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Today's Belize News: September 7, 2013 #472042
09/07/13 06:14 AM
09/07/13 06:14 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Successful surgery performed on American Crocodile
ACES Crocodile Surgery-3Before the surgery, the crocodile was placed under local anesthesia, after which Dr. Paquet-Durand proceeded to disinfect, clean and stitch the wound closed. In order to secure the wound, the crocodile’s leg was cast and secured to its body. The entire procedure lasted approximately two hours. The crocodile will be held in captivity at the San Mateo Sanctuary until the wound is fully healed, “It will take about a month until the wound heals as crocodiles have a slow metabolism. Once the wound is healed, however, we can actually assess the mobility that the croc has in its leg. There is a 50% chance that the crocodile will not regain complete mobility of the leg since the wound was so grave,” said Rose. Rose also stated that while relocating a couple of crocodiles that same night, ACES encountered a gill net at a channel entrance to the northernmost part of Laguna de San Pedro. The net was approximately 250 feet long and extended across the entire width of the lagoon entrance. Such nets are illegal and should not be utilized in the area; ACES confiscated it and rescued a couple Bonefish (a protected species) that had been trapped in the net. Unfortunately, some of the fish were already dead.

Congratulations Newlyweds! Edwin Gamez & Monica Prevett tie the knot
On August 31, 2013, during a beautiful church ceremony full of love, laughter and family, Monica Prevett wed long-time love Edwin Gamez. They were accompanied by their two beautiful sons Tristian and Justyn, and friends and family looked on as they officially became husband and wife. A tasty and laughter-filled reception followed at Bistro Mestizo.

Belize Fisheries Department holds Revised Fisheries Regulation consultation in San Pedro Town
The Belize Fisheries Department is engaged in a number of consultations across the country. A team of consultants were in San Pedro on Thursday, August 29th at the San Pedro Lions Den with the purpose of engaging fisheries stakeholders and the general public as they work to develop a Revised Fisheries Regulation. The revision of the subsidiary law is being conducted by the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries (ACP) Fishery II Program, with funds from the European Union (EU). The main objective of the consultations is to gather input from fisher-folk and other stakeholders to provide meaningful dialogue to update the existing fisheries regulations. Dr. Chris Hedley is the main consultant tasked with the technical aspect of the Revised Fisheries Regulation. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Hedley said that the revised fisheries regulation project in Belize is a part of a larger undertaking by the Belize Fisheries Department with the assistance of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nation’s (UN). “In this project, we are looking at three main areas that are of concern.

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Industry Association Objects Norwegian Cruise Line Project
Even with fierce objection from key organizations and local businesses/stakeholders in the overnight and pocket tourism sectors the Government of Belize has already issued the go ahead to Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) on their Harvest Caye project which will bring a resort and cruise port to Southern Belize off the coast of the Placencia Peninsula. A Memorandum of Understanding for the undertaking of the 50$Mil U.S. cruise tourism development project was signed in August between the G.O.B. and NCL. But this week the project received even more powerful objection by a group of six former presidents of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). A letter stating their strong objection to the project was delivered to the Belize Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. Past presidents: Jim Scott, Lucy Fleming, Paul Hunt, Rosella Zabaneh, Steve Maestre and Steve Schulte are firmly against the proposed development of Harvest Caye and in the letter they ask the Government of Belize to re-examine its position on the project. Current BTIA President, Herbert Haylock commented that the sentiments expressed in the letter are shared by an overwhelming majority of industry stakeholders including the present BTIA leadership.

Belikin Beer Releases Heritage & Culture Commercial Spot
It’s the month of our patriotic celebrations, a time in which Belizeans take to show off their cultural pride, heritage and identity to the world. Carnival Jump Up, Independence Day Parade and an array of parties and events line up the entire month and showcase how full of life Belizeans are. We are a “Party People” – we celebrate anything and everything! In the spirit of the county’s September Patriotic Celebration, Belikin Beer, the beer of Belize, has just released another commercial that celebrates the many faces of Belize in what they call their ‘heritage and culture’ ad. Check it out!

Misc Belizean Sources

Edward's Park
I was born and raised on what has been designated as Southside Belize City. I attended Holy Redeemer School which is of course, on the North side of the city. Back then, most kids walked to school and just about all of us went home for lunch. That meant a good walk four ways each day and I guess that kept us in pretty good shape. Obesity was a rare thing for Belize in those good old days. We played a lot in those days, whether it was in the schoolyards or in whatever empty space we could find. There was no television, no internet and no play station. Most of our games were outdoors and to be quite honest, in looking back, I believe that we had the better end of that deal. The boys played with marbles and tops while the girls played with jacks and hopscotch. On any given day, you could find girls on one side jumping rope and boys on the other side roughing each other up in a game of pickup football. It was a time of active social interacting.

My Belize Culture Shock story and what I learned
All the cool expats say they never experience culture shock. For the most part I think they are full of it. Everyone who makes the radical change and moves away from their home country to a new country is going to experience something. For some people it is a very radical change. Other people will say they are not feeling well or are just tired. Everyone deals with it differently. The Culture shock hit me after the fourth month. I was depressed and had no energy at all. I would cry for hours and not be able to stop. It was draining emotionally but in the end it was a gift. I had to decide if I was willing to change the way I approached and reacted to things in Central America. If I could not change how I was conditioned to react to events I would not be able to be happy in Belize.

Belize U-18 Female Volleyball Team Takes 4th Place
The Belize U-18 Female Volleyball team came in 4th place at the Central American Championship in Guatemala this week. Kevanna Sebastian was one of the top scorers, and the top blocker for the tournament. There are hundreds of pictures from the event, along with scores and statistics, on the AFECAVOL website. The Belize Volleyball Association has some pictures from the event.

Chaa Creek's New Expeditions
Chaa Creek Inland Expeditions is going to start offering day trips to Chaa Creek for hiking, exploring, canoeing, riding, and cycling. They all come with lunch, transportation, guides, and complimentary canoes. They start running on Monday. In related news, the Guava Limb Café is the new hot spot for lunch in Cayo. Pictures of their food will be coming soon.

MPR Off Road Challenge Pictures
Congratulations to Team Mahindra for winning Hidden Valley Inn's MPR Off Road Challenge!

Dania Singing Redemption Song
Dania Arana singing Redemption Song at one of the Soul Project's Open Mic Nights is today's musical interlude. Cayo's cultural hub will having another Open Mic Night tonight. Happy September Friday!

Peace Corps Swearing In
There's a new group of Peace Corps members in Belize, and they're having a swearing in ceremony this morning in Belmopan at the George Price Centre. Here's to a great 2 years! "The main purpose of the Peace Corp work-mission is to provide support to the Ministry of Health Community Health Workers (CHW) in assisting families to adopt positive behaviors and practices that contribute to the improved health of women and children."

Opening of the Placencia Municipal Pier and Plaza
Official opening ceremony held on September 5, 2013

Channel 7

Roaring Creek Resident Killed In Front of His House
In the past month, we’ve only reported on one murder –, but tonight there are three to report. Now, before you get alarmed, we stress that only one of those murders happened today; one results from injuries obtained in June, the other in August. We begin with today’s shooting murder in Roaring Creek – where a man was gunned down in front of his yard – the kind of killing we haven’t reported on since July 9th. Bit it happened this morning in Roaring Creek. Daniel Ortiz has the story:.. 34 year-old Nigel Neal was killed early this morning, gunned down in front of his mother's house in Roaring creek: Voice of: Eyewitness "I heard about 5 or 6 gunshots, when I ran out my little brother told me it was 'Blue' - I told him it couldn't be because Blue was in Belmopan. When I peeped through, I saw two Spanish decent guys running - one was tall and one was short but they ran across the road towards the Roaring Creek ball field."

Shooting Victim Dies
And like we said there are two other cases which have now been upgraded to murder investigation. The first is 25 year old Arthur Baptist. He was shot on June first at his uncle Melvin’s barber-shop on Neal’s Pen Road. Arthur Baptist was shot in the head and the bullet splintered inside his brain. He was initially given only a 5% chance of survival, but was released from the hospital in a month. He did however, suffer significant brain damage and was left confined to a wheel chair, unable to talk and living with intense pain. His family was treating him at home, but yesterday quite suddenly, he died at home. His family declined interview today and told us they are awaiting a post mortem to determine the cause of death. 25 year old Baptist had one child, a daughter.

Chopping Victim Passes
And the Kenneth Flowers case has also been upgraded to murder. On August 23rd., 46 year old Flowers was chopped up as he slept in his Mahogany Heights home. Police found Flowers sitting in his home with 3 large injuries to his face and bleeding profusely. Those injuries Flowers was at home alone in his bed when a man entered his bedroom and inflicted his injuries. No one was charged and this too is now a murder investigation.

