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Today's Belize News: July 27, 2013 #469099
07/27/13 06:12 AM
07/27/13 06:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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The San Pedro Sun

Massage by the Reef- An oasis of serenity
Imagine lounging on a sky deck overlooking crystalline waters as the warm Caribbean breeze caresses your glowing, sun kissed body. As you lie there, being swept into the fantasy of the scenery around you, your mind, body and spirit connects, becoming one. At Massage by the Reef, this fantasy manifested itself, and boy was I glad to be living every moment of it! Quite excited for this appointment, I walked the beach, making my way to Amigos del Mar, the dive shop where Massage by the Reef is also located. Strolling up on the dock, I made my way up the stairs to the private sky deck where I would be getting pampered for the next hour and a half. As I waited for my appointed time, I glanced around, completely taken away by the view that surrounded me. The turquoise waters of the marina glistened beneath me, off in the distance I watched as the never ending parade of waves rolled into the arms of the Barrier Reef, and kite surfers danced atop the warm Caribbean waters….what a view this was!

GOB and Norwegian Cruise Line MOU surfaces
Early this year, the Government of Belize (GOB) confirmed that they had set up a special committee to liaise with investors of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) for a proposed cruise port on Crawl Caye. The latest development is that GOB has endorsed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NCL regarding the development on Harvest Caye. This change of location came about after stakeholders in the tourism industry in southern Belize, resoundingly rejected any form of development on Crawl Caye. News of the original proposed cruise port at Crawl Caye caused much controversy when environmentalists and tourism stakeholders claimed that Crawl Caye is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the port would create serious damage to the sensitive marine ecosystem. Also causing much concern to the public was the serious concessions that GOB was making to accommodate the NCL project. These included exemption from stamp taxes, customs duties and general tax holidays/waivers for a period of 30 years, with two additional 15-year-extensions to be used at the cruise line’s discretion. They would also enjoy an exclusive 30-year concession as a cruise port of entry at multiple locations in the Stann Creek District in southern Belize, again with two additional 15-year-extensions to be used at their discretion. After the negative public response the Crawl Caye proposal received, GOB announced that Cabinet had turned down the NCL proposal, but would continue searching for new sites in southern Belize.

Reina de La Costa Maya® delegates are here!
Ambergris Caye is gearing up for the biggest international festival in Belize, The International Costa Maya Festival®. The events kick off on Thursday, August 1st, and with the festival getting closer, the delegates competing in the International Reina de La Costa Maya® pageant have arrived in the country. The San Pedro Sun met up with the beauties at the Maya Island Air terminal in San Pedro Town and spoke to the delegates as they arrived.

Cessna reps meet with local airline companies to introduce their new Caravan
Last week representatives from Cessna Aircraft Company were on a visit to Belize, and while in the country, representative Colin Ward met with local airline companies to introduce Cessna’s new product, the Grand Caravan EX. The stop to Belize is significant to the representatives of our local airline companies, since Cessna supplies the local companies with their fleet of Caravans used in the local aircraft industry. Cessna manufactures over 10 designs of airplanes, including the Caravans used in Belize. Every four to five years, the company takes their latest aircrafts through a world tour where they visit with their customers and introduce them to the new products. According to Johnny Greif, President of Tropic Air, Cessna’s stop to Belize included a display of their latest aircraft. “Since we are a big Cessna customer, they stopped here to visit with us. We were able to take a look at this latest model of Caravan, which has some improvements over other planes. The Caravan they brought to show us does not have much difference from the planes we currently operate,” explained Greif.

Ambergris Today

Miss World Belize Looking for Potential Contestants
Miss World Belize Ltd. invites all Potential Contestants between the ages of 17-24 years old interested to participate in Miss World Belize 2013-2014 Contest to submit their applications online at by 1st August, 2013. The National Winner will represent the Country of Belize at Miss World (International) Contest to be held on the 28th September 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Miss World 2013 International Pageant will be televised LIVE in more than 150 countries worldwide. Television viewers in Belize can tune into E! Channel (Entertainment Television) to view this spectacular program that is considered to be the largest event of its kind televised annually. Miss World will be celebrating its 63rd Anniversary this year. The winner will receive $100,000 USD in cash and many other prizes including trips to travel around the world promoting “Beauty with a Purpose,” that involves Miss World Organization charity projects within different communities. The objective is to help humanity especially women and children in many nations. To date Miss World has raise over $450 million USD and is known as “Britain’s most successful ever international television show”.

Belize in Top 10 Best Eco Vacation Spots in the World by FlipKey
Belize was named as one of the “Best Eco Vacation Spots” in the world by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company. The list, developed based on both traveler feedback and industry research, commends Belize for its countless opportunities to experience incredible natural beauty and unique biodiversity. With 36 percent of Belize’s landmass and 13 percent of its waters enjoying protected status, the country has long been a leader in this category. From the majestic Blue Hole to the recently established Turneffe Marine Reserve, Belize delivers an authentic, unspoiled experience for both locals and travelers to enjoy. Many others have recognized Belize for its prominence in this category, including renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, who says, “Thank you, Belize, for doing what you are on the land and in the sea; for taking care of the natural systems that take care of us. It is priceless.”

Misc Belizean Sources

July Open Mic Nights at Soul Project
The Soul Project has been rocking with their Open Mic nights this Summer. There's been some great live music and poetry slams there. Gerardo, Levi, Haley, Quick, Mike, Walter, and many more show up regularly to jam out. This month, guitarist and song writer Keren Bein played there twice. In related news, Emmanuel Mangar will be playing at Mr. Greedy's tonight for their Live Music Fridays.

Ready to be ‘Empress’ed??!!
It is no doubt a dawn of a new day for us here at Raggamuffin! Our pet project that we have been working hard on (and on a number of occasions ‘playing hard’ on) completed her transformation yesterday and today takes her maiden voyage for her first Caye Caulker to Placencia – 2 night/ 3 day tours! Let me introduce to you Ragga Empress – she is a 38ft catamaran that has spent the last four months in renovation in order to up-grade Raggamuffin’s service!! Empress actually came to work here in Belize some 13 years ago with the luxury catamaran charter company TMM. Brand spanking new at the time and only months after she first starting working, Hurricane Keith hit Belize and forced her and and a handful of TMM’s boats over the reef. Empress was salvaged and taken into the loving care of Will Peoples, a long standing resident of Caye Caulker who took it on board to renovate Empress back to working condition. After many years of his hard labor, Will decided that Empress was just too big for him and his wife Jane and they were sadly forced to put her up for sale.

Channel 7

GOB Gets Major CCJ Victory
A significant judgment was handed down today by the Caribbean Court of Justice today – and it’s a very major win for the Barrow Administration in its ongoing battle with the Ashcroft Alliance. More than that, it could have far-reaching implications for a long string of tax write-offs, offsets, guarantees, and settlement deeds that the former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Said Musa gave to the Ashcroft Alliance. But, before we explain all that, first to today’s judgment – which was delivered by teleconference from the CCJ Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad to the Supreme Court Building in Belize City. The CCJ declined to enforce an arbitral Award made by The London Court of International Arbitration in favour of the British Caribbean Bank. The Bank had won an arbitral award of $44 Million US dollars plus interest on the strength of a March 2005 settlement deed signed by then Prime Minister Musa and then Attorney General Francis Fonseca. At the time Musa explained that under the Settlement Deed, government agreed to abandon any litigation against the Carlisle Group for the recovery of outstanding business taxes in exchange for the Carlisle Group abandoning its pending litigation related to the BTL buy back.

