 64 year old taxi driver from Corozal is recuperating from a frightening experience after he was held up at gunpoint by two men. Yesterday, at around 6:50am, the taxi driver was driving his car around the Corozal Town Bus Terminal, when two male persons of Hispanic descent, hired him to take them to the Belize Chetumal Border. Upon reaching somewhere between miles 90 and 91 of the Philip Goldson Highway, one of the men travelling in the back seat of the car placed a gun to the drivers head while the other individual placed a knife to his side. Both men then demanded that the victim reverse the vehicle into a nearby feeder road. Fearing for his life, the taxi driver complied with the demand of his assailants. As the driver drove into the feeder, he saw a van travelling in the opposite direction. The man immediately made a desperate move to save his own life. He swerved in front of the van causing a collision, luckily no one was hurt. For their part, the assailants exited the vehicle and made good their escape into some nearby bushes but not before firing two shots in the direction of the van. No one was injured. The men are described as being of Hispanic descent. One of them is said to be tall, slim and has curly hair while the second is described as being stout-built and wearing a blue cap.
Is The Minister Of Natural Resources Destroying Maya Mount?
Belize’s first and most enduring inhabitants, the Maya, left a rich legacy of art, science and mathematics that continues to unfold and astound us. Much of this ancient knowledge was lost leaving many Maya records parts of their history and predictions in stone inscriptions that can be seen today in stelae and the remains of elaborate cities, buildings, and temples that survived centuries of jungle encroachment. But unfortunately they are been put to risk as is the case of a Maya Mount located in the Village of San Juan in the Orange Walk District which is being excavated for white marl allegedly being used for a project carried out by Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega who also happens to be the Minister of Natural Resources. After receiving several calls from concerned residents of Nuevo San Juan we headed to the area and here is what we found out.
Victor Castillo - Reporting
After receiving several calls this morning, mainly from villagers of Nuevo San Juan located in Orange Walk, we headed out to the area where we observed this heavy machine unearthing white marl from what is believed to be a Maya Mount. Upon sighting our news team an individual driving this grey Toyota pickup truck with licence plate OW C-17439 impeded us from getting closer to the area by blocking our path.
1st Form Student Knocked Down On Philip Goldson Highway
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 understands that late this afternoon a 1st form student of Corner Stone Presbyterian High School, located along the Philip Goldson Highway between the Villages of Concepcion and Louisville in the Corozal District, was knocked down by a van.
The driver of the vehicle is yet to be identified but what we do know is that he or she stopped and rendered aid. The student was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital for treatment. The extent of his injuries is unknown. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast since we were unable to get an official word from the principal of Corner Stone as he was on his way to Corozal from Belize City and police are yet to release the name of the victim and the driver of the vehicle.
Residents Of Chan Pine Ridge Head Out To The Polls
On Sunday residents of Chan Pine Ridge will elect a new Village Council and running under the umbrella of the People’s United Party is the current chairman, Feliciano Torres. Of course, the PUP slate has the full support of Orange Walk East Area Representative; Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez.
Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. Orange Walk East
“Vamos a tener una elección del concilio este domingo. Las votaciones van a empezar desde la diez de la mañana hasta las tres esto es un tiempo bastante corto bueno pidiéndole a todos de la aldea que salgan a votar y que salgan a ejercer su derecho y escoger a las personas de quien ellos miren las personas que son responsables y que quieren dedicar sus esfuerzos para de alguna manera trabajar por la aldea y por las necesidades, aunque son mínimas pero son necesidades que uno puede brindasrle a sus aldeanos verdad. Esta como presente chairman el sénior Feliciano Torres va estar corriendo como chairman también va a estar el señor Cornelio Torres, también Shaniny, va a estar corriendo, también Mr. Jaime Carillo, Mr Antonio Flores, Mr. German Tzul, Mr. Cawich o sea son siete de ellos que van a estar integrando el equipo que han mostrado el interés y que siempre han trabajado para la aldea, no son personas que han solamente han estado allí sin hacer nada para la aldea, entonces estoy pidiéndole el apoyo para esta gente que definitivamente quieren trabajar para Chan Pine Ridge.”
Belize/Guatemala Delegation Meet At The OAS
As we reported yesterday, the Belize delegation led by Minister of Foreign affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the delegation of Guatemala led by their Foreign Minister Fernando Carerra, and the secretary general of the OAS Jose Miguel Insulza met at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC yesterday to discuss the next step in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6th October 2013.
Both parties expressed the need to seek an early resolution to the long standing dispute between the two countries and reiterated that a solution must be found as soon as possible. It was also agreed that essential to the expediting of the process was the need to enhance the confidence levels in both countries by strengthening Confidence Building Measures.
The parties agreed that the prolongation of the dispute is not conducive to building stronger bilateral ties, nor does it contribute to furthering the regional integration process. The Belize delegation took the opportunity to emphasize that the existence of the dispute represented an unsustainable cost for Belize, from the environmental, economic and security perspectives. The meeting explored various ways of ensuring that the commitment to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice, as contemplated in the Special Agreement is maintained and acted upon in the shortest possible time. Secretary General Insulza agreed to convene a subsequent Ministerial level meeting to confirm the way forward by June 2013.
PUP Presents Future Changes For Village Council Leaders
Presently both major political parties in Belize are gearing up for the upcoming Village Council Elections with the first leg of the race scheduled to commence this weekend. At this hour, the boxing gloves are on and candidates of both parties are in the ring ready for the battle to commence. Which party will win the majority of seats is a question that will be answered at the end of the election process. But what we do know is that the People’s United Party has plans to change the Village Council Act when elected in Government in order to give more autonomy to the elected officials.
The party’s plans were unraveled yesterday during a press conference held in Belize City and presented in a 14 point brochure entitled True Development for our Village Communities.
Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez- Orange Walk East Area Representative
“Por ejemplo primero, ellos mencionan de que se va a respetar el papel y la función y las responsabilidades de todos los alcaldes. Sabemos de qué muchos de los alcaldes de la oposición de partido Unido del Pueblo acido no tomados en cuenta en algunos proyectos y en algunos desarrollos que han llevado a cabo en algunos de las comunidades no se les ha respetado y yo creo y el partido cree que definitivamente todos los alcaldes y todos los líderes que han escogido por la gente deben de ser respetados no importando la afiliación política que tenga el líder porque ellos fueron los escogidos entonces el Partido está tomando la position de que todos los alcaldes se les va a respetar, se les va a involucrar dentro que sean los proyectos y los desarrollos que se lleve dentro de la aldea.”
The case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General wraps up in the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this afternoon reserved judgment in the case of Caleb Orozco vs. The Attorney General of Belize after final submissions by Eamon Courtenay, Senior Counsel representing the church and a rebuttal from lead counsel for Orozco. This morning Courtenay expanded on yesterday’s submissions in which he...
18 year old dies after being shot by Police
An 18 year old man was shot after he faced charges for having sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. 18 year old Rasheed Elijio, was picked up by Police on Tuesday, for the crime of carnal knowledge, after he was caught with a 15 year old inside a...
Eleven men from India are detained at Belmopan Police Station
Tonight, eleven men from India are detained at the Belmopan police station after they were caught last night in the Billy White Area – which is in Western Cayo. Information is sketchy and police are mum, learned that a round 8:00 pm, the Police Mobile Interdiction Team, acting on...
Protest outside Supreme Court, as gay rights lawsuit takes place
This morning the UNIBAM case resumed for its final day of presentations. The case has attracted its fair share of attention and today a single protestor hit the streets to make his opposition to changes in Section 53 known. John Brackett tells us why he is opposed. John Brackett...
AGUSM considering filing suit against Fawda Henry
Today we got a response from Philip ‘Fawda” Henry on the accusations of president of American Global University School of Medicine Dr. Malik Soudah that he was paid to instigate a smear campaign against the school a few weeks ago. Henry made reference to the recent press conference called...
Dangriga Mayor surprised by land survey
Yesterday, we brought you a story of a land dispute occurring in Dangriga, that land is parcel 991 and is located near the main bridge. Since 2000, the Dangriga Town Council has been in a tug of war for the area. We spoke to Mayor of Dangriga, Gilbert Swaso...
Under-aged motorcyclist knocked down
14 year old Jamie Braun was rushed to the KHMH yesterday, after he was knocked down by a motorist. The accident happened shortly before 11, in the Spanish Lookout area. Police say a 66 year old Belizean resident and Missionary of Las Flores, was driving his Dodge Ram Van...
Graduation held for GREAT Program
There is good news coming out of the Police Department. The Department just wrapped up another series of its GREAT Program, an initiative aimed at encouraging gang resistance education and conflict resolution in primary schools. This is a new project by the Police Department and the first of its...
Helpage celebrates Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day will be celebrated this coming Sunday, and the women at the Belize Helpage got an early mother’s day treat, filled with a luncheon and some good old entertainment. The event took place yesterday morning at the Helpage Center in Belmopan. The ladies also enjoyed a performance from...