Cabinet Subcommittee Talks Stake Bank
Since Tuesday, we’ve been reporting on the Stake Bank Project which the Feinstein Group of Companies is trying to get through all the required governmental clearances. Well today, the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment met in Belmopan for almost 3 hours to consider it. The ministers were updated on the NEAC discussion, which happened earlier in the week, and they also looked at the economic issues arising from the plan. After the meeting finished, the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Godwin Hulse, spoke with us on the project’s status with Government. Here’s how he explained it: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Chair, Cabinet Sub-committee "This is a Cabinet Subcommittee meeting; it's a combination of Cabinet Ministers and the technical people who work on the data. We had the meeting this morning, it's just concluded - it was to look at where we are with the State Bank project - as you know Mr. Mike Feinstein has launched this project - there was a press conference and there's a lot of information. The technical team is been sifting through this and so we made tremendous progress today. Earlier this week - there was the NEAC process where it looked at the environment, as you know I have laid out, with the support of the Cabinet a 5 prong approach to looking at investments and I'll repeat them -

Friction Within FFB Executive?
18 months after being swept into office, tonight there are reports of discord within the executive of the Football Federation of Belize – discord so serious that reports say three members of the executive have been threatened with suspension. It seems that for some time executive members have been complaining to President Ruperto Vicente about the lack of efficiency in the FFB Secretariat. That created some friction between Vicente, who is directly responsible for the Secretariat and the Executive Members who would like a more modern management style. Vicente reportedly discussed the executive’s lack of support for him at a meeting with district chairmen on Wednesday. But the story that came out of that meeting is that he was trying to get support to suspend three executive members. There is some dispute over whether that was discussed, but the meeting did agree to send a caution letter to all executive members, including Vicente. The letter – which was received today - cautions the members that they are engaging in “malicious and undermining” activities.

Burglar Brought Back His Stash; Still Sent To Prison
He took back the stuff he had stolen, but 22 year-old Thomas Ferguson is spending the first night of a 3 and a half year sentence after he pleaded guilty to burglarizing his neighbor’s house. According to police, at 5:30 on Wednesday evening, Dulce Sutherland arrived at her home on Fabers Road to find the back door of her house pried open. She checked inside and found out that the house was ransacked, and 22 hundred dollars’ worth of electronics had been stolen. She immediately reported the burglary to police, and when she returned home, she found the thief, Ferguson, bringing all her stolen items back. She called police who arrested and charged him with burglary and handling stolen goods.

Chap’s Complains About City Hall’s Street Works
Belize City is undergoing transformation at an unprecedented pace – as the city council drives towards 100 paved streets in one and a half years. And during this process, the tired old cliché, has probably never been more applicable: Progress does bring problems. All over the city, merchants have to contend with streets that are closed for extended periods – and during that time they see their sales plummet. One restaurant owner is grappling with that – and he says he may not be able to survive the downswing. We found out more at Chap’s Restaurant and Bar, in the Pickwick Club compound:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Christian Riveroll is standing at the entrance to his Restaurant 'Chap's' because he has no customers inside to attend to. And if you want to know why you can see the dust clouds wafting past him.

New Peace Corps Volunteers To MOH
Tonight, the Ministry on Health is reporting that there are 16 new Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize for a 2-year work mission. They will partner with community health workers on a Rural Family Health Program, which is a collaborative effort between the Health Ministry and Peace Corps. These volunteers will be assigned to the Cayo, Orange Walk, Toledo and Belize Districts, where they will be working with the different communities on how to prevent or care for children with common illnesses, and how to prevent non-communicable diseases. This program will be the first where all volunteers will be assigned to the Ministry of Health, and the first where all Peace Corps Volunteers will live with host families for the duration of their service here. These 16 new volunteers were sworn in at a ceremony at the George Price Center in Belmopan today.

International Literacy Day At Wesley Lower
Sunday is being observed as International Literacy Day worldwide, but, in Belize it was observed today under the theme "Promoting Literacy for a Peaceful Belize." Activities were held at 15 schools in the city and Monica Bodden did her part at Wesley Lower school here on Albert Street. She found out how reading can be inspiring:.. Rudolph Neal - Standard 3 Teacher "Today is World Literacy Day and here at Wesley Lower School - we are celebrating World Literacy Day as a school under the theme 'Promoting Literacy for a better Belize' and we decided to have some Belizean personalities - people that the children look up to and know them but haven't had contact with them. They came in and read some of their favorite stories and even engaged them in a question and answer segment and so as to promote literacy to our students and to have them understand that it is not only important for them to read but it goes to show them how for example you Monica - if you didn't read in school or take literacy important - you wouldn't have been done what you did today. Too many times we get reversed by all the things that society has out there so the over all objective is to promote literacy, to bring more awareness to the importance of reading and writing and to help them to better their future."

PUP Aspirant, Mira, Is Belizean
Last night on this newscast, Belmopan Area representative John Saldivar said that PUP convention candidate for the division Oscar Mira is a Salvadorian migrant to Belize. That statement caused some consternation in PUP circles, where the party of George Price still prides itself as the nationalist party. So, like Obama loyalists pushing back against the “birthers” in the US, today Mira’s camp had to dig up Oscar Mira’s battered and frayed 1973 birth certificate. Indeed it confirms that he was born in the Cayo District Belize. Mira is of Salvadorian lineage and proudly comes from a family of 10 raised in Salvapan.

Image Factory Launches Art Book
Over the last decade and a half The Image Factory has been pushing the edge of contemporary art in Belize. But, along with art impresario Joan (Juan) Duran, they’ve been doing the same thing in Central America and the Caribbean. And now they’ve put together the combined output of all those art interventions in a dramatic new book. It’s a beautiful edition, over 400 pages long and costs one hundred dollars. But what is this art book about? We tried to find out at the very unusual launching today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting An isolate cropping of students, friends, fans and press in the middle of the cavernous SJC Gymnasium. Hand-fans aflutter in visible discomfort form the oppressive heat. It’s probably the first book launch staged in such a strange setting but this is Art with a capital 'A' and the audience was only allegorical: Yasser Musa - Artist "The reason we are sitting here in this hot, beautiful, well-lit gymnasium is not by accident. It is intentional because we wanted to create a metaphor that says that this space is a laboratory of energy."

Belize Hoping to Hold 3rd In Volleyball Tournament
Tonight, Belize’s Youth Female National Volleyball Team is hoping for the best after they lost in straight sets to the undefeated Costa Ricans today. After going two and three, the team is currently third in the standings and is waiting for the result of El Salvador – Honduras match to see if they can hold that position. In today’s loss, 13 year old Mya Musa had 5 points and Kandyce Burn had 4. And even if the team does not medal, Belize players can win individual awards in Blocking, Digging, Setting, and the Libero category.

Channel 5

Roaring Creek resident murdered in cold blood in front of his residence
Roaring Creek this morning was the scene of an execution style murder. Just after eight o’clock, a resident was executed within minutes of leaving the police station.  The gunman appeared [...]

Arthur Baptist dies months after being shot inside barber shop
Twenty-four year old Arthur Baptist and his uncle, forty-four year old Melvin Baptist, were gunned down on June first in Belize City. Both men were socializing inside Melvin’s Barbershop on [...]

Felicia Chen to stand trial for the death of her three kids
A young woman accused of killing three of her children will appear in court on September seventeenth to stand trial on three counts of murder. On April twenty-seventh twenty-two year [...]

National Assembly issues revised schedule for PAC meetings
On Wednesday, the Clerk of the National Assembly sent out a schedule and agenda of hearings of the Public Accounts Committee. That committee, mandated to scrutinize and report on government [...]

Another Guatemalan caught inside Chiquibul
The Chiquibul National Park continues to be a major draw for Guatemalans who want to farm, or pan for gold or cut xate or cut timber or exploit any of [...]

Bomb threat at national university
The Central Campus of the University of Belize received a bomb threat at around five-forty Thursday evening. All students were evacuated by the security of the national university. Police and [...]

International Literacy Day celebrated at schools across the country
Literacy and numeracy…together with comprehension are all hallmarks of learning. Today, primary schools across the country celebrated International Literacy Day with activities geared towards reading and writing in various forms [...]

Rumble in the F.F.B….Congress warns executive members about malicious and undermining activities
The Football Federation of Belize is currently not on its most stable footing. After a marathon session of fundraising which fell short and a less than spectacular showing at the [...]

Venezuelan Ambassador speaks on Petrocaribe
A report earlier this week in Caribbean Insight suggests modifications in respect of the Petrocaribe oil debt by governments of the region to Venezuela’s state owned oil company known as [...]

Perez Marcano speaks of oil prices
The ALBA Bank is owned by Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.  News Five also questioned Ambassador Perez Marcano if any changes were contemplated in the medium to long term [...]

6 week old baby needs public assistance in seeking surgery abroad
The family of six-week-old Alyssa Aguilar, born with a rare cardiopulmonary condition, is tonight appealing to the Belizean public to assist in raising much needed funds for corrective surgeries abroad.  [...]

Landings arrives on the Belizean artistic landscape
The Landings Project, a powerful body of work in visual and literary art, was launched in Belize City today.  The repertoire, a product of curator Joan Duran, dates back to [...]