Ten Year Old Boy Shot By 14 Year Old
Tonight a 10 year old boy who should be enjoying his last days of summer is instead in critical but stable condition at the KHMH after he was shot last night – by a 14 year old. It’s the kind of story that just boggles the mind…after all how do guns end up in the hands of children? But it happened in Ladyville last night and Monica Bodden tried to find out why today. Monica Bodden reporting It was just after 10 last night when the shooting incident happened here on the street side in front of the family yard of the two minors. From what we gathered, 10 year old Deon Samuels Jr was standing in front of this Astro van - when he was shot in the abdomen by his 14 year old cousin. The bullet exited the child and penetrated the van, leaving this visible bullet hole.

21 Year Old Drowned In OW; Family Says Foul Play
21 year old Sheldon Vasquez was found drowned near the Tower Hill toll bridge in the New River today. The mentally challenged young man had been missing since Wednesday and today a tour guide came across his body on an island in the middle of the river. While he appeared to have drowned, his family believe that some sort of foul play was involved. They say he left home with a group of boys and they believe the young men pushed him into the water. They are asking police to question the boys. They say Sheldon didn’t know how to swim and knew to stay away from water. This is the second drowning in Orange Walk Town in a week.

What Would You Do With $456,000
What would you do with 456 thousand dollars? That’s what 27 year old mother of one, Sue-Ellen Usher is figuring out tonight after she won last night’s Fantasy Five draw. The pre-tax winning is 456 thousand dollars – the second largest in Fantasy Five history. The San Ignacio resident came in to the Belize City office of Brad’s to collect today and she told us how she arrived at the winning combination of five numbers. Sue-Ellen Usher - Winner of Fantasy Five $456,000 Jackpot "I was sitting outside with a couple of friends and my mom was inside checking the numbers for me and she told me that I won it and I couldn't believe it and I went to the Chinese and I checked on the phone to see if the numbers were right and everything was right." Jules Vasquez "How did you select those numbers?" Sue-Ellen Usher "My mom and I sat down last night before the Fantasy Five and I picked out all the names of the youngest children in my family so I said my baby is 2, my nephew is 3, my other little nephew is 6, my baby sister is 9 and my other little sister is 15 years old - those are the youngest in the house and their age made me win it."

West and Gaynair Receive Additional Honours
Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair have made international headlines and a trip to the Gold Cup final for turning down a match-fixing bribe, and now the Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission have awarded them the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy for quote, “their outstanding honesty & patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup Tournament in the U.S.A.” A release adds that, quote, “ Their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee.” Unquote. The Trophy is in memory of Gilmore Henkson a secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years and also a sportsman. The Trophy will be presented to West and Gaynair on the August fifth at the Government House in Belmopan by Governor General Sir Colville Young.

Weed Eena Church Roof!
The GSU descended on a yard at #91 Victoria Street in Belize City this morning for an intensive three-hour search. They made a major find, but the news tonight is where it was made – it wasn’t in the yard, but in an adjoining property, stuffed into the roof of a small church. We went to the area to find out more:… Jules Vasquez reporting It’s a neighborhood church but, turns out, it’s also a stash spot where police found a marijuana, bullets and a firearm tucked into the eaves of the building: Voice of: Suzette Mossiah - Pastor, Merrirh’s Ministry "Well the only way is that they could have tore the eave and stuffed it there because it was open." Jules Vasquez "Now you run a church from this building." Voice of: Suzette Mossiah "Yes, for crying out loud look where they will put their drugs, in a ministry? That's crazy." The pastor wasn’t arrested but persons from the adjoining property were detained. That’s where the eaves overhang and police believe parties inside the yard are responsible for the stash in their neighbor’s ministry building.

Re-thinking The Fight Against Encroachment In Chiquibul
Last week at the Chiquibul symposium, one of the many initiatives to rescue the park was to create sustained public awareness – the same kind that the Belize jaguars, or even the drive to independence got. The Friends For Conservation and Development which co-manages the park believes they also have to change their tactics. Here how they explained their new policies which have international implications. Daniel Ortiz reporting The FCD is reporting that there has been an increase in illegal activity in the Chiquibul for 2013. Rafael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD "When we observed it 7 years ago we were just learning about the particular threats at that particular time it was Xate extraction - if you look at it now in terms of the environmental and the loss of land - we are seeing that if we do not really take strong, bold and a sustained action in the Chiquibul we will not be able to do it again in the future. This really means that we are reaching to a point where we need to make decisive decisions, it means that we're really reaching to a point where it's optimum in terms of that buffer that we can't really pass or we've passed over that already. So for us observing it on the ground, it's already reaching to a point where we need really to put this thing like now."

Caleb On “Dangerous Liaisons” Report
Last night, we told you about the launching of the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2013 report called "Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize". The report purports to track the influence of extremist right wing religious groups and their influence in Belize for the last 3 years as they provide assistance to local religious groups in resisting the UNIBAM Challenge to the sodomy laws. The 26 page document is extensive, looking at US groups like Extreme Prophetic Ministries of Phoenix, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), and the Alliance Defending Freedom and tracking their influence on local organisations like Pastor Scott Stirm's Belize Action. Stirm denies the reports findings, but SPLC is internationally recognized as a credible outreach Organization. One thing which is certain is that if the report is accurate, then the leading personalities have been participating in the very same thing that they've accused Activist Caleb Orozco of doing; that is, working with and for organizations with a so called "foreign agenda".

Hope Re-Born At Youth Apprentice-ship Programme Graduation
The youth apprentice-ship programme held its fourth graduation today. As we’ve reported before, the program gives a second chance at a career to young people whose lives would have otherwise hit a dead end. So, every graduation is like a hope re-born – and Monica Bodden found out what made today’s one special. The fourth graduation for the Ministry of Education Youth Apprenticeship Program was held today inside the King's Room at the Princess Hotel. 64 youths completed the 6 month program and were awarded with certificates. Dianne Finnegan- Coordinator, Apprenticeship Programme "It's as if though, I've had to nurture my own kids into maturity because they come with so much challenges and so much sadness. They come with so much expectations and reasons for wanting to move from where they came in from to where they were created to be but all I can do is just say 'welcome'. It is the most rewarding - I don't even want to say it's a job - because the pleasure I get from doing this, is beyond what I can share with you. These young people, if given the opportunity to actually continue to manifest there greatness can become our greatest productive sector within the work force. They truly want to be in that spotlight of showing off that they made it and that is why they make the effort that they work 8-5 and then still go to school in the evening and make sure that they also tap into us for guidance, tutoring, and assistance in making sure that they pass to the next level."

Rowan Made It!
After months of preparation, and a few set backs due to weather, Rowan Garel, the fearless, adventurous and blind 14 year-old has completed his third great adventure: Today, he dove the Blue Hole. It is a feat which is difficult enough for normal divers, but due to his visual impairment, it made preparations for the dive and his training significantly more challenging. But, he took on the challenge with determination, and he made it. We’ll have an extensive look at his accomplishment on Monday’s Newscast, but after he finished the dive this evening, we asked him about the experience. Here’s how he explained it: Rowan Garel - Dove The Blue Hole "I went to the Blue Hole first which is really amazing - I really wanted to do that. We saw turtles there which was cool - one of them passed right by me actually, a Hawksbill Turtle and I got to touch the shell and I meant it's just really amazing to be able to go in the Great Blue Hole. So much water as around me, above me, below and you just feel so insignificant in comparison to all that water and wildlife."

Channel 5

Police allegedly drag and beat naked woman
News Five has covered many stories alleging police abuse over the years. Some of them have been so heinous that it is hard to say today’s complaint is one of [...]