Red Cross celebrates “150 years of Humanitarian Action.”
The Belize Red Cross is holding a week of activities to mark its 99th year of existence and Red Cross day on Wednesday. Today they hosted an awareness fair in Belize City. With more here is director general Lily Bowman. Lily Bowman – Director General: The theme that is...
New book “Expressions” celebrates Motherhood
A book of 45 poems about mothers titled “Expressions” was released this morning. Author Norman Rodriguez tells PLUS News about his inspiration. Norman Rodriguez – Author: It talks about death, the losing of a mother. It talks about those mothers who piggy-back on the good motherhood that some of...
Village council elections begin this weekend
Village council elections get on the way in certain villages this weekend. Village Council Elections are held every four years in Belize. The first round of the Village council elections for the Corozal District will begin on Sunday May 12th for seven of the districts 28 villages. The other...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
National Song Competition 2013
Re: Today's Belize News: May 11, 2013
05/11/13 06:14 AM
05/11/13 06:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
More News: Scroll up from here
CLOSING SEASON” FOR TWO PREMIER LEAGUE TEAMS THIS WEEKEND
The second leg of the home-and-away semifinal series in the Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Closing Season takes place this weekend, and it will indeed be the closing of the curtain for two teams, while two others will go on next week to the championship finals series.
On Saturday night at the FFB Stadium, Police broke the deadlock in injury time to drop Belize Defense Force, 3-1. Amin “Tacos” August (4’) put Police ahead early, but BDF got the equalizer quickly from Tyrone Pandy (11’). Tacos (90+’) struck again, and also Trevor “Burger” Lennen (90+’) in injury time to give Police the 3-1 victory.
On Sunday afternoon at the MCC Grounds, there was also an early goal, Avian “Chiches” Crawford’s strike at the 2nd minute, to give FC Belize the 1-nil lead over defending champion Belmopan Bandits. The difference is that there were no more goals, and FC Belize came away 1-nil winners.
A month ago, with top striker Deon McCaulay on a tear, having scored 8 goals in 4 games, it seemed like defending champions Belmopan Bandits were a cinch to repeat as champions. But the last two weeks of April ended without a score for Deon, and then he exited early due to injury in game 1 of the semifinal series against FC Belize on Sunday, and all of a sudden things don’t look so cozy anymore for the reigning champions.
THIS MASQUERADE Editorial
The elaborate nature of this masquerade is truly impressive. But, you should know, this masquerade has become an editorial crisis for us on Partridge Street. This masquerade has exposed the fact that we are unable to tell it truly as it is, because of the Mephistophelian nature of the compromise we made in late 1977. We made a business deal with polite society in late 1977, and the justification for it, in our minds, was that we would begin to create jobs for our roots. In Biblical terms, we thus gained the world and lost our soul.
For the purposes of this essay, we will say, for argument’s sake, that there are two Belizes: one is polite society, and the other is roots, or what we sometimes call the “streets.” Polite society, for us, is comprised of the partnership between the oligarchy and the churches. The direct instruments of polite society are the electoral politicians, who must first satisfy that polite society that they are “safe,” whereupon the politicians are gifted with the control of public funds in order to dispense and distribute same with the approval of polite society.
Below the ruling politicians are various functionaries, apparatchiks, bureaucrats, and cronies who make up the rest of the power structure.
On the bottom of the heap are the masses, the roots, the streets. At the top of Belize’s polite society/power structure, the gay life features prominently, and it is as if it is legal; it is almost prestigious, and the gays are eminently powerful. But, almost unbeknownst to the roots, a long time ago the sexual activities of the gays were declared criminal and illegal by the very power structure itself, and those gay activities remain criminal and illegal. The streets had always condemned the gay life, as a matter of sexual instinct, but the streets never had the power to make laws: it was polite society which made Belizean laws (such as, no ganja!).
BELIZE WILL NEVER AGREE TO EX AEQUO ET BONO: COMPTON Letters
by Compton Fairweather
The Editor Amandala
May 8th, 2013
Today, May 8th, marks the 45th anniversary of the day when Dean Lindo, Nadia Cattouse and I addressed Members of Parliament on the Belize–Guatemala dispute at a House of Commons meeting in London. Less than two weeks earlier, both Dean and I were in Washington D.C., on April 26th 1968, when Ambassador Bethuel Webster handed over his Proposals to the British and Belize Governments. Professor Louis M. Bloomfield was also present as an observer on behalf of the Belize Government.
“In the hallowed and historic palace of Westminster, home of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the plight of British Honduras was raised tonight for all to hear, when more than a hundred Members of Parliament, peers of the realm, diplomats from the independent Caribbean Commonwealth countries, journalists, British Hondurans and friends of the country sat silent and keenly interested for three hours as the whole question of the Webster Proposals and of the future British Honduras was examined in detail by experts.”
Dean Lindo, who was at that time Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, was the first speaker (I was the last). He began by telling the audience that the Webster Proposals “were in fact already with the Government Printers. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the country’s economy is in ruins and money is desperately short for major projects of vital importance, the government – who could very well have made the Proposals public without us even leaving Belize City – expended a huge sum of money to pay for an eleven-member delegation to go to Washington. This showed bad faith and reckless extravagance.”
FINED – NOT CONFINED Letters
by Steve Heightway
In this week, where we have seen so much time and effort arguing over the “Section 53” case and what consenting adults can do in private (which is not about homosexuality alone, since it prohibits my wife and I from having anal and oral sex), I’m intrigued to see where the uproar is concerning the sentencing of John Baptist.
In your report you state that he was found guilty of two counts of aggregated assault of an indecent nature, and that the judge said, “She has been wrecked for life,” the result of which is a fine! A mere fine of $11,000. Is that the price we put on our young children’s lives now?
My anger was intensified at the reports later this week that a man is jailed for 7 years for $13 worth of biscuits.
How does the judiciary justify these two sentences? Where are the NGOs, churches, etc., now, I wonder, clamoring for justice, social equality and the well-being of our children? The silence is deafening…
THE CHURCHES’ EAMON COURTENAY WILL PRESENT CLOSING ARGUMENTS TOMORROW, FRIDAY
Closing arguments for UNIBAM were presented today by Christopher Hamel-Smith.
The highly anticipated case between Caleb Orozco and the Attorney General began on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The days-long trial is a landmark one for the nation, as Orozco is challenging both the laws of the court and the mores of the society.
Orozco’s case is an effort to strike down Section 53 of the criminal code which criminalizes sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex.
His arguments are that the law degrades and criminalizes what a person does in the privacy of his or her home. It is being argued that the law thus infringes on his constitutional rights – his right to privacy and human dignity.
The case involves several interested parties, including the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Human Dignity Trust, the International Commission of Jurists, and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which are all supporters of Orozco’s claim. The other interested parties, which have attached themselves to the Government’s claim, are the Roman Catholic Churches, The Belize Churches of England’s corporate body, and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – A DANGEROUS POWER
Great events in world history have proven that, the copybook maxim – the pen is mightier than the sword, is absolutely true. The sword can dismember or destroy the body but, great ideas flowing from the pen can change the world.
Leo Tolstoy wrote his ideas about the irresistible power of non-violent protest in his book, Civil Disobedience and Non-Violence, and Mohandas Gandhi accepted and converted the principles advocated by Tolstoy into action. The force of the Indian nation’s non-violent protest against the injustice of British rule, resulted in the Independence of India and Pakistan in 1947.
Gandhi’s mission, which was-self rule for the Indian nation, was helped by the fact that the other political leaders and himself were fervent adherents of the Hindu religion and, that he had come to be revered by the populace as a spiritual icon.
The British rulers of India, which was a colony, were masters of public administration, supported by a comparatively small army, but the British soldiers were the finest in the world. India was exploited by laws which favored the mother country and considered oppressive by the natives, who reacted by armed rebellion, which was put down with great efficiency and carnage.
OCEANA “KEEPS EYES AND EARS” OPEN FOR ENERGY COMPANY DRILLING OPERATIONS
Oceana in Belize Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd held a press conference today, Wednesday, to update the media on the status of offshore drilling in Belize.
The press conference was to be focused on the recent court ruling on the organization’s case which challenged the granting of offshore drilling permits by Government to energy companies to operate in Belize.
But what seems to have taken over the meeting, were the plans of one oil company –Treaty Belize Energy— to resume operations in Belize. Matura stated that the company still plans to drill for oil in the country.
Those plans are being made despite the April 16, 2013 Supreme Court ruling that all offshore drilling contracts are null and void — meaning that by law they don’t even exist.
Treaty Belize issued a press release on Tuesday, May 7, stating that they have sought legal advice from their attorney, Rodwell Williams of Barrow and Williams, and have decided to proceed.