Carnival Mas Camp 2013 continues with Erotic’s big night out.
Four mas camps were judged on Thursday night; it’s all leading up to the vibrant Carnival Road March on September fourteenth that starts at the Yarborough Green. But if Thursday [...]


Taiwan and Belize Team Up To Empower Women Through Training
The Agro-Processing Program is one that promises to upgrade the income of youth and women. It is currently the Pilot Program of Belize’s soy sauce production and commercialized dehydrated papaya program. Today the program which is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Technical Mission of the Republic of China Taiwan, was officially launched. Reporter Natalie Novelo and Videographer Myles Gillett travelled to the City of Belmopan where the launch was held and bring you the following report. GARETH MURILLO, REGISTRAR OF COOPERATIVES (MNRA) “Empowering women and youth for income generation” It is under this theme that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture along with the Technical Mission of the Republic of China, Taiwan, launched the National Agro-processing Training Program in the City of Belmopan. The project is a social benefit program which according to Food Specialist from the ROC Taiwan Technical Mission, Carson Huang, started in 2006. He told us how the program has grown.

Teachers Become Innovative For Literacy
Primary schools in Belize City and other districts today used various methods to reinforce reading among their enrolment. It came as part of International Literacy Day, which promotes reading, and locally, the Ministry of Education has been on the bandwagon for the past three years, and Quality Assurance officer with the Ministry of Education, Lurleen Betson Gamboa, says that utilizing innovative ideas with other aspects in the learning process has been key practices in that process. Lurleen Betson Gamboa, QUADS Officer, Min. of Education “We’re looking at board games, storytelling both coming from the students, teachers and media personnel to tell the stories, to dramatize; we have sports activities and anything surrounding literacy.” Reading, in its menial form has been put to the task by the advent of cable television, internet games and i-pods. But one teacher, Alice Middleton, a standard four teacher at Trinity Methodist, cleverly suggests that the innovations that have accompanied these tools can also help to endorse reading.

Commuters in Northern Belize Need Better Roads
Continuous rain for the past week has worsened the condition of the road from Orange Walk Town to San Estevan and Progresso Village. Pictures sent to us by residents of the area show several portions of the road under water and in some parts thick sticky mud that makes it even more difficult for vehicles to pass. Love News understands that this morning some buses could not make it through and commuters had to cross on trucks and other heavy machinery. Last month high ranking officials from the Ministry of Works including the CEO met with residents of the area in Progresso to explain why the work on the road had stalled. According to the CEO Errol Gentle they were waiting for money to be disbursed to Lopez Co. Ltd and Bella Vista Co. Ltd, the two contractors for work to restart in the area. The rehabilitation of the approximately 15 mile long road is part of the sugar accompanying measures financed by the European Union. The only work that has been done in the area in 18 months is the opening of drainage and elevation of the road in some parts of the road. Residents have continuously expressed frustration with the delay of the work on the road as hundreds of commuters use the road on a daily basis. The road also connects Orange Walk Town to major fishing villages of Chunox, Copper Bank, and Sarteneja.

Burglar Returns Stolen Items To Owner and Gets Imprisoned
A 22-year-old man who returned the items he stole and pled guilty to burglary, was sentenced to half the minimum sentence of seven years today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton because of special extenuating circumstances and due to the fact that he had no previous conviction for crimes of dishonesty or violence. He is Thomas Ferguson, an unemployed of Faber’s Road Extension. Magistrate Hamilton explained that the special extenuating circumstances were the fact that Ferguson saved the court time by pleading guilty and he returned the items to owner with his own volition. As a result, instead of seven years, Ferguson will serve three and a half years. The burglary occurred around 6:38 a.m. on September 4. Ferguson’s neighbor reported to the police that her house was burglarized and a number of items amounting to two thousand two hundred dollars were stolen. When she returned home later that day she found Ferguson there with all the stolen items. Ferguson was also charged with handling stolen goods but that charge was withdrawn by the prosecution after his guilty plea for burglary was accepted.

Man Hospitalized After Being Shot; Park Ranger Questioned for Being Armed
One man is hospitalized after being shot at the Program for Belize on the evening of September 4. Love News understands that a park ranger at Program for Belize shot twenty-five year old Humberto Santos of Guinea Grass Village in the Rio Bravo area of Program for Belize for illegal activity. Santos was shot to his left ankle and he is currently hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital. We understand that his ankle was practically destroyed and is scheduled for surgery. Santos would not comment on the incident when contacted. However officials at Program for Belize confirmed that the incident did occur but add that there is some uncertainty as to how the park ranger was in possession of a weapon as the park rangers should not be armed. Officials at Program for Belize are conducting their investigation and Police are also investigating the incident.

Fight Against HIV/AIDS Becomes More Challenging
The National AIDS Commission has a new Executive Director and along with that change in leadership is a new approach to respond to the AIDS epidemic. Here to give support to that effort is Dr. Pierre Somse, the UN AIDS Representative for Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize. He says that the primary reason behind the new approach is that funding for AIDS awareness campaigns have been drying up. Dr. Pierre Somse, UNAIDS Rep., Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize “We are bringing technical guidance on how to understand the epidemic in a way that it allows to re-prioritize the actions; how to develop an optimum package of intervention that is cost effective, that is efficient and also how to ensure that the funding that is available is used efficiently; how to leverage domestic resource to fill the gap in funding. As you know, global financing has undergone a serious challenge and the global solidarity is shrinking because of other priorities as climate change, non-communicable diseases and funding for HIV is not only the priority.”

Workers Trapped Inside Government Palace in Chetumal Due to Teachers’ Protest
For the past weeks thousands of teachers in Mexico have taken to the streets to show their discontent of an education reform introduced by President Enrique Pena Nieto. On Wednesday the Mexican Senate voted in favor of the bill. Major demonstrations have been happening in Mexico City and the states of Nayarit and neighboring Quintana Roo. This afternoon, the State Governor Roberto Borge Angulo was caught among some angry protestors who blocked the passage of his convoy. Things got tense but before it got out of control the governor’s bodyguards quickly jumped in and pushed away the big crowd of protestors. Mexican media reported that the Governor’s vehicle received minor damage as a result of the confrontation. More policemen were dispatched to the front of the State Government Palace in Chetumal where hundreds of teachers have been protesting all this week. Mexican media report that public officers working at the Government Palace are unable to exit the building as teachers continue the blockage.

Media Reported Lies Says Football Federation
Yesterday we reported on controversy within the Football Federation of Belize. Today the FFB issued a release in which it says it is disappointed in the manner in which negative information was sent to the media of a quarterly meeting of the President and head of affiliates. According to the release the sole purpose of the meeting was to discuss the three year Youth Development for Grass Root – U-15, 17 and 20 for male and female; the talent schools and academies in each district, the managers of the academies, stipend for managers and coaches for the academy and the role of the district chairperson to develop and strengthen the program in their district. It goes on to say at no time there was a move to call an extra Ordinary Congress or the suspension of any member of the FFB Executive. Instead, all FFB Executive members were given a caution letter and were reminded that they must be aware of the FFB Code of Conduct and FIFA Disciplinary Code of Conduct. We will continue to follow this story.

Mother of Murder Victim Says His Son Was Innocent
An early morning murder shattered the silence in Roaring Creek Village today and just as fast as the gunshots disturbed the otherwise peaceful neighborhood, thirty four year old Nigel Noel Neal, a mechanic of the village, lay dead in a pool of his own blood. Neal’s mother, Alice Burgess says she didn’t get to bid her son farewell this morning, as she expected him to pick her up as usual, in the afternoon at the Agriculture show grounds where she works.


Miss Belize In Bali For Miss World Pageant
As we speak, Belize’s delegate for the 63rd Miss World Pageant is in the City of Bali. This year the international pageant is scheduled to take place on September 28th...

PAC Moves Forward Without Chairman Espat
Yesterday the Opposition walked out of the Public’s Account Committee meeting held in Belmopan after chairman Julius Espat’s proposed agenda to discuss the 2010/2011 Auditor General Report was overthrown by...

BSCFA Restructures Staff
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association will be receiving much needed assistance in two key areas; institutional strengthening and strategic planning as part of the Accompanying Measures for Sugar finance...

BelizeCan Prays And Fasts For Leaders Of The Nation
The non-profit organization known as BelizeCan, headed by Patrick Menzies, organized a seven days of prayer and fasting for the leaders of the country in hope that they would have...

PUP Demands Respect In Parliament
When we thought that the behavior of the member for Mesopotamia at the last House Meeting on August 7th 2013 now formed part of the past, his crude verbal attack...

Heavy Rains Cause Flooding In Corozal
An unpredicted rain left the villages of San Roman, Santa Clara, San Narciso and Louisville in the Corozal District under a couple of feet of water yesterday afternoon. Sometime around...


House destroyed by fire
Sometime on Thursday, the house of Belize City resident Cornel Gomez, who lives on Neal Pen Road was destroyed by fire. Our news team met up with him at the aftermath of the blaze. Corlen Gomez – Fire Victim: Well I was called and the fire was burning...