What are the implications of the Maya Land Rights ruling?
On Thursday, the Court of Appeal issued a split decision ruling in the case of Mayan land rights in Southern Belize. On one hand, the Court re-affirmed the rights of [...]

Litigations cost millions and the government’s choice attorneys collect
Litigation, litigation everywhere, and no doubt the attorneys involved in what seems like endless litigation are smiling all the way to the bank. In the case of any litigation against [...]

Jaguars, Woodrow and Gaynair, honored locally
The Belize Jaguars did not advance to the other round of the Gold Cup, but they made a positive impact on the CONCACAF games. Team members, Woodrow West blocked many [...]

Split decision? CCJ says arbitration act legal, but BCB award illegal
The Caribbean Court of Justice via teleconference ruled this afternoon that a forty million dollar arbitration award won by B.C.B. Holdings in 2009 was not enforceable in Belize. Like most [...]

Drug addict taken to prison for crack possession
Forty-two year old Rudolph Lizama was charged for having an undetermined amount of crack cocaine in his possession and today, when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, he pleaded guilty [...]

Court rules no sex in carnal knowledge case
In the Supreme Court, a jury of five women and four men acquitted twenty-one year old Maxwell Wade of two counts of carnal knowledge. Wade was accused of having sex [...]

Six arrested for drugs and firearms found on Victoria Street
Six persons were charged for drug and firearm offences following a search by the Gang Suppression Unit on Victoria Street. When the GSU searched the house at Victoria Street, it [...]

A scam with accompanying articles and videos about Belize
Have you heard of Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson? News Five has never heard of him either until today. But according to his website, he is one of the largest [...]

64 graduate from Youth Apprenticeship Program
The fourth Youth Apprenticeship Program wound up this morning with a ceremony at the Princess Hotel and Casino. Hundreds of young men and women took part in the four month [...]

A Summer Camp for the Arts
A group of very happy youths today concluded a three week camp dedicated to the arts. They danced, acted, painted and played music and will be taking home great memories [...]

Second highest Fantasy 5 Jackpot winner from Cayo
Fantasy Five has a new winner. A housewife and a mother of one child who lives in Cayo has just won the second highest jackpot for the game. It’s so [...]

News 5’s Moody tours with the BTB
News Five’s Duane Moody became a tourist in his own country as a guest of the Belize Tourism Board. The fam trip covered the Placencia area showcasing prime destinations and [...]


Tourism Association for Private Sector Says No to Proposed Development
The BTIA held a meeting on Thursday marking the end of consultations with all of its chapters to ventilate the proposals for large scale development in the Placencia area for cruise tourism. Appearing on Love FM’s Morning Show were the President of the Belize Tourism Industry Associat...

Young Boy Shot and Minor Detained Following Child's Play
A shooting took place on Carpenter Street in Ladyville Village on Thursday night but the victim and the accused are little boys. The one who got shot is ten years old and he had to undergo surgery to remove a portion of his intestine that was ruptured when the bullet ripped through his body...

Youth Organization Ends Fourth Apprenticeship Program
The Youth Apprenticeship Program has been in existence since 2010. Since then the program has had a positive impact on hundreds of young people. Today was another special day for the program as we hear in this story from reporter Hipolito Novelo. HIPOLITO NOVELO “With th...

Youth Empowerment Program Awards Participating Adolescents
The Productive Organization for Women in Action, POWA gave certificates to 48 adolescents for completing the POWA youth empowerment program in Dangriga. Correspondent Ifasina Efunyemi has more in this report. IFASINA EFUNYEMI “During the past five weeks, the participating yout...

Belize Defense Force Holds Recruitment Examination
The Belize Defense Force is looking for men and women to join its ranks. The recruitment exercise will take place tomorrow across the country. Love News spoke with Major Thomas Cal. MAJOR THOMAS CAL “The Belize Defense Force will be having a recruit selection examination...

Connecting Flights on Tropic Air To Mexico Coming Soon
Tropic Air is looking at linking Belize and Chetumal in Mexico through scheduled flights. According to Honorary Consul of Belize in Chetumal, Juan Valencia Gomez, the state Ministry of Tourism – Sedetur – along with the Ministry of Transport and Communications are the entiti...

Body of Mentally Challenged Orphan Found In River
The body of 21-year-old Sheldon Vasquez of Carmelita Village was retrieved from the New River earlier today. Vasquez who was mentally challenged went missing on Wednesday. His body was seen about five hundred yards from the foot of the toll bridge at Tower Hill. Due to the advan...

Convicted Thief Says He Stole Because He Was Drunk with Financial Woes
Twenty-three year old Mauricio Rodriguez, a construction worker of Green Street, was sentenced to three months today by Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he pled guilty to theft. Rodriguez was charged with the theft of a purse from an employee of St. John’s College, which occurred on...

Senior Citizen Stabbed for Defending Daughter From Abusive Spouse
A man who was charged with wounding his father-in-law, 76 year old William Bennett, was remanded into custody today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to wounding. He is 42 year old Enrique Soberanis, a resident of Daly Street. Magistrate Hamilton told Soberanis that the cha...

Accused then Acquitted of Carnal Knowledge
Twenty-one year old Maxwell Wade, a resident of Ladyville charged with two counts of carnal knowledge of a female child 12 years and 6 months old, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of five women and four men deliberated for about two hours before i...


Ministry of Health issues advisory on bovine rabies
The Ministry of Health has issued an advisory on bovine rabies (rabies in cow). On the 24 of July, a suspected case of bovine rabies in the New Road Area of the Toledo District was reported to BAHA. BAHA, along with the Ministry of Health have been engaged in...

Teaching defensive driving on the road to safety
Belize is one of the worst places in the world for road traffic accidents, many of them fatal. Too often, however, the problem is not only the road conditions, but the drivers on them. As part of the Belize Road Safety Project funded in conjunction with the Caribbean Development...

Dara’s Ride For Hunger slated for next week.
For the past seven years, well known activist Joel “Dara” Robinson, through the Dara Feeding Program, has been spreading awareness on poverty and providing meals for kids in the Belize City area. It’s a heartbreaking reality, but children can often times be seen around the city asking for a...

Senior citizen of Belize City accused of burglarizing a home
A senior citizen of Belize City is being accused of burglarizing the home of a woman. Police say that 75-year-old Amos Wright, a self-employed resident of the Port Loyola area of Belize City burglarized the home of Geneva Trapp. Allegations are that on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Amos Wright...

Maxwell Wade acquitted of two sexual offenses
21-year-old Maxwell Wade, has been acquitted of two sexual offenses. Wade was charge with two counts of carnal knowledge with a minor who allege he had sexual intercourse with her twice in April of 2010. The 12-year-old girl in her testimony last week told the court that sometime between ...

Ladies training for upcoming UNCAF tournament
The men have had their fair share of football, but now it is the ladies’ turn. We caught up with coach Gabourel at the FFB stadium while the girls were being trained. He told us more about the upcoming UNCAF tournament that they are preparing for. Kent Gabourel –...

64 graduate from Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Youth Apprenticeship Program has graduated from strength to strength, reaching the most vulnerable members of our population and turning their lives around. For six months they are given a chance to prove themselves, not only to their employers and family, but also to themselves, the apprentices. Today, 64...

Minister in charge Sustainable Development addresses current co-management system
Co-management, as it is known in Belize, is the framework the country has in order to effectively manage most of its 94 protected areas. The history of Belize’s co-management agreement takes us back a couple of years, when the Belize Audobon Society approached government and requested that they become...

SATIIM hits back
On Wednesday Minister Lisel Alamilla was quoted as saying she believed Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) was “playing games” by refusing to sign the co-management agreement over the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the largest co-manager not to do so. This afternoon SATIIM’s director Greg Choc told the...