Matura-Shepherd said that Oceana’s response to that decision is to wait and watch, and if any operations do resume, they will seek court action by way of enforcing an injunction.
TRIAL WITHOUT JURY FINDS TWO GUILTY IN ORANGE WALK SUPREME COURT
One was found guilty of attempted murder, and the other of rape.
Two men were found guilty by Justice Herbert Lord at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court in the first trial without jury in that session. They were on trial for attempted murder and raping a mentally challenged woman, respectively.
Sentencing for the men has been deferred until Thursday, May 23.
Kenroy Foreman of Orange Walk Town was found guilty of attempting to murder his girlfriend, Lilian Lorena Hernandez, at a bar in Paraiso, where she is employed. The two became involved in an argument, and police say that Foreman took out a knife and stabbed her in the neck three times. She was rushed to the Orange Walk Hospital, where she was operated on.
The incident occurred around midnight on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.
Foreman was charged with attempted murder in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, then remanded for trial at the Supreme Court.
BELIZE’S RENAISSANCE WOMAN, DR. CORINTH MORTER-LEWIS, UNWRAPS MOMENTS IN TIME
“A beautiful gift.”
Lifetime Belizean educator, author, poet and playwright, Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, described by Governor-General Sir Colville Young as “a true Renaissance woman,” on Wednesday morning released some of her most treasured compositions inside two volumes of her latest publication: Moments In Time, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
The launch was hosted by the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS) at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City.
Chair of the BNLSIS Board of Trustees, Brenda Armstrong, thanked Morter-Lewis for the hope she has given to writers who will venture into this field.
To those attending the book launch, Armstrong said: “May [Moments in Time] inspire you not only to read, but to write as well.”
In the foreword to Volume 1, Amandala publisher Evan X Hyde said: “These writings of Corinth Morter-Lewis reveal her great love for Belize and the Belizean people. This is a love which is unabashed but understated in comparison with the rhetoric of our electoral politicians…”
BUDNA FACES 38 YEARS IN GUAT JAIL!
If found guilty of abduction/kidnapping, he could spend 38 years in Guat prison.
Amandala has confirmed through the Belize Embassy in Guatemala City that Joseph Budna, 33, is still being held in prison in Guatemala, where he is facing trial on multiple kidnapping/abduction charges. One source tells us that Budna is being held in maximum security at Zacapa, located south of Belize, near Guatemala’s border with Honduras, and he is due to appear tomorrow in the Supreme Court, where his attorney, Jorge Valladarez, will present Budna’s defense.
We understand that Budna’s counter-argument to the charge of kidnapping for which he is on trial is that the complainant, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre, a US citizen, 19, colluded with (him) Budna and three other associates in a scheme to solicit a million quetzals from Reyes’ father, Luis August Reyes Salazar.
Budna is reportedly claiming that Reyes pretended to be kidnapped so that they could get the funds from his dad, but Reyes changed his story afterwards to say that he had been abducted and taken over to Honduras, where Reyes claimed he was held on a farm.
UB DORM INVASION: $41,000 ROBBED!!
Nine students at the University of Belize’s Belmopan campus were terrorized by six armed, masked gunmen who pointed guns at them, tied them up and robbed them in their dormitories on the UB compound in Belmopan.
The students, members of the Student Athletic Scholarship Program and international students from the English as a Second Language Program, including some from Mexico and Trinidad, could not alert anyone because the gunmen ordered them to lie flat on the floor and not make any noise.
One of the students was beaten with a pistol on the head, and the students were robbed of cash and other items totaling $41,000 in value. The armed robbers stole laptop computers, iPods, cell phones, jewelry, cash, watches, and other valuables, then escaped. The incident occurred about 8:40 on Wednesday night, May 8.
The students told police that they were in their dorm rooms when the six masked men, armed with handguns and a shotgun, came into their dorms, pointed guns at them and took them into the hall area, where they were all tied up. The thieves then went into their rooms and rans
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BLACKLISTS BELIZE FOR IUU FISHING ON HIGH SEAS
Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade confirmed to Amandala today that Belize has been “blacklisted” by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, on allegations that Belize and seven other countries—Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu—have been deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Belize has been listed due to its high seas fisheries, operated in international waters by foreign vessels which register here but which operate outside our national jurisdiction.
Wade told Amandala that since 2010, Belize has been in a series of discussions and meetings with the European Commission, in relation to its concerns, and the country had been given until this month, May, to provide feedback on the latest correspondence.
When we contacted the Fisheries Department early Tuesday to ask about the EC listing of Belize, Wade was surprised, since she had seen no official correspondence warning Belize before or after the European Parliament voted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
According to a report appearing today on the website of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), an ACP-EU institution, on 15 November, 2012, the European Commission had adopted a decision indicating that the 8 countries have an insufficient record in tackling IUU fishing, and that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
STUDENT, 14, NARROWLY ESCAPES SODOMY BY TEACHER
A 14-year-old student narrowly escaped being raped by his teacher, who allegedly took off his clothes and attempted to sodomize him. However, a doctor who examined the boy said that he was not penetrated.
The incident allegedly occurred at the home of the teacher in Bullet Tree village, on Friday, March 22. The student and his mother went to the San Ignacio police on Wednesday, May 8, and told them that on Friday, March 22, he visited the home of his teacher in Bullet Tree village. The teacher, the boy recounted, gave him some rum-and- coke to drink.
The boy said that they both drank, and after consuming about three glasses of rum-and-coke, he felt drunk, but could remember that the teacher took him into his bedroom, put him on his bed and took off his clothes.
Police detained the teacher and a medical examination was conducted on the boy, but according to a police report, the doctor concluded that there were “no signs of physical abuse on the minor.”
Police continue their investigation.
The Belize Times
True Development! – PUP launches Village Council agenda
The People’s United Party launched a progressive vision today that proposes to give communities and their leaders their rightful place in Belize’s development. This afternoon, leaders of the Party gathered at Independence Hall to present a visionary agenda for Village Councils in a document titled “True Development for our Village Communities”. The vision is that Village Councils will have full autonomy over their affairs while benefitting from meaningful support from the National Government no matter which political party is in power or the political affiliations of the leaders in the community. PUP Chairman Henry Usher explained that the vision incorporates the aspirations of community leaders imparted on PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca during his visit to communities across the length and breadth of the country over the past months. Hon. Fonseca has listened to the many voices of concerns and has set out a vision on their behalf. The vision is laid out in fourteen points in which the PUP declares the steps it will take to emancipate the Village Councils from the bondage and morbid state it has been over the last five years under the Barrow Administration. The steps propose massive reforms for village councils, including providing direct financial support and giving them autonomy over the management of their water systems and collection of funds through liquor and trade licenses.
EU Blacklists Belize for illegal fishing
Belize has been included in a list of countries which have “failed to sufficiently fight illegal fishing” and which could face stiff sanctions in their trade in the EU market.
The list which was updated by the European Parliament’s fisheries committee on January 23rd was published, for the first time, a few days ago. It also includes Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Vanuatu.
In addition to prohibitions on trading fishing stock, those countries which do not improve their regulation of fisheries industry could also be barred from engaging in joint fishing operations or chartering agreements with EU vessels.
Police contrabanding fuel? – …Police CLAIM they ran out of fuel
The Corozal Department is in the middle of controversy after a video showing one of their officers fuelling a police vehicle with what seemed to be contraband fuel was leaked to the public on Facebook. The video ...
The Barrow Administration is defying an April 16th 2013 Supreme Court ruling which declared that oil exploration contracts, whether offshore or onshore, must be preceded by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before entering into an agreement with the Government. The ruling also pronounced that six contracts granted to Island Oil Belize Limited, Miles Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited are null and void as they had failed to meet the necessary criteria set out in the Environmental Protection Act and Regulations.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow went rogue in his response to the ruling and called the Judge Oswell Legal’s basis for the judgment “rubbish”, and even said that the ruling “makes absolutely no sense” to him.
The Prime Minister’ law firm, Barrow and Williams which represents Princess Petroleum, has also given legal advice to Treaty Energy Belize, which shares its Production Sharing Agreement with Princess Petroleum, that it can proceed with their oil exploration at one of three drilling sites despite the court ruling. The Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, acts as Secretary for Princess Petroleum.
THINK ABOUT IT
THE CHURCHES RISE The churches in Belize have been aroused. It is written that out of evil cometh good. The decision by some people, somewhere, to champion the homosexual act of sodomy has sparked a strong reaction from the churches. A young man, Caleb Orozco, who for years has practiced a different sexuality ...
Grips of fear – the Felicia Chen case
By G. Michael Reid Belizeans have become pretty much immune to our daily reports of crime and violence. It hardly fazes us anymore when we hear of someone being gunned down, a home being invaded or even of some small child being violated. It just happens way too often. Last Saturday’s ...
“Mother” is simply the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind, to borrow the language of the Lebanese born poet, Khalil Gibran. As a nation Belize will be completely disarmed come this second Sunday in May. Pews will be uncharacteristically filled, hearts will be particularly softened and some special appreciation ...