US South Command General on official visit to Belize
General John F. Kelly, along with a full entourage, is visiting Belize for the first time since he was elected as the commanding officer for the United State’s Southcom, in November of 2011. For those who might not have heard of Southcom, it is a joint...

Minister Saldivar claims Cabinet supports Stake Bank Project
On Wednesday PlusNews informed the nation of the proposed Feinstein development at Stake Bank and North Drowned Caye 2 miles east of Belize City. The proposed cruise port and tourism destination awaits approval from the National Environmental Assessment Committee (NEAC) which is reviewing the Environmental Impact Assessment addenda since...

Police produce documentary on the GREAT program
The Gang Truce is officially dead – but gang-related activity has for the most part sharply decreased in recent months. The Police Department’s Community Policing Unit has taken an active role in releasing the stranglehold of gangs on communities who may depend on...

APAMO elects new executive and takes position on the State Bank Project
Thursday was the annual general meeting for the Association for Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO). Seats for four members on the executive including chairman went to a ballot. With the results here is executive director of APAMO, Jose Perez. Jose Perez – Executive Director APAMO: Up to this point,...

Police Corporal acquitted of causing harm to a female teacher
Police Corporal, Darrell “Tutsi” Usher, who has had quite a few run ins with the law, was acquitted this morning of causing harm to a woman. The 27 year old walked out of court a free man after the victim requested that the charge be dropped. According to police...

Three persons wanted by the US appear in court
Gary Seawell, Fakhnul Salim and Deon Bruce are wanted by the United States for various charges. They all appeared on Wednesday in Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, but two of the cases, Fakhnul Salim and Deon Bruce, were adjourned respectively to October 21 and November 18. Gary...

Minister Longsworth updates media on progress at Marion Jones Stadium and Berger Field
The Government of Belize has undertaken a complete overhaul of the Marion Jones Stadium, but you probably know that already, as the renovations begun quite a few years now. It’s no question that the stadium holds colossal potential, but when will our athletes be able to make use of...

Bomb threat UB Belmopan
Plus News understands that there has been a report of a bomb threat at the University of Belize in Belmopan. On Thursday evening Police were on the scene and were evacuating lecturers, students and staff. We will have more on this breaking story in Friday’s newscast.

Hon. John Saldivar not concerned about Oscar Mira running for political office
Last week, we told you about a retired major for the Belize Defense Force, who left his military duties to pursue a career in an entirely different field- politics. We also told he will be competing for the position of the PUP standard bearer in the Belmopan constituency. Well,...

Price of butane goes up
The Government of Belize has announced a spike in fuel prices. Effective Friday, September 6th 2013, the new controlled prices of LPG will be as follows: in Belize City and Corozal $117.00, in Belmopan and San Ignacio $119.00 and Benque120.00. Orange Walk residents will pay 118.00, Dangriga residents $121.00...

Football live on Plus TV
This Saturday PlusTV sports enthusiasts will be given a Football treat as the Atlantic Bank Female Interdistrict Footbal Finals will be aired Live on PlusTV. Commencing at 1pm at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, DFC Gentle Touch will be playing Dangriga Pumas for third place. And then at 3pm...

Re: Today's Belize News: September 7, 2013 [Re: Marty] #472043
09/07/13 06:14 AM
09/07/13 06:14 AM
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Amandala has been told that after a second meeting held today, Thursday, September 5, Philip Jones, CEO of Belize Transit Services, has gotten a 4-month extension from the Belize City Council to continue using the big buses under the condition that the bus operators make arrangements to comply with the regulations put in place by the Council. Jones said that they were also offered an additional 2-month grace period if they are not able to meet the bus size requirements at the end of the four months. The meeting today is subsequent to another meeting that was held on Tuesday at City Hall. Earlier this week in our Tuesday issue, Amandala reported that several large buses were impounded by the Belize City Council because their size was not in compliance with CITCO’s policies in regards to the city transport guidelines. The bus drivers were upset because they were not able to conduct their regular runs on an exceptionally busy first day of school in Belize City.

Michael Feinstein, president of the Feinstein Group of Companies, held a press conference/public launch this morning of a proposed US$100 million tourism project for the development of a cruise port at Stake Bank and a shopping zone on North Drowned Caye, about two miles off the coast of Belize City. While Feinstein described the project as 100% Belizean, he also indicated at the press conference, held at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Hotel, that Royal Caribbean – a leading international cruise line with which his enterprise had partnered initially to bring on-stream the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City – intends to invest in the new venture. Royal Caribbean runs the only existing cruise port in Belize. Another port, however, to be built by Norwegian Cruise Lines, has recently been proposed for Southern Belize. The Stake Bank project is also being considered for government approval. Mr. Feinstein’s project idea is evidently about a decade old, and when we asked him to explain what major challenges have held up its realization, he had two words for us: “government interference.” He declined to elaborate when we pressed him.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to be a bane not just locally – but also internationally, and enforcement personnel of the Belize Fisheries Department met today to discuss a proposal for the Belize Fisheries Department to begin using “automated aircrafts” or unmanned conservation drones to police Belizean waters. Whereas the drones are being considered for fisheries law enforcement, there is the question of whether the prototypes could help in anti-narcotics surveillance—since much of the narco-trafficking is presumed to also happen along the coast—as well as border surveillance to help stave off illegal activities, such as clandestine gold panning. Three prototypes of the conservation drones were recently tested in the Glovers Reef Marine Reserve area, at the request of the Belize Fisheries Department, with the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Lian Pin Koh, founder and director of Conservation and Simon Wunderlin – Conservation Drones’ technical director, were in Belize to demonstrate how the drones could be used here. They report that over 40 GB of video footage was collected during the testing phase.

Sosa is accused of putting a gun to the back of the security guard in front of FirstCaribbean International Bank. This morning, Sheldon Sosa, 24, a mechanic of #56 Albert Street, was taken before Magistrate Clive Lino and charged with robbery of Brodies Supermarket – a robbery which yielded him $46,064.42. According to police, around 4:30 Saturday evening, security guard for James Brodie Company Limited, Elison Emmert Lamb, 52, was on Albert Street in front of FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB) on his way to make a cash deposit. The bank is just across the street from the supermarket. Lamb was just a few yards away from the bank when he felt someone place something against his back, something he believed was a gun, while demanding that he hand over the cash bag. Fearing for his life, Lamb complied with the demand and handed over the bag to the robber, who then ran down Church Street, got a bicycle from an accomplice at the corner of Church Street and Duck Lane, and rode off toward East Canal.

Minister of Works and Transport Rene Montero signed an order on August 15, 2013, revoking the lease granted to Port of Belize Limited, which then led to a move by the Barrow administration to assume immediate control of the Commerce Bight Port near Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. We asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow whether he anticipates that the takeover would result in yet another chapter in the litigation warfare between his administration and the Ashcroft group, which had been holding the property as part of its receivership of Port of Belize Limited. Barrow told us on Monday that the move is “another blow for Belizean sovereignty…” “As far as I am concerned, the position is quite clear and eminently justified by the facts, so we were absolutely within our legal right to cancel. Remember, this was only done after they first obtained an injunction and the injunction had been discharged. Even if they decide to go to court, in my view, they can’t win, but you have to ask them whether that’s their intention,” he added.

— by Michael Finnegan History records that the commemoration of the Battle of St. George’s Caye began in September of 1898, a full century after the battle was fought. Our documentary heritage, of which the Belize Archives and Records Service and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) are today custodians, indicates that as early as 1779 the Spanish were launching attacks from Bacalar on the inhabitants on St. George’s Caye. There are accounts of the Spanish taking the settlers and their slaves captive, marching them to Merida and confiscating their property. The minutes of a Public Meeting held in Belize Town on 1st June 1797, a copy of which is today available at the Belize Archives and Records Service in Belmopan, records that the community, in the face of continued Spanish threats, decided “to carry on defensive operations to keep possession of the settlement” rather than “to determine a general evacuation”.

Amandala has been informed that 42 evangelical pastors—6 from each district plus Belmopan—met on Friday morning, August 2, at the George Price Center with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow. The meeting was coordinated by Richard Smith of My Refuge Christian Radio, who told the press: “We’re the conscience of this nation…” Prime Minister Barrow told journalists, after the meeting, that “… it was altogether, as I said, a very, very satisfying experience.” Asked whether the Revised Gender Policy 2013, which has faced strong opposition from the church, was a subject of their talks, Barrow said, no – the meeting was not about the gender policy.