Anniversary of the birth of Simón Bolivar celebrated by Venezuelan Institute
July 24th 2013, marked the 230th anniversary of the birth of one of South America’s greatest generals,Simón De La Santisma Trinidad Bolivar Y Blanco. Simón Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1783. In his victories over the Spaniards he won the independence of Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru...

Two fishermen found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone
Two fishermen must shell out some big bucks after they were found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone. 28 year old Oved Rivero and 25 year old Byron Cortez, both fishermen of Sarteneja Village, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday to...

Stephen Okeke frustrated over labour leader bust
A few months ago we detailed the troubles of sculptor Stephen Okeke who was seeking a home for his bust of legendary labour leader Antonio Soberanis in Belize City. Since then it appeared that he and the City Council had reached agreement, even on a method of payment. But...

BCVI holds open day in Belize City
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) held its annual general meeting and open day today in Belize City. It was another successful year for the organization which sees to the needs of Belizeans with less than perfect eyesight and those who need help to adjust to blindness....

Court reduces land rights of Maya people
On Thursday afternoon the Court of Appeal delivered a split decision in relation to the second Maya Land Rights case, appealed by the Government against the Maya Leaders’ Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes’ Association (TAA), which had won a landmark judgment in 2010 extending rights of communal property previously...

Pool Party at YWCA
It’s summer vacation, and what better way to celebrate than with a pool party? The Young Women’s Christian Association has a good one, and to mark the end of their summer program they will be inviting one and all into the pool on Friday. It’s also for a good...

Youngsters graduate from swimming program in Belmopan
On Wednesday, some twelve youngsters graduated from a swimming program in Belmopan. The classes are part of a summer long initiative hosted by Club La Fontaine. At the program’s first ever graduation, we met up with swimming instructor, Craig Sheldon,...

Promising football star loses life in accident
Luis Eduardo Mendez, a former player of the Belize National Team, passed away Tuesday evening and leaves behind a nation of grieving fans, family and friends-including his Facebook friends, who flooded his wall as they paid their respect to the deceased. The 20...

SATIIM attorney says Maya should be allowed access to park
On Tuesday members of the Maya community spoke out about their frustration with the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy who they say have denied them access to the Sarstoon Temash National Park where there is seismic testing ongoing. Attorney acting on behalf of the Sarstoon Temash Institute...

Rhett Fuller continues fight against extradition
In March of this year, Belizean businessman Rhett Fuller turned around a long history of losses before the courts in his long-running fight to avoid extradition to Miami-Dade County, Florida, for a murder that took place more than two decades ago. The Court of Appeal allowed his appeal of...

Police issue wanted bulletin in murder case
Last night we told you of two lovers’ alleged dispute that took a horrific turn. It was reported that Jose Arnaldo Soto was having frequent quarrels with his girlfriend. The girl’s step-father, Isaac Guiterrez offered some advice in favour of his daughter. Furthermore, girl...

Farmer sentenced to five years in prison for chopping off a man’s fingers
A farmer has been sentenced to five years in prison for chopping off a man’s fingers. 55-year-old Romolo Garcia, a farmer, vegetable vendor who was convicted last week of the offense of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm to Alfredo Herrera, who later...

Draft of legal bill being prepared
In his guise as President of the Bar Association, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay gave the press an update on the changes to the Legal Profession Act that intends to allow for the creation of separate and multiple legal associations. Eamon Courtenay – Senior Council: I met with Minister Elrington...

Report of Revenue Enhancement Support Program presented to Municipal Authorities.
The engineering body of Belize’s government is found in the local municipalities – that is the city and town councils. Therefore, it is important that these councils be ran with the highest efficiency possible and its revenues managed productively. The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP), part of the Belize...

Dr Peter Allen reports on the Central Medical Laboratory renovations
The Ministry of Health is conducting extensive renovations of key services, and last Friday contracted with Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO who signed on behalf of the Ministry, tells us more. Dr Peter Allen...

Renovation taking place at KHMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Belmopan Morgue
PlusNews spoke to CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, on several burning issues with the Ministry. We begin with the current status of the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which Dr. Allen says is among several sections of the hospital currently being renovated. Dr. Peter Allen...

FFB Vice-President still detained by US authorities
Information reaching PLUS News is that vice-president of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Rawell Pelayo, is still in the U.S., but now in New York where he faces charges of conspiracy to transport narcotics. According to the document, which was filed in the United States District Court Southern...

Two brothers accused of causing serious injuries to one of their relatives
Two brothers, Eric and Prince Lockwood, are being accused of causing serious injuries to one of their own relatives Nelson Lockwood. Today, one of the brothers was before the court to answer to charges while the other brother is on the run. 26 year old Eric Lockwood, a resident...

Rowan Garel to dive Blue Hole
Visually impaired teenager Rowan Garel’s latest adventure was to have taken place two weeks ago when he was scheduled to dive in the world-famous Blue Hole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. However, there was inclement weather and the trip was postponed. Now it is on again for Friday morning,...

Re: Today's Belize News: July 27, 2013 [Re: Marty] #469100
07/27/13 06:13 AM
07/27/13 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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The body of well-known Belizean footballer, Luis Eduardo Mendez, arrived home in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo, Thursday morning, and relatives are now preparing to lay him to rest after a tragic road accident in Guatemala claimed the life of the 22-year-old. The Guatemalan press reported Tuesday that Luis Eduardo Mendez, 22, a Belizean footballer, had died when a bus that was traveling from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango fell off into a ravine, injuring 14 passengers. The driver of the bus reportedly lost control after it was hit by another vehicle. Mendez was due to return to Belize the same day the Guatemalan media reported the tragedy. He succumbed after the ADN autobus accident that also seriously injured six others. The incident is said to have occurred on the Inter-American Highway, in the jurisdiction of Nahualá, Sololá. Mendez was the only fatality. The Belize Embassy in Guatemala informed us early Wednesday that Mendez had been kept in a Government morgue in the city of Solola, three hours away from Guatemala City. Family members from Benque traveled to Guatemala to identify the body and bring him back home. His first cousin, Cesar Mendez, informed us that a wake is being held today, Thursday, and the funeral is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at Mount Carmel Church, in Benque Viejo del Carmen.

The national park sits on Maya ancestral lands; Greg Ch’oc defiant! On Tuesday, Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), came public to say that the Forestry Department has issued the NGO a letter barring it from entering the Sarstoon Temash National Park – a protected area the NGO has co-managed since 1997. But Ch’oc’s message to the Government is that he will not desist – after all, the park sits on Maya ancestral lands to which they have customary rights. That’s not the end of the story, though, because the Forestry Department letter went on to tell Ch’oc that, “…it is to refrain from undertaking any negotiation or related business associated with the park and the usual park management.” That, it seems, includes negotiations for funding. The conservation of the STNP—the second largest in Belize—is the reason SATIIM exists, and Ch’oc’s response to that order from the Government was a resolute “no!” “I want to make clear here the wishes of the communities – that the park is indigenous land. As a people, we have sacrificed, we have been denied access to the very land that we own. We have recognized and we have always recognized the importance of protecting and safeguarding our natural resources. And I want to tell the Forestry Department and the Government of Belize that SATIIM will continue to manage and protect the national park, because it is our interest and the interest of the Belizean people.”