Team Guydis wins 2013 SMART/Agric canoe race
Team Guydis: Chris Guydis and the Sanchez twins: Jermaine and Jeremy, clocked 2:19 as they won 1st overall and the male division of the 2013 Smart Agric River Challenge canoe race from Iguana Creek to the ...
Rigo Vellos represents Belize in UK Hercules Olympia
Current Mr. Belize title holder, Rigo Vellos, arrived in London on Wednesday, three days before the much-anticipated 2013 Hercules Olympia takes place. The international bodybuilding competition will be held on Saturday, May 11th at the ...
FC Belize topples Belmopan Bandits
FC Belize toppled the #1 Belmopan Bandits 1-0 when they met at the MCC Grounds in Belize City on Sunday. A 2nd minute goal for FC Belize by national U-19 ...
Reflections: Ms. Molly Fonseca
By the Rt. Hon. Said Musa. I last saw Ms. Molly a few days before she died peacefully in bed at her home at No. 2 Keyhole Alley, Belize City. She was asleep when I arrived. Her husband William (Chi Chi) Fonseca was sitting by her side. Her son Francis our Party Leader stood watch over his beloved mother. Her daughter Dr. Carol was in the living room receiving a neighbor who had come to visit Ms. Molly.
As I sat there in the presence of this great woman, my mind wandered back to happier days when Ms. Molly was by my side on the campaign trail visiting the homes and meeting the voters of the Fort George Division.
Throughout my political career I have been blessed to have many outstanding women on the PUP Fort George Team. Molly Fonseca stood out as one of the most fiercely combative and energetic. She was a courageous warrior for her party and for her PUP candidate. Her loyalty was unquestionable. Yet she never hesitated to speak her mind and to upbraid me if she felt I was not working hard enough for the good people of Fort George especially the poor and the needy.
A Tribute to: Mom: by Francis Fonseca
A pleasant good afternoon to you all.
Our Family deeply appreciates your presence here today.
We thank you all for joining us to celebrate the life of Ms. Molly. My Mom didn’t like long talks so I will be brief.
Molly Fonseca – Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend.
Each title carried with equal grace, loyalty and dedication. Born in 1933 to Riverboat Captain/Mahogany trader Donald Young and Anne Mcfadzen of Willows Bank, Belize District, Molly Young was the first of six children. At an early age it became clear that my Moms’ life would come to be defined by service to others. First service to her parents; then service to her siblings after her parents passed away; then service to her own family; and throughout service to her God and Community.
Mom’s Brand of Service was characterized by strength, loyalty and humility.
She was a strong, tough woman who could give as good as she could take. She feared NO MAN.
She was deeply loyal, loyal to her family and friends, loyal to her God, loyal to her Party and loyal to her beloved Belize.
Dominoes in the Jungle
The Henry Usher Dominoes Tournament continued in the Fort George Division this past Sunday, April 28 2013. The Pickstock Hutment came out to cheer on the players and enjoy the event, including a dance-off. In the end ...
PUP Marshalls mobilize
President of the PUP Marshalls Corps, Stephen Latchman, continues the work of organizing and rebuilding the Marshalls Service Corps, one of the senior arms of the People’s United Party. A series ...
Homosexuality and Gravity
Today in almost every household you can find an item that is extremely valuable to a person. For some it is a car, for others their computer or musical instrument, and for others it is a touch device! My cell phone, for example, cost as much as a mid-end desktop computer or laptop!
As much as people love their phones, I have seen some really battered ones and even the most valuable ones I have seen leaning up on one side as a victim of gravity. See, it doesn’t matter what mankind does. We have a law called gravity that pulls things down to earth. We have found many uses for this force, but the main one keeps us on the face of the earth! Can you imagine a world without gravity? There are so many things we would have to change about our lifestyles, so many inventions that we would have to reengineer and some things that we would never be able to change!
We are in a season in our country where some gentlemen are fighting against a law set out by nature and the Creator of mankind. The same law that caused these men to even exist, they are fighting against! None of these passionate people came to this earth based on the union of a man and another man or based on the union of a woman and another woman, yet they seek to defy the very nature that created them.
You can be upset with gravity because it claimed your dad’s life as he fell off a verandah. You can even take gravity to court and win a case, but there is nothing you can do to change the principle of gravity. Depending on the way you interact with gravity it will either make you or break you. It will either make you productive, or it will destroy you.
PAPPY SHOW PATRICK
Poor Patrick Faber!! He really di mek pappy show of himself. He has recently been seen all over Western Paradise trying to rehabilitate and resurrect the reputation of the “do nothing” chairman of Western Paradise and trying to convince people that the UDP really cares for them.
With much hoopla a meeting of residents was called in the area the other day. Only about twenty people showed up, and the reception as Patrick and the UDPs have campaigned there has been lukewarm at best. Patrick needs to know that the people of Western Paradise aren’t fools.
Assist a Child Who Has a Learning Difference
Everyone is a person of their own, with their own choices, their own minds, their own strengths, and their own weaknesses. All those individual traits do not mean any one of us is better than anyone else. You are a unique individual, a pure handmade of ...
HOME ECONOMICS – Just Another Show
This annual event took place over the past weekend...at the National Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways. These grounds are conservatively valued at around BZ$15 million. The Ministry of Agriculture owns and is completely responsible for the development of this property. The stewardship ...
WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Keep the Gales Point Govt. School Open
I learned earlier this year that Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber had suggested that the Gales Point Government School should be closed down. While most reasonable people would not be against the idea of more efficiency and the amalgamation of some small schools, it is my view ...
Freak storm causes serious damage…NEMO OW sleeping at the wheels!
A severe thunderstorm which developed in northern Belize on Thursday afternoon and which swept towards the southern region during the night ...
Opposition warns GOB against village council electioneering
PUP deputy leader Hon. Julius Espat has warned the UDP Government that the Opposition will step up its vigilance in the upcoming village council elections in an effort to ensure that the elections of community leaders are held fairly and impartially.
The UDP is notoriously known for abusing Government funds and resources to advance their political agendas during elections. Government vehicles are used to transport voters and money bags, and public officers are forced to carry out political duties or lose their jobs. These dastardly acts have found their way to the village council elections as the heavily-financed UDP has turned the important community events into political circuses.
Hon. Julius Espat & Hon. Rodwell Ferguson condemn UDP attacks on Auditor General, Senator Mark Lizarraga & Supreme Court Judge
The People’s United Party’s (PUP) members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are concerned with the recent pattern of intimidation and possible victimization tactics by the United Democratic Party and the present Government to cease public discussion on the potential misuse of public funds. The PUP members ...
We need answers Mr. Mayor!
The People’s United Party Belize Rural South Executive Committee is demanding an inquiry into the granting of a permit to dredge an area west of the San Pedro marina. The permission was granted even though it is against the law to do so without an Environmental Impact Assessment. Such ludicrous act is inappropriate and simply shows the United Democratic Party’s arrogance. They have failed their manifesto’s promise of public consultation and transparency. Furthermore, the sole councilor representing the People’s United Party, Mr. Wally Nunez, was not informed beforehand of the proceedings. The UDP is trying to push all the dirt under the rug and intimidating any whistleblowers.
It was a Double D on our morning adventure tour
Double D stands for Damn Dusty and that how it has been the past while on the Island. It has gotten to the point that some people are wearing bandanas as dust masks. I am sure partly why my sore throat has been so hard to shake, it did not stop me from wanting to do another early morning joyride.
Late last night as I was finishing up yesterdays blog post, I got texting Dick to set our wake up time for today’s Sunrise drive. We both agreed 4:30 alarm, out the door at 4:45, park at Banana Beach and head to our favorite big dock to photograph the sunrise. Zac decided to join us for the first part of our morning adventure tour. The sunrise was well worth getting up for, lots of cloud interesting action and steaming rays.
Next came a good drive around the island taking the beach road up to the bridge then driving down the lagoon side and through San Pedrito. After a short pit stop at Dicks place to refuel we headed south to the Port Authority to make sure everything went on with Georges boat that Dick was having decommissioned. It turned out to be a done deal and our joy ride was coming to an end, after touring Captain Sharks boatyard and a stop for coffee, milk and fresh chicken we headed for home.
Why I’m heading to Belize this summer – again
I just wrote a friend that I’m heading back down to Belize this summer, and she replied surprised. “Why are you going someplace you’ve already been? Why not save your money and do something in the US? Or if you want to go overseas, why not go someplace different?”
I e-mailed her my reasons why, and thought I’d share them here, just in case anyone else is looking for summer vacation ideas.
First of all, I’ve done the math, and I don’t think I’d save any money by holidaying up here. We did it the year before last, and after the gas, admissions to parks and other attractions, eating out and everything else, we spent a lot more than we’d budgeted for.
