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The San Pedro Sun

Don’t have kittens because it’s raining cats…and more cats in San Pedro!
Cat overpopulation in San Pedro is bad news for people and cats. Right now there are hundreds of stray and abandoned cats hiding in bodegas, alleys and only coming out at night to hunt, scavenge and reproduce. These cats rarely live longer than two years as they succumb to injuries and disease. They cause a nuisance by ripping open garbage, fighting and making noise as well as spreading infectious diseases. They have no one to love them or care for them and that is the fault of the people who allowed them to breed and continue to breed. Unfortunately, their irresponsibility has now become the responsibility of the community and SAGA Humane Society. SAGA Humane Society is already overflowing with cats and kittens. Currently they have almost 30 in their care and very few are being adopted. If you walk around the Town in the evening, you’ll see many sad, sick and very skinny cats slinking between the golf carts and cars. So, what can San Pedro do to stop it from raining cats?

Belize Participates in 18th Annual Bi-District Rotaract Conference
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored club for youth aged 18-30. With more than 8,400 clubs in about 170 countries, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon, and Belize is a member. Every year, the Central American Rotaract clubs from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize converge in a Bi District Conference. During this event, Rotaractors share in the experience of Rotaract over the past year and elect new leaders at the respective District Levels. This year’s conference was held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from May 1st to May 5th. Over a 100 delegates were present at the 18th Annual Bi District Conference, eight of whom were from Belize. The countries that participated are from two districts: district 4240 and district 4250. District 4240 consists of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, while district 4250 consists of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

The National Agriculture & Trade Show 2013 – a success!
What started as a simple show giving light to agricultural practices and success in Belize has become one of the country’s major events, attracting thousands of Belizeans – despite the fierce heat – to the nation’s capital each year. The city of Belmopan hosted its 44th annual National Agriculture & Trade Show (Agric) on May 3rd – 5th 2013 and this year was no different when thousands of faithful Agric-goers showed up, enjoyed great food, drink and what the private and public sector had to offer while taking note of the significant improvements to the grounds. Mr. Eugene Waight, Chairman of the National Agriculture & Trade Show explained that the purpose of these renovations is to attract other stakeholders who would be interested in using the grounds for other events. Improvements to the show grounds include the addition of the secondary roads that helped control traffic. Before, the main road was used by both cargo vehicles and people making their way around, now the pressure has been taken off that main road and vehicles have easier access within the compound. Added security measures were taken with the installation of metal detectors at the new main entrance in a new building sponsored by the Belize Telecommunications Limited. Also, the main stage where Love FM hosted their live coverage of the weekend’s events was rebuilt by the Government of Belize, a BZ$105,000 project. Both buildings were commemorated on Friday, May 3rd at 3:30PM prior to the opening of the weekend festivities. Additionally, two parks for kids were donated by the Wood Stop in Belmopan and constructed strategically in a quieter and less populated area for young children. Mr. Waight also explained that the activities are now and forever divided into a Bar/Drinking Section beginning from the northern tip of the Agric grounds and ending at the infamous Running W’s Meats stall. The No Bar/Drinking Section begins south of Running W Meats and continues into the children’s favored area, the Mexican and Guatemalan carnival rides. The Development Finance Corporation also assisted with the renovations by donating a dozen wooden chairs alongside the main road for the weary to rest on.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mother's Day at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is having a Mother's Day dinner special tonight. The fish fillet in white wine sauce sounds like a winner. They also have a brunch special. Hode's and the Aguada are also having Mother's Day specials.

Following the recent meeting held between Belize’s Foreign Affairs personnel and their Guatemalan counterparts at the OAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the OAS Secretary General, it was announced that the decision was taken to acquiesce to the DEMANDS of the Guatemalans to postpone the referendum. Undoubtedly this decision by the GOB, is consistent with its failed foreign policy involving Guatemala, which is steeped in: ACCEPTANCE, ACCOMMODATION AND CAPITULATION. It does not bode well for Belize, for it demonstrates distinct weakness and an unmistakable dearth of competent leadership on this matter of national significance. As a result, despite Guatemala’s intentional breach of the mutually agreed upon date to hold simultaneous referenda on 6th October 2013, the Belize delegation caved in and let them off the hook. By virtue of this determination, the Guatemalans were, in effect, rewarded for their intransigence and Belize has agreed to allow for the date of the referendum to be rescheduled for sometime in 2014.

International Sources

New Record CO2 Concentration
Here is an AP news release on the current CO2 concentration measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. 400 ppm is a disturbing milestone and the trend is for continuing increases in atmospheric concentrations as humans continue to spew millions of tons of CO2 gas into the atmosphere annually in the name of development and the good life. The repercussions are frightening! We must brace ourselves for an active hurricane season this year in the Caribbean, no El Nino to suppress convection, and enough heat to stir the atmosphere.

Belize gay rights campaigner faces ‘Antichrist’ death threats
Caleb Orozco, a gay rights campaigner fighting to have the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize overturned, has faced death threats that have increased in frequency during a court hearing that has lasted four days. Orozco has received death threats, had a beer bottle smashed into his face and been labelled the ‘Antichrist’ during his battle to challenge the attorney general of Belize and the leaders of the country’s churches. One particular message received suggested adjourning the case until Orozco died of a ’cause due to sexual preference.’ The case has developed a huge media following in Belize City, where the hearing is taking place, and according to local News 5 Channel has caused increased resentment towards the gay community who are looking to overturn the ‘anti-buggery’ legislation. Lisa Shoman told News 5, ‘There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize. 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.’

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.”

Killing, burning and shooting threats directed at campaigner fighting Belize sodomy laws
Caleb Orozco has reported an increase in violent threats during a four-day court case that debated Belize's sodomy laws. Orozco, chair of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is campaigning to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states ‘every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ His lawyer Lisa Shoman told local news channel News 5 TV that the gay rights campaigner has received more and more threats since the case went before the Supreme Court on 7 May. ‘There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize. ‘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.'

Ancient world on display
“This is a really big deal,” said Science Museum of Minnesota Curator of Archaeology Ed Fleming. You can take that literally. The upcoming “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” will be the Science Museum’s largest show ever. At 15,000 square feet, it is believed to be the largest exhibition on the Maya that has traveled the United States. Focusing on the classic period, from A.D. 250 to 900, the exhibit explores the “social, natural and spiritual realms of the ancient Maya through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the lesser-known people who were the backbone of Maya society,” according to a news release. “It will feature immersive environments, authentic artifacts and hands-on activities that tell the story of the ancient Maya and their modern descendants,” the release said. Traces of the ancient civilization of the Maya can still be found in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico. The more than 300 artifacts featured in the exhibit include the contents of a tomb of the ruler named Great Scrolled Skull found in Santa Rita Corozal, Belize.

Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt convicted of genocide
Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country's 36-year civil war and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Hundreds of people who were packed into the courtroom burst into applause, chanting, "Justice!" as Rios Montt received a 50-year term for the genocide charge and an additional 30 years for crimes against humanity. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.