Buckley, shot mistakenly by police, is in danger of being taken to court for not paying hospital bill, even though he cannot work. Steven Buckley, 41, the man who was mistakenly shot in the head on the night of April 28, 2010, by an inspector of police leading a patrol, and as a result is disabled and unable to work, told Amandala that he has still not gotten a cent from the Police Department to cover his $6,561 debt to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for his treatment. Minister of Police John Saldivar had been contacted last Thursday to see what assistance would be given to Buckley by police. Saldivar said that he would consult the Commissioner of Police on his return from Salvador. Upon returning, however, the Commissioner said that no decision had yet been made. Buckley was told on Thursday, July 4, by Credit Master System, the collecting agent for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, that last Friday, July 19, was the deadline to pay, after which court action would be taken against him.

The Maya won, and lost at the Court of Appeal, but “This is not the end:” Greg Ch’oc. The long-awaited decision by the Court of Appeal in the Maya land rights case was finally handed down today, and while it reaffirmed the October 18, 2007 decision by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh that the Maya of Toledo do have customary land rights in Southern Belize, it overturned orders that Conteh had made, binding the Government of Belize to give effect to those rights. Alfonso Cal, chairman of the Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), one of the main claimants in the land rights case, told Amandala after the decision was read that they have waited three years for it, and he didn’t sleep at all last night, after they received notification around 6 o’clock yesterday that the decision would be read today at 2:00 p.m. “The Maya people were very poor people with money – cash, but with the land we are rich with land and that’s where we live. We make our living. We get everything that is necessary for our family,” Cal told our newspaper. “When the other third parties come to try to tell us that this land is not for us, we are just squatting, we just laughed. They were sent by somebody. We tell them now that this land is ours and they don’t believe it!” Cal added. He said, however, that there have been many violations against their property rights: prominent examples that have riled up the Maya of Toledo are petroleum exploration and rosewood logging. Land disputes in Maya villages such as Golden Stream, in fact, triggered the court case; and the Maya won two landmark rulings before former Chief Justice Conteh.

A man and his wife were held up and robbed at gunpoint in their home in Santa Elena, at about 10:00 last Saturday night, July 20. The thieves got away with over $3,000 in cash and goods and one of them beat the husband in the head with the butt of a gun. Hugh Tillett, of the Hot Point area of the Santa Elena Town, told police that he was in his house with his wife when two armed, masked men gained entry into his house. They made their way to his bedroom and kicked in the bedroom door. One of them had a knife and the other, a gun. The one with the gun pointed it at them and demanded money. Tillett said that he became fearful for his life and gave the robbers about $1,500 in cash and two cell phones together valued at $1,800.

Garcia chopped Herrera on his left forearm and chopped off the fingers of his right hand. Romolo Garcia, 55, a resident of Hattieville, was convicted of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm last week Tuesday after a jury found him guilty in a ratio of 8 to 1. Garcia had attacked Alfredo Herrera with a machete on April 1, 2011, and chopped him twice – once on the left forearm, and a second time on the right hand, with a severe chop that severed all of Herrera’s fingers on that hand. This morning, Garcia was sentenced to 5 years for his crime by Justice Adolph Lucas. On April 1, 2011, according to Herrera’s statement, he had visited Garcia’s house from earlier that day and they had spent the better half of the day drinking Old Master extra strong rum with water. It was at 3:00 that afternoon that Herrera told Garcia that he had known his wife before her relationship with Garcia, and that caused Garcia to get into a rage. Herrera had told police that Garcia then grabbed a machete which was beside him by a coconut tree and chased him with it, and in an attempt to escape harm, Herrera ran into Garcia’s house to try and get a machete which he had seen in the bedroom.

The Belize Diabetes Association office, located on the second floor of the Commercial Center on Albert Street, and a Chinese store in Ladyville were robbed yesterday in separate incidents – the first robbery occurring around 10:00 yesterday morning, and the other at about 7:00 yesterday evening. The thief who robbed the Diabetes Association office escaped with a laptop computer, while a pair of thieves took about $500 from a Chinese store in Ladyville before escaping. No one was hurt in the course of the robberies. Michelle Godoy of the Belize Diabetes Association told Amandala that yesterday morning, she and others were in the office when a man gained entry into the office by prying open the door, and he grabbed a laptop computer that was on the desk near the door. The man then ran out of the office. Police went to the scene, but could not find the thief. According to Godoy, this was the first time their office has been targeted for robbery. Police remind the public that it is an offense to be found in possession of stolen goods, or goods reasonably believed to have been obtained illegally. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the laptop is urged to contact the nearest police station, or the Belize Diabetes Association at phone numbers 203- 3333, or at their office on the 2nd floor of the City Center on Albert Street.

Isaac Gutierrez, 27, a Guatemalan who is a worker on the Mayan King banana farm in the Stann Creek District, died after being stabbed in the chest while socializing at the farm at about 8:00 last evening Sunday, July 21. Gutierrez apparently got into an altercation with another worker on the farm, and the man stabbed him in the chest and ran. People who saw the stabbing quickly took Gutierrez to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, but he died while doctors were operating on him. The body awaits a post mortem to certify the cause of death. So far, the man who stabbed Gutierrez is still at large. Police believe that both men were drinking when the quarrel began. The motive for the attack, however, is not yet known.

Smith and Brown crashed a party early Sunday morning, causing a stabbing frenzy. Yesterday, Saysha Moody, 18, was charged with wounding Kendra Smith, 21, a customer care representative, after Smith and her friend, Lyvette Brown, 19, crashed a party that was being held at Moody’s residence on Iguana Street Extension. Today, Smith and Brown were returned to court after spending an extra night at our local “[#%!] house” after being disrespectful while inside the holding cell area at the Magistrate’s Court. Smith and Brown were both charged with wounding Saysha Moody, and grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm on Sharema Moody, 16, Saysha’s sister. According to the police report, a party was being held at Moody’s residence when Smith and Brown showed up, uninvited, and attacked Moody. Guests of the party got involved and that was when it turned into a brawl, and at the end of it all, the Moody sisters, Smith and Brown were all suffering from various degrees of injury.

Just over three weeks ago, on July 1, as Game 1 of the best-of-3 games cricket championship series approached, representatives of defending champions, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage, visited our sports desk to vent their frustration with the managing committee of cricket, which has still not handed the promised trophies to Excellence for last year’s championship. (See story, “Trophy problem solved;…” in the Amandala of Wednesday, July 3, 2013.) Whatever were the problems of the previous cricket executive, there was a new President at the start of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition, and the new sponsors, SMART would provide the finances needed to secure the prizes for this year’s competition. No money is collected from fans at cricket games, because the fields are not fenced, and there was no corporate sponsor for the 2012 season. Last year’s committee, headed by Lewellyn Sutherland after the resignation of Elston Wade, had originally postponed the traditional “Trophy Day” due to then approaching tropical storm Ernesto; but time went by, and the 2013 season began without Excellence receiving their championship trophies for the 2012 season which ended on August 4, 2012.

The regular season of the dynamic Guinness 9-Ball Tournament in Belmopan ended with a bang, as two teams had to battle in a tie-breaker to determine who would reach the big dance, as Barriofino was waiting for a partner to “bailar” at Barriofino in the grand finale. It was one of the best and hottest matches ever, as it was the National Guinness 9-Ball champs from 2012, “Salvapan Shattaz” trying to stay alive against the new team on the block, Las Flores. The match was being played on neutral grounds in this tie-breaker, and in this do-or-die situation. It was all happening at Barriofino Sports Bar, and for sure it was exciting and super thrilling, as Salvapan Shattaz was shattered by Las Flores, 3-2, thus eliminating Shattaz for the first time from the Finals and their chance to defend their title at the national tournament to be held in Dangriga. The individuals scores were as follows: In match number 1, it was Erwin “Big Chino” Paredes of Shattaz hurting Ernest “Puff” Borland of Las Flores by 3-2; then in match number 2, Shattaz went up, as Elder “Small Chino” Paredes damaged David Mejia by 5-2, putting Shattaz up by 2-0.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the Kremandala family to brother Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez who is reportedly in hospital recovering from congestive heart failure in the U.S. According to his wife of over 30 years, Serapio, who has been suffering with high blood pressure for many years, is presently receiving oxygen and physical therapy, and they hope he can return home soon, after ten days in hospital. Serapio was vice-captain of the famous Independence football team of the 1960’s in Belize, and migrated to the States over 40 years ago. The team captain, the legendary Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt passed away recently in New York. Today’s semipro footballers may not know that some of the first blows struck for professionalism in Belize football were by the Independence football team, led by “di Mugger” and “Big Mole.” Serapio’s younger brother, Raymond “Lee Mole” Alvarez, who started his career with Independence, went on to also become a famous football star of the 1970’s with Diamond-A, San Joaquin and Berger 404. Lee Mole resides in Belize and is also presently ailing.