Last year, we booked an all-inclusive Belize vacation package at Chaa Creek, and after we got home, we were pleasantly surprised at how much (little) we spent. When was the last time that happened to you?
We got a pretty good deal on the flights, and since it was only an hour and a half from Houston, you don’t mind economy seating, and it was a painless trip all around.
We arrived at the melodically named Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize, and were immediately greeted by our driver, who turned out to be an excellent guide during the air-conditioned and interesting trip to San Ignacio and Chaa Creek. We learned so much on the way that it was like having a local friend of a friend pick you up and introduce you to the place.
“I’m Your Man” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Up bright and early this morning (well it was dark actually) on the veranda with my mug of coffee and the iPad catching up with what is going on in the world.
First off was checking my In Box where I was pleasantly surprised to find an application for a job on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was from our great nephew Cody who, having seen his photo in a previous edition quite likes the idea of coming out here to start his working life.
“I’m your man”. Cody tooled up and ready for action!
Also in the In Box were some emails from Daniel Camal, our building contractor, with some photographs of the frames for some of the vanity units his team are making based on the designs that Rose supplied a few days ago.
The May - June 2013 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE
This Issue's Stories:
- The Queen Honeybee: A miracle in the beehive: this is the best way I can describe
the Queen Honeybee. Her creation and design can only have
come from above. Her life begins as an egg. It looks like any
ordinary worker (female) egg in the cell of a honeycomb,
white, and about the size of a thin mechanical pencil lead, no
more than a 1/16” long. If the worker bees see that their queen
is seriously failing in egg laying capacity or health, or they
know the colony is about to swarm they will set about to raise
a new queen. The worker bees may take an egg and put it into
a queen cell which workers have constructed from beeswax
or the old queen herself will lay worker eggs in queen cells in
preparation for swarming. Worker bees must then care for
the larva. These selected larvae must be fed royal jelly for the
entire period of larval growth from day 3 to day 10 of the 16
days of the queen’s development into an adult. The queen cell
looks like a peanut and can be found on the face of a brood
comb or hanging from the bottom bar of a frame that holds a
comb. Worker and drone larvae are provided with royal jelly
for only three days, then are switched to a diet of a mixture
of honey and pollen known as “bee bread” for the balance of
their larval feeding. The physiological differences that result
from the different diet are a miracle! To think the feeding
of royal jelly to a larva will produce this egg laying machine
which can lay up to 1800 eggs in a day is incredible.
- Bt As Organic Spray: Bt(bacterium thuringiensis) is accepted in certified organic
applications as a spray. Bt normally exists in the environment
and is concentrated for use as a controlling item in the
caterpillar stage of a moth. Bt does not naturally penetrate
the cellular wall of a plant cell. If a caterpillar consumes the
cell, and the Bt is present on the exterior of the cell structure,
then the Bt is active in the gut of the caterpillar, thus blocking
the absorption of the nutriments of the cell that is consumed.
The caterpillar has a very simple digestive tract that has only
one purpose: consume and absorb the nutriments for energy
to grow. Bt exists in all surroundings as a bacterium. This
is the reason a moth lays hundreds to thousands of eggs;
population density ensures that the species will survive,
even if the environment creates a high population of Bt at
that given time. As humans, we digest Bt, and our acids of
the early digestive tract destroy the bacterium. This is due to
the fact that the exterior of the cellular structure that we are
consuming is broken down first in the digestive tract; further
in the digestive tract, the cellular wall of the singular cell is
broken to allow digestion of the interior components of the
The cellular wall of plants and animals are constructed of
lipids, which allow the resistance and protective barrier of the
cell internals. The RNA inside of the cell determines which
items are allowed to penetrate the cellular wall and enter the
interior region. Normal Bt as an external application will
never penetrate the cellular wall, due to being rejected as a
- International Seed Treaty
A Hope to Reduce Global Conflict
Over Genetic Resources: On 29 June 2004 the International Treaty on Plant Genetic
Resources for Food and Agriculture (popularly known as the
International Seed Treaty) came into force. The treaty ensures
that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, which are
vital for human survival, are conserved and sustainably used,
are kept accessible and in the public domain, and further, that
benefits from their use are equitably and fairly distributed.
The treaty was negotiated by 164 governments under the auspices
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FOA) and was agreed by consensus by the FAO Conference
on 3 November 2001. The Convention on Biological Diversity
has welcomed it as it covers the plant genetic resources of an
exceptional set of biodiversity - agricultural biodiversity - that
need special treatment. Signed or acceded by 85 states including
the United States and all 15 states of European Union, the
ratifications of this treaty are the most rapid of any international
agreement in recent history and are evenly spread between
industrialized and developing countries underlining the global
urgency on food security.
- What did we learn durning March's GMO AWARENESS MONTH?:
- The Money Trees: Aaromas and piquant flavours. The popularity of certain spices can
be attributed to the practice of Humoral medicine gleaned from
the ancient Greeks who taught that the balance of the major bodily
fluids (humors) was the key to human health and emotions. Spices
were used to stimulate the senses and it was this belief that fueled
the quest for discovery and kept the spice trade booming. During
medieval times Muslim traders controlled the maritime routes
and, secreting their information, sold their cargoes to the middle
men, the merchants of Venice. After the fall of the Byzantine
Empire the Ottomans seized and blocked the trade routes, levying
huge taxes on all. The Europeans not wanting to be controlled
by non-Christians increased their flotillas and set out to discover
alternative routes to the spice islands. Initially it was to provide
for the wealthy. There was a lot at stake and nutmeg became a
more lucrative commodity than gold. During such a voyage the
American continent was discovered. Success in finding a way to
the spice islands of Banda, Indonesia created fierce competition
with nations vying for control of the spice trade. The Dutch
gained Banda Island the principal place of nutmeg by death or
deportation of its inhabitants. The British controlled the Isle of
Run but the Dutch were prepared to go to great lengths to gain the
monopoly. After much blood shed the British relinquished their
hold of the neighbouring Run in exchange for New Amsterdam,
now Manhattan- New York City, renamed by the Brits. The British
had already smuggled out nutmeg stock and were able to replant in
the Caribbean West Indies beginning with Grenada.
The nutmeg tree (MyristicaFragrans) is an attractive evergreen
which bears a yellow fruit that opens to reveal a red lacy covering
which will make the spice mace and further a hard seed from which
nutmeg comes. It is a dioecious tree having both male and female
trees and unfortunately it takes about 6 years to find out which
is which and 7-10 years to start bearing. It now grows in many
places with tropical climates. The yellow skin is tasty but stains
clothes and can be used for sweets or jams. Mace colours food a
beautiful bright orange and is therefore good in sauces and stews.
- International Seed: - use, save, sell and exchange seeds,
- protect relevant traditional knowledge,
- participate equitably in sharing benefits derived from the use
of seeds, and
- participate in national decision-making related to the
conservation and sustainable use of seeds.
Most of the locally developed agricultural biodiversity is now
under threat and needs urgent actions to halt its privatization,
modification and elimination. International and local actions are
needed to counter the rapid loss of these varieties. Restrictive
patents on these genes could negatively affect the food security of
over 1 billion smallholder farmers in the developing world.
Much work is to be done by the governing body charged with
implementation of the treaty. It remains to be seen whether
governments have the will to cooperate to preserve the global
commons and the genetic diversity upon which the world has
come to depend.
- The Anatomy of a Weed Killer
Or How Glyphosate Kills Plants: More than 30% of all herbicides sprayed anywhere on the globe
contain glyphosate—the world’s bestselling weed killer.
The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly. Glyphosate itself is
only slightly toxic to plants. The chemical sets up a set of conditions
that accelerates disease-causing organisms in the soil, and at the
same time wipes out plant defenses against those diseases. The
mechanisms are well-documented but rarely cited:
- Glyphosate acts as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants
of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function,
- Glyphosate destroys beneficial soil organisms that help plants
absorb nutrients and that also suppress disease-causing
- Glyphosate interferes with photosynthesis, reduces water use
efficiency, shortens root systems and causes plants to release
sugars, which changes the pH of the soil, and
- Glyphosate intensifies the multiplication of toxic pathogens in
Glyphosate annihilates beneficial soil organisms such as
Pseudomonas and Bacillus bacteria that live around the roots. Since
these beneficial bacteria facilitate the uptake of plant nutrients and
suppress disease-causing organisms, their untimely deaths mean
the plant gets even weaker and the pathogens multiply at accelerated
In addition to weakening plants as cited above, glyphosate also
changes the makeup of the soil and boosts the number of diseasecausing
organisms. The actual plant assassins are severe diseasecausing
organisms present in almost all soils not the glyphosate
itself. Glyphosate dramatically promotes these severe, diseasecausing
organisms which in turn overrun the weakened crops with
- Energetic Agriculture & Fertilizers: Plants do not live by fertilizers, but rather from the energy they
receive from fertilizers. In other words, as long as plants receive
energy they will live and grow until their cycle comes to an end
and they return back to dust from whence they came.