News tonight from Guatemala City is that the Belize Youth Female National Volleyball Team came from being down 1 set to defeat Nicaragua, 3 sets to 1, 13-25, 25-22, 25-8, 25-13. Kandyce Burn led Belize with 17 pts (15 kills, 2 aces) and Kori Diego had 11 pts (6 kills, 5 blocks). Team Belize is now 2 and 2 (2 wins, 2 losses), and if Guatemala beats Honduras later tonight, as is expected, then Belize will be tied with them at a 2 and 2 record. It will come down to the results of the final day. Belize plays Costa Rica tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

A new sports group, the Allied Sports Club, whose representatives appeared this morning on the Krem WUB morning show, say they are holding a track meet this Saturday, September 7, at the new synthetic track at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Renowned Belizean sprinter Jaheed Smith, along with Paul Staine and Daland Jones, say that registration for participation in the meet is free for all athletes, and they will be arranging bus transportation to and from the event. The meet will have events in three different age categories – Junior B (15-17 yrs), Junior A (18-19 yrs), and Open (20+ yrs). The day begins with the 1500m at 8:00 a.m. (check in time is 7:30 a.m.) for all age groups. Check in time for the 400m is 8:30 a.m. Official opening ceremonies then follow at 9:00 a.m.

The Belize National U-18 3×3 basketball team returned to Belize on Monday, September 2, after placing 4th in the U-18 3×3 FIBA Americas Championship held in Washington DC. It is a remarkable achievement for our Belize team, who defeated powerhouse Puerto Rico and then Guatemala in order to advance to the semifinal round. Belize then lost, 21-16, to top ranked USA, and then lost to Canada in the bronze medal game. With the 4th place finish, the Belize National U-18 3×3 basketball team has qualified to participate in the U-18 3×3 World Championship to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, from September 26-29.

A rainy week gave way today to sunny skies and steady winds, between 9 and 12 knots. At the end of 5 races in the Optimist Class, consistent sailing by Jerdon Anderson of the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC) allowed him to sail away from 2013 Battle Regatta with 1st Place honors. Isaac Ritchie of the Placencia Sailing Club (PSC) followed close behind in the “Tipsy Tuna” boat, grabbing 2nd Place. Anthony Ricardez, Jr. of the Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC) in the “Howarth Belize” boat held on to 3rd Place, and not too long before overcast skies reappeared. 29 competitors and 5 clubs participated in the Optimist Class race of Battle Regatta 2013, including Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) and Belize Sea Scouts (BSS.) The other top ten finishers, starting from 4th place, were: 4th Faith Noel (SPSC), 5th Blanca Velasquez (PSC), 6th Mitchell Sersland (BSS), 7th Kevin Velasquez (SPSC), 8th Christian Trejo (SPSC), 9th Carlos Villatoro (PSC) and 10th Trent Hardwick of BSS.

Boys & Girls football The Dangriga Boys & Girls Football Club friendly matches that were postponed over the weekend due to weather conditions will now be played this Sunday, September 8, at the Carl Ramos Stadium, starting at 10:00 a.m. before the First Division Marathon. Once again, the first game will be Montise U-12 vs Hopkins U-12; second game is Umadagu U-12 vs Pomona U-12; and the third game, Umadagu U-17 vs Pomona U-17. First Division football Also, the Stann Creek District First Division Marathon that was previously scheduled for over the weekend, and was postponed also because of rain, will now get under way this Sunday at the Carl Ramos Stadium, starting at 12:00 midday. Prizes remain the same: 1st prize $500.00, 2nd place $250.00, and 3rd $125.00. All teams should be at the Carl Ramos Stadium by 11:30 a.m.

A few weeks ago one of this newspaper’s columnists attacked the Stake Bank Development Project because of its environmental implications for the Swallow Caye manatee sanctuary. We edited the column slightly, because KREM Radio, a limited liability company, has a business relationship with the principals in the Stake Bank project. (KREM Radio is a part of the Kremandala businesses.) We thought the column was a bit personal, hence the editing. As it turned out, both our columnist and our business associates were displeased. But, after a while life went on pretty much as per usual. This week the Stake Bank project hit the headlines again, and so we expect our dilemma to re-surface. Kremandala is a pretty big institution on the Southside of Belize City because over the years we have created 80 jobs in a part of the old capital where socio-economic conditions are rough. When Southside Belizeans seek assistance of various kinds from us, sometimes we have to point out to them that in the larger scheme of things Belizean, we are small people on Partridge Street. It is more often than not that our words are taken as hollow or disingenuous by Southside people: after all, Kremandala looks big. We are not.

“The opposition’s means, used against us, are always immoral, and our means are always ethical and rooted in the highest of human values. George Bernard Shaw, in Man and Superman, pointed out the variations in ethical definitions by virtue of where you stand. Mendoza said to Tanner, ‘I am a brigand; I live by robbing the rich.’ Tanner replied, ‘I am a gentleman; I live by robbing the poor. Shake hands.’” - pg. 29, Rules for radicals, Saul Alinsky, Vintage Books, New York, 1971. “The seventh rule of the ethics of means and ends is that generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics. The judgment of history leans heavily on the outcome of success or failure; it spells the difference between the traitor and the patriotic hero. There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds, he becomes a founding father.” - pg. 34, ibid. In analyzing the recent events in Egypt, I was struck by the similarities with what had taken place in Honduras, our neighbors to the south, in June/July of 2009. In Egypt, the United States wanted President Mohammad Morsi out, and in Honduras they had wanted President Manuel Zelaya out. Both these leaders had been democratically elected, and Washington always extols democracy above all, supposedly and strategically.

I am concerned at how the Revised Gender Policy has gotten so much attention and how it especially seeks to promote a lifestyle that is so contrary to the collective value of a nation, yet it is to represent the interest of people who have not even been consulted. Even more amazing is that we now are making a decision that will impact the future of our children, yet they as the most vulnerable group, the group who will live with the consequences of this policy in its present form, have not even been consulted, much less considered. Who is special? It is still incredible, the audacity that the authors and supporters of the National Gender policy have to speak about special groups and, sadly, not even mention children as a special category with special urgent needs. Yes, the policy has gone on a limb to create special groups and special commitments, and while I must say some mentioned are meritorious of that classification, there are others that baffle me, and still more alarming are the ones not included.

Mindprint…fear… In the early 1980’s a campaign of terror was instituted against the industrial North, primarily North America (the U.S.A.) and Western Europe by their enemies. The targets, of course, took preventative measures to protect and alleviate the fear endangered in their citizens both at home and abroad. In Belize the foreign embassies began to set up security systems to ensure the safety of their personnel both at home and at work. Roving security guards, watchmen, communications networks (advent of cellular phones) were all installed. Then it was reported by their press that Ghadafy of Libya had created “hit squads” to execute this dirty work; of course he didn’t say much one way or another. As a result security was heightened – Belize next? God forbid! The Pope didn’t seem to think so; he paraded in an open vehicle and celebrated Mass on an open altar. Notwithstanding and true to form, the Belizean “haves” followed suit; it became the “in” thing to have high fences, burglar bars, watchmen, high priced watch dogs. The inculcation of and nurturing of fear in the Belizean population had begun, a population all too susceptible.

— by Joe Coye Your column “From the Publisher” of August 28, 2013 featured the G-7. The author stated facts, gave opinions and asked questions which I believe were well-balanced. They are thoughts for sobering reflections, particularly at a time when we are about to observe (or should I say celebrate?) our thirty two years of fully fledged self-government, although there are too many of our citizens who believe that good governance as a management concept continues to elude us. I suggest sobering reflections not just for one “colour” but for all of us right across the social, economic and political spectrum. We need not debate it in the public square but at least do it in the cellar of our souls where we can better insulate the biases and personal prejudices. There is a growing distrust and cynicism toward government, the political system, and politicians. We are all to be blamed. It might be just a matter of degree. Together we can and must restore the trust and hope. Let me attempt to answer the very explicit and salient question: was the fiscal policy change occasioned by the G-7 a good thing or a bad thing where the health of Belize’s public finances were/are concerned? There may also be an inferential question: was the G-7 the cause for the PUP loss of the 2008 election?

Mother had gone visiting next door. A boy, 4, who was home alone and unattended, is alive and unhurt after he escaped from his house, which became engulfed in flames and was completely destroyed by fire at about 9:00 Sunday morning in Maskall Village. Police reports are that the boy’s mother left the boy in the house and went to her mother-in-law’s house, located just next door. Shortly after, the house caught fire. The mother reported that she rushed home to save her son, but he had already been saved by people in the area. They assisted in putting out the fire, but the house and all her belongings were nevertheless destroyed. The National Fire Service has launched an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

Food security, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), exists “when all people at all times have physical or economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO 1996). A recent food security study that was conducted in two indigenous communities in southern Belize has found that many farmers were unable to produce enough corn to sustain their families last year. As many as two-thirds of the farmers in one community were therefore forced to buy corn. As a result, there has been a slight reduction reported in the frequencies and quantities of corn consumed due to less availability and accessibility. The study, titled the “Impact of Climate Change on Food Security in two Q’eqchi Maya communities in southern Belize” focuses specifically on two particular indigenous communities in what is known as the Moho Region in the Toledo District. It was conducted earlier this year by Dr. Filiberto Penados and Mr. Angel Tec with funding from Many Strong Voices and NORAD. The two communities selected for the field study were Midway and Crique Sarco.