It is appearing to us that Belize has slid downwards into a state of affairs we would refer to as “recolonialism.” For sure, the trappings and symbols of independence are in place, and in a couple months’ time we will be watching all the September pomp and ceremony to celebrate 1798 and 1981. On the daily ground, however, we are again a subject people, and our new colonial masters are the international bankers. The Belizean nation owes a ton of money, is involved in dangerously expensive litigations on many fronts, and Belizeans, as a people, have become addicted to living above our means. The generation of 1950 which condemned British colonialism and struck out for the shores of independence, was a brave and visionary generation of Belizeans. Some of that generation were skeptical, believed the concept of self-rule to be chimerical, and they began to migrate to the United States. Many Belizeans, nevertheless, stayed the course, and they were rewarded with self-government in 1964. There was a process which began in 1950s Belize after the first wave of our migrants settled in New York City and New Orleans, then Chicago and afterwards Los Angeles. That process was the process of acquiring American tastes. At home in Belize, we began to judge everything by the standards of the United States, which was undergoing their own American process – the process of becoming the richest and most powerful nation on planet earth. The boxes and barrels our loving relatives were sending us from America infected us with a high-minded virus: all things Belizean slowly lost their ability to satisfy us; everything had to be American.

“The centrality of oil to the modern world is well known. Oil is integrally related to virtually every aspect of our way of life, from transportation, communication and the mass production of goods, to food, heat, light and military power. Access to oil is therefore essential to modern living, as well as being crucial to maintaining military dominance – as was amply demonstrated in both World Wars.” - pg. 2, WAR, BIG OIL, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE PLANET, Linda McQuaig, Anchor Canada, 2005 During the thirty years or so when I would converse seriously with the late Dr. Leroy Taegar from time to time, he impressed upon me the fact of the awesome power of the rulers of the world and the fact that, because of the awesomeness of that power, these were people who routinely thought of things in terms of fifty years, or a hundred years, or even more. In other words, the big people could afford to be patient, whereas we, the oppressed of the earth, because of the tenuous nature of our existence, are in a haste where our quests for survival and improvement are concerned. The realities Taegar impressed upon me were uncomfortable realities, because what they did was weaken my spirit of resistance and my resolve in the struggle. How do you fight people who are in no hurry and do not even have to win a fight with you in order to remain masters of their own destiny, and yours? How do you fight people who can transform themselves into other than what they really are, and worse, can recruit and arm your own to fight against you?

— by Kenny Jacobs Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views concerning why poor people in Belize can’t get ahead! Belize is home to hundreds of thousands of people, all of diverse ethnicities. We have many natural resources unmatched to other countries. We have a culture untouched, natural, rich, and splendid which makes us unique. Our people, however, are being born or are being “given” a mentality that they are poor. They are given this mentality by the wealthy people. These wealthy people have the power and they control these poor people by many obstructs: religion, politics, education, and money. Whenever the rich people see the opportunity to make millions off the poor people’s head, they do whatever it takes to get it. They construct a “divide” mentality. They ensure that people are for, and against the issue. And for their proponents, they tell them only about the short advantage of the situation. They don’t tell them about the long-term disadvantage of it. In the essence of all, these wealthy people are making millions off the people’s resources while the people are losing a valuable instance of their community.

— by Charles Leslie, Jr. Dear Editor, The Placencia Peninsula beach is 17 miles long and is one of our main tourism assets. Majority of it is filthy almost all year round and especially during this time of year. This is unacceptable, and it is slowly eroding our image as the fastest growing tourism destination, and the best stretch of beach in Belize. We recently won Destination of the Year. To keep that prestige, we need to focus our energies on our beach. In October 2010 the Gulf of Honduras (GOH) was launched with an objective of: “Environmental Protection and Maritime Transport Pollution Control in the Gulf of Honduras,” with a primary focus on demonstration of new and mixed technologies to address some of the major environmental problems and issues of the Gulf leading to the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems by human activities. The long-term goal of the project is to reverse the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems by enhancing the control and prevention of maritime transport-related pollution in the major ports and navigation lanes, improving navigational safety to avoid groundings and spills, and reducing land-based inputs to the adjacent coastal and marine areas within the Gulf of Honduras. This project has a budget of $58 million USD and a 5-year duration. In Placencia, we cannot afford to wait until this program truly kicks in and hope it will directly benefit us. We need to take matters into our own hands, now. Under the May 2010 draft National Guidelines for Subdivision and Consolidation of Land in Belize which falls under the Lands and Surveys Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, it states, “Under the LUA (Land Utilization Act) general subdivision guidelines to ensure that access to water bodies is maintained include: A 66-foot reserve must be provided for each subdivision of a land parcel next to the sea, lagoon, river, creek and other major water bodies.”

— by Chriss Roggema Dear Editor, A year or so ago in a discussion on Front Street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intention to run for office saying: “Like I see it guys, we are standing at the crossroads for Caye Caulker. If you and me do not take charge of this failing political situation, we can’t complain afterwards and say how mucked up the situation on the island has become. And it will go on this way with this political infighting and nothing important gets done. It’s up to us. It’s up to you and me!” At that time, it gave me a lot to think about, because after 25 years on the island I had decided to move off the island to the mainland into the rainforest to get some more space around me, since my privacy on the island had become very restricted. When I first lived on the island people did not understand why I moved from Front Street to “back a bush.” But it was good living quietly in the bush in what the island people called “the pretty little house in the back.” Now my Cocoplum sanctuary is tucked away between the old and new village in the island’s nicest neighborhood with big houses in big gardens with lots of trees and flowers. But with only one Belizean neighbor in the whole street who lives there, and the rest foreign tourists who rent from the foreign owners, who only spend a few days or weeks there a year. Not really a neighborhood in my sense. And most of these foreigners are so rude: when you hail them they look at you like you want to rob them.

— by Joseph Alvarez Dear Sir, It’s always interesting to read commentaries and articles in the print media of how things were in the past and how it has changed over the years in Belize. The discussion has become so intense that at one point the question was, have we become a failed state since achieving Independence or should we have remained a colony of Britain. The most intriguing subject for me is in relation to sports and athletes who were dominant in their particular sports discipline in the past. These comments are made by very prominent Belizeans or government officials. They are important stories that must be mentioned and also documented for the future generation. However, what have we done as people who have witnessed and experienced the greatness and glory of these athletes to make life and sports more rewarding for our youths today? The question is more directed to those who have so many fond memories of the past and have now become important and influential personalities in our society. Since 1998 there have been quite a few men who enjoyed the game and some even played sports that have become Ministers of Government. I was so hopeful that there would have been a major shift in the way sports is being handled for the sole benefit of our youth, but it was to no avail. This issue has become very important since our national team made representation at the international football tournament in the Americas Gold Cup. It’s always a good thing to reminisce about how great our athletes were, the success they have attained, and the great pride and joy they brought to the country, but we‘ll never see where we’re going if we’re always looking back.