As I wrote in the March/April #20 issue of the Belize Ag
Report, there are three different trains of thought about
agriculture -- organic, conventional and energetic agriculture.
The approach to the use of fertilizers is a good example of the
difference in thinking.
The standard for all three is to take a soil test – a Cation Exchange
Capacity (CEC). The father of this standard test is the late William
Albrecht, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Soils and Chairman of
the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri’s College
of Agriculture. This test measures the “holding capacity” of soil
and determines how much nutrient is theoretically being held by
the clay and humus colloids. According to the CEC theory, clay
and humus are negatively charged and “hold” positively charged
minerals or soil nutrients. The procedure of the test is usually
done at soil-labs using chemical solutions to extract nutrients.
Dr. Carey Reams along with Frank LaMotte developed the
LaMotte test because Dr. Reams felt that the CEC test was better
for long-term planning because the CEC test told the farmer
what was in the soil, but not what is available to the plant for
its growing. The LaMotte procedure uses solutions for nutrient
extraction which are more similar to those produced by the plant
roots. The best solution is for the farmer to use both tests. The
lab CEC test identifies an element and its quantity in the soil; the
LaMotte test tells what is available for the plant and the amounts
that the plant has for its growth.
- Enhancing Quality and
Relevance of the Curriculum
UB Central Farm Campus: The Agriculture Department
of the University of Belize
(UBCF) in partnership with
three western Canadian
community colleges, namely
Lakeland, Bow Valley, and
Parkland, has embarked on
a project to further develop
its curriculum over the next
three years. The outcomes
at this level include the
development of teaching
materials and tools, and the capacity to manage a program which
will offer degrees in applied agriculture at the Associate and
Baccalaureate levels. The new curriculum would be demand driven
and designed to meet occupational standards of local industries
and vocational standards of the Caribbean Association of National
Training Agencies (CANTA).
This initiative is the institutional development component of a
wider project in CARICOM funded by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA) and entitled CARICOM Education
for Employment project (C –EFE). The project which commenced
its third year on 1st April, 2013 has a total budget of $(Can) 20M
and aims to develop 16 programs in the region over a five year
period. The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MOEYS)
selected agriculture as the program for Belize with UBCF as the
lead institute for the development of a model curriculum as part
of a seamless system of learning from secondary school to the
- Sorghum (Milo) Production
Expected to Surge
Corn Substitution & Favorable Export Prospects: Sorghum bicolor, locally known as milo, was domesticated in
northern Africa where it thrives in their harsh dry climate. Other
names for it are durra or msumbija (Africa), jowar (India), Samshu
(N. China) and kaoliang (Arabia). World leaders in sorghum
production are Nigeria 12%, India 11%, Mexico 11% and the USA
10% (2011). Worldwide production has increased 66% in the last
50 years. People have relied extensively on flour and other food
products from milo in Africa, northern China, Korea and India.
Haiti consumes a popular sorghum grits-like porridge known as
‘pitim’. North American use is predominantly as a cattle feed.
Belize usage has been mainly for livestock and that is quickly
expanding into hog and chicken feeds, replacing the more costly
Nutritionally milo is very similar to corn. University of Wisconsin
reports sorghum at slightly higher protein (avg. 9%) and fat than
corn, but with a lower vitamin A content. Per pound, milo ranges
from 90% to nearly 100% of corn’s feeding value. Protein in both
corn and milo ranges between 7 and 11 %, and both lack lysine and
other amino acids. Milo’s proteins and starches are more difficult
for animals to digest. However, milo digestibility increases with
cracking, rolling or grinding. Research to enhance digestibility is
ongoing; some success has been shown with steam-flaking. Some
varieties (hybrids) have been developed to discourage birds; these
have higher tannins and phenolic compounds but have lower
digestibility than other varieties.
Turning Sun’s Energy Into Corn: Last year I was driving from San Antonio to my sheep ranch in
Cayo District when I noticed for the first time that an area near
the center of a hillside of plantains had turned yellow. I don’t
know why I hadn’t noticed it before. The plants had certainly
not turned yellow overnight. People who know these things tell
me that the term for yellow plants in these circumstances is
chlorosis. The plants in that area of the field did not have enough
chlorophyll, the pigment that all farmers know makes plants
green. I had seen similar color changes in many different kinds of
plants and in different circumstance. The question was why does
this happen? Obviously, the plants were not healthy. The growing
season was good; plenty of rain and the other plants appeared a
nice rich green indicating they had received fertilizer suggesting
good care. So what was going on?
Chlorophyll is a “magic” molecule existing right in the center of
what we are in the living world. By that I mean, we have animals
and plants on this earth. Animals cannot live without plants
but plants can live without animals. Plants cannot live without
chlorophyll, which puts that green pigment in the center of the
entire process. It plays a central role because of two things:
it helps plants capture the sun’s energy and transforms it into
the chemical energy used by the plants to grow and produce
everything plants produce. Because of the capture of sun’s energy,
it also creates a storage form of energy in products like starch,
protein, and fiber we find in corn, wheat, oats, and soybeans as
well as in the blades of forage grasses. The second thing it does
is use atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water to release
oxygen; photosynthesis is the major source of oxygen we breathe.
- SOYBEAN PRODUCTION SET TO
TAKE OFF IN BELIZE: In 2011, Belize imported 43.2 million pounds of soybean
concentrate (more commonly known as soymeal) and animal
feeds valued at BZ $23.6 Million. Two countries, the United
States ($12.4 Million) and Mexico ($8.7 Million), supplied
89% of our feed imports and almost all of soymeal imports
come from genetically modified (GM) soybean. Approximately
75% of the soymeal imported is used to make poultry feed and
most of the remaining balance is used to make pig feed. With
increasing population and the growing trend in Belize to eat
the lower priced white meat, particularly chickens and turkeys,
the demand for soymeal will continue to increase. Belize’s
production, or use of soymeal, is only a trickle when compared to the global scene, where the USA, Brazil and Argentina are the
three dominant players both in terms of production and export.
The processing of soybeans results in the production of 85%
soymeal and therefore it is estimated that Belize would need to
produce just about 50 million pounds of soybean to satisfy our
national demand for soymeal. Using an average yield of 2,000
pounds per acre, a minimum of 25,000 acres is required to
produce the amount of soybeans needed by Belize.
- Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: A -B denotes the difference between 1st preference & second preference and sometimes between wholesale & retail
a nd bulk or small amounts . Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 days (L) Lower (S) Steady.
Prices intend on being farm gate in Belize dollars - usually price per lb. Dear Ag Readers: The cattle sweep is moving on and the teams have completed approximately 20,000 in the Orange Walk/Corozal Districts. The Blue Creek Cattle committee
had already completed approximately 19,00 head for a total of almost 40 % of the Belize herd. They expect to finish tagging , testing for TB and brucella by mid may and then move
to the Cayo/BZE. Districts. The best news is that we have not had even one animal that is diseased. We see a nice bump in citrus of almost $2 a bag and the farm price for RK beans
is $160 per bag. AGRICULTURE - THE FUTURE OF BELIZE - please Government, be as business and environmentally friendly as possible . Collect revenue from taxes and the
sale of government property and try to cut waste where possible. It is evident that Belize is one of God's favourite places. The exciting flora, fauna, beautiful waters, tourist sites
and a climate that can grow almost anything - the mercury goes through 80ºF everyday of the year. With God All Things Are Possible - All the Best John Carr
- Laminitis/Founder: Laminitis is a devastating hoof issue
for many horses; once it has become
founder, horses will always be
A basic explanation: within the hoof
capsules lies the Pedal Bone-Coffin
Bone-P3-Distal Phalanx, the final
bone of the foot. It is surrounded by
laminae. The laminae holds the Pedal
Bone in suspension. The laminae is
“live” in that it is a blood flowing part
of the hoof. The way this blood works
is against gravity and any compromise
to the flow can cause an ischemic necrosis of the laminae resulting
in pain. The more damage done to the laminae, the bigger risk
of actual founder, meaning the Pedal Bone has started to shift
downward, due to the laminae dying off and not being able to
support the bone in its natural position.
Laminitis, before rotation has occurred, can be helped and even
cured but once a horse has actually foundered, the chance of
recovery is much diminished. The horse can be helped and made
more comfortable, but will also have the risk of foundering again
and again, each time losing more of the valuable healthy laminae
and causing more pain.
How do horses get laminitis? Many ways and often man made.
The most common is carbohydrate overload: too much grain or
quick change in feed without slowly mixing the feeds together, or
too much grass at one time, not allowing a horse to be on pasture
short periods of time to start and increasing availability slowly or
even simply having the rain come and the grass grow to quickly,
- Belize Equestrian Academy
and Light Rein Farm: invite you to come and improve your Equine skills. Marjie Olson, an
instructor with 40 years of teaching experience, can help you build
your confidence and give you an outdoor physical excursion that
will work your mind and your body. Wonderful lesson horses are
available and you choose English or Western style. Call 663-4609 or
email Shotzy08@live.com or just stop by and see what we do!