A soldier of the Belize Defence Force, Mike Cho, 22, of San Jose Village, Toledo, who was posted at Camp Fairweather in Punta Gorda, was killed on the spot when the motorcycle he was riding collided head-on with a Mitsubishi pickup truck, causing him massive head and body injuries. He was buried today with full honors in Santa Rosa Village. The incident occurred about 5:15 p.m. Friday, August 30, on the Southern Highway between Miles 83 and 84 at a location between Tambran and Medina Bank villages. Police said that Cho was travelling on his motorcycle from Punta Gorda towards Santa Rosa Village on the Southern Highway when a pickup truck that was travelling in the opposite direction, being driven at the time by Natasha Gomez, 20, of Punta Gorda, collided into him head-on. As a result of the impact, Cho landed on the pavement and died almost immediately. Among the severe injuries he sustained, his left foot was almost amputated.

There was no road for the fire engine to reach the house in the Neal Pen Road area. A man is now homeless after his 20-by-14-foot timber house and belongings in the Neal Pen Road Extension area were completely destroyed by fire about 10:00 this morning. Nothing was saved .The estimated loss is about $30,000. The homeowner, Cornel Gomez, 25, said that he was away at the time, cutting a yard. He said that he had left home about 9:30, but shortly after, at about 10:00, he heard a loud explosion, then saw smoke and fire. Gomez did not think that it was his property, and after finishing his job, he started for home. He then met some of his neighbors, who told him that his house had burned down. Gomez said that he rushed home, only to find that indeed, it had been completely destroyed by fire.

A resident of Sandhill was found dead in his home after apparently taking his own life. However, Ladyville Police stated that they visited Sandhill, located at Mile 19 ¼ on the Philip Goldson Highway, at about 8:18 p.m. on Monday, September 2, 2013 after receiving reports of an apparent homicide. Upon reaching the scene, police reported that they saw the body of Emir Bailey, 29, hanging motionless with what appeared to be an electrical cable tied around his neck. The cable was tied to a wooden beam in the bedroom of the residence that was shared by Bailey and his common-law wife, 18-year-old Kayla Augustine. Police said that a cement block was also observed next to Bailey’s feet. His body was taken down and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was pronounced dead at 11:25 later that night.

The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) today responded to a statement made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the City of Belmopan on Monday, contending that the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP) is not covered by a court decision which declares Maya ancestral lands across southern Belize. The Maya community has maintained that the park is included in their ancestral lands – and that when the Government of Belize declared the property to be a national park, it did so without consulting them. The dispute has deepened because US Capital Energy is preparing to drill for oil inside the park, and on village lands. Back in 1994, the Government of Belize put 41,000 acres of southeastern Toledo under protected status, making it one of the largest protected areas in the country.

A doctor attached to the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) drowned in the Macal River on Friday afternoon. Doctor Marcelino Sosa, 28, a veterinarian of Mexico, attached to the Cattle Sweep Project unit of the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) to test cattle for Brucellosis, was along with a group of fellow veterinarians at the Mountain Pine Ridge area taking photographs in the Rio On Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge about 4:30 p.m. on Friday when he fell, plunging 20 feet below into the raging river, which quickly swept him away. His body was found about 18 hours later. His companions said that they quickly reacted and began a search for the doctor. They were joined by other people in the area, but the effort to find Sosa was futile.

Jennifer Paula Escobar Garay, 19, a Guatemalan national, was fined $1,000 today when she appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton for illegally entering our country. According to the prosecutor for the Immigration Department, Siera Torres, police responded to a car accident in the wee hours of Saturday morning. When they arrived on the scene, they met Escobar Garay, who was a passenger in the car. But when police interviewed her, they realized that she was not here legally and called the Immigration Office.

Deon Bruce, Fakhnul Salim and Gary Seawell are not related, but what they do share in common is that they are all facing extradition to the United States on charges ranging from drug trafficking to murder. And today, all three men appeared in court to have their cases heard. The first to have his case addressed was Bruce, who is wanted for a slew of charges including murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm. When Bruce was first brought to court on July 12, he was represented by Bryan Neal, but this morning, Godfrey Smith appeared as his legal representative. Smith had a brief meeting in the Magistrate’s Chambers, along with Magali Perdomo from the Attorney General’s Office, after which, Carlos Clarke, of the Attorney General’s office, was called to tender a bundle of documents, to Smith’s objection.

I read a short article in the PUP newspaper that read “Solar Makes Sense”. The article noted, and I paraphrase: there are 38 villages in the Toledo District without electricity. The Government-owned electricity company, which collected 193 million dollars from consumers last year, seems to have invested very little to provide power to these villages. We are in 2013 and this is unsatisfactory and unconstitutional. Power, and access to it, should be considered a basic human need. At this point, I believe that installing solar energy in these remote villages would cost much less than importing lamp posts, electric wires, transformers and such. This short article prompted me to write this article, due to the fact that we recently installed a solar system on our small island fishing lodge, and cut down our diesel generator usage by more than 70%. After an on-site visit by our solar system provider, Solar Energy Solutions Belize Ltd, they estimated that with our four guest cabins filled with a maximum of 10 guests, our staff quarters with an average of 10 staff/fishing guides, managers’ quarters and all on-island appliances, lights et al, we would need at least 12kWh/day average to operate smoothly on a 24/7 basis.

— by Hubert Enriquez Dear Editor; Last week was phenomenal. I was still delightfully ruminating over an article in the Amandala written by Jerry Enriquez in which he conceptualized a special Garifuna ceremony in the National Assembly to chastise and cleanse the House of wicked and deviant politicians when I heard four outstanding senior citizens pronounce loudly and clearly on reform. These citizens are Don Hector Silva, Dr. Theodore Aranda, Mr. Paul Rodriguez and Amandala columnist Janus. Don Hector spoke on Krem’s WUB of the need for a third force in Belizean politics. Dr. Aranda told his morning show host, among other things, that both major political parties had been corrupted. Mr. Rodriguez spoke of the need for reform by way of a specially elected Senate. Columnist Janus in last weekend’s issue of the Amandala built upon the proposals presented by Mr. Rodriguez.

NO TO NCL! Letters
— by R. Montero Dear Amandala: Here we are in the patriotic season in Belize — waving our flags, dancing in the streets, recalling our history. But there is more to patriotism than such activities. Patriotism means believing in Belize and in Belizeans. It seems that many of our leaders do not possess that strain of patriotism. Their response to the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines’ project at Harvest Caye is strong evidence of their lack of faith in us, the people they are supposed to represent. Roots and hearts Belizeans have toiled, risked, and sacrificed to build a successful and sustainable niche tourism sector in southern Belize. These small businesses are largely family-owned and operated, employing fellow Belizeans and spending their dollars in Belize. This is in stark contrast to a giant foreign firm like NCL who has said openly that they are coming to Belize to “plant the flag” — their flag, not our flag. The conquistadores planted flags. Are patriotic Belizeans going to allow these modern-day colonialists to take over and destroy what Belizeans have built and are still in the process of developing and improving?

— by Paul Rodriguez Dear Editor: Janus in his article of 1st September, 2013, again recommended an ELECTED Senate as the cure for our ills of corruption in government and public administration. He is eminently qualified to give our nation sound advice on this matter, having lived his whole adult life dedicated to public service. Even after his retirement, he served as Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Public Service Commission. It is a great pity that his successors as Speaker have not sought his advice Like Janus, I am convinced that an elected Senate is, possibly, the only agency capable of reducing corruption in government. An elected Senate would have security of tenure which no other oversight body has ever had in Belize- it would be removable only by the people. All the others: Ombudsman, Auditor General, Contractor General, Integrity Commission, may be removed by the persons who appoint them.

Burglaries were reported by police in Hattieville, Independence and in Corozal, over the weekend. In Hattieville over $15,400 was stolen by thieves, while in Independence Village, thieves stole over $5,000 worth of merchandize, and in Corozal a thief stole $900 worth of goods, but he was captured. About 11:00 yesterday morning a woman, 34, of Hattieville who is the caretaker of a two-flat concrete house off Dalla Bank Road in Hattieville owned by Trais Knuth of Orlando Florida, USA reported that sometime between August 19 and Sunday September 1, 2013, the upper flat of the house was burglarized and a thief or thieves stole and got away with goods including household items, tools, electronic items and groceries, totaling $7,822. Police have launched an investigation, but so far no one has yet been arrested, any suspects detained, or the items yet recovered. Also in Hattieville, the house of a teacher was broken into and thieves got away with $7,680. The teacher, who resides on Camal Street in Hattieville, told police that sometime between 4:00 Sunday afternoon and 9:30 Sunday night, a thief or thieves burglarized his house from where they stole and got away with electronic items and two caps, to a total value of $7,680.

Christine Neal, the victim, informed the prosecutor that she didn’t wish to pursue the matter. On May 8 this year, Cpl. Darrel Usher was charged with wounding upon Christine Neal, a teacher who was at a wake when he allegedly attacked her. According to police, Neal reported that on April 25, she was at the wake for Mark McKoy in Hattieville when she was stunned by a punch to the left temple and a kick to her stomach — the unprovoked actions of Usher. Usher pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and was offered bail of $1,000 and one surety of the same amount, which he was able to meet.