— by Dr. Elma Whittaker-Augustine, Clinical Psychologist I would like to begin our first monthly article on mental health and mental illness by clarifying the difference between the two. Contrary to common belief in Belize, mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental health, which is inseparable from physical health, is essential to the healthy functioning of individuals, families and a healthy society. It is important to understand that mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental Health is interconnected with our physical health and is defined by our: ABILITY TO ENJOY LIFE ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK FROM STRESS, LOSS, CHANGE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN BALANCE IN OUR LIFE, e.g. balance between work and play, rest and exercise ABILITY TO BE FLEXIBLE in our thinking and emotions ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE OUR GIFTS, STRENGHTS, POTENTIAL ABILITY TO FORM HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS SELF ESTEEM, FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, PERCEPTION OF OURSELF, OTHERS, LIFE On the other hand, Mental Illness is a term used to describe disorders that affect our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and functioning, cause distress and negatively affect our lives and our family. There are many common mental illnesses such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, etc. Mental illness affects adults, children, rich, poor, male, female, all ethnic and racial groups.

(WARNING: Don’t try this unless you have very deep pockets) Many people still don’t believe that you can buy elections in Belize. They reason that the people of Belize have wised up: they take the man’s money and vote how they feel anyhow. That is true to a certain extent and especially for bona fide long term residents of a constituency. But there is a new kind of voter that is increasingly populating voters’ lists all across the country. These are mercenaries – people who have no knowledge nor interest whatsoever in what is happening in the constituency, but who can be relied on to show up on Election Day for the $500.00 they will be paid – that is their ONLY motivation, and, rain or shine – or hurricane, you can count on these mercenaries to show up – and they vote for the politician who is paying. Here’s how it works: First of all, they have to get on the voters’ list. The politician, having foreknowledge of their political allegiance to the Party, entices them to transfer to his constituency during Transfer Period (July and August) or, if it is a new registrant from another division, he/she is enticed to register in the division of the politician who is doing the enticing. Now it is paramount that these persons have no knowledge, interest, nor connection with the division to which they are being enticed because, if they do, the possibility of them taking the money and voting conscience anyhow, becomes a factor – and the politician who is enticing cannot “afford” that. Now, enticement has been mentioned – but enticement here is not friendly persuasion.

My friend Hector Hecker inspired me a few weeks ago to write about the crafty and brilliant Angus Vernon. I had not seen my good friend Hector Hecker for more than 40 years. One night while sitting in the Princess Hotel and Casino I saw a gentleman “flapping” across the floor, and I said to myself only Hecker or Charles Hyde walks like that. Upon verifying the identity of the walker I realized that it was Hector Hecker and I hailed him. He was upset with me because he said to me that he had tried to say hello to me on several occasions and got the impression that I was ignoring him. I apologized to him, because as the Lord in heaven knows I did not recognize that it was my friend of forty-odd years who was saying hello to me. You see, Hecker and I grew up together. He was living not too far away at Conch Shell Bay. We were among a small group of friends, which included G. Michael Reid, who used to hang out at the Rogers Stadium. I say all this to you to illustrate how close we were. Well, the rekindling of this relationship has turned out into something very special. I know Hecker loves me and I love him. May I crave your indulgence before moving on to raise another topic to explain that the central feature of this article is neither about Hecker nor myself. My intent is to focus this installment on Angus Vernon, but allow me space to speak of my friend Hecker and myself as it was the happy circumstance in which we were reunited which inspired me to write about Angus Vernon.

A 13-year-old girl, Maria Esmeralda Rivera, from Trio Village in the Stann Creek District, has been reported missing. She was last seen about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, by her father when she left home with an 18-year-old young man, travelling on a motorcycle headed towards the Southern Highway. Since then, she has not been heard from. Maria’s mother, Angelica Garcia, 32, told police that she left her daughter at home with her father, Alfredo Rivera, and went to church in the village. Garcia said that while she was at church, Rivera came and told her that their daughter had left home on a motorcycle with a man who is 18 years old. They reportedly know the young man, who is from the same village. Garcia further told police that the 18-year-old had been visiting her daughter for the past three months.

Restore Belize has undertaken a program to enhance the lives of disadvantaged Belizean citizens through the imparting of reading and numerical skills. A select group of program participants will be taught to read and write through the use of computer-based instructional programs. The initiative started in April this year, and so far over 500 people have been benefiting from literacy instruction, but plans are underway to expand the program so that countless others can benefit. The initiative is to a great extent possible due to a $320,000 donation from the Embassy of Taiwan, which was used to buy computers and software programs to establish the computer-assisted learning sessions. The program was deployed in ten different local centers dedicated to improving the lives of those in local communities. Yesterday, Wednesday, July 23, Restore Belize took the Taiwan Ambassador His Excellency David Wu on a tour of the centers in which the literacy lessons are being carried out to see the program in action. Three of the ten sites were visited: The UEF Library of African and Indian Studies on the Kremandala compound on Partridge Street, the Water Walkers Boys and Girls center on Albert Street, and the YWCA on St. Thomas Street.

The Reporter

Court of Appeal affirms Maya land rights
The Belize Court of Appeal has upheld the former Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh’s Supreme Court ruling of October 2007 on the Toledo Maya land rights, on two of the five grounds of appeal that the government had challenged.

There is no Shortcut to achieve Sustainable Development
In our last article, I made the point that spending on our education system without special attention to quality is a formula for waste and frustration, leading to diminished expectations and an exacerbation of our problems in Belize. Quality is the result of an attitude and culture that promotes excellence, [...]

Beach clean up saves turtles’ lives
By: Anita Nembhard Freelance Writer Gales Point Manatee, a popular turtle nesting area, was treated to a beach clean up effort last weekend.

SATIIM to fight GOB ban on co-managing Sarstoon Temash Park
The Sarstoon Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will be taking the Forestry Department and Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido to court to reverse the department’s ban of SATIIM from co-managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

Chiquibul’s $3.4 billion resource needs protection
The Chiquibul Forest, 70 square miles in the Cayo district represents a $3.4 Billion resource, a national conservation priority that Belize needs to protect, forestry conservationist Percival Sho informed participants at the Chiquibul Symposium hosted by the Friends of Conservation and Development at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Friday [...]

Genesis Arts pioneers yet again
Genesis Agendas, best know for its promotion of all things Belizean, is now making strides on the Mexican market.

SATIIM takes GOB to court over US Capital’s oil drilling concession
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, through its attorney, Eamon Courtenay, has filed an application before the Supreme Court, objecting to the Government’s permission to U.S. Capital Energy to conduct drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the Toledo district.

R.E.S.P. ups Town Councils’ tax haul
The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (R.E.S.P.) is expected to help the city and town councils improve their tax collection and manage their spending more efficiently, according to the R.E.S.P. final report. presented at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday morning, July 24.

Dangriga police seek missing children
Dangriga Police are looking for Juan Jovel, the 70-year-old Honduran grandfather of Fanny Romero, 9, and her brother Jairo Romero, 8, who went missing from their home in Cow Pen Village, Stann Creek district last Wednesday, July 17

INTERPOL issues arrest warrant for Michael Silva
INTERPOL announced last Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Belizean Michael Joseph Silva, 28.

Guatemalan banana worker chopped to death
Police are looking for an employee of the Mayan King banana farm, Jose Soto, said to be armed and dangerous, for the murder of Isaac Gutierrez, 56, a Guatemalan laborer. Gutierrez was killed on Sunday, July 21.