- Moving Forward to Grasp Livestock
Opportunities: Belize Ag Report writers visited
with Dr. Muhammad Ibrhahim
to discuss the Belizean livestock
industry. Dr. Ibrahim was
appointed IICA (Instituto
Interamericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura) Country
Director in November 2012. A Guyanese native, Dr. Ibrahim
received his PhD degree at Wageningen Agriculture University
in the Netherlands, prior to his 25 years with CATIE (Centro
Agronomic de Investigacion y Ensenenza) in Costa Rica, where
he headed CATIE’s Livestock and Environmental Program.
During his time with CATIE, he participated in programs in all
the Meso-American countries, including Belize. This article is a
direct reflection of that enlightening visit.
With world demand for beef projected to grow 3
to 4 % annually in the foreseeable future, how can
production be increased in Belize without damaging
our environment? Can responsible sustainable livestock
ranches, in fact, capture more carbon than is created during
beef production? Can these ranches then become a part of the
world’s environment protection solution? These are issues which
Dr. Ibrahim ponders. He feels certain that there are many viable
options for both large and small Belizean ranchers, which can
contribute to solving and avoiding environmental problems and
also improve ranchers’ bottom lines.
With plentiful arable land, good water and our low population
density (15.11 persons/sq. km.), Belize is in prime position for
ecological intensification of cattle production to capitalize on
growing regional and international markets. Loss of prime
agricultural land by conversion to tourism and residential and
industrial use is happening in some of the other Central American
countries, especially Costa Rica (for example, Guanacaste region).
Belize is not at that crossroads currently, but it may become a
consideration for us in the future.
- History of Cattle Production in Central America: From the 1970’s to 2000, demands for cheap U.S. beef resulted
in the large scale deforestation and pasture expansion in Central
America which was fostered by inappropriate government policies
and loans from international donor agencies. Brazil in particular
has borne much criticism for its clearing and exploitation of
the Amazon. The livestock industries are also heavily blamed
for contributing to global warming, especially because of the
emissions of methane and nitrous oxide gases produced by
livestock, and because of losses in carbon stocks attributed to land
use changes. There are new trends for environmentally conscious
livestock products, and experts believe that productivity of
existing systems can be increased, and the environment can
be simultaneously protected, creating a win-win situation for
an expanding beef industry. Here are some of the paths which
Belizean producers may explore to increase carrying capacity and
increase yield and income.
- The Wonders of Pineapple: The next time you have iced tea try putting
a slice of pineapple in it for sweetening.
The area closer to the base of the fruit
has more sugar content and therefore a
sweeter taste and more tender texture.
Not only will the pineapple give the tea a
delicious flavor, it will aid your digestion
because of the bromelain it contains.
Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances including a group
of protein-digesting enzymes called cysteine proteinases. The
bromelain of the fruit is not as rich a source as that found in the
core and stem which is usually extracted and made into a dietary
supplement. Research studies have shown that bromelain taken
as a dietary supplement reduces inflammation, heartburn, upset
stomach, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of
You don’t have to take bromelain as a dietary supplement to
benefit from pineapple. Even fresh pineapple has wonderful
health benefits. There are 80 nutrients listed on one health
food-related web site for pineapple. It is rich in Vitamin C, the
body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending it against
free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Free radicals
have been shown to promote the artery plaque build-up of
atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause the airway
spasm that leads to asthma attacks, damage the cells of the colon
so they become colon cancer cells, and contribute to the joint pain
and disability seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Re: Today's Belize News: May 11, 2013
05/11/13 06:16 AM
05/11/13 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
- Western Dairies – A Pioneering
Enterprise: Western Dairies, a co-op known all
over Belize for its dairy products, was
founded by 16 farmers and business
men in 1967 in two wooden buildings,
about 30`x 48` in the heart of Spanish
Lookout. It was not easy to establish
the dairy. There was no electricity and
most of the equipment was used, creating many maintenance
problems, which were solved by the hard work of the board
members themselves. For example ice water is needed to cool
pasteurized milk to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. When the ice builder
machine malfunctioned someone had to hurry to San Ignacio to
buy ice and if a local repair could not be done, it was necessary to
call a refrigerator man from Orange Walk. In the ‘60s that was a
major trip! A boiler was needed to heat the milk. But obtaining a
satisfactory boiler wasn’t easy either (see Pioneer Years in Belize
pages 92-94). An old locomotive boiler was finally purchased
from the government of Belize but it was on top of an 800-ft. high
hill and presented a formidable task to transport it to Spanish
Lookout. The boiler is actually a steel water tank with tubes
installed horizontally from one end to the other. Water flows all
around the tubes and hot air, fired by wood, travels in the tubes
from one end to the other and out the chimney. The water in the
tank turns into steam and with it the pasteurizer is heated. To get
enough dry fire wood and to fire the boiler every morning was
quite a job. Later a small kerosene-fired boiler was bought. But
leaking pipes were a constant problem and had to be replaced with new ones. A new, modern boiler was bought in the eighties
which solved most of the problems. This one served until 2002
when it was replaced with a bigger one.
- Apples of Belize-
Star Apple: Most of the apples in this
series ”Apples of Belize” are
not botanically classified
as apples; however, they
are commonly known and
considered to be apples in
Belize and other tropical
countries around the
The star apple tree,
produces a fruit which
is commonly known
throughout the world as
caimito; other names include cainito, star apple, golden leaf tree,
abiaba, pomme du lait, milk fruit and aguay. The star apple is
considered a minor fruit of the Sapotaceae family. The star apple
is native to the West Indies and the lowlands of Central America.
It has become naturalized in Haiti and many islands of the
Caribbean and as far south as northern Peru and is also cultivated
in Africa, Australia and the Philippines where star apples are a
common roadside tree. Star apple trees are intolerant of cold
temperatures, but thrive in tropical settings.
The star apple tree is an erect tree with a short trunk and grows
from twenty-five to approximately fifty feet tall. The branches
are brown and hairy and exude a gummy white latex substance.
The glossy dark green evergreen leaves of the tree are from three
to seven inches long and two inches wide. The underside of the
leaves shines with a golden color in the sun. The attractive tree is
sometimes grown as an ornamental due to the dense foliage with
velvety, coppery-golden undersides and the tiny purplish-white,
fragrant flowers that are visible prior to the fruiting of the tree.
- Litchi Cultivation: Propagation: The most widely used method of litchi
propagation is air layering, however litchis may also be
propagated from seeds, grafting or cuttings. If propagating from
seed, the seed must be maintained in moist sphagnum moss;
otherwise the seed begins to shrivel within 24 hours and in 5
days is no longer capable of germinating. The seed must be sown
horizontally at a depth of 1 to 2.5 cm in a well-drained sowing
medium in a partly shaded, well irrigated location. The sowing
medium should be either peat, or various mixtures of sand, peat,
vermiculite, soil and compost.
Germination should occur within 3 days. Thereafter, when the
plant has reached a height of 10 to 15 cm. it should be transplanted
into a bag. The plant should remain in the bag until a subsequent
vegetative flush has occurred. Plants propagated from seeds do
not reproduce the characteristics of the parent plant. Also, they
are extremely slow to bear fruit.
The purpose of propagation by grafting is to introduce one
cultivar of litchi (the new cultivar) to a different cultivar (the
existing tree). The new cultivar is usually from seed stock which
is approximately 9 months old. The grafting may be done by any
of the three traditional methods: the splice approach, the tongue
approach or the inlay approach.
- Local and Regional
- Belize is also experiencing somewhat of a farm and
ranch land ‘boom’: with a strong surge of prospective and actual
buyers, both native Belizeans and foreigners. A new generation
of Belizeans is awakening to local farming and agricultural valueadded
opportunities. Tillable farmland tops the most sought
after list, followed closely by raw land and small farms.
Although European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) has approved
GMO crops, Poland joins 7 other
EU countries (Austria, France,
Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg,
Greece and Bulgaria) all of which ban
the cultivation of GMO crops.
Poland’s Agriculture Ministry fears
cross pollination with non-GMO crops and also fears the GMO
pollen could contaminate honey. They report that “there are no
scientific assessments confirming that GMO crops are safe for the
environment and people”.
- Ag Briefs
- Letters To THE EDITOR
BELIZE ANTI-SODOMY PENAL CODE TRIAL WRAPS-UP ITS FINAL DAY
Court opened for the fourth day in the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize trial challenging the constitutionality of the Section 53 anti-sodomy penal code trial. The Churches continued their claim that social issues such as public morality and health do not belong before the court. Once again they suggested that the Claimant needs to take his concerns to the legislature and also argued for a strict interpretation of the Belize Constitution, which has no explicit mention of sexual orientation.