Kenneth Flowers, 26, a witness for an upcoming Supreme Court trial, was “chopped up” in his bed while he slept in his Mahogany Heights home by a killer who gained entry into his house on Wednesday night, August 28. Flowers was chopped in the head and face, and died on Saturday, August 31, while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Police said that Flowers was found in a sitting position with three large chop wounds, and he was bleeding. He was rushed to the hospital where he fought for his life at the Intensive Care Unit, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Two armed thieves were waiting for them in their yard. Two teachers of Orange Walk Town were chased and assaulted by two armed, masked men who were lay-waiting them in their yard, on Goff Caye Street, at about 7:30 Friday night. The teachers told police that they drove into their yard, and as they were getting out of their vehicle, two masked men came out of the shadows of their house, pointed a gun at them and told them not to move, or they would be dead. Muñoz said he quickly reacted and ran from his side of the vehicle, and his wife ran from the other side, but they both fell down in their rush to get away from the bandits. He said that when he fell down, the bandits caught him and began to beat him.

Police say they met the thief coming out of a lodge with the stolen items in his hand. One of two Corozal residents apprehended for burglary, Rosendo Guy, 23, of San Andres Village, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he failed to meet bail of $3,000. His partner in crime, George Lima, 20, also of San Andres, was able to meet bail and was released from custody. They were charged with the offenses of burglary and handling stolen goods. They were both ordered to return to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, November 28, to answer to the charges. Corozal police said that Guy was captured red-handed with goods coming out of a building, while Lima was arrested and charged as a result of their investigation, and community reporting. The incident occurred about 10:30 Saturday night at Alpine Lodge on College Road in Corozal Town.

The two were found with a 9mm Berretta brand pistol and (9) 9mm rounds of ammunition. Kenroy Gillett, 27, a stevedore of #39 Racoon Street, and Sheldon Sosa, 24, a mechanic of #56 Albert Street, were brought before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where they were charged with firearm offenses. According to police, officers were on patrol on Racoon Street last night when they observed a car driving toward them. The driver of the car pulled to the side of the street and Gillett, along with a passenger, got out of the vehicle and started walking toward them. The officers found the act to be suspicious, so they searched the men, who were later identified as Sosa and Gillett. Nothing incriminating was found on either man, but a set of vehicle keys was found and police decided to search the vehicle.

Hernandez and Aris Serano were involved in a traffic mishap when Hernandez allegedly pointed and cocked his gun at Serano. This afternoon, Jose Ricardo Hernandez, 35, a dump truck driver and resident of # 4 Muhammad Ali Street, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. According to police, at 7:15 this morning, Hernandez and Aris Serano, a bus driver, were involved in a traffic mishap on Central American Boulevard, after which tempers flared, leading to a gun being pulled out by Hernandez.

The Reporter

Stake Bank US$156 million Cruise Port project launched
Belize is about to have a new cruise port at Stake Bank, earning the country about $700 million per year, Mike Feinstein, of the Feinstein Group announced at a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday, September 4. He said the project could be completed and operational within the next 18 months once the Government of Belize gives the go-ahead. Feinstein is perhaps best known for creating Belize’s first cruise tourism port destination at the Fort Point Tourism Village. He promises that over 1,000 jobs would immediately result during the construction phase of this ambitious project, and as many as 3,000 more would be created when the project is completed. It calls for a US$67.5 million investment to build a deep water port at Stake Bank, just four nautical miles southeast of Belize City, where cruise ships can tie up directly alongside a dock, and cruise passengers will be able to walk directly ashore without any need for cruise tenders.

Man charged for Brodies $46,000 heist
Police say they have detained the man allegedly responsible for last Saturday evening’s daring heist that cost James Brodies & Company Ltd. more than $40,000 in cash. He has been identified as 24-year-old mechanic, Sheldon Stanley Sosa, of an Albert Street address, someone who resides in the vicinity of the popular downtown shopping center. This morning, at around 11:30 a.m., Sosa alone was arraigned in the Courtroom of Magistrate Clive Lino, where he was charged with a single count of robbery. On Saturday, August 31, 2013, whilst armed with a firearm, Sosa allegedly held up security officer, Elison Emmert Lambey and stole from him a black plastic bag which contained, four other bags, and a total of $46,064.42, the property of James Brodies & Company Ltd. According to Lambey, the male person, who was about 5’9” in height slim in build with a low haircut and was wearing a cap and a dark pair of shades, held him at gun point from behind and demanded that he hand over the black plastic bags; he complied.

GOB majority takes over PAC
The power struggle within the Public Accounts Committee climaxed this Wednesday, when PAC Chairman Hon. Julius staged a walkout, and United Democratic Party’s members appointed Hon. John Saldivar as pro-tem chairman. Espat, on leaving the meeting, said to the media, “I had a proposed agenda as Chairman. They wanted to not agree to that, and have a new proposed agenda.” Espat explained that the UDP members insisted on going back and conducting “forensic auditing” on pre-2008 auditor general reports. “They are trying to go on a political witch hunt and we are saying the Prime Minister and the Cabinet have all the power to go to the House of Representatives and create a special select committee to do that if that is what they wish,” Espat added.

San Pedro woman remanded for plotting her husband’s death
A San Pedro woman who was charged with abetment to murder was denied bail and remanded to prison, after she was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton on Monday. On Friday, police arrested and charged Francis Eve Ayala-Wilson, 39, with abetment to murder. After a prolonged search for her, police found Wilson at her father’s house in Benque Veijo del Carmen, Cayo District. Wilson is accused of plotting the murder of her wealthy husband Glen Wilson, a British national, who reportedly found out about the plot against him and reported the matter to San Pedro Police. According to news reports, Wilson had contacted a woman police officer to carry out the hit on her husband. At her arraignment, Senior Counsel, Simeon Sampson represented Wilson. Sampson argued in favour of bail, submitting that his client is not a flight risk. Besides, this is her first offense.

Police finds Bullet’s car in Hattieville
Police located popular Belize City taxi operator Roy “Bullet” Craig’s Saturn car in Hattieville, Monday morning, after it was stolen from the corner of Mex and Euphrates Avenues, sometime after 8:00 p.m. on Sunday. Craig told Reporter that he had left the car parked and went to dance carnival with a group of young people who were practicing at the end of Mex and Euphrates Avenues, a stone’s throw away from Police Precinct 1. “When I saw the carnival group, I stopped to participate and entertain them,” Craig said, “I had parked the car about three or four cars lengths away from where I was dancing. “Every few minutes, I looked to see the car,” he said. He admitted that he had left the ignition key on top of the dashboard.

Greg Ch’oc reveals law ambitions – but is not resigning from SATIIM
Last week, a four-page letter from an unnamed source titled “Concerned Maya and Garifuna youth from buffer villages,” was circulated claiming that Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Gregory Ch’oc, had resigned his post intending to study law. The letter accused him of “abandoning” his people at a critical time, when SATIIM presses its case for a permanent injunction against the Government and US Capital Energy to stop drilling for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. SATIIM is also supporting the Toledo Alcaldes Association and Maya Leaders Alliance in their efforts to secure Maya communal land rights in the District. After the recent split decision in the Court of Appeal which reaffirmed those rights but took away key protections given by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, Ch’oc himself said he was determined to see the case go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

FFB seeks to hire new head coach
The Football Federation of Belize is reviewing its options with regard to hiring a new head coach for the national teams, FFB President Ruperto Vicente confirmed to Reporter on Wednesday, September 4. Vicente said that while the FFB had retained the option to extend coach Ian Mork’s contract, so far his contract has not been renewed or extended. Mork’s employment contract with the FFB was only up to the completion of the Jaguars’ participation in the Gold Cup. Vicente indicated that the FFB’s executive committee is considering hiring a Belizean as head coach. One candidate for the post could be Coach Edmund “Buzzard” Pandy of the Belmopan Bandits. Coach Jose Palmiro Salas of BDF team, who coached Belize to its first World Cup qualifier victory against St. Kitts & Nevis at the Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala City in 2008, is also another potential replacement.

National Bank not bad for commercial banks, Senator Grant says
Studies show that state-owned financial institutions (SFIs) can strain private sector financial institutions, but the National Bank of Belize’s Chairman Senator Joy Grant says the Government has taken precise steps to minimize such risks. Speaking as to whether or not the government has conducted any study to see how the banking sector will be affected, Grant explained that GOB has evaluated such concerns within as best of a time frame possible, considering the fact that the banking sector is largely volatile and circumstances can change relatively quickly. “We have looked at that [the viability of competition between a national bank and private sector]…and we believe that at this time, because of the spread, that there’s an opportunity there for another bank to change that spread.” According to the Central Bank’s recent Monthly Economic Report, the “spread” between weighted average interest rates on “New Loans and Deposits” averaged 7.10 percent as of May this year, with deposit rates averaging 2.99 percent and lending rates at approximately 10.09 percent.