Warring women crash house-party and end up before the court
Three women have been arrested and face criminal charges related to with several stabbing attacks at a house party on Iguana Street Extension Sunday morning. The attacks sent five young women to the Emergency Room for treatment.

William and Kate present baby prince
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have emerged from St Mary’s Hospital in west London with their new baby son. Walking out to cheers from staff and well-wishers, Kate cradled her son and said it was “a special time”.

Illegal pipeline taps cost PEMEX 5 Bn,
The number of illegal taps drilled into Mexican oil and gas pipelines to steal fuel has doubled since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.

Central Lab to get $300,000 upgrade
The Central Medical Laboratory beside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City has been overdue for renovation.

Breakfast linked to a healthy heart
People should eat breakfast to keep their hearts in good condition, according to researchers in the US. Their study of 27,000 men, in the journal Circulation, showed those skipping breakfast were at a greater risk of heart problems.

Stem cells to reverse blindness: Study shows
The prospect of reversing blindness has made a significant leap, according to scientists in the UK. An animal study in the journal Nature Biotechnology showed the part of the eye which actually detects light can be repaired using stem cells.

Roaring Creek & Belmopan Emeralds win in Cayo softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Capital City Emeralds of Belmopans enjoyed victories when the Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association in Blackman Eddy Village on Sunday, July 21

Kenny Gladden, Isaiah Willacey & Manuel Esquiliano win Weekend Warriors race
Kenny Gladden of Scotiabank team won the “A” category road championship, while Isaiah Willacey won the “B” category and Manuel Esquiliano of Truckers Posse won the “C” category of the Weekend Warriors’ Race last Sunday, July 14. Gladden out-sprinted Derick Smith of the BWS team in 2:12:40 to win the [...]


Belize’s Multicultural Thanksgiving a Unique Blend
While many people may not associate Thanksgiving with swaying palm trees, ancient Maya temples and vast rainforests, the holiday is widely observed in the tiny Caribbean country of Belize, where it has become the focal point of a unique annual celebration at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, according to the Belizean eco resort’s food and beverage manager Bryony Fleming Bradley. In fact, last year’s month-long feast was such a success that Chaa Creek began taking reservations this week, she added. Thanksgiving has a long tradition in Belize, most likely as a consequence of the country’s proximity to the North America, the presence of a large North American expat community and the “trickle down” effect from the large Belizean diaspora living in the US and Canada, Ms Fleming Bradley said. “People seem surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is so popular in Belize, but it’s a holiday that many of us grew up with here and seems to get bigger each year. And recently there’s been a real increase in the number of people coming down to Belize to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends,” she said. “I suppose that when you consider the effort it takes these days to bring everyone together to celebrate a holiday, people want to make the most of their time together and turn it into something truly special. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see our Thanksgiving holiday package become as popular as it has,” she added.

Doing The Chaa-Chaa-Chaa Through Life's Jungle
Lucy and Mick Fleming own the Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize, one of the world's first eco lodges. While at Chaa Creek, I was awed by the energy and vibrancy of the jungle--and the Flemings. It is hard to imagine an environment that is more vividly alive than the jungle--lush, teeming, unfurling, changing, challenging, chaotic, diverse, primal, light, dark, and unpredictable. Embracing life's unpredictability led Lucy from her New Jersey girlhood to finding her place in the world on the banks of the Macal River. I've always been fascinated by people who have the courage to "follow their bliss" and my conversation with eco pioneer Lucy did not disappoint. Her journey, like the Belizean jungle, is inspiring and instructive.

Welcome to the neighborhood!
Meet Alvin Loredo, fisherman, contractor, tour guide, and common laborer – a jack of many trades. Earlier this year, Alvin worked with EcoLogic to help install fuel-efficient stoves in two communities in the buffer zone of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Belize as part of EcoLogic’s binational work between Guatemala and Belize. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Alvin on the phone to hear first hand how the work went, and why he is so committed to his community. Alvin explains that he first heard of EcoLogic about 10 years ago when he served as a board member to EcoLogic’s partner in Belize, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). He accompanied EcoLogic on a learning exchange to Honduras to see projects we were implementing, including the installation of fuel-efficient stoves, and learn directly from community participants in the area. Alvin said when he first walked into the home of family with an EcoLogic stove he was blown away by how clean the inside of the kitchen was, which he described as “white”. In a region where, dirt floors and open-pit fires are the norm he could not believe his eyes.

Poodle Pirate and Galen University’s Timely China Business Course Offering
A rising red dragon is eying Central America, scouting safe harbor for investment and future development. As the world’s second largest economy, China has gradually spread her great red wings around the world, stirring up new business, energy, and food for her growing population of more than 1.3 billion people. Many countries, businesses, organizations, etc. have been approached by this new energetic, risk-averse force from the East with deals in hand for those ready to profit from this ancient empire’s modern day expansion plans. There are not many who would turn a cold shoulder to such lucrative proposals.

“Staring at the Sun” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up slightly before 05.00 hours yesterday morning and out on the veranda shortly afterwards with my mug of black coffee. The difference though was that I didn’t just sit there going through The Times on-line. I decided that I would respond to Don’s suggestion and include in the blog the occasional photo of something other than our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. So knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the sun rose I went up to the roof of the building of the condo we are renting. I got up there around (cannot be precise because I don’t wear a watch anymore) 05.20 hours – just before sunrise.

International Sources

How to Do Belize on a Budget
Yes, the words “Belize” and “budget” can go together. Here’s how to explore this tropical paradise without breaking the bank. If you’re skeptical about the words “Belize” and “budget” in the same sentence, it’s understandable. Overall, Belize can be a pricier destination than say, its neighbouring backpacker haven, Guatemala. But in reality, it’s entirely possibly to afford a trip to Belize without breaking the bank. There are plenty of areas with affordable lodging, food and entertainment—and beaches, too. It just requires a little more research, flexibility and preparation. Here are my best tips on how to afford your first trip to “The Jewel” of Central America. Travel Overland from Mexico, Stay in Affordable Parts of the Country, Visit in the Summer, Travel by Bus, Book Tours Ahead of Time, Eat and Drink Local

Wildlife Conservation Society And Belizean Volunteers are Joined By Google Staff Volunteers To Survey Belize’s Sea Turtles
Marine scientists and veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society teamed up with volunteers from Belize and Google for this year’s annual sea turtle survey in the coastal waters of Belize. The project, conducted in collaboration with the Belize Fisheries Department, received some key support from staff of Google, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Environmental Research Institute (University of Belize) as they assisted in the sighting, capture, tagging, and release of the marine-dwelling reptiles. The four main objectives of the surveys, which have been conducted since 2007, are: to determine an absolute abundance estimate of the three species of turtles on the Glover’s Reef Atoll; to increase knowledge of sea turtle movements and habitat use; to assess genetic stock and growth rates of sea turtles on the Atoll; and to increase the capacity of stakeholders to collect accurate and standardized data.

Christian Group Prays Gays into Prison, Casts Spell on Tornado (and Raises the Dead)
A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center says that several U.S. organizations — including an extremist ministry which claims to raise the dead and pray away the gay — are defending antigay imprisonment and defamation in Belize and other Caribbean nations. The same groups also oppose U.S. calls for respect for human rights. (Source: Washington Blade) The groups include Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, and Extreme Prophetic Ministries. Other U.S. participants include Family Watch International, United Families International, and the World Congress of Families. Of these groups, Extreme Prophetic Ministries — led by self-proclaimed Christian prophet Patricia King — is lesser known but potentially the most dangerous to human rights.

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