The Churches went on to say that they do not believe ”one bit” that Section 53 has a “chilling effect” on the gay community as claimed Orozco. The Churches also noted that the stigma and social disapproval associated with homosexuality cannot be affected by the change requested in Section 53 (which change was noted as: ’has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal’).
The Churches claim that in the current Universal Periodic Review report of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) there is a recommendation to repeal Belize’s Section 53 via legislative action. Following the Churches, the Claimant’s counsel Hamel-Smith took the floor exclaiming his amazement that a case so carefully prepared and presented by the Churches basically relies on procedural technicalities and not the facts of the case itself. Hamel-Smith stated that it is the duty of of the court to determine the constitutionality of Section 53 and not the legislature as the Attorney General and the Churches suggest.
Activist Working To Overturn Sodomy Ban Receives Death Threats
An activist suing to end Belize’s beyond-outdated ban on same-sex sexual activity has been subjected to an escalating pattern of death threats as his case comes closer to resolution, according to report in The Guardian.
Caleb Orozco is an openly gay man in a country that criminalizes his existence. Belizean law says that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years;” the statute defines sex between between consenting same-sex adults as being one such unnatural act. Orozco and his organization (the United Belize Advocacy Movement) succeeding in pushing a legal case against the ban on same-sex activity to the nation’s highest court on Wednesday.
As the Central American nation’s most visible campaigner for LGBT equality, Orozco has received death threats before. Last year, Orozco “suffered a violent physical assault which required extensive dental surgery.” But as the legal argument continues, the threats have gotten more vicious:
Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed.
The high-profile challenge to the Caribbean state’s colonial-era “anti-buggery” legislation has stirred up resentment of the gay community, according to Lisa Shoman.
“There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize,” she told the local News 5 TV channel in the capital Belize City.
“There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.”
Belize gay rights campaigner is facing more death threats, says lawyer
Caleb Orozco, fighting to overturn country's anti-gay laws, is said to have faced more threats of violence since start of court case. Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed.
The high-profile challenge to the Caribbean state's colonial-era "anti-buggery" legislation has stirred up resentment of the gay community, according to Lisa Shoman.
"There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize," she told the local News 5 TV channel in the capital Belize City.
Caribbean coral reef collapse can be avoided, researchers say
Coral reefs are in decline, but their collapse can still be avoided with local and global action. That’s according to findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 9th based on an analysis that combines the latest science on reef dynamics with the latest climate models.
“People benefit by reefs having a complex structure – a little like a Manhattan skyline but underwater,” said Peter Mumby of The University of Queensland and University of Exeter. “Coral reefs provide nooks and crannies for thousands of species and provide the habitat needed to sustain productive reef fisheries. They’re also great fun to visit as a snorkeler or diver. If we carry on the way we have been, the ability of reefs to provide benefits to people will seriously decline.”
The researchers drew on hundreds of scientific studies to develop computer models of Caribbean reefs. Mumby explains, “Reefs are mostly built by living coral but the limestone structures they build are naturally eroded by other animals and plants, such as sponges. In a healthy ecosystem, reefs grow faster than they erode and the reef is able to provide habitat for thousands of fish and to support fisheries. However, human impacts including pollution, overfishing of parrotfishes, and climate change tip the balance towards erosion, meaning that the reef habitat could erode away leaving a flat, barren habitat in its place”.
A Slice of Heaven at Chaa Creek Eco-Lodge
I swore that I was not a resort girl. I was fighting them tooth and nail. I wanted to prove to myself that, somehow, I was a “true” traveler. I didn’t need the luxury. We’re hardcore right?
My world was turned upside down when we were invited to Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, Belize.
Situated in the heart of the Belizean rainforest, they brought everything I could imagine to the table. One of the big things that really drew me to Chaa Creek was their social responsibility as a company to keep their resort green and sustainable. How many other places put 10% of their room revenue back into the community – supporting environmental, educational, and community programs? This is something that we care deeply about it and I am proud to be able to support Chaa Creek in this endeavor.
We arrived dusty, hot, and sunburned after making our way on a ferry, 2 chicken buses, and a taxi over a period of 10 hours. As we fumbled up to the front desk we were greeted with a hearty hello, a complimentary cup of jamaica juice, and a cold towel that smelled phenomenal. We quickly gulped down the deliciousness and took a moment to bury our scorched faces into the towel. Little did I know that this would set the precedent for the rest of our stay.
VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Half Moon Caye, and the Blue Hole
Awesome trip to Belize, January 2013
Day 3: Defenders of Belize sodomy law
It’s Day 3 of the constitutional challenge against the Belize sodomy law, Section 53, brought by Caleb Orozco, leader of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (Unibam). Asa DeMatteo, a clinical psychologist living with his same-sex spouse in San Francisco, is blogging from the courtroom in Belize. Links to coverage of the first two days are below.
Here’s a recap by Unibam supporter Brent Toombs, courtesy of Facebook, following the play-by-play from DeMatteo:
Very interesting third day of Caleb Orozco vs. The Attorney General of Belize. The advocate for the AG [Nigel Hawke, senior crown counsel] gave a very perfunctory defense for the claim. He started his defense by suggesting that “Human dignity does not exist under the constitution of Belize.” He then wen on to argue that only rights that Mr. Orozco is claiming to be violated are “mythical rights” that do not exist.
The afternoon was for the attorney representing the churches, Eamon Courtenay. Eamon did a much better job defending the AG than his own counsel did, arguing that the claimant has not actually suffered injury personally and therefore has no case to bring before the court. Despite being on the payroll of the churches, Mr. Courtenay hardly mentioned religion. The Bible-beaters in the gallery were left looking somewhat confused at how their own lawyer could spend 2.5 hours presenting their defense without once mentioning Adam & Eve/Steve, Leviticus, Romans 1, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the next big hurricane to smite us all.
IACHR Urges Belize to Guarantee the Rights of Maya Communities
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued a statement condemning the State of Belize for violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Toledo district.
The Commission has been closely following the illegal extraction and destruction of natural resources conducted by foreign companies with support from the government of Belize since 2004, when they issued a recommendation that the government “delimit, demarcate and title the [Mayan] territory” and until that has happened, abstain from any projects that might affect these lands.
US Capital Energy, a Texas-based oil company, has plans to extract oil from the Maya peoples’ ancestral territory despite a disregard for the free, prior and informed consent of the local Mayan communities who will be affected.
Finding a bicycle utopia in Belize
No cars, no buses, no lorries – Caye Caulker, Belize is a utopia for bicycles. A vision of a world where people get around on foot, by bike or electric golf carts.
The end result is one of the most charming, laid back destinations in all of the Americas. Couple this with endless sunshine, some of the world’s best diving sites and delicious food – it’s amazing travellers can ever drag themselves any further away than the coral reefs that hug the island.
Cycling the entire length takes 15 minutes. At the far end, you can see the island of San Pedro. Despite being just a short boat ride away, the two islands are a world apart.
“Don’t go to San Pedro” you’ll commonly hear fellow travellers warn. What is it that can be so different about two islands that, on the surface, seem so similar?
On a diving tour, I found out.
Where Caye Caulker is peaceful, laid back and inviting. San Pedro is an overwhelming blast to the senses. The charm of the island has faded behind noisy, busy and congested streets. Its slightly larger size has brought about development and along with it, cars and motorbikes.
Belize “The New American Dream”
Oh, it’s so tempting!! Who hasn’t fantasized about crawling into a cave to escape the economic pressures of getting by in today’s world! Who wouldn’t like to “hole up” and avoid the daily barrage of bills which arrive endlessly in the mail – and which cause your blood pressure to escalate – along with your temper.
There’s a solution at hand which is taking hold because it offers you a way out of this mess. Now may be the time for you to CREATE YOUR OWN BAILOUT PLAN! It’s not going to come from the U.S. government (sorry) – this is “do it yourself” time, folks. Becoming an expat in Belize just might be the STIMULUS that will return you to home ownership and the middle class lifestyle you once enjoyed before things tanked.
Hey – let’s be honest. Your tax dollars bailed out the U.S. economy but you and I know only too well what’s in store for those who remain in the U.S. MORE TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS – when we are struggling to put food on the table. Congress has already voted many new taxes into your life!
Here’s a thought: BRING ON THAT BAILOUT —- TO BELIZE!
Ok, what’s in it for you?
You may never have heard of the term “EXPAT” before, back when the economy and your life were much more stable. But now, lo and behold —– THE CONCEPT OF BECOMING AN EXPAT (residing outside the U.S.) IS GOING MAINSTREAM AS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR RESCUING AND RESUSITATING YOUR FINANCIAL SELF!
VIDEO: The Progress of Man/El Progreso del Hombre
Animation created in Flash and After Effects looking at mans relationship with the natural world.
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