KHMH introduces tele-medicine
Most Belizeans know they can see the speaker on a phone call through the ‘Facetime’ app on an iPhone, but the technology also has life-saving applications, such as the telemedicine initiative launched by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City on Tuesday, September 3. KHMH has acquired state-of-the-art camera equipment, the Polycom V6X 7000, to provide this video-conferencing capability, which allows Belizean doctors to access the expertise of world-renowned specialists at top medical institutes abroad to assist in diagnosis, treatment and even surgery, in real time. This new service is called “telemedicine”. The Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute and the International Medical Outreach program of the Carolinas Healthcare System are among the first to agree to help KHMH doctors with this service. Nesean Castillo of KHMH’s Information Technology Department, explained the Polycom camera’s advantage over ‘Facetime’ and Skype is that the camera is of much higher resolution and with a better lens system that is able to focus precisely on the patient and the area of the body being treated or operated upon.

All-time-low mortgage rates for first-time home owners
First-time home owners now have access to relatively “unbeatable” mortgage financing rates, thanks to the recently launched National Bank of Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, speaking at the bank’s opening on Monday, lauded his administration’s latest initiative, saying: “Our lending rates will be unbeatable, because our bottom line is people and not profit. That is why our introductory offer to the Belizean people is an unbelievably low 5.5 percent.” The National Bank has started its operations with an initial $20 million in capital, all of which the Government of Belize has sourced from the Petrocaribe Fund. The bank’s chairman, Senator Joy Grant, was clear in explaining that those funds will initially be used to “provide mortgage financing for construction to first time owners.”


Dress shopping and getting pampered
Yesterday I told Dick in our morning chat that I needed to go fuel my dress addiction, I decided I wanted something different to wear to a special lunch today. Nothing like a bit of shopping followed by salon and late lunch to help me keep my zsa zsa zsu up. I met Mary and Cindy at the Fitness Club pool and we headed off to 3 of my favorite second hand shops on the island. When you live in San Pedro second hand shopping is a part of life you either have to get used to if you want something new or you need to plan out of country shopping trips or have stuff muled in. I have found some great stuff, often brand names like Old Navy, Gap, Ann Taylor to name a few and all for $12 bzd or less. Cindy ended up finding the most stuff,which was good, as she was in need of some new clothes having struck out shopping on her recent trip to Europe. I ended up with a couple of things but not the dress I was looking for, Mary was there for the ride and to play Stacy and Clinton from What not to Wear telling us what we should buy and what we needed to walk away from.

THE Breakfast Spot in San Ignacio: Pop’s Restaurant
What warm blooded creature doesn’t love scrambled eggs with bacon for breakfast or even better…a stack of banana pancakes for lunch? Especially when that breakfast comes with a side of DELICIOUS Belizean favorites like fry jacks or thick homemade flour tortillas? Or more American style diner favorites like hash browns and the bottomless cup of coffee? Well, I found a place in San Ignacio in the Cayo District that is serving breakfast all day long in a place that almost feels like a New Jersey (home of the world’s classic) diner. Pop’s Restaurant. Ok…so it doesn’t look like much… What warm blooded creature doesn’t love scrambled eggs with bacon for breakfast or even better…a stack of banana pancakes for lunch? Especially when that breakfast comes with a side of DELICIOUS Belizean favorites like fry jacks or thick homemade flour tortillas? Or more American style diner favorites like hash browns and the bottomless cup of coffee? Well, I found a place in San Ignacio in the Cayo District that is serving breakfast all day long in a place that almost feels like a New Jersey (home of the world’s classic) diner. Pop’s Restaurant. Ok…so it doesn’t look like much…

Belize Green + Old Yeller = Colourful Metaphor
OK, we can’t help ourselves… Every time Belize gets mentioned in Breaking Bad you just got to pay attention. When one of the world’s smallest countries is mentioned on one of the world’s biggest television shows, regardless of how weird the reference is, your ears automatically pick up. So here we were, innocently watching episode 512 while sipping green coconut water through straws and munching on snacks, when Saul lets fly with another gem, this time likening Jesse Pinkman to that famous pooch who had to be put down because of rabies… “We’re wondering if maybe this isn’t an Old Yeller type situation … Yeah, Old Yeller was the best, most loyal dog that ever was. I mean everybody loved that mutt. But one day he showed up rabid, and little Timmy, for Old Yeller‘s own sake, had to uhh, well I mean you saw the movie…”, quoth Saul.

Importance of a Business Plan – SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE
Too many people don’t bother to write a business plan because they think it’s too hard or unnecessary unless you’re looking for funding, that’s a shame. These myths keep a lot of people from the benefits of planning. If you’re still skeptical, here are 10 benefits to business planning you shouldn’t be overlooking:

“Get the Party Started” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up yesterday morning around my normal time of 05.00 hours and spent a very pleasant couple of hours on the veranda. Me, my coffee and the iPad. Had to curtail my chill time though because I had the ‘cart booked in for a service at Captain Shark’s so I showered, shaved, got dressed and went for breakfast (yep, at Estel’s). On the way there I was taken by how the streets were changing in readiness for the September Celebrations. Celebrations that will take place throughout Belize.

International Sources

Jaguar Attacks Caiman In Brazil's Pantanal Wetlands
How hungry do you have to be before fighting a caiman sounds like a good idea? In the Pantanal, Brazil's eastern wetlands, the answer seems to be "about average." The proof is captured in an astounding set of photos taken by Justin Black, a nature photographer and the founder of Visionary Wild, a wildlife photography school. The photos show a stealthy jaguar slowly emerge from undergrowth behind a Yacare caiman that's busy sunning itself on the opposite side of a stretch of river. Undeterred by the water, the jaguar slips into the river, sneaks up behind the caiman, and attacks. "He lifted the 150lb caiman from the ground and trotted toward the water like it was a doggie bone," Black told the Daily Mail. "The fact he attacked from the water is astonishing ... It was reminiscent of crocs attacking land animals in Africa." Panthera, a wild cat conservation group, reports Brazil's Pantanal is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. National Geographic lists the animal as "near threatened," noting the creature is often targeted by hunters, as well as ranchers who see the cats as a threat to livestock.

Royal Caribbean to invest in new $156 million Belize cruise port project
Mike Feinstein, of the Feinstein Group, announced at a press conference a proposed US$100 million project for the development of a cruise port at Stake Bank and a shopping zone on North Drowned Caye, about two miles off the coast of Belize City. The project is being described as 100% Belizian, but Feinstein did indicate that Royal Caribbean intends to invest in the new venture. Royal Caribbean runs the only existing cruise port in Belize. Another port, however, to be built by Norwegian Cruise Lines, has recently been proposed for Southern Belize. The Stake Bank project is also being considered for government approval. The project has two major aspects. The first is a US$67.5 million investment to build a deep water port at Stake Bank, just four nautical miles southeast of Belize City that allow cruise ships to dock at the pier. The second aspect would build a port infrastructure to garner additional tourism including restaurants, night-clubs and other forms of entertainment for both visitors and Belizeans.

Belizeans in New York City celebrate Labor Day with football marathon
For years, Belizeans have been having a football marathon among all the Belizean football teams in New York City on Labor Day. This was the idea of two great Belize football legends, namely, Louis Antonio ‘Mugga’ Garbutt and his friend Nelson "Roo" Robinson. In July of this year, the entire Belizean football community was saddened to hear of the death of their football legend friend ‘Mugga’ Garbutt. Maurice ‘Gene’ Guild, Wellington Ramos and Robert ‘Mole' Melendez, who are former football players and officers of the Belizean American Caribbean Football Association Inc., immediately contacted Wallace Mitchell, who is the president of Wallydee Productions, to honour Mugga this year on Sunday September 1 at the Linden Boulevard football field during his activities. The scheduled activities for the day were a football knockout marathon with four Belize teams, namely, Wagiya, Belize United, FC Belize and Chicago, lime and spoon race, sack race, track and field, etc.

Want to Learn How to Dive? Think Central America
Caye Caulker, Belize The diving: dwarfed only by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System lies less than a mile from Caye Caulker. Its countless dive sites house everything from delicate sea fans to majestic coral gardens, but its iconic Great Blue Hole is best left to advanced divers. Why learn here: course fees at this idyllic, low-key Caribbean island are among the highest in Central America, but the diving here is by far the best. Enquire at Frenchies ( and Belize Dive Services ( When to go: diving is year-round, with conditions near perfect around May. During the rainy season from December to April, seas can be choppy.

Ten Top Landscape Tips
Landscape photography may at first thought, seem relatively easy. After all you are not dealing with children or animals, your subject matter is unlikely to run away, and therefore surely all you need to do is point your camera in the right direction and get lucky with the weather? Unsurprisingly it’s a little more complicated. Granted, you may occasionally get a ‘lucky shot’, but as any landscape photographer will tell you, being in the right place at the right time, whilst it may seem obvious, inevitably involves for starters, a degree of research and planning.

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